Play! by Sephora: March Review

Monthly subscription boxes are the hottest new trend to treat yo’ self. In addition to just the pure excitement of receiving mail, there’s also the aspect of literally opening a package of surprises catered to your tastes. The idea of sending deluxe beauty/cosmetic samples for a low monthly fee, first came from Birchbox in 2010 and was later revolutionized by ipsy. Sephora hopped on this train at the end of 2015 and was apparently so well received that they have a wait list at times to subscribe to the box. Being thrifty, I’ve always been skeptical that the samples you receive in these monthly boxes will actually be valued for the $10 price, or that the samples will simply be disappointing. However, I felt compelled to try Play! by Sephora since I regularly shop at Sephora and am a fan of their brands which are more high-end than drugstore names, like Kat Von D Cosmetics, tarte, Make Up Forever, Anastasia Beverly Hills and so on.  

I received my first box the other day, so let’s take a look at what’s inside!

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March’s box focused on all things glowing, gleaming, and bright. Having glimmering cheeks like the sparkling light blue waters of a tropical beach is the latest trend. Everyone on Instagram has been sporting shimmering highlighted faces in the sun.

The samples were neatly packed in cute ribbon tie pouch that reads, “Glow Your Own Way”.

The items are:

  • A card for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with purchase (this is standard with every box)
  • GlamGlow- Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow- This is a two in one moisturizer that doubles as a highlighter. It’s creamy, sparkly, and smells super sweet like a dessert yogurt drink!
  • Benefit Cosmetic- Watt’s Up!– This is a highlighter stick that glides on smoothly and provides a more natural shine. Benefit Cosmetic’s products are of really good quality, but I’ve personally received the same Watt’s Up sample so many times I couldn’t be excited for it. Despite all the times I had it, I’ve actually only gotten close to buying the full size. Still didn’t do it though. I think for me, the pigment isn’t dramatic enough for the price.
  • Algenist- REVEAL Concentrated Luminizing Drops in Pearl- This sample was the one I was most excited for! They are pure concentrated liquid drops of a creamy white pearl highlighter. You squeeze them out in a eyedropper bottle and it looks like a tiny gleaming pearl falls onto your skin. This color is more of a brighter white-cream shade than the other samples, but is so vibrant and pigmented.
  • Make Up Forever- Artist Shadow in I-544– I wasn’t excited when I saw this but it grew on me. It’s an eyeshadow that looks like a very dark bronze to the eye, but when applied it actually has very subtle whispers of pink. They call it a “pink granite” color but to me it’s more of a bronze gold dust with very slight hints of pink which results in a dusty purple. I have applied it in the picture below. 
  • Living Proof- Full Dry Volume Blast– Travel sized spray can to provide hair some life with volume and texture! I haven’t tried this yet but I’ve heard great things about Living Proof.
  • Atelier Cologne- Clementine California– There’s a post card and tiny cologne sample that’s more for smelling than actual use. It’s a very heavy citrus aroma with floral tones. I think they were going for a sunny Californian day, which I can totally imagine. It reminds me of a countryside highway besides an orange farm and a field of poppies!
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I’m wearing the Make Up Forever & Algenist samples!

My verdict? The box was definitely worth $10 and the products were carefully and thoughtfully  picked! I’m excited to receive April’s box which I hope is a beautiful Spring themed box.

On Fleek: Anastasia Beverley Hills Eyebrows Review

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(Photo Source: Anastasia Beverley Hills Facebook)

Full, defined, arched eyebrows are the hottest look. It would be nearly impossible to scroll through five photos on your Insta feed without seeing a perfectly thick curved eyebrow perched over a winged cat eye staring at you.

Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) is a well known beauty brand that makes a wide array of eyebrow products. When I first decided to venture into the world of groomed eyebrows, I browsed the ABH aisle at Sephora. I’ve tried a few different ABH products throughout the years, and found some treasures that my brows are thankful for, and some that I can do without. I know how great it is to have your makeup slay for the day, but, I also know what it’s like to live on a budget. So, I’m gonna highlight some ABH eyebrow cosmetics that I absolutely recommend and some that I think be replaced with a cheaper alternative!

Yas List:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – $21.00

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(Photo Source: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

This thing is slim and tiny, which may make some people question its worth, but trust me, it’s the perfect tool! Imagine you’re an artist and you need to paint teeny small strokes on your canvas. Well, the canvas is your brows! This little number allows you to define your brows very carefully and the color is nice and pigmented.

Anastasia Beverley Hills DIPBROW Pomade – $18.00

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(Photo Source: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

I do not use the term holy grail lightly, so believe me, this product is the holy grail of eyebrows. This stuff can shape, fill, define– its a one woman team! All you need is an angled brush (I just use one I picked up at Target) and the possibilities are endless. Also, mine has lasted me MONTHS. If you’re afraid it’ll come out too dark, just pick up a spooly and brush it out.

Ditch This, Try That:

Clear Brow Gel – $22.00

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(Photo Source: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

Of course brows wouldn’t be complete without holding them in place with a clear gel. ABH makes a clear brow gel for $22– which is a little, or a lot, steep.

Alternative:

Mialni Brow Shaping Clear Gel – $4.99

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(Photo Source: Milani Cosmetics)

You don’t need to use a lot of brow gel to hold them in place, so I suggest Milani’s Brow Shaping Clear Gel that works just as well– and is a steal for $5!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Definer – $23.00

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(Photo Source: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

I was unfortunately unimpressed by this product. The packaging is a really cute pink shiny box which drew me in, along with this promise of an innovative triangle tip. However, the triangle tip didn’t do anything for me. If anything, it was harder to use than the Brow Wiz. Also, this may just be me and my super strength but the triangle tip kept breaking off and I ended up wasting a lot of product.

Alternative:

Etude House Drawing Eye Brow Duo – $10.40

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(Photo Source: Amazon.com)

Korean beauty brands are all the rage now, with Etude House being one of the most well-known. Their Drawing Eye Brow Duo also features an edged tip with a spooly to blend for almost half the price!