Monday, May 23, 2016

Unboxing: Sephora Play! May 2016

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Unboxing Sephora Play! beauty subscription box for May 2016: photos, swatches, first impressions

I just received my first Sephora Play! box a few days ago, and today I want to share its contents with you! I never do "unboxing" posts for a good reason: I don't subscribe to any beauty box, or at least I didn't until I had a chance to join the Play! program.

What is Sephora Play! ?

If you haunt beauty accounts on social media like I do, I'm sure you already know all about it, but if you're new to the concept, let me give you a quick explanation. Sephora Play! is a beauty subscription box that comes to members' mailboxes every month and costs $10, charged automatically to the credit card on file. For this price, we receive a handful of samples, deluxe or travel sizes of makeup, skincare, haircare products and fragrances. You cannot pick your samples - you just get what you get and there's no exchanging samples you don't like. I don't remember filling a survey asking for my preferences when I signed up, but the subscription is linked to your Sephora BI/VIB/Rouge account, so you might want to complete your profile just in case. This month it looks like everyone received the exact same products in the same shades/scents.

The Sephora Play! program was launched last year in a bunch of test markets in the US and just opened nationwide in April, so this is the first box with a large distribution. Subscribers are charged in the beginning of the month and the box is supposed to be shipped in the 3rd week of the month: I was charged on May 2nd and my box was shipped on May 16th, when I received an email with my tracking #. The box was sent through UPS Mail Innovations, which is a mix of UPS and USPS, where UPS brings the box to your city and USPS does the final delivery in your mailbox. It came from Maryland and took 4 days to arrive to my Southern California location, with a delivery on May 20th, no signature required.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

Friday, May 20, 2016

#FrenchFriday: a shot of grenadine syrup with Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry (Review)

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Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry: review, photos, swatches

Happy #FrenchFriday guys! I know it's still spring, but I'm sick and tired of the gloomy May Gray we're having here in San Diego, so I decided to feature a summer lippie today in the hope it will bring the sun back out! May Gray is this infamous time of year in Southern California when we get low clouds every single day for weeks on end... Sometimes the clouds break in the afternoon and we get a bit of sun, but it's been particularly bad this year. I'm hoping May Gray won't be followed by its evil twin June Gloom, cause I'm done with the depressing gray skies!

Anyways, the star of the show today won't be a cumulonimbus, but the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil by Clarins. The brand first launched this lip oil in the end of 2014 I believe, then due to popular demand brought it back in 2015 with two colors, Honey (01) and Raspberry (02). This year for summer they have launched a new shade, Red Berry (03), that I grabbed a couple weeks ago.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil all 3 shades
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil: 02 Raspberry, 01 Honey and 03 Red Berry

In the Clarins Instant Light family, the Lip Comfort Oil is the Natural Lip Perfector's younger sister: sheerer, glossier, juicier, with a fruity scent and flavor, but also more nourishing. If you're not sure what the Lip Perfectors are, take a look at the review I did last year. The Lip Comfort Oil also fits nicely into the current lip oil trend that has been growing slowly, especially among French beauty brands. If you like sheer, moisturizing lip colors, you can now choose between this one, the YSL Tint-in-Oil and the most recent Lancôme Juicy Shaker.

Here's what Clarins has to say about the Lip Comfort Oil: "transforms lips from dry and damaged to plump and luscious while adding just a hint of color. The formula nourishes, soothes and enhances the natural way, with oils of mirabelle plum, jojoba and hazelnut for lips that look comfortable and appear fuller. Its innovative gel-like, non-sticky texture hugs your pout in gorgeous color."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review: Stila Sunrise Splendor Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Palette

Stila Sunrise Splendor Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Palette

I'm just human, and I'm afraid that makes me highly predictable. I tend to be always attracted to the same things, to buy clothes in the same cuts and colors, to order the same dishes in restaurants, to enjoy movies and books of the same genres, and, of course, to buy makeup in very similar shades. That's how I have amassed an enormous collection of coral/peachy/apricot blushes. They all look slightly different in the pans, but to be honest they're often impossible to distinguish on the cheeks.

Being so predictable annoys me though. Ideally I'd like to be unique, ever-changing and do unexpected things. You know, like, a snowflake, a butterfly, that kind of stuff. Not a boring girl who hoards coral blush and eats it at night surrounded by 12 cats. Scared by this image of a future that seemed inescapable if I ordered yet another 5 iterations of my usual blush shade with Stila's new Convertible Color palette in the warm-toned Sunset Serenade version, I did a 180 and, against all odds and refusing to listen to my gut feeling, I got the palette in Sunrise Splendor, a very cool-toned shade combo. Boom, take that predictability!

Stila Convertible Color palettes: Sunrise Splendor vs. Sunset Serenade

Of course I had second thoughts. In fact, as I'm about to review Sunrise Splendor for you and tell you that I like it a lot, I have this thought in the back of my mind that I should buy Sunset Serenade too, because, you know, "the pretties coral and peach blushes!!". But I'm not listening. For now.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Newsflash: Nuxe Beauty now sold at Ulta!

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Ulta now selling French pharmacy beauty brand Nuxe

Big news for beauty enthusiasts based in the US: the high-end French pharmacy skincare brand Nuxe is now available at Ulta! For now the products are sold online only, I'm hoping they will eventually end up in the stores too. And the best part: you can use the weekly Ulta coupons on Nuxe since the brand is not considered "prestige"!

Ulta does not carry every single Nuxe product at this time (you'll still have to visit Nuxe's website for their anti-aging ranges such as Merveillance or Nirvanesque and for their skincare for men), but they do have the most popular lines:

Friday, May 13, 2016

#FrenchFriday - Givenchy Le Rouge-a-Porter Review: Beige Plumetis

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Givency Le Rouge-a-Porter in Beige Plumetis: review, photos, swatches

I've already told you how much I love the original Givenchy Le Rouge. This luxurious lipstick with its leather case is gorgeous, but because the color payoff of most shades is rather intense I tend to keep it for nights out or special occasions. Luckily, Givenchy launched an easy-to-wear formula for daytime called Le Rouge-à-Porter last year around spring. As its name indicates, this is a more approachable prêt-à-porter version of the couture Le Rouge.

Givency Le Rouge-a-Porter in Beige Plumetis: review, photos, swatches

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