Unboxing: PLAY! BY SEPHORA The All-Star Edition


August has been a really good month for my makeup and skincare addiction. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but in any case, I’ve spent some money this month, and I’ve gotten some pretty good stuff. I had a spectacular e.l.f. haul, which added to some brand new essences and first cleansers, which I can’t wait to test out. I got the Naked Heat palette and discovered my love for red and orange eyeshadows. My Sephora Play box for August (which will be reviewed shortly) had some fabulous items that I loved and had a retail value of over $50.

And then there was this. This is only the second time I’ve seen Sephora offer a super special Play box (no subscription required), and the last one was only available to Rouge members. This one is now available to anyone who wants to buy it. I didn’t get the last one because I wasn’t too excited about the products they mentioned. (Tom Ford’s Black Orchid is okay, but it smells weird on me after a while. Plus, it included a second perfume sample.)

This time, I saw mention of a Tom Ford makeup product, which is a WHOLE other situation, in addition to skincare products from two brands I adore AND a bonus Victor & Rolf fragrance (and I knew what it had to be), and snatched one up on Tuesday. It was on my porch the next day– not my typical Flash shipping experience lately, and I’m definitely not complaining.

This time, Sephora stuck more to their usual model– five deluxe samples and a bonus perfume sample. Based on the fact that they opened it up to more customers this time around, and considering that the last one was in June, I’m wondering if Sephora might be moving toward doing this pretty regularly, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I like the regular Sephora Play subscription, and I can easily see them putting the passable samples in their regular boxes and saving the more worthy ones for customers who are willing to shell out an additional ten bucks. (Please don’t do this, Sephora.)

In any case, I’m pretty happy with it. Some of the gimmicky stuff is a bit underwhelming to me, but the products are all things I’ve been wanting to try. As you can see, the packaging is a little bit different from what I normally get with a regular Play box. There’s no Play Pass, for starters, and the box it comes in has a black exterior instead of Sephora’s iconic black and white stripes. Those are on the inside, though, and instead of an informational folded sheet, Sephora included a tarot game with information about the products on each card. (It’s cute, but they’re nothing special. I’ll end up tossing them.) The bag has a zipper and is definitely heftier than the usual cloth drawstring, but I feel like Ipsy and Macy’s are winning the cute makeup bag every month game right now, and there’s only so much I can do with these bags. They do pile up after a few months. Maybe I’ll make a quilt out of them or something…


Facial Treatment Essence Link

I had an opportunity to try this out a while back and ended up opting for something else. I’m glad to see it come back around again– especially while I look at other hydration options, though $33 per ounce is probably a deal-breaker for me. SK-II is one of two Asian skincare brands featured in this box. This one is from Japan and boasts Cate Blanchett as a brand ambassador. Yes, that Cate Blanchett. Anyway…

I’m not really all that familiar with the ingredients here. There are only eight listed, and of those eight, three are preservatives and one is water. Simplicity isn’t a bad thing, though. There’s no fragrance that I can detect, and I do notice some hydration, but I think this might one of those products that you really have to test out over time in order to fully appreciate it, and I don’t think I’ll be plopping down the money required for a full size bottle.


MOISTURE BOUND Rejuvenating Crème Link

With a product that costs over $80 per ounce, I’m feeling a little spoiled. These are definitely products that, due to their cost, I probably wouldn’t otherwise try out. AMOREPACIFIC is the other Asian brand included in this box, this one being Korean.

I do see dimethicone on the ingredient list, which almost always triggers an eyeroll with me these days, but since this is a last step kinda product, it shouldn’t be an issue. I would consider it as more of a night cream than a day cream, though, and a little seems to go a long way. It really does pack a punch!

It is heavily fragranced (as was the last AMOREPACIFIC product I tried out), and it didn’t really dissipate over time for me like some products do, but I find it pleasant. Fragrance isn’t really the dealbreaker for me that it was before I started using Asian products. If you’re not into heavily perfumed products, though, this won’t be for you.


