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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – July 2016

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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 naturally I couldn’t resist this subscription!

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - packaging 1

This month they included all of the samples in this adorable drawstring bag!

FYI – Play! by Sephora is currently in semi-waitlist mode.

Hopefully everyone who wants a subscription is off the waitlist, but if you are still waiting for an invite, check the comments on this post for lots of tips.

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

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - all items

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!

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - info 1

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) 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.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for samples! They should give you any you ask for (FYI – general guideline is 3 free samples, but if you ask for more they shouldn’t say no).

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - info 2

Sephora has an excellent info card – it feels like reading a magazine! This month’s theme is about products that help you have an effortless summer.

Also – their info sheet is interactive! On the right side there, it says to download the Sephora To Go app for iPhone to scan product images in the info sheet and it’ll teach you more about the products and you can shop the full sizes. Very cool.

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - info 3

They have such thorough information on each product and brand! There’s also lots of great tips and tricks for application and use for everything.

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - items 1

Ouai Haircare Wave Spray – 1.7 fl oz, value: $8.84

I love the packaging of this product but unfortunately the spray itself is not for me. My hair is just naturally very fine, flat, and straight, with no texture or wave to it without styling. I know my hair is just not the type to work with sea salt sprays and wave sprays.

That being said, it smells alright (nothing fantastic) and has mixed reviews regarding functionality on I know subscription boxes love sending out sea salt sprays and such, but I just think there’s such a small number of people who have hair that it actually works for. What do you think?

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer – 0.16 fl oz, value: $4.48

Liquid bronzers seem to be trending this summer! There was one by Bare Minerals featured in last month’s box, too. That works for me, especially because I have dry skin! Getting this in my Play! box last month also pushed me to figure out different ways to use it. Contouring is one, of course, but you can also add it to your liquid foundation to make the shade match your summer tan, or mix it into your body lotion for a temporary healthy glow! It can also help make tan lines less obvious.

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - items 2

The formula is matte, so it has no shimmer. I personally prefer matte bronzers (for my face at least), so I’m happy with that. It is a very warm formula, so if you prefer cooler-toned bronzers, this might not be for you.

Here are a few ways I like to use this bronzer:


PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - items 3

Beauty Blender Blotterazzi – value: $10

If you’ve ever used oil blotting sheets or papers, this is the same concept – just reusable! It looks like a 2D version of the classic Beauty Blender sponge and is made of the same material. They also included a sample of the blendercleanser formula, too, which is great. The packaging says that one Blotterazzi should last from 30-45 days with regular, gentle cleansing.

One tip they offered in the info sheet that I love is to use this to blend/smooth out any creasing or settling of foundation on your skin, in addition to its oil-absorbing purposes!

Citrine from NEST Fragrances – sample

This perfume has notes of freesia, citrus, and precious woods. It’s described as light and refreshing, and it is! It’s definitely not very sweet, either. I’ll be honest – until it dried down and settled for minute or two, I didn’t care for it and thought it smelled old. I’m happy to try a new NEST fragrance, though.

PLAY BY SEPHORA JULY 2016 - items 4

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer – 0.25 fl oz, value: $9

Smashbox has a huge selection of different kinds of primers (color-correcting, pore blurring, illuminating, etc). This is their classic/original primer, but it works very well. I’m happy to have an extra – thanks to subscription boxes it seems I never need to pay for primer! (FYI – I also love their eyeshadow primer and under-eye primer!)

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – 1 fl oz, value: $4

First Aid Beauty was the brand I always pointed people towards who had super sensitive skin or needed help with extreme dryness. All of their products are made without any harsh chemicals and are very gentle. I’m a fan of this cleanser – it’s gentle but still leaves my skin feeling clean. Don’t forget to moisturize after you wash your face!

Verdict: FYI – this box is the first one that had some variation between subscribers based on your skin type (See our July spoiler article for the different options for the items you could have received). I received the items targeted for normal/dry skin.  All in all, I’m happy with the July Play! by Sephora box! I got to try some cool new products and I also got a couple extras of products I’m already familiar with and like. The value adds up to over $35, so I’m happy with that for $10.

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

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.


