Sephora Play October 2017.

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Hey there, everyone.  I’m first going to start with a bit of a programming note.  Work has been crazy for the last few weeks, and shows no sign of slowing down for, at least, another two weeks, so posting may become a bit infrequent.  I’m working somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty hours per week, and what little downtime I have that isn’t spent sleeping is divided equally between trying to keep my apartment clean and sitting on the sofa doing nothing.  I generally spend one of my weekend days typing and saving all of my posts for the coming week.  Given that I’ve been working six day weeks and will be for the forseeable future, my lone day of free time will likely go to blankly staring at the television from my sofa and doing things that require as little of my cognitive ability as possible.  I’m a weird type of person, and I keep hand-written notes on all of the products I try out, and I really don’t feel like plowing through them until I get a chance to rest and restore for a few days.

Now, onto this month’s box!

I think all of the box variations for October were centered around products for your complexion, so (thankfully) mine was void of any hair products.  I love all of the products that came in mine.  A couple of them, I have tried before, and  the others I had been eyeing for a long time but had never committed to purchasing.  I’ve not done any serious wear tests on any of the products in this box, but I have formed a few first impressions.  Here it goes.

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer:  I was really excited when Urban Decay rolled out face primers because their shadow primer is the best I’ve ever used.  That excitement dissipated, however, when the reviews for them started to roll in, and most said they were okay, at best.  I never bought any to try out, so I’m really excited to get some.  This stuff feels really thick, and it does fill in pores and smooth things out a little.  In truth, it feels like it may be a little bit too heavy for me, and I hope it doesn’t clog my pores and make me breakout, but I’m going to use it because I love trying out different primers.  I can’t speak for how long it will make my makeup last, but I’m curious to find out if it really does work.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation:  I wish this box had arrived a week earlier because I bought the Hourglass Foundation stick.  I’ve always wanted to try out this foundation, but was hesitant to do so because SO MANY foundations break me out, so I’ve sort of always stuck to my go to from Dior.  I know people rave about this product from MUFE, but I’ve just never committed.  Sephora sample sizes don’t last long enough to determine if I will get breakouts from a foundation, and by the time I know if I will get a breakout, it’s usually too late or I’m too unmotivated to return the product.  This is a great sample size that will probably last me close to a month if not more.  I’m wearing it today, and I a nice medium coverage that builds up, looks natural, and feels lightweight on my face.  In truth, if this doesn’t cause breakouts, this appears to be a great foundation.  Thanks, Sephora, for sending this one to everyone.

Tarte Fainforest of the sea 4-in-1 Setting Mist:  This says it’s a primer, setting spray, hydrating mist, and skin refresher.  I’ve used it before, and, for me at least, it does two of those four things.  I had pretty poor luck using it as a primer.  It was just okay as a setting spray.  I did love it as a skin refresher and mist when my skin just felt tired and tight.  I kept it in the fridge, and a quick spritz left my skin feeling calm and moisturized.  I loved using it when my skin felt out of sorts, but not enough to buy it again.  I’ll use this spritzer, but it’s probably not going to change my mind on purchasing this.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster:  I’m a little unsure how to use this, so I’m being unusually dependent on instructions from the company on this guy.  Sephora says it’s a “skin-perfecting serum that plumps, smooths, and hydrates your skin for flawless makeup application.”  I like the feel of serums, but typically use them at night before I go to bed, so the use issue just stems from my accepting that I put it on before makeup application and not before I crawl in bed at night.  It’s got hyaluronic acid and argan oil in it, so I fully expect it to do what it claims and plump up skin and make me look like I might have actually gotten some sleep the night before.

Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Scrub:  I’ve used this before, and I feel like it could almost be used interchangeably with ExfoliKate.  They work the same way, and both work well.  With this one, you rub it on your face for minute or so to physically exfoliate then let it sit for another few minutes for a chemical exfoliation.  I feel like you need the slightest bit more of the Dr. Brandt than ExfoliKate, but it’s still a pretty negligible amount to achieve results.  It works well, I like it, and I’m almost out of ExfoliKate.  This one will go in the shower when I do finally run out of the Somerville stuff.

