March 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is still a pretty new sub box and they have just opened up sign ups for more subscribers. It’s only $10 a month and you get six products including a perfume sample each month. They include a really nice booklet with information and a “play pass” you can take into a Sephora store to get a one on one tutorial (I have never used this feature). I love the brands they pick!

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Sephora Collection: The Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge – This sponge is available in pink or purple and I’m so happy I got purple (it’s my favorite color and my Beauty Blender is already pink)! This is almost half the price of a Beauty Blender and I bet it works just as well. It has two tips to help with getting in corners and blending. It is reusable and works with any liquid or cream foundation. I’ll be honest that I haven’t tried it out yet.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil – This is a product I’m a little wary of trying. I like Smashbox products but I don’t like to use oils during the day for the finish they leave. This oil has 15 essential and plant oils to moisturize prior to makeup application. It says that it sits on top of the skin and also sinks in to moisturize. I just read that it has lavender oil which I have read is bad for your skin…so I don’t think I’ll be buying this one but I will give it a try.

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Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk – I really wanted to like this one but it was a little too light and powdery for my taste – maybe not floral enough? This scent has “notes of bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk”. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – This is a liquid liner that waterproof and high pigment with a brush tip. The brush is different than a traditional felt liner and will not fray. I haven’t used it yet but I love liquid pen liners to create a bold look and haven’t tried this brand yet.

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – This is the second time I’ve tried this cleanser and it’s a good one. Just your basic gel cleanser that smells like cucumbers. It’s very gentle and removes makeup without stripping the skin. It also is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. The full size is pretty pricey so I wouldn’t buy it myself.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield – This is a three in one product that is antiaging, a primer, and has SPF. I really wanted to like this because it sounds great, but I didn’t like the gel texture. It reminded me of the Smashbox best selling primer. It also pills when you apply it which is awful.

Overall I’m still loving this box and all the brands I get to try! I’m excited about the full size sponge too!

February 2016 Birchbox

Birchbox is the original beauty subscription box that comes once a month for only $10. I’ve been getting it for almost three years and I still love it! You have the opportunity to pick a sample each month or be totally surprised. They also have a box you can pick and know every item you will be getting. The boxes are based on a profile you fill out but I have found they are not very customized. This month I let everything be a surprise.

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ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Lip Liner – I wear lipstick a lot but liner is something I never use. Therefore I haven’t touched this but it looks like it would be a really neutral color.

Parlor by Jeff Chastain Detangling Leave In Conditioner – I’ve come to really enjoy products by this Birchbox exclusive brand. This formula has vitamins, sweet almond extract, and nettle extract for shine, softness and heat protection. It is safe for color treated hair because it is free of sulfates and parabens. My favorite part is the scent – fresh juicy peaches!!!

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Hey Honey Take It Off Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – I haven’t used this yet but I’m feeling like I need to because ever since I got back from Europe my skin has been going crazy. Who knows if it was the sleep deprivation, water change or using different travel products but I could use some exfoliation. This product is a mask you leave on for 15-20 minutes and then peel it off when it dries. It brightens skin with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and improves wrinkles and the overall look of skin.

UPDATE: I used this product this morning and I was surprised that it was completely clear! It also smelled like fruit and dried pretty quickly. It was easy to peel off and did not irritate my skin at all. It left it feeling soft.

Arrow Revive Cooling Cheek Tint – This is a new line by Birchbox which focuses on easy to use, on the go products. I much prefer powder face products to gel, but this one is oil free so maybe I need to give it a try. It says it won’t clog pores or streak.

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Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing – This moisturizer can be used morning or night and I actually took it to Europe. It has a light smell and consistency. It is full of avocado and olive oils to nourish and hydrate the skin. I enjoyed the consistency and feel, but not enough to order the full size.

Overall not my favorite box but there were still some good things to try out!