Veil Mineral Primer Link

I’ve had people recommending mineral primers to me left and right lately due to my skin’s tendency to get a little oily, and this one in particular has been mentioned more than once, so I’m happy to have been able to give it a go. I don’t know if I’d pay that much for primer, but I’m impressed nonetheless. This had an interesting blurring effect and smoothed out my face nicely. It was also pretty mattifying without also being drying– a problem I run into sometimes with my makeup. I didn’t notice any real differences in length of wear compared to my other primers, but I really enjoyed how this made my makeup look. This will go in my “maybe” pile regarding repurchases, but only because I’m not sure it’s spectacular enough for me to pay that much for it. If I end up getting another deluxe sample, you bet your sweet bippy I’m gonna use it up.

tf lipstick

Lip Color in “Indian Rose” Link

Tom Ford’s lipstick is one of those products that’s been on the top of my list to try out– just as soon as I can get over spending $54 on a lipstick. It’s definitely a luxury item, and while most luxury cosmetics brands are just unnecessarily overpriced for the hype alone, this is one situation where I’ve heard people rant and rave and claim that it’s worth the price. Yes, I was curious.

My verdict? I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. This stuff glides on like a dream, and Sephora was nice enough to include a color that’s extremely wearable. It’s super moisturizing and feels like I’m babying my lips, and because it stains quickly (something I discovered while swatching, below), the color lasts for several hours without really needing much touching up.

Here it is swatched, though I don’t feel like this really does the color much justice:


I’m pretty pale, and on my lips, this looks like a pinky nude with a bit of a satin finish. Would I buy this? HELL YES I would buy this! I’d just probably wait until I have another gift card before I did, because $54 for a lipstick is still a lot, and in the meantime Bite Beauty has a really good lipstick formula for about half as much. My mini will do me for now.


Diorshow Mascara in “Black 090” Link

I’ve actually become one of those freaks who’s excited to get a mascara in a subscription box because these deluxe samples are just big enough to last me until it’s time to toss them, and I haven’t really had to purchase a mascara in ages. That said, I have still occasionally made a purchase when I found one I liked. (Sephora Collection has a really good one for $12.)

I’m a lucky duck when it comes to lashes. Mine are naturally curly, long, dark, and somewhat thick, so I don’t require anything fancy– just a little emphasis on what I’ve already got. If it turns them darker, doesn’t clump, and doesn’t smear under my lower lashes, I’m good. This one is pretty volumizing, almost to the point where I look like I’m wearing falsies. I like it.


Flowerbomb Link

I’m already obsessed with this fragrance, as you can see from the full size and mini I already own and grabbed to picture alongside this sample. (Note: Sorry, but the full size and mini are not included. Those were already mine, and I’m not sharing.) When the box description said “Viktor & Rolf fragrance product,” I knew. No, I didn’t care that I already own it. There’s no such thing for me as too much Flowerbomb, and now I have a spray sample that’s small enough to stash in my purse!

This stuff features two of my favorite scents– jasmine and vanilla. There’s other stuff there of course, but I don’t really care to pay attention to them. This is a floral, but it’s not an in-your-face floral like you can sometimes run into. Normally, I hate rose for that reason, but this contains rose, and it’s not overwhelming at all. The vanilla kinda cuts it, I think, and there are some spicy notes that keep the vanilla from making it too sweet.  This is perfection for me.

Pricing per ounce of course varies based on what size you buy of a full size product, but I’m estimating a retail value of about $70 for this box, not including the bag– not bad for $20, and I had a $10 credit on my account already, so I didn’t even pay that much. Would I buy one of these again? It depends. If it’s as good as this bag, yes. I have no regrets whatsoever about this purchase. I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth. That said, I would have to know what products were included. I had a good idea on this box and wasn’t disappointed, but if I’d gotten the last box, I’d have been bummed.

2 thoughts on “Unboxing: PLAY! BY SEPHORA The All-Star Edition

  1. What a fun box!!! I still dont think I have smelled the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb yet. I have been wanting to try Tom Ford lip stick and eye shadow but haven’t wanted to shell out the money. I have some SkII stuff and I like it…but again…probably wouldn’t purchase it full price.


    1. I haven’t checked to see if they’re still available or not, but if they are, they’re only $20 and don’t require a subscription.


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