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Sweet Sparkle Makeup Box Review + Coupon – September 2018

closed Sweet Sparkle box

Sweet Sparkle is a monthly beauty subscription box. Each box includes five full-sized, curated products to create an entire makeup look.

open Sweet Sparkle box

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

This month’s box is being reviewed thanks to an MSA reader request!

Sweet Sparkle SEptember 2018 review

About Sweet Sparkle

The Subscription Box: Sweet Sparkle

The Cost: $24.50 monthly + free shipping worldwide. Discounts are available for longer commitments.

COUPON: Use code MSA17 to save 10% off any subscription!

The Products: Five full-size, curated products to help you achieve a full look for the month’s theme.

Ships to: Worldwide with free shipping. You can check out the list of countries they ship to here.

Sweet Sparkle September 2018 “Fabulous Fall” Review

Each month, an info card is included with an intro to the theme and the product names and retail values. This month’s theme is “Fabulous Fall”.

This month includes 4 makeup products and 1 makeup tool. If you were looking for fall colors, you came to the right place!

Innisfree My Real Squeeze Mask – Retail Value $1.80

This sheet mask is listed as a bonus item. It is supposed to replenish dry, thirsty skin with refreshing Bamboo extract. I love that it is made from 100% biodegradable Eucalyptus fibers, and the price is definitely on point!  Unfortunately, I could not give this a try yet because I just got my microblading touch-up, but I will probably be giving this a shot after my brows are all healed.

Crown Pro Eyeshadow Pod in Marsala

Crown Pro Eyeshadow Pod in Marsala – Retail Value $3.99

When I saw this eyeshadow pod in the box, I didn’t really think anything of it, but once I unpacked it, I realized how big the pan is – 4 grams vs average 1.8 gram pan! Shimmering marsala eyeshadow shades can be so flattering, but this shadow definitely lacked depth. It was a stiff shadow to work with, and even after I dampened my brush, there wasn’t enough payoff to satisfy my needs. I like the shade, but when I am going for a fall eye look, I want it to smolder! This, however, would be a great shadow to just swipe on the lids and go for a little bit of definition. 

Crown Pro Eyeshadow Pod in Chocolate Ganache – Retail Value $3.99

I thought the Marsala shade was stiff, but wow! This matte shade was definitely harder to pick up on a brush and build up color. Even after packing it on my lids with a wet brush, it just wasn’t giving me enough oomph. I don’t think it would make a nice base/crease color, either, judging from unsuccessfully trying to blend it out on my lid.

LA Splash Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Beignet

LA Splash Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Beignet – Retail Value $14

This lipstick should come with a warning label! I swatched this on my arm (see swatches of all products below), and it stained my arm and left a bit of a waxy residue that didn’t fully wash off until a day later. I love a good lip stain, but this product was way too sticky/waxy for my taste. Also, the color is an unflattering mauve/grey. The directions say to swipe evenly across lips and allow to dry for 3-5 minutes. I didn’t want to have to scrub my lips later on, so I never applied it according to the directions.

J. Cat Golden Soleil Baked Bronzer Cancun Golden Tan – Retail Value $7.99

J. Cat is a brand I often sample from Ipsy, and I’ve been impressed with a lot of their products, including this one. This shimmery bronzer scared me at first because it appeared so warm (read orange), but it isn’t overly pigmented which allowed me to apply it sheerly. When I dipped my brush into this bronzer, I could see sparkles flying through the air, so user beware: you will shine with this product!

Sormé Multi-Purpose Brush – Listed Value $16

I couldn’t find this brush online, probably for good reason: it wasn’t great. It is not soft, the brush head is too long and too sparse to do anything useful and honestly, I don’t like the way it looks (very cheap & generic!). I tried to pick up the J. Cat bronzer with it, and it just applied a concentrated patch onto my cheek; I tried to furiously blend it in, but to no avail. I then picked up a Real Techniques brush, and it did the job instantly, without any effort.

Swatches of the makeup (left to right): Marsala and Chocolate Ganache shadows, LA Splash lipstick, J. Cat bronzer

I took this picture a few hours after trying to scrub the LA Splash lipstick off my arm.

Disclaimer: I just had my microblading touch-up, so my brows look a bit intense!

As you can see, there was nothing really “poppin’” about my eye look using the two shadows that came in this month’s box. I used the Urban Decay primer potion underneath, but the pigment just wasn’t cutting it. I used Marsala in the inner corner to the middle of my eye, then I blended out Chocolate Ganache past my eyelid. Also, I loaded my lips with a pinkish chapstick before applying this lipstick to make it warmer, sheerer and easier to remove. I actually really like the warmth the J. Cat bronzer brought to my cheeks, and I’ll definitely be using that again soon.

I don’t hate the look I ended up with, but it is a little too wearable for me. I like pops of color, sparkles or a smokier look, so I found this look to be a little boring.

Verdict: This is my first Sweet Sparkle box, and I would have really loved the Fabulous Fall theme if some of the products were of better quality. I was taken by surprise by the bronzer, and I will add the eyeshadows to my collection, but other than that the brush and lipstick were total flops. I like that they added a bonus sheet mask, but it really didn’t add much to the value of the box. All thing considered, I like the intent for this box, but the resulting makeup look didn’t wow me.

Overall this month’s value totaled about $48, which is almost double the $24.50 a month box cost, including free shipping.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Your first box will be the current month’s box. So if you sign up in the month of October, you will get the October box.

COUPON: Use code MSA17 to save 10% off any subscription!

Value Breakdown: At $24.50 for this box (with free shipping), here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • Crown Eyeshadow in Marsala – $2.13
  • Crown Eyeshadow in Chocolate Ganache – $2.13
  • LA Splash Velvet Matte Lipstick – $7.45
  • J. Cat Bronzer – $4.26
  • Sormé Multi Purpose Brush – $8.53

Check out all of our Sweet Sparkle reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory for more makeup boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of the this month’s Sweet Sparkle box?

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Written by Abby Holsinger

Abby Holsinger

Abby has been a box enthusiast since July 2011, finding her calling with Birchbox. That was the start of a new era for Abby, because she is now hooked on the subscription box life; she loves the idea of receiving (several) thoughtful treats from genius curators such as Lisa Sugar and Rachel Zoe. A few other loves of hers would be her dog named Bill Murray, Bill Murray and chocolate babka.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Sweet Sparkle Reviews, UK Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: sweet sparkle | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. So impressed with the honesty of this review! I find it refreshing and wish all reviews were like this.

  2. You could try scraping the top layer off of the eyeshadow. Sometimes single pans can be more chalky etc at the top after being pressed. I

  3. If it takes that much work– for no “umph…” Pitch it.

  4. For this price, the box needs to deliver more oomph than Boxycharm – and it doesn’t. Thank you for an honest review!

    • I agree! I would have loved some sparkle or a bright orange or red color for fall, too.

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