SEPHORA PLAY MAY 2019 - UNBOXING + FULL PRODUCT REVIEWS (It Cosmetics, Sol De Janeiro, Benefit & More)

The Hungarian Brunette - Sephora Play May 2019 Unboxing and full product reviews - It cosmetics, Sol de Janeiro, Benefit, Smashbox, Viktor & Rolf, Alterna

Today, for Beauty Wednesday, I wanted to review this month’s Sephora Play box, like I’ve done every month for January, February, March and April this year. This will be my last Sephora Play review on the blog, as well as my last Sephora Play box, and I will explain why at the end of this post. For now, let’s get started with the products, shall we?

First things first, here’s the full list of everything that came in the box this month:

1. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream

2. Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Stepping Out

3. Sol De Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream

4. Benefit Bad Gal BANG Mascara

5. Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Heat Protection Spray

6. (Bonus) Viktor & Rolf Magic Salty Flower

P.S. I linked all the products in this month’s box at the end of this post, in case you guys want to check them out…

And now here are my full thoughts on every one of these products after testing them during the last few days:

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream

Sample’s Value: $16.22 - I was super excited to try this eye cream, because I’ve heard incredibly rave reviews about It Cosmetics’ skincare line. This eye cream is super, super THICK, to the point where it almost feels like a butter… Which makes it really easy to apply exactly where you want it.

Since I wanted to upload this review as quickly as possible, I obviously haven’t been testing it for weeks (it’s been more like 2 days) but my first thoughts are: I like it. The past 2 nights, I really haven’t been sleeping well (or enough) and I still woke up the next day looking fresh. Since the name of this cream is Bye Bye Under Eye, I’m gonna take a wild guess here and assume that it’s delivering on its promises. I can’t wait to keep using it to see if it helps with the slight signs of aging I have around my eyes, but so far I’m impressed.

It’s a pretty pricey product, especially if I compare it to my morning eye cream, that retails for $10 less for the same amount of product (0.5oz) and does an amazing job. But given the fact that eye creams are usually pretty pricey and a very little goes a long way (maybe because of the thick texture?) I’m willing to give it a pass if it works as well on the long term as it seems it would.

I would definitely recommend trying it out if you’re looking for something to help with under eye bags and dark circles.

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Stepping out

Sample’s Value: Unknown (No volume indicated on the sample) - I’ve used a few Smashbox products (like their primer and eye liner) over the years, so I’m not surprised that the formula of this matte liquid lipstick is great. I’m usually really not a fan of liquid lipsticks, because I really hate the feeling of dry, crusty lips, but I found that this wasn’t that uncomfortable to wear, which is a big feat for a lip gloss maniac like me.

Would I wear this? Absolutely not, because even though it looks like a pinkish nude in the tube, it looks full-on poop brown on the lips, and that’s possibly the worst shade in my book. I usually stick to pinks and nudes, but I would occasionally wear a red or a deeper wine colour… But anything that remind me of feces is just a no from me.

But aside from the shade, this is a pretty great liquid lipstick if you’re into that type of product.

Sol De Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream

Sample’s Value: $4.69 - I’ve heard so many good things about that brand, mostly because my sister-in-law is obsessed with their Bum Bum Cream. I honestly never thought I would buy this cream, because $45 for a body moisturizer seems insane to me… BUT, after trying it, I kind of understand what the hype is all about. Granted, I haven’t tried the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, which is supposed to do miracles with cellulite and skin tightening… But this one is meant to help with dryness and uneven texture and it really does.

I applied a very small amount on only one leg before bed, and the next day, that leg was significantly smoother and less flaky than the other one - Mind you, my legs have been incredibly dry lately. So I definitely would check out these Sol De Janeiro Creams, depending on what skin issues you have if it’s really something that won’t go away and it’s bothering you enough to throw $45 at a body cream. They also have third one with Açai, that also has quite great reviews on Sephora.

Also, it’s impossible to talk about this cream without mentioning the smell. This one reminded me of a very specific smell, and after about an hour thinking about it and smelling it a ridiculous amount, I realized it smells exactly like the Harry Potter themed Jelly Beans, in the coconut flavour. You’re welcome.

Benefit Bad Gal BANG Mascara

Sample’s Value: $8.82 - I was super pumped to receive this mascara because I used to LOVE their Bad Gal eyeliner, until they discontinued it. I feel like every time I really love a beauty product, it always gets discontinued. Am I the only one who likes apparently unpopular products??? Let me know in the comment section below if you go through this too, because your girl needs support, LMAO.

