Play! By Sephora Unboxing October 2016!

play-by-sephora-october

Hi everyone!

I have a look into the October Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Cool Cut, with products that truly stand out from the crowd and destined to become mainstream with breakthrough formulas.

october-play

How cute is this Lipstix and Chill bag?!

Let’s get into the rest of the contents!

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel 

An advanced, non-abrasive peel that is supposed to gently exfoliate skin to reveal a bright and renewed complexion.  The active ingredient is AC-11, which is derived from cat’s claw and helps gently exfoliate.  As an esthetician, I have a different expectation for a peel.  Personally, I didn’t see a difference with this at all and it actually left behind a sticky feel and residue. Not impressed at all.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil 

A conditioning hair mask that strengthens strands while enhancing color and shine.  The unique ingredient in this is prickly pear oil that comes from the seeds and contains over 80% fatty acids that provides an unparalleled amount of deep nurturing oils to hair.  This mask it quite thick and has an interesting smell.  When I used this mask, I found that it did leave hair shiny but it didn’t have a conditioning effect as I assumed it would.  It does not state that it’s supposed to condition hair so it’s best to mix in your own conditioner with this mask to get knots out.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat 

This matte liquid lipstick claims to last 8 hours and have a water-resistant, non-feathering formula. Jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils are included to provide a non-drying finish.  The shade I received was Driver’s Seat which is described as a warm pink however I kind of find it to be a terracotta-red type shade.  The shade is gorgeous and it is highly pigmented.  This does come off when drinking and eating food and I do find this formula drying to lips.  If you’re looking for a true matte liquid lipstick, then definitely check this one out.

drivers-seat

Blinc Mascara Amplified 

What makes this mascara special is the innovative “tube technology” that coats lashes with easy-to-remove, tiny water-resistant tubes that won’t run, smudge or flake.  Removing this mascara is simple as you only need warm water and a cotton round or ball to remove.  I’ve used this mascara before as part of my simple makeup routine and I love it for a natural look.  I find that it doesn’t provide much volume though.

Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

This South Korean skincare brand is made with Scottish botanicals and based on the research of Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist from Edinburgh.  This lightweight gel-cream is meant to tighten the look of skin and sink in for a smooth, supple feel.  It can also be used as a mask and tissued off after 5 minutes. I love the feel of this cream and it does feel very lightweight and refreshing when applied.  However, I did notice that as I was using this, my face started to breakout.  I’ve discontinued use and will try again to see if this was the source of my breakouts.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris 

Inspired by a love for the sophistication and allure of Paris, this scent layers fruity and floral notes over a musky base.  It contains notes of bergamot, pear, raspberry jasmine, musk and patchouli.  My sense of smell hasn’t been the best so I haven’t tried this one yet but I will update this once I’ve had a chance to give it a fair try.

sephora-end

Overall, I’m happy with this month’s box and look forward to receiving November’s.

What did you get in your box this month? 

Stephanie 

 

September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

september-birchbox

Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

milk-perk-swatch

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

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Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing September 2016!

play-by-sephora-september

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  I can’t beleive fall is just around the corner! Cra-zy.

I’m kicking off subscription week here on the blog with a look at the September Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Unbasic Basics, with products meant to become the building blocks for your beauty routine.

september-sephora

Kat Von D Tatto Liner in Trooper 

A waterproof liquid liner that glides on to reveal precise, bold strokes of highly pigmented color. The applicator on this liner is thin enough to provide a very fine line bit can also be tilted to provide a thicker line.  This eyeliner doesn’t budge which is always a plus.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector 

You’re supposed to work this product into damp or dry hair and leave it on overnight.  You can rinse it out in the morning or leave it on to get a full week of softness and shine with this long-lasting, weightless solution that keeps hair looking its best. This did make my curly hair softer but other than that, I haven’t seen a dramatic change.  Perhaps the more I use it, the more I’ll see results?

Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell 

This pink creamy, moisturizing lipstick is formulated with shea butter and caster oil to nurture lips.  The consistency of this lipstick is very much like a lipgloss and with the weather changing, it’s a great formula to have on hand.  The shade of pink is a gorgeous color that is perfect for daytime or paired with a smokey eye.

love-spell-and-tropper-swatches

Top-Bottom: KVD Tropper and Sephora Love Spell Swatches

Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia 

This refreshing floral blend balances delicate notes of magnolia with layers of wood and citrus.  At first scent, this smelled okay but then as the day went on, it kind of made me nauseous so unfortunately this one didn’t work for me.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel 

A light-weight, flexible clear gel that sets, defines and keeps brows in place for a polishes look that stays all day. I’ve actually had a sample of this one before and I really like it.  My brows tend to get unruly as they grow in so this is perfect to help tame them a bit.

 

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation 

Light, silky, and oil-free, this moisturizer melts into skin to help soften, brighten and even skin tone.  It contains licorice root to brighten, chamomile to soothe and vitamin C to help encourage collagen production. I do like this moisturizer as it does sink into skin without feeling heavy, however with the weather changing, it doesn’t provide enough hydration on its own.  I decided to pair this with a serum and it worked better.

sephora-september-box

Overall, I’m really happy with this box!

Have you tried any of these products? Which ones are your favorites? 

Stephanie

Play! By Sephora Unboxing August 2016!

Sephora Play August

Hi everyone!  I know took an extra week for my summer blogging break but I’m back!  I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my new business, getting ready for a wedding I’m attending this weekend, my regular work, researching, and working out.  Sending a huge thanks and welcome to all my new followers. 🙂

I’m bringing you a review for the August Play! By Sephora, which is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Eye Openers, with products meant to refresh and recharge your beauty routine.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose

A classic yet edgy bouquet of rose, jasmine and peony with a sandalwood base that is supposed to evoke feminine sophistication and allure.  I typically love rose scents but this smells awful.  Definitely not my type of perfume at all.  Doesn’t help that it has a combination of peony and jasmine, which is way too overwhelming for my taste.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544

An eyeshadow described as a, “highly saturated, iridescent pink granite eyeshadow made with a unique gel-powder formula and ultrafine pigments for smooth color.”  I like this shadow and the fact that you can create a smokey effect that’s subtle and pretty.  It shows up kind of purple on me but it can be sheered out or built up to more intensity.

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Flirting Game 

An easy-to-apply pencil that has a 12-hour waterproof formula in a shimmery taupe shade.  So confession, I have been wearing this as eyeliner only.  I confused this with eyeliner but it’s actually supposed to be used on the contour of your eye.  Whoops. No worries though, it works just as well as an eyeliner and the taupe shade is a perfect enhancing shade that gives definition without a stark harshness. It lasts all day yet by the end of the day, it has smeared a bit.  I doubt it would hold up for 12hrs without a primer on my oily lids. The Make Up For Ever shadow and this are great shades for transitioning into the fall season.

Swatches below: Sephora Contour Eye Pencil (top) and MUFE Artist Shadow (bottom).

MUFE Artist Shadow and Sephora Contour Eye Pencil

 

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

A lengthening and volumizing mascara that has a triple-black pigment formula to coat lashes.  I like this mascara as it makes my lashes look thicker and the pigment is intense.  However, just like the Perversion eyeliner, the formula does make my eyes water and sort of burn by the end of the day.  Because of this, I won’t be purchasing the full size.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm 

This eye cream is said to lift and smooth the eye area with a breakthrough patented formula while reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness. This eye cream does have a brightening effect on me- like a very muted opal iridescence. It works well under makeup and doesn’t irritate my eyes.  Will definitely keep this on my wishlist.

Lancome Energie de Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer 

A concentrated energizing liquid lotion that visually relieves dullness, diminishes signs of fatigue, and promotes a healthy-looking glow.  I haven’t tried this one yet because my skin has been acting up and I’ve been keeping my skin care routine simple until I’m back to normal.

