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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – November 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

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Play! by Sephora is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription. Each month they send you six samples, a PLAY! BOOK of tips and tricks, and a PLAY! PASS for in-store learning.

I used to work at Sephora so I naturally couldn’t resist this subscription!

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My Subscription Addiction paid for this box.(Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

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Every month they included all of the samples an adorable drawstring bag with a different design.

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FYI – There were four variations of this box. They’re all pretty similar this month, but you can see all the variations in our post about it here.

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The box variation I received this month is box ending in #977. To find out which box you’re receiving at the beginning of each month, follow these instructions:
If you log in through a browser, not the app, and go to my account > account details > online orders and open the play! Order Details (it was dated 11/1 for me), you can see the “item number” next to the image.”

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The Subscription Box: Play! by Sephora

The Cost: $10

The Products: Five deluxe samples plus a fragrance sample, a PLAY! BOOK of tips and tricks, and a PLAY! PASS for in-store learning.

Ships to: US

Check out all of our Play! by Sephora reviews and all of our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes for other similarly priced boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Each box comes with a Play! Pass, which is a card you can use at Sephora (in-store) to get 50 extra rewards points, and you can also get one-on-one tutorials and tips of products from a Sephora consultant.

Although I do have to mention, you can walk in and get shown any tips and even a “mini makeover” (which is where a consultant will do a small demo on you like a certain eye look, how to do your brows, how to contour, matching you with a foundation, etc. and teach you what they’re doing) anytime! So if you don’t have this subscription (or can’t get off the waitlist), you can still go to your local Sephora and try out all the products featured, or any other products you’ve had your eye on.

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This month’s theme is “Best in Glow,” which I am all about because I always feel like winter makeup is often so matte and dull… I love illumination, dewiness, and glow year-round and not just in summer! Not to mention I have dry skin which gets worse in the winter so I’ll take any help with hydration and glow I can get! 

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On the very inside of the folded info sheet is thorough details and tips about each featured product. They always give helpful information and advice so I definitely recommend making sure you read these.

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GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask – 0.3 oz, Value $17.25

Each GlamGlow mask is made with an ingredient called a Teaoxi, which is basically an infusion of something – this Supermud mask contains Eucalyptus Teaoxi, so you get that great eucalyptus smell and slight tingle on your face when you use this. It’s a charcoal mud mask that draws out impurities while helping to brighten and soften your skin as well. The info booklet says that in addition to being a regular mask (that you can use as often as you want but they recommend 3x a week), you can dab it on a pimple as a 15-minute spot treatment, too!

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The Estée Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover + Cleanser – 0.5 fl oz, Value $2.38

This is a fun makeup remover that I enjoy using! It turns from an oil to a milky foam as you use it (start with massaging the oil on your dry face, then add a little water to make it a milky cleanser, and wash off). The formula contains botanicals that help nourish and condition your skin too, including jojoba, aloe vera, and cucumber extract. I found it effective and it left my skin feeling nice and soft!

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Cover FX Illuminating Primer – 0.16 fl oz, Value $6.08

You know how a lot of primers have that thick, slippery, synthetic feel and look kind of gel-y? That’s because those primers contain silicone. Many of those work great, but may not work well with some people’s skin or texture preferences. Personally, I just tend to prefer the lighter feeling of non-silicone primers, though I’ll use either.

This illuminating primer is silicone-free and formulated with a light-reflecting mineral complex. I love this primer! It does a great job with brightening, which also helps camouflage any dull or uneven patches, and gives a dewy glow that doesn’t leave you with sparkles all over your face.

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All of Cover FX’s products are anti-inflammatory and vitamin-enriched in order to work well with sensitive and problem skin. Most of their foundations and concealers are heavy-duty full coverage, which is great to help cover problem skin without suffocating it. (One of my favorite Cover FX products is their mattifying anti-acne primer – if you have oily and acne-prone skin this is one of the best primers out there for you because it mattifies your skin while delivering anti-acne ingredients!)

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Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold – 0.03 oz, Value $17.40

This eye color stick is just over half the size of the full size! It’ll last me a while, which is great because I love this. This is a high-pigment cream shadow in a stick which makes application super easy.  You can even use this as a highlighter on your face. I’m happy with this product because the pigmentation is great, the color and shimmer are gorgeous, on-trend, and versatile. I’ve been wearing it for about 10 hours so far and it’s not creased at all. 

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Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin Up Pink – 0.1 oz, Value $10.90

The packaging for this lip gloss says it’s 0.1 oz and the full size is listed at 0.11 oz on Sephora’s website so this really may as well be full size, I suppose! It’s just about. I like this formula pretty well. The color looks bright in the tube but is pretty sheer so it delivers a more wearable color on the lips. It’s a little sticky but not too bad. Definitely a true glossy gloss.

