September 2016 Play! by Sephora


Play! by Sephora is a monthly beauty subscription service curated by one of the leaders in cosmetic retain, Sephora. Each month, subscribers receive 5 beauty products, plus a fragrance bonus (that’s right, the fragrance doesn’t count as one of your samples!) The goodies arrive in a cute, reusable bag, along with your monthly information pamphlet and your play pass, which grants you 50 bonus Beauty Insider points when you make a purchase in store! As of right now, Play! by Sephora is only available in the 48 contiguous United States, and you can find out more here!


This month’s items:

Total value of $34.01!

Ole Henriksen | POWER Bright, Truth Serum, Sheer Transformation | Reviews


Ole Henriksen is a Danish spa-owner and cosmetician living in Los Angeles. Henriksen himself suffered from cystic acne in his youth, and his discovery of skin treatments and botanical sparked his passion for skincare. His spa has been successful among the rich and famous for three decades, and his skincare line is now available in 12 countries. In the US, it is available exclusively at Sephora.


Thanks to Influenster, I was able to try three products from Ole Henriksen; the POWER Bright 3 Step System, Truth Serum, and Sheer Transformation Moisturizer. I had never tried the brand before, but was vaguely familiar, having seen it in Sephora. Although these products were provided to me as no cost for review purposes, this in no way affects my final opinion of the product.

Product Info


POWER Bright

What it is:
A professional-strength three-step brightening system with an unprecedented 25 percent vitamin C concentrate to deliver maximum radiance in as little as one use.

Solutions for:
– Dullness
– Uneven skintone
– Fine lines and wrinkles

$55 for 6 treatments


Truth Serum

What it is:
A high potency serum that’s formulated with a proprietary five-source vitamin C complex to help brighten, boost collagen, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Solutions for:
– Fine lines/wrinkles
– Uneven skin texture/dullness
– Elasticity

$48 for 1 oz


Sheer Transformation

What it is:
An oil-free moisturizer with a multi-fruit AHA complex to even the skintone and smooth the skin’s texture.

Solutions for:
– Dryness
– Dark spots
– Uneven texture
– Uneven skintone

$38 for 1.7 oz


The POWER Bright 3 Step treatment starts with the Truth Sugar Glow Polishing mask, to exfoliate the skin and cleanse it. The second step is the Truth 25% Vitamin C Concentrate. Finally, the Pure Truth Melting Cleanser is added on top of the vitamin c concentrate, and is left on the face for 10-15 minutes. Sponges are provided to assist in gently removing the product from the face. I used the treatment before bed and was surprised to find my cystic acne scarring on my chin to be less red the next morning. It seemed to help dry down the area and diminish the redness and scarring in the area due to hyper pigmentation. I was provided with one treatment, but it is recommended for weekly use, and I definitely believe that after a few of these treatments, my scarring would be nearly gone. The price tag is steep, but I think it is worth in in terms of results, and the next VIB sale, I am grabbing this baby right up.

The Truth Serum and Sheer Transformation have been incorporated into my daily skincare routine and I really like them. The Truth Serum I use in the morning after cleansing and toning, and I have been using Sheer Transformation as both my day and night moisturizer. I have not had issues with my sensitive skin reacting negatively to these products, and in face my breakouts have lessened in the last month (although I have also been using some products from Mario Badescu that have been helping my acne a lot as well). My normally ruddy cheeks have been less flushed and my overall complexion is evened out more than it has in a long time. I have also noticed the texture on my face smoothing out. These products both go a long way and feel great on the skin. They absorb fast and do not feel sticky or greasy in the slightest. Frankly, while the prices are quite high in comparison to drugstore skincare, they are in line with what I would expect to pay for the results and quality. I will be purchasing these items when I run out.

POWER Bright 8.5/10

Truth Serum 9/10

Sheer Transformation 8/10


Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit | Review & Swatches!

I have always thought Anastasia Beverly Hills was a good brand, after all Anastasia Soare is the QUEEN of brows, but lately they have really been making me fall in love more and more. Claudia “Norvina” Soare, president of ABH and Anastasia’s daughter, has a keen eye for design and always has her finger to the pulse of trends. Moonchild is her brain child, born out of her childhood love for “The Neverending Story” and its bright and colorful visual palette. She also is a great person and makes a point of ensuring her line is inclusive of ALL genders and skin colors, something I applaud. Check out the promo shots below!

Product Information

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the current makeup trends are all about bright, vivid, rainbow colors, from eyes, to lips, to even cheek bones. Moonchild is a 6-color rainbow highlighting palette featuring hues ranging from celestial pink to dazzling lavender. Each pan contains .15 oz of product, with .9 oz total in the product. Their 4-pan glow kits have 1.04 product, for reference. All ABH glow kits currently cost $40. The price breaks down to $6.67 per shade for this product.

