Play! by Sephora Review, August 2016

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

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I love this baby bun's little ears!  It's too cute!

Play! by Sephora is a relatively new subscription.  It started about a year ago and was available only to people in certain cities, but they have since expanded the subscription nationwide.  The subscription is still very popular, of course, as it is run by Sephora, so there is a waitlist.  Every couple of months, they open up subscriptions.  At $10, this is one of the more afforable boxes out there (which is surprising for Sephora!).  The products are all things you can find in a Sephora, so no drugstore brands here, but the sample sizes are often on the small side.  The value seems to usually be around $40, so it's worth more than your average Birchbox and less than your average ipsy.  Subscribers get five makeup, hair care, and skincare items, plus one perfume sample, for a total of six items each month.  Previously, all subscribers had gotten the same things, but they started having some variations beginning in July.  Last month, they had boxes for combination/oily skin and dry skin.  I'm not sure how they decided who got which box this month as the products that varied were the eyeliner, the perfume, and the eye cream.  Each month, subscribers also get a card that they can take to any Sephora store and get an extra 50 Beauty Insider points with any purchase and an invitation to a Play Date inside a Sephora store.

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Here's what came in my August Play! by Sephora box:

The August Play! by Sephora was worth $42.16.  The variation with the Algenist eye cream was worth almost $12 more because they gave you a bigger sample of a product that was more expensive than the Caudalíe eye balm.  The theme this month was The Eye Openers.  I like that four of the six items were eye-related, but that not all of them were.  Six eye products (or five eye products plus a perfume) would have been a little excessive.  

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The first product was the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara.  A lot of people love this mascara, but I am just not one of them.  I've tried it before and had a lot of issues with it clumping, so I always give it away whenever I get a new sample of it.  It's pitch black, which I like, and the mascara contains proteins and amino acids to stimulate hair growth.  This is supposed to be both lengthening and volumizing, but I find it gives more volume than length and I need the opposite.  So many people swear by this mascara, so I'm not sure why it is so horrible when I use it.  It makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong!  

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The Lancôme Éngergie de Vie is a liquid moisturizer that is too lightweight for me.  It doesn't feel all that moisturizing on my skin.  While I thought I might like a lightweight moisturizer as I'm feeling like a greaseball right now, this doesn't seem to do anything for me.  It's supposed to be energizing and give you a glow, but I didn't notice those effects.  I also didn't like the scent of this product.  I usually try to find something good to say about a product, even if I don't personally like it, but I can't think of anything nice to say.  Did anyone have better luck with this product than I did?

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Swatch of Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite

Swatch of Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite

The Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite is a gorgeous color, although it doesn't really look like pink granite to me.  It's not quite as pigmented as I would have liked, but it's very buildable and is a color that should be flattering on most complexions.  It held up all day and looked just as good at the end as it did at the beginning.  This is the first time I've tried MUFE eyeshadow.  I'm impressed by it and would love to try more.

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I absolutely love CLEAN perfumes, so I was looking forward to trying their new CLEAN Reserve line.  I was so happy I got the Blonde Rose instead of the Warm Cotton.  I have the Warm Cotton from their regular line and it's okay, but definitely not my favorite.  The Reserve line is made from sustainable ingredients, so it is a little pricier than their regular line.  I assume the perfumes smell about the same as the perfumes with the same scent name in their regular line, but I haven't tried them side by side.  Blonde Rose is a floral musk and had more of a masculine smell than I was expecting.  It was okay, but it isn't something I would buy or wear often.  I also didn't find it to be very long lasting.  I thought I was going to love this scent, so I was a little disappointed.

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Swatch of Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game

Swatch of Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game

All subscribers received Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencils in either Flirting Game or Love Affair.  I got Flirting Game, a taupe, which was okay, but I would have preferred to get Love Affair, a plum.  The tip of my pencil was broken off when I got it.  I tried to stick it back on, as you can see in the picture, but it fell off again when I actually used it.  They eyeliner looked great on me and held up all day.  I was impressed by this product, especially considering it is a $10 Sephora brand eyeliner.  I was a little surprised that they didn't send us full size liners as it is their own brand, but the sample size is big and should last for a while.

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The final product was the Caudalíe Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm.  Subscribers got either this eye balm or the Algenist Eye Renewal Balm.  Those who got the Algenist balm got a considerably bigger sample -- 0.23 oz. versus the 0.16 oz. Caudalíe, so it was almost 50% bigger and worth almost $12 more.  This didn't have any scent to it and it was a very lightweight eye balm.  It contains resveratrol and hyaluronic acid, so it will moisturize and fight signs of aging.  It's also supposed to lift the skin, reduce puffiness, and minimize under eye circles.  I liked this eye balm quite a bit.  I noticed some brightening effects and a reduction in puffiness.  If you're in the market for a good anti-aging eye balm, this is worth a try.

This might be the best Play! by Sephora I've gotten so far.  I liked all the products except the Lancôme moisturizer and the UD mascara.  The CLEAN perfume wasn't my favorite, but I'll use it once in a while.  I loved the Caudalíe eye balm, the Sephora eye pencil, and the MUFE eyeshadow, so I'm quite happy with my August box.  Next month's theme is The Unbasic Basics.  I'm not really sure what they mean by that, so it'll be a surprise.  

What did you think of the August Play! by Sephora?  Did you get the same products I did?  Did anyone like the Lancôme moisturizer?  What do you think will be in The Unbasic Basics box next month? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!