Sephora Play vs Allure Beauty Box: October Unboxing 2018 [Update Below]
Sephora Play vs Allure Beauty Box: September Unboxing 2018
Signing up for monthly subscription boxes is a great way to make it feel like Christmas every single day of the year! Sephora Play and the Allure Beauty Box are two of the most popular subscription boxes available in the beauty subscription box world.
Sephora Play is a $10 a month beauty subscription box that sends out 5-6 samples in every box, with a mixture of makeup, beauty, skincare, hair care, and a scented/perfume sample. Allure Beauty box is a $15 a month beauty subscription box that sends out 5-6 samples in every box, with a mixture of makeup, beauty, skin care, hair care, and nail care.
All of the samples that come in the Sephora Play box all come from luxury brands that you can buy inside of Sephora. All of the products you get inside of your Sephora Play box are always sample size. Allure sends out both full-sized products and sample sized products, promising to deliver over a $50 value in every box. I haven’t seen anything about Sephora promising to deliver a minimum value in every box, but I’ve always at least gotten my $10 worth in every box.
So, today we’re going to talk about which was the better box for September: Allure or Sephora Play?
In today’s comparison Sephora Play vs Allure Beauty Box, we’re going to look at:
- The value of each box
- The variety of each box
- The types of products in each box
- The size of the products in each box
Who do you think is going to win for the month of September?
What it is: Sephora Play
How much it is: $10 a month
Total September value: $46.59
What I got in my September Sephora Play box:
- Ole Henriksen Truth Serum- $10.59
- Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer- $12.51
- Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer- $4.03
- Sephora Collection LashCraft Big Volume Mascara in Black- $5.73
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Boy Gorgeous- $12.50
- Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose Eau de Toilette- $1.23
First item: Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose Eau de Toilette
Sample value: $1.23
For the last couple of months, I haven’t gotten any sort of perfume sample in my Sephora Play boxes. I’ve really missed getting the perfume samples in my Sephora Play boxes because I do love experimenting with different perfumes and how they react to my body chemistry.
The scent of this perfume is very floral and almost powdery smelling, with a blend of:
Top notes: Rose Absolute, Dewy Peony
Middle notes: Lychee, Jasmine Petal
Base notes: Pink Musk
Fragrance family: Floral
This isn’t the best smelling perfume sample that I’ve ever received in my Sephora Play box (my all-time favorite was Pop by Stella McCartney) because I’m not a huge fan of floral perfumes.
But on the bright side, it made me really happy to see a perfume sample in my September Sephora Play! I really hope they get back to doing the perfume samples because I feel that you get a larger value out of each box rather than scented hair wipes (yes, I really got that in my Sephora Play box). I’m also really excited to see that this perfume sample is from a rather popular brand, which I mainly recognize for their bath products1
I know that perfume samples are expensive, but I feel that receiving perfume samples in my Sephora Play box is one of the biggest factors that sets this beauty subscription box away from Ipsy or Birchbox.
Second item: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer
Sample value: $4.03
I absolutely love the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer and what it does for my skin. I honestly do my best to not fall into the overhyping of beauty products, so it did take me a little while to come around to trying the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer. However, it’s now one of my favorite go-to primers for when my skin is looking dull, tired, or is feeling a little dry.
This also isn’t one of those primers that you have to do a side by side comparison to the primer that you use every day in order to notice any small differences. While this didn’t really help to cover or shrink my pores, I did immediately notice a difference in my skin when I put the primer on.
My skin instantly looked refreshed, more hydrated, and didn’t feel as dry. Don’t let that you make you think that this primer is greasy, as it is no means oily feeling or greasy feeling on my skin. It’s very hydrating, but my favorite part of this primer is how it instantly makes my skin look more awake and refreshed.
I was surprised to see a Too Faced sample in my September Sephora Play box because I have never received a sample from Too Faced in any of my Sephora Play boxes- ever. I’m so glad that other people are going to get the opportunity to try out this primer, as it’s a really nice primer that will work exceptionally well for people with dry skin.
Now, here’s the thing- I don’t have dry skin. My skin is extremely oily and I’m always looking for primers that are pore filling, smoothing, or mattifying. When you sign up for Sephora Play, you fill out a beauty profile (just as you do with Ipsy and Birchbox). I marked in my profile that I have oily skin, so I don’t really feel like Sephora sent this sample out because it matched with my profile.
I’m not upset that it doesn’t match my profile because this is a primer that I already know that I love (when my skin is thirsty), but I definitely am questioning whether they even match the beauty samples that they give out to the beauty profiles that we fill out.
Here I have a picture of the primer swatched on my hand and as you can see, once it’s all smoothed out, it’s a clear primer. This means that this primer isn’t going to fight against any discoloration on your skin, which may mean that you have to mix your primers if you’re looking to hide redness in your skin, dark marks, or any other discoloration, as this primer isn’t going to do that for you.
Third sample: Sephora Collection LashCraft Big Volume Mascara in Black
Sample value: $5.73
A mascara in my September Sephora Play, yay! High-end mascaras can be really expensive (even though the full sized of the Sephora Collection LashCraft Big Volume Mascara is only $14), so having the opportunity to try them out can help to save you from a splurge that isn’t worth it!
This mascara gave me the same problem that I had with the original LashCraft mascara formula; it takes a really long time to try so I often accidentally smudge it or it will get on top of my eyeshadow. If you like wearing mascara underneath of your false eyelashes, I would highly recommend choosing a different mascara to wear underneath of your lashes. The formula just takes too long to dry and moves too easily for it to be worth wearing underneath of your lashes.
On the other hand, if you don’t really wear false lashes too often, this isn’t a horrible. As you can see, the applicator has a very similar shape and appearance to the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara. Both of these mascaras have the hourglass-shaped applicator to provide your lashes with an increase in volume.
I’m really glad that I received this mascara in my Sephora Play, because I totally would have spent the full $14 on this product when I saw it on my next Sephora trip. But, after this trying this sample, it’s not really worth the money. I don’t feel like it really gave my lashes a whole lot of volume or anything that would make me want to go out of my way to add the full size of this mascara to my collection.
Fourth sample: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
Sample value: $10.59
The first three items that I pulled out of my September Sephora Play box were really exciting and were from brands that I immediately recognized, so at this point of this box I expected things to start going downhill from there.
But, I was wrong (thanks, Sephora)!
I know skincare is incredibly expensive, but even more so when you’re purchasing a skin care product from a luxury brand; the full-sized Truth Serum from Ole Henriksen is $72 for 1.7 ounces!
I’ve only been using this product for three days now, but I haven’t really noticed any huge differences in my skin or in the texture of my face. Basically, this serum is supposed to firm your skin (the collagen) and the Vitamin C in this serum is used to help re-energize your skin. While I haven’t noticed any changes in my skin, I do know that it can take up to 30 days to start seeing any differences in your skin when using a new skin care product. The most important thing is that you’re staying consistent, even if you don’t see any changes at first!
I do have to say that this formula takes a little while to absorb and feels almost like a gel moisturizer. It has an absolutely amazing citrus smell, which was really a pleasant discovery!
Fifth sample: Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer
Sample value: $12.51
I was really surprised when I pulled this Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer out of my box, for three reasons:
- Two skin care samples that aren’t face washes/scrubs isn’t a rare find
- I didn’t know Boscia was a luxury brand
- I know serums are expensive, so I would have assumed that Sephora would cheap me out and not send me another pricey product. But what actually happened is I got both an expensive serum and a pricey moisturizer too!
I always assumed that Boscia was a brand that was comparable to Aveno or another drugstore skin care brand. I know I’ve seen their products a couple of times at Ulta, but they weren’t really anything that I needed to buy, so I always just stayed away from the brand. Nothing against the brand, but I just thought they sold body lotions and that was it.
Sephora Play expanded my skin care knowledge because I learned that Boscia isn’t a drugstore brand and has a much higher price point than Aveno.
I really don’t like using scented moisturizers, because typically the perfume that they use in the creation of the moisturizer smells medicinal or it’s just scented too strong and I can’t really breathe. This cactus water moisturizer doesn’t have a scent (or if it does, it’s hardly noticeable).
I absolutely love the mint green packaging of this moisturizer, as it really stands out against all of the other white moisturizer jars that I have in my collection!
This Cactus water does have a little bit of a green tint to it, but that completely goes away once you smooth it out over your arm. The texture of this moisturizer is stiff like a gel but smooth and light enough to feel like water.
I don’t feel like this is the most moisturizing moisturizer that I have ever used in my entire life, but I do feel like it’s light enough for me to be able to use on my oily skin first thing in the morning. I personally feel like this would have been a great moisturizer to use during the summer time, as it’s lightweight and isn’t greasy.
It doesn’t make my skin feel greasy, weighed-down, and my makeup doesn’t slip right off of my skin after I apply my moisturizer. It does absorb rather quickly, but I wouldn’t recommend this product if you are someone who has skin that is in desperate need of deep hydration.
