Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sephora Sun Safety Kit Review - May 2013

Back in May I bought the Sun Safety Kit from Sephora and I'm definitely glad I did! Not only is it good for your skin, but it's for a good cause as well. This kit is no longer available for purchase, but they offer it every year, so keep an eye out for updates next spring!

The Box: Sephora Sun Safety Kit

The Cost: $30 (One time purchase; $20 goes to the Skin Cancer Foundation!)

The Products: $210 worth of sun care products. You are given the list of products, so you know what to expect prior to ordering.

Everything came packaged neatly in this giant pink and gold makeup bag. When I removed the plastic packaging inserts it didn't seem like much, but looks can be deceiving! I still have most of these products left after using them all summer!

I used up both of the following products first and unfortunately I forgot to take pictures beforehand!

Boscia® Self-Defense Antioxidant Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 0.5 oz - $12.86

I had heard of the Boscia brand before and had even seen this particular product mentioned in magazines such as Marie Claire, so of course I wanted to try it! I actually really liked this moisturizer and I especially loved the fact that it was lightweight. I have combination skin so this was perfect for me during the summer months. As much as I liked it though, I think I prefer Coola, which I recently sampled through Birchbox!

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Glow Pad - $1.80

The Dr. Dennis Gross tanning towelette is definitely one of the better products on the market in my opinion. I just wish there was more than one pad. It was very small, so I was only able to test on one leg. Luckily it was May and still cool enough to wear jeans here.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 with Dermaxyl Complex 0.25 oz - $10.50

This was an excellent primer in my opinion. It had a gel like texture that made my skin feel soft to the touch and my makeup stayed put throughout the day. Since I have combination skin, primer can sometimes clog my pores. I didn't seem to have too many issues outside the norm while using this product. 

Dr. Brandt® Signature Flexitone® BB Cream SPF 30 0.25 oz - $9.75

When I originally squeezed some of the product out, I was a little skeptical that the color would match my skin tone. It was a dark brown color with streaks of redish hues. Once I blended it onto my skin however, it became a more usable shade. While it was a little dark for my skin tone in May, it was perfect during the summer months when I got a little color. The only downside was that the formula was a little too greasy for my taste and the product seemed to separate after a few uses. I had to shake it prior to use otherwise a runny liquid came out of the tube. Despite these issues, I still managed to use the entire tube! I probably won't buy it in the future, but I'm glad I got to test it out through the safety kit.

LancĂ´me Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream 0.5 oz - $13.24

This is a product I had already sampled in the past and had mixed feelings about. I was glad to see it again in a bigger sample. Perhaps my opinion will change this time around. I found that the past this product burns on my dry skin and if I had dry patches, this product didn't really moisturize those patches very well. In the end I just lathered on more cream, which caused me to break out in some places and still have dry patches in others. I've had this issue with other Lancome creams as well and I find their creams to be scented, which can be too overpowering for me. While I love the Lancome brand for makeup, their creams are just not for me!

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa 0.14 oz - $12

I love the fact that this bronzer is made with natural cocoa and it really smells like cocoa too! It's really pigmented though, so a little really goes a long way. All of my bronzers are a peachy or shimmery shade, so this is a nice addition to my vanity. I tend to prefer lighter shades in my makeup routine, so I haven't used this much yet, but I think that's because I'm still getting used to applying such a highly pigmented bronzer!

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea 0.5 oz - $12.06

Origins is another brand I've been wanting to try. This moisturizer is definitely moisturizing, but unfortunately the scent just wasn't for me! At some points it gave me a headache with long term use, but since I wanted to use it completely (I hate wasting products), I decided to use it after teaching swim lessons to a deaf boy this summer. My face drys out super fast from the chlorine, so this was a perfect moisturizer to wear for the couple hours it took to work out, drive home and shower.

