I'm not really a big makeup person, and most of what I have is old and stale and should be thrown out. I very rarely wear it. But I heard about Sephora's $10/mo sample subscription box and thought that that was the right size and the right price (and the right quality) for my barely-there beauty needs. So, this is September's box. These are all sample sizes:
Ouai Repair Shampoo and Conditioner: Each one retails for $28 for a regular bottle. The shampoo was just ok for salon-quality. I'd put this at a Paul Mitchell quality shampoo, so the lower end of the high-end spectrum. The conditioner was the most bizarre conditioner I've ever encountered--and that's saying a lot since I used to be a hairdresser. It smells like old-lady perfume. Like strongly. Like you just poured vintage perfume on your head. It doesn't smell so bad after you wash it out...like a powdery rose scent--but while you are in the shower...my god. It's so strange because it's such an out-of-date smell. It smells like a grandma. My mom used to keep a crystal decanter with Soviet perfume that she told me people used to drink--that's what this smelled like. The conditioner has something called "smart keratin," which I don't know what that is, but it kind of does give your hair that dried-straw feeling of keratin conditioners. I wouldn't recommend this because of the keratin-like additive.
Herbivore Blue Tansy Clarity Mask: This fancy shit costs $48 for 70ml and it contains blue tansy, an African flower. Vogue wrote about it as a miracle floral oil that has anti-inflammatory properties etc. It kind of smells like pine trees and men's shaving cream and has the consistency and glossy texture of putting clear hair gel on your face. It had a satisfying tingle when you put it on, but went away as it dried. I forgot I was wearing it for about 15 minutes. Was it clarifying or anti-inflammatory? I'd say no. But it was soothing and smelled nice. This is definitely something to scam rich people out of their money.
Belif: The True Cream Moisture Bomb: $22 bucks for a size about 2x as big as the sample. Korean facial products are exploding right now. I've seen it firsthand: all the noodle places in K-town are all beauty product stores now. I've got oily skin, so this moisturizer was useless to me and made me break out. Judging from the reviews on Sephora's site, I'm not the only one either. I used it as a hand lotion--it was just ok. Didn't have an interesting scent.
Touch in Sol Metallist in Gold: $25. This has a liquid metallic eyeshadow on one end and a glitter paste on the other. I followed Sephora's recommendation and applied it to the inner corners of my eye, which gives my eyes the illusion of being further apart. It is pretty shimmery. I'd say it's solidly in the middle of the tween-to-drag-queen spectrum. So shimmery enough to show up on your instagram but not so much that you can't wear it outside for normal everyday stuff.
Sephora Contour Eye Pencil in Black: $10. AKA eyeliner. I don't know what a "contour eye pencil" is. It's what you'd expect in the price range: kind of sticky, about the color payoff you'd get with a drugstore eyeliner. You really have to press hard, so it kind of looks sloppy (see above). It promises to stay for 12 hours and is waterproof, and I'd say it did. I'd probably use this as an all-day lipcolor and save the good stuff for eyeliner.
Lol I'll leave you with a question from the survey Sephora makes you fill out before you get your box. It's got good questions like hair and eye color and skin type, so they can customize their box to you, but it's also got weirdo judgy leading questions. No thanks, I'll have cookies for breakfast and be beautiful doing it.