Sixth sample: Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Boy Gorgeous
Sample value: $12.50
No, you’re not dreaming! I really got a Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème lipstick in my Sephora Play box!
I always say that I feel that there are two different tiers (and price tags) to luxury beauty- we’ve got the bottom tier that has like Too Faced, Tarte, Lorac, Benefit Cosmetics, Cover FX, MAC, and a few other brands. But above that tier, there are brands like Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Dior, and DOLCE&GABBANA that are the in that top tier of luxury makeup.
This is the second product from Marc Jacobs that I’ve received in my Sephora Play box, as just a few months ago I received a mascara from Marc Jacobs. I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about lipstick from Marc Jacobs, but never really had the guts to drop $30 on a lipstick that I wasn’t sure if I was going to like or not (especially with the new refund policies the Sephora have).
Before I uncapped my lipstick tube, I was a bit nervous that I wasn’t going to really love the color that Sephora sent out. A little while ago, I used to feel that Sephora would only send out lipstick shades that weren’t selling very well in their Play boxes. These colors fit better into the category of Instagram makeup but weren’t really something that you could wear to the office or maybe wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing out on a date.
However, over the last couple of Sephora Play boxes that I received, the colors of the lipsticks that I have received are so much more flattering and wearable. However, the color that I have in my Sephora Play box, ‘Boy Gorgeous’ is absolutely GORGEOUS!
This shade is totally wearable for your 9-5, your Friday night date, your fall photo shoot for Instagram, and whatever else you want to wear makeup for. I am so absolutely in love with the berry shade of this lipstick, it’s literally my dream fall color. I love wearing purples and reds when the leaves start turning colors and I honestly think that this lipstick is the perfect combination of purple and red! Look how stunning it is!
But I mean, sure a lipstick can be pretty to look at. But that literally won’t mean anything if the formula won’t stay, if it transfers easily, if it’s drying, or if the application of the formula is splotchy.
My old go-to lipstick for a vampy fall look was from Makeup Forever, but I really didn’t like that lipstick because the formula was splotchy and it was really drying. Boy Gorgeous is now my go-to fall lip color, but for more reason than just how stunning the shade it!
When I applied this lipstick without any lip primer or lip liner, I didn’t have problems with this formula bleeding outside of lips. I didn’t get that ‘irritated mouth’ look that happens a lot when I wear red lipsticks without lip liner, as this formula literally stayed right where I put it.
The more than I drank and sipped on my straw, the less I saw the pigmentation transferring onto other objects. But when I checked in the mirror to see if I had lipstick chin or if I was needing a touchup, I still had really amazing pigmentation on my lips. I did have to touch this lipstick up twice throughout the day, but I didn’t have to do a full application after I ate. The formula was creamy and wasn’t drying, went on seamlessly, and was honestly such a dream to wear.
If you can get your hands on a sample of Boy Gorgeous, please go treat yourself with this lipstick! Now, this isn’t a kiss-proof lipstick. There was definitely a lot of transfer onto my straws, my coffee cup, and the back of my hand when I kissed it a few minutes after I applied the lipstick (this was to test the kiss-proof-ness of the formula).
Final thoughts of the September Sephora Play box
When I added up the estimated total value of all of the samples in the September Sephora Play box, I was honestly surprised to see that this was one of cheaper boxes that I had received from Sephora Play. I mean, the last box that I got from Sephora Play had around an estimated $70 value but the value of my September Sephora Play box doesn’t even fit $50.
I think it’s kind of ironic because this is one of the absolute best boxes from Sephora Play that I’ve ever received. The only product in this box that I wasn’t completely in love with was my perfume sample, but I’m so excited that I even got a perfume sample that I’m not even upset about not getting a scent that I like (what can I say, I really miss their perfume samples).
The only brand that I wasn’t super familiar with was Boscia, but all of the other brands that I got in my Sephora Play were brands that I’m very familiar with. I got two skincare samples that didn’t face masks or face washes, which I’m so happy about! I love trying out new moisturizers, but I’ve always wanted to try a cactus moisturizer and now I don’t have to go out of my way to buy one! I also know that serums are very expensive, so it was really nice to see that Sephora put two pricey skincare items in my box and didn’t try to cheap me out with a face mask or a face wash.
The makeup samples are really amazing, we got skin prep, an eye product, and a lip product. The only complaint that I have to make is that I know the Too Faced Hangover primer does an amazing job with dry skin, but I have extremely oily skin and marked that problem down in my Sephora Beauty profile. I feel that by receiving this product, I’m almost convinced that Sephora doesn’t look at our beauty profiles. What do you think?
Now, let’s see what I got in my September Allure Beauty Box!
What it is: Allure Beauty Box
How much it is: $15 a month
Total September value: $70.75
What I got in my September Allure Beauty box:
MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo Lipstick (full size)- $18.50
Tarte Tarteist Pro Lash Adhesive in Clear (full size)- $9.00
Tarte Tartiest Pro Cruelty-Free Lashes- $12
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari BabyFacial- $24
IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel- $7.25
The Allure Beauty box is always shipped in a different container, so that when you open that container this famous red box is inside. The actual Allure Beauty box is a hard, sturdy cardboard box that is totally reusable. I personally use my boxes to hold old pictures, jewelry, and special edition makeup products that I don’t want to damage if I were to throw it in with my regular makeup.
Every Allure Beauty box has a small booklet/magazine that comes with the subscription. Inside of the magazine is a description of each product, tips on how to efficiently use the product, what the benefits of the product are, pricing of the full-sized product, coupon codes (if there are any), and where you can purchase the full-sized product.
Here is what the inside of my September Allure Beauty Box looked like when I first opened it up! I’m already seeing some brands that I recognize, so let’s see what I got!
First sample: Tarte Tarteist Pro Lash Adhesive in Clear (Full sized product)
Sample value: $9
The first thing that I pulled out of the September Allure Beauty box was the full-sized version of the Tarte Tarteist Pro Lash Adhesive. WHAT?! A lash glue in my subscription box?! Yes! I’ve never, ever received a lash glue in any of my subscription boxes before.
Even better, it’s from one of my favorite luxury brands!
Tarte is a cruelty-free and mostly vegan cosmetic company that creates products without parabens, mineral oil, or phthalates. I think it’s so exciting that I got lash glue from a luxury brand because I’ve always wanted to try a high-end lash glue.
At first, I thought that this lash glue was just a sample and that the full-sized product was a little bit bigger and much more expensive. Surprisingly, this lash glue is under $10 and this is the full-sized version of the product.
Now, I am a false lash girl. I almost feel naked leaving the house without any form of false lashes on, so I’m constantly looking for a really good lash glue. My biggest area of struggle when it comes to lash glue is having my inner corners stick. My inner corners are always popping off and making my lashes stick up. I really like that this lash glue had a brush applicator, as brush applicators make the entire process of putting on false lashes so much easier. The formula for this lash glue is a lot thinner and more watery than other formulas that I’ve tried from Kiss and Ardell.
The lash glue does have a pretty fast dry down time, so if you aren’t a master at putting on lashes and need to re-adjust a few times before they’re set perfectly on your eyes, I would recommend picking a different lash glue. However, if you’re pretty confident that you know your lash application well, this lash glue is absolutely amazing! I love how quickly it dries down because it gives me some time to battle against my lifting inner corners.
The formula itself for this lash glue is absolutely amazing and I don’t have to fix my lashes throughout the day, which is saying a whole lot about this glue! I have very greasy eyelids and even when I use an eyeshadow primer, the oil on my lids typically breaks down my lash glue. This glue held on my lids all day and I didn’t have to touch up one time!
Second sample: IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel
Sample value: $7.25
I have never in my life ever heard of oil gel, but I’m also not a girl that spends a whole lot of time on her hair. In the magazine that Allure gave to me, I read that this gel is supposed to be used to help to enhance your natural curls.
The smell of this cream-gel hybrid was very unique and classy smelling like I belonged in a high-end salon. Allure describes this scent as lemon zest and bergamot, and while I didn’t pick up on the bergamot, I definitely got the citrus scent that they were describing.
I used this in my hair without any other curling product (I normally use a curling mousse, curling spray, and a shine spray) and I really loved how touchable my hair felt. It didn’t feel tacky or sticky and it didn’t make my hair clumpy. I don’t blow dry my hair, so I let this air dry in my hair and my hair was probably the least frizzy looking when I used it than it has been in years.
Now, I’ve never heard of Rick Kid and I’ve also never heard of oil gel, so I don’t know if this product just worked for my hair because of the brand or if because my hair just loves oil gel, but I do know that this worked for me!
Just as an FYI in case you were looking to try this oil gel out for yourself, my hair profile is:
- Oily scalp, dry ends
- Damaged by harsh products and bleaching
Third sample: Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial
Sample value: $24
The Drunk Elephant is absolutely my favorite skincare brand and all of the products that I’ve ever tried from them have always done wonders for my skin. The first product I ever tried from this company was their T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Acid that I got in my Sephora Play and every month I always hope to get another sample of that product in my Sephora Play box.