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This wasn’t in my box but I thought I would share my thoughts. A friend recommended this product and was kind enough to let me have her sample and I loved it! This is the IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer and it is currently out of stock so other people must have liked it too! IPKN is a Korean beauty brand that I know because I have a lip product from Birchbox that I really like. This primer has a creamy rather than gel like consistency and has shimmer pearl powder in it. You might be thinking that sounds weird and I was skeptical too, but it just makes your skin glow! Even with makeup over it, it still has a shimmery effect to make your skin look amazing. It also has SPF 15 which you know I love! It’s on my wishlist when it comes back in stock.

I hope you have a fun Memorial Day – I’ll be hanging out with my family and seeing Alice In Wonderland Through The Looking Glass.

 

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!

 

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!

Birchbox Limited Edition Everyday Glamour

Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes have lately been hit or miss for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get this one but…I couldn’t resist. This one is actually still available too! It’s $48 dollars but make sure to use your points and a coupon code to get it for even less. Also add on a mystery sample pack to orders over $35!

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As usual the packaging is gorgeous! I love the purple and gold art deco theme. It would make a great gift that you don’t even need to wrap! I also like to save the boxes for future gifts.

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This is the included product card.

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NER:D Skin Repair Master Mask – I’ll be honest sheet masks kind of freak me out. I really dislike sitting there with this big thing on my face and then I can’t eat or drink with it on either. I did give this one a try though and it was fine. My skin felt a little more moisturized. After you take the mask off you are supposed to just rub in the excess and not rinse. This was hard for me because I naturally want to wash my face after a mask! There are a lot of good ingredients and benefits in this such as licorice root extract and aloe vera extract. These are also SUPER expensive at $18.66 a sheet! That’s another reason I don’t like sheet masks – they are one time use instead of a seemingly endless tube.

Cargo TexasLash Mascara – Woooo for repping Texas! This is supposed to add a lot of volume! As usual I haven’t opened it yet due to mascara backlog but I’m looking forward to it.

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Michael Todd Concentrated C Antioxidant Moisturizing Serum – This is supposed to be a pretty all natural brand but on Beautypedia they are not all that impressed with the ingredients. That aside this smells like lemons (all that vitamin C) and felt a little stinging on my face after use. I’ve only used it a few times so I have not noticed results. It did not break out my skin though. This really is a fruit packed product! It includes organic bilberry, orange, lemon, cranberry, red raspberry and wild blueberry extracts.

Stephanie Johnson Tinseltown Medium Gunmetal Flat Pouch – This is the second Stephanie Johnson product I have gotten in a limited edition box. Her designs are very pretty and we even sell some of them at Anthropologie. Generally they seem overpriced to me but that’s the beauty of getting them in a box! It’s not a huge pouch but I like the color and will use it to store a few samples. This exact one is not available on the Birchbox site.

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Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer – This is tied for my favorite box discovery! The nail polish by this brand has been all the hype recently and I had been wanting to try it. I didn’t expect much from the gloss but I really like it! The packaging feels very luxe with the gold accents. It smells like vanilla marshmallows (sort of like MAC Lipglass) which I love. It also feels very nice on – thick and not too sticky. The colors vary in boxes, and I got Life in Photographs which is a very light pink and adds just a little shine to my lips. I would love to try a darker color such as The Queen is Dead.

Caudalie Divine Oil – I have actually tried this before. It is a dry oil blend that you can use on face, hair and body. Oil is not something I use frequently, but I do like this one. It smells amazing! I just read you can also use it as a cuticle oil which I think is a great idea.

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Jouer Powder Eyeshadow – Obviously this brand is not new to me (I’ve been getting the Jouer sub box) but I have not tried their powder shadow yet. This is my other favorite item in the box! Shades vary and I am very happy with the one I got. I love trying out new shadows and this gold one called Caramel is great for everyday wear alone or mixing with other colors. It is super soft but does not flake and blends amazingly well. The packaging is great with a little mirror inside. I would love to try out other colors such as Pink Champagne or Toffee.

