Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sephora Favorites Quench Your Skin Kit - Review!

Out of all the beauty and makeup kits and value sets available, my favorite by far are the, amusingly enough, the Sephora Favorites.
Not only do these kits include a wide variety of products (all curated based a theme) from a wide variety of well-known and trusted brands, they are almost always an excellent value. If you're like me and love having a lot of deluxe sample/travel size products to try, these kits are meant for you! For this post, I want to share with you the Quench Your Skin Sephora Favorites kit.

This kit came out around January, when Sephora had all their skin care specials, but you might still be able to find it in-store if you're interested in purchasing (I've seen it still in stock at my local Sephora's; it has popped up online once or twice, but you'll have better luck at a physical store). Sometimes, I can't always justify buying the makeup kits because I worry about being able to use up all the products before they go bad, but I don't worry about skin care because it's something I use every single day and I know I will go through it!
This kit includes twelve skin care products in deluxe sample, travel, and full sizes. Some people complain that the sizes of the products in these kits are shrinking, and they're not wrong; I do remember getting larger samples and more full sized products in the past, but I also think that the ratio of value versus price paid for these kits has remained about the same and it's the prices of the products themselves that have risen and caused the sample sizes to shrink. This kit cost me $48 (before tax) and is supposed to have a value of about $147.
The theme of this kit is hydration, so all the products included are supposed to help "quench your skin's thirst".
The back of the box lists all the products, along with weight/size, ingredients, and country of origin. The only other thing I wish they would include are usage instructions since some of the samples don't print them on the product (though most do, so it's not a huge issue).
First up is the belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. This is a deeply hydrating (I'm sorry if you see the words 'hydrating' and 'moisturizing' a ton in this post; every single product in this kit was chosen due to its hydrating/moisturizing abilities) face cream from Korea. The jar says it's supposed to provide 16 hours of hydration, but on Sephora it says it is "clinically tested to provide up to 26 hours of moisture". 16 hours I can accept, but 26 hours seems a little...intense. I've actually tried this product before (I got the same size sample as a freebie with a $25+ purchase) and really liked it, so I'm happy to get another jar. The full size is 1.68fl oz for $38, so this 0.33fl oz jar is worth about $7.46.
I've always been a little confused about the origin of the Boscia brand; I've been told it's a Korean/Japanese/Asian brand, but according to the information on the back of this kit, this product is made in the U.S. Curious. I've tried a lot of Boscia products in the past, but this is one I've surprisingly never heard of before: Sake Treatment Water. I think this is Bosica's version of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (which is basically sake treatment water since the main ingredient, Pitera, was discovered in a sake brewery) and you use it in a similar manner (between toner and serum). Sake is the fourth ingredient in this product, but it doesn't smell like alcohol at all; it actually smells fresh and pleasant and just a little fruity. The full size is 1.85fl oz for $46, so this 0.51fl oz bottle is worth about $12.68.
One thing that really drew me to this kit (besides it being all skin care and great value), was the large amount of Korean/Asian brands sampled within. Dr. Jart+ was one of the first Korean brands available at Sephora, and was one of the first K-beauty brands that I fell in love with. This is a tin of Ceramidin Oil Balm, a solid multi-tasking moisturizer that can be used on your cuticles, nails, hair, elbows, etc. I like how Sephora included a few non-face specific moisturizers in this kit, especially since it's a "Quench Your Skin"kit and not just a "Quench Your Face" kit (though I also like how all the products can be used on your face; sometimes, in these types of kits, body-specific products can seem a little cheap and like a filler product). The full size of this balm is 1.4oz for $35, making this 0.3oz tin worth about $7.50.
When ever anyone asks me for a product recommendation for dry, irritated, sensitive skin, I immediately tell them to purchase the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Not only is this cream magic: it moisturizes, protects, and helps heal irritated, dry, distressed skin, but it is also affordable. It works for every skin type (except maybe excessively oily, but even then, I would just use less), and it's even clinically proven to help people with Eczema. There are a variety of sizes available, including a 6oz tub (which is only $30!), but this 1oz size retails for $6.50 (the actual 1oz product comes in a resuable/resealable pouch, not a tube, so some people might even prefer this packaging over the retail product).
The last product in this first row is the Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. This is a mixture of oils, including seaberry (aka seabuckthorn) oil, that are packed with omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. These omegas are supposed to provide and help lock in a ton of hydration along with protecting the skin from damaging free radicals. The instructions don't say that you can use this on other parts of your body, but you could definitely use this on other dry patches and on your cuticles (it's probably too heavy to use on your hair, though). The full size is 1.6fl oz for $52, so this 0.5fl oz bottle is worth about $16.25.
On to the next row! Actually...I think this is technically a column...
First in this row (column?) is the Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening 24 Hour Moisturizer. This moisturizer is made with wild rose oil,which is packed with Vitamin C to help brighten and improve the look of fine lines and dark spots. I used to really like Korres products when I first got into makeup/beauty, but they fell by the wayside as I discovered more brands and products that I liked more. I was excited to try another Korres product after so long, but when I was reading the ingredients, I saw that this moisturizer includes straight up alcohol, which is really bizarre in a moisturizer. And it's not near the bottom, either; it's higher up than the rose oil is... I try to avoid alcohol in my beauty products as much as possible (straight/denatured alcohol; there are other alcohols like cetearyl alcohol that are actually beneficial) because it can be so drying, so it seems like an oxymoron to include one in a supposedly moisturizing product. The full size of this product is 1.35fl oz for $38, so this 0.68fl oz tube is worth about $19.14.