Tory Burch Bel Azur:  This is my favorite of the Tory Burch perfumes, but I feel toward it the same way that I feel like other Tory Burch perfumes.  They smell nice, but a bit generic.  This one is citrusy, and there’s vetiver and bergamont in it, and really does remind me of the South of France and the Mediterranean.  This one doesn’t smell bad, and I’ll keep it around for a handy purse spray, but, for my money, there are better options out there.

This brings my yearly total to Sephora to $1,011.23.

Anyway, I’m off to eat cheese balls and Swedish meatballs at the seventies-themed cocktail bar up the street from my apartment before going home to binge on The Wire.  Speaking of that show, I realize I’m fifteen years late, but where have I been?  It is so well done, and I can’t recommend it enough!  Have a great day, lovelies!

–Jackie

Sephora Play All-Star Edition.

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Allow me to briefly recap the last week and a half of my life.  At the start of things I was super pumped because I ran nine full miles.  I was so stoked because I agreed to run a half marathon in a little over a month, and for the first time, I felt like I might actually be able to complete said task.  So, anyway, that was on a Thursday.  The next day I woke up with a monster of a sore throat that just wouldn’t go away.  Then came the fever, and I’ve been under the weather ever since.  I’m stubborn by my very nature, so I decided to still try running through most of this.  I resigned myself to give it up until I got better when, last Wednesday, I went out and couldn’t even go three miles without stopping to hack up my lungs.

Jared let me buy this after that failed run because he knows I’m a sucker for packaging (Hello, iridescent bag!), and he hoped it would make me feel a little better about being sick.  He was correct about both of those things.  This was a $20.00 box that Sephora offered to showcase some of their more high-end brands.  I was quite happy when it arrived in the mail, so I ripped open the box and have been playing around with it for the last few days.  I had already tried half of the items in there, but there was nothing in it that I wouldn’t mind receiving again (save for one, but we’ll get to that).

Here’s a play-by-play of the contents:

Diorshow Mascara in Black:  This stuff has been in rotation in my makeup stash for years, and for good reason–it’s really good.  The brush is massive, and it builds volume like few other mascaras I’ve tried.  You can apply quite a few layers before you start to get the spider-lash look, and I can get pretty good length from this.  The wear time will get me through most of the day, and when it finally does start to smudge, it doesn’t do it badly.  I don’t end up looking like a raccoon, but it does look like I spent most of a long night partying with a rock band–a look I don’t happen to mind.  I don’t buy it much anymore, since I tend to favor travel size mascaras these days, and this stuff is expensive if I’m just going to throw half the tube away at the end of six months (and I am madly in love with Blinc’s mascara at this point in time).  I love that I have a pint-size tube of this around the house again.

Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Creme:  I admit that I’m not familiar with this stuff, so, to me, at least, it just seems like another facial moisturizer, which I’m not complaining about.  It seems light enough, and doesn’t feel greasy, so I’ll certainly use it.  It doesn’t have much of a smell, but that could also just be because my nose is still super stuffy, and I’m not one to rely on if you want to know about smells right about now.  My favorite moisturizer is the Aqua Bomb from Belief, and given the price tag on a full-size of this, and my total devotion to Belief, there’s not much of a chance I could be swayed into buying this in the future.  I see similarities between the two moisturizers, specifically, they both feel light and absorb quickly, but I’ll have to use the Amore Pacific longer to form a better opinion on that.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose:  I’m not one to buy Tom Ford lipsticks.  I did one time, brought it home, and took it back two days later without ever opening it.  Tom Ford lipstick is $54.00, and, yes, they are amazing.  Seriously, genuinely, amazing.  They’re creamy and pigmented.  They don’t dry out my lips.  The way they glide across my lips as I put them on is hard to describe, and I’ve not found another lipstick that quite performs the same.  They almost live up to the hype.  I’m not going to buy it because I have NEVER found a lipstick that is honestly worth that much money.  My go-to brands are (in order) Bite Amuse Bouche lipsticks, Marc Jacobs Lip Creme, and Urban Decay Vice lipsticks.  Yes, the Tom Ford ones are good, but if price is taken into account, they are not twice as good as the Bite or the Marc Jacobs ones.  For that reason I just won’t spend my money on them.  Now, if someone wants to give me a Tom Ford lipstick, great!  Indian Rose is a lovely, rosy, pinky neutral color that I’m going to use the hell out of until it is gone.  Then I’m going to go back to my Amuse Bouche lipsticks.  There’s nothing that could persuade me to pony up for a full-size of this.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence:  I’ve never quite understood how essences work, so I’ve never bought one, so I’m happy to finally have one in my possession, and this one seems to have a cult-like following.  I’m not sure if that’s because it actually works or because it’s SO EXPENSIVE that your mind is willing it to work.  This touts itself as a miracle skin cure-all.  It’s good for dullness.  It’s good for uneven skin tone.  It’s good for wrinkles.  It’s supposed to do it all.  Their miracle ingredient is Pitera–a by-product of a special kind of fermented yeast.  I’m actually really excited to try this out.  If it is the miracle worker they claim, I’ll cheerfully pay for this and get rid of most of the rest of my skin care routine, but, needless to say, I’m not about to get my hopes up.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:  I’ve tried this before, and the first few times I used it I hated it.  I hated the way it slipped over my skin, and I thought it didn’t do much to make my makeup last longer.  The more I played around with it, though, the more I realized that it was the user who had the problem and not the product.  This is actually a pretty good primer.  I still prefer the Smashbox Photo Finish primer and the Ambient Lighting Primer from Hourglass to this one, but I’ll definitely use it.  It doesn’t extend the life of my foundation like the Smashbox one, but I can get eight hours or so of wear time with this one on.  It never caused breakouts on my face, and I’ve gotten used to the feel of it on my face, so I don’t mind it.  I don’t know that it would ever replace my favorite primers, but I’m not going to throw it away.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb:  I’ve gone over this before.  I love the way this smells in the bottle, but it is terrible on my skin.  I sort of hate that Sephora loves it so much since I have so many samples of it lying around.  This one is a generous size, and so I’m just going to pass it on to a lady that I work with.  She’s a sweetheart and who doesn’t usually treat herself, and I hope it works out for her.

In addition to the Play box, I got the following:

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Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbena:  This was a freebie with purchase, and, as I said earlier, I love these lipsticks, so I always get more when I can even though I probably own half the line.  They’re just so good.  Super creamy, moisturizing and pigmented–they’re lovely.  Verbena is described as a rose terracotta.  It’s a rosy neutral with a bit of a brown undertone to it.  I’m pretty sure I have a full-size of this around the house somewhere and am now inspired to use it again. (Side note:  If that sentence isn’t an indication that I need to stop buying makeup, I don’t know what it.  I, literally, have no idea what is in my collection anymore.)

Sephora Blue Clay Mask:  Again with the packaging!  I love masks, and this was too cute to pass up.  I used it last night and it did make my skin feel very smooth and moisturized, and based on how much I used last night, I’m going to get more than four uses out of the package.

This purchase brings my yearly Sephora total to $770.60.

–Jackie

 

Nest Citrine Perfume. I’m Glad I Found This.

