Play! by Sephora Review, October 2016

Play! by Sephora, $10 per month, US only


This little one is getting big!  She's almost as big as the box!

Play! by Sephora is Sephora's own beauty box and, of course, it contains only products from Sephora.  At $10 per month, it's one of the more affordable subscriptions.  The sample sizes are often on the small side because the brands are all higher end.  Most of the time, you're going to be very familiar with the brands in the box, but Sephora tries to throw in newer products that you might not have tried yet from those brands.  Previously, everyone received the same box, but Sephora has had variations over the past several months.  When they first began variations, they had a dry skin box and a combination/oily skin box, but they've had more and more variations recently.  This month they had four variations and it didn't seem as though there was a discernible pattern as to who got which box based on profiles, so it might be random or they might have some complex system they use to decide who gets which box.  Each month, all subscribers get five beauty products plus one perfume sample.  There is a waiting list for subscriptions, so sign up now if you're interested!  Every couple of months, they open up subscriptions and, strangely enough, they don't seem to give those on the waiting list the option to subscribe before anyone else, so watch for their announcement that they are opening up subscriptions.


Here's what I got in my October Play! by Sephora:

My October Play! was worth about $47.35!  The Smashbox lipstick didn't have a size listed on it, so I had to guess on the value of that product.  I think this might be the highest value Sephora box I've gotten.  Each month has a theme and the October theme was The Cool Cut, which Sephora described as, "breakthrough formulas, indie finds and products that truly stand out from the crowd."  I don't really think of any brand you'll find in Sephora as "indie," but four of my six products were from lesser-known brands.  As I mentioned above, there were a number of variations this month, so you might have gotten something completely different in your box.  Brands found in other versions of the October box included Christophe Robin, Farmacy, Erborian, Madame CJ Walker, Drunk Elephant, Belif, and Blink, plus some more mainstream brands.


First up was the Verb Leave-in Mist.  I've never tried a Verb product before, so I was looking forward to trying this.  This is a leave-in conditioner that is supposed to smooth out your hair, give it some shine, and detangle it.  It looks quite thick in the bottle, but it is very lightweight once it's in your hair.  It tamed my flyaways pretty well.  My hair isn't long enough to get tangled right now, so I'm not sure how well it works as a detangler.  The scent to this was very light and I didn't notice it once it was in my hair.

Swatch of Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat

Swatch of Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat

I've tried a number of Smashbox products throughout the years, but I think this might be the first time I've tried their Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick.  This is an extraordinarily matte formula, so make sure your lips are in tiptop shape before you use it because you'll see every crack.  Use a lip scrub and you should be fine.  It looks like Driver's Seat is an orangey nude in the tube and in the pictures above.  When it's on me, though, it ends up being a warm pink.  It was a very flattering color on me and I got a lot of compliments on it.  Generally, I prefer metallic or shine to matte formulas, but this color is perfect for me.  It isn't quite as dramatic as I usually go for, but it'll be good for when I need a more conservative look.


I've tried Skin Inc's serums before and had good luck with them.  I didn't know that they made a peel or that Sephora sold their products.  To use this peel, you apply a thin layer to your face, wait a few seconds, then massage it into your face.  You're supposed to see little balls of dead skin when you do that, but that didn't happen for me.  I've used peels before and had good luck, but this didn't do anything for me.  Did anyone else have better luck with it?


Too Cool for School is a Korean brand.  I didn't even know Sephora carried it.  I've tried their products before and liked them, but I had never tried their All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream.  This is supposed to work as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and sleeping mask.  I used a regular serum and then used this as a moisturizer and liked how hydrated it made my skin feel.  It is firming and contains collagen, so it also is good for fighting signs of aging.  The scent is unusual and hard to describe, but I love it!  It is a strong scent, though, so this won't be for everyone.  This is supposed to be good for all skin types.  I would definitely recommend giving this a try.  

Swatch of Nudestix Intense Matte Lip and Cheek Pencil in Belle

Swatch of Nudestix Intense Matte Lip and Cheek Pencil in Belle

The Nudestix Intense Matte Lip and Cheek Pencil looked great as a subtle blush.  It's very buildable, so, if you prefer a bolder blush, that's doable with this product.  I didn't try it as a lipstick as it just wasn't a great color for my lips.  The color, Belle, is described as "pretty perfect plum nude" but there is nothing plummy about this!  It's closer to a terra cotta.  It's not my favorite color ever, but I'll use this as a blush occasionally.


The perfume that I got this month was Tom Ford Orchid Soleil.  This was just horrible.  It was so bad that I had to try to remove it with rubbing alcohol.  Most perfumes I can tolerate for a day, but this didn't work for me at all.  According to Sephora, the notes are tuberose petals, black orchid, headspace, spider lily accord, vanilla, chestnut, cream accord, patchouli.  I think it was the combination of vanilla and patchouli, two of my least favorite scents, that made this unbearable for me.  I'm not sure what a "headspace" note is.  Does anyone know what a headspace note in perfumes is?  I looked it up online and read about headspace technology, but I don't get how that can be a specific note in a perfume as it sounds like a process to extract fragrance, not a fragrance in and of itself.  Perhaps I am misunderstanding it.  I'm certainly no perfume expert.  Did anyone like this perfume more than I did? 

The October Play! was okay for me.  I absolutely loved Too Cool for School's Egg Mellow Cream and the Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick.  I thought the Nudestix and Verb Leave-in Mist were okay.  The Tom Ford Orchid Soleil and the Skin Inc peel just weren't for me at all.  If you subscribe to Play!, which variation did you get?  What did you think of the October box?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!