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Stella McCartney POP Eau de Parfum Sample – 0.05 fl oz vial

This is a new fragrance from Stella McCartney and is floral and woody. I’m super picky about rose scents and this one is more contemporary and younger than rose can often feel. I like it!

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Top notes include tomato leaf, violet leaf, and green mandarin, middle notes are frangipani, tuberose, and violet, and base notes of sandalwood, musk, and cedar.

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Here are swatches of the eye stick, illuminating primer, and lip gloss.

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Here’s a look where I’m wearing the Cover FX primer, Laura Mercier eye stick, and Sephora lip gloss. I really like all of these products! I tossed the gloss as a good on-the-go lip for errands and I’m loving the pigmentation and performance of the eye stick.

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Here’s a better look at the eye stick on my lids. So wearable, and it would work on pretty much any complexion.

Verdict: I liked my November Play! by Sephora box. I loved every variation (mostly because I love all GlamGlow masks, which was one of the differences between boxes) so I’m happy I got the one I did – plus I didn’t expect to love the perfume, so that’s a nice bonus. I was happy to try some items that were new to me, too. The value also comes out to about $54.01 so I’m happy with that.

BY THE WAY – click here to see December’s Play! By Sephora theme and click here to get a sneak peek at Sephora’s Black Friday deals!

What do you think about the November Play! by Sephora? What variation did you get?

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered Beauty Army and Birchbox in 2012 and instantly fell hard and fast for the world of subscription boxes. Over the years of writing for MSA she has found many subscriptions to fuel her addiction, but her favorites include fashion, geeky, beauty, and mom/baby boxes to share with her son.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

51 Comments

  1. I love the Laura Mercier eyeshadow! It’s so pretty and you’re right, it doesn’t crease. I am also super glad I got the glamglow thirstymud because it’s the only one I’ve seen that doesn’t have aloe in it. It works great and made my skin feel so smooth. I didn’t like the lipgloss though, far too sticky for me.

  2. Did anyone else’s tracking number look different this month than previous months? Usually my Play! box will start with an “8019” tracking number, usually ships somewhere between the 15th and 17th, and usually received each month by the 20th. As with some other people here I have not seen any change to my shipping status and received a shipping email on 11/17, however using the number listed this month in my account (starting with a “9274”) doesn’t show as a valid tracking number on UPS or USPS. Trying not to fear the worse and realllllly hoping it still comes this week!! I am very much looking forward to trying the Laura Mercier caviar stick and the blue Glamglow. Called Sephora this morning and suprisingly was rushed off the phone with a “nothing we can do about it attitude” ? very out of character, usually I find their customer service very helpful and understanding to your needs/concerns.

    • Hey there,

      I’m having issues with shipping too. This is not my first month so there should not be a delay. However, when I track my box it says “ready for shipment.” It has said that for several days. Kind of annoying because at this point I feel like I will not even receive the box in time to use the items on Thanksgiving. Not super psyched.

    • I still have not received my box and received the box shipped email on 11/18.

    • So I finally got the box and here’s a new one – it had no items in it. They literally sent me an empty box. Only thing inside was the fold out description of the products….but no product samples or drawstring bag. Not super thrilled with this sub so far. I have already been billed for Dec and haven’t even been able to try the November products.

  3. I got my shipped email the same day I received my box. I love almost everything this month. The glamglow I got goes on silver, don’t know if everyone of them does, this is my first time, but I loved it!! The whole box was a big win for me except that lip gloss yuck. Sticky weird color for November.

  4. I got 822 this month and I’m SUPER happy, this is my favorite Play month yet!

    The gloss looks way too pink for me but goes on fairly sheer; I like the primer a lot, and I love the eye shadow crayon (I have one that I swapped for previously that I’ve been using so I’m glad to have another). I’ll definitely use the Caudalie moisturizer (which I got instead of the makeup remover here) and the Glamglow I got. And the perfume I got is the Replica Fireplace and I LOVE IT!

  5. I actually got the variation I wanted this month. The first one with the peel off one everyone YouTube was reviewing a bit ago. I hope I don’t get red like some ppl did lol

  6. I’m supposed to get the same one as Haley, but it still hasn’t arrived. Am I the only one that hasn’t received their box? I was charged on the first of the month, and it shows as “being prepared” as of Nov 17 without any change to the status. So odd…

    • My tracking information still says “Ready To Go” and supposedly it hasn’t moved anywhere yet, according to the tracking, but I received my box yesterday (Saturday). So I’m thinking many are going to receive their box without ever being updated on the tracking info.

      • Oh, ok, thanks! Good to know mine wasn’t the only one showing a weird status plus a late box. I’m hoping it’ll arrive tomorrow. And your phrase “Ready to go” is actually the one mine has for the status…oops!

        • I have the same status, hoping I get my box this week!

          • Mine arrived today! Hopefully yours will also arrive today!