What really sets this glow kit apart is its utilization of a proprietary cosmetic ingredient, Reflecks™, from BASF Care Creations, a cosmetic lab. BASF describes Reflecks™ as a color changing pigment that gives cosmetics vibrant life by changing their color as the visual angle of the viewer or the wearer shifts. This multi-dimensional effect material makes distinctive color travel effects possible through providing an array of optical effects that offer a pearl colored visual impact. Claudia noted that this ingredient is typically used in loose pigments, and this would be the first time the brand has experimented with utilizing it in a pressed product. Below are the brand descriptions of the shades:

  • Blue Ice- Diamond white with an icy blue reflect
  • Star- A moonstone fusion of mint, platinum, and silver reflect
  • Purple Horseshoe- A glittering lavender with an arctic blue reflect
  • Pink Heart- Pearl white with a pink opal reflect
  • Lucky Clover- A shamrock-infused gold with a canary yellow diamond reflect
  • Blue Moon- Frozen blue with a silver reflect
Pan shots w/ flash


Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Purple Horsehoe, Blue Moon, Star, Lucky Clover, Blue Ice, Pink Heart


First off, aesthetically, the product itself is so stunning and visually appealing. I love the holographic packaging and the entire concept behind the palette and the marketing campaign. It appealed to me immediately, but I was concerned it would be something I couldn’t actually pull off in public. Au contraire, these are actually so beautiful on the face and are actually quit subtle! I have been using a fluffy highlight brush from Luxie, and find that it blends so nicely onto my face without being really crazy or looking like a line of color on my cheekbone or down my nose. These provide an almost celestial glow, and the color is so multi-dimensional, with the reflects changing with how the light hits the face. If you want it to really pop and show off the color, you can layer easily without over-emphasizing large pores or texture. They are also eye safe and make great overall eyelid colors for a glowing, ethereal look.

The texture is very luxurious. The are very soft and finely milled. The glitter is not chunky at all, and does not fall out all over the face. They also kick up very little dust in the pan itself, which can be a problem among powder highlights. The colors look great on my light skin, but as you can see from the promo pics, they also look absolutely stunning on darker skin, and I believe this is POC friendly.

My personal favorite is Purple Horseshoe. It is so pretty and looks like lavender fairy dust. It looks so pretty as a highlight on the cheekbones, and I find it to be just the right amount of glow and pigmentation to really work perfectly for me. My one complaint is that there are two blues, but I understand why they made that choice, as any warm colors would have looked out of place, and the shades are very different, not at all close to identical.

Overall I love this palette, and am so happy I got the guts to buy it. I am feeling more confident in wearing daring makeup looks and for some reason a poppin’ highlight gives me confidence like nothing else, so this is a perfect product for me to incorporate into my beauty routine. The colors are also subtle enough, and blend so well that they could easily be worn every day, especially Star and Pink Heart.


Let’s Talk About Brows, Baby: The 411 on the Colourpop Brow Collection

Brow Header

I genuinely love Colourpop as a company. They are a small, indie brand based out of L.A., and everything they sell is formulated and made here in the USA. They entered the makeup scene with their unique spongy cream-to-powder formula in eye shadows, blushes, bronzers, and highlighters. Now their line includes various lip products, face products, and now, brows! You can only purchase them online from their website, but they offer free shipping on orders over $30 and you can get $5 off your first order with the coupon code ‘THANKSBABE’ entered at checkout! If you’re an Ipsy subscriber, check out brand offers for a $5 off link. (You can’t combine these, though!) They also have fun promotions often, with free bonus items, so keep an eye out for those!

Their brow line offers two products, a potted brow color and a dual sided mechanical brow pencil. The Brow Colour is $6 and the Brow Pencil is $5. Both come in eight shades. Check out pics of all the shades below!

brow colours

brow pencils

I bought both products in the shade Dope Taupe, which is their most universal shade in my opinion. I purchased the products the day after their release in March and have been playing around with them for a few months now, so I am ready to give you my full thoughts and reviews. I also recently grabbed their highlight stick in Releve ($5) and while I am not loving it for facial highlighting, I am really liking it for sculpting out the brow and highlighting the brow bone!

Brow Pencil


Formula: Slightly softer than I would prefer. Being so soft, the color pay off is good, but this is not necessarily ideal for a brow pencil, since it can place too much product on the brow if you press too hard. It can be easily blended, but can transfer slightly to the skin via the spoolie, requiring some clean up around the edges with concealer, foundation, highlight stick, ect. I like the highlight stick for this. Using a light hand is the best way to go with this pencil.

