sephora play unboxing: december ’16

With 2016 coming to a close, I’m obsessing over the fact that all of my beauty subscriptions are all on the same page with this month’s theme: New Year’s Eve Glam!

New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays, for more than just closing the chapter of the year, but all of the glitter and glam is totally acceptable. More glitter, the better!

#SephoraPlay this month went with The Partygoers, or products that’ll last you all through the night and into the new year. What I love about Sephora’s Play Box  is that it offers everything that’s in Sephora stores and if you bring in your Play Card that comes on the pamphlet, you’ll receive an extra 50 Beauty Insider points. Definitely utilize this deal, because those points rack up fast!


I’ve been using Sephora Play for roughly three or so months, and I’m still deciding if I think it’s worth continuing. Most of the products I feel like aren’t necessarily curated for me, but then when I continue to use them throughout the month, I find hidden gems that I love.

This month’s box, I’m not super obsessed with. I love the theme of the box, but the products inside I could do without. Most holiday glam looks are inspired by the bold red lip, the winged out cat eye and thick, black lashes.  I feel as if that’s so overdone, even though I’m guilty of rocking this look often.

(But I will say, it’s like Sephora knew I was running low on setting spray and dry shampoo!)

Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body mascara


This is actually the first Lancome product I’ve ever used. I’ve always heard people swear by it, but for me, I always thought it was too “old lady” for me. I wasn’t too far off, because the fragrance of the mascara is super overbearing. Not that it smells like an old lady, but it’s really fragrant, like chemicals, and didn’t settle well with me.

This mascara seemed to take F O R E V E R to dry and transferred all over my lid when I applied it. With one coat, I noticed my lashes were very clumped and almost deposited at my ends, leaving little balls of product at the tips of my lashes.

In terms of length, one coat does go a long way and does make them more defined, but I was too turned away from the fragrance, even though it claims to be fragrance-free.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing primer


This is also the first Make Up For Ever product I’ve used. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on their products, but opt for other favorites instead.

My first complaint is that I wish Sephora would curate products more to my beauty preferences. MUFE has a wide variety of products that are more appropriated to skin types and even though it’s a primer, I wish I had the option for things that work best with my skin. I have combo skin, and really tend to get dry around the jowls of my mouth so I like products that are hydrating.

I noticed that the texture of this is almost identical to Benefit’s Pore Fessional, with its silky touch and easy blend-ability. Not to say I hate it, but Pore Fessional doesn’t do a lot of justice to my skin.

I paired it with my Kat Von D Lock-It liquid foundation and wore it for about seven hours while covering a game at night (without the KVD primer and I always use the two together!) and noticed that my makeup actually held in place better than with the KVD primer.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

DryBar Detox dry shampoo


90-percent of my being is made up of dry shampoo. Because my hair is so long and a hassle to style, I live for dry shampoos to make my blowouts last for days on end. In fact, I’ve been training my hair to get used to the infrequent washes (been trying Sunday and Wednesdays), so when I received the DryBar detox dry shampoo, I was wicked stoked.

Sometimes, dry shampoos can leave weird fragrances even when they claim to be fragrance-free. This dry shampoo has almost a minty fresh smell, which is surprisingly nice for a dry shampoo. I sprayed it at my oily patches (which tends to be the right frontal part of my hair, by my ears and at my crown) and let it sit while I do my makeup. This takes more vigor to scrub into my hair, since it does leave a white residue, but it does absorb nicely.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray


I actually wonder if Sephora keeps track of your purchases, because I was actually running low on setting spray! This is a holy grail item in my collection, however, I hate the price tag on it. I’ve tried dupes to it (the NYX Matte Finish setting spray is actually really comparable to it), but I just feel as if they don’t hold as great as UD.

I’m very generous with my setting sprays, making sure I’m drenched in it, again why I hate paying the price tag on this. But, because it works, I don’t mind splurging as much.

For long days that blend into nights out, I know that my face won’t budge if I use UD.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Sephora Collection cream lip stain in Always Redsephoralipstain

Lip stains and I don’t normally see eye-to-eye, simply because I’ve never legitimately used a lip stain. I’m an avid liquid lipstick girl because I like how majority of liquid lippies dry matte. Lip stains actually scared me before, just because I normally have dry lips anyway, and throwing in a stain in the mix made me think that my lips would always be tainted.

However, the Sephora Collection lip stains might be my go-to for 2017. They’re absolutely moisturizing with avocado oil and antioxidant rich vitamin E and lightweight on the lips. The wearability of them is unreal, and I can eat/drink/kiss my way through the day without having to make sure I carry a compact on me for reapplying.


People get so afraid to wear red lips, simply because they “can’t pull it off”, but for me, red lip is such a classic look, how can people not?! This shade is really flattering on my skin tone, even though it looked fire engine red in the bottle, however, if you do mess up, there’s nothing that a little concealer can’t fix.

Best way I wear my red lips is to exfoliate before hand, prep with a little balm, outline the lip (I’ve been using a nude pencil just to keep it in place) and then apply to the bottom lip first, then press to the top. Fill in the rest of the top lip and set it off with setting powder. Best way to set lips is to take the one-ply of a two-ply tissue, place over lips and tap setting powder over it with a brush. This will make lipstick matte and stay in place.

I’m also loving reds that have blue base notes in them. Tip: opt for these shades if you want your teeth to look whiter!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The one thing I really love about the Play by Sephora box is that they always include a perfume sample in each month’s bag. In fact, I discovered one of my new favorites (Derek Lam’s Silent St.) from this subscription! I’m not a huge perfume wearer, so the small sample sizes are enough for me before going out and purchasing the full size.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose perfumeejnirvana

I, for one, am NOT a floral person. I don’t love the smell of flowers and certainly don’t love them in perfumes. This one is no exception with the earthy notes of geranium and vetiver. It’s very masculine smelling and doesn’t at all smell like roses, like the name insists. It’s very musky and very old lady smelling and doesn’t balance well with my pheromones.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Just a reminder: Sephora Play is $10/month. To sign up: visit here.

About sarah

28. writer. obsessed with makeup, traveling, nyr and sparkle.
This entry was posted in makeup and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to sephora play unboxing: december ’16

  1. Pingback: sephora play unboxing: july ’17 | life with sarah

  2. Pingback: ipsy unbagging: june ’18 | life with sarah

  3. Pingback: sephora beauty insider appreciation event haul | life with sarah

  4. Pingback: sephora play unboxing: november ’18 | life with sarah

  5. Pingback: sephora play unboxing: december ’18 | life with sarah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.