L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 20 0.5 oz - $6

This is another product that I was looking forward to trying as I love the L'Occitane brand and I had been meaning to find a hand cream containing SPF. My hands and feet are exposed to the sun almost as much as my face, but while I use SPF everyday on my face, I've been slacking elsewhere. However, this was another product that I unfortunately couldn't stand the scent of! I think it's important to mention that I'm deaf and migraine prone, so my olfactory perception is probably heightened compared to that of the average person. That being said, this was worst offender in the bag for me. I hate wasting products, but I don't think I can bring myself to finish using it. I should mention that I have issues with the verbena scent too. I'll probably pass this along to my parents. Both of them love the verbena scents and will probably appreciate this L'Occitane product as well.

Clarins UV Plus HP Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 40 0.3 oz - $7.06

This was my absolute favorite item in the entire kit! It came out as a lightweight liquid sunscreen instead of a cream, which I loved. It also made my skin extremely soft and layered nicely underneath my moisturizer. I will definitely be buying more of this sunscreen!

bareMinerals® Original Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25 0.03 oz  - $2

bareMinerals® Mini Flawless Application Brush - $11

I already use bareMinerals translucent powder to set my makeup, so I was happy to try the mineral veil as well. Overall I like it, especially the application brush, which is soft. The only downside is that it seems to lighten my makeup even when I'm not using a lot. Excess from the brush also seems to end up on my clothes or the sink when applying. It makes me feel like I'm wasting product. Because of this I think I prefer their compact powder to set my makeup. Either way I love the brand!

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer Day Moisture Defense® Lotion SPF 30 0.5 oz - $12.35

I liked this moisturizer, but it wasn't my favorite. It was a little too heavy for me. It's hard to explain, but I felt like the formula prevented me from evenly distributing the moisturizer throughout my face, which caused me to apply more and thus led to oily skin. I don't hate it, but I'm not in love either.

Shiseido Ultimate Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ 0.64 oz - $10.67

This was another product I kept seeing mentioned in magazines, such as Marie Claire. This definitely applies as sunscreen! Comes out white and requires lots of blending. Love the higher SPF, but I couldn't use this everyday. Clarins formula is definitely my go-to everyday sunscreen. I might save this for days where I go swimming or hiking outdoors since it's water resistant.

Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF 20 0.16 oz - $3.39

So I totally thought this was just a primer until I squeezed some of the tube. Oops. ;)
In my opinion though it didn't give much coverage, if at all so it may as well be tinted primer. This product was fine, but it wasn't my favorite.

Sephora Collection Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 Sunscreen 0.169 oz - $2.54

I usually use at least 30 SPF in my moisturizer, but I may save this for the winter. I tend to prefer a 30 SPF even in the winter though. I do a lot of driving and those rays reflecting off the snow can do a lot of damage. This product has light unexpected scent, but it's not super overpowering.

Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth SPF 50+ 0.5 oz - $10.29

This another product that goes on like sunscreen, but it blends a lot easier and faster than Shiseido's sunscreen. Due to the easier application, I'm more likely to reach for this product first when extra sun protection is needed.


I have yet to use this, but I'll update once I do. So far I like the fact that it's a bigger sample than the other self-tanners in this bag. When I opened it, the formula had a shimmery bronze tone and it doesn't seem to have a self-tanner scent! Fingers crossed that this might be the product I'm looking for!

I know that most self-tanners have that tanner odor, but I personally can't stand it. With this product, I can tell that they tried to mask the tanner smell with another scent, but it just makes it worse in my opinion. Since the odor sticks with you throughout the day, I usually apply this a day before an event. Luckily the color lasts for a few days, so you are still able to see the benefits. This product also comes out extremely dark right away, so make sure not to get it on your clothes. I wish there truly was a self-tanner that didn't have an odor. Even Jergens states their new formula doesn't have that self-tanner odor, but it does.

Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 0.5 oz - $8

I had difficulty using this formula. It seemed to form particles as I tried to rub it into my skin. It was as if I took a brand new towel that hadn't been washed yet and dried my face with it, leaving behind all that fuzz from the towel. I really wanted to love this product, but for some reason it just didn't work for me. From what I understand, Josie Maran came out with a newer lightweight formula for this product recently. Perhaps others were having similar issues with this particular formula.

Overall I'm very happy with this purchase! Even though my calculations came out to $154.95 (not including the makeup bag), which is less than the advertised $210, I still think it was a great value and a great cause. Discovering Clarins sunscreen definitely made this entire bag worth it!

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