Sephora Play! February 2017

Sephora Play! is a monthly box for $10. Each month you get 5 products, and a perfume sample. You also receive a card for 50 bonus beauty insider points if you buy something in store.

February 2017 Sephora Play! There are generally a few different box variations that get sent out, and this month I got box 575.

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I like the bag, and the overall Valentine’s theme.

What I got:

  • Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence perfume sample – full size retails for $97 for 1.7 oz, sample is .04 oz worth $2.28
  • Nars Velvet Lip Glide in the shade Bound – full size is $26 for .2 oz, sample is 0.07 oz worth $9.10  
  • Lashcraft Length and Volume Mascara – full size is $12 for .33 oz, sample is .094 oz worth $3.42  
  • Origins GinZing eye cream – full size is $30 for .5 oz, sample is .17 oz worth $10.20
  • Clinique Pep Start hydroblur moisturizer – full size is $29.50 for 1.7 oz, sample is .24 oz worth $4.16
  • Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in the shade Milkshake – full size is $22 for .14 oz, sample is .03 oz worth $4.71

Total value of this month’s box – $33.87

My quick first impressions:

  • Marc Jacobs perfume – I always love his perfumes and this is no different. It has a vanilla-y scent and I can see myself using this sample quickly.
  • Nars and Too Faced lip glosses – I was disappointed to get 2 lipglosses in the same box, because I’m not a gloss girl. The Too Faced one is a cream color, which I imagine shows up clear on the lips. I didn’t do a lip swatch because I plan to give it away. I did however like the Nars lipgloss, because it can be opaque on the lips, and shows up as a dark nude. I am going to try wearing this since my lips have been too dry for matte lipsticks lately.
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  • Lashcraft Mascara – it has a unique brush that I’ve never seen before. It is almost flat on one side, and wide on the other. I was able to start on the flat side and curl to the wide side to get a long, feathery effect.
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  • Origins Ginzing eye cream – it has a color to it, which has an illuminating effect under the eyes. It looked good after I applied it, but unfortunately gave me a burning effect in my eyes that I have never experienced with an eye cream before, so I will not be using this again!
  • Clinique Pep Start moisturizer – I have tried this in the past and I really love the Pep Start line. This is good morning moisturizer, because it isn’t heavy and dries into the skin quickly, making it good to apply underneath makeup.

Overall thoughts: this was more of an off month for me. I wish they included a different type of lip product instead of 2 glosses, and I’m disappointed the eye cream burned my eyes. I will probably only be using 3 of the items regularly, but will be giving the Nars lip gloss a try and may end up wearing it more than I expect.

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My favorite beauty products of 2016

As the year is drawing to a close, I wanted to post about my tried and true products that I discovered or used during 2016. Most of these products were released before 2016, but were either new to me this year, or were products I used consistently from January to December.

Foundation/Base:

Smashbox BB Water
I always lean toward sheer or light coverage foundations, as I don’t have a need for heavy coverage, but do like to wear a base to make my blush and highlight stand out. However, a trend I have found with light coverage and dewy foundations, is they are not as long lasting. I sampled this foundation near the beginning of the year, and remember getting home and still clearly being able to see my blush on my cheeks and my skin looking great. I was so used to everything fading during the day that I stopped noticing it, until trying a new base. I do generally wear primer and setting spray or powder, but even without it, this tends to last all day.

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Blush:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Mood Exposure 
I actually purchased this in 2015, but have not stopped wearing it since. It is the perfect natural looking blush that blends so flawlessly into the skin. This was SO pricey for me at the time, and I only purchased it because it was my birthday and I was getting a makeover at Sephora. When I saw it on my cheeks I immediately told the associate I wanted to buy it. After all the use I have gotten from it, I will repurchase in a heartbeat when I’m out.

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Highlighter:
I’m a girl that loves to glow, so I have 2 in this category.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in the shade Opal 
I have a mini of this that I purchased in a set that also came with the liquid version. This has a pink-y tone to it, and makes me feel so glowy and beautiful.

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The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer
This one is a more white toned highlighter so I use this when I want to really shine. There is a ton of product in this pan, even after using it several times a week for over a year – it would take YEARS to use this up.

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Lips: 
I don’t go a day without wearing lipstick, so I have quite a few favorites.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Cruella
This came in a set for the Sephora birthday gift of 2015, and it’s my perfect red. I’m not a huge fan of bright tones on myself, so while I love red lipstick, I prefer a warm toned, dark shade of red. I loved this so much that I traded some of my beauty box samples for 2 more, so I won’t run out.

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Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips
As a teacher, my biggest priority in a lipstick is something I won’t have to reapply during the day, simply because I don’t have time. That usually happens to be something in a matte finish, which works, but also starts to leave my lips pretty dry. I am a huge fan of the brand Colourpop (the only downside being you can only buy online), and highly recommend their Lippie Stix in a matte finish, and their Lippie Pencils (lipliners), which are all very long lasting and come in a wide variety of colors. My favorite product, however, is the ultra satin lips. They apply like a regular liquid lipstick, but have a satin finish. They do have some transfer when first applied, but don’t make the color disappear from your lips, and eventually dry down. They are a lot more comfortable than a matte liquid lipstick, which makes them great for winter.

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Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon in the shade Aubergine 
I purchased this last year on New Year’s Eve and have just about used the entire tube. It’s a great bold berry shade, and I like the crayon style for application. I also strangely love that it smells like lemon.

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And swatches of all of them:
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Eyeshadow:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette 
This is a fairly new palette that sold out when it was released, so while I just purchased it in early November, it’s already a favorite that I haven’t put down. It made me fall in love with warm red and orange eyeshadow looks, as well as gave me an appreciation for mattes. It’s versatile -you can go soft and romantic pink, intense and deep red, or neutral. The quality of the shadows is fantastic in both pigment and blendability. The only worry I have about this palette is that the shadows are quite soft, and I have seen people pan the shades pretty quickly.
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Mascara:
Too Faced Better Than Sex
This is the best mascara I have found that gives me the most length, as well as the most volume – not just one or the other. I really like the brush and the formula, and I like that it isn’t hard to remove.

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Nails:
Essie Good as Gold
This is a great opaque but not chunky glittery gold, which also works amazingly for stamping! I’m not a huge fan of Essie’s brush, but this polish is the perfect consistency to make it work.
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Skincare:

Pond’s Dry Skin Cream 
I have extremely dry, dehydrated skin and I use this every night before bed. It makes my skin feel soft and hydrated, and is super affordable!
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And here is a look I put together using most of the products. I’m wearing Colourpop Frick n’ Frack on my lips, and Urban Decay Perversion mascara on my lashes.

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What were your favorite products this year?