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Play! by Sephora #444 Subscription Box Review – March 2017

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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 include all of the samples a little drawstring bag with a different design.

FYI – The box variation I received this month is box ending in #444. 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, 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: U.S.

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.

I do have to mention, you can walk in and get shown any tips and even a “mini makeover” at the Beauty Studio (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 “the Shine is Now,” all about shimmer, glow, and highlighting.

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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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Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter – 0.08 oz, Value $7.27

This is a great highlighter! It’s been one of my favorites to use for a couple years now. It’s just super convenient in stick form and it blends to be more of a powder as you apply and blend. This is super easy to apply to your brow bones, nose, cheekbones, etc., and you can just use your fingertips to blend (although the full-size has a little sponge on the opposite end for blending).

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Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink – 0.01 oz?, Value $6?

This shade is called “Golden Pink,” but it’s definitely closer to copper – it’s warm toned, not pink/cool, which is fine and works for me. The pigment is gorgeous (swatched in a later photo), and the formula is really creamy. You can use this all over your lid or in your inner corner and brow bones as a highlighter (or all of the above). For best results you should blend a little with your fingers to make sure you don’t have too much product sitting on top of your lids which will make even the best long-wearing cream shadow crease or set funky.

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GlamGlow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in “Nude Glow” – 0.24 oz, Value $6.92

I’m happy to get this deluxe sample in my box this month because it’s something I’ve heard a lot about (and even tried some smaller samples before). It adds a really natural and brightening glow to your skin!  I really like it (and it smells amazing), and works great as a priming moistutizer. It says it’s in shade “nude glow” but it’s really not tinted. The shimmer color tone leans warm, and there may be the tiniest tint in the cream but it’s really not enough to show up on your skin. I don’t really know why they’d name it as a shade unless they’re seeing how this new release goes and plan to release different tones of it later.

Anyways, I couldn’t bring myself to spend $50 on the 1.7 oz full-size product ($28.82/oz) even though I love this “glotion,” so I have actually purchased First Aid Beauty’s Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer about a month ago, which is $28 for 1.7 oz, and I love it just as much plus it doesn’t have the warm tint to it.

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Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm – 0.1 oz, Value $7.20

This is a very similar product to the Glow Starter, only it’s by Josie Maran. Her brand revolves around moisturizing argan oil and I’ve been a fan since I discovered her while working at Sephora. This is a new product from her, though, which I haven’t had the chance to try until now!

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The formula is also a “glotion,” and has a subtle shimmer. This can also be used as a moisturizing primer before makeup, or you can use it as a cream highlighter and tap it along your cheekbones, brow bones, and other high points of your face. The formula is hydrating and absorbs well and leaves a subtle shimmer/glow. The undertone of this is more pearl/nothing vs. the warmer-based GlamGlow. I was a little disappointed with the amount of product that was actually in this pretty, little container, but there’s enough for 2-4 applications for me so I guess it’s still enough for discovery!

I like this, but I still have to recommend the First Aid Beauty moisturizer I mentioned above, because I really think it’s comparable to these Glam Glow and Josie Maran products (FYI – this Josie Maran balm is more expensive than the Glam Glow at $72/oz – the full size is $36 for only 0.5 oz).

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Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast – 3 oz, Value $15

I love trying new products from Living Proof! This is a volume and texture spray you use on dry hair. You’re supposed to spray it in sections from root to end, or just the root for some focused boost there. I tried it just on my roots and I definitely noticed a difference! It smells nice, too. Note that this isn’t a dry shampoo, though; definitely a texturizing spray.

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Chloé Fleur de Parfum – vial sample

Chloe is a fragrance with a sort of cult following, from what I gathered while working at Sephora. I like this fragrance, which is really light and floral. The notes include lemon essence, absolute verbena, freesia, rose, cherry blossom, white cedar essence, bitter almond, and amber. Sephora categorizes it as “feminine, soft, and luminous.”

