February 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is a monthly sub box for $10! You get a fragrance sample and 5 deluxe beauty samples which I think is a great value. I believe they have recently opened up more subscriptions so sign up!

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They always include an awesome booklet about how to use the products.

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Tom Ford Black Orchid – This is a really pricey perfume – the rollerball is $45! I think I know why though: the main fragrance note is an uber rare and custom grown black orchid. Other notes include Black Truffle, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord, Patchouli. It’s a dark, woodsy, and fruity scent that isn’t entirely my style but is still nice. 

Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner – This is your basic black eyeliner but from a high end brand. It’s supposed to have the high intensity of a liquid liner – I won’t go that far but it is creamy.

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Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder – If you read my recent Sephora dry shampoo review then you know how I feel about this. I would much prefer a spray version so I might put this up for swaps. It’s also SO pricey.

Bare Minerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm – in Plumberry Pop. I was really excited to try this and the first time I did it was great. It is a nice color and really stays put. The next time I tried it however it balled up a little bit and made it hard to get an even coat.

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Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick – in N9 Copper Pink Satin. Yay for two lip products in one box! This is a really natural and neutral pink that really glides on. No problems, it’s a solid lipstick but not as fun to use as Bite!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara – I’ve tried this mascara multiple times and it’s a great one! Really happy to see it in the box!

Play! still continues to impress me with high end brands and generous size samples! It keeps me looking forward to seeing what I get each month!

Birchbox Haul

If you don’t know, Anthropoloie online carries a lot of beauty and hair care products. A coworker returned a Klorane conditioner (because she accidentally ordered 2) so I decided to try it out. I had recently colored my hair and this is a conditioner for blondes to I decided to go ahead and order the matching shampoo to have a set.

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Klorane Shampoo with Chamomile – Klorane is a French brand and I have tried a few of their products before thanks to Birchbox (I really like the Mango shampoo). Whether your hair is dyed or not, this is designed to brighten and prevent brassiness. Something I didn’t know is that chamomile is a natural brightener! This has a nice floral and honey scent and I like it. I probably wouldn’t order again (pricey) but it was fun to try out. The weird part is that the shampoo is HUGE in comparison to the conditioner.

Klorane Conditioner with Chamomile

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Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner – To round out my BB order, I decided to try a new toner. I have never used Origins before and this toner gets 4.5 star reviews on BB, and a blogger I follow recently had talked about it. Sadly this gets a bad review on Beautypedia for the ingredients (it’s alcohol based and tested on animals). That’s why it’s always good to do your research! It has a lot of fragrances and plant oils like mint which can also cause irritation. I have used it one time and did notice a strong scent but it did not irritate my skin. I think I’ll stick to Paula’s Choice next time!

I got a great mystery sample pack with includes Benefit They’re Real Mascara and Rusk Heatshift Re-Styling Cream. I already know I like the mascara and I’m not sure about the cream. It is a product that reduces blow dry time and to restyle your hair. I would try it out and basically consider it a blow dry cream. Overall not the most exciting haul but there you have it!

 

Voluspa Haul

Y’all know I love beauty products, but did you know I’m also candle crazy? Voluspa is a brand we carry at Anthropologie and I liked some of the scents we carry (Goji Berry, Santiago Huckleberry and Baltic Amber) but I was really looking for something different and I saw they were having a sale! I had never ordered from Voluspa before so I signed up for their email list and got a free gift! Here’s my haul.

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Everything came individually wrapped which was super fun to open like Christmas presents. It was also packaged really well so none of the glass would break.

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Creme de Peche – All of the vessels in this sent are on sale except this large glass jar right now. This scent is made of “CRÈME DE PECHE WITH NOTES OF ASIAN WHITE PEACH, NECTARINE AND CRUSHED VANILLA BEAN”. I just started burning it recently and I love the mix of fruit and vanilla for a sweet but not overly so scent. The kind of creamy orange vessel is also so pretty! I have found Voluspa candles to burn very evenly and to have a great throw. 

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Nissho Soleil – This is part of the Japonica collection which we sell at Anthro and the tin has a beautiful metallic floral design inspired by Japanese paper making. The description really caught my attention “TOPPED BY NOTES OF SUN KISSED PINEAPPLE AND TANGERINE, SOLEIL IS ANCHORED BY VOLUSPA’S SIGNATURE CREAMY VANILLA. A DAY AT THE BEACH IN A BOTTLE”. Sounds perfect for summer! On cold sniff it is very light and pretty. All of their candles use coconut wax and a paraben, sulfate, and phalate free with 100% cotton wicks. They also never test on animals. 

