Play! by Sephora | September 2016

by Lisa on Tuesday: Sep 27, 2016

It’s time again to discuss the Play! by Sephora subscription box.

Sephora September 2016 Box

The theme of this month’s Play! by Sephora box is the “Unbasic Basics”, and I’d have to say they did a pretty great job of nailing the “basics” of beauty in here.

Sephora September 2016 - Unbasic Basics 2016 Box

Every box comes with one of these cards that you can bring to the store to have 50 beauty points added to your account. Be forewarned though, not all of the cashiers know what to do with this. I’ve had some instances of confusion when attempting to cash one in. Also, as of a few month ago, all the products are delivered inside a cute dust bag with a beauty-inspired saying on it like the one below.

Sephora September 2016 - Bag

As always, this post is not sponsored or affiliated with Sephora.

Sephora September 2016 - Eyebrow Gel and Perfume

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
Anastasia Beverly Hills is a brand I hear talked about time and again on youtube, and for good reason – they have some quality products. I was excited to try this gel, and on first impression it did a good job of holding my brows in place without being too heavy.

Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia
This is the second Sephora box in a row that’s had a great perfume sample. Usually the ones they send are way too strong, but this was subtle enough that I could wear it to the office on a daily basis. It’s not something I’d run out to buy the full size of, but I like it enough.

Sephora September 2016 - Living Proof and Ole Henriksen

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation
I’m always a fan of getting skin care samples in subscription boxes to try out new brands and formulas. I find that they usually last me a good few weeks, which is pretty awesome for a tiny container. This one is no exception. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. I’ve been using it before putting on makeup in the morining.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector
I am a huge fan of the brand Living Proof. Their shampoo, conditioner and leave-in hair products have done wonders for my hair. I’ve tried this hair mask a few times and while it did help with the smoothness of my hair, I didn’t find that it did anything magical. I’m going to keep trying it though and see if my opinions change.

Sephora September 2016 - Lipstick and Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
This is the first time I’ve seen a duplicate in one of the Sephora boxes – we got this same liner in March. However, despite what I said in that original review, the Tattoo Liner has since grown on me quite a bit, and now that I’m more used to using it, I really like it. I’m still working through the original, but I’m happy to have a backup once that runs out.

Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell
This shade is beautiful! Not only that, but it’s not too dark of a color for me, so I will actually end up using this.


Overall, I’m very happy with this month’s box. I plan on using every single one of these products over the next few months – not one dud in the bunch!


When was the last time you went to Sephora?

Last beauty/makeup product you bought?

Play! by Sephora August Review | Subscription Box

by Lisa on Monday: Aug 29, 2016

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I really love subscription boxes. I’ve been subscribed to the Play! by Sephora box since they launched, and for the low price of $10, it really can’t be beat.

Sephora Play August Box

This post is not sponsored and I pay for this subscription with my own money. It’s just fun to share!

Sephora Play August Box - Wink Outside The Box

For the past few months, Sephora has been sending all the products in the box inside these cute little bags with makeup sayings on them. It’s a fun touch, though I never know what to do with these bags after I open the box. Keep them? Reuse them somehow? Maybe I’ll use them to hold stocking stuffers during Christmas.

Sephora Play August Box - Contents

This month’s box was a hit with me because I was able to use and enjoy every single product. There were no duds and no products that didn’t work on my skin tone. (This is a rare event!)

Sephora Play August Box - Eyeliner and Mascara

First up was the Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in the shade “Flirting Game”. I used this as an eyeliner, though apparently you can use this as a smoky eyeshadow base (work fast when blending though – once it dries, it’s on there good). I was very impressed with it as an eyeliner and am always happy to have an eyeliner that won’t budge on me.

I had never before tried the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, but it’s one I’d heard a lot about on Youtube. After trying it out for the first time, I have to say I’m a fan. It made my lashes look long and volumized. I liked it so much, I might rotate this sample into my mascara routine now rather than waiting until I run out of my current one.

Sephora Play August Box - Caudalie and Eyeshadow

The next item was the Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm. Because I have such troubled undereyes, I love trying out new eye balms/serums in subscription boxes. I’ve tried it a few times thus far and will keep at it to see if I notice any slight reduction of my dark circles.

I’m always excited to see a shimmery eyeshadow sample in boxes like this one, and the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in the shade I-544 was no exception. This shade looked as pretty on the eye as it does in the pan.

