Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July Sephora Play! Box

I'm starting to really look forward to this each month! July's theme is "effortless" - Sephora's choice of "warm weather essentials." This month had two separate boxes, one for dry/normal skin and one for oily/combination skin. I received the oily/combo skin box. The dry/normal box has a Benefit Hoola liquid, a regular First Aid Beauty cleanser, and the regular Smashbox Photo Finish primer. All of the other products are the same between the two boxes.

Upon opening my box, I noticed that the bag inside was heavily perfumed - my Nest Citrine sample vial had broken and leaked out. I already think the perfume samples are a bit of a cop out since you can almost always get them from Sephora, but this also means I was down a product! The scent wasn't too much to my liking, but I'm not sure if I just disliked it or if an entire vial's worth of scent is what I didn't like. A full size of Citrine is $68 for 1.7 oz, or $25 for a 0.27 oz rollerball. (I love that there are more and more scents available in the rollerball/travel sizes!)

I was so, SO excited for the Ouai Wave Spray!! Not gonna lie, I'm a Kardashian fan, so I wanted to try the line from Jen Atkin, one of the hairstylists who works with Khloe. The Wave Spray smells like a perfumed beach, which isn't the greatest scent, but it's fairly inoffensive and fades away for the most part. (I could still smell it by huffing my hair, but don't be a weirdo like me.) I applied the spray to damp hair and let it air dry. It was a little sticky as it dried, but once my hair was dry it didn't feel sticky any more. I paired the spray with a volumizing mousse during the day and really liked the result. I had soft, slightly textured waves while I wore my hair down, and the spray gave enough texture for me to throw it up into a messy bun with no slippage. It did not control any flyaways, but we're usually not looking for that. With no mousse, it did not give any volume on its own. I've definitely tried more salty beach sprays, which I like, but I liked this too. (Unhelpful, I know.) The bottle in the box is 1.7 oz, and a full size is $26 for 5 oz.

Smashbox is a brand I usually don't pay attention to, nothing really grabs me. That being said, I still tried out the Pore Minimizing Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer to see what it was all about. The primer claims to "instantly blur imperfections and reduce the appearance of pores," so I decided to put it on my enlarged pores on my cheeks. They weren't filled in or looking smaller by any means. The primer is a thick and silicone feeling, and light peach in color. After applying, it didn't seem to do any color correcting. I paired it with the L'Oreal Lumi cushion applied with my beautyblender. I didn't have any caking or patchiness which was great. I did set liberally with powder as the Lumi cushion is a dewy finish, and I wanted to start off pretty matte to test the oil control properties of the primer. (I didn't go with something more matte because I wanted something with light coverage!) The primer actually did a pretty nice job with oil control! I didn't feel the need to blot through the day. To counter, I was in air conditioning all day and it actually wasn't humid for once. I don't know if I'll be purchasing, but I'll definitely keep using this. The mini primer is 0.25 oz, and a full size is $39 for 1 oz.

I'm a bit disappointed in the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, only because it's too dark for me! I only have one bronzer in my dragon hoard, and it's Too Faced's Milk Chocolate Soleil! Based off of that, I like the formula. It's matte, not orangey, and blends nicely. It also smells like chocolate, which Too Faced has expended on with more of their products. I don't resent Sephora for including a mini Chocolate Soleil only because the darker shade will cater to more people, it's just too dark for me. The Too Faced bronzers are great for someone wanting to get into bronzer (except for maybe the price!) The cute mini compact is 0.08 oz, with a full size at 0.35 oz for $30.

Skincare is always a welcome addition to the box, and this month featured the First Aid Beauty
Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser With Red Clay (a mouthful!) According to the product description, this cleanser is good for all sin types but dry skin. The cleanser itself is a lightweight gel that's red due to the red clay, and has a not too pleasant scent. I'm usually okay with stronger scented products when it comes to something like tea tree, but I was not digging this. The cleanser foamed up when mixed with water, and rinsed away with no residue. It did not strip my skin, which was a plus. It didn't remove my eyeliner, so I recommend double cleansing to get all that makeup off. I didn't have any new blemishes the next morning, so it did not cause any breakouts. Overall it was an okay cleanser, not something I'd go out of my way for, but I can see myself finishing the sample. The included mini is 1 oz, and a full size is $24 for 4.7 oz.

Last but not least (especially in terms of value) is the beautyblender blotterazzi. I swear by my regular beautyblender sponge, but when they came out with this product, I sort of rolled my eyes. I'm glad I don't have to really pay for it to try it, though. Included with the blotterazzi is a foil of blendercleanser so you can get more than a few uses out of the included sponge. I haven't tried it yet, mostly because I don't care enough to blot during the day while I'm at work. The box came with one blotterazzi, and a pack comes with two for $20. (This item alone is the cost of the box, not bad!)

Do you subscribe to this box? If so, which one did you get, and how are you liking it?

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