March & April Sephora Play!

Welcome back, so sorry it's been a while! I photographed the March items back in March but by the time I got around to typing up the post for it March had just flown right past me and it was the beginning of April. I think the main reason it took me so long to get around to typing up my thoughts on the March items is because I was so disappointed with what I received last month. I'll get into more details on the individual samples but overall it was just such a flop for me (April wasn't that much better either). Since January I've been questioning keeping my Play! subscription because that's when I started to notice I wasn't really getting very many items I wanted to try out or was excited about. I didn't like my January items and, while I initially I liked what I got in my February box after having had it for two months now I can say it wasn't as great as I first thought. Plus, whenever I look up what else was sent out in other boxes for the month I would always have major box envy. I decided to give it a few more months to see if it would turn around for me and sadly, it did not. After typing up this full post I decided to cancel my Play! subscription. It was just getting to the point of where I'm either giving away more than I'm keeping for myself, I try the products out myself and end up not liking them and throwing them away, or I get sent products that don't suit my hair or skin type and in turn have to give those away as well. I did sign up for different subscription service but I'll get to that at the end so for now let's get on to the March items. 


March Play!


I want to start on a positive note so I'm starting with this which I was actually excited to try. I love using luminizing primers or mixing in liquid illuminators into my foundation to get a nice all over glow. I already use a fairly dewy base, Becca Backlight Priming Filter and Smashbox BB Water (though I'm currently testing out different foundations with more coverage), so I didn't notice a ton of added glow but I only mixed in a few tiny drops for my whole face. It's definitely more on the subtle side which is what I prefer for mixing into foundation. If you wanted to blend this on the cheek over foundation it would be more subtle and have the "lit from within" look. Since we received several different glow products I think it makes sense for them to be more on the subtle side to keep the "glazed donut" look at bay. The dropper isn't great but I'm always down for trying out a new highlight.


My second dewy product and this was one of the ones I was bummed about but only because I already have and use a sample of this on a semi-regular basis. The product itself is nice but nothing special, I prefer the Milk Makeup highlight stick that my best friend gave me for Christmas or the Cargo Color Stick I got in my first Allure Beauty Box. When used on its own it's pretty subtle but can be used as a base for a powder highlight to get a more intense glow. I'm not going to be hanging on to this one since I currently have three highlight sticks open and it's going to take me quite a while to get through all that so this will be going to a friend.


And the third glowing product just to get them all out of the way. I was not jazzed to try this out. As I've mentioned before, I have super dry, like Sahara dry, skin so I need something pretty darn moisturizing that can handle my dry dehydrated skin and this is not that product. Sephora's website says it's good for all skin types but that is just not the case. I do not understand why brands market products for all skin types because one size fits all just does not work, especially for skincare and foundation (in my opinion). I would say this is probably best suited for "normal" skin. For my routine, I find an illuminating moisturizer unnecessary since I already use the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. If you received this and you also have dry skin but want to make it work you cold try mixing it with your regular hydrating moisturizer or applying it over top. I tried it twice and could not deal with how dry my skin still felt and ended up chucking it.


When I opened this my first thought was, "that looks familiar." Well, that's because I received the exact same shade, I544, back in August (side note #1: I still have yet to use it). I am just so miffed that I would receive a duplicate product only seven months apart. If they paid attention to the past items they sent to subscribers this could of been avoided by sending me a different box (side note #2: I wonder if this happened to very many other people). They could of at least have sent out a different shade if they wanted to sample this product again within a year. Repeat products are bound to happen, I know it happens with BirchBox quite a bit, but still super bummed about this one. Definitely going to have to give this one away and adding it to the long list of reasons why I canceled.


Ugh, no. If you've read my other sub box reviews you'll know that hair products are my least favorite type of items to get in a subscription service. I just don't have enough hair to care much about hair products. If I was going to get a hair product I'd rather it be something conditioning like a leave in conditioner or a hair oil (I can finally use those again now that I'm not 100% white blonde anymore). I have really fine hair that's quite soft and I like being able to run my fingers through it and I don't like the way it feels when it's full of products. I did try this out twice and it didn't really do anything for me. It made my hair feel pretty dry and my hair doesn't usually feel dry unless I use heat tools on it. I am just not the right person for this product in particular but those with a more substantial amount of hair might enjoy it so I will be giving this to a friend that this suits better. 


