Sephora Play! January 2017 Unboxing

Sephora Play! is a $10 monthly subscription box. It comes with 5 makeup, skincare, or haircare items, as well as one perfume sample per month. It also comes with a card that gives you an extra 50 points with purchase at a Sephora store.

This month the bag was something new – it is a waterproof bag with netting on one side – I believe it’s meant to take with you to the gym.


In the bag:

  • Amore Pacific color control cushion compact sample. The top one isn’t labeled, but the other two shades are 104 Tan Blush, and 106 Almond Blush.
  • Farmacy Honey Potion renewing antioxidant hydration mask. I keep bees, but have never tried honey on my face, so I’m curious to try this!
  • Tarte Frxxxtion Stick exfoliating cleanser
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey
  • Oui Treatment Mask (for hair)
  • Tory Burch Love Relentlessly perfume sample

Cost breakdown:

  • Amore Pacific Cushion Compact – full size retails $60 for 1.05 oz – sample is .1 oz worth $5.71. I am disappointed, however, because I will not be able to get full use out of this product because not all 3 shades are going to work for me, and they aren’t resealable, so look to be one time use (even if you don’t use all the product inside).
  • Honey Potion – full size retails for $56 for 4.1 oz – sample is .32 oz worth $4.37 
  • Tarte Frxxxtion Stick – full size retails for $22 for 1 oz – sample is .22 oz worth $4.84
  • Clinique Black Honey – full size retails for $17 for .07 oz – sample is 0.04 oz worth $9.71 – pretty generous sample, at more than half of the full size.
  • Ouai Treatment Mask – full size retails for $32 for 2.4 oz – sample is .5 oz worth $6.67
  • Tory Burch Love Relentlessly – full size retails for $86 for 1.7 oz – sample is 0.05 oz worth $2.53 

    Total value of the box: $33.83 more than triple what I paid, plus it comes with the bag and 50 bonus points.

Overall, I am always happy with my Sephora Play! box, as I generally love the variety and enjoy getting to try out high end brands, that I wouldn’t normally purchase in full size. The only thing I was unhappy with this month is the foundation – I wish they had made a greater effort to customize to the customer, but they only send out 6 box variations, so I would rather get something else if it can’t be customized.

Ipsy vs. Sephora Play! 

This month, the value of Ipsy won over Sephora Play, with a $51 value of items. This month Ipsy gave me 2 full size items, which you will never get in a Sephora box. They also gave me a few items that I expect to last a long time before running out, such as a blush and bronzer. This months skin and haircare samples will be used up fairly quickly, but Sephora did give the Clinique lipstick which I was happy with.

I am going to continue to subscribe to both boxes, and keep doing a price breakdown to see if I find any trends between the two. In the long run, I have liked Sephora better for the brands and types of samples I receive, and for the fact that I always use everything I get, whereas I ended up getting rid of many items from Ipsy. For January, Ipsy was the winner for me, but I did like both boxes.

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Wet n Wild New Cushion Highlighter and Lipstick

Wet n Wild recently came out with a new line of cushion products, which is now available on their website and at Walgreens. They have a highlighter ($5.99), a contour ($5.99), 4 shades of color corrector ($5.99), and 3 matte lip creams ($4.99). Today I was able to pick up the highlighter and one of the lip shades (Bubblegum in Paradise) at Walgreens. I was curious to try them, and to see what a cushion lipstick entails.
dsc_0054This is the packaging before it’s open. I have to say Wet n Wild seems to have been stepping up it’s game lately. They have put out a lot of new products, and these are something different than you would typically find in the drugstore. The packaging is adorable – I love the design, and it is something new from what we typically see from Wet n Wild.

dsc_0062These are the opened products. The highlighter comes with a black sponge that you dip into the cushion to pick up the product, which is wet in the container. The black lid screws on. For the lipstick, it is a squeeze tube with a “cushion” applicator – which is really just a regular sponge tip.

First I swatched the highlighter. I tried it 3 ways – with the applicator it came with (top), with a real techniques sponge (middle), and with a brush(bottom). I also photographed it with and without flash. It swatches as a pearlescent glow with pink tones to it.

I think it applied most densely with the black sponge applicator (top), so if you wanted the most intense highlight it would be the best way to apply it, or with another dry sponge. If you wanted a more subtle, sheered out glow, you could use a wet sponge or brush and blend more into the skin.

IMG_2395.JPGIt looks good on the skin! It isn’t too intense, but you can definitely see it in direct light. This is something I would wear on an every day basis, or even if I just wanted to add a little something to my skin on days I don’t wear foundation.

I was more disappointed with the lipstick, because the applicator made it hard to work with. I first swatched it on my arm – if you apply in a swiping motion (bottom) you will get a sheer wash of color. If you wanted it fully pigmented and opaque, you would need to apply in a dabbing motion to build up the color in each spot.

FullSizeRender 5.jpg

I applied it to my lips, which I found difficult because the sponge applicator is too big and round to get precision in the edges and corners of the lips. I did have to go back and clean up any messy areas.