Sephora Play August Box - Lancome and Perfume

The Lancome Energie de Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer is a very thin liquid, but it did do a good job of moisturizing my face. I used it right before putting on makeup and thanks to the fact that it absorbs into the skin quickly, it seems the perfect time to use it. I’m not sure if it made a huge difference in the appearance of my skin, but I will keep using it.

The last item in the box was the Clean Reserve Blonde Rose perfume sample. I’m very picky about my fragrances, especially because I work in an office and don’t like to wear anything very heavy that will overwhelm my coworkers. But this one was very fresh smelling and best of all – subtle. I’ve been wearing it regularly.


Stay tuned later this week for a post about some of my vegetarian meal highlights from Tokyo!


What was your last Sephora purchase?

Play! by Sephora March Review

by Lisa on Saturday: Apr 02, 2016

The “Perfection Collection” is the theme of March’s Play! by Sephora box. I’d say that accurately sums up the types of products included here, as many of them aim to give you a flawless, airbrushed look.

Play by Sephora - March

Here’s a look at what came in this month’s box and my first impressions of each of the products:

Play by Sephora - Murad and Tattoo Eyeliner

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I’ve used many primer-type products over the last few months, and aside from helping my makeup go on smoother, none really did anything additional. This one, however, was a different story. It took my makeup up a notch and gave my face a smooth, glowing texture. It was a noticeable difference!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

I struggled applying this eyeliner a little bit upon a first attempt. It’s possible that I just need more practice with these liquid style liners, but the line was too thin and I had to go over it a lot. Plus it was hard for me to get the line to look straight.

Color IQ empty container

This confused me for a while. At first, I thought they had put an empty container in my box by mistake, and a cursory flip through the info book didn’t tell me what to do with it. It wasn’t until I was reading more thoroughly through the book for this blog post that I found out that this was intentional. They included this cute little empty container with the intention that you are to bring this to your local Sephora for a Color IQ sample, which will be placed inside. I suppose this is one of the more “interactive” elements of their boxes that they’re always talking about.

Play by Sephora - Replica Perfume and Smashbox Primer

Maison Martin Margiela ‘Replica’ Beach Walk

This perfume sample was possibly the biggest surprise of the whole box – I absolutely loved it! It is a rare occasion for me to find a perfume that is not only light enough for me to wear all day (many give me headaches and I also work in an office environment and don’t want my perfume to overwhelm my neighbors), but that also smells so incredible I keep going back for more. I may have to actually look into buying this one in a full size.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

This is the second primer included in the box, but I have to say I liked the Murad much more. I wasn’t a big fan of using an oil as a primer, and I didn’t notice that it made my makeup look any nicer.

Play by Sephora - Blender and Cleanser

Sephora Collection The Perfectionist: Airbrush Sponge

I don’t have a Beauty Blender in my collection, nor have I ever used one, but this seems like it is Sephora’s answer to that product. I tried it to blend my concealer and highlighter today, but it didn’t really do what I wanted. It seemed like it was taking away the concealer instead of blending it, and I’m so used to using my fingers to blend that area that I didn’t like the change of pace. It seems like a good sponge, but I’m not sure I’m a blender person.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

I didn’t really end up liking this cleanser. It had a strange smell to it, and it was a little too creamy for me for a face wash. I don’t feel like it cleaned my face as well as my usual cleanser.

Overall, there were more misses than hits in this box, but the fun for me is still in trying new products and becoming more educated on makeup and beauty every month. Plus, the hits in this box were actually very big hits with me and are products that I may consider buying after I finish the samples.


Beauty blenders: yay or nay?

Favorite perfume of the moment?

Play! by Sephora January Review

by Lisa on Tuesday: Feb 02, 2016

This is month five of the Play! by Sephora subscription box, and I continue to enjoy this box and look forward to receiving it. For those who have been waiting, it sounds like Sephora will be releasing more slots to get in on this subscription in the near future. For now, I believe it’s still only available in select markets.

January Play! by Sephora Box

As always, this is a subscription box I pay for on my own, and I am not affiliated with Sephora in any way.

January Play! by Sephora Box Contents

This box’s theme is “No appointment necessary” – meaning no need to go get botox, etc. To me, this means that some of these products must be rather powerful.