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I never change purses.  I find it to be one of the most frustrating things in the world to do.  I always forget to transfer something from one bag to the other, and then I usually end up needing the item I’ve forgotten, and then I just get angry.  I carry a Patagonia mini messenger bag around most of the time.  My husband thinks it’s a little bizarre because I have other bags tucked away in my closet that cost hundreds of dollars more than this well-loved thing from Patagonia that is most certainly starting to show it’s age.  It’s water resistant and loaded with tons of handy pockets.  It holds a book, my wallet, and a few other items I like to carry around with me.  It’s got a pocket on the outside for a water bottle (or a folding umbrella on rainy days).  It’s so well designed, I genuinely don’t want to carry around other bags.  When it finally gets too worn to be seen with, I’m going to buy another one.  It’s the best.

Nevertheless, some occasions call for something a little nicer than my favorite broken-in possession.  I found myself going to a wedding a month ago, and had to do the dreaded purse change.  I found this in the bottom of the purse I took with me to the wedding and got super exicted because I thought I had lost this sample before I managed to finish it off.

I got this in a Play box some time last year and absolutely loved it.  I love most of the Nest Perfumes with Verde slightly edging out Indigo for my favorite.  The bottles are gorgeous, and they, for the most part, all smell divine.  They wear for about six hours on my skin, which, for me anyway, is a long time.  Very few perfumes have any real staying power on me.  I assume it has to do with body chemistry, and it makes me a little sad since I can potentially blow through a bottle of a favorite perfume in no time.

Citrine smells like eating lemon cake in a garden.  It’s got a bright citrus flavor coupled with a floral that reminds me of freesia.  There’s hints of woods at the end.  It smells amazing, and I wish I could justify getting a bottle, not only because I love it, but also because it would look brilliant on my dressing table.

Alas, there shall be no purchase of this one.  I’ve got three bottles of Nest perfume around here along with countless others.  I really have no need for this one.  For anyone who is curious, it retails for $72.00 for a 1.7 ounce bottle, and it comes in a smaller sized roller ball that’s $25.00 for a little over a quarter of an ounce.  I would suggest springing for the big one because, as I said earlier, the bottles from this brand are like works of art.  That being said, I do like a good travel size perfume, but that’s what all the samples are for, right?

–Jackie

Chloe Fleur.

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This is a little bit of a fluff piece on my part.  It’s currently three in the morning.  I got home from work and really just couldn’t sleep, so I decided to give typing a shot.

This is another sample I used up.  Most of my Sephora samples go to use after I get off.  I pretty much just spritz something on so I’m not that stinky kid on the subway at odd hours.  Samples are easy to toss in my purse, and they don’t take up a lot of space.  I like to travel light.  This makes me grateful for the endless supply of perfume samples that seem to find their way into my apartment.

Chloe Fleur is a really nice floral scent.  It’s got a rose scent at first (which I don’t really care for), but as soon as it starts to dry, I notice lighter, more summery scents like freesia and verbena.  The finish is a little woody–almost cedar-like.  It’s a bit of an inoffensive fresh, floral fragrance, and if you’re into other scents from this line, you can’t go wrong with this one.  I do like the original and have a bottle of it around here somewhere.  It’s not something I often find myself reaching for, but it does smell lovely.  This one is no exception.

This is $105.00 for 1.7 ounces.  I’m not going to buy it–or any perfume for that matter–until I get rid of some of the ones I have around here.  There are so many bottles and samples, I’m not entirely sure I could use them all in my lifetime.

Chloe Fleur.  You smell nice, but I don’t need you.

–Jackie

Sephora Play June 2017.

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I got this a few days ago and, for whatever reason, didn’t really feel like sitting down and typing out the box breakdown.  This blogging thing takes up a good bit of time on my days off, and sometimes I just don’t feel like sitting down and putting my mind to it.  I have to tell myself that there is actually a purpose to all of this, namely, breaking myself of the habit of buying random crap that I don’t really need.

