It’s time for my January 2019 Sephora Play Box review, and I can already tell you I am not happy. Play! by Sephora 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 Play! 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 Play! 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 Play! by Sephora 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 Play! by Sephora 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 it does 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 12 samples that were available this month through shop the products link. My January 2019 Sephora Play box should have been version 2162261 according to my preview. The box I got in its place is inferior, which is why I am not happy. Funny enough, the bottom of my box says 2162261 Jan B Play, so I think some boxes got packaged wrong.
Sephora Play January 2019 Box 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 January 2019 Play box is Your Beauty Future. This claims they are fresh products for my future, but I already own five of them. If Sephora truly released new products instead of ones we’ve all received before, this theme would have fit better.
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 PLAYJAN19 online with a $20 purchase will also award 50-points. That code is valid from 01/15/19 through 02/28/19. 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 January 2019 Sephora Play Box Review
The funniest thing about this mistake is my boxes used to suit my dry skin. Sometime last year, they stopped lining up as nicely as before even though my profile still asks for dry skin items. When I saw the preview, I knew it was finally a great box for dry skin. It’s a shame the wrong box arrived, but I will continue with the review for Box I received. I am unsure what number this actually is, so let me know below if you know.
The 0.558oz beautyblender blendercleanser® solid pro is worth $4.74. I love the regular beautyblender solid and have not yet tried this even though I own other samples. Even if it is amazing, I would never purchase it. This thing costs $45 for a bar of soap. Seriously could not stop laughing as I was pricing this.
I am not keeping this duplicate, because I have never finished a lipstick, even a mini. It would have been nice if Sephora offered a different color, but I do like the way this dusty mauve looks on me. The formula is comfortable and easy to apply on the go.
The 0.17oz Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum is worth $14.45. I’ve received this before, but I have not tried it yet. Until I do, it is hard to say if I will keep this duplicate. Every other duplicate I’ve received so far has not stayed with me. With 15% stable Vitamin C, this could be a powerhouse serum. It is something I really want to try after I work through other serums that have waited longer to get used.
The 0.3oz Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is worth $3.26. This is a sample I get all the time that I have not tried yet. Until I try it, I cannot say whether I will hold onto this duplicate. I love sleeping masks, but I typically prefer thicker ones. Knowing this one has a thinner consistency is what has held me off from trying it for so long.
The 0.21oz packets of Four Sigmatic Golden Latte Mushroom Mix with Shiitake & Turmeric are worth $2 each. There are 3 here, so this has a $6 value. I do not like mushrooms, so there was no way I was going to try this. You dilute these satchels in 7oz of water and drink it. That sounds torturous to me, so I gave them to my husband. Considering this was the only thing in the box that was new to me, it is extremely disappointing that I cannot even keep it. At least it is staying within my household, and my husband proclaimed that Four Sigmatic is a good brand. He’s purchased from it in the past. For those who are capable of drinking this, it claims to put your best face forward by making it glow from within. My husband thinks this tastes great and is really impressed with the product claims (assuming it works as promised). It looks like this mistake is one he enjoyed, and Four Sigmatic may gave gained a new customer for this product.
The bonus from this month once again comes from the 2018 Sephora Birthday Gift. It is a 0.018oz foil of Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm ($0), and a 0.018oz foil of Bite Beauty Agave Sugar Lip Scrub ($0). I do not place value on foils, so those who do will end up with a different value than I have. These are both products I have purchased and have samples of, but I still have not tried them.
Was the January 2019 Sephora Play Box Worth it?
The box has a $40.07 value. I bet the box I should have received has a lot more value. This brings the average box value for the year to $40.07, because it is the first box of the year. My personal value is at least $4.74, because I will keep the duplicate beautyblender cleanser. Makeup brush cleaners are products I can never have too many of and soaps do not expire quickly at all. It’s too soon to say how many of the other duplicates I will keep, but I know I will not keep the duplicate Bite Pencil or the mushroom packets. Had the box I should have received arrived, I would have definitely kept 4 of the 6 products. Sephora let me down big time by sending the wrong box.
What are your thoughts on my January 2019 Play! by Sephora 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.