  1. This is my third month and I have been going spoiler-free and I am pleasantry surprised about the variation. I received the set for dry skin and I am happy. Strangely my skin is drier for the last few days despite this humid weather, so I have to remind myself to add only one new skincare item at a time to see if anything is changing my skin! I happen to like sea salt spray, but only tried one brand (Not Your Mamas from Target, I think), so I am happy to try higher end brand and it is a decent size. I haven’t really used bronzer in the past and finally tried the Kardashian one from Allure. Since it had shimmer in it and I tanned from my vacay and chasing my son in the park (despite wearing SPF daily), so I tried it on my cheeks and gave me a nice sun-kissed look. I also tried it on my cheeks lightly and topped it with my blush color and I liked the result as well. I know I need to size down my subs, but I am keeping Sephora for now.

    • Allure or sephora? Which one do you guys think I should subscribe to and why? Thanks y’all!!!

  2. Does anyone have ideas for what to do with the bags? I feel bad tossing them but they’re not as versatile as the boxes other companies send and they don’t have a zipper like a standard makeup pouch. They have Sephora branding on them so I don’t want to use them for gift bags. How have all of you been using the bags? Mine are just sitting in a stack on my desk.

    • I use bags like this for jewelry when I travel. The ribbons don’t last long before they break, so I go through them pretty quickly.

    • If you don’t want them, you could give them to someone via your local freecycle or buy nothing group. Maybe a teacher at your local elementary school may have use for them.

    • You can always fill them with samples and donate to a women’s shelter? Imo the Sephora branding isn’t a big deal either if you gift makeup. ?

      • Such a really really nice way to fill them and I know everyone has tons and tons of new not used sweet samples that any girl would go nuts over. Great idea.

      • Every once in a while when my sample stash gets too big, I make little baggies to give to friends, so I’m saving them for that.

    • My kids love putting toys in them lol

      • Mine too!!! ?

    • I give away a lot of stuff, and these bags are festive. It’s fun to see theyr ecipient pull something out og the bag. They are a nice size for a paperback, art supplies… lots of things.

    • every 2-3 boxes I post a few items that aren’t for me on eBay and include the bag… that keeps my supply down and helps me make back a tiny bit of $$.

    • I use them when traveling for anything from jewelry to scarves to socks to intimates… the possibilities are endless! They help me stay organized. Or if you don’t travel a lot you can use it as a pencil/pen case, a hairclip organizer, nail polish storage, memories- like photos or movie stubs- storage, … I could go on haha

  3. I have oily skin which is in my profile on Sephora but somehow I got the dry skin box. That doesn’t thrill me but I should be able to use everything. I just don’t see the point of the profile if they aren’t going to follow it. But I love the boxes. They are so fun.

    • I received the dry skin box too but am oily around my nose. When I reviewed my profile dry skin was selected. I have no idea how that happened. I won’t use the Hoola bronzer; it’s just way too warm for me.

    • Me too- I just checked up in my profile to make sure that my details were accurate (they are) so I was wondering why I would receive this box. I’m glad to try the liquid bronzer though, so nbd.

  4. Haley, the most important question is “what lipstick are you wearing?” It’s so beautiful!!!

  5. I have really short hair, but think wave spray will work great as a hair freshener on days that I don’t shampoo. I did not care for the NEST fragrance. To me, it smells just like the old Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers. Ugh.

    • YES! I couldn’t put my finger on it, but that’s what it was! Definitely not a good thing. I couldn’t wait to wash it off, even after I let it settle.

  6. UUUGGGGHHH!! I am so bummed! I have been on the waiting list For.Ev.Er! With 10 different email addresses…I’ve followed the advice I’ve read here and gone in and periodically checked all of them with no luck. Wouldn’t be so bad but I have multiple friends who got on the waiting list then an email within 5 days.

    Anyone else still in waitlist purgatory?!?!??

  7. I haven’t gotten mine yet due to a forwarding address issue, but I’m pretty meh about it anyway. The Ouai spray contains proteins that make my hair really dry, which I discovered when I used the brand’s smoothing shampoo & conditioner – it took weeks to make my hair feel right again. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with protein-sensitive hair.

    I’m supposed to be getting the Too Faced bronzer, which would be great, except it’s medium to dark and probably too dark for my skin tone. I’ve heard bad things about the cleanser they’re sending in the combo/oily skin box – that it really dries skin out. My face skin is already really dry due to Retin-A, but I am also very acne-prone, so I have on my profile that my skin is combination.

    I’ve already gotten several of the Smashbox primer samples. The only item I’m really looking forward to trying is the Blotterazzi, even though it gets mixed reviews on Sephora’s website.

