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Play! by Sephora Review – June 2017 – Box #091

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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.

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

Every month they ship all of the samples a drawstring bag with a different design. 

FYI – There are variations of this box. This review is for the box # ending in 091.

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.

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!

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.

This month’s theme is “Your Summer Starters.” Now, on to the items!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub – 3 ml Value $9

This is a great sized sample! (Almost half the full-size version.) If I hadn’t already sampled the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, this would have been all I needed to convince me to buy it! (In a different color, though! This shade is too bold for my skin tone.)

But even though the color isn’t for me, the formula is impressive. It has a matte finish, extreme pigment, and it lasts for a long time, too!

(Swatched in lower photo.)

Tarte Tarteguard Tinted Moisturizer in Medium – 7.5 ml Value $5.40

This is a great multi-use product for a minimal-makeup summer look. The formula can be applied with your fingertips, and it’s easy to blend in. The finish is dewy, with light coverage. I need a full-coverage makeup, but I liked using this as my moisturizer pre-foundation.

Here it is swatched beneath the Liquid Lipstick:

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield – 5 ml Value $11

I’m always happy to see more SPF in a summer box! This primer is pretty impressive, too. It instantly made my skin smoother, with a demi-matte finish. It did a pretty good job at blurring my pores, too. This wasn’t a game-changing primer for me, but it’s a solid contender!

Briogeo Curl Charisma Leave-In Defining Creme – .75 oz Value $2.50

I get Briogeo products often in subscription boxes, and I love that their formulas are all ingredient-conscious. This one smells lovely, too. I don’t usually wear my hair curly, (it’s wavy at best), so this product is a bit of a miss for me. I still tried it, though, but used a blow dryer like always. It didn’t weigh my hair down at all, and it seemed to help with frizz, too!

Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It – 15 ml Value $4

This is another hair product designed for air-dried styles. (I know these hair products are great for easy summer looks, but I’m addicted to my hair dryer!)

It’s another great scent, too. The formula is made for fine to medium soft hair, which isn’t a perfect match for my medium hair, but I appreciate that it didn’t weigh down my hair. The added subtle texture was nice, too!

Mugler Alien – 1.2 ml Value $5

(All Sephora boxes include 5 beauty products plus an extra perfume sample.)

This scent has notes Solar Accord, Jasmine Sambac, Green Notes, Cashmeran, Vanilla, Transparent Amber.

I’m not a perfume wearer, so I’m not surprised that this one isn’t for me!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $37. I think that’s great for a $10 beauty box, especially since the box will always include high-end brands. Some of the products were a miss for my needs. I definitely got $10 worth of usable makeup, though. And the Kat Von D sample would have been worth it to me just to try the formula.

Here’s a snapshot of my beauty profile:

The Tarte product match my skin tone well, and I think the hair products were more of a miss, but I’m wondering if I needed to give more hair info to get better products. (If you were happy with your products this month, please let us know how detailed you were with your profile!)

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

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

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.

46 Comments

  1. Hi! If I join today 6/27, will I get June’s box? Or do i get placed for July’s one instead?

  2. anyone want to trade lovesick for the purple one? 🙂

  3. This was my box and a HUGE miss for me. I gave the Murad to my mother with skin cancer. Everything else is Meh except the Kat Von D lip which I love the formulation but why the hell would you send a 44 year old woman a color best described as ‘Meth Head Barbie’. It may look great on others, but on me, it looks like clown make up and is completely unwearable. This is the second month that Ipsy has hit it right out of the park and Sephora looks like they didn’t even check my profile. Maybe it’s just because Ipsy has a much better profile ‘test’ and Sephora’s has dumb ass questions about if I need to feel like a cosmetics expert with my friends. How the F is that supposed to help them choose products for my face?!? I may have just talked myself into cancelling and trying the new Macy’s box.

  4. Slightly different box (083). Complete miss for me! The K-Dub color is just awful, clownish. I have fine, slightly wavy hair, receiving two products for air drying/curly hair is not going to make me happy when I like to straighten my hair (and trust me my beauty profile is very precise).
    I will try the Tarte tinted moisturizer and the Dr. Dennis Gross Self-tanning pads for the face. My scent was Derek Lam Blackout not too bad, I will use it but won’t buy it.
    For my first Play! box overall, I’m not impressed; I’ve really liked my last two Birchboxes. I’ll give Sephora one more shot otherwise I’ll cancel my subscription.

    • I cancelled over this same box. Enough. I’ve gotten 5 boxes, all bad. The color of the KVD was unbelievably for a 60 year old woman with light skin and light brown, straight hair. After last month’s dark brown lipstick, it is just too much. If they had sent at least a few useful products that worked based on my profile I could have gotten past the KVD, but it is just a waste of money. I can’t use a single item. The profile is worthless, no thought process at all.