However, the Allure Beauty editors blessed my box with a really large sample of the T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial. Now, the sample that I got in my Sephora Play had maybe 10 pumps worth of product in it (the Sephora Play sample was really small, about the size of my thumb).
This T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial is a really large size sample, considering the full-sized product is 1.69 ounces (my sample size is 0.5 ounces). I’ve included a picture of me holding this mask in my hands so you can get a better idea of the size of the bottle that I received.
Now, I do have a problem with something Allure says about this facial in their magazine. Allure describes this mask as a ‘creamy, fragrance-free peel’, which implies that in order for you to properly use this product, you need to mate for the formula to dry down so you can peel the mask off of your face. The way peel masks work is very similar to the way you peel the tape off of the back of a sticker and face peels typically have a sticky texture while you’re applying it to your face.
I’ve never tried out the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial and so I was expecting the texture of the formula to be sticky like glue. However, when I used this mask, I pumped out a yellow-brown formula that had the same consistency as a mud mask. I was confused on what was going on, because the texture didn’t feel right for a peel. After I applied the mask, I did some research on how I was actually supposed to take this mask off.
I looked up on Sephora.com (first place I could think of that the Drunk Elephant is sold at) and read that I was supposed to wash the mask off with warm water after I had let it sit on my face for 20 minutes. I also checked the back of the of the bottle for directions and I checked on the website for Drunk Elephant- all of these places said to wash off the mask after 20 minutes.
These directions fit the consistency of the mask a lot better, as it looked and felt very similar to the consistency of a mud mask.
I feel that by Allure Beauty Box using the word ‘peel’ to describe this mask is misleading and would maybe lead to frustration for some users of this mask who are expecting it to turn out as a ‘peel’.
This isn’t really that big of a deal because I know typos and misunderstandings happen all of the time, but I do feel like this is something that I should point out just in case you’re someone who is feeling like this mask isn’t going to work for you because it isn’t drying like a peel. Don’t worry, it’s not you! Just wash your face with warm water after 20 minutes of having the mask on.
Now, let’s get into talking about how my skin reacted with the use of this mask. Here are the problems that I have with my skin, in case you are looking to try this mask out for yourself:
- Hormonal acne prone
I was under the impression that the T.L.C stood for tender loving care, but it actually stands for Tartaric, Lactic, and Citric acids, which are all used in the formulation for this mask because of their ability to tighten pores and brighten skin. There is also salicylic acid and glycolic acid inside of this formula, but there aren’t any phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, and a few other harmful ingredients inside of this mask.
Before I put this mask on, I made sure to clean off all of my makeup, wash my face with warm water, and wash my hands (to kill off any bacteria and wash off any pore-clogging dirt). I applied this mask after my face had dried and for the first few seconds, after I had put this mask on, I was extremely concerned.
My skin experienced an extreme burning and tingling sensation that made me think that I was having an allergic reaction to the mask. That sensation only lasted for maybe a minute and quickly became only a slight tingling sensation. I felt this burning sensation most presently in the areas of my skin that were having the worst breakouts, which are on my chin and my left cheek.
The gentle tingling sensation that was left after the extreme burning was really nice and comforting feeling. While I was waiting for my timer to go off, I looked upon reviews on the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial to see if there were any other people who had experienced that sensation.
There were a lot of reviews on Sephora and the Drunk Elephant website that that talked about the same burning sensation that I experienced and how it went away after a short period of time. After seeing that other people also experienced it, I was comforted to know that I wasn’t having an allergic reaction and that this was just part of the experience of the mask.
Some people think that because of the 25% AHA and 2% BHA in the formula would cause the burning sensation that we all experienced, but I don’t know too much about science, so I don’t know whether or not to believe that this is why a good portion of people experienced that burning sensation.
The burning sensation wasn’t extremely painful, but I wasn’t expecting it at all and that’s why it bothered me a bit. There were no warning signs in the Allure booklet or on the bottle and I didn’t read any reviews of this product before I used it, so I totally wasn’t prepared for it. I just wanted to warn you and let you know to prepare yourself for a burning sensation that only lasts for a short period of time (a couple of seconds) if you are interested in trying this mask.
Next time I’ll be prepared for it; after seeing the amazing results that this mask gave my skin after the very first use, I will totally put up with a short period of a burning sensation!
I really truly struggle with large pores, pockmark scars, skin discoloration, hormonal acne, oily skin, skin redness, and acne scarring and have never found a product that gave me the drastic differences that the Drunk Elephant gave me after my first round of the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial.
The redness in my skin was drastically reduced and my pores looked so much smaller, even on the worst parts of my face. I don’t feel like this did anything to reduce the size or pain of my cystic hormonal acne, but I do feel like I noticed a drastic difference in the redness of those problem areas. My skin looked so much healthier and I even had a bit of glow going on!
While the full-sized version of the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial may be $80, I will be more than happy to shell that type of money out after having the opportunity to try this sample. Thank you so much to the editors of Allure for putting this life-changing skincare product in my September box.
Fourth sample: Tarte Tarteist Pro Lashes
Sample value: $12
I squealed when I pulled these lashes out of my Allure Beauty Box! Getting false lashes in my subscription boxes is absolutely the best thing that I think you can get in a box, besides eyeshadow palettes.
These eyelashes are from Tarte Cosmetics and pair with the lash glue they also sent in our box! I’ve never had a subscription box pair up products like this; for example, I’ve never received lipstick and a lip liner in a box, eyeshadow sample and eyeshadow primer, or primer and a BB sample. I’ve received false lashes in subscription boxes plenty of times, but I have never also received lash glue!
You can never go wrong with false lashes!
Fifth sample: MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo
Sample value: $18.50 (full-sized product)
Allure actually sent me a full-sized MAC lipstick in one of their most famous shades, Ruby Woo. My heart was already won over after I saw that I got the Drunk Elephant in my box, but I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I was to see that I got a full-sized lipstick from MAC in my box. Like, am I dreaming?
I’ve never tried the Retro Matte formula, but I really do love using MAC lipsticks because I love how creamy the formulas are.
Now, I have to say that I am disappointed in the Retro Matte formula. Ruby Woo is one of the most popular lipstick shades from MAC because of the blue undertones this lipstick has; the blue undertones in this red lipstick helps to make your teeth appear whiter and brighter. Red lipstick typically has the tendency to make your teeth look stained and dull, but the blue undertones in the Ruby Woo lipstick fight against that.
The Retro Matte formula didn’t work for me the way the creamy lipsticks from MAC do. The Retro Matte lipstick was very, very, very dry feeling on my lips. It made my lips feel so dry that I ended up having to do a rescue hydrating mask on my lips after I took this lipstick off for the day.
I also found that this formula transferred very easy and didn’t have any staying power on my lips. The way the rest of my MAC lipsticks work is one I get the excess lipstick off of my lips, the color will stay on my lips for the rest of the day and I have very minimal transfer. I don’t ever have to touch up my creamy MAC formulas throughout the day, as they really stay on my lips (without any primers or lip liner) all day.
This Retro Matte formula was basically the complete opposite. I applied this lipstick on my lips and I found that the color bled, so I took it off and used a lip liner with the lipstick to avoid the bleeding.
Even just sipping my water through a straw left me with lipstick on my chin. The color was really hard to remove off of my pale skin, so I was left with an irritated-looking mouth (it’s not a cute look). I constantly had to touch this lipstick up, which left my lips feeling even drier. It was just an uphill battle with this lipstick, which was really disappointing because I would expect the formula to be better since it’s coming from MAC.
However, the color was absolutely beautiful! I did really love the Ruby Woo shade and will be buying it in one of MAC’s creamy formulas.
I’m not mad that I received this in a box, because I totally would have bought the Retro Matte formula. I didn’t know that MAC had the Retro Matte line, so I would’ve eventually gotten around to buying the Retro Matte Ruby Woo lipstick. I’m so glad that I didn’t because I’m really unhappy with this formula and won’t be buying any more lipsticks from the Retro Matte line.
Even though I wasn’t in love with this lipstick, I still got a full-sized MAC lipstick in my box. It’s like every girl’s dream come true and I’ll totally find a way to get this formula to work for me.
Final thoughts of the September Allure Beauty Box
So I got three full-sized products in my September Allure Beauty box (MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo lipstick, Tarte Tarteist Pro Lashes, Tarte Tarteist Pro Lash Adhesive) and two sample sized products. I received a hair care sample from a brand that I’ve never heard of and a product that I’ve never heard of, which is giving me exposure to new types of products!
The other four samples that I received were from brands that I know and love (granted two of those samples came from the same company). I received a skin care product, a hair care product, two eye products, and a lip product.
