Sephora Haul- In the Glow!

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As soon as I saw this set on Sephora.com, I knew I had to have it. Not only are the sample sizes really quite generous, some of the products being half a full sized product, but the price is right, $35.00. I am always interested in trying new skin lotions and potions, and the exfoliating, luminizing possibilities in this set really appealed to me. Especially after a long, cold, miserable winter, I feel like my skin needs to be rid of its pallor and dreariness. I haven't tried all of the products, but the ones I've tried I've liked a lot. Perhaps not enough to buy a full sized, save one. But that's OK, because these are large enough to last me a while. So, here's what I got:

Even knowing the sizes of the products I'd be receiving, I was still surprised by the size of this kit. Sephora's Favorites kits are hit and miss with me. Most of them have one or two products I'd love to try, padded with uninteresting filler. Not this kit. I was anxious to try all the products. Here they are:

There is one baffling, disappointing aspect with my haul though. The ExfoliKate facial scrub, when I went to open it, with the opening still sealed, thought the contents felt scant. I figured that was my luck with sample sizes, but noticed that the other tubes were filled to capacity. Then, upon closer inspection, I discovered this:
Yep. ExfoliKate all gone. Well, not all gone. I think there is enough in the tube for maybe 2 more uses, and I managed to get one already, but the tube was less than 1/4 full. It was a bummer, but not enough to send it back, because while I wanted to try it, it wasn't at the tip-top of my list. And there was still enough to try it, a true sample's worth. I found it more of an interesting oddity, how that little opening occurred in my tube, but there was no leaking in my package at all. Strange...
The .5 oz I was supposed to get actually retails on Sephora's website for 19.00, so I figure I got a bit less than 5 bucks worth.
The scrub itself is okay, nothing extraordinary. Somewhat gritty but not uncomfortably abrasive. It does have an intriguing smell, sort of floral/herbal, but a dried herb scent. Dried herbs/flowers, and a touch of cinnamon. Like something I'd find in an antique store. Unusual, but somehow it works.

The Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation is supposed to be a one size fits all coverage option, combined with sun protection. It does have a tint to it, and it is darker than my skin tone, which worried me at first. It blends in though, and while it doesn't cover much, it does even things out a bit and adds a slight glow. However, I don't think I could wear it as my sole foundation unless I was having the holy grail of perfect skin days, and even then I would have to add a bit of translucent powder to mattify because "dewy" tends to make me feel grimy. But I could rock this on a day at home, or if (when!) I go to the pool and don't want to be entirely bare faced. I like that it has SPF 30 in it, too. It's .5 oz, while the 1 oz size costs $50.00

The Josie Maran Argan oil is something I've read a lot about, and while some might scoff at the idea of adding oil to troubled complexions, this light oil soaks right in and leaves the skin feeling very healthy and moisturized. It doesn't leave me feeling greasy at all. I think this oil is sort of all-purpose, and could be used on hair, nails, and skin for a variety of issues. 

The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is likewise very light and quick-absorbing, and smells pleasantly creamsicle-ly. I am really impressed that this is a .5 oz size when the 1 oz package costs $48.00. This set is really a fantastic bargain for the product junkie, even with my ExfoliKate mishap.

I haven't tried the Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream. I'm a bit nervous about it. I'm really quite pale and even those subtle, gradual tanning lotions operate like a regular self-tanner on me. Even after one use I can see the hue developing, and any potential streaks. I do like that the Clarins is tinted, which could potentially help me avoid those streak disasters. It smells like a typical self-tanner mixed with butterscotch, not bad at all. I will probably test it out soon though, and I will report back.

I've only used the Tarte Smooth Operator Serum once, and I'm not quite sure about it. it also has a slight tint to it, so I'm not sure if I should use it as a primer, a foundation substitute, or a skin care serum that I'd apply at night. Will have to try it again to get a better grasp on it.

But here is the highlight of my In The Glow experience: The Boscia Black Mask! I was SO excited to try this, and I was left VERY impressed. I will be getting a full size of this at some point. I had read some reviews of people breaking out a few days after using the mask so I waited to see if I'd have a similar reaction, but so far things seem calm for the most part. This mask is hard core. It is not one of those flimsy, clear, diaphanous gel peel-off masks you might try. This bad boy is like midnight, like tar, and it adheres to your face like molten plastic. Meaning, you better put a thick enough layer to be able to peel it off in one piece, and you better not put TOO much on or it will never dry and you'll be forced to wash it off, missing the whole "peel-off" point. A happy medium is ideal.

 I've used lots of peel off masks, and the closest one I've ever used to the Boscia Black Mask was a mask Bath and Body Works made literally 10 years ago in their True Blue Spa line, called "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep". It had the same matte, plastic-y feel as the Black Mask except it was white. I've been looking for years for a mask like that, and the Black Mask leaves it in the dust.

Be careful to not apply it too close to the eye area, or any area containing anything you'd like to keep. It irritated my eyes a little as it was drying, but it was not overwhelming. It does take a solid 20 minutes to dry, but if you're using a mask I'm assuming you have the time for the experience. It's not something to do while getting ready for work in the morning. I can see how this mask is sort of love-it-or-hate-it. It could easily be too much for some skin types. I consider my skin pretty sensitive though and prone to temper tantrums, but my skin bounced back from this experience looking almost scarily clear and luminous. At least for me, who has not quite grown accustomed to even somewhat clear skin yet. Because once I peeled the mask off, and I must say bluntly that it hurt like a mother, it peeled off everything. I looked at the remnants of the mask, my shed snake skin, and it was like a bizarre alien landscape. At first I thought it simply made an imprint of those tiny baby peach fuzz hair on my cheeks, but upon inspection I realized this mask hurt like a mother because it ripped all that hair out. It was horrifying, and immensely satisfying. So, FYI: don't put this stuff on anything you want to keep, like your eyebrows or hairline or whatever, because you won't get it back. I would have expected my skin to be screaming red in protest of that assault and the peel-off process (I recommend peeling slowly, this stuff resists the band-aid approach), but it looked fine afterward. AMAZINGLY fine. I am going to try to get G to try it. That'll be fun. A little sadistic, but fun!

So, that's that. I highly recommend this kit. It is a fantastic value, perfect for summer, and a great way to try some new, awesome products! 


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Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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