Sephora PLAY! April + May Review

I wanted to very quickly post my thoughts on my Sephora PLAY! boxes from April and May before my June box arrives later this month. Let's jump into it!

April 2018 - PLAY! Box

My April box arrived while I was on vacation in Italy. I wanted enough time to try out some of the products, so I've definitely had enough time!

  1. Burberry - My Burberry Blush: My first impressions, smells nice! I'm not very good at reviewing fragrances... aside from "smells good" and "smells bad". 
  2. Dr. Dennis Gross - Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel: I honestly forgot I received this until just now. I guess I was never particularly excited about receiving an "anti-wrinkle" product, being in my early twenties with normal, non-problematic skin. Maybe I'll give it a try during my next "at home spa day".
  3. Buxom - Full On Lip Polish: I, unfortunately, recycled my pamphlet that mentions the shade name for this lip gloss, but the color is beautiful! It is pinky translucent gloss with shimmer in it. I really love having it on plain over top some lip balm, although I imagine it would also look beautiful over a lipstick. It's the perfect amount of shimmer and doesn't look too obnoxiously glittery. It just adds a little extra power to the sheen of the gloss.
  4. Make Up Forever - Ultra HD Perfector Skin Tint Foundation SPF 25: while in Italy I had a very simple make-up routine so we could get out the door fast. For my face, instead of my usual medium cover foundation, I used a BB cream, topped with powdered foundation if I felt like having just a little more coverage. I really liked this routine, especially when I feel like I need to run out the door. This skin tint is very lovely. It feels lightweight on the skin. The coverage wasn't as good as my Dr. Jart BB cream, but it still covered up the redness in my cheeks. I'll probably always top the MUF skin tint with a powder, to give it some extra help, but I still really enjoy this product. 
  5. Kihel's - Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate: This was, again, not a product that was memorable to me. The purpose of the product, same as Dr. Dennis Gross, is to reduce the appearance of fine lines. I still have not found myself using it.
  6. Purity - Simple Ultra-Light Moisturizer: Ultra-Light is right! This moisturizer does feel light, while still moisturizing the skin. I've used this moisturizer in the morning before applying make-up. My sample was quite small, which I didn't appreciate. I'm also not a fan of the smell. but it still feels nice on the skin!
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May 2018 - PLAY! Box

  1. Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb: There's not much to say here. This has to have been the 5th time I received this fragrance in a PLAY! Box. While I enjoy the delightfully floral scent, it's no longer an exciting product to me. 
  2. Bumble and Bumble - Thickening Spray: I received this product very shortly after purchasing a Ouai set that also came with a volumizing spray. I've always been a big fan of Ouai products, and the spray did not disappoint. I find myself gravitating towards Ouai over Bumble, but it's not to say that Bumble and Bumble doesn't do the job, because it does. The thickening spray is still a nice product, but I wouldn't rate it among my top favorites. I prefer the scent of other sprays I've had in the past, and while I feel a little volume in my hair it's not as powerful as other sprays I've tried.
  3. Becca - Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop: This is a product I'm already familiar with. I, among other fans of Jacalyn Hill, purchased this highlighter the day it arrived in Sephora stores. I was obsessed with this highlighter, and at the time of it's release it was only the 2nd powdered highlight I owned after Becca's Opal. I very much enjoy having a small, travel sized compact that I can easily throw into my make-up bag. 
  4. benefit - The Porefessional Primer: Another product I'm familiar with. The Porefessional was once my holy grail primer. I used it literally everyday for at least a year. It's still a great primer in my eyes, but I have since branched out and tried others. Since the weather's getting warmer, and my skin's not so dry I'm happy to have a little bit of this available to me. I'll definitely use it up.
  5. Kat Von D - Tattoo Liner in Trooper: Again, another product I'm familiar with. KvD's tattoo liner was once my holy grail liner, before I made the switch to Stila's Stay All Day liner. Even today I still find myself going back and forth between which liquid liner I prefer. It's been a while since I've repurchased this product, so I'm happy to receive one. I'm thinking I'll keep this pen in my daily make-up bag for touch ups throughout the day if I need it. 
  6. Sephora Collection - Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying: I LOVE mud masks, so at first glance I was excited to receive one. I was waiting to finish up another mud mask I had in my bathroom before breaking into this one, but I also found myself receiving a trial size of Glam Glow's Supermud Treatment in my Sephora birthday gift. I once bought into the hype of Glam Glow when beauty influencers were promoting it like crazy, but I concluded that their masks just didn't work well for me. However, getting a free sample size got me excited. I mean I do love free things. That's when I remembered that the Supermud treatment literally felt like my face was being burned, like a hot skillet was being pressed onto my face. The burning sensation went away after a minute or so, but it was not a pleasant feeling. The Sephora Collection mud mask was very reminiscent of the Glam Glow Supermud treatment, beginning with an intense burning sensation that made me want to rinse it off immediately. I understand that there are masks that "warm up" upon contact to the skin, but I feel like I should not be able to feel pain while caring for my skin. This mud mask, is unfortunately, a pass. 

