A few days ago, when I was taking the train into work on day three of yet another six day stretch, I checked my email, and had gotten one from Sephora announcing a new luxe Play box. I jumped on it becuase I liked the last one so well. Do I need this? Strictly speaking, no. Does it make me feel better about the fact that I am working like a crazy person and have no time off and am utterly exhausted and cranky? Oh, hell yes. I have one more six-day week ahead, and then a friend of mine arrives in town and I am taking some much-needed time off to hang out with her.
The theme of this box is “The Remedy Edition,” so it is filled with products that purport to be good for your skin. There were two variations of this box, and four of the six products were in each of them, so it’s of no real benefit to purchase both, and Sephora was kind enough to list the brands contained in each box on their website. I ordered the second edition variation because I knew the first edition box contined something from SK-II and was worried it would be their skin essence again. I’m currently going through a terrible time testing it out already, and I loathe the way that it smells. I think it smells like sweaty feet and I find it to be generally vile and revolting, and I’m getting a few tiny breakouts in places I don’t usually get breakouts. I wasn’t going to take a chance on getting another bottle of it. The second box variation that I ordered contained a YSL primer and an AmorePacific essence, so I figured that box would be the safer bet.
As you can tell from the photo above, Sephora messed up. They sent me the other box. When I first opened it, I saw figuratively saw red for a couple of minutes because it wasn’t the one that I wanted, and by this time both box variations were sold out. I resolved to call and complain, and likely will still do that after I finish this blog post, but I eventually settled down and have grown to like this one. SK-II essence is nowhere to be seen, and, truth be told, I’m still on the hunt for a good eye cream, so I guess this is an okay screw up on Sephora’s part. I could have done without two jars of moisturizer, but that’s a strange complaint. Can one ever really have too much moisturizer around?
I also bought this as much for the container it comes in as I did for the products inside. This is an almost perfect travel case for a light packer. It’s a hard shell square container that looks like a CD case that people about my age will remember carting around in junior high and high school. There’s a pouch to tuck things into on one side and open real estate on the other. This box is actually sturdy, and I can’t wait to use it.
But anyway, people are here for product descriptions, so here we go!
Giorgio Armani Beauty Ecstasy Shine 400 Lipstick: This is a super moisturizing lipstick in a bright red (good thing I just got rid of a bunch of red shades since I got new one to add to the collection) that really impressed me with its staying power. This box was delivered yesterday while I was at work, so I swatched everything after I got home last night. While I wiped most of the color off before I went to bed, there was still a red stain on the back of my hand when I woke up nine hours later. There’s still a small bit left as I type this, and I’ve taken a shower. I’ll cop to being quite stunned by that. I needed three coats to achieve an opaque look when I swatched this, and a single coat is pretty sheer, which I happen to like. There’s some versitility in it, and it can take me from day to night. It is considerably more shiny than a traditional cream lipstick but not as much as a gloss. A 0.10 ounce tube retails for $38.00. There’s 0.05 ounces in the sample, so that’s $14.00 of product.
Tatcha The Silk Cream: I’ve only ever tried the enzyme powder from this brand, and I absolutely love it, so I’m looking forward to this one. It’s going to be hard to top my newfound love for AmorePacific’s Rejunvenating Creme, though. This bills itself as a firming moisturizer. I tried it out last night, and it feels really nice and absorbs quickly enough. A little goes a very long way. I had to have used less than a quarter-size amount for my entire face. This retails for $120.00 for 1.7 ounces (The sample size is 0.34 ounces, so that translates to a $24.00 value), which is a much less bitter pill to swallow when compared to the price of the AmorePacific cream I so dearly love, so I’m kind of hoping this one blows me out of the water with its effectiveness. I’m also impressed with the sturdiness of the packaging on this sample. It’s got some real heft to it.
Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm: They’re not kidding when they describe this as a translucent pink balm. It’s basically Chap Stick, but I’m not complaining about that. I’m going to throw it in my purse and use it as such. In fact, I’m wearing it now. It feels like a nice, moisturizing lip balm, and it sort of enhances the natural pink color of my lips. It looks very natural. This is the kind of balm that is supposed to react with your body chemistry to create a perfect color just for you. As best I can tell, it works as described. It also claims to plump, but, that’s a total lie. It doesn’t tingle, and my lips look the exact same as they did before I put this on. This stuff retails for $36.00 for 0.07 ounces. The sample is 0.04 ounces, so that’s $20.57 of product. I don’t care how well this works, there’s no lip balm in the world worth that much money. Not with the way that I go through lip balm. This is a nice one, though.
SK-II R.N.A. Power Eye Cream Radical New Age: I know this brand has a cult-like devotion from people because of its essence, but I just don’t get it. I mean, I hate that stuff. I’m always on the lookout for a good eye cream, though, so I’m not angry (anymore) that Sephora messed up and sent me the wrong box. This lacks the offensive smell of the SK-II Essence. It contains Pitera–a byproduct of the fermentation of a special kind of yeast–like everything else in the line. It’s also wildly expensive like everything else in the line. It’s expensive to the tune of $135.00 for 0.4 ounces. There’s 0.08 ounces of product here, so that works out to $27.00 of product. I can’t imagine it blowing my mind enough for me to buy a full-size of this, but I did use it last night, and it feels lovely going on. I’m adding it to the routine until the sample is gone, so here’s hoping it works. I’ve been working like a madman and getting nowhere near enough sleep, so my dark circles are a little worse than usual, and I actually have a little bit in the way of bags under my eyes right now, so this stuff has something to work on. Let’s hope it’s the miracle worker it claims to be.
La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream: People swear by La Mer products, but I’ve never tried them. I’ve never thought my skin needed something that intensive. I’m still relatively young, and my skin looks great. There’s no wrinkles and only the smallest of fine lines are just beginning. This will be my first experience with La Mer. It feels very creamy, and it absorbed faster than the Tatcha Silk Cream when I tried it out, so I’m hopeful it is something I end up liking. It’s only slightly more expensive than the AmorePacific’s Rejuvenating Cream, so if I find it works better, I’ll be a La Mer convert. In all honesty, I do hope this works well. This brand has been around for so long, and people love it so much that I would hate to not like it. Skin care is very personal, though, so we shall see. A full-size jar is 1.7 ounces and retails for $170.00, so that means there’s $24.00 of product in this 0.24 ounce sample.
Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin Pure Perfume: I seriously think I like every single perfume in this line. At least, I like every single one that I’ve smelled, and that’s most of them. Sud Magnolia is my favorite, but these are all long lasting on my skin and smell so fresh that it’s impossible for me to wear any of these and not find myself smelling my wrist throughout the day. This one is no different. It smells like bergamont at first and then dries down to smell mostly of cedar with hints of sandalwood and vailla on me. It’s sweet and woody, and I am in love. This is $250.00 for 3.3 ounces. Yeah, that’s crazy expensive, but I strongly believe that you get what you pay for with perfume. There’s 0.14 ounces in this sample, so that amounts to $10.61 of product.
Sephora has been doing these special boxes for about a year now, and I passed on the first one. I’m not sure why I did that. Overall, I now think that they are a great value and give me a chance to try out a ton of high-end products I would never try otherwise. I mean, I’m not going to go out and drop $170.00 on La Mer cream without ever trying it out, but I will shell out the dough if I already know it works. I know Sephora gets all kind of heat from people in the review section for items like this, but I really believe that if you just sit down and do the math, you are getting a fair deal. If you have no intention of buying any of these, that’s fine. You still get a good opportunity to try out some obscenely expensive makeup and skincare items. If you’re like me, and could actually see yourself using some of these in a full-size, it’s the best opportunity you have to try them in a size that will allow you to determine if they actually work for you or not. I can’t recommend these boxes enough.
I hope this was helpful for anyone who has been on the fence about trying out these luxury boxes from Sephora. Like I just said, I can’t recommend them enough, and really do believe they are a perfectly fair deal. That’s why I bought it even though I don’t need it. This set me back $21.78 with tax, so that brings my yearly Sephora spending total to $1,033.01.