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Swatch and Review: Sephora Favorites Summerstash

My birthday is this month and I since I like makeup and polish, I figured this would be a great gift for myself...and I wanted the Make Up For Ever Birthday gift. (At least I'm honest!) I have always eyed these little samplers from Sephora, and with my birthday coming I figured this was as good a time as any to buy one.


Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus (7ml/0.23oz)
Deborah Lippman Nail Lacquer in Mermaid's Dream (8ml/0.27oz)
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee (2.7g/0.095oz)
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Lash Lifter in Blacquer (2.6g/0.09oz)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in 12L (0.7g/0.025oz)
Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna (2.5g/0.08oz)
OCC Stained Gloss in New Wave (2.5ml/0.08oz)
Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten (1.4g/0.049oz)
Urban Decay All Nighter (15ml/0.50oz)
*a nice little tote*
*a mini OCC lip brush*

It seemed like a good deal. $45 for a whole bunch of trial size products that I had been wanting to try out anyway. I read the reviews, and people said that the sizes were tiny. Well duh, they are trial sizes. What did you expect? I kinda wish I hadn't brushed them off, because this stuff is tiny. Silly tiny. So small, in fact, that the Cheek Gelee is nearly unusable for me without gouging out a bit with my fingernail. Sadness ensued. The bronzer is so small that a regular sized brush is awkward to use. There might have been some cursing at this point.

its quite small

I do love tiny polish

about the size of a quarter

Despite the small size, I was pretty pleased with the products I got. I would definitely consider buying the full-sized versions at some point for a couple of them. Except for the blue eyeliner, they could almost all be worn together. The bright pink lips and cheeks with the bronzer and nude shadow are a completely wearable combo.

over bare skin in natural light

three coats

My Thoughts:

Lip Tar
Price per ounce: $54.54
Sample Value: $4.36
I have been itching to try the stained glosses for a while. I love lip tars. This stuff is a little perplexing though. I can't seem to get it to apply evenly, and always end up with either a pale stain or a line of color on the inner section of my lips. Maybe I'm not applying enough? I dunno, but I think it'll be fun for layering and the neon warm pink is great for summer.

Stila shadow
Price per ounce: $457.14
Sample Value: $22.40
People have been buzzing about this stuff for months, but the price tag has always put me off. I can't afford to spend nearly $40 on one finicky eyeshadow. That is just silly. But even my shitty swatch above shows an amazing amount of shimmer and shine. Like glitter but not cheap. When done right, this stuff can look unbelievable. I just don't know if I have the patience.

Nars Laguna
Price per ounce: $135.71
Sample Value: $10.85
This is the holy grail of bronzers for most people. Its the right toasted marshmallow color that will flatter a fair amount of skin tones. It can be applied sheerly, or built up. It has a soft shimmer to it, which I am generally not fond of in bronzers...but I kinda like in this one. Add in the fact that this stuff feels like powdered silk, and lets just say that next time I am in the mood for a shimmery bronzer, I will put this one on the list.

Cheek Gelee
Price per ounce: $111.11
Sample Value: $10.55
I'm pretty new to the world of blushes. Having a rosy face generally makes one shy away from blush, though I'm learning to get over that. This one is actually pretty nice. The color I got, which I'm guessing is Pink Escape, is a beautifully natural flush on my skin. It is easy to apply (once you get it out of the tiny tiny pot) and blend out, though you should work pretty fast. I swatched this when I got it against the back of my hand, and it lasted through a shower. If you are looking for a natural, dewy flush this might be the blush for you. I know I would definitely consider purchasing it.

Buxom Luminizer 
Price per ounce: $14
Sample Value: $3.22
I've got dry skin, so shimmer isn't something I really go for all over my face. I also am quite pale, so slathering this on the rest of my skin isn't in the cards for me. But the subtle golden sheen this stuff gives makes me consider mixing a drop into my primer or foundation for a glowy look. I applied it pretty heavily in my swatch just so the color would show up in pictures, but it does sheer out nicely against the skin. Once I finish the multitudes of shimmery samples I have, I might give the full size a once over.

MUFE Eyeliner
Price per ounce: $475
Sample Value: $11.87
For me, this is a throwaway. I actually already own and love this exact pencil in the full size. It has amazing staying power and applies like a dream. If you love the Urban Decay 24/7 liners, but wish they had more longevity, go grab a few of these. You won't be sorry.

UD All Nighter
Price per ounce: $14
Sample Value: $7
This stuff, honestly, doesn't really thrill me. I don't find that it works any better than my DIY mixture. I actually had a travel size of this stuff before I made my own. It's perfectly serviceable, but I don't think its worth buying when I can pretty much make it myself.

Deborah Lippman Mermaid's Dream
Price per ounce: $40
Sample Value: $10.80
I've never used a Deborah Lippman polish. Any that I've been remotely interested in have been duped 10x over for 1/3 the cost. I can't afford to be spending $18-20 for each bottle, that is just crazy. And my experience with Mermaid's Dream completely reinforces my previous stance. This is a matte, textured duochrome...which is quite pretty. But you can get the same damned thing from a 99c bottle of polish from Sally's. I'm never sorry to get a polish I've never tried, but I won't be buying this.

Marc Jacobs Mascara
Price per ounce: $108.33
Sample Value: $9.75
I'm going to wait on reviewing this one. I've already got two open tubes of mascara, and I don't want to waste something that costs over $100 an ounce. In the meantime, you can go here and read what MakeupAlley folks think about it.

It's Worth What?!

You might have noticed that on the cardboard sleeve it says "$123 US Value". Really? $123 for tiny tiny things? Lets see...

Full Size Prices:

Buxom Luminizer: $28 for 60ml/2oz
Deborah Lippman polish: $20 for 15ml/0.50oz
Josie Maran Cheek Gelee: $20 for 0.18oz
Marc Jacobs mascara: $26 for 0.24oz
MUFE Aqua Eyes: $19 for 0.04oz
Nars Laguna: $38 for 0.28oz
OCC Stained Gloss: $18 for 0.33oz
Stila eyeshadow: $32 for 0.07oz
UD All Nighter: $14 for 1oz

By my (calculator's) math, that doesn't add up to $123. It equals $90.80. That means that they are expecting you to pay $30 for a mini lip brush and a makeup bag. Makeup bag prices are pretty arbitrary, so that is plausible. But the brush is identical to the full sized lip brush that OCC makes, except it's half the that means it is worth, at most, $9. That doesn't even bring our total to $100. The bag is nice...but it isn't $23 nice. Especially when you get similar ones from Ipsy, or as a "gift with purchase" when you buy fragrances.

TL;DR is that while you get more than you pay for, you don't get over $100 worth of cosmetics in here. If you want to try a bunch of things, it's not the worst buy...but I can't recommend it. The absurdly tiny pots and the inflated value leave a bad taste in my mouth.


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