Play! by Sephora Review, June 2016

Play! by Sephora, $10 per month (US only, minus Alaska and Hawaii)

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This teeny baby bun is a twelve-day-old Holland Lop.  It had just opened its eyes the day before.  I love how it's striking a little pose in the Play! box!  This one's a natural model.  

Play! by Sephora is one of the newer subscriptions out there and, best of all, it's only $10.  There's a waitlist for it, so, if you think you might be interested, get yourself signed up now and they'll e-mail you when spots open up again.  This box is curated by Sephora and has a mix of hair care, skincare, and makeup products.  Sephora also includes a card in each box good for a free tutorial by one of their store employees plus extra VIB points with purchase of a product inside one of their stores.  Each box contains six products, one of which is always a perfume sample, and there's always a little makeup bag.  There is no product variation; all subscribers get the same box.  All of the products are from brands sold in Sephora, of course, so you won't find any drugstore brands in this box.  The sample sizes tend to be a little on the small side, but it's a $10 box, so that's to be expected.  

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This is what was in the June Play! box:

My June Play! box was worth $28.02.  It's definitely similar to Birchbox in product sizes and values.  While the total value isn't incredibly high, it's still almost three times the cost of the box.  June's theme was "The Minimalists."  This month's bag design can be seen under the products in the pictures above.  I really wish they would choose a color other than bright white for their makeup bags.  If you put any makeup there, it's going to look stained and dirty after a day.

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I actually don't believe I've ever tried a BECCA product before.  I've heard good things about the company, so I was looking forward to trying their Backlight Priming Filter.  This is the best primer I have ever tried.  I have tried a lot of primer, so that is saying something.  I've hated how my complexion has looked lately.  While I haven't had much in the way of pimples, my skin tone looks uneven right now and it's really been bothering me.  This primer acts like a filter that softens and blurs any unevenness, blemishes, and even fine lines, and gives you a subtle glow in the process.  You know those days when you do your makeup and you know you look absolutely gorgeous?  That is how I felt when I used this and I haven't felt that way in quite some time.  I generally try to avoid buying any beauty products besides foundation, but I'm probably going to break down and spend the $38 on this when I run out of the sample.  If your complexion hasn't looked so hot lately, I highly recommend this stuff.  While it looks tinted in the tube, it is extraordinarily sheer and you can't see any tint when it's blended in, so I believe it would work for all skin colors.  

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This month's perfume sample was Tocca Florence.  Some Tocca scents I love, and some I don't really like.  Florence just is not the fragrance for me.  It has a green floral scent.  Once it got down to the base notes, I didn't mind it, but I was not a fan of the top and mid notes.  Tocca's website lists the top notes of Florence as bergamot, grapefruit leaves, green pear, and apple, the mid notes as gardenia, violet, jasmine, tuberose, and iris, and the base notes as blonde wood and musk.  

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bareMinerals BARESKIN Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer applied to skin but not blended

bareMinerals BARESKIN Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer applied to skin but not blended

bareMinerals BARESKIN Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer applied to skin and blended

bareMinerals BARESKIN Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer applied to skin and blended

I've tried a lot of bronzers, but this is my first time trying a serum bronzer.  I didn't know serum bronzer even existed.  This product can be used a few different ways -- you can mix it into your foundation, you can use apply it all over your face after moisturizing, you can use it to contour, or you can mix it into your body lotion and apply it your arms, legs, or wherever else you may need a little bit extra color.  I added just a drop of this to my foundation and it gave me a warm glow.  It was subtle, but that is what I was looking for.  Be careful with this!  The liquid is extremely thin and it can make a mess.  I like this and will enjoy using the sample, but I doubt I will buy this product.  

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I couldn't even tell you how many Benefit They're Real samples I've gotten in boxes over the years.  I don't even like this mascara, so I always give it away.  It doesn't give me the length or definition I need and it tends to clump on me. I've had a number of people tell me it works fabulously for them and doesn't clump at all, so you may have better luck with it than I do.  If you want a good Benefit mascara, I recommend Roller Lash.  Given how often this sample shows up in beauty boxes, I wish Sephora had sent subscribers this mascara in one of the colors Benefit makes besides Jet Black.  Beyond Brown and Beyond Blue are the newer colors this mascara comes in and I haven't tried either of them yet.  While I doubt I would like the formula any more, I love trying different mascara colors.  

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Facial sunscreen is kind of boring, but it's important, so I'm always happy to get it.  I didn't realize Tarte made sunscreen before I got this sample.  In the picture above, it looks like the bottle is purple and coral, but it's actually magenta and orange and I hate how those colors look together.  Despite the bottle being extraordinarily ugly, I liked this sunscreen.  This is a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  It's lightly scented, but the scent goes away pretty quickly.  I used this before spending the day outside at Syracuse Pride yesterday.  It was a hot, sunny day up here and I didn't end up with a sunburn, so it worked quite well.  Besides preventing sunburn, this contains vitamins A, C, and E and plant extracts so it will also moisturize your skin and fight signs of aging.  At $32 for 1.7 oz of this stuff, it's not cheap, but it really is a great product.

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I'm constantly getting hair products for blow drying and heat styling, so getting Bumble and Bumble's Don't Blow It (H)Air Styler was exciting for me.  I always air dry my hair, so it was nice to see a hair product meant for me in a box!  Of course, it is for fine-to-medium hair and is supposed to give you some added volume, so it turned out that it wasn't quite the product for me.  I tried it anyway, though, and it made my hair so soft!  You work this through your hair after you towel dry and then let your hair dry naturally.  It gave me a lot of extra body that I didn't want, so I doubt I will use this again, but if your hair isn't as thick as mine and you like to air dry, this is worth checking out.  

When I first saw what was in the June Sephora box, I thought it all looked pretty boring.  I ended up being really impressed by some of the products, though, and I probably never would have tried them on my own.  The BECCA Backlight Priming Filter is simply amazing and I can't recommend it highly enough.  It gave me so much confidence and made me feel beautiful.  I liked the warm glow I got from the bareMinerals BARESKIN Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer and found tarte's TARTEGUARD 30 to give me great sun protection with the added benefits of vitamins and plant extracts.  Bumble and Bumble's Don't Blow It made my hair soft, but it gave me volume that I really didn't need.  Tocca's Florence wasn't the scent for me and I've never liked Benefit's They're Real mascara and probably never will.  Overall, though, I'd say this was a fantastic month for Play! by Sephora.  

What did you think of this month's Play?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.