      • So mine said “ready to go” forever and I was very disappointed to not receive it by Thanksgiving. I tracked it again today and it said “delivered in mailbox by usps on Nov. 18th” yeah….never got it. I reached out to Sephora and they said they will send me the same box over. Kind of annoyed though because I wanted to use the items for an upcoming trip and it definitely won’t be here in time. Sad to think it may have been delivered to someone else and they just kept it! (??)

    • Mine still says preparing to go but it actually arrived so if you live in an apartment and have a doorman or your packages don’t get delivered to your porch you may want to check anyways.

  7. Hi Haley! Thanks for the thorough review! Did you try the Estee Lauder remover in your eyes by chance? I am forever in search of makeup removers (specific to eye or not) that don’t irritate my super sensitive eyes or leave a residue. I have tried sooo many and the inly one I’ve found is the Tatcha makeup removing oil cleanser. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a stretch for my budget. So thought I’d ask if you’d tried EL’s slightly cheaper one on your eyes. Thanks!

    • I use 100% coconut oil and it works wonders. Cheap too.

    • I used it on my eyes with my contacts in which was dumb but I was in a hurry and then I had to take out my contacts because I couldn’t see at all. It completely blurred my contacts and then I had to use eye drops in my eyes. The absolute best in have tried is the eye makeup remover from Mary Kay. It works great, is a good price & no problems with eye irritation. It’s kinda like an oil/water mixture.

    • Try Garnier Micellar water, I am in love with it! They have a sensitive version too.

  8. I got everything in this box, but I stead of the glam glow supermud and Estee edit makeup remover, I got the glam glow brightening mud and caudalie moisturizer. Last month I got the supermud and Estee edit lipglass. I really like this month’s box. I see myself using the items. I’m still not wowed by anything but this was only my 3rd box. I’ll still wait and see how future boxes work out.

    • This is the variation I got too! I’m a little bummed I didn’t get the Estee Edit makeup remover, but I think the Brightening Mud and Caudalie Moisturizer are a way better match for my skin type than the Supermud, so it works out.

      This is my third month with Sephora Play, and so far I’m not seeing a real benefit to the subscription above all the free samples they already give you with every purchase.

  9. I got the same box and ive been with play for about a year now and i cancelled with this one. Its a great box, and ill use everything but not 1 thing seemed NEW and exciting or fun to PLAY with.
    The monatary value is there, the products are amazing quality, but the only thing missing for me was the PLAY factor. I didnt want to try on my lipgloss, it looked plane like the kind i would use when i was 6 yo (but its not, its great quality and im rocking it today), the primer seemed like it would be unnoticable too so i didnt run to try it on. And same for the shadow stick.
    If the theme would have been something like “simple” “basic” or “unnoticeable/ subtle beauty” i wouldnt have been so let down.
    That being said, today i used the gloss, primer and shadow stick and do look “glowing”…. but i think if i wouldnt have added bronzer, blush and mascara i would have looked washed out.
    I m pretty torn. Honestly dont know why i cancelled. Its the 1st box that i know i will use up 100% really fast, and i love how everything goes together for a full face everyday look.
    I guess i just got used to the red lipsticks and dramatic eyeliners and sparkly stuff i get to play with- but never actually use.

  10. Great review, Haley!

    Box twins! 🙂

  11. I got 314 and I think it had roughly a $68 value so I’m glad it had a good value.

  12. I like your box better than mine.
    I go through eye makeup remover so fast it seems like I always need more. Wish we could see all versions in advance and pick the one we want!

  13. Haley, as always I love your review. Your passion for make up and skin care shows. I love my Sephora box, but I wish I had gotten your perfume sample. I got the replica one.

  14. You guys like the smell of that glam glow mask?! That weird medicinal eucalyptus smell is the grossest smelling mask I’ve ever used. The results are great but the smell of the supermud clearing treatment mask is horrendous. I didn’t know anyone actually liked that smell ?

    • Smells like black licorice to me and the thirsty mud is Coconut

      • I thought it smelled like black licorice too! I love black licorice though so it didn’t bother me. Just made me crave some Good ‘N Plenty!! 🙂

    • Worse mask ive ever tried is peter thom roth sulfur mask! Zaps acne like a charm but i left it on over night as spot treatment and my skin smelled like rotten egg strongly for at least 3 days! Thats my horror story to put things into perspective ?

    • I loved the eucalyptus smell and feel my sinuses clear every time I use it. I like to use it as a spot treatment when needed also.

  15. I got this exact box. Always happy to get anything glam glow but if that shadow doesn’t crease, I will be estactic! Really loved the gloss too 🙂

  16. I was not pleased at all this month.I got dry skin products,for a woman with oily-acne prone skin…nothing in the last three boxes have stayed with me.They have all gone to swap.If they are changing things according to your profile,why am I not getting them? The weird thing is the perfume sample was the find this month..loved it.But its not worth the fifteen bucks I spent.