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Here, I’ve swatched the Benefit Watt’s up (top), the Bobbi Brown cream shadow, GlamGlow Glowstarter, and Josie Maran surreal skin balm (bottom). All of these products definitely offer a boost of glow and shimmer! I love that these products this month can all be used in a low-key makeup look as well as used to boost your normal makeup look.

Verdict: I actually really liked my March Play! by Sephora box, though I wish I could have tried the new Algenist luminizing drops that came in some other box variations because that’s another favorite brand of mine. I like the theme a lot – I love highlighting and shimmering products, especially because I have dry skin and for their multitasking abilities. I can see how some people may have preferred a little more variation across items, but I’m personally happy with my product selection. All in all, I really have fun getting to try new products and new releases through Sephora’s subscription. The value adds up to $42.39, which I’m happy with for $10.

What do you think about the March Play! by Sephora box? 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.

73 Comments

  1. I got this box and thought it was fine, but was miffed when I saw the Bobbi Brown stick. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great brand and product, but it is almost identical to the Laura Mercier shadow stick I got from Play! not too long ago.

  2. I received my first sephora box yesterday along with another subscription box (I have 4 and I get the target box) it’s so bad!! Anyway, I like how all the products fit the theme, which was illumination and radiance. I will use all of them except for the volumizes hair spray. ( My hair is already thick enough). Yesterday, I played with the makeup and today I wore 3 out of the 4 products and I got so many compliments. And the makeup lasted a long time.

  3. I got this variation and I would say this is definitely one of the better boxes, as I will use everything with the exception of the Josie Maran. I did not receive the glamglow moisturizer and got a full refund for the box so I got all the other items for free which isn’t bad but I would have liked to try that item out. The Josie Maran just seems a little greasy and not much came in the container so it would only be good for maybe 2 uses at the most. I’m glad that this box was more makeup heavy then skincare/haircare because I mainly subscribe to this box for makeup and don’t really need a lot of haircare to begin with. Though I will say I was glad to get the living proof which I think was the winner of the box and probably had the most value because you can’t get that type of size as a sample. The Bobbi Brown stick was also a winner because I love shadow sticks but never want to spend the $29 on a single stick from either Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier so I’m glad to get these sticks in the box when I can and it was also a pretty color! The Watt’s Up is ok I would have preferred some other variations that didn’t include the Watt’s Up but it isn’t terrible. I’m just not that into this type of highlighter but I may try it again, I’ve seen this sample many times and would have liked some highlighter I’ve never tried before then the same old but it is useable. The perfume sample is good as well because it is actually a good fragrance I wanted to try out. Overall I think this bag was a win aside from the missing glamglow product and Josie Maran product.

  4. Liz.. not sure where to find your email address, but I wanted to let you know that TestTube 2.0 beauty box has full spoilers on their ordering page!

  5. I haven’t received mine yet! I haven’t ever bothered to compare boxes with everyone as it seems like I always get mine late 🙂 I’m always pretty happy with my Play! box. The only thing that bugs me is that I don’t have a Sephora within about 5 hours, so I can’t take advantage of makeovers (I’m a Rouge member), or the points in the box. I’d love to actually get the makeover promised to Rouge members, that would be lovely 🙂

  6. I got this variation today; I already tried everything and except for the josie maran balm (smells bad and sooo tiny) I love it! I’ve been struggling to find an eye primer, cream, anything to help my aging lids hold on to shadows without settling in and accentuating wrinkles. Well, that eyeshadow stick is it! Also, I had given up hope of ever being able to use highlighters, all the ones I’ve tried make me look older, but that’s over too. The benefit sample restored my hope that yes, at 45, I too can highlight. Really happy with my box, which is great because it’s the only one I get 😊

  7. There were no posts about box 415 but I just got mine! Ghost verb oil instead of the dry shampoo, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Opal instead of Watts Up, and a mini Vice lipstick in Big Bang instead of the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow stick! I finally got a variation I prefer!

    • A new post about 451 was put up yesterday, but it’s weird that it’s so late compared to the others. I still haven’t gotten mine.

  8. This is the variation I received in the mail today! At first I was a little dismayed that all the products were all shimmering highlighters. After a few moments of switching and testing them out I realized I kind of like that they’re all in a narrow group so I can test one against the other and see what I really like and don’t like about each one….like I would getting samples at the store.