Overall, I'm quite happy with my May Box, despite receiving multiple products that I have already tried before. It's been some time since I've played with these old goodies, so it's nice to be reminded of products that stood the test of time and to this day are still, in my mind, stand out products, especially among new beauty products that seem to come into the market daily. My April box was a bit disappointing, having gotten many products that I don't really use much and even forgotten about. April was so long ago though, so we'll keep that in the past. The June Box will be arriving soon, so let's hope for the best! 

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Redesign: Dragon Embroidery

I think the most notable feature of my senior thesis collection was my hand embroidered dragon. What was meant to be a simple 6"x6" project for my Couture Techniques class turned into a massive 15"x18" week long project, and an attempt to start off my last year of college on the right foot. It's a shame that after my graduation in May of 2015, the beautiful creature spent over 2 years in storage, never to be seen by another human ever again.

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Close friends, family, and maybe even some of my former classmates might remember the piece. A black jacquard jacket with a floor length chiffon skirt attached at the waist, and of course the dragon sewn onto the back. It was the first of five looks that I completed for my evening wear collection. 

While I liked how my collection came out, I regret I did not make this piece in particular a little more wearable. The "jacket", if you remember, without the chiffon skirt is a very cropped piece with a wimpy cape clasp at center front. Definitely not something I'd wear on a daily basis. As my time out of MassArt pass I wish I had something to show for those 4 years of sleepless nights and forty-something thousand dollars of tuition. 

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The answer became clear, if I couldn't wear something I created then I'd make it wearable. The star of my collection was the dragon. It was a piece of my craftsmanship that I wanted the world to see. But what to do? How could I turn this into timeless piece that would never sit in storage again? (Or at least until winter comes)

A quick scroll through Instagram gave me the answer. A denim jacket, a staple in every woman's closet, and something I had yet to own. Thanks to Google I found the perfect ultra soft black denim jacket, a new home for my fantastic beast. 

With the help of my seam ripper and sewing machine, my admired dragon will again be seen by the world. 

Sephora PLAY! Review - March

Let's jump right into it, March's box was a let down.

