11/29/17

Sephora Play - November 2017 - Review



There's certainly no shortage of subscription boxes out there... especially beauty boxes. A few years ago I subscribed to Birchbox and I've done a few others over the years. When Sephora announced they were coming out with their own box, I was honestly a bit skeptical. I figured since I can get so many samples with a typical purchase, what was the point of paying $10 for a monthly box of them? I mean, when we get down to it, that's what we're paying for with these beauty boxes - samples. Trust me. I love samples. They're the perfect opportunity to try out a new product, or one I've had on my radar for awhile, without having to commit to a full size of something. But I also look at these beauty boxes with a bit of apprehension. It probably doesn't help that I've been generally overwhelmed by them in the past. Regardless, after seeing buzz about the Sephora box on social media, I decided to give it a try. I like trying new things, and I love sharing my thoughts on said new things so it's not a surprise that I caved. My first box was their November 2017 Play box. Let's get into my thoughts!




So my first impression was intrigue on this Play box. I liked the pouch that everything came in, and I liked the info sheet that doubled as a colouring page. I thought that was a nice touch. The pouch says, "it's me o'clock" so I got excited thinking that maybe there was theme of self-care/pampering, which the info sheet suggests, but which I would argue isn't really that accurate. It says on the sheet, "Survival of the Chillest. Before you hit the holiday circuit next month, take some time to treat yourself. This month is all about self-care - from loving on your lips and lashes to nurturing your skin and hair." Now, I 110% approve of that sentiment, but I can't say that the products I received really translated to that sort of theme.

I received:

- Marc Jacobs Beauty - Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara
- Philosophy - Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask
- Amika - Perk up Dry Shampoo
- Sephora Collection - Rouge Cream Lipstick in The Red
- Farmacy - Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer
- Burberry - My Burberry Blush Perfume sample

Now I don't know about you, but this collection of products doesn't really scream self-care to me. When I think self-care I think of products to soothe and comfort. A couple of these products had the best of intentions, but I personally don't equate self-care to red lipstick. ;) Regardless, I tried nearly all of these products (more on that later), and I've put together my thoughts, so read on!





Marc Jabobs Beauty - Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara -  I'll try pretty much any mascara once. Right now my favorite is the Loreal Voluminous mascara and things are pretty serious, but hey - I'm willing to play the field a little and try something new. Honestly, my first impressions of this mascara were truly 'meh'. I wouldn't say that it gave me any volume, and I felt that it merely sort of straightened my lashes a bit and made them darker. The experience was pretty much just, "okay, I'm wearing mascara now" It gave me serious mascara eyes, but it didn't wow me in any way. I ended up passing this on to my sister to try. I will say though, that I looked at the rating on Sephora and this mascara gets between a 4-5 star rating out of over 3000 reviews so clearly it's working well for some people!




Philosophy - Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask - okay now this is where I wish that you could make a note of any allergies in your profile when you sign up for the Sephora Play box (or any box really). I know they send variations of the same box to everyone - meaning that there were alternatives floating around for this particular product. For example: I know they send some people the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal mask and I would have much preferred that one because I am allergic to Salicylic Acid, which is in this Philosophy product (and a LOT of Philosophy products in general), meaning that this is a wasted product on me. I know it would be hard to try and keep track of all their customers and any allergies they might have but knowing that others got products that I could have tried, and this being my first box, I was a bit disappointed. I love the idea of a mask - and I think it goes wonderfully with the idea of self-care, but this one is useless for me. :/





Amika - Perk up Dry Shampoo - When I saw a dry shampoo in here, I had to laugh. I feel like whenever I try out a beauty box, I seem to get sent these. Is there some rule that dry shampoos must be represented a certain percentage of the time?? Despite trying quite a few, I don't have a go-to dry shampoo. I have super dark hair so it's hard finding one that doesn't give me that granny chic look thanks to a gray cast that is super difficult to remove. Sometimes, the smell is too strong, or they make my hair seem dirtier afterward. I know everyone raves about them, but so far, I haven't found one to impress me enough to make its way into my routine. This one from Amika didn't leave any white cast which really impressed me, so I'd say that it's safe for us darker haired gals. I did find the smell a bit strong but that's honestly more on me as I'm sensitive to smells, which frequently trigger migraines for me. Overall though, I'll continue using this when I need to get another day out of my hair. As a spoonie, sometimes I don't have the energy for my full-blown shower routine, so really, I'd LOVE to find a dry shampoo that works well for me. I'm totally drawn to the idea as it could potentially be such a saviour when I'm not feeling well. So I'll keep trying this Amika dry shampoo and we'll see what happens.





