Sephora Play! July 2017 Unboxing

Purchased

Yay! Another Sephora Play box is here!

For anyone who might be wondering what this is, it’s one of the many beauty box subscriptions out there, this one being from Sephora. So as you’d expect, it features deluxe samples of products sold by Sephora. It’s nice in particular if you’re like me and have been around the block a bit with other subscriptions, and you want to see familiar premium brands. Honestly, I like discovering new products, but after a while I did start to yearn for something I was more likely to actually buy, and since I’m a frequent Sephora shopper (a little more than I’d like to admit), this is perfect for me. If you think it might be for you, I’ll provide some info on how to subscribe below.

Each month, Sephora will ship out a few variations based on a profile each member fills out. Some of it is a little hit or miss, like me having really curly hair but mysteriously not getting a box with a curly hair item last month, but I’d say it’s better to fill it out than not. If you’re ever curious as to which variation you’ll be getting, you can check your order history for your Sephora account and look at the item number for your Sephora Play box. The last three numbers indicate which box you’ll get, and spoilers that are released usually indicate which box they’re showing you. For reference, my box this month was #072.

Here’s a video showcasing the products that were featured across all variations this month:

Regardless as to which variation you get, you can always expect a few things in every box:

  1. The Play Pass. This gives you an extra 50 points to your Beauty Insider account with any purchase at a Sephora store. This is literally any purchase, as low as $1, and while you can’t use it online just yet, you can use it at a Sephora inside JC Penny as well as freestanding stores.  (Note: There are some associates who might not be familiar with this. I’ve run into a few myself. Rather than argue, just hang onto your receipt and call customer service later. They’ll add the points to your account for you.)
  2. A fold-out giving tips and detailing the products included in your box. You can also find more information on each product on Sephora Play’s website here, and Sephora almost always includes a video to show off each product.
  3. A bag with a design that’s unique to that month.

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As you can see, this month’s theme is “Beauty Staycation,” a word I hate just about as much as “glamp,” but I’m not in this for the themes or the bag, so I will live. The bag was kinda cute, though– a bit different from the usual white with a stamped design.

CLINIQUE
Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser Link

I’m going to start with the skincare items. There are two this month, neither of which require me to test them (which means that I was able to get this out a little quicker this month).

I absolutely adored the Pep-Start moisturizer Sephora sent me a few months back, and I definitely want to try other products in the line. Unfortunately, I don’t really use physical exfoliators on my face aside from my konjac sponge, so this will have to be repurposed as a body scrub.

Fresh
Rose Face Mask Link

I got this a kit last year, I think, though I can’t remember if it was a birthday reward or part of a Sephora Favorites kit. I really liked it. It’s super gentle and nicely hydrating. And yes, it smells like roses. The consistency is a thin gel, and I’ll probably get several uses out of this small jar. I don’t really use wash off masks all that much aside from my clay masks, but I do remember liking this one, so this will be used. I’m a little bummed, though, that of all the skincare items Sephora sent out this month, I got one that I can’t use and one that isn’t really new to me. (I prefer to see new items that I’m not familiar with in my boxes.)

IT Cosmetics
Superhero™ Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara Link

I used to hate getting mascara, but since I’ve cancelled my other box subscriptions, I’ve turned into one of those weirdos who actually enjoys getting a mascara sample in my box. One of these little guys will usually last me until I have to toss it 2-3 months later (because no, I don’t keep mascaras for six months like the packaging suggests you can), and for a while there Sephora was sending one pretty reliably every three months. I still have a few samples I haven’t used, so I could theoretically go without purchasing mascara at all.

Granted, I have fallen in love with a couple of formulas and purchased another, but I’m just saying… In theory, I could go without purchasing mascara if I wanted to.

Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture
Dream Come True Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque Link

My hair item this month is a deep conditioning mask. It’s okay enough and it smells amazing, but I’ve stated more than once that I can’t justify paying much for them because I make one at home out of kitchen ingredients for way cheaper, and it works way better. Plus, I already have a bit of a beef with the company that charges an obscene amount of money for what literally amounts to vanilla-scented coconut oil.

I mean… Yeah, coconut oil is awesome on my hair, and I’ll use it, but come on. I’ll spend my money on something a little more original and creative, thanks.

tarte
Rainforest of The Sea™ Color Splash Lipstick Link

I have a love/hate relationship with tarte. Some of their products work very nicely for me, and others are among the products that I hate with a passion. Their Rainforest of the Sea line has been one of those collections where I haven’t had very good luck. The skincare really irritated my skin for some reason, and the supposedly hydrating foundation not only looked horrible on me but actually managed to make my rather oily skin incredibly dry and flaky.

This lipstick thankfully didn’t do anything horrific to my lips, and it was a lovely color in a season where I’ve been focusing on eyes and wearing a more neutral lip:

The problem is that I can’t find anything in this lipstick that would justify me purchasing it. There are so many formulas out there, and this is just a standard everyday hydrating lipstick in a standard everyday color. To justify me purchasing one of them, you have to really sell me on the lipstick, and this sample doesn’t do that for me. There’s nothing to make it stand out from the crowd.

Bite Beauty, for example, gives me wonderfully formulated lipsticks made from food grade ingredients. I could literally eat my lipstick, if I were so inclined. (I probably wouldn’t be, but it’s just something that’s good to know, considering how much lipstick a woman accidentally ingests over her lifetime.) So I would pay the premium for a Bite Beauty lipstick. Urban Decay has some really cool shades like “Big Bang” and “Seismic” that I can’t seem to find from any other brand. Likewise, Kat Von D, Nudestix, and Smashbox all have wonderful stay put formulas that are beautifully matte while also comfortable to wear– something I don’t see a lot. I could also justify purchasing those.

With this, it’s a lovely color and formula and all, but I can’t see a reason to purchase this at $21 over, say, a $1-6 e.l.f. lipstick (which are just as hydrating and pretty).

Guerlain
Mon Guerlain Link

Sephora also somehow managed to turn me into a weird perfume junkie, too. As much as I’ve always hated perfume samples, I now seem to live for them. Yes, they’re low value, but Sephora doesn’t consider it as one of your five “main” samples you get every month. Instead, it’s considered a bonus sample, so I’m okay with it, and now I look forward to seeing what interesting smelly stuff I’m going to spray all over my body each month. I’ve also managed to purchase perfume for the first time in my life, though I was (somewhat) good and purchased a Sephora Favorites perfume sampler when I did it. For the record, I settled on a full-sized Flowerbomb when I redeemed my voucher.

With Mon Guerlain, I smell vanilla and lavender and jasmine, in that order. They’re probably my top three favorite scents, though combined… I can’t quite figure out whether or not I like it as a perfume that I’d wear. There’s a bit of a baby powder vibe to it, and it’s definitely something I’d mist on my pillow at night. As a scent, it’s pretty relaxing. I’d snuggle it, but I don’t know if I’d wear it, if that makes any sense at all.

My box this month is valued at a little under $40 retail, which isn’t too bad. That said, I feel like I’d rate this box at around a 5/10. It’s okay, but I wasn’t particularly thrilled about any one item. Some were underwhelming, one was something I couldn’t really use for its intended purpose, and the one that I really liked wasn’t anything new for me. It happens from time to time with beauty boxes.

Sephora Play is $10 per month plus tax with free shipping, and if you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. There is a waitlist, but it opens up regularly now, so as long as you keep an eye on it and keep checking, you should be able to get in.

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