  1. Lancome - Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara: to be honest, mascara isn't always my favorite thing to receive in a box. I understand why others might. Mascara can go bad fast, so it's one less thing to restock on when you receive it in a box. However, as somebody with itty-bitty lashes that can't be saved by even the best mascara, and has relied heavily on false lashes for the past 4 years, mascara doesn't excite me. I'll still use it, but to me it's nothing to write home about. 
  2. Sephora Collection - Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game: I'm not somebody who typically gravitates towards eye pencils that aren't black, which is why I still have yet to use it. I've received many of Sephora Collection's eye pencils in my previous boxes in many different colors. Although I'd much prefer to receive a different brand for a change I can appreciate that I was given a new color. I'll maybe use it as an eyeshadow base.
  3. DR. JART - Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45: This is my first time receiving this product in a Sephora PLAY! box, but I am very familiar with this BB Cream. An old manager at my previous job was friends with one of the managers at Sephora, which would explain how she ended up receiving a shopping bag's worth of this BB Cream.  And since my other co-workers were not interested in glowing skin and sun protection the whole bag was mine. This is probably my favorite BB Cream on the market. It's lightweight, blends beautifully, and doesn't smell bad (always a plus when putting things on my face). I've worn it all through the summer and in the Florida heat and humidity. This cream covered up my redness AND protected me from the sun. I'm quite grateful to receive this product, especially with my vacation coming up.
  4. Sephora Collection - Cream Lip Satin Liquid Lipstick in Bohemian Purple: Slightly annoyed I received 2 Sephora brand products in the same box, even more so annoyed that I received a product from my last unboxing review. At least I got a different color this time. A deep purpley-berry color, something I haven't bought for myself in a long time. The product itself is creamy, smooth, and feels nice on the lips, but I prefer something a little more transfer proof. Unfortunately, this color disappears along with my lunch.
  5. Briogeo - Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Spray: I recently decided I need to take better care of my hair. I used to be the kind of person who would put my hair through hell, but only get a trim once a month. I've decided to be a little nicer to my scalp after I slicked my hair back into a ponytail and convinced myself I was going bald. This spray smells quite nice, and it does add a little boost to my hair. I'm hoping with the help of this spray in combination with my daily dose of biotin and my occasional castor oil mask, I'll have hair as beautiful as Steve Harrington's.
  6. Marajo Hair Care - Nourishing Creme & Deep Treatment Butter: I would have liked to get my review up sooner, but I hesitated to use this product for two reasons. First, I started a free trial at Corepower Yoga thanks to my best friend, Claire. I wasn't about to treat my hair to something new and potentially amazing while I'm literally sweating my make-up off everyday for 2 weeks. Second, I loathe foil packets. First impressions though, the products smelled lovely, and it felt like it did the job. I would have liked to have a little more than a foil packet. 
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Sephora PLAY! Review - January + February

Quick life update:

The last week of 2017 started off like anybody else's. I vowed to say goodbye to a year of constant stress, toxicity, and an unexpected wave of depression. "2018 is going to be my year!" I said along with several other optimistic 20-something-year-olds still treading along in student debt. 

Now as we approach March I feel much more confident in my claim, 2018 IS going to be my year. Within the first week of January I started a new career in Boston (anybody who knows of my past employment will know how much of a relief it is to finally work in my city), I moved in with my partner of 2.5 yrs, and with my first big fat paycheck (and my last paycheck from my previous job) I was finally able to give myself the title of "DEBT FREE"! I did not expect to check off so many goals on my list within the first 30 days of 2018, but it pleases me that I am now able to focus on my other goals, like finally going back to being a creative being and actively sharing my designs/creations/thoughts online.

PLAY! Box - January '18

I wanted to ease into being more active content creator by doing something I'm comfortable with, and that is talking about all the beauty products I obtain. I'm still not over the subscription box phase of my life. As somebody who love discovering new products, sub-boxes are my jam. The Play! Box from Sephora has been my favorite out of others I've tried, which included BirchBox, Boxycharm, and ipsy.

My January review got lost among working my new job WHILE ALSO working the last two weeks at my old job, and moving in with T-Man in Charlestown. Although 2018 is shaking up to be a great year for me, it's not looking so great in my Play! boxes. I've been subscribed to Sephora Play! since it released and I enjoyed it a lot the first couple of years, however, I feel it's starting to lose me a little. January's box was NOT a good start to my year of new discoveries. Here's why:

