It’s time to review my December 2018 Sephora Play Box. 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.
See a synopsis of a year of Sephora Play Box reviews vs a year of Birchbox reviews. Every year, I review my $10 boxes against each other, so I can declare the annual winner. This is also helpful for those who would like to see a year of reviews for either box in one place.
About the Sephora Play Subscription
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 December 2018. My box is version 2165447.
This Month’s Theme
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 December box is Play! List 2018. This goes over some highlights from the year.
Getting More from Your Box
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 PLAYDEC18 online with a $20 purchase will also award 50-points. That code is valid from 12/15/18 through 01/31/19. 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. You can reuse these bags.
My December 2018 Sephora Play Box
The 0.16oz Too Faced Primed & Peachy Cooling Matte Perfecting Primer is worth $3.76. My face is dry, so I never purchase matte primers. I do not mind sampling them, because I could find one that does not make my dry skin worse without investing in a full-size first. Everything from the peach line smells great, the matte setting spray from this line dried my face out so much that I gave it away after 4-5 uses. That does not leave me with high hopes for this, but I can always give this away if it is not right for my skin type. On that note, I must say Sephora did a great job giving me boxes for the dry skin in mu profile through 2017. Sometime in 2018, I started seeing the day skin items going to other boxes. Not sure what went astray, because I have not updated my profile. To anyone who received something rich or moisturizing in a box who does not have dry skin, I think our samples got switched.
The 0.0088oz Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner in 02 Nothin’ but Nude is worth $6. I like trying lip liners. This is one I have not tried yet.
From the swatch alone, I know I like the color. The formula also seems very smooth. It glided with ease, so I should not have to worry about skipping. Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture and a review.
The 0.1oz tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara is worth $9.58. This is a sample I get all the time, but have never tried. My niece told her sister how much she loved it, and her sister took my last sample. That means I may actually try it. Now that I know someone loves it and it made its way back to my collection, it might finally be time. If I get a cuter sample before I open this, I may still give this one away. All the other ones I’ve received in the past are slightly bigger and have nicer packaging. We’ll see.
The 0.07oz fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm is worth $6. This is definitely not staying with me. I already have a sample of this, and it is one I was getting ready to start for my lip balm article (which keeps getting delayed). If I can stop buying lip balms and getting samples of new ones, I will eventually publish it. My giveaway winner will receive this as one of the many samples I am including in her package.
The 0.34oz MOROCCANOIL Moroccanoil Treatment is worth $6. This is another sample I already own and will not keep this duplicate. Not only have I not tried it yet, but my giveaway winner wants to try hair treatments. I realize if she reads this article, I have ruined two of her surprises. Hopefully, she does not read this one. I also hope we both love this oil once we try it.
Instead of a fragrance vial or foil packet, Sephora gave us a deluxe item as our bonus for December 2018. That makes it the only month where we got six deluxe samples instead of five. This item was random, so you will not see the product posted in your online account. You will see the note that you received an extra trial size. My bonus item was a 0.05oz Smashbox Golden Hour Eyeshadow Duo in Turned On and Psyched. It is worth $5.37. I already own this and have yet to even try it. Thus, I see no need to keep this duplicate.
These swatches are from my original sample, so I can keep the new one intact. I do like the colors, but I am not feeling the glitter specks in the darker shade. That is probably why I’ve never been motivated to try this. Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture and a review.
Value and Worth
The box has a $36.71 value. As I mentioned above, this is also the only box with six deluxe samples instead of five, which means there is even more variation in value from box to box. This brings the average box value for the year to $35.93. My personal value is probably $19.34, because I am definitely giving away the last 3 items in the box. They might be wonderful, but I will not know until I try my original. Of course, giving the dupe away blows if I love the original once I try it. With so many things to try, I would rather give away things I have duplicates of than originals of things I have yet to try. If my niece had not taken my last mascara sample, I would not have even kept that. My personal value would have dipped below the $10 I paid. Even when my value falls short, I do not mind too much. Sephora is sending high quality items, and it is not Sephora’s fault I have a massive collection. Someone in my circle happily takes the samples I do not need duplicates of.
What are your thoughts on my December 2018 Sephora Play! Box? Let me know below. Sephora does not inform any Beauty Insider of all promotions. It does list a great deal of them on its Beauty Offers page, but I list some it does not on my Sephora Deals Page. Between the ones it lists and the ones I list, you can catch most of them. Subscribe to emails to get targeted offers. If you’re spending over $25 online, there is always a promo code that you can apply. Most major events run on a set schedule, which is why I track them. See all Sephora Play! articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Sephora. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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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.