    I had a major self-realization moment! Too often I find myself treating these “sample subscriptions” like Play!, Ipsy, and Birchbox as my monthly makeup replenishing stock instead of the sample they’re supposed to be.

    On another note…I am LOVING the glorious not on my face…but for highlighting my collarbones – a little goes a long way there and both the glamglow and the Josie Maran look fab there! 🙂

    • * swatching not switching!
      And *glotion not glorious!! Dang auto correct!! Lol

  9. Box twin looking forward to trying everything out

  10. I haven’t used any of this Josie Maran balm yet. Some time ago I got a sample of it from Sephora and no matter how much I applied – patting, smearing etc. – it didn’t show up at all.
    I don’t know if it’s because I’m very fair, but I could slather this entire sample on my face and no one would know! Weird 😜

  11. I have seemed to receive a COMPLETELY different box than everyone else. This is what my box contained: Glamglow glow starter illuminating moisturizer, Urban Decaf Vice lipstick in Big Bang (bright fuchsia with glitter), Josie Maran finishing balm, Verb ghost oil, Becca shimmering prefector in opal and Atelier Cologne. Would have looved the Bobbi Brown stick and Chole fragrance. Not a bad box, just kinda..meh.

    • That’s box #451 – spoilers just came out today on MSA so there’s another page of comments. 🙂

    • I would be happy to trade you the Bobby brown stick and Chloe perfume for the atelier and the becca.

  12. How do the Sephora people determine which boxes people receive? So far I have gotten the boxes with the exact brands and products that I want for each month (which I get nervous about every single time) I don’t remember filling out anything about specific brands and products I love but I am so glad I am receiving this box. I want that Bobbi Brown eyeshadow stick!

  13. Thanks for the First Aid Beauty tip – I’m always looking for good, solid brands where I don’t feel like I’m paying just for the prestige. 🙂

    I like themes, but this month feels way too focused and could use some variety. My main thoughts are:
    1) There’s so much highlighter! Which I’m getting from every box right now. I doubt the glamglow and Josie Maran will do anything for my oily/combo skin.
    2) Looking at your swatches, everything seems warm-toned. Definitely not the best for me! I think it’s weird for March, since it’s definitely still winter here (it’s snowing), but it seems like every subscription has decided to pretend it’s summer now…

    • I feel the same way!!

    • My skin has been looking dull from the winter so I find that the highlighters and glorious wake my skin up. I think it’s good timing for these products.

      • Autocorrect is so frustrating. I also typed glotion that changed to glorious.

        • I was wondering what you meant by glorious. 🙂 I think highlighters are good for dull winter skin, but the warm colors seem a bit less appropriate for me. There’s so little sunlight here that warm toned face products often look very fake this time of year. I also have cool undertones, so I’m admittedly very biased lol.

  14. I love your reviews, Haley! (In fact, I think they are my fav.!) You fully explain things wonderfully, and I am also fair complected, so it always helps me to see things swatched on you first. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  15. I was quite happy with this box until finding out it’s all warm toned, not sure that’s gonna work well for me. Won’t know for awhile still, my box hasn’t even shipped yet! Does anyone else still have a pending status on their box?

    • Mine hasn’t been shipped yet either.

  16. Anyone getting #273??? What’s in it?

    • opps! Getting #444 not 273. hehe

  17. I liked it before when everyone got the same product. I don’t like all of the variations. It’s very frustrating when another box has stuff you would use more.

    • I’d rather have the variation–I think it makes it more interesting.

    • Agreed. At least the value doesn’t seem to fluctuate as much as it does in some boxes. Last month, I got the Nars and really liked it, but I think I would’ve been very disappointed with the Bite variation. I’ve definitely had months where I got products that were less aligned with my profile. I think it would be great if they gave out the same products, but maybe let us pick shades (I know, I’m being too optimistic…).

    • I wonder if age has anything to do with which variation they choose for us?

