Play! by Sephora Review, November 2016

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


The baby bun thought she matched the white and red in the box perfectly!

Play! is Sephora's own beauty box subscription.  It's still somewhat new and there is often a waitlist to join.  Subscribers receive five makeup, skincare, and/or hair care products each month plus one perfume sample.  All of the products are carried in Sephora, so, even if you haven't tried them yourself, you've probably heard of them.  Subscribers also receive a card that they can take into Sephora to get advice from a worker about using the products plus 50 extra points with purchase if you're a Beauty Insider member.  Sephora has a monthly Play Date -- subscribers can RSVP and go to get free samples and free mini classes, but they do this only at a few select stores, so I haven't been able to go.  Previously, all Play! subscribers received the same six products, but, over the summer, Sephora introduced some variation and now has two to four box variations per month.  Make sure you fill out your profile if you subscribe so you can get the variation that is most appropriate for you!


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

My November Play! was worth $56.85!  That's probably the highest value Play! I've gotten!  I got three makeup products, two skincare products, and a perfume, which is a pretty average product mix for this box.  Three of the samples were deluxe size, which is good for Play!  I find that the samples are usually on the small side most of the time, but that's to be expected in a $10 box.  Each month, subscribers receive a makeup bag made of thin white fabric.  It's not lined inside and it's white, so, to me, it's useless as a makeup bag as it's going to get stained within 30 seconds of using it.  A couple of pictures down, you can see that Sephora put the date on the bag this month.  The November bag design isn't my favorite.


Sephora describes POP by Stella McCartney as being a floral woody fragrance, so I thought I was going to like it.  I was so wrong.  All I could smell was sweetness and I hate sweet perfumes.  The top notes in the perfume are tomato leaves and violet leaves, the mid notes are green mandarin, violet, plumeria, and tuberose, and the base notes are sandalwood, cedarwood, and musks.  I'm not sure where the overwhelming sweetness is coming from.  Tomato leaf is a weird note to have in a perfume.  Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods, but their leaves just smell weird, so I can't say I want to smell like them.


I've gotten the CoverFX Illuminating Primer before, but I am low on primer right now, so I was very happy to see this in my box!  The sample is a little on the small side, but I've gotten quite a few uses out of this so far and still have a little left.  This is a creamy primer with a slight tint to it.  I hate silicone-based primers, which are the ones that are kind of like a gel (e.g., Smashbox Photo Finish Primer), so I was happy to get this one.  This goes on smoothly and you can't see the tint once it's on your face.  This gives your face a little extra radiance and helps cover up minor flaws.  My foundation stayed on all day with this.  It's one of my favorite primers.  The full size costs $38, so it's not a cheap primer, but it's worth it if you're looking for a good non-silicone-based primer.

Swatch of Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold

Swatch of Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold

I've heard great things about Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour, but this is my first time trying it!  While I have enough champagne, gold, taupe, bronze, and brown eyeshadows to last five lifetimes, the rosiness to this gold make this color a little different from the others.  The color is gorgeous, the pigment is incredible, and the picture above doesn't do it justice.  I would have preferred the Amethyst or Plum colors, but I'm still happy with this one.  This eyeshadow is easy to apply, blends well, stays on all day, and doesn't crease.  I love that Sephora sent out a deluxe sample of this as it should last a long time!  At $29 for a full size, this isn't cheap eyeshadow and, truthfully, you can find equally good eyeshadow for a lot less money, but I'll enjoy using this while the sample lasts.  


People either love or hate GlamGlow.  I love it, so I was happy to get a SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment sample.  SUPERMUD was one of the first face masks I tried when I first got into beauty boxes a few years ago.  This contains charcoal, clay, and eucalyptus (among other things) and it is supposed to help clear up your skin.  You apply the dark grey cream to your face (either all over or as a spot treatment), allow it to dry, then rinse it off.  Once it's dry, you can see little dots where each pore was because it has drawn the dirt and oil out of the pores.  It reminds me of pore strips in a way.  The eucalyptus makes this a little tingly feeling.  If you have oily or combination skin and have problems with breakouts, this is the mask for you.  It's expensive for a full size jar of this, but GlamGlow occasionally has BOGO sales this time of year, so I recommend watching for those.  I've tried just about every other GlamGlow product, but this one will always be my favorite.  

Swatch of Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin-up Pink

Swatch of Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin-up Pink

Lip glosses just aren't my thing, so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like the Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin-up Pink.  I was right.  It's not quite as sticky as some glosses, but it was still sticky.  It added a slight amount of pink to my lips, but it was barely noticeable. I like some Sephora Collection products, but neither their lipstick nor their lip gloss has impressed me. 


Finally, there was the Estée Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover and Cleanser.  The Estée Edit is Estée Lauder's new brand that has guest editors.  Dissolve the Drama contains only jojoba oil, aloe, and cucumber.  You apply the oil to your dry skin and rub it in a bit to remove the makeup, then add water.  The water makes it milky and cleanses your face.  I wouldn't use this on a full face of makeup (I always remove the bulk of my makeup with a makeup remover wipe), but it got all the remaining makeup off my face and cleansed my face without drying it out.  Because it was so oily, I did use a second facial cleanser after this to make sure I got all the oil off, but, if you have dry skin, you can probably skip that step.  

I'm pretty happy with my November Play! by Sephora.  The Stella McCartney perfume and the Sephora Collection gloss weren't for me, but I loved the Laura Mercier eyeshadow, the Estée Edit cleanser, the GlamGlow SUPERMUD, and the CoverFX primer.  Four out of six isn't bad.  My favorite product would be either the eyeshadow or the mask.  

If you get Play!, did you get the same products or did you get one of the other variations?  What did you think of the box this month?