It does look matte on the lips, but feels mousey and does not dry down. The color also wasn’t what I was expecting from looking at the tube. This isn’t a lip product I would find myself reaching for or wanting to use, because it isn’t easy to apply, and because there is transfer, I would be reapplying at least a few times throughout the day. At the $5 price point, I would much rather go for a Colourpop ultra satin lip, which I can throw on easily in the morning and not worry about for the rest of the day. Wet n Wild also has the new Liquid Catsuit lipsticks, which have a much better applicator, dry down, and last well. They are also $4.99, so you would be much better off grabbing one of those.

I will definitely be using the highlighter more, and I think I may pick up the contour or color correctors if I can find them! The highlighter and contour do only come in one shade, so these aren’t something that will work for everyone. For darker skinned people, the highlighter will be too light, and from what I can see, the contour seems to be too dark for people with very pale skin.

Has anyone else tried these new products? What did you think?

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Ipsy Bag January 2017

For those of you who don’t know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty bag. The cost is $10 and you receive a makeup bag with 5 products.

I have been subscribed to Ipsy in the past, and unsubscribed because I wasn’t getting enough products I was using. I decided to give it another try, and made a new account. I have heard the trick to getting what you want is to only choose 1 or 2 things in each category on your survey, so I tried to really narrow down what I’d like to receive

This month I got:


  • Ciaté London Geology Top Coatsupposed to be a long wearing, gloss shine top coat.
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer – that’s a mouthful! I have never once tried a product from It Cosmetics, but have heard amazing things about their concealer and bb cream. I’m excited to try this, and will be checking back in with results
  • The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer – A little disappointed by how small the sample is for a bronzer – I’m not sure how I can fit a bronzer brush into it
  • Modelco Blush in the shade Peach Bellini – I own one of these, and although it doesn’t have the shade on the packaging, I believe it’s a different one. I like the formula, so I’ll be glad to try this one out!
  • Jelly Pong Pong Lip Scrub – I am pretty excited to get a product like this in a beauty bag, and it came at the perfect time of year

My problem with Ipsy in the past was that I was getting a lot of products that, although they retailed for a high price, were not good quality products or reliable brands. This month’s bag has a good personal value to me, because I will use every single product. I broke down the value of each product by taking the retail price of the full size, and scaling it down to the size of the sample. Here is the value of my bag.

  •  Ciate top coat – 0.46 fl oz (full size!) – Retails for $17
  •  It Cosmetics Concealer – 0.05 fl oz (full size is 0.28 oz for $24) – Value is $4.29
  • The Balm Bahama Mama – 0.57 grams (full size is 7.08 grams for $20) – Value is $1.61
  • Model Co Blush – 3.5 grams (full size is 8 grams for $22) – Value is $9.63
  •  Jelly Pong Pong Lip Scrub – 0.35 oz (full size!) Retails for $19

Total value:  $51.53   Price: $10
It also includes a makeup bag, which makes the value increase even a little more! This was an amazing bag, and I am hoping I continue to get high quality products. After my Sephora Play box comes in, I am going to do a comparison in products and value, and will update on my thoughts of the products.

Zoya Try 4 Free sale (pay shipping)

I have never tried Zoya nail polish before, but as I get more and more into nails, I see it mentioned as being one of the very best. When I saw the Try 4 Free sale, I knew it was time to dive in!

If you use the code TRY4FREE on their website, you can pick 4 nail polishes or 4 lipsticks (which would normally be $40-48) and just pay shipping, which is $15.

This is what is currently in my cart. screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-8-43-03-pm

What are you going to get?

My Makeup Storage

My “vanity” is actually a tall computer desk that I found on Craigslist for $10. When I got it, I fully intended to actually use it as a computer desk, but I think I got excited to move in to a new apartment with enough room to keep my makeup in something other than boxes that I carry back and forth to the bathroom, and it just kind of took over. The only thing wrong with it was some white sticker material stuck to it, but it looks great other than that, and is fully functional.


On the top shelf, I keep my nail polish and extra makeup bags. I made the shelf using cardboard and a Youtube tutorial, and painted it blue with some glitter. It is actually a lot more sturdy than it seems, and is great for holding my polish. My collection is starting to grow a little too big, however. IMG_2279.JPG

On the next shelf down I keep setting sprays, some hair products, sunscreen, and the plethora of perfume samples I get from Sephora Play! IMG_2280.JPG

All of my acrylic organizers came from Burlington and TJ Maxx – super cheap and look just the same as the expensive ones .

This one I keep all my bullet lipsticks, lipliners, and a couple powder products.

On top I keep foundations and a couple miscellaneous products, and in the drawers I have a few eyeshadow singles, some small palettes, blush, and bronzer.

Over here I keep primers, concealers, mascaras, and some skincare items.

For my brushes (which badly need to be cleaned) I have a brush holder from Target, and a little bucket that I’m not sure where it came from. I also have another brush holder from Target to keep my liquid lipsticks and longer tubes.

Last but not least, my palettes go in the part that pulls out, meant for a keyboard.
img_2290(Let me once again say, Modern Renaissance is the best.)

And that’s everything! I love having the space to display my makeup, and have a place to sit and relax as I apply it every morning. Drawers work great for some people, but I have really enjoyed having it all out in front of me to look at. I think it helps me use the full range of my collection without forgetting about anything I own.

How do you store your makeup? Any tips or tricks?