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French Bourbon Vanille – This is a gourmand scent from their holiday collection. The packaging is a gorgeous glass vermeil jar with metallic overlay inspired by fine jewelry. It really has an antique vibe! This scent has “FRAGRANCE NOTES OF VANILLA BEANS GROUND AND DISTILLED FOR EXTRACT”. It’s lighter than I thought it would be but should be really nice burning. 

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Mandarino Cannela – This gorgeous mini tin was my GWP and I’ve already burned through it! It’s small but really puts off a fragrance. I burned it with a complimentary candle. The scent is “ITALIAN MANDARIN ORANGE TOPS A CREAM HEART OF VANILLA CINNAMON, FINISHED WITH NUTMEG AND STEM GINGER.” So it’s kind of a spice tea scent!

I love the scents that I picked out just from reading the descriptions online! The only downside is that there are not reviews on the website. They are different than my usual Bath and Body Works picks although more pricey. If you can catch them on a sale it’s perfect for a candle lover. There are a few more scents on my wish list for next time too!

 

Sephora Hauls

Sephora during the holiday season always has great gifts with purchases. Back in November they had my favorite GWP which is a makeup bag full of samples. You got to pick from four options and it was a great mix of items and brands. I decided to place an order to make use of a giftcard and to get the GWP!

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Some of my favorite items included the Nars Audacious Mascara, Stella Stella McCartney perfume (which I just ordered), and the Glamglow Thirstycleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser (which I have also since purchased the travel size). So there were some real winners here!

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This is the Dr. Jart BB It’s Cold Outside set. I picked it because I needed a backup foundation and I have sampled this BB cream before from Birchbox and really enjoyed the coverage and SPF it has. The kit (no longer available) includes the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 , Firming Sleeping Mask (which I can’t find on Sephora), Ceramidin Cream and Dermaclear Micro Water. The cream was new to me and is made with ceramides which help retain water. It does not have SPF so I have used it a few times at night. It’s nothing super special to me but it does moisturize. The Micro Water I have gotten a sample of before in Birchbox I think and I haven’t come around to the idea of cleansing my whole face with it, but it works well as an eye makeup remover. The Firming Sleeping Mask I have used a few times and the instructions say you are to put it on about 10 mins before bed and to wash it off in the morning. It has a gel/serum like consistency. Overall I liked this set because it is the same price as a full tube of the BB cream but you get extra stuff!

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This was a random thing I added on to get free shipping and it turned out to be really good! This is an oil in gel lipstick remover by the Sephora brand which I am not seeing on their website now. Bummer. You put it on, wait about 10 seconds, wipe it off with a tissue and BAM your lips are clean. It works with lipstick and liquid lipstick really well, but not as good with stains.

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These were my free sample add ons!

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This was the next GWP that I was drooling over. I LOVE this stuff! Benefit Gimme Brow

is my go to for just a little more definition, color and a groomed look. It’s for when I’m too lazy to use pencil to fill my brows in (basically every day) or want a more “natural” look. It’s a mini so it didn’t last long but was totally worth it.

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So this is where the real fun happens – a whole set of DRY SHAMPOOS! This is the Extend Your Style kit (no longer available) and has 7 shampoos to keep you clean in between washes.

First up (from left to right) is my personal favorite of the bunch and one I have sampled before thanks to Birchbox. Amika Perk Up is really one of the best I have tried. The packaging is a colorful swirling print that makes me happy, and it smells amazing! It has natural rice starch to absorb oil without weighing you down. This really works and does not leave me greasy or with residue.I would for sure order more. *Note all of these are on the pricey side and would be a supplement to my go to drug store pick*

Next up is Alterna Haircare Cleanse Extend which has a mango coconut scent. I thought I would really love this one for that reason but it wasn’t in my top 3. I agree that it’s translucent but it is a little sickly sweet and has a slight greasy feel for me.

Living Proof is a brand that I have tried several of their products before including somehow their dry shampoo. Their Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is in my top 3 – it has their signature scent which is hard to describe but is slightly floral. It has no residue, is free of sulfates and parabens (if that matters to you), and leaves my hair feeling really clean. *Note I just sprayed this on my husbands head so he could feel the intense sensation of dry shampoo and how great it is and he said “I never have to shower now.” Yeah me neither*

If you don’t know about the Drybar then you are missing out. I have been a total of three times and each as been great and I have left the salon with the best looking and smelling hair. The Detox Dry Shampoo was created to extend your blowout and is in my top three mainly because of the scent. It comes out a little chalky (they made a separate one for brunettes that’s how you can tell!) but I just rub it in or brush it out. The smell puts it in my top three though – it’s addicting like delicious cupcakes!!!

Sally Hershberger is a brand I am not as familiar with. Their 24k Supreme Stylist Dry Shampoo is supposed to be voluminous but I just find it to be sticky and leave my hair feeling a little greasy. Nothing great about the scent either. It has low stars on Sephora so I know I’m not the only one!

