Play! by Sephora Review, July 2016

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

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This cutie looks like a grumpy old man.  Can you believe this is the same baby bun as the one in the Play! picture from last month?!  They grow too fast!

Play! by Sephora is one of the newer beauty boxes out there.  They have a lengthy waitlist, so, if you're interested, sign up now so you'll be notified when the waitlist next opens up.  Each month, Sephora sends subscribers five sample size beauty products plus a perfume sample.  Previously, all subscribers received the same products, but there were some variations this month.  In addition to the samples, subscribers also get a makeup bag, a card that can be used in a Sephora store to get extra points, plus an invitation to an event at your local store.

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Here's what I got in my July Play! box, which was Box A for Combination/Oily Skin:

My July Play! by Sephora was worth about $39.98.  That's not bad at all for a $10 box!  I had to estimate on the blotterazzi value because it was one sponge and the product normally comes with two sponges and a compact.  For the first time, Sephora made two separate boxes -- one for subscribers with combination/oily skin (Box A) and one for those with dry skin (Box B).  Half of the products were the same in both boxes, but the cleanser, primer, and bronzer varied.  I like that they had variations because what works for those of us with oily and combination skin doesn't necessarily work for those with dry skin and vice versa.  

The bag this month had really cheap looking printing on it.  I don't understand why they bother with the bag.  I might use it if it were a darker color, but I'll never use a bright white flimsy cloth bag to carry makeup.  It would get stained within thirty seconds.  I like my makeup bags to have linings, too, in case something leaks. 

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First up is the beautyblender blotterazzi.  This is a thin sponge made from beautyblender material that soaks up excess oil and sweat from your face while leaving you with a flawless finish.  The beautyblender material won't mess up your foundation.  It's reusable, but you'll want to wash it after use to keep it hygienic.  They included a small sample of liquid blendercleanser so you can try it out.  Normally, when you buy this product, you get two sponges and a compact so you can have a one to use, plus a backup if you need to blot again.  The back of the compact is vented and there is a separator between the two sponges to prevent cross-contamination.  While I like this idea in theory, I'm too lazy to wash my makeup brushes regularly (which is very bad!  Don't be like me!) so I doubt I would wash my blotter very often.  I think I'll stick to the Mai Couture Salicylic Acid Blotting Paper that I got in my July Goodbeing box.

I have to say, if they're going to do separate boxes for dry skin and combination/oily skin, I don't really understand why this wasn't one of the products that varied.  People with dry skin aren't going to need this product nearly as much as those of us with oilier skin.

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Each month, subscribers receive a perfume sample.  This month's sample was Nest Citrine, which has notes of lotus, freesia, citrus, and woods.  It's very floral and citrus-y, which is an interesting combination in a perfume.  The scent wasn't bad, but it wasn't for me.  I don't hate it, but I won't be wearing it regularly.

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Ouai's Wave Spray is a lightly scented spray that gives hair a small amount of hold and a little waviness without making hair dry.  It's lightly scented and smells really good.  I assumed this would be a sea salt spray, but it actually uses rice protein instead.  I had Emily try it out as she likes this type of thing and she had good luck with it.  It gave her hair a little extra body and texture.  

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Subscribers received either the Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate of Benefit's Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer.  It makes sense to send oily-skinned people powder bronzer and dry-skinned people liquid bronzer.  They sent us liquid bronzer last month, though, so I wish they hadn't sent bronzer two months in a row.  A lot of people don't even like bronzer.  I'll use bronzer on occasion, but I don't use it often at all.  My little sister loves this bronzer and is almost out of it, so it'll be going to her.  The Too Faced bronzer is cocoa-infused and smells yummy.  It went on lighter than I expected, so it actually worked for me.  I worried it would be too dark, but, if you use a very light hand, you'll be all set.  The bronzer comes in three shades, so I wish they had customized the shade for subscribers so everyone could get a shade that worked for them.  This bronzer went on smoothly and stayed on all day, so I would recommend this.

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People with Box A received First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay, while people with Box B got the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser.  The red clay in this gives your pores a deep cleaning, so I love this stuff.  It makes my skin feel squeaky clean without drying it out.  At $24, this is a little on the expensive side for a cleanser, but if your skin is really oily and your pores need some serious help, I'd recommend you try this.  I was very happy with the results.

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The last product was the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer.  Subscribers who got Box B received the regular Smashbox primer.  I was so happy to get this primer instead of the regular primer.  I hate Smashbox's signature primer.  It makes me feel like I have a layer of grease on my skin with my makeup floating on top of it.  I love their Pore Minimizing Primer, though.  This is tinted and creamy and gives my makeup the perfect base.  It has a blurring effect so it makes your pores less obvious looking.  My makeup stays on all day when I use this primer and I always love getting another sample of it.

I was pretty happy with my Play! box this month.  The Citrine perfume really wasn't for me and I don't see myself using the blotterazzi, but all the other products were great selections for July.  My favorite products were the First Aid Beauty cleanser and the Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer.  While I liked the July Play!, I expect more from a box by Sephora.  None of the Play! boxes I've gotten have been bad, but none have really wowed me either.  I keep hoping to get an amazing box from them.  We'll see.  I do like that they are making separate boxes for oily/combination skin and dry skin now.  

What did you think of the July Play! box?  Did anyone get the dry skin box?  If so, how was it?  It's looking like next month's box has an eye theme, so that should be fun.