Ciate Paint Pot in Paparazzi – I think this is my first time trying out this brand. It was an average formula to me and the red was VERY dark – not the most exciting color to me. Obviously the packaging is cute with the little bow. It looks like this exact color is not available but there are many more online.

Overall this box was great with a value of almost $200! I love trying out a mix of new products at a discount! I also discovered two new favorites that I use very often. I am looking forward to trying new colors in both of those. Birchbox continues to impress me with their Limited Edition boxes which normally sell out quickly. I’m eagerly awaiting the next makeup one!

Fall Walmart Beauty Box

Walmart Beauty Box isn’t the most exciting box to get every quarter, but it’s only $5 and a good way to get some travel basics. They base each box on the age you put when signing up – sometimes I get a few of the same things as my mom and sometimes she gets a completely different box. I actually never even shop at Walmart (I prefer Target), but it lets me try out a few new things now and then.

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Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes – I’m not a huge fan of cleansing wipes – I feel like they never get everything off and I should still be washing with water. They can be good if you’re traveling, too tired, or want to get some eye makeup off though.

Aussie Mega Hairspray – I really disliked the scent of this hairspray, so much so that it gave me a headache throughout the day. I haven’t smelled or used anything by this brand probably since high school and now I remember why. This is not a brand I would ever buy or use.

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Schick Hydro Silk Disposable Razor – Wow this is a great full size product to get in a box! Razor heads can get expensive so this is really good to have on hand.

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara – I haven’t tried this one out yet but if I never had to buy another mascara again I wouldn’t be sad. Mascara is a sub box staple!

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 – I love the high SPF in this and it is lightweight. A solid daily moisturizer (although not very exciting). It is white and slightly smells like sunscreen but that is not an issue for me.

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Dove Advance Care Deodorant – This is not my preferred brand but it is nice to have a travel size.

ACT Advanced Care Mouthwash – Mouthwash is not something I use on a daily basis but maybe I’ll work it in before date night or going to the dentist!

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As usual there are several coupons and foil packet samples including Crest, Nivea, Biore and Jergens. I think the razor was the best product in the box. I don’t love this subscription but for $5 I guess I will continue in hopes that one day I’ll get something I really like.

October Play! by Sephora

This is my very first Play by Sephora box and it is amazing! The theme was skincare which I love to try out. I’m very impressed with the amount of samples and the quality for only $10. The packaging was also very nice.

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They included a very nice booklet spotlighting each product with tips on how to use them.

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Sephora Pearl Mask -This is a full size item and a nice inclusion. I’ve only used one sheet mask before and it wasn’t my favorite experience but I’ll still give this one a try. According to the website the pearl version ” Perfects and brightens with natural-origin pearl to create high luminosity. “

Fresh Black Tea Toner – I love the Fresh brand for their lip products but I haven’t tried any face products. I love the packaging first off – the bottle is so cute and made of glass. This feels really nice going on my skin. This is supposed “to provide 24 hours of moisture and significant protection from environmental stressors while evening skintone and refining skin texture. ” I like that it has interesting ingredients such as black tea, blackberry leaf extract, rosewater, and lychee seed extract. It’s very expensive at $48 a bottle – twice what I would normally pay. So it was fun to try but I will not be purchasing.

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Atelier Cologne Collection Azur Mandarine Glaciale – This is a citrusy fresh fragrance with notes of mandarin, ginger and veviter. Apparently this scent is exclusive to Sephora. I’ve read that all the scents by this brand are unisex…so unfortunately this scent is not for me. I like more flowery smells.

belief The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – This is a Korean made product which is very popular in beauty circles right now. It is sort of gel like and absorbs very well with no fragrance. I picked up this interesting info from the website “This dermatologist tested product is free of mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, and fragrances, and animal origin ingredients. The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb was the number one selling product in Korea’s highly competitive selective beauty market across all categories. “

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Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Day Tint SPF 15 – Dr. Jart+ is one of the more well known Korean skin care brands and I have used a few of their products before, but not this one. This is a multitasking products that tones, moisturizes, and provides blemish coverage. You can use it alone or under BB cream. It only comes in one color and it is too dark for me. I don’t see this need for this under my current makeup. In case you’re wondering what Ceramides are “Ceramides are essential lipids found in the surface layer of the skin that help maintain the integrity of the skin and retain moisture.”