Klorane is a brand I am familiar with thanks to BB and I have actually gotten this as a sample before and am using their shampoo and conditioner now (review to come later). A lot of people really like this Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk but I am not one of them. It’s not too greasy but does leave a white residue that I have to rub in. I don’t love the scent either – it’s light but just not my fave. I’ll use it up but I won’t buy more.

Lastly we have Bumble and Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder which I was really interested in trying out because B and B is a super prestige brand (I have some of their hairspray and really like it). I have never used baby powder as dry shampoo so this was hard for me to get used to. I found it difficult to get an even coating and to get rid of all my oil. It has a soft powdery scent and does add volume but the application is just too difficult for me. I would rather spray and go! It still gets a lot of good reviews so maybe I just need to give it a few more tries.

There you have it – one of the most in depth dry shampoo reviews you will ever read! Thanks for sticking it out till the end, and if you have questions leave them in the comments!

January Birchbox

Birchbox is my original subscription box and I’ve been getting it for over 2 years. It’s only $10 a month and they let you pick one sample. The best part is you review your products for points and then use those to buy full sized products!

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They included these little stickers to put on the front of your box which I didn’t use but think are pretty cute. I like the bright colors they chose.

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Ciate London Nail Polish – It doesn’t look like this color is currently on Birchbox, but this is a great sample size! I don’t think I’ve used this brand before but I have heard of it. I swatched it on the sample card above – it’s a dark blue with metallic shimmer. Really pretty and I need to try it out soon!

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser – I loooove cleansers and I put this on my counter right away to try out. This was very fresh and fun! I don’t think I’ve used an aloe based cleanser before and I liked it! I agree that it’s gentle, got my makeup off nicely and smells fresh. No complaints here! I would purchase this in the future.

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0.2 Meet Your Destiny Eau de Parfum – I’ve started to enjoy perfume samples more and more recently. This is described as a “clean, earthy unisex fragrance. Its bouquet includes top notes of bergamot and spearmint, middle notes of neroli and orange blossom, and base notes of sheer musk accord, Tunisian amber, white amber, oakmoss and French vanilla.” I usually don’t like earthy fragrances and like something a little more floral so sadly this wasn’t a win for me. 

TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint – I thought I wouldn’t like this and put it up for swaps and totally forgot about it because I’m not a fan of a similar product called Stainiac by The Balm. Then one day I tried it out and have used it several times since. I feel like all stains of this type can be a little streaky, but this one has serious color and staying power! I got compliments both times I wore it. Also the full size is only SIX DOLLARS. SO CHEAP. p.s. they sell some things by this adorable Korean brand at Urban Outfitters. Also I think it comes in other colors just not on Birchbox.

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Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner – I have this same product but the skinny version and I really like it! It’s so nice to see a full sized product (it’s been awhile). I found the fat tip a little harder to use but basically the same result – a beautiful cat eye. We carry this brand at Anthropologie btw.

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Here I am sporting the liner and lip tint. Overall this box was an improvement because of the full sized liner. face wash and lip tint! Let’s hope the rest of 2016 is just as good!

December Birchbox

Birchbox for some reason has not been impressing me lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy opening a little package each month, but maybe it’s their curation of products or brands that leaves me feeling lackluster. Comparing it side by side to Sephora it leaves a little to be desired. Nonetheless the box is always pretty and I like that it is different each month.

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Kate Spade Walk On Air – I am generally not a big fan of Kate Spade fragrances. They come off too floral for me and this is no exception. “Notes of linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, soloman’s seal, bergamot, and Tunisian neroli fill out the top notes of this floral bouquet, followed by lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, Egyptian jasmine, crinum lily, white iris, and violet leaf.” It’s just too overpowering for my taste. 

Coastal Scents Formal Eyes Palette – I actually own a Coastal Scents palette from Birchbox and really enjoy it. It has nice color payoff, although maybe not as good as the Smashbox shadows I recently reviewed. This sample however was awful and barely showed up on my lid.

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Malin + Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask – At $48 they sure think they’re important! Made for acne prone skin it sounds just like Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil Absorbing Mask for only $19. It was a basic mask and not worth the high price tag to me.

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream – I got the scent green tea which is not very strong but still nice. This isn’t as thick as some shea creams I’ve tried but it’s a solid lotion with pretty packaging.

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The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow –   This is probably my fourth The Balm sample and as always the packaging is super cute…but really tiny. I still feel like I can get enough to really sample it though (compared to the Laura Geller blush sample this is a joke though). This is a nice blush with a little bit of shimmer. I feel like the rosy shade would look good on all skin tones.

I didn’t get a sample I just loved or was really impressed with this month. I still love Birchbox though – racking up the points just for a quick review is totally worth it! I just ordered one of their new limited edition boxes today, so look for a review when it comes in!