      • I understand your frustration and am sorry that you received products that you can’t use.

        The KVD color was a total miss for me too. You are right to say that this color is wrong for mature women. I am in my sixties and the color is unwearable and the lip crayon last month was horrible too.The curl charisma was a miss, as I have slightly wavy, fine hair. My profile is the same as Liz’s, but with normal skin.

        I have been with Sephora since March and up until this box I actually used two items from all of them. I was ready to cancel, but I like the Tarte tinted moisturizer, the Invisiblur, Alien, and Don’t Blow It. So, I decided to stay with it.

        So, overall this box was an improvement for me. At least it wasn’t the box with oils, because it would have been a nightmare and I would have cancelled.

        Too sum it up, Sephora needs to curate the boxes a little better.

  5. @Liz was your K-Dub sealed? I just swapped my K-Dub for the other color and the lady receiving my K-Dub asked if I had swatched it because it wasn’t sealed. I did not! I knew in advance that the color wasn’t for me. Anyone else get K-Dub unsealed?

    • Mine was not sealed. Nothing in my box was sealed.

    • Although it appears as if most of the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks are sealed, this particular color is not. It is not just yours, it is all of them. I think it was made to be part of a boxed set; the box itself being sealed, so the inner items are not.

      • Thank you! I was hoping mine wasn’t the only one.

    • Mine wasn’t sealed either.

  6. Worst box ever. I got the one with dry shampoo and I’m disappointed that only 1 item in the whole summer themed box had spf. Sadly, I think I used more random items from my time with Ispy than my time with Play. I’m still a VIB, but think samples from the store are a better use of my time, and another sub a better use of my money.

  7. I filled out my beauty profile as completely as possible and the hair products have generally been on point for me – I have straight/dyed hair and never received products for curly hair. I originally listed my skin type as combination but changed it to oily after receiving one too many skincare misses.

    I got box 042 this month and honestly, I was happy with everything except the shade of the KVD. This isn’t the first time Play has sent me unwearable lip products – it’s just really a shame since I do like the formula (and to add insult to injury, some boxes DID include a ‘wearable’ shade.) I would’ve been less disgruntled if everyone got the same shade, tbh!

  8. Except for the “aging” skin care concern, my profile is totally different from yours, but I got the same box. I don’t think they are selecting based on the profile or we would have gotten different boxes. I love Sephora, but this sub keeps coming up on my radar as possibly cancelling

  9. This is my box and I’m really happy with it. The lippie color is great. Thank heavens it’s not nude or some ugly brownish orange! It’s a great summer color.

    In my profile I’ve got normal WAVY hairy with only FRIZZ as a concern. My complexion color is medium.

    That Alien perfume has been out for years! I remember buying it at least 12 years ago- dang- please offer us the newer scents! And $5 value? Huh?

  10. After 4 months I cancelled Play. Not sure if is this box or that Im overwhelmed with boxes in general.

    Only subs I I have on my roaster now are: Sysley, Avenue A & Le Metier the Beaute.

  11. You might want to not list your skin as “tan” if you don’t like bold lip colors. Although I’m sure mine says tan and I got a soft pink. I had such envy over that bright lip color that I got one on Ebay. Don’t get me wrong, I love my nudes and pinks and wear them most often, so I will be getting use out of my more low-key color, but I love that bright pink.

    Also, with the air dry products, throw them in your bag. Even if you are a blow dry girl, they are great for beach days, pool parties, vacation etc…times when your hair gets wet and you can’t do a restyle. You can just put these in and reduce your frizz. 🙂

  12. I’m torn on my box.

    I love the dry shampoo and Kat Von D lippy.

    Sea salt spray is just ok… I’ve accumulated a bunch over my sub box years and have yet to really love any of them. Maybe I just haven’t mastered how to use it right. But I do like being able to try the brand Verb.

    Porefessional sample is giving me Birchbox PTSD… gave the sample to my MIL who loves the stuff. Also gave her the Coola makeup setting spray which would have been such a fun thing to try, but I have a photo allergy to chemical sunscreen 🙁

    So I only really like & can use 2 out of the 5 samples this month. Bummer. The only other item of all the boxes this month I would have wanted to try was the FAB primer.

  13. I didn’t get this box but got the same lip color. Everyone is right, it is loud! But I am glad I got to try it because now I know the product is worth it and I can buy it in a different shade.

    I am even going to try being bold and wear kdub out! I think it will pair nice with a navy dress.

  14. I’m really surprised how many people are unhappy with this sub. So far I love it. It’s my fave and I’ve tried them all. This is the only one I kept. I travel so the samples even if it’s a product I use is perfect for me. I might get 1 or 2 items I don’t like every few months. Has anyone thought of adjusting their quiz to see if you might get different items? Just a thought. I have strait thin hair so i only really get dry shampoos or sea salt spray. I see people with different hair than I have gets a lot of hair products and I normally don’t. Ive actually thought of getting a second box I’m so happy with it. I did get the lux box and was so disappointed but love the regular box.

