Play! by Sephora: March 2017

I’m a little late with this post, but that’s because I was super late with my February Play! by Sephora post and I needed a bit of distance before writing my next one.  🙂  My March Play! by Sephora box arrived last week and it was all about the GLEAM.

This month’s goodies arrived in a beribboned puch with “Glow Your Own Way” printed in a neon light-inspired font. Cute! I wish I could say I saved these bags for re-use, but I’ve been tossing them out because TBH they would just collect dust. I’m trying to be better about getting rid of things that I know I won’t actually use.

As you might gather from this month’s theme, the samples are all about products that help “create that luxurious, lustrous look…for unparalleled radiance.” The brochure listed four skin care and makeup samples, one hair care sample, and one fragrance sample, all of which looked pretty promising.

Take a peek at all of my glowy samples this month!

Play! by Sephora March 2017 Samples

I’ll start with the hair care sample: Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast (full-size, $29). It’s honestly difficult for me to muster much excitement about hair care products but as far as these things go, a volumizing spray is on the better end of the spectrum. My hair is super baby fine and limp, so anything that perks it up is a good thing. I’ve tried a couple Living Proof samples in the past and haven’t been super wowed by them, and this product is no different. I don’t love using a ton of product in my hair because I loathe the feeling of running my fingers through my hair when there’s STUFF in it, so to be fair, I only used this product sparingly. It does indeed give some volume and the scent is mild enough for my taste, but it’s nothing magical…which might be due to my timid use of it. This spray could very well be a Holy Grail product for other folks, but it’s just not really my thing.

Living proof full dry volume blast | Play! by Sephora

Living proof full dry volume blast

I was pretty excited about my next sample, Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink (full-size, $30). I’ve been a fan of Bobbi Brown for many years; I love her philosophy that makeup should enhance one’s appearance rather than mask it. And her products are high quality. I hadn’t tried any of her shadow sticks before, so it was nice to get to test one out. The formula is indeed very creamy and it glides right on to the eyelid. I used my fingertip to blend the shadow out and that was easy to do as well. While the golden pink color is very pretty, its “shimmer” formula has a lot of glitter in it. This shadow is fine for a special occasion, but it’s definitely not everyday wear for me. I would, however, be down with trying this product in a non-shimmery shade. You can see a swatch of this product, along with swatches of my other makeup samples, in a pic near the bottom of the post.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink | Play! by Sephora

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink

My next sample is one that I’m already familiar with: Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up Cream-to-Powder Highlighter (full-size, $30). I consider this an OG highlighter—it’s been around for quite some time, I think even before highlighting and strobing became such a massive trend. I received a sample of this product at least a couple years ago and have used it pretty regularly in my travel bag, though I still have plenty of it left. I can vouch for the cream-to-powder claim; the product glides right on and blends out easily. The luminous champagne shade works well on me and seems neutral enough to look good on a range of skin tones. Thumbs up to getting a fresh sample of this stuff!

Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter | Play! by Sephora

Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

Next is Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm (full-size, $36). The brand is not new to me, as I’ve used her Argan Oil and Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 in the past (both were great). But I hadn’t heard of this finishing balm so it was cool to receive a sample of something totally new to me. This balm is versatile—you can use it as the first or final step in your makeup routine, and you can either use it as a highlighter or all over your face for a good glow. So far I’ve only tried this as an overall glow after applying my makeup, but…it’s really good stuff. It’s light and a little goes a long way. The balm has a finish that somehow manages to simultaneously look matte and lustrous. I’m all about subtle makeup, and this definitely fits the bill. I’m not sure if I’d spend $36 for a full sized tub because it’s not a product I actually NEED, but I’d consider treating myself if I’m feeling a little flush with cash.

Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm | Play! by Sephora

Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm

The final beauty sample in my March box is GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow (full-size, $49). I had yet to try any GLAMGLOW products but they pop up on beauty blogs all the time so my curiosity was piqued. The brand is a Hollywood favorite (witness: Nina Dobrev’s recently Instagrammed, apparently-not-sponsored blue [wo]man pool party) and its price point certainly reflects that. This particular product is a “glotion,” a portmanteau that makes me gag a little (see also: “greige”). Basically, it’s a moisturizer that also contains light-reflecting properties to give your skin that red carpet glow. When I first opened my sample, my initial thought was HOLY CRAP, IT SMELLS JUST LIKE SMARTIES. I love Smarties so the scent didn’t bother me. However, it was pretty over-the-top once I applied the product to my face. The scent didn’t really dissipate, and for that reason alone I wouldn’t spend almost $50 on this product. The “glow” factor was also a bit much for me. I definitely wouldn’t use this as an everyday product, though I might use it for a special occasion. When it comes to a glowy product meant to be applied all over, I far preferred the Josie Maran sample.

GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow | Play! by Sephora

GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow

Below is the promised photo of my makeup sample swatches! Though I didn’t blend any of these swatches in, you can still probably see why I preferred the Josie Maran over the GLAMGLOW. It’s a lot less in-your-face (and doesn’t smell like candy hours later).

Swatches, L to R: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink, Benefit Watt’s Up, Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm

The fragrance sample is almost always a throwaway for me, and this month’s was no exception. I did spritz the Chloé Fleur de Parfum (full-size, $105) on my wrist to see how it worked with my body chemistry, and it was okay at first but after an hour or two I really didn’t like it. So, the sample went in the trash.

In summary, I was pretty happy with my March Play! by Sephora box. When I first opened the box I thought the Bobbi Brown cream shadow stick would be my favorite sample, but to my surprise my actual favorite ended up being the Josie Maran Finishing Balm. And surprises are what make these subscription boxes so much fun!

What did you think of your March Play! box?

Read my previous Play! by Sephora reviews.

What is Play! by Sephora?

Play! by Sephora is a $10 per month beauty subscription that includes five deluxe samples plus one fragrance sample; the samples are curated based on your Sephora beauty profile (hair color, eye color, skin tone, skin type, skincare concerns, haircare concerns, etc.). And of course, you can purchase full-sized versions of any samples from Sephora and earn VIB points if you’re a part of that program—which I highly recommend signing up for if you ever shop at Sephora. This subscription program also offers subscribers a “Play! Date” each month, where you and a friend can attend an in-store meetup to learn how to use the products in that month’s box (RSVP is required).

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