Play! By Sephora: D e c e m b e r

Can't stop won't stop with these play boxes! This month's theme of The Partygoers definitely had me expecting some glitter or highlighter, but I was still pleasantly surprised with no skincare! (Finally)

Ooh fancy black bag

Ooh fancy black bag

This isn't a bad assortment of items, with things I haven't tried yet but are all types of makeup I actually use, so that's pretty rad. Only one item I've tried before (actually use on the daily), so everything else was fresh!

happy little info sheet

happy little info sheet

Can just dive in with what I'd already been using, UD's All Nighter Setting Spray.

MUFE primer, Sephora cream stain, Bobbi Brown mascara, Drybar dry shampoo, and finished with UD setting spray

MUFE primer, Sephora cream stain, Bobbi Brown mascara, Drybar dry shampoo, and finished with UD setting spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray:
This is really the holy grail of setting sprays, gets amazing reviews on every site, and totally deserves it. It sprays on so light and gently, doesn't feel crusty or tight, and truly makes your makeup last all day/night. The best thing is that it's really versatile, working on different skin tones, and I personally love using this to spray onto a brush to wet it instead of using water for fickle or sparkly eyeshadows. It makes your shadows more vibrant plus makes them last even longer using the setting spray, and helps with fallout too. Basically this is the setting spray everyone should be using, and while I would prefer not getting more things I'm already familiar with, this is still a winning product. 
1/1

Such long lashes! Unretouched photo

Such long lashes! Unretouched photo

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara:
Moving on to the Bobbi Brown Mascara, I always love trying a new mascara, especially since my eyelashes are ridiculous and hate almost every formula, so it's always fun to try to find ones that work. This is an interesting option, as it really defines lashes and lengthens, which looks great, but at the end of the day this one wasn't for me. While it didn't irritate my eyes (huzzah!) it still flaked a bit and smudged under my eyes (fault of oily eyelids), and felt overall stiff. Which, maybe the smudging is part of the smokey effect? But I'm not buying it. I'm not sad that I got to try a mascara though, and I'm glad it didn't freak out my eyes, but there are definitely better defining options for sensitive eyes. 
1/2

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Equalizing Primer:
I'm always game to try anything from Make Up For Ever, so it was snazzy to get their primer this month, and this is a super interesting one. There are a variety of color options available just in this primer, and the one I was able to try was 'Smoothing Primer' designed for large pores and fine lines with a natural finish–exactly what my concerns are. I'm starting to have an abundance of primers, but this is definitely a solid one, and the best one that I've received in one of these boxes. Plus the whole idea of multiple primers for multiple concerns is really nice. MUFE always delivers and this is no exception- it's slightly tinted, so smoothes and blurs flaws, while helping out a light coverage foundation. You could also wear this one alone for just a little bit of perfecting magic, and it blends into skin instead of just laying on top to make a totally smooth finish, without balling up like so many do. Definitely a win.
2/3

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo:
Having colored hair, I have tried a great multitude of dry shampoos on the market as it truly gets me from day to day as a person who tries to go as long as possible before washing. No product has ever really come close to my all-time favorite Kevin Murphy, but this Drybar Detox variety is damn good. It doesn't create a cloud of powder like so many brands, you can really see where it's been placed, and a little goes a long way. It also definitely thickens hair and you can feel it becoming much drier. I really like all of these aspects, I just think the only edge Kevin Murphy has is how light it feels in your hair-like almost like nothing is there yet your hair feels much cleaner. I have no problem with this Detox one being a good backup, and saves the effort of using a dry shampoo along with a thickener since this does both. And the scent isn't unpleasant so that's always a plus too. 
3/4

look at this ickle baby lipstick!

look at this ickle baby lipstick!

Sephora Cream Lip Stain:
I'm always a sucker for lipstick, so am always pleased to see something new in these boxes. I'd prefer if the lips products had more brand variety as I've gotten a few from Sephora now, but much like MUFE, it's a really solid brand. This lip stain is definitely more of a liquid lipstick and my favorite Sephora variety so far–it's very long-lasting, gives crisp non-feathering edges, barely transfers, is non-drying, but I wouldn't say it works like a stain. Which actually makes it more up my alley– I prefer bolder colors, not the lasting subtlety you normally find with a stain. I got the shade 'Always Red' too, and reds are notoriously the biggest bleeders, to the point where it can be hazardous to wear a white shirt along with. It for sure lasts until you eat, and even then doesn't smudge, but it doesn't stain like a normal 'stain' would. I actually really like this formula, and depending on color selection wouldn't mind incorporating it into the lipstick rotation. At $14/ea, this is kind of a great buy for a nice formula. 
4/5

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon:
Finally, this month's fragrance selection was 'Nirvana Bourbon' from Elizabeth and James, which really isn't that bad, but still isn't my taste. It has heavy vanilla notes that are definitely not my preference, and the more masculine undertones in the oakwood are really lovely, but it's a heavy scent that I expect prefer who musky scents would probably enjoy. I felt like I wanted to like it, but it was just a little much for my predominantly citrusy preference, although not harsh enough to elicit a headache! So i kind of feel like this is a winning fragrance even though it's not really for me.
5/6

While this isn't actually my favorite box to date, it was pretty good! With only one item being something I'd used before, that's a really nifty percentage. Plus the whole point of this for me is to try new things, and hopefully stumble upon something great, so no complaints here. I did edit my Play! settings to say oily skin so that i stop getting moisturizers all the time, so i don't know if that affected what was in my box this month or not, but we will continue to see what happens!