Play! by Sephora – The Minimalists

Throwing it back to June’s Play! box, which was the last that I received from this subscription.

What’s inside:

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bareMinerals BareSkin Bronzer – This liquid bronzer can be used on the face or body. Very easy to blend on its own or mixed in with foundation or body lotion. It was still a bit wet and wasn’t blended in entirely on the swatch, but the color looks promising. I have yet to actually use it on my face.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter – The fact that it contains shimmer makes me a tad hesitant to actually use it. Might not be too bad if it’s a small amount. According to the product description in the box’s insert, this adds a “soft-focus filter” which blurs imperfections and add a luminous glow.

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Swatches of bareSkin Bronzer and Backlight Priming Filter.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara – I’ve received samples of this a few times in the past and used it occasionally. The formula is a bit wet compared to other mascaras I’ve tried. This one however gets a bit smudgy on me after a few hours. I’ll be passing this along to my mom.

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It – This leave-in cream supposedly adds volume to fine-to-medium hair. Just apply to towel dried hair and let air dry. The smell of this is awesome, but I didn’t see a very significant result once my hair fully dried.

Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion – My favorite product from this box! There’s always a year-round need for SPF, plus the mini size is perfect to take on trips. I’ve tested it out prior to one I’m going on next month. No irritation and the texture is light.

Tocca Beauty Florence – Upon first smelling this, I had assumed it had jasmine in it. Nope. It’s actually a blend of bergamot, violet petals, and blonde wood. I found myself sniffing my wrist numerous times during the day. I’m not always a fan of floral fragrances, but this is pretty subtle if I don’t over apply and won’t give me a headache.

I decided to discontinue this subscription mainly because I would rather purchase full sized items that I’d actually need rather than receive small bunches of deluxe samples and most likely not use everything I get. The price for the subscription, however, is great ($10 USD with free shipping to select states), and it includes products from brands I’m more familiar with since I shop at Sephora often. Visit the Play! site here to check out what they’ve included in past boxes, and to sign up for their wait list if you’re interested in subscribing.

December ipsy Bag – Thinking of You (Updated with Reviews)

My last ipsy bag for this year arrived earlier this week.  Loved that it came in a simple black bag (my favorite color), which I will more than likely use later.

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The following are what was inside the bag I received (from L-R):

  •  Bumble and bumble Repair Blow Dry
  • Cailyn Cosmetics Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid
  • Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream
  • NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in Parfait
  • Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara

*Update*

Here are my thoughts on this month’s products. The Bumble and bumble Repair Blow Dry will be excluded. I rarely use heat styling tools, so I have yet to use it.

  • Cailyn Cosmetics Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid – I used this all over my lids. It has a bit of shimmer, but the mineral powder formula can be layered depending on the intensity you want. The shade (a light pink/purple) can also be used as a highlighter on the brow bone area. Just make sure to use a primer before applying. I have a feeling it’s very likely to crease without it.
  • Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream – This feels a little thicker than other eye creams I’ve previously used, so I mainly use it at night. So far it’s kept my under eye area moisturized with no irritation. I’ll continue to use it until I’ve finished the tube.
  • NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in Parfait – I’ve had a so-so experience with the NYX products I’ve received in my ipsy bags. Although sheer, this came out nearly as pink as its packaging. I managed to tone it down a bit by layering a slightly darker gloss over it. I probably would have had a more positive review if I had received either the nude or mauve color instead (I’m a sucker for neutrals).
  • Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara – A friend had said good things about this mascara a while back. Even better considering that said friend has quite an extensive collection of the stuff. So obviously I was excited to get this. Wore it twice: while running errands and to a holiday party. The brush did a great job of separating my lashes, and it didn’t flake or smear. Not something I’d expect from a non-waterproof mascara. Needless to say, I was impressed. This one easily made its way to one of my top picks for a mid to high end priced mascara.

Overall, I liked 3 out of 5 items in this ipsy bag, the best being the mascara. I can only hope that the ones they roll out next year will be even better. Fingers crossed!