Play! by Sephora Review, December 2016

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

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Could this little one be any cuter?  She's a month-old broken Siamese Mini Satin.  She's an excellent model.

Play! is Sephora's own beauty box.  There's a waitlist to join, so sign up for it now if you're interested.  Every month or two, Sephora opens up subscriptions, so you could watch for that and sign up then if you don't want to be on the waitlist.  Sephora sends subscribers six sample size products each month, five of which are makeup, hair care, and/or skincare products, and one of which is a small perfume sample.  Subscribers also receive a makeup bag each month.  Previously, all subscribers received the same products, but a few months back, Sephora started having a few different versions of the box and using subscribers' profiles to determine who received which box.  

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Here's what I got this month:

My December Play! was worth $55.54!  That's one of the best values I've seen for Play!  All subscribers received the Make Up For Ever prmer, the Sephora Collection lip stain, and the Urban Decay setting spray.  Subscribers received either Bobbi Brown or Lancôme mascara, Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon or Nirvana Rose, and Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo or Bay Breeze.  This month, we received four makeup products, a hair care product, and a perfume.  Usually there is at least one skincare product, but I'm fine with not having one this month.  The December theme was The Partygoers, so it makes sense it was heavy on makeup. I love that the bag this month was black!  They always had white bags in the past.  I'm happy that they switched to a darker material as the thin white material would be stained by any makeup you put inside it.  The bag designs are never my style, so I don't use them, but it's nice to have one that won't look dirty and gross after a few minutes of use if I ever do decide to use one.

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I've always thought of Bobbi Brown as being a brand that's for women my mom's age.  You don't see their products in beauty boxes often, and this is actually the first time I've gotten one!  I was really impressed with the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara.  It gave me both length and volume and didn't clump at all.  It lasted all day on me without flaking.  I'm surprised by how much I like it.  Guess I was wrong about Bobbi Brown.

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I've never tried a Drybar product before, so I was looking forward to trying their Detox Dry Shampoo.  Unfortunately, this wasn't the product for me.  While it did sop up the excess grease, I had a hard time getting the powder to blend in or shake out so it didn't look like I had white hair.  It also is heavily scented.  While I like the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White dry shampoo as I love Nirvana White perfume and I can wear the perfume on the same day as the dry shampoo, this doesn't match any of my perfume and it is a very strong smell, so I have to either not wear perfume or risk having my perfume and my dry shampoo mix and make me smell weird.  I wouldn't recommend this.

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While I love Elizabeth and James Nirvana White, I don't love Nirvana Bourbon quite as much.  Bourbon has notes of vanilla bourbon, oakwood, and tuberose.  Vanilla-based scents are never my favorite.  This was better smelling than I expected it to, but it still wasn't for me.  Other subscribers received Nirvana Rose and I would have preferred to have gotten that one.

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I was worried last month because I was almost out of primer, but December ended up being the month of the primer!  I've gotten five different primers this month!  I'm still waiting on one more December box, so I may still get another primer.  I was glad that I got Make Up For Ever's Step 1 Skin Equalizer in the Smoothing Primer version because that's what I needed the most right now.  My skin hasn't been looking all that smooth.  Fortunately, this was a cream primer and not one of the gel primers I hate.  It had a slight tint to it, but it is sheer enough that I think this primer would be fine for any complexion.  This gave me a nice, even looking surface to work with and my makeup looked great at the end of the day.  At $37, it's a little pricey, but it's worth it.  MUFE makes ten different primer formulas, so there should be something for everyone.

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Swatch of Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red

Swatch of Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red

I wasn't impressed at all with the Sephora Collecton Ultra Shine Lip Gel in the November box or the Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in the September box, so I didn't have high expectations for their Cream Lip Stain.  This couldn't be more different from their other lip products!  This had amazing pigment and lasted almost all day long (just one touch-up after lunch)!  It didn't feather on me and it looked beautiful.  I loved the color and got a number of compliments on it.  This is completely matte and was a little bit drying, but that was my only complaint about the product.  

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Finally, there was the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.  I like setting spray, but a good one can be hard to find.  This set my makeup immediately and my makeup looked almost as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning.  I was worried the liquid would mess up my  newly-applied mascara, but it didn't make it run at all.  This is one of my favorite setting sprays!  I've tried this before, but I'm happy to get another one.

I loved four of the six products this month, so I'm very happy with the December box.  The UD setting spray, MUFE primer, Sephora lip stain, and Bobbi Brown mascara were all fabulous and all were new to me except the UD setting spray.  The dry shampoo was too heavily scented and the white cast was difficult to remove, so I'd recommend skipping that one.  While I love Elizabeth and James' Nirvana White perfume, their Nirvana Bourbon just isn't for me.  Scent is very personal, though, so you might well love it, especially if you're a vanilla lover.  Sephora finally listened to customers about the white bag.  I hope they don't go back to the white bag after this month.  Overall, this was a fantastic month for Play!

If you get Play!, did you get the same version?  What did you think?  How is Nirvana Rose?  If you subscribe, be sure to go into your account and confirm that your complexion color is selected as Sephora needs to know that to customize the boxes next month.