If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
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.
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. Boxes started getting customized in July 2016. 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 August 2016, because Box A and B share 3 and have 3 unique items.
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.
It also goes over the theme for the box and shows how the products tie into the theme. The theme for August is The Eye Openers. This information not easily available on the website, so it is helpful.
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.
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.
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.
The 0.16oz Lancome Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer is worth $5.21. Lancome is my favorite brand, and I always like receiving new items from its line. I did receive a foil of this with a recent Macy’s order, so I will only open this if I love that. As I love most Lancome items, I think it is safe to say this will likely stay with me. My dry skin prefers cream moisturizers, so I will only try this in warmer weather. Yes, I know it’s warm now, but I have open products that will last me until winter.
The 0.23oz Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm is something I’ve sampled before. I liked it enough to use it again. It is worth $31.28, and this is a very generous sample size at almost 50% of the full-size. It moisturizes well enough, but I want to see if I notice any anti-aging benefits with prolonged use.
The 0.02oz Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Eyeshadow and Powder Blush in I544 is worth $6. This is another product I’ve used before, because it is in multiple MUFE palettes I own, including Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1- Nudes. I was going to pull one of the palettes I already own this shade in to swatch it until I opened my box and discovered two! Then, I decided to keep this cute little guy. That’s never happened to me before with any subscription. Some subscriptions have sent me less than I’ve ordered, but I’ve never received duplicates or extras (that I can recall). Somewhere, there is a person missing a shadow, and I have two. Well, I will only have one once I gift the duplicate. The duplicate was a mistake, so I am not listing it in the box value.
It is a beautiful, iridescent, pink graphite, which I swatch next to other colors in that article. I’ve been extremely impressed with the Make Up For Ever shadows I’ve tried. They’re all pigmented, buttery, easy to blend, and stay crease-free all day. This will probably be no different, but I will add an official review and picture specifically for this single once I’ve tried it.
The 0.017oz Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Love Affair is worth $4.25. I really love these Sephora pencils. They are super pigmented, glide like a dream, and do not budge once they’re set. This is a color I did not own.
This is a beautiful purple, but it looks almost earth toned with natural lighting. I love these type of products that change their appearance depending on where you are, because this is a purple that could totally pass for a neutral in an office setting (without fluorescent lighting). Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture and review.
The 0.1oz Urban Decay Perversion Mascara is worth $5.50. I would rather gift this sample to someone without hooded eyes, so I will not keep this. Pictures from past use are below.
This is a really wet formula that takes a while to dry, so it is not my favorite. My eyes are hooded, so I get a lot of transfer. It does not transfer as much as wetter formulas like Benefit They’re Real and clumps less than that one, too.
The 0.05oz Clean Reserve Warm Cotton is worth $3.68. I use the smallest size to calculate value, because it is the cheapest buy-in for a product. This is a scent I adore. It smells like clean laundry, a beautiful fabric softener, and freshness. Although I would not buy a scent like this, because really fresh smelling laundry gives a similar effect for free, I love getting samples of it.
The box has a $55.92 value. I double-checked that, because I’ve never received one that high before. The eye cream gave this one an abnormally high value. Anything between $30 and $40 is more common. My personal value is $50.42, because I will not keep the mascara. This is higher than my personal value from the last box where I only removed two items. Although the eyeliner is in a new color, I’ve actually received these products elsewhere. That makes this box a little less exciting, when my goal is to try new products. Thankfully, there is only one product in here that I know is not for me, so I’d call this successful even with all the repeats. Once items from the current box populate, sneak peeks for the next month become available. The Unbasic Basics is the theme for September.
If you have any questions I did not cover, please visit the FAQ section. I will answer any posted here if I know the 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.
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