  18. I’m getting this box and I hate Sephora Play! this month. All products except perfume sample are shimmery glittery ones. Except the dry shampoo which is not really a dry shampoo. 🙂 I will use nothing at all from this box. This is my second month and I’m already deeply disappointed.

  19. I also received this box. My Josie Moran sample was maybe a quarter full! I thought maybe somebody had dug into it. I called and voiced my concern and they reimbursed me for the full box! I actually wish they had sent a better sample because I was really looking forward to the Josie one and I don’t even know if I have enough for two applications. Not going to complain though getting a free box this month!

    • I emailed them as well to complain. They wrote back saying that the product was out of stock so could not be replaced and then refunded me for the entire box. Their customer service was surprisingly good – surprising because so many of the boxes lately have fallen short in that area. Thank you Sephora for a great resolution.

  20. Do you have to buy one of the products in your box to use the play pass and get the extra 50 points?

    • Not really. I bought other stuff not related to the box and was able to use it.

    • I think it counts towards anything.

    • You can buy anything even a $3 mask and get the 50 extra points. I haven’t tried it but someone else posted that you can reuse the card for the 50 points until it expires.

  21. Where do the boxes ship from ? Is it San Fran?
    Can everyone post approx location/ state and when their boxes arrived. I’d like to get an idea of how they and when they are shipped. I’m in Washington state and really hoping my box arrives today. Thanks

    • My box has a return address of Aberdeen, MD and I am in NYC. It came for me on 3/13.

      • Ok thanks. You are closer to the warehouse then so most likely I won’t get my box for a few more days sadly.

    • Mine comes from Maryland and then I usually receive it on the 15/16th. I live in Seattle!;)

      • Ok great , good to know . This is my first box. I’m in Yakima WA so i imagine I’d get it around same time as you then. Not in time for my trip but nice surprise when i get back i guess. thanks

        • I’m in Seattle too. But mine hasn’t even been shipped yet. 🙁

          • Mine also says ‘pending’ but it also says out of stock! So not sure what to believe. I’m supposed to get box 469 but if it says out of stock , what does that mean? I’ve not had any email notifications of anything from sephora, either about shipping or the box itself. Hmmm sephora seem to like keeping everything a surprise.

          • It showed up as I was posting. Kinda weird and my account still says pending. Hopefully they come quickly!

          • Ooooo there’s hope then it might arrive before I leave tomorrow! Fingers crossed. Thanks for the info. Love this blog.

    • Mine just arrived 10 minutes ago…no tracking email! I live in Seattle(Beacon Hill 🙂

      • My box came today too. Surprise, surprise! 🙂

    • I’m in New Jersey and mines is still processing

    • Mine shipped from Aberdeen MD on 3/7 and I received it in the Chicago area on 3/13. And then got the email that my box had shipped on 3/13 at 6pm. 😂

      • And I’m in Pittsburgh (definitely closer to Maryland!), but my box is nowhere to be found. Play! always comes after ipsy and Allure for me, somewhere around halfway through the last week of the month.

        I think boxes usually arrive around the same time each month for you, but it’s very hard to judge when that will be compared to others. I’ve found that Allure and Play! often send me shipping notifications after the box has arrived, so it’s really hard to say…

        • Sorry, it arrives around halfway through the month and before the last week of the month. I should really write the dates down so I can keep track.

    • I live in gig harbor Washington state. And my box just came today!

    • I’m in Federal Way and got mine today 😆

  22. This is the box I am getting. It’s a bust for me because of so many similar products. I don’t want a whole box of highlighting products in one month. I hope they don’t keep doing this. Sephora play is my favorite $10 box because of the variety they have been offering.

