Friday, July 15, 2016

Macy's Sun Essentials Kit - Review! - Not Exactly What I Was Promised...

During the dark time when I was waiting for the 2016 Sephora Sun Safety Kit to come out (it has and I have it; I'll get a review up soon-ish), I purchased a couple different sunscreen/sun protection-themed sets, one of which was the Macy's Sun Essentials Kit.
This set was exclusive to Macy's, included a cosmetic case and nine deluxe-sized samples, and originally retailed for $38. I'm not sure when it first came out, but it eventually went on sale for $19.99, and then went on even more sale for $14.99, which is when I heard about it from Nouveau Cheap and when I purchased mine. I was pretty happy with this kit at first; it has products I like from brands I trust and for $14.99 it was a good deal. After doing a little more research, however,  I discovered that there are some discrepancies between the kit I received and the kit I was promised.
Overall, I like shopping at Macy's. I particularly like shopping at my local Macy's because the people at the MAC counter are super nice and I much prefer to shop there than at the stand-alone MAC store (actually, almost all the people I've interacted with in the beauty department of my local Macy's have been very nice). I don't want this post to be super negative or anything, especially towards anyone or anything in particular, but I do feel a little...lied to with this kit. I was promised certain items in certain sizes and I feel like I got different products because I paid less. I don't mind getting less if I'm paying less, but nothing in the item description for this kit said that the products would differ from what was listed. This kit is no longer available for purchase, but it is still on Macy's website (here if you're interested).
As stated, my deluxe-size samples came in a special cosmetic case. It's not super luxe or anything, but it doesn't feel cheap or poorly-made. I also like the neon colors; very summer appropriate.
There are two products in this kit that aren't 'sun' related (either a sunscreen or a self-tanner), the first of which is a mini Tweezerman Tweezers. These tweezers retail for $10-$14 each, which is why I ended up purchasing this kit (it was the reason why G on Nouveau Cheap said she was going to purchase it, too). Macy's said these would come in assorted colors, but I ended up with the color that was pictured on the listing. These are really good, sturdy tweezers and, while I probably wouldn't pay full price for them, I'm not surprised that they retail for as much as they do.
The other non-sun protection/tanning product in this kit is also one of the products that was 'not as described'. In the listing, it says that this kit comes with a 'DKNY Be Delicious Deluxe Mini 0.23 fl. oz./7ml' and the picture shows a mini version of the full size packaging (which is how most deluxe sized fragrance samples come). In my kit, I received a 0.05 fl. oz./1.5ml mini spritzer. That's quite a difference, both in sample size and value. When I was first comparing my kit to the listed product, I thought that maybe Macy's included the full size items in the photograph for the kit, but it says, right in the description, the size of the sample I was supposed to receive.
The biggest sample in this kit, and one of the products that I am the most familiar with, is the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ WetForce. This sunscreen is in a ton of different 'sun safety' kits and sampler boxes and, while it's not the best sunscreen, at least in terms of ingredients, it does the job and it does it quite well. The SPF 50+ is excellent (it is recommended to wear at least SPF 30) and it's also water resistant for 80 minutes.
Going in order of size (just to mix things up), next up is the Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion. This is another product I'm quite familiar with and, while it is a chemical sunscreen, it's one that I like and find quite effective. Not much more to say about it, really; it's a non-greasy, non-irritating broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and moisturizer combo.
Oddly enough, the next sample came in it's own plastic baggie with an additional information leaflet. Not sure if this is how everyone's was packaged, or if Macy's built these kits individually as they were ordered and I got some extra storage packaging on accident.
This is a deluxe sample of the Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream. I was pretty excited to try this product, but after getting it and reading over the ingredients (and the fact that I have enough sunscreen to last me until next year), I'm going to pass it on. It has alcohol pretty high up in the ingredients and it smells really strongly, like most Lancome skin care products. I'm also not a fan of the packaging of this sample; the full size is a pump and more hygienic and the thickness of the plastic jar makes it look and feel like you're getting way more product than you actually are. I do like how the expiration date is clearly stamped on the bottom, though!

This is the point where I would talk about the Clarins UV Plus Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Non-tinted Sunscreen, but you may notice that I have no picture of it. That's because this product was not included in my bag. I didn't notice that this product was missing at first since I didn't read the 'what's included' list on the item description too closely when I bought it, but discovered the error when I checked the listing again to prepare for this post. All the same issues I had with the smaller than described perfume sample I have with this missing sample, except that, you know, this time it's just not there instead of in a smaller than promised size, which is a bit more frustrating. Since it's been so long since I got this product and it's now listed as 'unavailable', I'm not going to contact Macy's Customer Service about it, but I am not happy about my bag being different from what was promised in the listing (especially since it doesn't say any where in the listing that products may vary).
Generally, I'm not a fan of Tarte. Not that their products are necessarily bad or anything, they're just not to my taste. But I am quite interested in some of their newer products, this Tarteguard SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion included! This is Tarte's first sunscreen, and it's a a mineral formulation at that. Tarte is all about a more natural/chemical-free approach to makeup (that doesn't always make products better/healthier, but it is beneficial to the consumer for a company to be more transparent when it comes to ingredients), and a mineral sunscreen fits into their product line quite nicely. This is another product that has been sampled a lot (I have three or four bottles of this now), but I don't mind having multiple samples of skincare products if they work well. Considering how small this sample is, I'm surprised Tarte went through the expense of packaging it in a glass bottle with a pump (I'm quite pleased with it, but still surprised). Again, I really appreciate the fact that the expiration date is clearly stamped on the bottom.
We're getting down to the itty bitty samples now; this is a sample of the Origins Smarty Plants CC SPF 20 Skin Complexion Corrector. This product is in the shade 01 Light To Medium and since there weren't any color options when I purchased this kit, I'm assuming everyone got the same color. It looks really dark in the tube, but it actually blends out to match my skin tone quite well (the color ends up being super sheer, so I think this could work with a wide variety of skin tones in the light-medium range). I'm probably only going to get two or three uses out of this sample, which I suppose is enough to pique my interest, but I don't think it's enough to really know if I like it or not.
The last sample in this kit is a Tan Towel Half Body Classic Towelette. Tan Towel is a fairly well known, respected self-tanning brand, but I've never used any of their products. I don't self-tan, well, ever, mostly because I'm terrified of messing it up and ending up a streaky, orange disaster. While this towel itself is technically a stand-alone product, these are sold in packs or sets and not individually. Since I don't know much about self-tanning, I have no idea what 'half-body' means, nor why you would have a half body towelette instead of a full body one. Not sure if I'm going to use this or not; we'll have to see how brave I get.

And that's the Macy's Sun Essentials Kit! Nothing super interesting, and at the full $38 price tag, also not the best value, but at the $14.99 I paid, shipping included, I do feel like I got my money's worth (though just barely). If I had paid even the $19.99 sale price, I probably would have been a lot more disappointed in this kit, especially since I kind of feel lied to because one of the samples was in a much smaller, less valuable size then what was listed, and one sample was completely missing from my bag. I'm not sure if this was just a dud that was sitting around and I was unlucky enough to receive it, if Macy's had a bunch that were returns/damages that they sent to people who paid the sale price instead of the full price, or if something happened during packaging, but it's definitely disappointing to receive a product that was not as described, regardless of why.

Thanks for reading! <3

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