July 2018 Beauty Samples: The Good Stuff
I’m delayed on posting my Play! by Sephora review this month #becauseComicCon. My July box arrived while I was in San Diego and I returned a little worse for the wear, so I needed some R&R first (plus, DC has been rainy so I waited to take pics until it brightened up a bit). I also finally shot an unboxing video…please check it out:
July’s theme is The Good Stuff: clean beauty samples free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. If you browse Sephora.com often you may have noticed a new “Clean at Sephora” seal on some brands and products. They’ve begun posting this seal on products free of a whole mess of ingredients believed to be not-so-great for us. Parabens especially may be problematic: they’re used as preservatives but are believed to mimic estrogen, which can disrupt the body’s hormones and lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers (this Scientific American article has some good information about parabens).
It doesn’t sound like there’s definitive scientific evidence that parabens cause cancer, but I prefer to avoid them. So I appreciate that Sephora is making shopping for clean beauty that much easier for consumers!
This month I received two makeup samples, three skin care samples, and a bonus hair care packet. There’s no fragrance sample this month, and I’m 100% okay with that!
The Beauty Samples
I was happy to receive a sample of Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty (full-size, $29). This blush was part of the Sephora birthday gift last year so I’ve had this exact sample before. But like I said in my video, I destroyed it while trying to depot it (I do not have a light touch when it comes to these things). So, it’s nice to have a fresh mini blush that I can travel with! Paaarty is a pale pinky nude that works well on my fair skin (swatch below). Tarte’s blushes have good pigmentation and blend well…zero complaints with this sample.
My second makeup sample this month is from the same brand: Tarte Color Splash Lipstick – Rainforest of the Sea™ Collection in Salt Lyfe (full-size, $21). In my video I said I thought I had received a sample of this exact shade in the past, but I fact-checked myself afterward and it turns out that was fake news. Sephora sent me a sample of this lipstick in a different shade, Set Sail, in my July 2017 box. Salt Lyfe is more of a nude mauve than Set Sail, which leans brown. This lipstick formula isn’t my favorite—I do need to use a lip scrub prior to applying because it will accentuate flakes. I have yet to try this lipstick on because I have a cold and don’t want to contaminate my sample…but you can see an arm swatch below.
It’s a little odd that Sephora sent two Tarte samples in the same box. I guess they just don’t have many clean makeup samples to share yet? When you look at the list of clean brands they carry, it does lean very skin care-heavy. Anyway, here are the blush and lipstick swatches:
The Skin Care Samples
Oils are kind of a big deal in skin care, and so is vitamin C. The Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil (full-size, $54) combines both! This oil is supposed to reduce fine lines and discoloration…so I’m here for it. The product, as expected, smells rosy, which is a scent I’m a-ok with on my face. I haven’t tried this product out yet but am going to incorporate it into my nighttime routine and see how it goes.
The next skin care sample is Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen (full-size, $115). Daaaaamn, that’s an expensive product. I only have a vague sense of what collagen is, and in my video I wondered how a collagen product could be vegan. So I googled it to educate myself a little. Animal bodies contain collagen, which is a protein that helps give skin strength and elasticity. Our collagen production decreases as we age, which is why our skin starts to sag and wrinkle. Applying collagen topically supposedly helps replenish skin.
Algenist’s website says that the collagen in this product is plant-based—I hadn’t realized that plants also contain collagen. So that’s how they’re able to call this product vegan. The serum has microalgae oil beads suspended inside of it, so it applies much like a facial oil. I applied Tarte Maracuja oil as a moisturizer after this serum and then I felt like a greaseball; it’s probably better to use a more traditional moisturizer rather than an oil in concert with the serum. The price tag on this product screams LUXURY so it’s not something I see myself being able to afford anytime soon.
The only 100% new-to-me brand in this month’s box is Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer (full-size, $52). I’ve seen Biossance pop up in my Instagram feed but have never really paid much attention to it. In my video I mentioned that I didn’t know what probiotics do for the skin. According to the product description, the probiotics in this moisturizer “support natural epidermal growth, production of essential proteins and enzymes in skin quality, and skin barrier function.” And the squalane is said to fight signs of aging and help skin retain moisture. I like that this gel moisturizer is for use in the AM or PM…double duty! This product feels light and absorbs quickly. I think it’ll be a good summer moisturizer for me but I’m not sure how well it would fare in the dry winter months.
The Bonus Sample
Though I’m happy I didn’t receive a fragrance sample this month, I’m not too pumped about the packet of Briogeo Rosarco™ Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Crème (full-size, $24). I only heat style my hair maybe five times a year, tops, so this type of product isn’t really my jam. Next week I’m going on a girls’ trip with a couple friends so I’ll bring this sample with me and see if either of them wants it.
Overall, this was a pretty good box for me. I LOVE finding new clean beauty products, so July’s theme was right up my alley. So far I’ve enjoyed the samples that I’ve tried and they’ll be great for my upcoming travels.
Did you discover any new clean favorites in your Play! box this month?
What is Play! by Sephora?
Play! by Sephora is a $10 per month beauty subscription that includes five deluxe samples plus one fragrance sample; samples are curated based on your Sephora beauty profile (hair color, eye color, skin tone, skin type, skin and hair 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 the Beauty Insider program—which I highly recommend signing up for if you ever shop at Sephora. This subscription also offers a “Play! Date” each month, which allows you and a friend to attend an in-store event to learn how to use the products in that month’s box (RSVP is required).