Another month, another Play! by Sephora beauty box! I’ve really been enjoying this subscription so far and trying a lot of “new to me” brands and products.January’s box is called No Appointment Necessary and features mostly skincare products that are supposed to give expert-level results at home. This was an interesting box! Not everything was a hit, but like last month, I enjoyed trying it all. Products included:
- Living Proof Prime Style Extender Spray
- Dr. Brandt Needles No More Instant Wrinkle Relaxing Cream
- Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight
- Sephora Lotus Eye Mask
- Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula
- Tocca Isabel perfume
Let’s take a look…More Living Proof hair products! I really love this line. Well, to be exact I really love Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. It’s the best thing to blow out my hair with. Anyway, I was excited to see this because since finally I got my hair colored at the of December I’ve been wearing it blown out quite frequently. When I do that, I try to stretch it out for as long as possible because it is such a process to get it from curly/wavy to smooth. The Prime Style Extender Spray is “made with patented OFPMA molecules, which create a lightweight, protective shield around hair without the use of oil or silicone.” It claims to make your style last 2x longer than usual. Considering I usually can go 3-4 days (or more!) without washing, I was curious to see if this worked.
When I blow out my hair, I typically use way too many products because I want it be smooth, but with volume at the roots, but not totally straight because I want some curl on the ends. To try this out, I used only the 5-in-1 Styling Treatment, mixed with a couple drops of hair oil from Haus of Gloi. And honestly, I didn’t really feel like the spray made that much of a difference. I could have probably stretched it to four days because it didn’t feel quite as greasy as usual, but I still felt like I had to wash my hair. For reference, I washed & dried on a Saturday and I ended up washing again on the following Wednesday morning. I tried the spray a second time, using the same products, but this time I really focused the spray on my roots which is where my hair gets greasy the fastest. I wasn’t able to get any extra days out of my style. I washed on a Sunday and by Wednesday morning, my hair looked gross. So this is a hard pass on a full size for me.This is the second time in a row to get a Dr. Brandt product and again the size of the sample is misleading to how much product is actually in there. Hmph. So the Needles No More Instant Wrinkle Relaxing Cream “includes magnesium and adenosine, known to create a muscle relaxing effect, plus neuropeptides, which help these ingredients penetrate.” It’s basically like a temporary over-the-counter version of Botox, I guess. Anyway, I don’t really have any wrinkles except for some fine laugh lines on my forehead. I tried the cream on those and I didn’t notice any difference at all. This isn’t really a product for me or one that I’m even interested in, so I passed it off to my mom. I was so excited for this! I’ve always had a soft spot for Clinique, it was one of the first brands I really loved and I think it’s a brand that transcends ages. There really is something for everyone and the prices aren’t too bad. The last few years, Clinique has really ran with the chubby stick form of makeup. I think at this point you can literally do any entire face of makeup using only Clinique Chubby Sticks. The product included in my box was the Sculpting HIghlight in Hefty Highlight. On the Sephora and Clinique websites, this looks to be the only shade currently available. Texture-wise, it’s very similar to Benefit’s Watts Up highlighter but I found the Chubby Stick is much pinker and cooler toned in color. The packaging is great and the size of the tube is perfect to hold and just right for applying to the high points of your face. At first, I found it awkward to blend over powder products, but the more I’ve used it the more I’ve liked it. My only complaint is the color, on me it’s just a little too cool. I think I would like a shade that is a little more golden, so I hope that Clinique extends the range of shades. Moving on! Another product I was super excited about! I love sheet masks but I had never tried one for under eyes, so I was very interested to see how this worked. I have actually tried the Sephora sheet masks for the face, including Lotus, so I knew I already liked them. These masks claim to “nurture and refresh undereye skin with targeted potent active ingredients.” I liked that I got the Lotus masks, because I do have dry skin. So that’s what the masks look like on yo face and they actually stay on! That is, until Jason Mraz decides to live stream an acoustic show of all his old songs with his OG partner Toca on Facebook and you start crying because he’s your all-time favorite ever… Anyway, I found these to smell a little funky out of the package, but I couldn’t smell anything once they were on. There’s A LOT of extra serum in the package though and I ended up smearing all of that on my face too, because why not. I did find the serum to be kind of sticky afterward, but I typically do sheet masks before I go to bed so by morning, my skin feels great. I probably would not use these if I was going to put makeup on later. Oh! and there’s a nice cooling sensation when you place the masks on initially just from the moisture hitting the air, which I really like. I have sort of mixed feelings about this next product, the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula. It’s a “two-step facial peel treatment” that “includes exfoliators and retinol for brighter, younger-looking skin.” It also contains willow bark extract, glycolic acid and mandelic acid. In my box, I received this little package that had three sets of treatments and you’re supposed to use it everyday. A five-pack box at Sephora runs $15, so this was a fairly generous sample and makes up a good chunk of the total value of this month’s box. Basically, each treatment includes two wipes. I’m not sure if they are the same or different, like one is stronger than the other – I couldn’t find anything online about it. So cleanse your face, apply the first wipe, wait a few minutes, then apply the second wipe, wait for it to dry/absorb and apply moisturizer. Because it does have retinol, keep away from alcohol based skin products. The first night I used it, it BURNED. But not like, “OMG I have to stop” but it was definitely more than “oh that’s a nice tingle.” But my skin did feel softer and smoother. As I went through the three-day treatment, the burning sensation lessened and I did notice my skin seemed brighter and smoother each day. This does come in a sensitive skin formula, which I would be curious to try and see if it doesn’t burn as much. That’s really the only thing that would keep me from purchasing a full size or recommending it. It just is not pleasant to use. But it works. Last item! It’s one of Tocca’s fragrances and yes, totally excited for this too. I have a deluxe sample bottle of Cleopatra which I love and I knew I would love this as well. Isabel is inspired by a “chic city girl from Barcelona” and has notes of sangria, Mediterranean orange, Spanish rose and leather. Out of the bottle, it smells very fresh and green, with a bit of floral. The leather note must really be buried in the base, because I didn’t smell it at all. Overall, the sillage is not super strong and after about four hours, it fades considerably. It’s still there, but sits very close to the skin. The very first time I wore it, I gave someone a hug and they immediately said I smelled really good, so that’s always a good sign.
So that’s it! I feel like this month’s Play! box review was really long, but if you made it to the end I commend you. See ya next week!