    • Kathleen,
      That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, including my last three boxes being a part. I have the same skin issues as you and continue to receive boxes for someone with dry skin. I don’t know what the point of having a profile is if they aren’t even going to look at it, and in my opinion it’s pretty obvious they’re not. While I do love the brand/product variety, it’d be nice if the items were actually geared towards my specific needs. When I first signed up I was so excited to find new products to help me with my skin. I don’t exactly need help finding anymore products that will help make my skin worse! Right now I’m trying to decide if I should cancel or give it another month…
      Sorry for the rant, it’s just really frustrating, lol

  17. I wish I got this box because I really need to restock on makeup remover. This month has been okay.

    I love the shadow stick! How did I live without it? It doesn’t crease at all!

    I already have a sample of blue glamglow. Really wanted the white one 🙁

    The lipgloss was the most blah item so that’s gonna be donated. I didn’t even open it because I have a pile of gloss still barely used.

    I hate getting primers but after you revue, actually excited to try. Maybe 14674577th time will be the charm?

  18. Box twins! I loved this month’s box! That lip gloss was a fantastic surprise because it looks like a crazy hot pink color but it’s actually very sheer and beautiful & leaves a light pink tint on the lips after the gloss comes off through the day. I also love the formula because I thought it was very creamy and moisturizing for a gloss. The only time it felt sticky to me was when I was washing it off and it mixed with the water. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of is the perfume. Way too floral for me. That’s the first perfume I haven’t liked from these boxes.

  19. I love my bag this month. I have gotten great bags everytime and am always able to use every single product I get. I got #314 with the thirstymud glamglow and Caudalie. The glamglow i iked because you dont have to wash it off. The lipgloss i loved. It is sheer and very wearable and non sticky. The replica perfume was great too. It was originally called Lipstick On in 1952 Chicago. Always happy with Sephora!

  20. You look amazing in this month’s colors, Haley! Seems like a great product fit for you. 🙂

  21. The Laura Mercier stick is gorgeous, I love that color! Crossing my fingers that my box in the mailbox when I get home today!

  22. I’m curious how many people received a box early, without a shipping notice, then got a tracking number emailed like normal that’s different than the box receiveds tracking number? Both my subs had this happen. I tried calling Sephora but reached the least helpful person ever. She wouldn’t look at my account and told me they always ship out the third week. Well… all 7 previous months shipped the second week – never later than the 13th. Oddly enough, the day before I called, I purchased a few things at my local Sephora. I got home and no tissue in my bag and no samples. Have they changed things? I’m surprised as usually their customer service is great.

    • I got my Play box yesterday, but my account still says “Ready to go” and has an invalid tracking number. First time it’s arrived without correct tracking information, but it was a lovely surprise!

    • I can’t really speak to the Play tracking issues as my boxes were received as normal. However, I’ve noticed it’s really hit or miss with getting the samples I’ve chosen with orders. I notice this is really the case when I place multiple orders and choose the same samples for each order. I’m about 50/50 with getting at least one box with all 3 samples I chose, and the other boxes either have only one sample I chose with other random samples, none of my sample choices, only one or two samples, or no samples at all.

    • It happened to me as well and it looked like it happened to a lot of ppl on the last post. I thought it was a different tracking number but mine is just missing the last number from the box I received. This is the third month I have had something weird with shipping but it is the very first month I have received my box before the 20th. Tracking still just says Ready to Go.

      • Hmm, my tracking number in my account only has the first few numbers in common, but the last11 digits are totally different. Did they change fulfillment centers or change something this month? Odd.

    • They always send me my tracking number after my box arrives. It usually arrives the third week. It seems to match the first e-mail they send that says they are preparing my box. Guess it better late than never?

    • I have already received my box and it just now says shipped. Would be nice to get another ? This is the first time it’s happened to me.

  23. I received a different box, but I got the primer as well. I am 41 and had weight loss surgery this past summer, so my skin is sagging just a little (not a lot at all). I felt like this primer showed every single line/pore in my skin. Even after putting on foundation on top, it still felt like it made my complexion look worse rather than better. Maybe it’s meant for the younger crowd?

    • I don’t know about that – I’m 43, size 18, and have oily skin. I thought the primer was great – pleasant texture and a dewy look. The Laura Mercier eye crayon was my favorite find in the bag this month.

  24. Got the exact same box as you and am very happy with it. The value is tremendous this month too!

  25. Well I wasn’t thrilled when I saw spoilers or got my box (I got the same variation as you) . The only thing I was excited about was the glamglow mask.
    But of course after reading your review, I’m a little happier with it. I’ll have to try the primer and eye stick now.

  26. Excellent review! I now want to buy all the things.

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