Unboxing July 2016 Sephora Play!

Sephora is now the main Western subscription beauty box that I will unbox and review ~ I did drop Birchbox this month, as the incentive to stay with them went away ~ read more here.  And my July Birchbox was SO dismal, I could not even muster up an unboxing blog post.

July 2016 Birchbox. I cannot even muster up any enthusiasm to do an official unboxing at my blog for this dismal box. Thankfully, I was able to get 50 birchbox points, which will be the last time I get BB points, for reviewing this box, as BB decided to rip away the best perk they had with their subscription boxes. They obviously do not follow the profile that subscribers fill out, so having those points helped with the pain of another crappy-ass selection of sad samples. This is my last regular box with Birchbox. I canceled after I received my box and reviewed the items. I will still purchase Limited Edition boxes and might sign up for a one time box if the choices look good (so I will still do BB spoilers at my blog), but this is really it. Birchbox was my first ever subscription box and I am sad to how much it has fallen. Oh well. I received the following items: MDSolarSciences™ Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30, dr. brandt® PoreDermabrasion, TOCCA Eau de Parfum in Bianca, Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara & Cargo Blush and Bronzer Duo. I almost fell asleep typing this up. Yawn. #birchbox #subscriptionbox #subscriptions #byefelicia #beautyboxes #bblogger #femalebblogger #bbloggers #femalebeautyblogger #unboxing

A photo posted by biancardi (@colebiancardi) on

That said, look for limited edition unboxings with Birchbox here at this blog, because I do enjoy their LE boxes!  I am much more happy with my Sephora offerings and this month is no exception.

What is Sephora Play!?  Play! is a monthly subscription box that is $10.00 a month + any taxes and it looks like your subscription will be counted towards your Beauty Insider points as well

What will be in Play!  A monthly box of deluxe samples, along with an exclusive PLAY! BOOK — packed with helpful advice — and a PLAY! PASS to redeem in store for a free one-on-one learning session with a beauty expert. The six product samples in your PLAY! by SEPHORA box are from the same prestige brands we carry in store and online, and they are sized to use multiple times.  For a limited time, show your current PLAY! PASS when purchasing items in store to receive 50 bonus points each month.

Click here to sign up now

July 2016: Effortless Summer

This month’s Sephora Play! theme is “Effortless Summer“, focusing on products that fit the theme of “Some Like It Haute.  Calling all warm-weather essentials and sunny standouts:  this month we’re taking on the long days and haute nights with  a sultry selection  that will keep you chic all summer long. Soak up the best of the season with an innovative blotting sponge, a shine-boosting hair treatment and more beach-worthy finds”

Box Revealed!

Informational Card

You still get a card for 50 extra points the next time you shop at a Sephora store (not online ~ I wish they would change that)

There were two variations this month with Sephora’s box and it was based on your skin type ~ I received the oily skin type (yeah!).   It looks like the bag will have a different design printed on it each month ~ I wasn’t sure last month, as it was only the 2nd month we received the bag, but now I am pretty sure that they will change up the design, which this month’s design is so cute


First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser With Red Clay   Yeah! I normally dislike First Aid Beauty ~ it smells funky to me, but this cleanser is one product that I really like.  I have used this cleanser before and this is a great one for oily skin ~ made with detox red clay and antioxidant ingredients like green tea, feverfew and licorice as well as antibacterial rosemary, this is fantastic to help treat and heal blemishes and oily skin.  This is a red gel cleanser and it is free from parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, artificial  colorants and phthalates and is allergy tested  Sample Size 1 oz RV $5.10

Description:This foaming gel cleanser helps remove excess oils, unclog pores, and purify the skin with a powerful combination of red clay, rosemary leaf oil, and botanical antioxidants. By helping to draw out skin toxins, this clay cleanser helps control outbreaks and reduces sebum production for a more balanced complexion. It is perfect for anyone with acne-prone, combination, or oily skin, or as a deep treatment cleanse for normal skin. The jewel red gel cleanser effectively removes makeup, dirt, and grime, leaving the complexion deeply cleansed and renewed.

Red Clay: Absorbs impurities, detoxes, and purifies the skin.
Rosemary Leaf Oil: Unclogs pores and tones the skin.
Glycerin: Moisturizes and helps to protect the skin.
FAB Antioxidant Booster: Combats free radicals with licorice root, feverfew, and white tea.

IngredientsWater, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Allantoin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Illite, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)  cosDNA.com analysis


Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer  in Chocolate Medium/Deep  Don’t let the medium/deep scare you from this bronzer ~ it really isn’t that dark.  It is quite sheer and you can build it up if you are going for that darker bronze look, but I like to use this with a huge soft fluffy brush and just lightly dust my face and neck with it ~ it just adds a tiny bit of color.  I also like using this as an eye shadow too ~as it is a great neutral brown shade that can be built up ~ I even use an eyeliner brush, wet it and then I apply this as a wet liner too.  This is a creamy matte brown shade and it smells like cocoa.  This is a nice size to toss in your purse or leave at your work desk.  Sample Size 0.8 oz RV $6.86

Description:   Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder makes getting glam-and-tan downright delicious. Too Faced combines the natural, therapeutic effects of real cocoa powder with their signature bronzing pigments, creating a unique matte bronzer that neutralizes red and evens out and enhances all skintones. The complexion is left with a flawless finish, a gorgeous radiance, and a subtly sweet scent.

