Sephora Play Review | May 2017

After last week’s BoxyCharm, I was starting to feel a little less enthusiastic than usual about subscription boxes. Luckily my Sephora Play box arrived shortly thereafter and was a completely different ballgame.

Sephora Play May 2017 - Bag

Usually the products arrive in a small fabric drawstring bag with a cute beauty saying on it. This month they changed it up and sent this adorable envelope instead.

Sephora Play May 2017 - Info

As always, the box comes with a detailed info sheet which comes in handy especially when they send new and innovative products that you may not have used before, as is often the case.

Sephora Play May 2017 - Contents

Let’s take a look at what was inside!

Sephora Play May 2017 - Milk Makeup and Nest Fragrance

Milk Makeup Blur Stick

One of the things I love most about Sephora Play is that you receive products and brands that are high profile and that are likely something you’re interested in trying. This blur stick has been all over YouTube for some time, and I was happy to give it a go. The application is very smooth and you can see it filling in your pores as you apply. I like it, but I don’t think it’s special enough to purchase a full size.

Nest Fine Fragrances Black Tulip

I liked this perfume as soon as I tried it out. The info sheet describes the notes as warm and sweet with Japanese violet, black amber plum and patchouli. Very interesting! The only down side is that the scent did not last very long on my skin.

Sephora Play May 2017 - Tata Harper and Christophe Robin

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

I tried this resurfacing mask one afternoon when I had some time to kill, and I was intrigued by the fact that this is supposed to resurface your skin. As it dried, I could feel it tightening and after removing I was blown away by the results. My skin looked noticeably firmer and smoother. It was so soft! I may end up purchasing a full size of this one.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

But this purifying scrub has to be the overwhelming star of the box. This was another unusual product that I wasn’t sure how to use or what the result would be. I was even still skeptical while using it – the texture is very odd in that there are chunks of sea salt in it and it’s meant to be used as a shampoo. I sort of felt like I was cleaning my hair with rock salt. But then when I was blow drying later, I was absolutely blown away by how my hair looked and felt. It was like I had just come from the hair dresser! It was so smooth, healthy and manageable. I’ve never in my life used any hair product that gave me this dramatic of a result. I already have this in my Sephora cart!

Sephora Play May 2017 - Trestique and Grande Lips

Trestique Highlight and Perfect Multipurpose Stick in Maldives Luminescent

This highlight stick was nice and easy to use. It has a slight champagney color to it and was fairly easy to blend into the skin. I do prefer powder highlighters over anything in stick form, however.

Grande Lips Lip Plumper in Clear

If there was one product in this box that I just wasn’t too excited about, it would have to be this lip plumper. I’m not a fan of lip plumpers in general, and this one was no exception. It didn’t sting as much as the Too Faced plumper, but it still isn’t something I’m interested in using.

Overall, this box was a huge win for me. I found at least two home run products that gave incredible results, and that’s not something I often find with any subscription box. Nice job Sephora!

This post contains referral/affiliate links but is not sponsored.

What’s your current favorite subscription box?

Thinking Out Loud | NYC, Fear of Flying and Road Trips

It’s almost the weekend, and it’s also almost time for me to go on vacation. I can’t wait! Before that happens though, let’s do some catching up with the weekly Thinking Out Loud linkup.

Thinking Out Loud banner

Thinking Out Loud about Traveling

1. It’s a packing extravaganza today, and I think I’m definitely erring on the side of overpacking. Since we’re driving, there’s more freedom to pack things even if I’m not completely sure they’re necessary. I like when I don’t have to overthink the packing process, and after traveling internationally last year, this seems like a breeze.

2. What isn’t a breeze is trying to find the perfect purse to take with me for travel. I feel like I’ve been searching for the perfect travel purse for years, but still haven’t found something exactly right. I need something lightweight, possibly crossbody and easy to carry. But it also has to have a decent amount of room inside it. Any recommendations?

3. We’re lucky that we live within driving distance to New York City because we both love going there. We went twice last year and have been going consistently since we’ve been together. It takes about 4 – 5 hours to drive from where we live, which isn’t bad at all.

