Admittedly, Sephora Play doesn’t have the highest value among my subscription boxes, and we’ll get to that breakdown shortly, but it does have what I believe to be one of the best curations with higher end items I use, and the other goodies like in-store classes and trials and bonus Beauty Insider points make this a very worthwhile subscription, particularly if you shop at Sephora. If you’re interested, there is a waitlist, but you can sign up here.
This month’s theme is “The Minimalist” and includes products to help you achieve that look. I think I had a much easier time understanding why items were included this month as opposed to last month’ theme. Sunscreen, bronzer, shimmering primer, and mascara are definitely what I’d call minimalist makeup, and the hair care item is designed to remove a step from your hair styling routine. This is absolutely a box that I’d say is designed to help you get ready and out the door more quickly in the morning.
The first thing you see when you open your box is this nifty little booklet shown above that tells you all about how to use the products inside as well as the card attached. As I said, this card is good for an extra 50 points when making any purchase from a Sephora store. Unfortunately, it can’t be used online, but I’m told it can now be used at Sephora inside JC Penny stores. (This is great news for me, as my closest Sephora is a SiJCP store.) This is not, as some have been told, limited to purchases of full sizes of items included in the Play box. You can literally purchase anything. For me last month, that was my favorite blotting papers. This month, it’ll probably be a mask.
My point is… You don’t have to spend a lot of money here. The subscription is $10, and you’ll get your money’s worth out of that all by itself, and to get the extra 50 points, you can buy a cheap $4 sleeping mask if that’s what you want to do.
Just like last month, all of the items sent were included in this little drawstring bag. While I like the idea, I’m also kinda over it. This seems unnecessary and wasteful. I can only reuse so many drawstring bags, and there’s no variety. Plus, I already get a cute little unique bag from Ipsy every month. Sephora doesn’t really feel like it needs the bag.
Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Link
Best I can tell, each month includes six items total– a skincare item, a haircare item, three makeup items, and a perfume. At least, that’s been the theme for the two months I’ve had this subscription, and while it hasn’t necessarily been the case in the past I’m thinking it might continue going forward. It sounds about right for Sephora, since it would cover the range of items they sell with the exception of tools.
This month’s skincare item is sunscreen, which I’ve noticed in almost all of my boxes for May and June, and it’s always appreciated. All three of us wear sunscreen every single day, so it’s going to be used up, and I like trying different varieties. Tarte is also one of those brands that I really enjoy. I’ve mostly had good experiences with their products, and they like to use natural ingredients.
It’s a little thicker than my current sunscreen (COOLA), but it does absorb quickly and doesn’t feel greasy or heavy. The product description says it has a “ocean’s lily scent,” though I’m unable to determine whether or not that’s the case. It does smell nice and clean and doesn’t have that usual sunscreen smell.
Bumble and bumble
Don’t Blow It Link
This was June’s hair product, and I have to say that Sephora is 2/2 on hair products for me. (I usually get shampoo, and I freaking hate it.) It has a light, clean scent much like the sunscreen, which I appreciate. If I want my hair to smell heavily of perfume, I will spray it with perfume. I haven’t tried it yet, but I do usually air dry my hair, so I’m very excited to try this out first chance I get and see how it works for me.
This month’s fragrance is Tocca’s Florence. I’m not a perfume gal at all, but I do wear it on occasion. Last month’s orange scent turned out to be a big hit, and this one has, too. It’s very floral, with the gardenia really standing out. My only gripe is that this and the other perfume Sephora sent me are both in dabber vials, which I hate. Thankfully, I have plenty of those miniature atomizers that others use for their samples, so this will be dumped into one of those.
To the makeup!
Backlight Priming Filter Link
I love love LOVE my BECCA highlighter, and I’ve never tried an illuminating primer, so I’m delighted to get to try this out. I was going to include swatches of this and the bronzer, but both are so sheer that it’s hard to do them justice in a photo. It does provide a nice subtle shimmer and is lightweight, but I’m wondering how much of that will come through with foundation over it. It’s definitely gorgeous all by itself.
bareSkin® Sheer Sun™ Serum Bronzer Link
I have a Temptu liquid bronzer that I got from Ipsy a while back that started out really confusing for me. Since I’ve learned how to use it properly, it’s probably one of my favorite things in my whole makeup collection. I don’t use bronzers much because they look weird on my pale skin, but the Temptu liquid bronzer is so pretty and sheer and shimmery that it looks great on me, and I’ve really been using it as the weather has heated up. Unfortunately, Temptu doesn’t sell the dropper bottles of the bronzer on their website. They’re really hard to find.
Enter this little gem from bareMinerals. It’s the exact same concept. One thing people might not realize with this sample is that this is actually a dropper bottle and not a pump. You unscrew the top, and this is what you see:
You shake it before you open it, of course, and then you apply a single drop to the tip of your brush. You can use more, but start with just one drop. You stipple it onto the area you want to bronze and then use the brush in circular motions to sheer it out. It’s gorgeous, and yes it works on very pale skin.
They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara Link
Mascara is arguably not one of the most exciting things to get in a subscription box, but it’s useful. I haven’t had to buy mascara in ages, and a sample size will last me for a good two months until I end up having to toss it away anyway.
So here’s the breakdown:
Again, Sephora isn’t the most valuable of my subs. Ipsy, for example, costs $10 without tax and had a value of over $40 this month, and it usually hits in the $60 range. That said, I’ll use every single thing here, and a few of these were items already on my list of things to try. Added in with the extra points, I definitely feel like I’m getting my money’s worth so far. I just wish that the “Play Dates” included locations nearer to me. The closest one is in Atlanta, GA.
Next month’s theme, by the way, is “Effortless Summer.” Based on the little hints, I’m going to guess at a summery ocean scent, a sea salt spray, maybe a tool of some sort, and a setting spray.