Sephora Collection - Rouge Cream Lipstick in The Red - Okay so I really wouldn't have put a lipstick in a box with the theme of self-care. But maybe that's just me. Don't get me wrong - sometimes I like to play with my makeup as a means of making myself feel better. It just was a curious choice to me. And as much as I am drawn to lipsticks and the rainbow of gorgeous colors to choose from, I don't often purchase them because I struggle with chronically chapped lips. I mean, they're really bad. I'm honestly envious of girls who get to toss on a different shade of lipstick every day. I've always wanted to find my perfect red (and my perfect nude) though, so I was intrigued to try this from the Sephora store brand. I LOVED that this wasn't matte. I feel like for years, no one wanted to produce anything that wasn't matte and it seems that finally, brands are starting to embrace a little shine (or a lot) which I'm all for. When you have super chapped lips, matte finishes just aren't a good look. Trust me. I tried this lipstick early in the day one day, and it was still there at 10 in the evening. It didn't stay as bold, but after eating and drinking throughout the day, I was impressed that it was there at all. I also found that it wasn't too drying on my lips. It wasn't like wearing a lip balm, but it wasn't as bad as a matte lip. I wouldn't say this is my perfect red, as I think it accentuated some of the redness in my skin, but I do like it and it will stay in my collection. I also think the price is right on these Rouge Cream lipsticks and I'd be curious to try another color from the range.

I tried the mascara and the lipstick in this photo. I had literally just gotten up so excuse the look otherwise.




Farmacy - Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer - I'm a bit of a skincare obsessive - as I'm forever trying to find the perfect routine. So seeing this in my box definitely made me happy. I'm also a big fan of more natural products so I was intrigued to try this. This product gets points for being cruelty free, and I like that it has echinacea in it as well. Beyond that, I've tried this a few times and I can't say that it really wowed me. If anything it felt a little uncomfortable on the skin. Not to the point of irritation, but it's not motivating me to finish it off. I will try to get through the full sample though and we'll see if continued use changes my opinion at all.




Burberry - My Burberry Blush Perfume - The last item is what they're calling a bonus and I'm glad they put it that way because I will never see one of these perfume samples as anything other than a freebie. I typically don't like getting perfume samples simply because they feel like such a throw away, and I'm also sensitive to scents. But, I have been looking for a new perfume that I might be able to deal with despite my head that seems to view most scents as a threat. I used to be able to deal with scents no problem and I had quite a few different perfumes. But over the past few years they've unfortunately become quite a trigger for my migraines. I've pretty much stopped wearing perfume on most days and it's a part of my routine that I really miss. Spritzing on my perfume was a step in my day that made me feel put together (even if I wasn't), and I found my favorite scents to be comforting. So I've been trying to find a scent that is light enough to not piss off the migraine gods, which isn't an easy mission at all. However, this scent from Burberry is just stunning and definitely a contender. I fell in love instantly and immediately went online to look up the cost (yikes - why am I always drawn to the most expensive scents?!?). I love that it's light yet still powerful (go easy on me - it's hard to describe a scent). It's described as a fruity floral with notes of pomegranate, rose, and jasmine. I'm typically drawn to more earthy scents (with sandalwood or patchouli for example), but I think what makes this scent a winner is that it doesn't (as far as I know) have those notes, which are often stronger and more assaulting to my head. I'm savoring my sample for now and perhaps in the future, I'll pick up a full size. It might just be the perfume I was looking for.

Trying to rate this box overall is actually sort of difficult. There was something I couldn't even use (Philosophy), and something I found fairly disappointing (Marc Jacobs). I enjoyed playing around with the lipstick, and found the moisturizer to be a bit meh. The dry shampoo is pretty good and I'll definitely be using it up, and the perfume sample, which is typically a freebie I don't care about, ended up being my favorite product. I love the scent and that it doesn't trigger my migraines. If I had to rate the box out of five stars, I suppose I'd give it three. I'm not fully in love, but I'm not opposed to trying it again. I have to say though, considering that you can get free samples of nearly anything in a Sephora store, and knowing that you can frequently get deluxe samples online, I'm honestly not so sure of the $10 cost. It's cheaper than some beauty subscriptions, but I'm just not entirely wowed.

I'd love to know your thoughts if you've received the November box, or any Sephora Play boxes in the past. Should I continue with it? I'm honestly on the fence! Please share your thoughts in the comments! X





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