I love Orange Sanguine from Atelier Cologne but this one doesn't quite do it for me. It is very fresh but not quite citrusy enough for my taste. Orange Sanguine just makes me feel some type of way that Clémentine California doesn't (Orange Sanguine has jasmine in it which is why I like it so much more). They also sent out samples of Vanille Insensée which I would of much rather received (Sephora sells a duo of Orange Sanguine and Vanille Insensée which I'm eyeballing for tomorrow's VIB spring bonus event). The fragrance notes listed on Sephora for Clémentine California are clementine, mandarin, juniper berries, star anise, sichuan pepper, basilica, vetiver, sandalwood, and cypress so if you like those types of scents you might want to check this one out but it's just not for me.

If you were keeping score there was only one item I liked in the March box. That seems like such a complete and utter waste to me. I've now seen all the products that were sampled during the month of March and tbh there wasn't one collection of items that went out together that I liked, there were four different variants from what I've found which were boxes numbered #477, #444, #469, & #451 in which I got box #477. If I could pick and choose my items from the lot I could of ended up with something that I would of been more happy with but overall I just didn't dig the items that went out this month. As you can probably guess since I canceled my subscription while in the midst of writing this post, I didn't like April's box all that much either though it was slightly better, just not good enough to keep me on. Let's get to it...


April Play!


I had a sample of this already from a "free gift with purchase" that I had been saving for a flight since it says it has up to 72 hours of hydration. I had just washed my foundation off and hadn't moisturized yet when I opened this so I immediately opened my other tube to try it out. I was a bit disappointed with the hydration on this one. It has a 30% hyaluronic acid complex to really lock in moisture yet my cheeks, where I'm the dryest, still felt a bit dry after this settled down and sunk in. I applied another layer over my cheeks to see if that would help and it did, my skin didn't feel tight or dry after adding another layer, but I hate that it took two layers to thoroughly quench my super dry skin. I had really high hopes for this one and it just fell flat of my expectations. Still, it's not horrible at all but I don't think I'll be saving this new tube and will pass it on to a friend (or maybe even my dad). 


I am seriously struggling to find an eyeliner that I can use on my upper water line that won't transfer so I am hoping for the best with this one. I don't have particularly watery eyes, I had LASIK last year so if anything they're a tad bit dry on a day to day basis but I cannot get any black eyeliner to last in my waterline. During Ulta's 21 days of Beauty that just ended recently I purchased the Eyeko Sport Waterproof Eyeliner and it transfers pretty bad on me which is such a bummer because I really thought it could be the one. I've tried at least five other black eyeliners and none have lasted well for me in the waterline so I am crossing my fingers with this one. I also have a black waterproof Sephora Collection eyeliner that I haven't opened yet so if this doesn't work I may have to finally bust into that one. If you have any recommendations please leave me a comment!


Another product I've used before. See why I canceled? I've used and purchased this in the full size previously when it was recommend to me at Ulta (ironic?). It works okay, I liked it when I first purchased it but it is a little bit drying on me. If I remember correctly it doesn't foam up a lot, if any, so it's not going to make your skin super squeaky clean - a feeling I personally hate because to me that just means my skin has been completely stripped of all its natural oils. I do like the size of this one though but I'm not sure if I want to hold onto it for any future traveling. I think Philosophy gets recommended a lot for people with dry skin but from my limited experience with the brand it's too drying/not hydrating enough for me. I am planning on doing a full post on my skincare favorites for my super dry and sensitive skin type with rosacea very soon (hopefully) so stay tuned if you have a similar skin type as me. 


