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Sephora Play! July Subscription Box Review Effortless Summer

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Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers six beauty samples for $10 a month plus tax, shipping included. The charge posts from the 1st through the 4th, and the boxes start shipping around the middle of the month. Spots are limited, but you can place your name on the waiting list if they’re unavailable when you check. This gives one more sample than the standard $10 box offers, because it considers the monthly fragrance as a bonus item. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box, so it only includes well-known mid to high range items. There is not a traditional rewards program with this box, so you cannot get points for referring friends or writing reviews. It does award 10 Beauty Insider points and applies $10 toward your purchase minimum to maintain your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status.

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Items populate in your Beauty Bag around the middle of the month, so you can usually see them before they arrive. Past boxes did not have any variation. The July Box was the first with some customization. Make sure you update your Play! Profile, because they do not use the Sephora profile for this box. Those with oily skin got box A. People with dry skin got box B. Anyone who selected normal or combination skin randomly received either the oily or dry box. It seems likely more customization may follow, but they started small. If you received an oily box but want a dry box or vice versa, update your profile. You can always change them back to combo or normal Play adds more options of customized boxes. There is a shop the products link that gives a history of all items sampled since September 2015. There are nine items listed for July 2016, because Box A and B share 3 and have 3 unique items.

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Each box comes with a Play! Book. This is a booklet that unfolds into a large sheet of photo paper to show info about all the items inside the box.

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It also goes over the theme for the box and shows how the products tie into the theme. The theme for July is Effortless Summer. This information not easily available on the website, so it is helpful.

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Each box comes with a Play! Pass. The Play! Pass is only valid in store though the end of the following month. It is redeemable with any purchase (even items not received in the box) for 50 Beauty Insider points. Only one 50 point pass is valid per day, so using two in a single trip will not work. These points may take up to 24 hours to apply. You can also use the Play! Pass for a one-on-one consolation with a beauty expert.

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It takes 100 points to receive a deluxe perk, but online orders over $25 come with a deluxe perk. While this is wonderful for those trips you have to make in store or when you are spending less than $25, it will generally be a better deal to order online and redeem a deluxe perk.

Sephora Play July 2016

Items come inside a collectible makeup bag. The design is different each month. This is a small drawstring thick cotton bag that is very cute but not practical for holding makeup. My skin is dry, so I got Box B.

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The 0.16oz Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer is worth $4.48. I received this from Ulta months ago, but I have not been brave enough to use it yet. As you can see from the swatch, it is a really yellow bronzer. I call it mustard.

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When I rub it out, it looks like a bruise. I will eventually try the one I received from Ulta, since I already opened it. Once I try it, I will edit a picture in that article and this one. There is no way I am keeping this new one from Sephora though, so I did not add this into my box value.

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The 0.25oz Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer is worth $8. I always use the smallest size for purchase when calculating value, because it is the cheapest buy-in. This is a product where the travel size is cheaper per ounce than the full-size, so my value will be lower than people who use the full-size. In the value size (the largest one), it gets cheaper per ounce than the travel size, so anyone who uses the super sized one would actually have a lower value. When I started wearing makeup again, I bought a lot of Smashbox primer sets. Sadly, I was allergic to everyone I tried. I cannot use this, because this one gives me the worst rash of all. This was not added into my box value.

The beautyblender blotterazzi is worth $10. This is a liberal estimate, because the full-size $20 version comes with two of these in a compact. Considering the compact has a mirror, a thin-film for separating the two, and vents to let the back one breathe, I’d say assigning $10 to each one is probably too much. There is no compact with the sample, and I do not know how much value to assign to the compact. This is reusable, but they recommend replacing it every 30-45 days. They really should sell them separately from the compact, because how many compacts could one woman need if she replaced the blotter as scheduled. In the promo video, the creator says she created this to prevent waste. Blotting papers are somewhat wasteful, but having a bunch of these compacts would be a lot more wasteful. I’ve purchased blotting papers in the past, but it has been a long time since I really needed any. If I can repurpose this in any way, I will report back on how it goes. Without the compact, I’d rather not carry this around in my purse. My skin is not oily enough to justify purchasing the compact to carry this around either. The container it comes in is flimsy, because it is disposable cardboard.

There is a 0.1oz beautyblender liquid blender cleanser® foil inside the cardboard. I do not place value on foils, but I always like the chance to try extra products. This is a sample I’ve received before, but I have not tried it yet. The beautyblender blendercleanser® solid works extremely well and is what I use to clean my beautyblender. If this works anywhere near as well, I think I’d prefer this. Bar soaps get mucky between uses, so I would prefer a container that keeps everything away from the elements.

The 1oz Ouai Wave Spray is worth $8.84. My hair is naturally wavy and most sea salt sprays do not add anything special to the look or feel. I will try this, because it seems to use different ingredients than similar wave sprays I’ve tried. Looking at ingredients is not really my forte, so it is possible this will be another product that does nothing for me.

The 1oz First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser retails for $5.50. This sample is actually a lot better than the one you can purchase, because the 1oz size you purchase is a resealable foil. I am always happier to receive a tube over a foil. There is a chance I may not keep this, because I have sampled it before. It is a gentle cleanser that does what its job, but I have so many products I want to try already in my stash. Opening an item I’ve already tried that is not a FabuFind only prevents me from trying another product that could be. Although there is a chance I could hate products in my stash, and I already know I love this one. For now, I will keep it.

The 0.04oz Nest Citrine is worth $3.70. I was not wearing anything when this arrived, so I put it on. Overly floral scents make me light-headed, but this lotus flower and freesia are set against sparkling citrus notes and hints of precious woods. While I can smell the floral, it is not overpowering. The scent is about a 6 out of 10 (which I realize reduces, but I use 10 for the top of fragrance). It took about an hour for the more pleasant base notes to kick in, and then it faded before the day is over. I’m really particular with fragrance. This is something I’d wear occasionally (while I have samples) but I’d never buy it.

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The box has a $40.52 value. It is the first of the three I’ve received to surpass $40, but it is still my least favorite. I like when I prefer the lower value boxes, because it usually means less cost to buy the items I love. My personal value is $28.04, because I will probably keep everything other than Benefit Dew the Hoola and Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Primer. This is still higher than my personal value from the last box where I only removed one item. Once items from the current box populate, sneak peeks for the next month become available. The Eye Openers is the theme for August.

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I am still pretty new to this subscription, so I suggest reading the FAQ section if you have any questions I did not answer. When spots open up on the wait list, they go quickly. Act as fast as possible once you receive the email confirming your spot. They send more invitations than spots they have available, so ignore the countdown saying you have more time. Sephora does not inform a single Beauty Insider of all deal details. Certain offers are targeted and others have different purchase minimums based on the code. Remember to check New Offers and/or Recycled Offers before placing an online order for items you loved from the box. Visit my Sephora! Play Page for more information and other box reviews., Inc.

See all Sephora Play! articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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notcreative View All

I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (13 and 8) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 13-year-old to apply it.

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