  15. Sephora’s curation has gotten worse. I get having a skincare of haircare item included in a box, but May and June each only had like one makeup item. The May theme was skincare and the June theme was haircare.

    Each box should be able to stand on its own and have more makeup. Otherwise, people who weren’t interested in receiving skincare cancelled after their May box and people who weren’t interested in receiving haircare cancelled after their June box.

    I mean are they planning on doing a makeup box once every three months interspersed between a skincare and haircare box like this?

    • In my 8-10 months of being a subscriber, I have found that Play, like Glossybox, Birchbox, and Look Fantastic, usually only has 1, maybe 2 makeup items. Boxes like these tend to have a variety of things, generally nice quality but not full size.

      If you are really hoping for makeup, and higher end makeup at that, Look Incredible (from the UK) will make you happy, but you will pay much more for it. Usually 5 full size products in both their standard and deluxe, 4-5 of them are makeup. Their standard and deluxe don’t dupe each other at all. I’ve gotten a lot of MAC, Too Faced, and Nars from them. CC Beauty is another similar sub from the UK, but I think Look Incredible is better.

      More affordable makeup heavy boxes are Ipsy, Boxycharm, Sweet Sparkle, Beautybox 5, LipMonthly, So Susan Lip Love, OC Lipstick Club, and the brand new Lipstick Junkie. I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I know about.

      • Oh, thanks for this info. I think I expected Sephora to be a makeup box. This may have been wishful thinking on my part. I did not realize they have always only had only 1-2 makeup products in each box.

      • I’ve subbed to Look Incredible for a few months, and had no idea their was no overlap between the deluxe & standard box. Now I’ll just have to try both when I re-submit in a few months. 😀 which box do you get? I got the deluxe, but I never got NARS or MAC. I know it could be just because I only subbed for a few months, but I was just curious if these were in the standard box, thus no overlap. I’ve also received products from Burberry (so beautiful!), and Tarte.

        I feel the box is truly a surprise though, because mine have always had variations from the U.K. box spoilers. I’m sure that’s due to shipping restrictions of certain products. I just got an email for their May box (I wonder if they meant June), and it’s nothing like what I received in May. Also, if it’s truly their June box they’re spoiling I would be disappointed if I were still subscribed as it doesn’t seem in line with the types of brands they normally feature. The spoiler featured products from the brands Coastal Scents, Essie, BellaPierre, ROC, and Stila. Stila’s in line with what I’ve received in the past, but while I do like the other brands, I would expect higher end brands for the cost of the box.

        There’s a new U.S. box called Just Arrived that sounds just like Look Incredible, but besides seeing a mention of it, so far I haven’t heard anything further on it. But, it sounds promising!

        I did see an unboxing of Sweet Sparkle’s first box (they just launched, right?), and it looked pretty bad. I hope their boxes get better. I’m always rooting for new beauty boxes. 🙂

  16. I didn’t expect the lip stain to look good, but I LOVE it! A perfect bold color for concerts and parties. It works with my own lip color so it doesn’t look exactly like the tube. I even wore it to work. It’s pretty!

    • Me too! I was very sceptical about such a color on my pale skin but I used a dark purple eyeliner and k-dub yesterday and it was a perfect fun summer look without feeling like you have a ton of makeup.

  17. I got a different bag this month, and I got a couple things I’ve already got from them

    – porefessional face primer
    – supergoopsetting spray

    And the kat von D in “love sick” (I already have the lipstick version)

    But to my suprise, I got 2 large size hair products

    – “get it curl” madam c.j beauty culture (sample size is 2oz /57 g

    -“once in a style” devacurl (sample size 50g )

    Never gotten such large size samples like this from sephora

    Then my perfume sample was normal sample size “the bright way” versace

    • Yeah me too! I was surprised & pleased x)

  18. My Play profile was VERY detailed, and I hated my box this month. They missed the mark so impressively that I unsubscribed immediately after receiving my box. OTOH, I loved my Ipsy bag this month! And I’m now thinking about hopping onto the Allure train.

  19. Between tiny sample sizes, 2 hair products I can’t use and a disgusting smelling perfume, this was my least favorite Play ever. I had to drop some subs for the next few months and I kept Ipsy, of course, and chose Allure over Play. I’m sure I will end up resubbing in about 3 months but after this month’s box, I won’t miss it for now.

  20. I cancelled after this month arrived. I love Sephora, but Play has been a total miss for me, month after month after month. Ipsy and Boxycharm take better care of me, plus I resubbed Allure and signed up for the new Macy’s Sub. I don’t think I’ll miss Play.

  21. This should have been my box, since I have curly, oily hair. Instead, they sent me more hair oil, and stuff for straight hair. Their algorithm clearly jumped the shark this month!