There isn’t anything in my box that I absolutely hate or that I’m disappointed that I got. I am disappointed in the formula of the MAC Retro Matte lipstick, but I’m literally so impressed that I got a full-sized MAC lipstick in my box!
Who won: Allure Beauty Box or Sephora Play?
This is honestly a really hard choice, so let’s just take a second to break down our values.
Sephora Play cost: $10
September Sephora Play value: $46.59
Allure Beauty Box cost: $15
September Allure Beauty Box value: $70.75
While the Allure Beauty Box is $5 more than the Sephora Play box, I did get a much larger value out of my Allure than I did my Sephora Play. This alone may be the deciding factor for many of you, but I always pick the winner based on what I’m most excited about. At the end of the day, these boxes are meant to bring you a value, but they’re more importantly meant to make you feel excited and happy!
In my personal opinion, the September Allure Beauty Box beat the September Sephora Play box, but it wasn’t too close from being a tie. There were several products in my September Allure Box that made me gasp out loud and brought the biggest smile to my face. Not only that, but I feel like my Allure Beauty box had a little bit of something to make all lovers of beauty get a little treat!
I do feel like both boxes did an incredible job of being well rounded, I have to say that the only reason that I didn’t call this a tie was because of the types of samples that Sephora sent me. As I mentioned earlier, I received products in my Sephora Play box that didn’t match with the beauty profile that I had filled out on Sephora at all.
I feel Allure sent out products that were more universal, whereas the samples that I received in my Sephora Play fit better with people of certain skin types. Again, this is the only reason that I didn’t call a tie!
I’m most excited about the Drunk Elephant sample because it really did transform my skin in such a small amount of time! I will be going out and purchasing the full-sized of the T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial once my sample runs out, which I never would have had the guts to try before Allure because of the price tag. It really worked for me and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to try it out!
Which box do you think won? Stay tuned for my updates monthly!!!
October Sephora Play vs Allure Beauty Box UPDATE
So, today we’re going to talk about which box was the better box for October: Allure or Sephora Play?
In today’s comparison, we’re going to look at:
- The value of each box
- The variety of each box
- The types of products in each box
- The size of the products in each box
Who do you think is going to win for the month of October?
October Allure Beauty Box
How much is it? $15 a month/ (Total value of the October Allure Beauty Box: $86.20)
What I got in my October Allure Beauty box:
- Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara in ‘Ultra Black’ – $8.84
- Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment – $17.50
- Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser- $10.80
- Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Matte Liquid Lip Stain- $18
- Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum- $16.60
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream- $6
- BKR Paris Water Balm- $8.46
This month’s box is really filled to the brim with products! There really isn’t much space for anything else in this box, so I’m excited to see everything that Allure put in our box this month because it looks like there’s a lot more than five items.
Allure sends out a little magazine in every box that goes over every product inside of the box, where you can purchase each product, any available coupon codes or sales going on in regard to that product or a brand, a description on why that product is inside of the box, and tips on how to properly use the product.
First product: Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser
Sample value: $10.80
The first product that I pulled out of my Allure Beauty Box was a cleanser from a brand that I’ve never even heard of before. I was nervous when I pulled this out, because a lot of subscription boxes send out face washes in their boxes as cheap filler. While I don’t always think that getting new face washes in a subscription box is a bad thing, I did get a glance at other skin care options in this box, so I was nervous that the overall quality of this box wasn’t going to be all that great.
As I’ve never heard of Sunday Riley before, I have never had the chance to try out their brand. I really enjoyed the faint, pleasant floral scent of the wash, as it is a wonderful scent to wake up to first thing in the morning. I personally have been using this wash first thing in the morning because the wash is infused with clay, which assists in drawing dirt and oil out of my pores. This gives me a clean, unclogged canvas to apply my makeup on. It also leaves my face feeling really soft, which I love!
Second product: Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
Sample value: $17.50
This sample may be small, but this exfoliating lactic acid peel is said to have worked magic on even the dullest of skin (maybe that’s why this sample is so expensive). The full-sized version of the Sunday Riley Good Genes is worth $105, so you are getting a decent amount of product in this sample. I’ve been able to use this peel four times so far (only as a spot treatment, not my entire face) and I still have enough left over for a few more rounds.
I love this lactic acid peel! It did make my face tingle and burn, just as the Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial did, but it wasn’t nearly as painful. I did notice a huge difference in the appearance of redness in my skin after I took this peel off, but I also did notice that my skin was a lot more glowy looking in the spots that I did use this peel. I’m sad that the full-sized product is so expensive because this peel really made my skin look wonderful.
Third product: Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum
Sample value: $16.60
You can see that the skin care sample listed above is a lot more expensive, especially considering the sizing of the two different products. When I pulled off the protective seal off of this serum, the scent of fresh basil was very prevalent (which totally caught me off-guard), but I really love the scent of it!
Allure sent us this skincare sample to help balance out combination skin, while also to help shrink the appearance of pore size and to help clear up flakiness. I read in the magazine that Allure included in this box that they recommend using this serum underneath of a makeup application since it’s so lightweight and hydrating. I have actually just used this serum at night and I really love the gel-like texture, as it’s very hydrating feeling on my skin. I’ve focused this serum on my T-zone area and while I haven’t noticed any difference in the appearance of my pores, I do know that it can take up to 30 days of consistent use of a skincare product to notice any difference in the appearance of your skin!
Fourth product: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Sample value: $6
First Aid Beauty is a brand that I’ve heard so much about, but this moisturizer is one of the most raved about products in the beauty community! I’m usually pretty nervous about investing in sort of high-end moisturizer because most of the time, I always end up having problems with the moisturizer being too heavy or too greasy feeling for my face.
I’ve started a new acne treatment that’s controlling the oil production of my skin, combined with the colder weather, I’ve recently been having a whole lot of problems with dry skin. I have a collection of lightweight moisturizers that I use for my normally extremely oily skin, but none of these have helped to give my face that extra hydration boost that it desperately needs.
The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream has done wonders for the dryness of my skin. I use this twice a day, both morning and night, and it absorbs into my skin within a matter of minutes. It isn’t greasy feeling, it doesn’t clog my pores, it doesn’t feel too heavy, it doesn’t weigh my skin down. But it’s totally luxurious and thick feeling, I really love the feeling of this moisturizer!
Fifth product: BKR Paris Water Balm
Sample value: $8.46
The BKR Paris Water Balm was the biggest fail of the October Allure Beauty box for me, because I literally just received a product like this in the first Allure Beauty Box I got two months ago. While I understand that both the actual product and the brand itself are different, the type of product is along the same lines.
This is basically a lip balm, but Allure does suggest that you can layer this lip balm underneath of a lipstick that you’re wearing or underneath of a lip stain to help keep your lips hydrated feeling. Allure also states that the BKR Paris Water Balm is an extremely popular product among makeup artists. Personally, I really don’t enjoy the thick, heavy waxy feeling that this lip balm has.
For the name being ‘Water Balm’, I was prepared for this lip balm to have a lighter, thinner, and feel more like water. But this balm has a very heavy feeling to it, which made me think that this would be better used as an overnight lip mask. I think that the packaging for this balm is really chic, but I’m not very impressed with the quality of the product on the inside.
Sixth product: Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara in Ultra Black
Sample value: $8.84
One of the main reasons why I enjoy the Allure Beauty Box so much is because Allure does a wonderful job of sending me luxury brands that I’ve never tried before. Everything inside of my October box was filled with brands that I’ve never tried before and it contained some types of products that I’ve never tried before, helping to introduce me to a whole new part of the beauty world!
Hourglass is a brand that the Sephora’s around where I live never keep in stock, but I also haven’t heard too much about this brand from other beauty bloggers and YouTubers. I know that a common complaint in the beauty community is thin, straight lashes, but my lashes are naturally dark, thick, and curly, so I never really have a need to curl my lashes.
When I look for mascaras, I look for formulas that add volume and extra length on to my lashes. I really love the triangular shaping to the handle of this tube of mascara, as it made it really easy for me to grip and wiggle the wand around my lashes. Thanks to the shaping of the tubing, I didn’t have to worry about losing or slipping up on my grip on the wand and having a major mascara problem!
I really think that this mascara would work amazing for you if you have straight, thin lashes; I have the opposite, so I really didn’t see too much of a difference in my lashes after applying his mascara. I didn’t get the length and volume from this mascara that I get from the mascaras that I know and love, but this mascara honestly wasn’t a total flop for me. It’s still a mascara that I’d be happy to wear underneath of false lashes, but this formula didn’t give me enough volume and length to feel okay with not wearing false lashes.
Seventh product: Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Matte Liquid Lip Stain in ‘Route Tatouage’
Sample value: $18
I got such a huge rush when I pulled the Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Matte Liquid Lip Stain in ‘Route Tatouage’ out of my October box! I have never received any product from Yves Saint Laurent in any of my other subscription boxes, besides a perfume sample that I got in my Sephora Play. I think that this is the most expensive lipstick sample that I’ve ever held in my entire life!
