PLAY! by Sephora, Birchbox, and Ipsy March 2016 Review


Hi there, hope you're having a fantastic week so far!

It's the end of the month and so I wanted to put together a brief post about this month's three subscriptions: Ipsy, Birchbox, and Sephora Play! I decided to put all the reviews into one that way I'm not worried about creating three separate posts about product subscription reviews in a month. This months products are a great combination of familiarity and newness. First I'll go over each subscription individually and name its contents, and then compare which subscription included the most loved or valuable product to me. I'll start with Birchbox!



1 | Birchbox

I really like Birchbox's products for this month because they are all new to me. One brand I've grown to like in particular is theBalm cosmetics. I've received samples from this brand such as bronzer, liquid matte lipstick, and now their Stainiac cheek tint. This cheek tint is similar to the Revive cheek tint that I tried last month, also from Birchbox. I mentioned in my February review that I do not really wear cheek tints on a regular basis but because of my likes for theBalm cosmetics has grown tremendously, I'm going to keep this and give it a go! 

Cargo's land down under eye shadow, a highly pigmented eyeshadow palette that  blends easily to create a variety of looks. The duo color I received were "Sandy & Ferry", a gorgeous golden brown and brownish-purply color that is perfect for a day and night look (silver container in the photos below). I look forward to using this duo eyeshadow sample! 

Dr. Lipp is a 100% natural formula miracle balm that rehydrates the skin. It is great for dry lips and can be used for sunburns, unruly brows, and cuticles. Another great product I'll be using for the lips, woot!

I look forward to using Wilma Schumann's hydrating collagen eye pads because they are meant to hydrate and plump the skin around the eyes for a healthier look. It is almost like a beauty mask but just for the eyes! I can dig it.

Number 4's Lumiere dhiver Fluoro5 elixer restore & repair oil is one I probably won't be using at all. I have a ton of hair oils that I don't use and thanks to my hair color, I'm using blue shampoo and conditioner to help maintain its brightness. I could use some oil to give it more life, but it won't be this one.


2 | Ipsy

Ipsy's content this month is also a good one. 

NYX Liquid Suede is a good matte lipstick. I haven't had any issues with the lipstick or dryness, and is probably one of my favorite matte lipsticks. I have two friends who can't say the same, however. I know from their experience they say it dries out their lips and it tends to clump when you apply a few layers. I have more than 4 of their liquid suede, love all the colors, and never have to apply more than two layers. They come in many gorgeous colors at an affordable price. I received 'Kitten Heels' which is a beautiful bright red, and the best part is that it is the full size product, thanks Ipsy!

Two different eyeshadows in this month's Ipsy are Pixi's Beauty Blush Duo in Rose GoldLotus Eyeshadow in Clover by Vera Mona, both new brands I just discovered. The VM eyeshadow is a highly pigmented rose gold color that is fantastic for a day look. It has a slight touch of metallic and sparkles when applied. You can find a swatch I did in some of the photos below in a square grey container. The Pixi duo eyeshadow is quite similar, just with a second color that is sort of a metallic white gold pigment. Will definitely be using both!

The Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Cream by Marc Anthony is a product I am willing to use because it has two beneficial ingredients, argan oil and keratin! This cream is meant to hold straight hair, prevent frizz, keeps the hair smooth for up to 3 days, and it has a nice scent to it as well.

The final item for Ipsy was Margaret Dabbs' London Super Shiner Buffer. I will be adding this to my nail tools collection, yay!

3 | PLAY! by Sephora

Now Sephora's box contained a few products that I had already received from either Birchbox or Ipsy. I understand this because Sephora was the last one I subscribed to as I was waitlisted for the subscription. It took months to finally get the invitation again, but I'm glad to be a part of the membership! It was worth the wait. The two products familiar to me are fresh soy face cleanser & smashbox photo finish primer oil. I added these two to my box of products I won't use and will give away because if I have two, I won't have the time to get to the second one since I'm constantly receiving new products that may be similar.

My most favorite item in this month's box is Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I absolutely love this liner because it is easy to control and the applicator never seems to go wrong and doesn't fray like other felt tips. It gives precise application with high pigmentation that will last all day long! I have been using this eyeliner since 2013 and will always be a big fan of it. I'll try out different eyeliners every now and then but this is the one I always go back to. 

Next is Sephora's Airbrush Sponge that gives you the best blend from foundation to bronzer. I love the cute little booklet (the PERFECTION collection) that they provide with each box because if you're trying to learn ways to use the product, it's a great reference to utilize. With this sponge you want to dampen it to prevent too much product from soaking in, bounce or use a stippling motion to pat on the product because you never want to brush or swipe, and last but not least, blend baby, blend! I'm excited with this because I can never have too many brushes to blend with.

Dr. Howard Murad's invisiblur perfecting shield is an innovative sunscreen that protects your skin with a SPF of 30 and also works as a primer and moisturizer. I've never heard of the brand but what I recently learned is that Dr. Howard Murad is a world-class dermatologist, pharmacist, and professor of medicine who is involved in scientific research whose mission is to help people look, feel, and live younger and happier. Throughout his successful career, he's written many books on health, skincare, and aging. I can't wait to give this product a try and see what I think about it. According to the PERFECTION collection booklet, it's like having an Instagram filter on your face if you use it as a primer!

Last but not least, Maison Martin Margiela's 'REPLICA' Beach Walk fragrance. This fragrance definitely reminds me of a sweeter scent of the beach. It contains a radiant scent of coconut milk, lemon, and bergamot. This is more of a daytime perfume that I would use. 

Sephora also included an empty sample container to invite members back to the stores to find the right color of product for the skin. Before discovering the little container, I just purchased tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage as a new foundation to try. So they had the right idea!


Out of all three boxes and its contents, the most valuable product to me is hands down Kat Von D's tattoo liner! I love this eyeliner so much I'll choose it over everything else, haha.

Photos by Quynh Nguyen