After receiving three Sephora Play boxes I am now a firm believer that the curators actually stick to a theme and don’t just throw in random leftover samples from around the warehouse. For July the theme was “Sun, Sweat, and Makeup”, so even before I saw any of the official spoilers or unboxings I knew we would get some kind of a mattifying primer, a cleanser, and a bronzer. I also predicted a self-tanning lotion and maybe a waterproof mascara, but those predictions turned out to be wrong. It’s okay though, because we got something cooler than “the obvious”.
HOW IT WORKS:
For $10/month Play! by Sephora subscribers receive a box of 5-6 carefully curated beauty samples of best-selling products as well as rising stars, chosen around a monthly theme. Click here to subscribe, and don’t forget to use Ebates for 4% cashback!
1 // Ouai Wave Spray [$26, available here] – You remember how all beauty bloggers were obsessed with Bumble and Bumble? [funny, I wrote about them earlier this week] Well, looks like OUAI is the new Bumble and Bumble of the beauty blogging world, so I was kind of curious to try this one. Basically, Wave Spray is described as a product that can help create and/or hold messy waves. This eco-friendly non-aerosol spray was a bit of a let down for me personally. I don’t think it works all that well on fine flat hair because you need to use it liberally to get any kind of effect. I got the waves, but the amount of spray I used made my hair look greasy and gross to touch. I prefer crunchier texture, you know what I mean? I do think that it will work really well on thicker hair, especially if you are trying to make it less puffy.
2 // Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate [$30, available here] – This is probably the best mid-range to high end bronzer shade for contouring. As shadows are naturally cool-toned, it’s hard to find an ashy matte bronzer that won’t lean too red, too orange, or simply too warm. This one is perfection, and smells like chocolate, too!
3 // First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser With Red Clay [$24, available here] – I’m set on cleansers right now, so I didn’t even care to try this one and threw it into my husband’s dopp kit. Not sure if he liked it or not, but I know he used it on a business trip.
4 // blotterazzi™ by beautyblender® [$20, available here] – I love my beautyblender sponge and use it for applying foundation almost exclusively, but these blotting sponge sheets were a let down. I think they simply don’t absorb enough oil, and they did mess with my makeup despite the claims stating otherwise. If any of you oily or combo-skinned girls and guys out there are looking for amazing blotting sheets, I highly recommend checking out TATCHA Aburatorigami [$12, available here]. The addition of gold flakes is just for the visuals of course, but the papers themselves are the bomb. I never had issues of them absorbing so much oil that my skin is left looking dry, and they never smudged my makeup. Ever.
5 // Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing [$39, available here] – if I’m wearing a full face of makeup on a hot summer day a good primer is a must, otherwise all my hard work will just melt off. While I didn’t think this one was anything special, it was pretty good and I can see myself using up the entire sample tube eventually. However, it doesn’t even come close to my HG dr. Brandt Pores No More [$45, available here], which I recommend to my friends and family with oily and combo skin.
6 // NEST Citrine Eau de Parfum [$68, available here] – This bonus freebie was a pleasant surprise. I imagined Citrine to be this cloying, ultra-floral and ultra-woodsy mix that my body chemistry can’t pull off, but I was wrong. It’s absolutely beautiful as a nighttime summer fragrance. Its floral, spicy, woodsy notes are all strong and perfectly blend together to create this sultry, warm, sophisticated veil. If I didn’t already have so many bottles of perfume I could see myself buying the full size.
Even though I didn’t love everything, this box was very helpful because I got to try products I was curious about. I tend to give in to hype only to be disappointed later, and I for sure would have felt this way about OUAI spray and blotterazzi sponges. The products I enjoyed the most ate NEST Citrine, which blew me away, and Too Faced bronzer that I already love. It’s a very generous sample size that will last a while.
Have you tried any of the products above? Do you subscribe to Play! by Sephora box? Let me know in the comments below!
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