    • Their algorithm definitely messed up! I have my hair listed as wavy and frizzy and I got this box (091). I don’t understand how the briogeo curl charisma is even something that would work for me, but I can try. I would’ve loved your box instead. Was hoping to try out that ouai rose oil.

      • I have wavy/frizzy hair and I love the Briogeo Curl Charisma. It defines your waves and lets you air dry your hair (I sleep with my hair towel dried and with this in it before bed in a scrunchie, when I wake up I have defined, soft, frizz free curls). Give it a try!

  22. Hi Liz. To answer you question about the profile info it might be worth a shot updating it and maybe changing it to say straight.

    Since I first subscribed I listed straight hair with concerns for dryness, aging, chemically treated, anti-frizz etc. My skin tone is listed porcelain so they never send me the boxes with foundations because the color would be off. This time I got the box with the Verb sea salt spray and dry shampoo. Those are total misses. I have thick hair with a volume and texture I am always trying to tone down, not enhance. I switched my profile to curly hoping I will get more products that conditioning rather than volumizing and texturizing.

    Any dry shampoo lovers out there? I am on the waitlist to swap but am looking to swap Play’s Verb sea salt spray, Klorane sample and the full size Klorane from FFF. I would like to swap them all together.

    • I would love to swap with you! Anything specific you are looking for?

      • I am looking for any hair care (Alterna, Briogeo, Living Proof, etc.) or brand new skin care (Sunday Riley, Tatcha, etc.). I also would be interested in scented candles from sub boxes. If you have anything like that you would be willing to trade please leave your swap profile in a reply so I could find you once I (ever) get approved. Or leave an email address. Thanks.

        • I don’t have any of that right now. I love my living proof, but I’m not a fan of Sunday Riley or tatcha stuff I’ve tried. If I get any of that, I’ll let you know.

  23. The gloss is really nice as a base for a nude liquid lip. Gives a little hint of color and doesn’t feather. I don’t really know anyone the shade would be complementary to. It’s a statement, and a bit too loud of one. But, the formula is nice, and I like it under one of my too a shy nude lip shades

  24. Test My posts are not showing up as usual.

  25. I sampled tartguard in store and it looked clear once blended…was hoping for at least some coverage but no luck. The murad has better “coverage” with its blurring effect alone, ive been wearing it all week with no makeup. It’s great for good skin days, but if you need concealer or foundation for blemishes be careful bc it doesnt play well with other products sometimes. Also, I really have to (gently) work it in…I think warming it with hands helps…otherwise it can clump. It’s my favorite summer item, but takes getting the hang of. None of these items are new to me =/

  26. This was my box, and I liked it a lot, with the exception of the Briogeo product. I don’t have curly hair so that was a miss for me. However I loved everything else. I have a couple of the Kat Von D lipsticks but am always happy to get more — the formulas are incredible and I love love love all her colors. Nobody does color like Kat Von D.

    The Tarte is a good tinted moisturizer for when I don’t want to goop up my face on a hot day and the Murad primer works well. The Bumble & Bumble I’ve used before but I love it so I’m glad to get another one. Last but not least, the Alien perfume was a really nice surprise. I’ve never tried it before but it’s such a lovely floral scent. I will probably buy the full size.

    • So it totally depends on your hair type, but if you’re looking for a use for your Brigeo curl product, you can try using it as a texturizer for fine straight hair. I have fine, oily hair that’s mostly straight (with a touch of wavy). I was surprised when my hairdresser used a Davine’s curl moisturizing foam on my hair, and even more surprised to see that it made my hair look better after drying with a blow dryer. It seems to bring out that touch of wave for just a bit more bounce and texture. No idea if it will work with the Brigeo product, but it might be worth a try!

  27. This is my box and usually OK with Play boxes but hated this month. Tossed away the lipgloss after I tried to give it away to some people who also turned it down. That color is loud! I’m seriously thinking about canceling and resubscribing to Allure. Their customer service is awful but content wise its a better box.

    • I could not believe they sent me this box #. A total miss! I thought I might be able to use the Murad but that was it. Well, idk what it is about that stuff but it does not play well with anything. It balls up when I put anything on top of it. That lip color is horrible! There were 2 boxes that would have worked. I emailed them about it & ended up getting a refund. July may be my last w/ sephora & March was my 1st. Been w/ Ipsy for over a year. Thinking about trying Allure…

      • Its tricky, you have to work it in. I do 5 small pumps around myface, it balls up but if you keep (very lightly) blending is starts to melt in. Let it set for a bit. Then for foundatin, ive found liquid/oil based work best with it. If im using a creamier foundation, i basically mix it into the primer bc if it sets it gets super streaky. Its fussy, but worth it ! (Its the only primer that doent clog my pores the next day!)

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