The weather in New York is also kind of nice today, so I didn’t feel like sitting inside part of the day and typing on my computer.  I decided to grab my handy, dandy Bluetooth keyboard and tablet and head to my local coffee shop.  Copious quantities of iced lattes always lift my spirits.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t excited about this box when I opened it.  This, no doubt, contributed to my lapse in blogging, but it has given me a few days to play with some of the products and develop some first impressions, so let’s do this:

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer:  I have this on my face as I sit in the coffee shop, and I think I like it.  I thought it was going to be entirely too light for me to actually wear out in public when I first opened the package.  I mean, it looks LIGHT, and I’m a pale kid.  Really pale.  Much to my surprise it was a perfect match.  The blemish coverage is pretty much nil, but it evens out any redness I have quite well.  I’m new to the tinted moisturizer game.  Until just a few months ago, the number of blemishes on my face warranted at least a medium coverage foundation if I planned on leaving the house, so I’ve only really tried out this one and Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer.  I quite like that one, but I find that it starts to break down quickly even with a primer.  After just a few hours, I’m left with practically nothing on my face.  We shall see how this one goes.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad Gradual Glow:  I can almost guarantee that I won’t actually use these.  They’re a version of the Alpha Beta Peels that I enjoy, but they impart a gradual tan on your face.  You know what I don’t do?  Tan.  I don’t care to tan.  I don’t really go out in the sun, and when I do, I wear sunscreen like my life depended on it because it probably does.  I’m a red head with green eyes and skin that’s pale beyond pale.  I burn.  Roast.  Look like a boiled lobster.  Even when I was a teenager, I never had any real inclination to have a tan.  This has served me well as I’ve gone into my thirties.  My skin damage is minimal, and my wrinkles are virtually naught.  I’ve never even cared to use self-tanners.  I’m genuinely whatever about the whole experience.  I mean, sure, I’ve tried them out before, but it’s effort I’m not willing to take.  So I’m going to use this on my face while the rest of my body remains the same pale shade?  No.  They say the transition is gradual, but I’m really not interested.  My best friend is coming into town for a visit next week, and I’m passing these off to him.  Moving on.

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It:  Part of the reason why I wasn’t very excited about this box was because it came with two different hair care products.  I don’t do much with my hair.  I wear it in a ponytail at work, and can’t be bothered to actually dry it on most of my days off.  I keep the styling to a minimum.  This basically claims to tame the frizz of wavy tresses and give you that just left the beach look.  I have naturally wavy hair that tends to get really frizzy, and the best thing I’ve found to help it on days I don’t dry it but want to wear it down is Ouai’s Wave Spray.  I honestly expected this to do absolutely nothing when I put it in my hair after my shower this morning.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  This may be the answer to all of my prayers, but I’m going to use it a few more times before I commit to an entire tube of the stuff.  It was easy to use.  I just squirted some in my hand, raked it through my hair, twisted my hair in large sections, and scrunched each one toward my scalp.  Then I just sat around the house waiting for my hair to dry.  Once it had dried, all I did was rake my fingers through my hair to break apart the sections.  I was amazed.  My hair looks so good.  It’s got textured waves with zero frizz.  It’s not crispy and crunchy from some spray.  I can’t get over how much potential this has.  I’m going to keep using it, and I may commit to a tube.  For someone who hates dealing with her hair, this was a godsend today.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub:  I have nine of these liquid lipsticks.  I think Kat Von D makes the best liquid lipsticks on the market for my money, and I love the shade range.  Once you put them on, they don’t budge.  Period.  Well, they don’t budge unless you eat something really oily.  I’ve worn these for upwards of sixteen hours before, and they’ve still been on at the end of the day.  If my lips start to feel dry–let’s face it, liquid lipsticks are good at drying out your lips, and this one is no different–I just put lip balm over the top of whatever color I happen to have on.  It doesn’t move.  K-Dub is a really bright raspberry shady that is perfect for the summer, and I love a bright lip.  I can’t wait to play with this one.

Brigeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave in Defining Creme:  This is the second hair product in the June box.  It says that it will create defined natural-looking curls and is super hydrating.  I’ve given this one a try, too, and while it smells AMAZING, I think it’s just a little bit too much for my hair type.  You know the type: super oily that demands a daily washing.  It did define my waves really well, but it also made my hair stringy.  I’ve only used it once, but I’m going to keep trying with it.  I’m hoping that I just used too much even though I thought I was using the smallest amount.  There has to be a balance somewhere between defined and stringy and defined and beachy.  I’m still calling this one promising because anything that could potentially keep me from brushing my hair will be promising until clearly proven otherwise.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Blackout: I, like everyone else in America, was excited when these launched. I booked it to Sephora to try out all of them. There were a few I hated, a few I loved, and nothing I found memorable enough to commit to an entire bottle. And let’s talk about the bottles for a bit. Heaven help you if you ever want to travel with one. It would take up a sizeable portion of your suitcase, but if you’re looking to club a home intruder, these bottles would be a good thing to reach for.  They’re massive and bulky and contain a ton of wasted space. But anyway, back to the perfume. Blackout is described as a woody scent with notes of osmanthus and chai tea essence, two things I happen to enjoy but come together in this to evoke a “meh” reaction from me. It doesn’t smell bad, but it’s not something that’s memorable enough to buy.

So there’s the breakdown of this month’s box. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed typing it in the big, comfy chair in my favorite coffee shop. As always, I’ll keep you posted on how products work as I finish them. Now I’m off to finish my iced latte and plow through the fourth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.  I have to finish all of the books before the movie comes out, you know.

Total spent at Sephora this year: $488.40

–Jackie

Pinrose Secret Genius. Nice, but not My Thing.

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I had never heard of Pinrose before Sephora picked them up.  I’m pretty loyal to my perfume brands, too, so I never had much of an inclination to try anything of theirs out, but this came in my Play box, so I figured I would give it a try.

I went for it on a day off when I had nowhere to be.  I knew this was a one shot deal, and if I ended up hating it I needed to be able to wash it off.

It is definitely a gourmand scent.  It reminds me of a grown up version of Pink Sugar or a sister to Le Vie est Belle.  It’s sweet but not sickeningly so.  The vanilla scent radiated out of the packaging as soon as I opened it.  I don’t know if anyone has ever made their own vanilla sugar, but you throw some sugar into a jar, and when you finish scraping a vanilla bean, you toss in the used pods and bury them in the sugar.  When you open up the jar, it smells like this.  Even though the vanilla smell in the perfume is strong, it’s not overpowering, even upon initial application.  I feel like this is a good spring or fall scent, warm and inviting, but not strong enough for winter.

I don’t gravitate toward gourmand scents, so this one isn’t for me, but it’s nice.  If you were a fan of Pink Sugar in your early twenties, you would probably like this one as you progress on into your thirties.

It’s $65.00 for 1.7 ounces, and I have to give credit where credit is due on the longevity of this one.  Perfumes tend to quickly fade on me with a few notable exceptions.  This is one of the exceptions.  I’ve had it on for about six hours now, and it is still going strong.  This hardly ever happens.  I’m usually happy if I can get 4-5 hours out of one.  This fact alone may inspire me to check out other offerings from Pinrose.

So, there you have it.  It’s a nice scent, but not what I would go for, so I would never wear it.

Pinrose Secret Genius:  It’s nice, but I’m not buying it.

–Jackie

Sephora Play May 2017.

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I’ve been slow to blog the last few days because this is the first time my husband and I have had the same days off since March.  Needless to say, we are pretty excited at the opportunity to go out and have dinner like normal people.  We spent yesterday wandering around New York, shopping, and doing all the things we said we would do if we ever had a day off together again.  Today entailed a trip to a diner for pancakes, a run to Target, and a serious apartment cleaning.  I feel so productive.  This guy was in the mailbox downstairs when we got home, so that’s cause for some excitement, too.  Overall, this one looks promising, so let’s dive straight in!