  23. As someone that doesn’t use much highlighting products, this box feels very repetitive to me. I’m also way more into skincare/haircare then makeup so this box is kind of a bust for me (I prefer to use moisturizers with no extra junk in them like primers or high lights). I’m excited for the texture spray, and I MIGHT try out the Josie Maran just as a light highlighter in my cheekbones/brow bone. Usually not a floral fan, but we will see. My go to is D&G light blue which is a citrusy floral scent so you never know. Bummed about the eye shadow stick, I assumed it would be more of a pink, we will see. Hopefully I get mine today

  24. I wish I got this box…I’m getting box #469 that only has like a $35 value…not even to me since..the ghost oil smells like lemon pledge…I have too many UD eye primers to use all of them and I usually don’t like the scents…at least it’s worth $10 but pretty underwhelming box this month… especially the barely filled Josie maran that I was mostly excited about trying. Oh well :/

  25. Got mine yesterday – I was so confused by their instructions for the finishing balm, like how can something go under or over make up lol. I will try it under, I used the Glam Glow moisturizer this am and it is quite lovely. Not the most exciting box (I feel like everyone who gets sub boxes has a 5 year supply of highlighters), but seems useful enough! I’ll try out the Dry Volume Blast tomorrow – that might make the box a hit for me!

  26. I’m 451 this time which I still haven’t seen full spoilers for……….but I’d guess yes for the Glamglow and the Watt’s Up. I’m hoping I get the Bobbi Brown stick too!!!

  27. Haley, Thanks for the tip about the First Aid Beauty moisturizer. I’d been wanting to try it out. It certainly is more affordable than the Glamglow or Josie Maran product too.

    I just got my box last night. It is the same variation. I can’t wait to try out all the products. They look great!

  28. I received the same box. I enjoyed the Bobbi Brown shadow stick, Glamglow (love the smell), and the Living Proof. I’m not a fan of argan oil or cream/stick highlighters so I listed Josie Maran and Watt’s Up on the swaps site. This is my first month back with Play! since I canceled back in the fall. I got turned off by the small sample sizes of Sephora’s own products. We’ll see how the next few boxes are but this month was pretty decent.

    • Hi, i am about to go on vacation tomorrow and had so hoped to take these products with me. Can you tell me where in the country you are and when your boxes arrived ? Fingers crossed mine comes today. So excited.

      • Denver, CO, my box arrived today, 3/14.

  29. I have been in LOVE with the Chloe fragrance for a while… always happy to have another travel size!!

  30. I used the Living Proof product this morning on my unwashed hair and LOVED it. My hair looks better than when it’s freshly washed, dried and styled.

  31. I received the same box, and while I am interested in each product, I feel like there is too much overlap in what they do, which makes this kind of boring and repetitive.

  32. I have to say the Fab coconut primer you are talking about didn’t work for me and only made my skin dryer so becareful if you have super dry skin as it made my makeup flake off my face horrible. Be store to sample things before you invest for sure. I haven’t got my box yet but have tried all of this except the eye product and full blast hair product which I’m sure I’ll get cause my hair is super thin. The eye crayon is cool as I use the maybelline ones on days I don’t feel like a full eye look. The algenist product is very runny so unless you mix it imo it’s hard to use. I love the glamglow lotion and haven’t wanted to spend the money on the full size cause you only need so little but it’s a great highlight that does show amazingly under your foundation. The argan balm is ok nothing amazing and don’t understand how the reviews are so high on it and you get so little in the large size. Of corse the watts up is the best bennifit product imo and perfect to use with a smal brush above the Cupid’s bow of the lips. I think Sephora has a stand up box every month even with the value being on the lower side it’s so far my fave. I think sometimes when you get a high value box from others it not always stand out products that make the value so worth it imo.

  33. My Josie Maran sample didn’t have much in it. Maybe 1/4 full and I’ve seen a lot of people with the same issue. I emailed them about it so maybe they will send me another one.

    • Think this what everyone received. Mine looks like they just plopped on big drop into the jar. It doesn’t even cover the bottom of the jar.

  34. Good Morning! I received box #444 and I love it. However, I agree with you that would have been nice to get Algenist luminizing drops.

  35. I really enjoy your makeup reviews, Haley. I’m not young but I have been in the rut of wearing the same look for cosmetics every day. I’m learning a lot from you so thank you.

    • Oh, I’m so glad to hear this, Zo! Thank you so much for reading 😀

  36. Loved everything! Got exact same box and all are new products for me to try. Very happy😊

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