Play! by Sephora Review, January 2017

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

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Baby Henry was going for a serious look here.  I told him that the box was called Play!, so we should go for something less serious, but he insisted.  

Play! is Sephora's monthly beauty box.  At $10 per month, it is very affordable.  All of the products can be found at your local Sephora, so, if you really like something, it's easy to get more.  Each month, subscribers receive a makeup bag, a mix of five makeup, skincare, and hair care products, plus one perfume sample.  Sephora customizes the boxes somewhat based on profiles you fill out upon subscribing.  You also receive a card that will get you fifty extra Beauty Insider points with any purchase at a Sephora and an invitation to a Play Date, which is an event held at select Sephoras for subscribers to go and learn more about the products in that month's box.  Unfortunately, there are very few stores that have the Play Date, so you may not have one in your area.  There is a waitlist for this subscription, but they open it up every month or two.

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Here's what I got this month:

My January Play! by Sephora was worth approximately $51.86.  That's a great value for a $10 box.  The perfume sample this month was a one-time-use packet instead of the usual 1.5 ml vial and the Clinique Almost Lipstick didn't have the size marked on the package, so I had to estimate the sizes and values of those products.  This month, we got two skincare products, two makeup products, a hair care product, and a perfume sample.  

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The makeup bags have been a little different the past two months!  We had been getting a white cotton bag with a different design each month, but last month, we got a black bag, and this month, we got a white bag that is made out of nylon with a mesh back.  I like that they are changing up the bags a bit.  I hated the white cotton bags as they were so easily stained.  This material is much easier to clean.  I don't really like this month's print on the bag, though -- "Sweat is just another way to glow." 

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First up is the monthly perfume sample.  In previous months, we received the standard 1.5 ml perfume sample vial, so I was surprised to see a one-time-use packet of the Pinrose Wild Child Eau de Parfum.  I like to use a perfume a few times to see what I think of it, and that isn't possible with this kind of sample.  I hope Sephora goes back to the vial next month.  Some subscribers received different perfume samples and they got the vials.  Pinrose describes the scent as having notes of tiare flower, bergamot, freesia, gardenia, jasmine, frangipani, vanilla bean, and amber.  I liked the floral part, but the vanilla was pretty strong, so this just isn't the scent for me.

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The Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Moisturizer is anti-aging and good for all skin types.  This is a good, lightweight day moisturizer that contains sunblock.  It absorbed quickly and didn't have a fragrance.  It was very hydrating, but didn't leave my skin feeling greasy.  I haven't used this long enough to see anti-aging effects, but I'm happy with the results I've seen so far.

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Swatch of Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Swatch of Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

I've heard lots of great things about Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, so I was looking forward to finally trying it.  This is supposed to be a universally flattering shade.  I am always skeptical when I hear something is supposed to look good on everyone.  I would say that this is, in fact, a universally flattering shade, though, because it's not much of a shade at all.  It is very sheer and pretty much just makes your lips look a shade darker.  If that's the look you're going for, this will be perfect for you, but, if I'm going to wear lipstick, I'm going to wear lipstick, and it's going to be bold and bright.  This wore off pretty quickly and had to be reapplied quite often.

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The OUAI Treatment Masque is a five to ten minute hair treatment that you apply after shampooing and then rinse out.  The sample size they gave us is a little strange -- the treatment normally comes in one-time-use 0.3 oz packets, so the fact that they gave us a 0.5 oz tube means you either have to use almost double the product in one use or you can use a little less than what you're supposed to twice.  They should have either given us the packet or given us a tube with 0.6 oz.  I used the whole tube for one treatment (the day before I got my haircut).  I noticed a lot of extra shine and a little extra softness.  This was okay, but I was hoping it would make my hair softer than it did.  I probably wouldn't buy this again.  I prefer the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! treatment.

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Sephora asked subscribers to select their complexion color on their profile for this box.  I had porcelain selected and Sephora also has my Color IQ number on file.  If you're not familiar with Sephora Color IQ, you go to a Sephora store and they scan your skin and give you a number that indicates whether your skin has yellow or red tones, how close it is to neutral, and how deep the color is, and then you can use that number to find foundation that should match your skin just about perfectly.  I was excited that I might get a foundation in my Play!  Some subscribers did, but it seems that those of use with pale or dark skin ended up with the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder instead.  This powder gave me a smooth finish that helped my makeup look flawless all day, so I liked it, but I was still disappointed to see this in my box.  Sephora is the only box able to give you a foundation that will almost perfectly match your complexion because of Color IQ, so I wish that Sephora had taken the opportunity to use those numbers to give subscribers foundation.  You almost never get foundation in beauty boxes (for good reason!), but, Sephora has the exact colors of many subscribers on file, so I wish they would take advantage of that.  

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The final product was the tarte FRXXXTION Stick.  This was definitely my favorite product in my January Play!  To use this, you wet your skin, then rub the stick all over your face.  It feels like you are coloring yourself with a crayon and leaves your skin looking grey.  It's really quite fun.  After you've applied it, you rub it into your skin for a few seconds and then rinse.  It is an exfoliator, cleanser, and face mask all in one.  To use it as a mask, you just leave it on ten minutes before rinsing.  The exfoliation was very gentle, but it left my skin feeling soft and smooth.  I would consider buying the full size version of this.

January was an okay month for Play! by Sephora.  I loved the tarte FRXXXTION Stick, and liked the OUAI hair treatment, the Caudalie moisturizer, and the Dermablend setting powder,.  The Clinique Almost Lipstick and the Pinrose perfume were't for me.  Liking four out of the six products isn't bad.  I wish that Sephora had tried to include a foundation sample for all subscribers, but maybe they will do that in a future month.

What did you think of the January Play! by Sephora?  Did anyone get a foundation sample?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!