I received the shade ‘Tatouage Couture’ and it’s literally such a pretty shade. The biggest complaint that I have about this lip stain is that it takes a pretty long time to dry, so much longer than any other lip stain that I’ve ever used before in my life. Besides the dry time for this liquid lip stain, I really do love how velvety soft this lip strain feels on my lips. I also love the applicator that comes with this lipstick; the applicator gives me the ability to create the perfect outline around my cupid’s bow and fill in with no problems. I’m able to give myself a crisp, fine edge that I love having with all liquid lipsticks.
I’ve tested this formula out and I’m able to wear this for four or five hours at a time, without having to do any touch ups. Even with light snacking and drinking, I didn’t have to worry about touch-ups. The formula itself wasn’t drying feeling at all, which was a pleasant little surprise, considering that all other lip stains that I’ve tried have dried out my lips.
I never would have tried this product out if it hadn’t been for the help of Allure Beauty Box, but I’m so glad that they put YSL in my October box!
I will admit that the first couple of things that I pulled out of my October Allure Beauty Box weren’t all that exciting or impressive, but I do think that this box as a whole is very impressive. I got seven items for $15, with my entire October box being valued at over $80. I do feel like this box was heavily focused on skin care, but I’m really happy that I got an entire skin care routine in my box rather than just a few overly priced moisturizers and face washes. I got in my box a face wash, a peel, a moisturizer, and a serum, which is literally ¾ of my normal skin care routine anyway.
I did get a pretty good selection of products in my box (four skin care, three makeup items), but all of the products that I received were from brands that I’ve never tried before! I do feel like this box was a breath of fresh air from all of the other subscription boxes that I got this month and I was so totally excited about the quality of this box by the time I was finished unboxing it!
How much is it? $10 a month /Total value of my October Sephora Play: $69.03
What I got in my October Sephora Play:
- Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen in Black- $22
- Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Queen Hydrating Primer- $3.20
- Fresh Rose Face Mask- $9.39
- BareMinerals Gen Nude Patent Liquid Lipstick in ‘Everything’- $5.43
- Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum- $26.07
- Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum- $2.94
Sephora Play is now sending all of their subscription boxes out with these plastic, recyclable bags instead of the painted canvas bags that they were previously sending out.
Like Allure, Sephora Play sends out a little booklet in each box that gives you the name of each product, the brand name, a little bit of information about the product, and tips/tricks on how to use the product. I love how this booklet has a spooky-theme for October!
With every box you get from Sephora, you automatically get 10 points added to your Beauty Insider account. On every booklet, you get a 50 Beauty Insider play pass, which has several purposes. You can bring this pass with you to a Sephora store and you’ll get a free mini makeover. That means that every month, you can get a free mini makeover! You can also use this pass along with any $20 or more purchase inside of a Sephora store or Sephora.com (online) and you’ll receive 50 additional points to your Beauty Insider account.
First product: Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum
Sample value: $2.94
This first thing that I grabbed out of my Sephora Play box was the Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum sample. I’m so happy that I got another perfume sample in my Sephora Play box, but this perfume sample is literally so close to being absolutely perfect for me!
Sephora describes the scent of this perfume as a ‘modern floral scent inspired by the sparkling city of Paris’ paired along with notes of peony, pear, and red berries. I picked up on the scent of pear, strawberry, and raspberry immediately. With the way that this perfume mixes with my body chemistry, I feel like the middle notes are a lot more prevalent; the peony, Jasmin samba, and orange flower are really what is noticeable to me when I wear this perfume. Add in the white musk and cedarwood bottom notes, and you have the Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum.
I love getting perfume samples in my Sephora Play boxes, but I’m so happy that this perfume has a spritzer on it! The only complaint that I have about this perfume sample is that the picture that I took is literally what I got in my box; it looks like the sample is halfway used and I feel like that is a little disappointing that you aren’t getting a full sample.
Second product: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
Sample value: $26.07
I also received a serum sample for Caudalie in my October Allure Beauty Box, but I’m really grateful that I got a different type of skin care serum sample. The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is a radiance boosting serum that helps to even out your skin tone.
This is a serum that I definitely need, especially because I have really bad scarring on my skin due to acne. This serum is a thick, pearlescent formula that comes in a glass bottle with a glass dropper. This formula is extremely thick, but the viscosity of the formula may be exacerbated because of the cold weather. I had a hard time getting the formula out of the dropper and it really didn’t absorb too well into my skin.
While I have had a hard time applying this serum to my skin, I have successfully done so every morning and night (as recommended by Sephora). I haven’t noticed any difference in the brightness of my skin or in the appearance of my dark spots, but I also understand that it can take up to 30 days to notice any difference in the appearance of your skin when using a new skin care product on a consistent basis.
Third product: Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen in ‘Black’
Sample value: $22
I would like to start this off by saying that I’m not 100% certain, but I think Sephora sent out a full-sized eyeliner in my October Sephora Play box! I couldn’t find any information on the Internet about the number of ounces that the full-sized Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen has, but this is a very large sized eyeliner for it being a ‘sample’ if it isn’t full-sized.
I really love the tapered brush on this eyeliner, because it allows me to change up the thickness of my eyeliner without having to completely switch products. I can easily get in the inner corner of my eye to extend out past my tear duct with sharp precision and I can make big, fat wings all with one eyeliner.
I wasn’t very impressed by the actual pigmentation of this eyeliner. Sephora describes the color for this formula to be ‘Black’, but it isn’t a very deep black that I like my eyeliners to be. This was a light black, so much so that it came across more like a grey than it did black. I had to go back over my eyeliner a few times to get that true, deep black that I’m always looking for with my eyeliner.
I also had problems with this formula transferring up on my upper lip (I have hooded eyes) if I didn’t give it an ample amount of time to dry. So if you’re looking for a quick dry formula for those mornings that you’re in a rush, I would recommend a different product!
Fourth product: Bareminerals Gen Nude Patent Liquid Lipstick in ‘Everything’
Sample value: $5.43
I love the foundations and concealers that Bareminerals sells, but I’ve never tried out any of their other products. While this Bareminerals Gen Nude Patent Liquid Lipstick is called a liquid lipstick, it’s actually has a lacquer finish to it. It’s a very thick feeling lip gloss, with high-shine to it. Not my favorite thing ever, but I do think that the shade ‘Everything’ is a gorgeous shade!
Sephora describes this liquid lipstick as a comfortable, lightweight formula, but I found that the lacquer was really hard to wear because it was so heavy feeling and it transferred on to everything. This formula didn’t have too much of a staying power and I don’t really feel like it worth much because I constantly had to keep re-applying the formula.
However, if Bareminerals has the Gen Nude lipsticks in a non-lacquer finish, sign me up! The color range is gorgeous and I loved how the shade ‘Everything’ fits perfectly in along with my everyday makeup routine. It’s such a gorgeous shade!
Fifth product: Fresh Rose Face Mask
Sample value: $9.39
Fresh is a brand that I’ve been introduced to before in my Sephora Play boxes, but the last product that I received from Fresh was also another face mask. I wasn’t absolutely in love with the last face mask that I got from Fresh, but I was very interested to see what this mask was going to do for my skin, especially because of the unique appearance of this mask.
If you take a look at the actual mask inside of the jar, you’ll see that it has mask has a very similar appearance to honey. With the little flecks of the rose inside of the mask, the mask reminds me of spicy honey. It’s a fun looking mask, for sure!
This is a toning and hydrating gel mask that is supposed to help restore your skin’s natural radiance and suppleness. I didn’t find that my skin looked any more radiant or supple than what it normally looks like, but I did appreciate the extra hydration boost that this mask gave my skin!
Sixth product: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Hydrating Primer
Sample value: $3.20
Tarte is one of my favorite high-end brands and I was so pumped to get one of their primers in my October Sephora Play! The Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Hydrating Primer is a hydrating primer that helps to smooth and soften your skin, while also keeping your skin protected from harmful environmental pollutants.
I think that the packaging for this primer is so super cute and I’m always happy to try out new types of primers in my subscription boxes. I love the light blue tint to this primer, it’s just a little something to make the Sea Quench primer stand out a little bit from the rest of the other primers that I have.
There is also Hyaluronic acid in this hydrating primer, which is supposed to help deliver extra moisture to your skin, while also making the skin your face appear to be firmer and more supple. I didn’t notice any difference in the firmness of my skin when I used this primer, but I really love how thick and luxurious feeling it was. It has a very similar texture to the Smashbox Photo Finish primer! I did notice how soft feeling my skin was when I used this primer and applying my foundation was so easy because there was a reduction in the rough texture on my skin after I used the primer.
Overall, I’m very happy with this primer and will totally be using this in my daily winter makeup routine because of how soft is made my skin look and feel!
