Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers five deluxe beauty samples and a bonus 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 to Beauty Insiders, 12.5 points to VIB members, and 15 points to VIB Rouge members. This box also 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.
The Beauty Bag was the only place to see complete sample history. Although it worked when I wrote the article for the January 2018 box, it is not working now. In case the link is ever recovered, I will leave it here for now. It does remove items Sephora no longer carries. You can view contents on one box at a time accessing the links through your Sephora order history. There are times when I can see all my Sephora history from that link and other times where it cuts older orders off. 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 at least 12 items (broken link so I cannot open it) listed for September 2018. My box is version 2115780.
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 September box is Next-Gen Beauty.
Each box comes with a Play! Pass. The Play! Pass is 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. Using promo code PLAYSEPT18 online with a $20 purchase will also award 50-points. That code is valid through 10/31/18. Getting 50-points for an online order is not ideal unless you have free shipping and are only spending $20 or really have no interest in any of the active promo codes. At $25 spent, there are always a number of promo codes you qualify for. Considering it takes 100-points to redeem one perk and the perks are usually about the same as the free product in a promo code, you’d pass on a promo worth 100-points to redeem the promo code for 50-points.
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.
A one-time offer for the September bag is a free custom makeover. As a Rouge member, I already get was many free custom makeovers as I want. This is a valuable offer for non-Rouge members though. Sephora usually requires a $50 purchase for a makeover. Show this to your Sephora makeup artist (unless you are purchasing over $50 in product anyway).
Items come inside a thick ziplock bag. This is the first month they came this way, and my feelings are mixed. I preferred gifting beauty products in the other bags, but I could still gift them in this.
The 0.25oz PETERTHOMASROTH Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Atomic Heat Mask is worth $2.84. I’ve loved every PETERTHOMASROTH mask I’ve tried so far, so I am always happy to get a sample of one I’ve never owned. This one seems really cool. Other warming masks I’ve tried have always made me feel relaxed on top of whatever they treat.
The 0.5oz Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly is worth $4.26. I used to receive moisturizers for dry skin (as per my profile), but this is not the first moisturizer that I am reluctant to even try from a Play box. My first thought was to change my profile, but I like getting oily skin samples for gift bags I give away to oily skinned people. There is an outside chance I will try this if no one claims it before I use up the 100 I own better suited to my skin type. This is new to my collection, so that is a plus.
The 0.24oz STELLAR Brilliant Primer is worth $7.50. Sephora sent me a full-size of this to review. I do like it, but I do not love it. Thus, I will not keep this duplicate. It is perfect for those who want light blurring and some luminizing. When I am reaching for a blurring primer, I typically want one that blurs really well. If I grab a luminizing primer, I want to glow. There are primers that only really target one of the other that do each better.
The 0.088oz NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Kiss is hard to value. All the samples from this brand claim they have the same amount of product as the full-size. That might be true, but the full-size pencils come with a sharpener and a case. They look smaller than the full-size pencil. Assuming the sharpener and case are worth at least $8, I will say this is worth $16. I pulled that figure out of the air, so others might assign a completely different value.
Kiss is cool toned rosy pink with matte finish. This color is new to my collection, but I own several of these pencils. I think they’re great whether I use them on my lips or my cheeks. Since this review from a couple of years ago, I have used them more. They do take some building on my cheeks and fade relatively quickly (as most cheek products do on me), but they look nice while the color is visible. On my lips, I think they are very creamy for a pencil. Dry spots are accentuated, but they do not really highlight lip lines.
The 0.18oz Sephora Collection LashCraft Big Volume Mascara is worth $5.73. Surprisingly, this is new to my collection. I thought I had a sample of this, but the one I have is slightly different. This is not high on my must try list, because voluminous mascaras are usually too clumpy for me. If no one who likes volume wants this before I get to it, I may try it.
The 0.05oz Tom Ford Black Orchid is worth $4.30. I’ve sampled this before, but I cannot remember much about it. That typically means I neither love it or hate it. Flowers are not my favorite scents, but this also has rich, dark accords and spice with the black orchids. As I already own a small vial of this, I will not keep this duplicate.
The box has a $40.63 value. This brings the average box value for the year to $34.90. My personal value is $28.83, because I will not keep the duplicate primer or perfume. Only two of the items in this box are duplicates to my collection, which is rare for a Play Box. I usually have more. Two of the items are not really suited to me, so there is a chance I might not keep them. If that happens, my personal value may dip. Both of the remaining ones are items I really want to try. 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.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links
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 (12 and 7) 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 12-year-old to apply it.