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boscia Detoxifyinh Black Cleanser – This is a gel cleanser that warms on contact and is black! It de-clogs pores, and dissolves oil and makeup. I think it’s a solid cleanser!

boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal – This is an accompanying product to use with the cleanser. It’s hard to tell from the description but I don’t think you would use this on it’s own – only with a cleanser. You wet is and scrub it around and it is supposed to help with exfoliation and drawing out impurities. I found this sample to be a little too small to use easily. It also seems like something I don’t need. It was fun to try though.

Overall this was a great first box and I can’t wait to see more from Sephora. I just wish you earned Beauty Insider points for subscribing to these.

October Target Beauty Box

Target I don’t know how you do it. This box was chocked FULL of products (three full size) for only $10! I’ve said it before but I wish Target would just turn this into a subscription so I don’t have to pay attention to when these go on sale – they sell out FAST!

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Goody Ouchless Silicone Lined Hair Elastics – I can never have enough elastics and I like the fun colors of these. The silicone is also different and makes them really grip my hair.

Olly Undeniable Beauty Vitamin Gummies – These have Biotin, Vitamins C & E and Borage Oil to strengthen hair, skin and nails. They tasted good, like grapefruit. I decided to try out some others by this brand because I was almost out of multi vitamins. I ordered the Perfect Women’s Multi in citrus, the Perfect Men’s Multi in blackberry, and Purely Probiotic gummies in tropical mango. Both the multi gummies have a very strong vitamin smell (my husband said like Advocare if you have used that). The flavor was alright for the citrus, but it does leave a vitamin aftertaste in my mouth. These are on the expensive side and I don’t love the smell or taste so I don’t think I’ll be buying these again.

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Covergirl Intensify Me Liquid Liner in Black – Liquid liners have been in several of my boxes recently…and I’m OK with that! This is interesting because depending on how you hold it you can get a thin or thick line. Love a full size item!

Hello Spearmint Toothpaste – On the card and online it said we would be getting mojito and I was excited to try that because I like flavored toothpastes. But oh well I will still use this for traveling. They have a few other interesting flavors I would like to try out.

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S.W. Basics Certified Organic Face Scrub– This is different than other body scrubs because it comes as a powder and you mix it with water. This is an all organic slightly pricey brand that I have not tried before. It is made with only three ingredients: oat flour, almond flour and sea salt. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m looking forward to it.

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil + Stem Cell Repair Triple Repair Shampoo and Conditioner – I have tried a few face products by this brand but not hair products yet. I’m sure I will love these – they are free of sulfates and safe for color treated hair. Yay!

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skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter – This is fragrance free and very rich buter made of natural ingredients. Not too exciting but good for winter skin.

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ROC Retinol Complexion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream – This product is worth $20! This got slightly low ratings on Beautypedia because it is pretty standard moisturizer with a low amount of retinol and Vitamin C. On the Target website it said you should see results after 12 weeks. It’s nice that they included a high value full size product, but this is something I don’t need right now and will gift to my mom.

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Wardrobe – This was the standout winner of the box for me! I have worn it several times and gotten multiple compliments on it. It is a very different effect – it goes on smooth like a balm or regular lipstick and after about 10 minutes it dries completely and does not budge (even when kissing my husband!). This is a major win for me so I don’t have to reapply. The color is a gorgeous purple pink which is something I don’t really have and such a fall color. This is my second lipstick from Revlon in a Target box and I love them!

Overall this was an amazing box with a great value! All products I will use or gift and the lipstick was a standout winner!