Tag: beauty

Sephora Play! February 2019 Review: Hmmmm

On a positive note, this Sephora Play! box shipped faster than January’s, which took three weeks, traveling by what I can only imagine was an 18th century courier or some guy pushing a wheelbarrow from Maryland.

This subscription box costs $10 a month and includes a variety of samples from brands that Sephora carries. Samples are known for being tiny, but oftentimes high-end.

Something irritating Sephora has done during January and February is sending emails saying “Hey, your box is coming! Here’s what you are going to receive” and then sending different things; sending far worse things, like mushroom latte packets. . .

For $10, I feel like I shouldn’t complain too, too much. This box was worse than last month’s but I’ll start with the three items I did really like:

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Trying Allure’s Beauty Box: Reviewing The February 2019 Products

As a subscription box drama follower, I’ve noticed a couple of things about the Allure box:

  1. People feel it provides an excellent value for $15 per month.
  2. People complain about the customer service and billing issues.

When I learned that I could subscribe and cancel easily through Amazon, I signed up. Currently, Allure offers the first box for $10 and ships a welcome gift later.

There does seem to be slight variations in products subscribing through Allure vs. Amazon but my priority is never dealing with billing or cancellation issues so I can deal with that.

With the click of a button, I subscribed via Amazon and my February box arrived about one week later.

Next month’s spoilers are released each month – if you don’t like what you see, unsubscribe via Amazon and resubscribe later.

Here are my thoughts after testing each product in the February box:

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Sephora Play! January 2019: The Dreaded Mushroom Latte Box

A recent NY Times article scolds “Your Hoarding of Sephora Samples is Out of Control.”

Their promotional Tweet asks “Are you buried in samples of cosmetics, lotions, hair products or perfumes?” to which I’d respond, “Yes, yes I am. And I like it.

Sure, samples take up space. Sometimes they cause you to fall in love with the product so hard that you purchase the full size. But here’s why samples are so great:

They’re cheap, if not free. They’re easy to stretch – e.g. I made a tiny Kiehl’s serum last two months. You can try before you buy. If something doesn’t work, share it with a friend. Samples are fun and they bring me joy.

Also, I don’t feel bad about accumulating samples because I use my gd samples.

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ipsy Glam Bag Review: April 2014

Ipsy Post Card

April’s ipsy Glam Bag theme is Beauty Rocks. 

Besides the musically themed bag, I’m not sure how cohesive the theme carries over to the cosmetics.

In case you are unfamiliar with ipsy, it’s a monthly subscription service in which you pay $10 a month and receive a bag of 4-5 beauty samples in the mail. The samples are supposed to correspond to the results of an online quiz regarding your beauty preferences. Each item comes with a discount code or special offer that adds a free gift to a purchase.

This is my fifth ipsy bag. There’s always one sample in each bag I don’t like, but overall, ipsy’s a cheap thrill that has introduced me to many products I use each day.

I’ll unpack my April bag and share thoughts on each sample:

Ipsy Bag.jpg

First, a product I’ve never tried in any form.


dr. brandt claims this exfoliant mimics professional microderm abrasion treatments which supposedly diminish fine lines, wrinkles, soften skin, and eliminate dead skin cells.

The only experience I’ve had with an exfoliating product is St. Ives Apricot Scrub. I’v never liked it because the particles are too large and harshly scrape my skin. Therefore, I was apprehensive about trying this.

This morning, I applied it to my face and rubbed very gently, avoiding the areas around my eyes. The package recommends you use this twice a week and slowly massage it onto your skin for one-two minutes. I found this length of time too excessive and rinsed it off sooner.

I have to admit that my skin is delightfully soft. There’s a lot of empty space in this tube, but I think I can still get at least 3-4 more uses out of it (you only need a dab). I like this product, though $78 is too steep for a full-sized product, even with the 20% discount.

eye shadow.jpg

I also like this eye shadow. Champagne is a neutral, shimmery color I can use as a base or to highlight. Be careful. The powder is very delicate. I accidentally nicked it with my nail and a chunk went flying.

eye pencil.jpg

I also like this eye pencil. Having dark hair, I prefer black eye liners. Typically, I buy black eye shadow and apply it with a small or angled brush dampened with water. I’ve never had success with eye pencils or liquid liners because they smear or flake-off into my contacts.

The reviews on the ipsy site are mostly positive for this product and I can understand why. The pencil glides on smoothly and seems to be mostly waterproof. The test line I drew on my hand yesterday is still there even after a shower and many hand washings. And, it hasn’t smudged around my eyes this morning.

This pencil is not quite a full size but I see it lasting a long time.

Shadow Brush.jpg

This shadow brush is the lowest value item but it’s a practical one that I need.

My current shadow brush is years old and looks like a mess. I remember former art instructors telling us not to give our paintbrushes headaches. Oops.

The fibers are very soft and when I tugged on them, they remained firmly secured.

Lip Pencil.jpg

Now, for my least favorite product this month. A lip pencil.

I conducted an internet search investigating the purpose of a lip pencil. They supposedly help people define the lip shape, prevent feathering, and ensure there is color on the lips after lipstick wears off.

This is not a product I seek and I’m not concerned enough with these issues to buy a product that specifically addresses them. I gave it a try. The nude color is a little peachy and doesn’t compliment my skin tone or dark hair and eyes.

On a positive note, the product glides on smoothly and is made of a more moisturizing substance that differs than those old-fashioned lip pencils you have to sharpen. I remember playing with my mom’s lip pencils during middle school and high school.

Concluding Thoughts
I like most of the products in my April bag and will use them regularly. A hooray for no fake lashes, BB creams, or foundations!

Although my ipsy reviews are getting a lot of page views, I am feeling the urge to try a new subscription service. I just signed up for my first month of NatureBox which offers half-off your first box (the lowest-price box contains your choice five bags of snacks for $20). While I enjoy my ipsy bags, I can’t eat my ipsy bags and we’re always looking for snacks we can take to work. I read mixed reviews about NatureBox, so I’ll share what we learn soon.

I’m also considering cancelling my ipsy subscription and trying a Memebox, a Korean beauty subscription service. The least expensive boxes cost $23 plus $7 shipping. If you sign up and get a referral email from someone with an account you will receive a $7 credit. As a Korean, I’d be curious to try Korean products and see if the colors jive better with my complexion.

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