If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
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.
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 November 2018. My box is version 2142214.
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 November box is Merry and Bright.
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 PLAYNOV18 online with a $20 purchase will also award 50-points. That code is valid through 12/31/18. 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.
Items come inside a thick ziplock bag.
The 0.1oz Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream is worth $5.30. This eye cream promises instant brightening and hydration from a blend of peptides. I have not tried it yet, but I do already have a sample of this. With how little eye cream I need and how many I have, it is highly unlikely I will keep this dupe. I look forward to trying my original though. If it works as promised, I am sure I will love it.
The 0.04oz Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in 40 Pink Tea is worth $3.31. This is the same shade that came inside the 2018 Give Me More Lip Kit. I love the formula and the color, so I am sure I will enjoy this once I try it. With how little makeup I use, the tiny sample I already own is enough. It is highly unlikely I will keep this dupe.
Once I wear this, I will try to remember to edit in a picture and review.
The 0.17oz Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin™ Cream is worth $4.80. This is yet another sample I already own but have not tried. It is also a rare moisturizer that lists an expiration date. To prevent it from expiring before I get to it, I will probably give it away. I really want to try my original at some point, because it claims to strengthen and shield the skin from moisture and water loss. That sounds amazing. With winter fast approaching, I may try this one soon.
The 0.035oz MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder is worth $5. This is the first duplicate from this box I have actually tried. My skin is dry, so I do not have a lot of use for finishing powder. Too much powder is not a good look for me. When I use this, I use it as a setting powder. It does the job, but it is far from my favorite for that purpose. I really think is better suited for someone who needs more smoothing, because it does that well. Even with the naked eye, I can see traces of this on my skin. Again, my skin is dry. With the right skin type and setting spray, this could look beautiful for anyone not getting photographed. Unless you are very careful with application, I would avoid this whenever you expect flash photography. You will get flashback.
The 0.67oz MOROCCANOIL Protect & Prevent Spray is worth $5.12. This is the only item in the box that I did not already own. I love leave-in conditioners (as long as they do a nice job detangling). Getting a sample I am happy to try is encouraging, because I initially thought this was for heat sling. Heat styling is not something I do often, so I have so many of those samples lying around. With how much leave-in conditioner I use, I know I will eventually try this. No one is getting this one from me. It also protects color, and I am thinking of coloring my hair soon.
The 0.05oz TORY BURCH Just Like Heaven is worth $7.50. I always use the smallest buy-in to calculate value, because that is the cheapest way to try the item without a sample. On that note, this is extremely overpriced in rollerball form. If you love this perfume and need something small for travel, get the full-size and a diffuser. Though I already own this, I have not tried it yet. Should I try my original before I gift this to someone else, I will keep it if I love it. There are very few I love, so this will almost certainly not stay with me.
The box has a $31.03 value. Sadly, the most valuable sample is the perfume vial. Considering that is the bonus, I think Sephora could have curated this better. This brings the average box value for the year to $35.86. My personal value is probably $5.12, because it is highly unlikely I will keep any of the duplicates. I dislike when my personal value falls below the amount I paid for the box. Thankfully, it is the first time all year that happened. It is not Sephora’s fault that I own a lot of these items, or it might be depending on how you look at it considering I probably got most of them from Sephora. Had I tried more of these before receiving the box, I would have a better feel for what I want duplicates of and what I don’t. When I go to give away samples, I typically grab things I have not tried but have multiples of first. My reasoning is I want to try as many new things as possible, so holding onto 2 of something that may stink is silly.
Of course, giving the dupe away blows if I love the original once I try it. The only sample I have tried is also the only one I am sure I do not want to keep. There is one product I am happy to see, so it was not a complete disappointment. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I will probably always keep this subscription. My network of friends and family who shop my stash can use many of the things I get duplicates of. At $10 (or $2 each for the 5 deluxe samples), I think it is worth the risk to find new things for me and share things I do not want with them. That said, this is my least favorite box of 2018. 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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