I don’t think that this is the best Sephora Play box that I’ve ever received from Sephora, but it definitely isn’t the worst. I think most of the products in this box kind of just land in the ‘okay’ zone, as there are a few drawbacks to each product that keep them from being absolutely amazing. The best product that I think is in this box is the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Primer, because I did see results in my makeup application with this primer.
I also really did love the perfume, but the sample was only half-way full, which was really disappointing. There wasn’t anything in this box that had me super excited, but I was impressed that Sephora sent out a full-sized eyeliner from Clinique in my box! I’ve gotten better boxes from Sephora Play which is why I’m not blown off of my feet by this box, but it totally wasn’t the worst box I’ve ever gotten from Sephora before.
October Sephora Play vs October Allure Beauty Box- who won?
Allure totally kicked Sephora Play out of the running! While Allure is $5 more than Sephora Play, you got $17 higher value of out the Allure Beauty Box than you did with Sephora Play. Just comparing the two lip products alone, I love the YSL lip stain so much more than I love the Bareminerals Liquid Lipstick (even though both colors are absolutely beautiful). I feel that both of these boxes focused on skin care heavily, with Sephora Play sending out a hydrating primer, a radiance serum, and a hydrating mask, while Allure sent out a lactic acid treatment, a cleanser, a skin perfecting serum, and a moisturizer.
For just $5 more, Allure sent out a larger amount of skincare samples, the samples themselves are much larger than what I got in my Sephora Play, from a variety of different brands, and sent out samples that can all work together as a skin care routine to fix several different problems that you’re having with your skin. Whereas with Sephora Play, I just feel like Sephora focused on sending out products that strictly focused on hydration; if you aren’t having problems with your skin being dehydrated, you totally received products that aren’t going to work for you at all. Allure was so much more inclusive in the skin care options that they included! For just a little bit more money, Allure totally won this round of the subscription battle!
Who do you think won this month- Allure or Sephora Play? Stay tuned for my monthly updates!!
November Sephora Play vs Allure
Today I’m going to be unboxing my November Sephora Play box and my November Allure Beauty box!
In today’s comparison, we’re going to look at:
- The value of each box
- The variety of each box
- The types of products in each box
- The size of the products in each box
Which team are you on for this month’s battle of the boxes, Sephora or Allure?
How much is it? $10 a month
Total value of the November Sephora Play: $49.52
What I got in my November Sephora Play:
- Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder- $8.36
- Erborian CC Creme High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector in ‘Clair’- $4.99
- Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo- $3.54
- Grande Cosmetics Hydraplump Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Perk- $25
- Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream- $5.30
- Juliette Has a Gun Not A Perfume- $2.33
In the last three to four months, Sephora has started to send out all of their subscription boxes out with a plastic, recyclable bag inside of the painted canvas drawstring bags that they were previously sending out.
One of the benefits that Sephora Play offers with their subscription box that really make this subscription stand out from other similarly priced boxes is that with every Sephora Play box you receive, you will automatically receive 10 Beauty Insider points to your Beauty Insider account with Sephora. You can use redeem these points to get free sample size products whenever you purchase something from Sephora.
In addition to the 10 Beauty Insider points that you receive with the purchase of every month’s Sephora Play box, each box comes with a 50 point Beauty Insider Play Pass inside of it. You can use the 50 point play pass to redeem it with any $20 online or in-store Sephora purchase. You can also use this Play pass for community events that Sephora offers each month, where your local Sephora will invite other Sephora Play subscribers to come together for private lessons of sorts! I know that the $10 a month gets you a decent value for the physical product that you receive inside of each month’s box, but I also think there is a potential to get a much larger value out of the $10 you spend every month!
First product- Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
Sample value- $5.30
The Clinique Pep-Start eye cream is described as a lightweight eye cream that helps to brighten and hydrate skin, while also helping to de-puff your under eye bags to help keep your face looking refreshed. In the formula for this eye cream, you will find peptide that work to help support the natural collagen reserves in your skin.
I followed Sephora’s directions on how to properly use the Clinique Pep-Start eye cream, which is to apply this cream both morning and night, rubbing in the cream in circular motions until the cream has absorbed. I personally don’t really have any problems with having bags under my eyes, so I didn’t see any difference in the depuffing properties of this eye cream.
However, I did notice a very slight difference in how harsh my dark circles looked when I applied this eye cream; before applying the Pep-Start cream, the darkest area of my dark circles was around my inner corners. After I used this pep-start eye cream, my dark circles were appeared to look more evenly dark. I really enjoyed putting this eye cream in the fridge for 15 minutes before I applied it, as having the chilled cream underneath of my eye area was very soothing feeling.
I do have to say that I’m not a huge believed in eye creams providing immediate results, but I thought that it was very refreshing to see that this one provided me with instant results (even though the results were subtle). The only complaint that I have about this eye cream is that the packaging was very misleading in representing how much product was actually inside of the tube.
From the appearance of the tube, you would expect at least half of the tube to have product in it. As for the sample that I received, there was only enough product inside of this tube to reach the first ‘P’ in Pep-start. There was a very small amount of product in this tube and while I understand that eye creams (and skin care in general) are very expensive, I don’t think that the little bit of product that I got in this tube is worth $5.33.
Second product: Erborian CC Creme High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector in ‘Clair’
Sample value: $4.99
The first impression that I had of the Erborian CC Creme High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector was that this was going to be CC Creme sample that matches my skin tone and I got really excited! A little deeper into the unboxing of this CC Creme and I realized that this was actually a primer sample. In the booklet that Sephora sent out with this month’s box, Sephora has described this CC Creme as a color-correcting primer that helps to blur imperfections to make your skin’s complexion look more even.
I absolutely love receiving primer samples in my subscription boxes, but it’s even more exciting when I get a high-end primer sample from a brand that I’ve never heard of before! This primer delivers a luminous complexion in a non-oily formula, while also helping to protect your skin from the sun with SPF 25.
When I went to go sample this primer and see what it was going to do to help boost my foundation game, I noticed that the color of this primer is actually a thick white instead of a sheer or transparent color. I did have a hard time working with this primer in combination with my foundation, as this primer was so white that is actually ended up lightening my foundation so much that my foundation was two shades lighter than my actual skin tone.
Even though my foundation was too light for my skin, I did see in an improvement in the texture on my skin! My pores weren’t nearly as noticeable as they normally are when I don’t use a pore filling primer under my foundation and there was a huge difference in how much less red my skin looked. However, my foundation was too light for me to feel comfortable wearing, so I wiped off my foundation and the primer that I had just put on and tried applying less primer under my foundation.
The second time that I applied my foundation, I used a drop of primer that was around the size of a pencil eraser (the size that I used before was around the size of a dime). With the second application that I did using a smaller amount of primer underneath of my foundation, the color of my foundation wasn’t changed, but the blurring effect that the primer had on my skin for the first application wasn’t nearly as noticeable as it was when I used more primer.
I was really disappointed to see how much of a difference a thick layer of this CC Creme made with the color of my foundation, because I only saw a difference in the appearance of my skin when I applied a good amount of primer onto my skin. I also didn’t notice any difference in the luminosity of my skin when I had the primer of my skin both times, so I don’t really feel like this primer worked for my skin in the way that it was advertised.
Third product: Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfumes
Sample value: $2.30
Sephora Play is the only subscription that I have that sends out perfume samples in their subscription box and I absolutely love getting sample sizes of different types of perfumes to try out! Experimenting with how different types of perfumes interact with body chemistry is one of my favorite ways to experiment with my beauty style. Juliette Has A Gun is another brand that I’ve never heard of before, but the packaging of the perfume was so sharp and really stood out from everything else that I got in my November Sephora Play!
Sephora Play has described this perfume as a fresh and clean scent that is composed of just one note, which is cetalox, making this perfume hypoallergenic. This perfume falls into the woody and earthy family, but I really picked up on the earthy scent of this Not A Perfume. The first impression that I got when I took a sniff of the Not A Perfume was that the scent is very similar to the scent of the earth after a fresh rain!
Fourth product: Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Sample value: $3.54
The design of the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo bottle is absolutely stunning and when I pulled this dry shampoo out of my November Sephora Play box, I was a little shocked to see this brand in my box, because I didn’t know that Amika was a high-end brand that you could get at Sephora! I was introduced to the brand Amika in my October Birchbox (a leave-in conditioner) and fell in love with not only the packaging, but the quality of the product!
Dry shampoos are items that I often get inside of my subscription boxes, but this dry shampoo sample really stands out from the rest of the other dry shampoo samples that I’ve ever received! While I am totally obsessed with the design and the colors used to create the packaging, the scent of this dry shampoo has completely won me over!
I did spray this in my hair and almost immediately noticed an increase in the volume in my hair in the areas that I had sprayed this dry shampoo. I actually noticed the change in the volume of my hair before I even looked to see if this formula had absorbed the excess oil in my hair (which it did). With the volume boost this formula gives my hair, the scent, and how unique the packaging is, I don’t think I could have received a better dry shampoo sample! Even on days where I don’t need to use any dry shampoo, I’ve been spraying this formula into my hair just to have the scent in my hair all day long.