Packaging: Very slim. .09 g of product in total (ABH Brow Wiz has .085 g for $21). Love that there is a decent spoolie on one end. One downfall is that the design does not allow for the pencil to be twisted back down, so don’t twist it up a lot or you’ll be S.O.L.

Shade Range: Wide variety of shades from blond to black and everything in between. One complaint I have is something that seems to just be a widespread issue among “neutral” brow colors in general; the taupe shade was too warm. While it worked okay for me, I prefer a cooler toned brow shade and even though taupe is *supposed* to be neutral/cool, Colourpop’s is guilty of being TOO DAMN WARM!

Price: $5 is very reasonable for the amount of product you get, as well as the quality of the product. Probably one of the top affordable eyebrow pencils on the market right now when looking at the shade range + packaging + formula.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10, formula slightly too creamy and taupe shade is a bit too warm. I think Bangin’ Brunette would be a better shade pick for me in the future and would take this rating up to an 8. Good option for the price, though.

Brow Colour

Formula: A creamy, almost mousse-like formula that is the perfect balance of soft, but not too soft. It stays right where you put it and lasts through a whole day of sweat and activities. When used with a thin, angled brow brush, a little bit goes a long way and it is super easy to sculpt and fill in perfect, fleeky brows. Once you place it, it will stay, but I finish up with a clear brow gel for maximum holding power. I have not had an issue with this drying out and have had it for 3+ months now. I recommend getting a good, sturdy eyebrow brush that will hold its shape and a spoolie if you don’t have one to use with this.

Packaging: Glass pot with tightly closing lid. Feels sturdy and luxurious. 3 g of product (ABH Dip Brow has 3 g for $18). Keep the lid on tight and you won’t have an issue with the product prematurely drying up.

Shade Range: Same range of eight shades. The brow colour in Dope Taupe is not as warm as the pencil and really does work well for me. I prefer this over the pencil for doing my brows right now and wish the colors were more consistent between the two products.

Price: $6 is also very reasonable for the amount of product you get, as well as the quality of the product. A great, affordable option for those that like being able to really carve out your brows with a brush. Remember, it does not come with any tools, so you’ll need your own brush and spoolie! For $6, I wouldn’t expect a tool to come with it, so that isn’t a problem for me.

Overall Rating: 9/10, very few complaints. LOVE IT!


From left to right: Brow Pencil, Brow Colour, Releve Highlight Stick, Releve blended


Brush Cleaning 101 + Tips for Extending the Life of your Makeup Brushes!

I am so guilty of letting my makeup brushes go quite a long time without a proper cleaning, but “new year, new me” right? Today I’m going to break down how I clean my brushes and also some tips and tricks to properly care for your brushes! Spoiler alert, my whole routine costs less than $10!


What You Need

All I use is two items to get my brushes squeaky clean and sanitized: Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castille Soap and a BrushEgg!

I have very sensitive skin, so a natural soap like Dr. Bronner’s is ideal, and it does a wonderful job of cleaning my brushes, even the ones saturated with foundation or thick concealer. It lathers wonderfully, but if your brush is particularly dirty, it may take a couple rinses before it suds up. I find that I have to scrub and rinse the brushes I use with cream products a couple of times before it begins to foam up. Dr. Bronner’s is very affordable, and can be found both online and in drugstores! A 8 oz. bottle (which will last you FOREVER, a little goes a long way) sells for around $6.


The BrushEgg is a convenient rubber scrubbing surface that can really help deep clean your brushes. Many companies have these BrushEggs, and they sell anywhere from $5-15, but I will let you in on a little secret… I bought mine for ONE DOLLAR from eBay! It shipped from Hong Kong, so it did take about 20 days to arrive, but I am a sucker for a good bargain and this one was too good to pass up! They are available in several colors. I personally got the mint green! Here is the exact listing I used!

Get Cleaning!

I dampen my brushes first with warm water and then use a drop or two of soap per brush. I swirl the brush around the textured surface of the BrushEgg until it begins to lather up. Rinse the brush and repeat gently swirling on the BrushEgg until your brush is completely clean. Rinse with warm water and allow to dry. Voila! Brushes as good as new!

Tips for Brush Care to Extend Their Life

  • Try to only get the bristles wet. Water can loosen the adhesive holding your brushes together and can cause them to fall apart!
  • If your brush does separate from the handle, a drop or two of super glue or another strong adhesive will bind them! Just make sure you don’t get any on the bristles.
  • Don’t scrub too hard! It can cause the brush to lose its shape and some of the bristles to come loose.
  • If your brush starts to lose its shape, you can restructure it by using a no-crease hair tie. Don’t tie it too tight, as this will have the opposite effect. Loop it around the bristles after you wash the brush, while it is still damp. In about 20-30 minutes, take off the hair tie and the brush should be back to its original shape! For eye brushes, those tiny plastic hair bands work great!