Play by Sephora August

Since I liked about 4 of the six products included here, I’d say this was a good box overall.  Curious to see what next month holds.

Any particular favorites that you see here? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

PopSugar Must Have Box Unboxing July 2016!

July PSMH

Happy almost Thursday everyone!

PopSugar Must Have subscription box is in! For those who don’t know, PopSugar Must Have Box is a monthly box that includes items that range from fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food, making it a well rounded subscription box.  All items are full size and valued at over $100. This box is$39.95 per month while the new PopSugar mini box is $18.95.

PSMH Inspiration

The themes and inspiration for this month’s box.

 

PSMH HairSachajuan Hair in the Sun, $32

A UV hair protector for the hair, this will protect your strands from damaging UV rays, keeping your hair color vibrant that will stay on until you shampoo your hair.  I used this a few times but I haven’t really been out in the sun to see how it fully works.  It smells nice though and seems to make my stands softer.

European Wax Center Oh My Brow! Brow Highlighter in Pearl, $19

This highlighting illuminator is multifaceted.  Use it to lift brows by blending it along your brow bone, widen eyes by applying it on your inner corners, add glow to your cheekbones or add a romantic touch to your lips by dabbing it above your cupid’s bow.  Always great to have a highlighter pencil on hand as they are easy to use and you can apply them quickly.

Michael Stars Porcelain Skinny Scarf in White, $30 

This skinny black and white scarf can be dressed up or down by wrapping, knotting or draping it over your ensembles or can double as a headband. *Sigh* Another scarf type thingy.  I think we’ve had about 3 in a row already.  I appreciate that this is skinny so perhaps I’ll use it as a headband or maybe to accessorize a handbag.

Emoji Napkins

 

House of Pom Emoji Cocktail Napkins, $25

Designed with House of Pom, these exclusive cocktail cloth napkins allow you to serve up icy-cold drinks with cute emoji designs that are oh so #instagrammable.  One of the better items in this box, these napkins are adorable.  I’m glad they are cloth material as you can reuse the cuteness.

PSHM Snacks

Joe Chips Classic Sea Salt Retro Potato Chips, $1.49

These kettle chips are an all-American classic that will give you the old-school crunch you crave.  I tried a few chips and they really weren’t anything different than Lay’s.  I kind of wish they had offered different flavors instead of a plain one but well, less calories, right? I’m always happy to see a food item in a box.

SunnyLife Inflatable Swan Drink Holder, $18

Float up to four beverages poolside with this inflatable swan so you’ll never have to leave the water. Even though you don’t have a pool this can also serve its function on any table.  I don’t have a pool so I might gift this.  I think it’s much better suited for the pool than a table.

Pintrill Pineapple

Pintrill Pineapple Pin, $12

Use this pineapple pin to pin your skinny scarf into place.  It’s a cute pin but I don’t see much use for it.  Personally, I would have preferred the pineapple ice cub tray that was featured in the PopSugar Must Have Mini.

Trove $20 Gift Card (Special Extra), $20

A $20 gift card to treat ourselves to on-trend, customizable jewelry.  I probably won’t redeem this because I hardly can remember to wear jewelry and everything on there is very pricey.

Overall, I was disappointed with this box and for the moment, I’ve cancelled my subscription with PopSugar.  While I’ve loved past boxes, I’ve been accumulating a lot of stuff I don’t use and certain items are being repeated. Maybe in the future I’ll give it another go but it’s goodbye for now.  😦

What are your thoughts on this box?  

Stephanie 

 

 

Play! by Sephora Unboxing July 2016!

Play by Sephora July

Happy Tuesday everyone!  How was your weekend?

The July 2016 Play! by Sephora is in and I must say, I’ve really been loving these curated boxes and the cute bags they come in. The theme for this month is Effortless Summer and I think the featured brands were spot on.  Here’s the breakdown of what was included.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleaner

This cleanser is rich in antioxidants and botanicals.  This cleanser lathers creamy and is free of harsh chemicals, parabens, phtlates, alcohol, fragrances and artificial dyes.  I’ve tried this cleanser before and it didn’t work for me.  It kind of made my skin itch so while I liked that my face didn’t feel super dry afterwards, it wasn’t for me.

