Well, it had to happen eventually, I guess. January 2017 was a bit of a dud when it comes to Sephora Play, but that’s just how it goes sometimes with subscription boxes. I’d say that on average, however, I typically get a box I enjoy.
This month’s theme was “Beauty, Set, Go” and as it seems to go with Sephora in January, there was definitely a focus on skincare. Normally, that would be a huge plus for me, but there were some major flops here. I’ll get to those in a bit.
Each Sephora Play box comes with a Play Pass card. Sephora encourages subscribers to visit their brick and mortars to try things out by offering an extra 50 points to one’s Beauty Insider account with any purchase, and it doesn’t have to be a full size of anything in your box. You can of course save these points up, but if you use the passes, you’re getting an additional 100-point deluxe sample every two months. That’s an extra 600 points per year just by using the Play Pass, and it’s in addition to the 10 points you get each month for the purchase of your subscription!
While you’re in the store, you can get help with any of the items included in your box, or try out something completely new. There’s also a monthly meetup, or “Play Date” event in stores where you can participate in tutorials and get freebies, but if you’re not close enough, Sephora Play’s website
will offer up video tutorials and extra information on all of your monthly goodies.
The bag this month was a changeup from the usual pillowcase-type material. The back is mesh, and the front is made from a water resistant type of material. I like it.
Almost Lipstick in Black Honey Link
I think I looked forward to this more than anything once the reveals went up, and I started to get nervous because quite a few folks ended up getting theirs broken. Thankfully, mine was intact. This is a nicely moisturizing tinted balm, and it comes in two shades, one that’s light and pinky. This is more of a dark berry, and it’s pretty universally flattering. I’m not surprised that I love it. I’ve loved every Clinique lip product I’ve ever tried.
It’s really great for a no-effort look. You can put it on without a mirror because it’s so sheer, and it goes with just about anything. And at $17 for a full size, your wallet isn’t taking a huge hit. I was really impressed by this sample size, too. At 0.04 oz, it’s a little over half a full size. Here it is next to my full size ABH tinted brow gel for reference:
This will last me for a little while, and it’s definitely my favorite item in the box. I might be repurchasing this in a full size as soon as I’ve used up my sample.
Treatment Masque Link
I can get behind a hair mask. This works like most. You put it in after shampooing and then rinse it out. My hair gets so dry that any kind of intensive conditioning treatment is always appreciated, though I think this might only be one treatment’s worth of product. We shall see…
Youth To The People
Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream Link
Admittedly, I haven’t tried this yet for obvious reasons– I only add new things once every week or two. This has been added to my testing schedule. I did patch test it on my arm, though, and I was surprised at how moisturizing and hydrating it managed to be for something so lightweight. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what this does for me. I’m a little careful with hyaluronic acid, because sometimes it can dry out my skin if the air around me is dry, but a good occlusive product and a humidifier is usually all I need to keep things in check.
FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser Link
Here’s where the duds begin… I’ve started backing away from physical exfoliants, as I find chemical ones to be far more gentle on my highly sensitive skin. And as this reviewer points out, the tarte FRXXXTION Stick ain’t gentle. At all. I might be able to use this on my arms or feet, but it’s going nowhere near my face.
Still… Others have called it a holy grail exfoliator.
Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Link
Here’s where things went really, really wrong for Sephora Play this month, and it wasn’t just me. Sephora made a huge deal of telling subscribers this month to make sure they filled out their profiles and specified their skin tones. Everyone was so excited, because that could only mean that foundation samples were on the way! Now, Sephora Play has done foundation one other time, but they basically just included a sample container for subscribers to take to the store and have filled there. This time, it would be different, and it would go horribly, horribly wrong.
None of the foundation samples, including the ones above seemed to be a good match for the people they were sent to. The fairest subscribers received the box I got, with two shades that are way too dark. (There was another sample, too, that also was a bad match for those who received it.) Not to mention, this amounted to pretty much getting a foil packet. The people that these samples would have been a good match for ended up getting boxes with no foundation samples at all.
I mean, come on, Sephora… Get it together.
Ah, well… I guess every box has to have a miss on occasion. This was just a comical miss.
Love Relentlessly Link
Even though I’m not much of a perfume gal, I’ve been looking forward to and loving my monthly fragrance sample. (Sephora does not include this as one of your five big deluxe-size samples, so this is considered a bonus.)
This is officially the first “miss” for me in the fragrance department. I’m not a huge fan of florals, but I’ve enjoyed florals done right. This was a really strong floral– so strong that one spritz was way too much. I literally gagged.
This month’s box was valued at around $35 retail, which is about the same as last month. In terms of personal value, I’d probably rank this as breaking even on my $10 for the three items that I do like. It wasn’t a complete miss, but it was pretty bad. Let’s hope that next month is better.
If you’d like to subscribe to Sephora Play, you can do that here. Be warned… There is a wait for new subscribers. That said, they seem to open up subscriptions pretty frequently, so my best advice is to bookmark the page and try entering your email address a couple of times per day. You should eventually find a window.