If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers five deluxe beauty samples and a foil packet or perfume vial for $10 a month plus tax. Shipping is free. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box so most items are from well-known, high-end brands. While Sephora does carry a few low-end and luxury brands, they do not really appear in the subscription boxes. 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. The $10 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and from the 1st through the 4th for succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 11th through the 15th.
I’ve been subscribed to Sephora Play since the National Launch in May 2016. It has been open to lucky people in select cities since September 2015. The last box I shared was in November 2016. After careful consideration, I’ve decided not to review past boxes. Those looking for information on the current box should scroll past this section. To keep a record of the samples I’ve received, I am noting what came in past boxes that have no article. As I plan on sharing my monthly box going forward, this section will not exist in future articles.
832- December 2016: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick, Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer, and Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon.
443- January 2017: Ouai Treatment Masque, tarte FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser, Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Clinique Almost Lipstick Black Honey, Pinrose Wild Child, and boscia BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27.
575- February 2017: Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence, Sephora Collection LashCraft Length & Volume Mascara, Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer, Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy, NARS Velvet Lip Glide, and Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff.
451- March 2017: Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm, VERB Ghost Oil™, Atelier Cologne Clémentine California Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Liquid Highlighter, Glamglow GLOWSTARTER™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick.
583- April 2017: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, Miu Miu L’eau Bleue, and MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner.
264- May 2017: Grande Cosmetics GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper, Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser, Trestique Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick Maldives, Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color, and Maison Margiela ’REPLICA’ Beach Walk.
042- June 2017: Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick K-Dub, First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel, OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil, and Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer.
049- July 2017: Milk Makeup Cooling Water, bareMinerals GEN NUDE™ Matte Liquid Lipcolor Swag, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume, It Cosmetics Superhero™ Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara, Briogeo Rosarco Milk™ Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray, and boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment.
189- August 2017: Kat Von D Sinner Eau de Parfum, Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème #11, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Kat Von D Saint Eau de Parfum, beautyblender® micro.mini, and Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil.
514- September 2017: Devacurl Melt into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask, belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour Happy, Stila Stay All Day® Waterproof, Clean Reserve Citron Fig, Clean Reserve Sel Santal, and Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel Medium3.
917- October 2017: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation Y245, bareMinerals Mineral Veil, Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum For Her, Urban Decay Quick Fix Hydracharged Complexion Prep Priming Spray, and Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion™ Pore Perfecting Exfoliator.
013- November 2017: Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, Burberry My Burberry Blush, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Sephora Collection Rouge Cream Lipstick The Red, Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask, and Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer with Echinacea GreenEnvy™.
577- December 2017: Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1, Tom Ford Black Orchid, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss Vintage, Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream, Laura Mercier Eye Basics Wheat, and Smashbox Cover Shot: Eye Palettes Golden Hour.
Items populate in your Beauty Bag around the middle of the month so you can usually see them before they arrive. The beauty bag is the only way to see all sample history so you can go here to remember an item you sampled a year or more ago. It does remove items Sephora no longer carries. Like all Sephora order history, once you’ve been subscribed long enough, the system will probably purge sample history from the oldest boxes. The past boxes link does give complete details on the last six boxes.
Boxes get customized based on your profile. Make sure you update your Play! Profile, because they do not use the Sephora profile for this box. There is not a lot of variety in the boxes, but there is enough to justify updating your profile. If you received a box that does not suit you, update your profile. You can continue to play with your settings until you are happy with what you’re receiving. If no adjustments help, cancel your subscription. You can view all samples that were available this month through shop the products link. There are 21 items listed for January 2018. My box is version 2022028.
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 January box is Happy You Year.
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 $25 and over can use a promo code, which is usually 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.
Sephora changed the format of the boxes for 2018. Instead of perfume vials, which I calculated actual value on, subscribers can receive a perfume vial or a foil as the 6th item. While I see the benefit of foils, I never calculate value on them. Bloggers who do calculate value on foils will include them in what the box is worth. Since foils are single-use and not packaged well, I believe they should always be free. Calculating value on something that should have a charge seems counterintuitive.
My sixth item in this box is a 2-piece foil including a 0.25oz Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Shampoo and 0.25oz Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Conditioner. I’ve sampled this before and feel this size does not give me enough product to fully clean my hair. My hair felt and looked greasy. There is almost no lather, which is fine, but those items usually need more product to work properly. Given how expensive this shampoo and conditioner are, I would never purchase them knowing it may take a lot of product to get them to even work if they work at all. Unless I receive a second sample set so I can see what 0.5oz does, I will not even use this. I already know I do not like what 0.25oz does.
The 0.6oz fresh Rose Floral Toner is worth $2.82. This is a rather small sample for toner, but it is something I’d like to try. It claims it is hydrating and soothing, which are the two things I want most in a toner. I will try it for setting makeup as well and see which way I like it better.
The 0.13oz Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer is worth $5.46. My skin does not usually like Smashbox primers, but I have been unable to pinpoint the exact reason. This is one I have not tried yet so I will reluctantly try it and hope for the best. I prefer to use these combo primer-moisturizer items as primers. With dry skin, I need a real moisturizer to do the heavy lifting. There are also a lot of days I do not wear makeup, and I do not usually prime my skin on non makeup days.
The 0.07oz Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base is worth $9.39. This is my favorite mascara primer. It is one that coats the lashes white so do not leave the house forgetting to apply your mascara over it. Apply your mascara before this dries but not when this is too wet for the best effect. I generally wait about a minute in between the two. No matter which mascara I pair this with, I see an improvement. An extra step when I am in a hurry (most of the time) is not ideal. As such, I would never buy this or another mascara primer. Getting them in kits and subscriptions is always nice for when I have a lot of time to pamper myself.
The 0.1oz Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream is worth $5.30. My undereyes are very dry, and I like the idea of a lightweight moisturizer. If this works as it claims, I am sure I will love it.
The 0.5oz Glamglow SUPERCLEANSE™ Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser is worth $3.20. I have not tried this yet (even though I am sure I’ve received a sample of it before). Although the mask version of this is not my favorite, I do like it.
The box has a $26.17 value. This brings the average box value for the year to $26.17 (of course because this is the first box of the year). My personal value is also $26.17, because I will try all the deluxe samples in the box (and the foils, which I did not value, if I can get another one). I think this box was worth what I paid so it was a decent deal. It is important to note that the samples in this box were way too small. When your biggest item is 0.6oz and you have two 0.1oz or under, I think Sephora can do better. 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.
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. See all Sephora Play! articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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