I’m in love with the bag containing the samples and will be keeping this one for travel.  It’s made of a heavy plastic and snaps shut.  This one actually seems durable and easy to clean.  I generally toss the bags almost as soon as I tear them open and dig the products out, so I’m happy that Sephora has finally upped their game enough to warrant keeping one of these things for a change.

Milk Makeup Blur Stick:  This is probably the one I’m most excited to get this month.  I’ve seen this thing hyped up so much on YouTube and have come so close to purchasing it on many occasions since it launched a few months ago.  It is supposed to smooth and prime the skin for makeup and make pores and lines look smaller.  After watching a few videos of people applying this stuff, I’m sort of convinced it’s magical, so I’ll probably be dropping all of my other primers I have around here and trying this out for a few days beginning tomorrow.  It doesn’t seem to be a big sample, so the review of this will likely post fairly soon.

Grande Lips Lip Plumper in Clear:  ANOTHER FREAKING LIP PLUMPER!  Why???  Sephora sent the Too Faced Lip Injection just a few months ago, and that one was one of the most painful plumpers in recent memory.  I hate lip plumpers, for those who don’t know, so I’m going to be brief on this one.  If it burns, it’s going in the trash after two or three uses.  Odds are heavily in the favor of it stinging since that is what most lip plumpers do anyway.  I already have big lips.  I don’t need the help of a plumper, and I’m not walking around town with my lips on fire.  The end.  Moving on.

Trestique Highlight + Perfect Multipurpose Stick in Maldives Luminescent:  I’m not super pumped that a cream highlighter came in this month’s box because the Play box from two months ago had a sample of Benefit’s Watt’s Up.  With that being said, I have been using that one to death over the last few weeks.  I’m on a serous cream highlighter kick, and the one from Benefit is a really good one.  I’m looking forward to trying this one out.  The color seems similar to Watt’s Up.  They’re both a champagne color, though this one appears to be slightly more rosy than Watt’s Up.  The Benefit one has some great staying power and blends down to look rather natural, so I’m curious to see how this one compares.  I love the packaging on this one, too.  I’m all about products that I can just throw in a bag and not have to worry about.  The packaging is sturdy, and you can blend it with your fingers.  That’s all I need in life.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask:  I know this brand has a cult-like following, but I’ve not tried the first thing from them.  I love masks, and it claims to offer oil and blemish control.  My skin isn’t oily, but it loves to randomly break out from time to time, so I’ll be giving this one a shot just as soon as my vitamin nectar mask from Fresh runs out.  I think I have only one or two applications of that one left.  I poked around on this one a little.  It seems super smooth, like there’s no grit in it at all.  I’m curious to try it out and see how it works.

Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask:  This is supposed to condition hair and add shine.  I’ll use it, but hair stuff doesn’t excite me.  I have terribly oily hair, and try as I may, I cannot avoid washing it every single day.  If I go more than a day without washing it, my hair looks a mess.  Dry shampoos are a joke on my mop, and, basically, any hair mask that promises week-long results will get me–at best–three days.  I’m going to use this, but I don’t expect it to knock my socks off.

Clean Reserve Sel Santal:  This smells sooooooo good.  It reminds me so much of Book from Commodity, which I happen to adore (and have somewhere around here).  It smells like an earthy, woody scent with some citrus thrown in to liven it up.  I have a feeling I’m going to adore this and hope it has some staying power.  The notes on it say, as I mentioned, tops of mandarin, bergamont, and nutmeg tonic.  The middle notes are of violet, salted fig, and hazelnut cream.  The base notes are amber, styrax, rose musk, and sandalwood.  This smells like old pages and reading on a beach.  I can’t wait to wear it.

There’s the rundown from this month’s box.  As always I’ll be talking about empties and anything I discard because I hate it (I’m looking at you Grande Lips).

Total dollars spent at Sephora this year:  $433.96.

–Jackie