But yeah, I was excited, and it didn’t disappoint. This mascara makes my lashes look long, thick and voluminous, for a super sexy, sultry look. I already have long and curly lashes, so I usually look for volume and thickness in a mascara - And for a formula that doesn’t clump. This one delivered on all fronts and I’m obsessed.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Heat Protection Spray

Sample’s Value: $6.40 - There’s one thing I need to say first: I don’t use heat on my hair. Like, I don’t even own a blow drier. But you know that if you’ve read my Shower Routine post. That being said, my hair is still super damaged because I have the nervous habit of twisting my hair when I have anxiety, which gives me crazy split ends. For that reason, I’m pretty committed to using a hair oil on my damp hair every day after my shower (once again, I talked about this in my Shower Routine post).

I was still kind of curious to try this product, even though it’s not the most adapted to my needs. While it claims to protect from heat (obviously), it’s also supposed to help with breakage, split ends and frizz, while making hair soft and manageable. So I figured it couldn’t hurt, especially since Sasha was on a business trip and left with my hair oil (he did ask, though).

So after drying my hair with a towel, I sprayed a few pumps of this in my hands, rubbed them together slightly, and proceeded to spread the cream-like gel all through the bottom half of my hair. I’ve only used it twice so far, so I believe it would be pretty much impossible to see a change in my split ends and damage so quickly… But I did like how it made my hair feel. Contrary to when I use an oil, I felt like my hair didn’t look as greasy on Day 2 after washing it, which was a welcome change. It did feel soft, and I was a little worried that it would look clumpy or greasy (because it’s a styling cream) but it really didn’t.

I know Alterna has a super wide range of hair products, so trying this product really made me want to explore their other options and see if I can find something that’s just as good, but maybe more adapted to my needs.

(Bonus) Viktor & Rolf Magic Salty Flower

I am an undying fan of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb perfume and all of its derivatives, but I had no idea about the existence of the whole Magic collection. This fragrance smells like frangipanis, cashmeran and salt flower, which I had no idea was even a thing. It smells amazing, and is a tiny bit overpowering, which I’m not mad at. Let’s just say Viktor & Rolf strikes again with another amazing fragrance, and this one made it to my Sephora loves list.

It’s a pricey fragrance (but V&R’s fragrances always are up there) but one spritz is enough, even for me who likes to douse myself in fragrance. I fell asleep without showering on the day I tested it, and could still smell it on me the next morning. So yeah, it lasts.


TOTAL VALUE OF THE MAY BOX: $38.45 (+ the liquid lipstick)

WAS THIS MONTH’S BOX WORTH IT? This month’s box was definitely up there in value, so from that stand point only, yes. I have to say that aside from the lipstick, I also enjoyed all the products in there, even though some were not really something I would buy or even adapted to my needs.

But as I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I decided to cancel my membership and here’s why: I would rather spend my $10.99 a month towards a full size product I actually want. I have this thing about monthly payments that rubs me the wrong way, especially because they all add up on your credit card and you don’t really see them. So when you add up the $10.99 for your Sephora Play, the $40 for your gym membership, etc, etc… It gets pretty expensive.

And I really think I wouldn’t mind as much if all the products in the box were tailored to my needs and preferences, but they’re really not. When you subscribe to Sephora Play, they make you fill a questionnaire, but I feel like that’s just to make you feel like it’s customized… When really it isn’t (or at least doesn’t feel like it is). In the 8 boxes I’ve received, I’ve gotten maybe 5 lip products, and all of them were dark brownish colours I would never wear. After a few months, this just started making me feel frustrated and resentful, and there’s plenty of things in life that already make me feel like that, without me needing to pay for them. If I were to pay a monthly fee for a subscription, I would want it to be something that makes me feel happy every time.

I also kind of feel like it’s a little presumptuous to charge $11 for samples… When you can get free samples of anything at Sephora, at all times. So if I really want to try a product before buying it, I can just go to Sephora, get a sample for free, test it out at home, and put my $11 towards the full-size product when I end up buying it.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t subscribe back if they made some changes to the program (or that it’s not a good one - it might be for you), but for now, I feel like I made the right choice for me. On the plus side though, I have to say this program might be good for you if you live really far from a physical location and love testing out new products, or if you’re a BI points maniac, since you get 50 points applicable to a purchase every month.

In the next few months, I decided I would try some more subscription boxes, just to give you the lowdown on them, so definitely let me know if you know some good ones you would like to see.

Are you guys subscribed to Sephora Play? Do you love it? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Love you guys,

Jenny xx