I’m almost out of this sample size, but I’m totally going to be going to Sephora to purchase the full-sized version of the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. This is absolutely the best sample that I got in this month’s Sephora Play box!
Fifth product: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Sample value: $8.36
The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder is one of Sephora’s best selling setting powders, so seeing this in my Sephora Play box was a little bit shocking because I’ve never received a best selling product in any of my Sephora Play boxes. The Laura Mercier Translucent is a setting powder that I’ve always wanted to try out, but never could bring myself to spend $23 for a full-sized version (especially since I didn’t know if this powder was going to work for my skin).
A common problem that I run into with other translucent powders that I’ve tried out is that they are always too yellow for my skin. The Laura Mercier Translucent powder didn’t turn my concealer and foundation yellow, but also didn’t settle into any of my fine lines around my eyes.
I did find that the sifter on top of the powder made it really hard for me to get any powder out of the container, but I just ended up taking the sifter off to have easier access to the powder. I love how this powder doesn’t sit on top of my skin and make my skin look cakey, but it blends in with the rest of my makeup, giving me an absolutely flawless finish. I never really bake my under eye area because my concealer will always look yellow and cakey, but baking my under eye area with this translucent setting powder left my under eye are bright and smooth looking.
The only problem that I had with this setting powder is that it didn’t keep me matte all day. I have very oily skin and tend to have to use a mattifying setting powder to keep my skin matte all day. I would say that this setting powder kept me matte for at least four hours and it would’ve kept me matte all day if I had brought a brush and product along with me for touch-ups. But without any touch-ups, the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder kept me matte for only about four hours. This is a lot better than most of the non-mattifying setting powders that I’ve ever tried, but I’m so in love with the finish that this powder has!
Sixth product: Grande cosmetics HydraPlump Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘Desert Peak’
Product value: $25
The Grande Cosmetics HydraPlump Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘Desert Peak’ is the second full-sized product that I’ve ever received in any of my Sephora Play boxes! Last month, I received a full-sized liquid eyeliner pen from Clinique in my box, but Grande Cosmetics is a brand that I’ve never received from Sephora Play. The gold metallic tube is really cute, but I love the window in the tube that allows you to see the shade of the lipstick!
This HydraPlump Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick doesn’t have a tingling sensation that you normally feel when using other plumping lip products (the tingling sensation is caused by Cinnamon oil, which is a lip plumper). Instead, this semi-matte liquid lipstick has Volulip, Instaplump, and hyaluronic acid that all work together to give you plumper lips in a matter of minutes. When I used this liquid lipstick, I noticed a visible difference in the plumpness of my lips around my cupids bow and on the corners of my top lip! I was very impressed with how long the plumping effect lasted on my lips too, but I really love the shape the plumping effect gave my upper lip.
The shade ‘Desert Peak’ is an incredible shade and pairs well with warm-tone glam smokey eye looks or just a coat of mascara and a BB cream! For as long as I’ve been subscribed to Sephora Play, I’ve always believed that Sephora only sends out lip samples in shades that aren’t selling well at Sephora, which is mainly bright colors that fall into the ‘Instagram makeup’ category rather than being a lip shade that most of us would feel comfortable wearing in a professional setting or just to wear out running errands.
But with the boxes that Sephora has started to send out more recently, I’ve noticed that when Sephora is sending out lip samples, the colors that they’re sending out are a lot more neutral and don’t fall into the ‘Instagram makeup’ category. The finish of this liquid lipstick is semi-matte, but it’s so creamy feeling! You can tell by looking at the finish of this lipstick that it’s a matte finish, but the formula feels very creamy and hydrating on the lips. I also really love the pointed applicator that this lipstick came with, as it really allowed me to get a crisp edge on my lips and on my cupids bow. I didn’t have any problems with this formula bleeding outside of my lips (I didn’t use a lip liner when wearing this lipstick), but there was a moderate amount of transferring when I ate and drank.
When I first pulled out this liquid lipstick out of my box I thought that this was another sample size product, because the size of this liquid lipstick tube is rather small and just doesn’t look like it’s a full-sized product. While I was going through the shade range on Sephora’s website for the Grande Cosmetics Hydraplump line, I realized that I had actually received a full-sized lipstick in my box!
Final thoughts on the November Sephora Play:
For the six products that I received in my November Sephora Play, three of the samples were an absolute hit in my book. The Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder was the product that I was the most surprised to see in my box, but the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo was the best product in the entire box, and the Grande Cosmetics Hydraplump Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick was a lovely feature in this month’s box!
The only product that I’m not in love with is the Erborian CC Creme High Definition Radiance Face Cream Skin Perfector, as I don’t feel like the primer really did anything beneficial for my skin when I used it in a small portion (so the shade of the primer didn’t lighten my foundation too). Even though I’m not in love with this primer for my face makeup, I’ve been using it as an eyeshadow primer/base and it’s been working very well for my eye makeup. Overall, I think that this was a really great box from Sephora and I’m really impressed with the entirety of this box!
Let’s see how my November Allure Beauty box holds up against Sephora Play!
November Allure Beauty box
How much is it? $15 a month
Total value of my November Allure Beauty Box: $55.50
What I got in my November Allure Beauty Box:
- LAPCOS Pearl Brightening Metallic Sheet Mask- $2.80
- Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask- $8
- Kocostar Rose Lip Mask- $1.40
- Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment- $17.35
- Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels- $3
- Starskin Exfoliating Double-Layer Foot Mask Socks- $15
- Invisibobble Original- $7.95
I have to admit, when I first opened up the Allure Beauty Box, I wasn’t very excited about all of the masks inside of this box. I’m not a huge face mask lover, especially sheet masks, so I wish I had some sort of heads up to let me know that I was going to be sent with a box that was filled with an assortment of different types of masks. Not to mention, last month the Allure Beauty Box had over an $80 value while this month we only have a $55 value, which is a pretty big difference in value between the October and November box.
The November Allure Beauty Box has a $10 off coupon from Anthropologie, which we received because one of the masks inside of this box can be purchased off of the Anthropologie website.
First product: LAPCOS Pearl Brightening Metallic Sheet Mask
Sample value: $2.80
The LAPCOS Pearl Brightening Metallic Sheet Mask can be purchased off of the Anthropologie website for $14 for five sheet masks. This sheet mask contains pearl extract to help improve the clarity of your skin and encourage a glowing radiance, lactobacillus that helps to break down the impurities in your skin, and white flower brightening complex helps to balance your skin’s hydration levels.
The material that made up the sheet mask itself was velvet soft, but the formula that was used for the Pearl Brightening sheet mask didn’t work for my skin. I do have very sensitive skin and a few minutes after having this sheet mask on my face, I felt my cheeks and forehead starting to burn. I didn’t have anything else on my skin and hadn’t washed my face with any sort of acne fash wash (just warm water) before applying this sheet mask.
After having problems with my skin feeling like it was burning, I took the mask off and saw that my forehead and cheeks had turned red and were sensitive to the touch, almost like I had gotten sunburnt. I did a little bit of research and found that there were other people who have sensitive skin had the same problem with this sheet mask causing an irritation.
I also didn’t like how sticky the serum was, almost like it had too much glycerin in it. When I first put the mask on my face I didn’t realize how sticky the serum felt, but when I did take of the sheet mask and was attempting to wash the serum off (because of the reaction it was having with my skin), I realized that the serum was very, very sticky feeling.
Second product: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask
Product value: $8
I’ve never seen any short of sheet mask in cute packaging like this Watermelon Glow Jelly sheet mask from Glow Recipe is in, but I really love it! This is one out of the three full-sized products in the box, as you can purchase one Glow Recipe Watermelon mask for $8.
I know that I’ve said it a lot, but I’m not really a huge fan of sheet masks. However, this Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask really impressed me and I’ve just purchased a few more of these masks with my most recent Sephora trip! When I first pulled out the sheet mask, I first fell in love with the jelly texture of the sheet mask!
This isn’t your regular, everyday paper or cotton sheet mask, but is actually a durable jelly sheet mask that comes in two pieces that conform to the contour of your face. I always have problems with the eye cutouts being too close to my eye, but I was able to manipulate the jelly mask enough so that this mask was very comfortable to wear around my eye are. The bottom half of the mask fit perfectly along the bottom half of my face and didn’t collection too much around my mouth. I also enjoyed how this mask wasn’t too heavy feeling and I could comfortably wear it while walking around my house without the mask sliding down my face or without me having to readjust it every couple of minutes to keep it on my face.
I also really enjoyed how this mask didn’t feel oily or greasy or sticky on my skin! It did a wonderful job re-hydrating my skin, as there were several spots on my face that were visibly dry before I used this sheet mask. My skin felt smooth and soft after I took this mask off and there was a pretty big difference in how much less red my face looked. The only thing that I wish that this sheet mask had was a faint watermelon scent, but I’m so in love with every other part of this mask!