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Boron Nitride, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Benzyl Benzoate, Flavor (Aroma), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Fruit Powder, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Benzyl Alcohol. (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742) 

NEST Citrine I love NEST perfumes ~ my favorite is Indigo, but this one is the opposite of that dark sent ~ it states it has citrus, but I smell lotus flowers more than anything else.  There is lemon blossoms in here, and where as that has a hint of lemony-ness, I would say this is more floral than citrus.  It is light and airy.  I still prefer Indigo, but this is a really nice scent as well. Sample Size .04 oz RV $1.60

Description: The dewy softness of lotus flower and freesia are set against sparkling citrus notes and hints of precious woods. Inspired by the works of 18th Century British artist Mrs. Mary Delany, Laura Slatkin collaborated with master perfumers to translate these works of art into luxurious fragrances that capture the essence of each of the botanicals that adorn the products’ striking packaging.

Notes: Lemon Blossom, Lotus Flower, Freesia, Dew Drop Accord, Precious Woods. Style: Bright. Refreshing. Sparkling.


Ouai Wave Spray   This is kinda strange ~ I had sampled NEST Citrine first and then Ouai and I thought they smelled similar! And no wonder ~ this is scented with Ouai No. 2 Fragrance which has Italian Lemon, Amber & White Musk, so I guess those lemon blossoms do smell lemony after all!  I have fine, straight hair and you would think I would have no use for “wave” sprays ~ actually I do!  I love sea salt sprays and I spray them into my wet hair while I am blow drying.  It adds texture and volume and since I have oily hair, it helps dry out the oil too.  I used this product this morning and it does help texturize my hair ~ so I am happy to get a nice sized bottle. I don’t think I have ever purchased a sea salt spray ~ I keep getting them in my subscription boxes! This is free from parabens and phthalates.    Sample Size 1.7 oz  RV $8.84

Description: A weightless texture mist for effortlessly chic, undone hair. Infused with rice protein to add hold and memory for that perfect beachy look, this feather-light spray gives hair natural wave and body without any dryness or crunch.  Specialty Rice Protein: Protects hair fibers from the inside against oxidative damage due to solar radiation. Protects hair keratin from degradation.

Ingredients: Water, Isobutylene/Ethylmaleimide/Hydroxyethylmaleimide Copolymer, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Polysorbate-20, Propanediol, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Glycerin, Panthenol, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Cystoseira Compressa Extract, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Arginine, Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Threonine, Phytic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, PCA, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fragrance, Polysilicone-15, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Pentylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, BHT, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 6 (CI 15985) cosDNA analysis



blotterazzi by beautyblender   This is a brand new items from the famous beautyblender people. Now, this is supposed to be like an oil blotting product ~ instead of oil blotting papers, use this thin sponge instead.  However, I am going to use it to help smooth out my foundation ~ I use my fingers and sometimes I just need a bit of smoothing and this product will do the trick.  I find that the original beautyblender is fantastic but I just hate the shape of it.  This is rather nice, flat and flexible ~ the full size version has a cool mirrored case, but we didn’t get that here (I guess it was too much to ask for that!)  If I use this enough, I will purchase the full size, which also comes with 2 blotterazzi.  This also came with a sample of their liquid cleanser as well.  1 blotterazzi Size 0.62 inches deep x 3.5 inches wide x 4.5 inches high RV $10.00

Description:  Shaped to fit all contours of the face, the blotterazzi™ saves you from unused corners like traditional blotting papers. Made with the award-winning beautyblender material, these blotting sponges remain “thirsty” when they are dry, absorbing excess oil without disturbing makeup so that skin stays looking radiant. 

beautyblender liquid beauty cleanser Ingredients: water, potassium palm kernelate, potassium oleate, glycerin, potassium cocoate, potassium citrate, maris salts, lavandula angustifolia oil, citric acid  cosDNA analysis

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing  I have mixed feelings with Smashbox.  I USED TO BE SO INTO them several years ago, same with Bare Minerals, because I used to buy a lot from QVC ~ at that time, that was the only place where you could really purchase these brands.  Now they are everywhere and I am a bit burnt out ~ haha.  I am certainly tired of their primer stuff ~ and I groaned when I saw this.  But surprise, surprise, this is a tinted primer and I really like it!  I rarely use face primer because I think they are pretty much useless, but I love a tinted product and will use this around my pore areas.  This goes on smooth and my skin feels like silk, dries down to a powdery finish, mattifies and it blurs defects on my skin too.  Since it mattifies, I actually put this primer OVER my makeup, which totally negates the idea of a makeup primer, but I felt it worked best this way for me.  This is also an expensive product too ~ 1/2 oz is $16.00.  Sample Size .25 oz   RV $8.00

Description:  A perfecting primer that instantly blurs imperfections and reduces the appearance of pores for up to eight hours. This non-drying formula primes and absorbs oil all day for flawlessly smooth, shine-free skin. Sweat- and humidity-resistant, this primer dramatically blurs and reduces the look of pores, while it mattifies shine and controls oil.

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isododecane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Lauroyl Lysine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Methicone, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Water, Coconut Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)  cosDNA analysis


This month WAS A HUGE improvement over last month’s box ~ I will use all of the products in this box and am really happy with the blotterazzi and Smashbox primer, as well as the Ouai wave spray.  Sephora Play! is really getting better ~ I am not sure why so many people are complaining about the boxes ~ I wonder what they thought this would be like, as I find it to be vastly superior to Birchbox or Ipsy.  I paid $10.00 + sales tax (so it was still under $10.50 or something like that) and I received a RV of $40.40., which is 4 times what I paid for it.  These boxes do contribute to Sephora’s points system, so every month, an additional 10 points, plus there is always a 50 point card in each box ~ just go down to a Sephora store and redeem.

Did you get this month’s Sephora Play! Box?  What did you think of it and what was your favorite item?

 [ descriptions in italics from sephora’s product page ]

[ this blog post contains affiliate links ]

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