Sephora - Highlighter and Perfume

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight – For a subscription box that’s known for sending only sample sizes, this seems to be a full size! When I used it, I went very light on the application and liked the glow it gave me. This seems like the kind of highlighter that can be as subtle or as not-subtle as you want it to be.

Tocca Beauty Isabel – I’ve received a few Tocca perfume samples from regular Sephora orders in the past, and I’ve never really liked any of them before, so I didn’t have high hopes for this. After smelling it in the sampler, I thought maybe I was wrong. But, I’ve been wearing it today, and I must say I’m sick of it. It’s not a bad smell, but it’s just a little too overpowering.

Sephora - Dr. Brandt and Living Proof

Living Proof Prime Style Extender Spray – I’ve been loving Living Proof products this past year, especially the styling products. I tried this one out on its own without any other pre-blowdry products, and it left my hair very soft and manageable. I will be using this again, for sure.

Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No More – I haven’t given this one a shot yet, but based on the description, this sounds like one of those powerful products I mentioned above. I am kind of curious to try it on some of my trouble areas, so we’ll see.

Sephora - Mask and Peel

Sephora Collection Eye Mask – There were a few different variations of this product you could receive, and mine came with the green tea version. I just got through trying it right before writing this post, and I actually quite enjoyed it. It was very cooling and comfortable, and was to be worn for 15 minutes. My main gripe with masks in general is the waiting time, because it means I will need to be without my glasses for that time period (which means I can’t do most things because I’m super near sighted). However with the shape and size of this mask, I was able to wear my glasses as I waited! Also, it should be noted that I have pretty bad dark circles and when I took the mask off, they looked significantly reduced.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula – This is the other product in the box that I haven’t tried just yet. I’ve never tried a facial peel before, so I have no idea how my skin might react to it. Another one to report back on.

Overall, I’m very happy with this box. There were a lot of fun new products to try and a few that I’m still looking forward to trying. Also, with some of the items like the highlighter, I know the products will actually last me quite a while.


What is the best face mask you’ve ever tried, and what made it so good?

Do you feel my pain about the glasses + face mask dilemma?

Play! by Sephora December Box Review

by Lisa on Tuesday: Jan 05, 2016

I’ve been subscribing to the Play! by Sephora box since it launched, and it’s always fun to see it arrive in the mail!

As I mentioned last time, I’m not affiliated with Sephora in anyway. I pay for this box with my own money and thought it would be fun to do a review for the blog.

Sephora Box and Cover

Sephora Open Box

This month, I received 6 different items, and for the most part, I can see myself using every one of them. This is pretty rare for a subscription box. Generally there’s at least one item that’s the wrong color or too bold for me.

Eye Shadow and Perfume

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Duo – This is without a doubt my favorite item in the box! This eyeshadow sample is so cute and is the perfect size for me. I never go through an entire eye shadow, so to get a smaller size actually works out. Also, the colors are extremely usable and the sparkly one really gives off a lot of glittery shimmer, which was fun for the holidays. Though this is a sample, there’s a fairly generous amount of shadow in here.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume sample – I haven’t tried this on yet, but from the bottle, it smells very pleasant, and I’m looking forward to testing it out and seeing how it lasts throughout the day.

Cream and eye liner

Dr. Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exoliator – This is a generously sized sample and I do have a few other items from this brand that I’ve enjoyed before. I’ve added this to the queue of face products I’m getting ready to use.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Matte Black – Some people might think it’s a bit boring to receive a black eyeliner in a subscription box, but this is the type of thing I use every day and getting one means I don’t need to buy them myself! I much prefer this to getting an eyeliner in a bright/unusual color that I’ll never use, except maybe for Halloween.

Cream and Oil

Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum – Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the generosity of the sample size here. There were quite a few samples of this serum, each in its own foil packet. I would prefer to receive a sample like this in a bottle or jar because it’s easier to preserve when you don’t use it all at one time. However, I love trying out new products like this for the face.

Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil – This conveniently arrived the same week I ran out of my previous face oil (the Tarte Maracuja), so this will fall right into line to replace it!

Inside Sephora Pamphlet

And as always, the box comes with a Play! by Sephora card that you can cash in for bonus points at your local Sephora, among other things.

Sephora Play Card

I’m very happy with the contents of the December box, and as long as the price stays so reasonable ($10!), I don’t foresee myself cancelling anytime in the near future.


What is your favorite makeup brand?

Last thing you bought at Sephora?