Third product: KoCoStar Rose Lip Mask
Sample value: $1.40
If you take a couple of swipes through the thousands of makeup tutorial videos on Instagram, chances are you’ll see a couple of people using lip masks. Allure sent out subscribers a KoCoStar Rose Lip Mask that’s valued at $1.40, but if you were to purchase the full-sized version of these rose lip masks, you would get twenty lip masks for $38 from Anthropologie’s website.
I tried using this lip mask before I started applying my makeup and noticed that this lip mask literally would not stay on my face as I was sitting up. I had to lay down in order to be able to keep this lip mask on my face, which had a strong rose taste and scent. This lip mask doesn’t have any parabens or phthalates in it, which was comforting to know considering I probably ingested some of this mask since it was on top of my lips.
I didn’t have any sort of irritation with this lip mask, which I was a little worried about considering that I had a reaction to the LAPCOS Pearl Brightening Sheet Mask that also came from Anthropologie. I didn’t feel any difference in the hydration of my lips after I used this mask and I didn’t notice any difference in how long my lipstick lasted on my lips, so I don’t really feel like this mask did anything beneficial for my skin.
Fourth product: Starskin Exfoliating Double Layer Foot Mask Socks
Product value: $15
The Starskin Exfoliating Double Layer Foot Masks Socks have been a sheet mask that I’ve always wanted to try! Instead of going on your face, these socks actually go on your feet and work to remove the calluses and dead skin off of your feet. On the bottom of the packaging for this foot mask, you’ll find markings that say ‘travel friendly’, ‘proven peeling results’, infused with 50 ML of serum’, and ‘cruelty free and vegan’. I think that the soft purple color for the packaging reminds me of the packaging of something that I’d see at a spa.
I know that I had a few friends try out this foot sheet mask and didn’t see any results, until we all figured out that they weren’t following the directions properly. Before applying this foot mask, you must make sure that you wash your feet and towel dry them before you slip your feet into these lactic acid socks. This way your skin is soft and will have an easier time absorbing the acid that causes your skin to peel.
After you wash your feet and put your feet into these socks, also make sure that you use the stickers on the tops of the socks to close the socks securely. This makes sure that your socks will create a sauna-like effect for your feet, ensuring that you get the best possible results. Leave the socks on for 60-90 minutes and after you take the socks off make sure that you rinse your feet with warm water again and towel dry. It’s also very important that you do not apply any sort of foot cream or lotion or another sort of treatment to your feet for the next seven to ten days.
Depending on the condition of your feet before you use this foot mask, the difference this mask makes for your feet may vary in comparison to someone else’s experience. It make seven to ten days for you to start noticing the gradual peeling of your feet if you don’t have a lot of calluses or dead skin on the bottoms of your feet.
My feet get really dry in the winter, so I have pretty severe peeling on the bottoms of my feet with the colder weather. I also have calluses on the sides of my pinky toes (from wearing heels that didn’t fit me properly for such a long time) and on my heels. I noticed my feet starting to peel pretty drastically two days after I used this foot mask. My friend (who gets pedicures on the regular) didn’t see as drastic as results as I did, even though we followed the same exact process. It took her feet eight days to start doing any peeling and the peeling that they did do was very minor.
I think $15 for this foot mask is very affordable, considering how much softer and prettier my feet were after using this foot mask treatment!
Fifth product: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Sample value: $17.35
Glamglow is a skin care brand that I’ve started to receive in my subscription boxes a lot more often recently, which I’m excited about because I’m slowly starting to fall in love with the quality of their products (but not their pricing). When I did the math to figure out how much this little sample was worth, I jumped at the $17 price tag, even though the full-sized version of this Supermud Clearing Treatment is worth $59.
If you have extremely oily skin, struggle with breakouts, or have a lot of blackheads, you may want to consider trying out this mask. I absolutely love the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment and it’s one of my go-to masks for the summer when I’m sweating constantly and my skin is at its oiliest.
I love watching this mask dry because you can see all of the spots on your face where this mud mask is sucking up the oil in your skin. The Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is what I go to when my hormonal cystic acne breakouts are getting really bad because it helps to detoxify your skin. After I wash off this mask, my skin always felt fresh and super clean, which is always refreshing after you’ve been feeling greasy all day. This is a face mask that I really love and I’m so happy that I got a size that’s perfect to travel around with in my Allure Beauty Box!
Sixth product: Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels
Sample value: $3
I love the soothing, spa-like look to the packaging of these eye gels, but I wasn’t expecting them to have that much effect on the appearance of my under eye area. For $15 you can purchase a pack of five of the Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels, which contain a mix of caffeine, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centella Asiatica, and Porulaca Oleracea Extract. All of these ingredients work together to improve your skin’s hydration, elasticity, tone, brightness, inflammation.
I put the eye patches underneath of my eyes for five minutes (the directions said that you could leave these eye patches on for five minutes or you could leave them on for longer if you’re looking for a relaxation session). I did notice a big difference in how soft my under eye area felt and how easy it was to blend in my concealer after I used these under eye masks. I did notice a subtle difference in the brightness of my under eye area. I did wish that I had kept on these patches for a little longer than five minutes because of how big of a difference these patches made for my under eye area in five minutes. It wasn’t until after I took off my eye patches that I realized I could have used these to catch all of the fallout from my eye shadow! I usually don’t ever believe that a one-time use product could make a big difference in the appearance of your skin in such a short time, but these Patchology Flashpoint Rejuvenating Eye Gels made me a believer!
Sixth product: Invisibobble Original
Product value: $7.95
This is the last full-sized product that I got inside of my November Allure Beauty Box and as you can see, it’s not a mask (yay)! This is a pack of three hair elastics that have a ton of stretch to them, but don’t pull on my hair the way that most hair bands do! I have very knotty hair and whenever I use these hair elastics, I never have any problems with my hair wrapping around the band, which ultimately leads to me pulling my own hair out. I like to keep my hair up 95% of the time and using these traceless hair rings doesn’t leave my hair in kinks and doesn’t leave me with a hair band headache that I get whenever I use elastic hair bands.
I will put my hair up in one of these elastics first thing in the morning and I will even keep my hair up until the next morning when I go to get a shower. The Inivisibobble hair bands leave my hair in a top bun all day without letting any of my hair falling out or sagging, even while I’m sleeping! I also haven’t had any problems with the hair rings that I’m using stretching out and becoming deformed, which is another common problem that I run into when I use your typical hair bands.
The only downside that I’ve found to this hair ring is that putting this band on your wrist can be very uncomfortable, especially if you are someone who does a lot of writing or typing all day. I found that the elastic band was a little too thick to be able to comfortably rest my wrist on a flat surface without the band digging into my wrist. But if you aren’t somebody who does a lot of typing or writing all day, these Invisibobble Originals make a really cute bracelet!
Final thoughts on the November Allure Beauty Box:
I will admit that when I first opened up the November Allure Beauty Box, I was really disappointed to see that this box was filled with a bunch of masks. But in total, only the LAPCOS Pearl Brightening sheet mask and the KocoStar Rose Lip mask were the only two ‘fails’ in this month’s box! The Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment, the Starskin Exfoliating Foot Mask Socks, the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly sheet mask, and the Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gel masks were all big winners for me!
I’m really glad that Allure didn’t go the lazy path and send out nothing but face masks, but instead choose to include masks for (almost) every maskable part of our bodies! I think that the elastic hair bands were a nice addition, but the big winner in the November Allure Beauty Box is the Starskin Exfoliating Foot Mask Socks! I’ve always wanted to try a foot peel mask and the mask that I tried from Starskin worked very effectively and I saw a big difference in my feet after using this mask. Although I will admit, the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask came in a very close second!
November Sephora Play vs November Allure Beauty Box- who won?
The total value for the November Sephora Play box was $49.52 and the total value for the November Allure Beauty Box was $55.50, so while you did pay a $5 more for the Allure Beauty Box, the Allure Beauty Box only had $5.98 higher value than the November Sephora Play did. I’m not the biggest fan of face masks, but I do have to admit that I’m very, very impressed with the majority of the masks that I got in my Allure Beauty Box. I’m so impressed that these masks actually worked for me and I saw results with them!
I was very impressed with the variety of products that Sephora sent out the November box, but it was really exciting to see that I got a full-sized lipstick inside of my box! Not to mention that it’s a full-sized lipstick that is actually really nice quality and I enjoy wearing! Getting one of Sephora’s best selling translucent powders from Laura Mercier inside of my box was also really amazing, but the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo was definitely the best product in this box in my opinion!
Picking between these two boxes is really difficult because I’m very happy with both boxes, but I think that Sephora is going to be the winner for November! The only reason that I picked Sephora over Allure was because I got a good variety of products in this box, instead of receiving a box full of different types of masks.
Which box do you think won for November- Sephora Play or Allure?