  1. Smashbox - Photo Finish Primerizer: I kept the primer in it's card for visibility in the photo as the actual sample itself is disappointingly small. The bottle it is maybe 1/2" tall, but I've found a little bit goes a long way since I've used it a couple times and I still have enough for just a few more tries. The primer definitely feels moisturizing, which was nice during this very cold January.
  2. Briogeo - Don't Despair, Repair!: now this sample was truly the biggest disappointment in the entire box. Not only because it is a foil packet, but because I have received this product in a previous Play! box... and that sample was a much larger tube. I do like this deep conditioning mask though. As somebody who is still recovering from frequent dye jobs, my hair was singing "Hallelujah". However, this was my first time receiving a foil packet in my Play! box and I was shook.
  3. Clinique - Pep Start Eye Cream: I can't remember if this is another repeat from a previous box or a sample I was given to for free on a recent trip to Sephora, because this is definitely something I've received before. Either way, another disappointment. It's an okay eye cream. It feels hydrating when applied, but I honestly can't see much of a difference.
  4. GlamGlow - SuperCleanse: Definitely another repeat. I remember being really excited to try this product out before, and thank god I didn't purchase the full size because it BURNED! #trash
  5. Lancome - Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base: I don't use mascara primers, so ..... what do?
  6. Ole Henriksen -Hygge HydroClay Detox Mask: THIS product I am excited about. I love a good face mask. I could mask everyday. Unfortunately this is somewhere in a box, so I can't give any opinions just yet.... 
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Play! Box - February '18

January was not a good start to my year of goodies, but I told myself February would be different. I low-key love Valentine's Day because I low-key love the color pink (that's literally it. I just like that everything's pink and heart shaped). And I am all about the notion of loving yourself, but I did not find myself loving this box. 

  1. Sephora - Cream Lip Stain: Another repeat, but worse! A repeat of a dud. I received this lip product in the same "Always Red" color in a previous box and was unimpressed. It came in the same card (that I left for visibility) because this sample tube is also only 1/2" tall. The wand was microscopic, which made application challenging. It doesn't upset me too much since I don't wear lipstick very often anyways, but a girl can't even get a new color? 
  2. Sephora - Rouge Matte: A repeat product, but at least it's a new color! I did give this guy away, but it's not a terrible lipstick. I don't wear lip products often because I can very picky when it comes to formulation. So, not bad, just not my favorite. 
  3. Lancome - Monsieur Big Mascara: Truthfully, I'm the kind of person who will use up a mascara until it's bad before opening a new one. Mascara doesn't last long, people! I'll crack this open once my IT! Cosmetics Mascara goes bad.
  4. First Aid Beauty - Ginger & Tumeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask: YAY! A new product that looks intriguing! I've only used this guy once, but first impressions: the smell is pleasant, it feels so good once applied (tingly and cooling), and even better once you rinse it off. This mask claims to smooth and brighten skin. We'll see if this holds true.
  5. Belief - Moisturizing Eye Bomb: Another new product I've never tried. I am a HUGE fan of Belief's Aqua Bomb, so I had high hopes for this eye cream. So far I am really loving it. It has the same cooling sensation as Tony Moly's Panda's Dream So Cool Eye Stick (if you've used it), but its much more moisturizing. I have this product in the line up with my morning skin care routine. It really helps my eyes wake up in the morning! I've used it every day since my box delivered. 10/10 would repurchase. 
  6. Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb: This has got to be my 10000th sample of this perfume, from this box and other retailers. Old news. 
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I hope to continue sharing my thoughts on my monthly box. I also hope that Sephora steps up it's game, as the Play! Box has truly been a subscription box I always enjoyed receiving.

Until next time! <3  

#tbt - Buuuuuuuurlesque

For the first time I finally saw a dear friend of my perform. The burlesque dancer, who goes by the name Kitty Levesque, performed a mesmerizing act to Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black". The best part was she was wearing a look that I helped to create!

Unauthorized photography was not permitted during the Mini Burlesque Expo in Cambridge, MA (and I was definitely NOT an authorized photographer), so I was unfortunately unable to get a shot of Kitty in action. Taking a vintage black velvet dress by Ralph Lauren, I helped my friend to customize the look for her performance, so that it was super sexy... and super easy to take off!

It was great to finally see my work in action. I regret not being able to see the first piece I create for Kitty, a custom dress almost identical to the iconic Barbie pink dress Marilyn Monroe wore in "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". 

 Photo by Tammy Packie

Photo by Tammy Packie

Word on the street was Kitty's Diamond performance was a hit! As a friend I was ecstatic to hear of her success. As a designer I was flattered by how many had complimented Kitty on the dress, and that it lives to see many Burlesque performances all around New England (and hopefully many more!)