Makes sense that we would get a waterproof eye makeup remover with a waterproof eye product. This product has good reviews online and currently has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating so that is very promising. I use waterproof mascara since it's the only thing that will get my straight eyelashes to hold a bit of a curl so waterproof eye makeup remover is a must for me. I'm currently using Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover which I don't think works that well on waterproof mascara (it was recommend to me at Ulta) so I also ended up getting Too Faced Mascara Melt Off which works pretty well with it. I've already purchased a replacement eye makeup remover, Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, since I'm almost out of the Clinique so I won't be needing this any time soon but I'll definitely be holding on to it since this is a great product for travel. 


Another product I've definitely tried before (seversl times). What is it with cosmetic retailers always giving out samples of this primer? NGL, I'm not a fan of this product. It's not pore filling enough for my gigantic pores. For my nose/t-zone I prefer the Pore Minimizing formula which is much thicker. I do think this gives the skin a nice blurring effect when used without any makeup but it just doesn't do anything special for me when used under foundation. Smashbox has so many different formulations of primers that I think it was a complete missed opportunity to send out the other variants for people to try since those don't get sent out as samples as often. With this, I now have four .25 oz samples in my "to be used" pile of samples and I threw one out the other day when I did a clear out since I wasn't using it. I'll be passing them all on to my best friend that I think really likes it.


Fun Fact: I haven't liked the past five fragrance samples from Play! and, big surprise, I don't like this one either. It has the one scent in it that I cannot stand, rose. Most women seem to love rose fragrance, a lot of cosmetics and beauty items are rose scented, but I detest the scent of rose. I'm not real big on floral scents to begin with. If I'm being quite honest I really only like jasmine which, according to the info sheet this came with, does have notes of as well. It also has notes of honeysuckle, lily of the valley, and something called akigalawood which my internet sleuthing tells me has a similar profile to patchouli (which I love) and smells woody, spicy and floral. The florals in this one are just way too overpowering for me, I prefer to have a sweet note in there to cut the florals. My magical fragrance note trifecta is jasmine, patchouli and vanilla. Hard pass from me.


As you can see April did fare a little better for me than March but still left something to be desired which is why I ultimately canceled my subscription. I had Play! for one full year but missed the September box when I didn't know that my card on file needed to be updated and Sephora didn't notify me about it until it was too late for that month's box to be sent to me. This was the third out of four beauty subscription services I've tried over the past few years which has helped me figure out what I want out of a beauty subscription service. First and foremost I want a good value. Compared to BirchBox, ipsy, and the Allure Beauty Box the value of Play! has been a fair bit lower and those three are all the same price. I also like having bigger or even full size samples, something you'll probably never get from Play! which typically gives out pretty tiny samples (Allure and ipsy pretty much always have at least one full size item each month and BirchBox will have a full size product from time to time). Play! was also just giving me way too many of the same types of items, also the reason I canceled BirchBox and ipsy. Two months in a row back in June and July I got liquid bronzers, neither of which worked on my porcelain skin, and primers in both months. Looking back at everything I've sampled there's just not enough variation in products. I had so many mascaras and primers but never once received a powder cheek product (bronzer, highlight or blush). Play! was good but not great and didn't live up to what I had hoped for when I first signed up.

So, onto the subscription box I signed up for immediately after canceling my Play! service, BeautyCon. I did a lot of reading on various subscription boxes over at My Subscription Addiction and settled on BeautyCon to try next because the sizes, value and curation are great. BeautyCon is curated by an influencer (or sometimes BeautyCon themselves) and sent out once a quarter so you only get four boxes in one year. It is more expensive, I used a 10% off discount code and I think it was still around $33 since you have to pay $6.99 for shipping, but the value is at least over $100 each time. I don't want to ramble on too much about it since I'm not sure what I'm in for yet but I'm very excited and I will definitely write a review once I get my first BeautyCon box which just shipped yesterday! I've got some post ideas I'm very excited about but I'm not sure how long it will take for me to get everything together and photographed so thank you so much for being patient with me as I try and get my ideas from my head to the web. I hope this wasn't too much information overload/rambling. Thank you for visiting and have a lovely day!