When I was first considering purchasing this kit, this was one of the products I was most interested in trying. This is a tin of 100% natural shea butter from L'Occitane. That's it, that's all that's in this tin; 100% organic, fair trade shea butter. This is another multi-use product that you can use almost everywhere you need a lot of hydration, including your lips. Since this is 100% shea butter, it's on the heavier side, so a little goes a very long way. At $12 for this 0.35oz tin, this product is a little on the pricey side, but I've heard really good things about it and, again, it's so rich that it will last you quite a long time.
Next up is the Nude ProGenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil, a slightly odd product to include in this box, but not for the reason you'd think. This is another facial oil that includes bakuchiol, coleus, rosemary and thyme extracts, and rose hip seed oil to help smooth and protect your skin. I've used a few Nude products in the past and I generally have a good opinion of the brand, especially of their cleansing oil. Why is it an odd product to include, then? Because Sephora doesn't carry this product any more, and what little is left of the Nude Skincare line is on sale (and has been for a long time). I'm not sure when the line went on sale, but it's been that way for a long time now, and Sephora must have known they were going to drop the line (I assume they are since everything is one sale and nothing is restocked) when they were curating this box. I'm excited to give it a try, but I just think it's weird Sephora would put a product in one of these kits that you can't purchase from them. According to the Nude Skincare website, a full size is $68 for 1fl oz, making this 0.33fl oz sample worth about $22.44 (which makes it the most valuable sample in this kit...weird all around, really).
The last product in this row is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I have a love/hate relationship with Origin; I love some of their products, like their charcoal mask, but some of their products just don't agree with me, like the GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (the one time I used it, my co-worker asked me if I was feeling okay because I looked sick. I did not thing different that morning and was not ill, so I can only attribute it to the eye cream). Since this is a mask, I'm optimistic about it. This is a face mask that you use before bed and sleep in; these types of overnight masks are still pretty new here, but there's been enough of them now that most people know what they are. The directions do say to tissue off any excess, but it doesn't say if you're supposed to do before actually going to sleep or when you wake up in the morning. It also makes me concerned that this mask won't absorb as quickly as some others I have used and it will make my sheets and pillow all goopy if I'm not careful. There are a few different sizes available, including a single-use pod, but the best price per ounce is the 3.4fl oz tube for $26, which makes this 1fl oz sample worth $7.65.
Down to the last row-column!
In my early makeup/beauty days, I wasn't a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth. Not really sure why, I hadn't had a lot of experience with the brand, but something about it just felt...off. Not cheap per se, but not like a high-end brand. Now, however, I find myself drawn more and more the brand, especially since I've had such good experiences with their products (one of my favorites being the Oiless Oil). This is a sample of the PTR Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask. PTR makes a lot of these tub masks, including one made with gold, and I think it's one of their iconic products. And one I haven't tried from them! I was a little surprised to see that this mask doesn't have the highest reviews on Sephora.com, but I'm still going to give it a try. This mask includes Antarcticine, a "unique glycoprotein sourced from Arctic glacial ice helps skin retain water and protect against water loss in extreme climates or temperatures",which sounds intriguing. The full size tub is 5fl oz for $52, so this 0.5fl oz jar is worth about $5.20.
If there's one type of product I love to get samples of over any other, it has to be eye cream! Especially if it's an expensive and high quality one. My eye area is my biggest area of concern beauty-wise, and if I find a product that gives me results, I'm willing to pay almost any price (...within reason, of course). So I was very happy that Sephora included a sample of the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream. This product promises to "addresses signs of aging in the eye area, including inner corner creases, undereye wrinkles, crow's feet, lid creases, and undereye vertical lines" and to not only prevent, but help repair existing wrinkles. Yesss. Besides the price of the full size, my one concern with it is that it apparently comes in a pot, which is both unsanitary and causes the active ingredients to break down faster due to air exposure. Shiseido has plenty of eye products in packaging with pumps, so it's disappointing that they didn't packaged this one in a similar manner (though it could be that the product is too thick for a pump and it wouldn't work with one). The full size is 0.51oz for $55, so this 0.17oz tube is worth about $18.33.
The last product, both in this row-column and in this kit, is a Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask. This is a sheet mask infused with egg whites and egg yolks to improve radiance, hydrate, and brighten skin. I've used one of these masks before and liked it; it made my skin feel soft and smooth and it also made it appear brighter and more clear. The serum itself is thick, which is kind of weird at first, but it absorbs quickly and the thickness helps stop it from running down my neck (sorry, I know that sounds gross, but it's an issue I have with some face masks). These masks aren't the cheapest out there, but for $6 each, I think they're worth it. You can also buy them in packs of five for $24, which is like buying four and getting one free.

Overall, I got twelve different skin care products; three of them were travel/full sizes (sizes that can be purchased individually) and the other nine were deluxe sample sized. After calculating out the values of each product, I came to a total kit value of $141.15, which is a little less than the $147. A $6 difference is not the biggest deal (and could be explained by different methods of calculating value), but it does kind of bother me that the value is a little less than promised. If Sephora just said this kit was worth $140, I still would have bought it and then I would have been happy that the actual value was more than what was quoted. Even with a smaller than promised value, I still think I got my $48 worth because I know I will use almost every single product in this kit (the only one I'm considering giving away is the Korres moisturizer). I'm also super happy that, at least to my knowledge, none of these products have argan oil in them (of course, I will take a closer look at the ingredients before using them, but nothing's caught my attention yet). If you're a skincare junkie like me, this is an excellent kit for the money and, if you see at you're local Sephora, I recommend picking it up!

Thanks for reading! <3

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