BeautyBlender blotterazzi 

A cushion blotter that is designed to remove shine and absorb oil, you can wash and reuse this as you please and it’s great to smooth away cracks or cakey texture that makeup can form on your face.  I really love the Beauty Blender so I was happy to see this one in the box.  I used it once and it absorbed some of the shine but not as well as I thought.  I need to use this a few more times-maybe I used it wrong?

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer  

Based off of the popular Hoola Bronzer, this liquid version is lightweight and shimmer-free to create a warm radiant look.  I’m a fan of the original bronzer so I’m uber happy that this one was included and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s subtle and blends out nicely that gives a very natural look.

Dew the Hoola

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola swatch

Nest Fragrances Citrine

Describes as, “layers of fresh lotus flower and freesia mingle with bright citrus and a base of precious woods.”  I like this fragrance but not my favorite and I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it as it’s not really my style.

Ouai Wave Spray 

This weighless texture mist gives hair an effortless, undone look while adding volume and shine.  I’m addicted to the smell of this as it leaves hair smelling soo good.  Combined with other products, this does a nice job of keeping curls in place.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

An iconic primer for normal to dry skin that keeps helps keep makeup in place-a must for the summer! I’ve used this primer before and I like it but because I have combination skin with a tendency to be oilier in the summer, it doesn’t really provide a mattifying effect and I’m a shiny mess by the end of the day.

Overall, I’m happy with box. 🙂

Sephora Play July

What box did you get this month? 

Stephanie 

 

July Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

July Birchbox Main

Hi everyone!  Thursday is finally here and I don’t know about you, but this week felt pretty long.

So, Birchbox arrives awhile back so if you’re interested in seeing what I got, keep reading!

MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB Sunscreen 

This sunscreen is safe for acne and rosacea-prone skin and has a silky formula that absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast or greasy sheen.  I’ve tried my fair share of sunscreens and I can confidently say that this formula is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever tried.  It feels almost silicone-like and it blends in very easily in the skin.  No breakouts so far and I’d be inclined to purchase this in the future.

Rene Furterer Karinga Hydrating Styling Cream 

A silicone-free styling cream that is said to utilize 100% natural active ingredients to combat frizz, static and dry hair.  I haven’t got around to tying this one but I’ve tried something similar from this line and it was okay but not my holy grail.

dr. brandt PoreDermabrassion 

An exfoliator that contains, salicylic acid to unclog pores, caviar lime to brighten and lentil seed to strengthen and tighten pore walls.  I’ve been curious to try this product for a good minute and I was excited to see this in my box. It’s a cream-like exfoliator that has tiny abrasive particles to scrub away dead skin cells.  While I didn’t see a a huge difference in my pore size, my face definitely felt and looked smoother.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara 

Describes as. “a hypoallergenic mascara that curls even the tiniest of lashes for a doe-eyed look,” I really ended up liking this mascara.  It didn’t seem to irritate my eyes and I noticed that it fanned out my lashes in a nice and natural way.  I will definitely continue to try this one out.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique 

A best selling fragrance, this combines a tropical blend of Tahitian vanilla, jackfruit, and apricot.  One of the first fragrance samples that I’ve actually liked from Birchbox.  This fragrance is on the sweet side but I feel you can layer it under other fragrances to balance them out. I wouldn’t mind wearing this on its own but I’ll be testing this with my Jo Malone fragrances I have and see how that works.

July Birchbox

Overall, I thought this box was good.  Unfortunately, this may be my last box as I’ve accumulated a lot of samples that I feel like I may need to take a break for a while.

What did you think of this box?  Are you looking give Birchbox a try or are you thinking of cancelling? 

Stephanie