4. I much prefer road trips like this one over getting on a plane. I’m quite scared of flying, though I do still push through because I don’t want to miss out on travel experiences just because of the fear. It’s funny though, because I remember going to Disney World with my family when I was a kid, and I loved flying back then. It’s funny what age will do to you.

5. Flying internationally is a little easier on me, even though we’re on the plane for considerably longer. I find that the really large international planes experience a lot less turbulence. Thank goodness because I don’t think I could deal with 13 – 15 hours of turbulence when going to Japan!

6. And now that I’m thinking about flying after writing those few paragraphs, I’m super glad I don’t have to get on a plane this week!

Thinking Out Loud about Blogging

7. I was not too happy with this month’s BoxyCharm. Take a look at my review here.

8. Tuesday, I wrote up a review on my experience with StepBet. It’s an awesome way to get motivated to meet your step goals.

9. Also, don’t forget to check back on Saturday for my Sephora Play box review. There were two major hits in this one!

Tell me about the last place you traveled to!

Do you like flying or do you hate it like me?

My Experience Joining a StepBet

At the end of last year, I decided to do something to get myself moving more: I joined a StepBet. As of last week, I completed my third round on the app and I thought it would be fun to do a rundown of what exactly happens during a bet and what I think of the whole process.

Usual disclaimer: I am not affiliated with StepBet in any way. These are just my thoughts from my own personal experience.

What is StepBet?

StepBetis an offshoot of the company that created DietBet. They’re still a pretty new company, but the concept is a lot of fun. There are any number of 6 week challenges running at any given time, and to join, you must put up a $40 “bet”.

How does it work?

StepBet calculates your weekly goals based on your recent fitness tracker history. I’ve been using a FitBit for many years now, so it was easy to sync my FitBit to the StepBet app for the challenge. You are assigned 4 “active” days and 2 “stretch” days per week. The 7th day is given to you as a free day, and everyone’s goals will be unique to their own recent stepping history.

Stepbet - How it works

During one of my more active time periods, I was assigned an active goal of around 11k and a stretch goal of around 13k. During one of my less active times, my active goal was in the 7000s and my strech was in the 9000s. I think this is great because it makes sure that the goal is both doable and challenging for each individual person’s needs.

What do you have to do to win?

To win, you just need to hit all your weekly goals for the duration of the challenge. The first week of every challenge is considered a “warm up” meaning that you’re not eliminated if you don’t hit your goals. For the remaining 5 weeks you need to hit your 4 active and 2 stretch goals per week.

If you’re one of the few left standing at the end, you win!

Do you really win money?

Yes — but not much. How much you win depends on how many people join the bet and how many drop out over the course of the six weeks. Each person pays the $40 into the pot at the beginning of the challenge and regardless of what happens, StepBet takes 12.5% of the pot. What’s left is divided up between everyone who wins.

For example, here’s what I won for each of the three bets I joined:

Bet 1: Invested $40, Got $51.92 back Profit: $11.92
Bet 2: Invested $40, Got $44.99 back Profit: $4.99
Bet 3: Invested $40, Got $46.76 back Profit: $6.76

So you’re not winning much, but it’s still nice to get a little back. Also as someone pointed out in one of my challenge groups, it’s a lot more money than what you would have made if you invested the $40 in a savings account for the same time.

Stepbet - Challenges

The reason I do StepBets is not for the money, but for the amazing community atmosphere and the sheer motivation it gives me to hit my goals. Everyone is always so encouraging and motivating. If you’re looking for something to motivate you, I’d highly recommend this kind of a challenge.

Will I join another StepBet in the future?

Absolutely! When I joined my first bet in the fall of last year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after that first experience, I’ve gone back two more times, both at times when I felt I needed a push of motivation to get moving. I feel like I will keep going back anytime motivation is low. It really forces me to get up and hit my step goals!

StepBet also released a new membership feature recently where you pay a yearly fee and get access to challenges that allow you to win more money. I haven’t looked much into this yet, but it sounds like an interesting option.

In conclusion, StepBet really works for me, and I can see myself going back again and again in the future!

This post contains a referral link but is not sponsored. All images are screenshots taken from the I just wanted to share a fun experience with all of you!

Have you ever joined a StepBet?

What’s your favorite fitness tracker?