  8. Love this box! Best one yet. The Too Faced bronzer smells amazing and it’s the first brownish not orangey bronzer I have received so I’m excited about that. The Nest Citrine perfume smells absolutely delightful & fresh. Exactly my type of perfume. I love perfume and am glad they send this as a “bonus” item each month! I may even start back up with Scentbird so I can get more of these great perfumes for cheap! 🙂 The wave spray smells great too! It reminds me of a perfume I have smelled before but can’t think of which one. While it most definitely does not work in my hair to give beach waves I do plan to use it for some texture in dried hair & basically as hair perfume! Mmmm I’m going to smell amazing when I go out for dinner with friends tonight!

  9. I’m so glad I cancelled my subscription. I don’t want a perfume sample every month. And a bronzer two months in a row? Not thanks. The OUAI spray is overly perfumey and doesn’t work very well. I’ve already tried and love the primer and face wash. Not worth the $10 to me.

    Maybe if the products become more interesting I might resubscribe.

    • I agree on the Ouai spray. I tried it last night, and it stung my sinuses because the scent was so strong! However, once it wore off a little it did smell good. Also, I noticed no difference in my hair this morning…..but then again, I already have thick, frizzy hair to begin with. I recently bought the Ouai hair oil, so next time I wash my hair I’m going to use these together to see how they work.

    • Same here about resubscribing if it looks interesting again. This was my third box, and I’m just not wowed. It’s good for a $10 box, and I appreciate that the perfume sample is not part of the five that come in each box. In other words, I don’t have any real complaints (except that the boxes before I signed up looked way better – but whatever). However I’m on sample overload, so I’m cutting back, having dropped Birchbox and waiting for Glossybox to run out this fall. I see it as money I can spend on products I want at Sephora ?

  10. Hayley,

    You made the comment about moisturizing after washing you face. I am a bit older (in my 50’s) but have always had oily skin, and am still prone to blemishes, so I am hesitant to put moisturizers or oils on my face – it seems a no-brainer to me. I often end up with blemishes when I try a new one. BUT, it do worry about my skin long-term, that all of a sudden I’ll have dry, crinkly skin. What would you suggest?

    • I have skin like yours…from the drugstore I use the CeraVe line and I’ve had no problems.

      After your skin calms down, most of the products will be fine. I sample most things with happy results.

    • Your skin sounds similar to mine. I have rosacea, use prescription retinoids & take a daily lose dose antibiotic to keep the breakouts under control. The retinoids are skin peeling (and do a fantastic job of keeping the crow’s feet MUCH less noticable, BTW) so they can be drying on my non-T zones. I use moisturizers on those areas including my upper lip, under my eyes, but avoid the more oily, break out prone T-zone. Seems to work for me, but YMMV.

    • I have read that even if you have oily skin, washing your face can still dry it out, which causes the skin to overproduce oils to make up for the loss of moisture. So using moisturizer after washing your face may be worth a try.

      • I think maybe I just need to find the right moisturizer that won’t break my face out.

      • You’re totally correct Jennifer. Even if you have oily skin you still have to moisterize after washing. Even if it’s a lightweight moisturizer you have to use something or your skin will keep over producing oil. It seems counter productive at first but really works.

  11. July was my first box and I am very pleased with this sub. I received the normal/dry bag and can use everything in it, aside from the perfume as I found it a little too strong and ‘alcohol-y’ for my preference.

  12. I thought salt sprays or in this case “wave” spray was a waste but the other day I let my stick straight slick hair dry naturally, sprayed some in and poof! some waves. It was amazing to me. I’ll be using it on an upcoming vacation instead of blow drying my hair.

    I didn’t get the bronzer. I don’t know what I received instead since I mixed up boxes but I HATE bronzer, it’s of no use to me, especially in that liquid form.

    I’m new to Play, this is my third box. I look at it as receiving 100 point rewards for a much less price.

  13. I think Sephora made a mistake by showing the Box A/B variations because, honestly, I think most products can be used whether you have dry or oily skin besides maybe the Blotterazzi, which was in both the “oily” and “dry” box. As someone with dry skin, that’s probably the only thing in either box that isn’t useful for it’s purpose, but I can see maybe using it for other things. And this was never a problem with previous months when people didn’t make a big deal if each product was not specifically for their skin/hair type. They’ll probably rethink putting out “customized” boxes at all if people are calling all upset that they received a product that really can be used no matter what your skin type is.

    • I received the oily skin box and I loved it! I filled out my profile so it was awesome they sent products for use on oily skin. The smashbox oil free pore minimizing primer was great, so much better than the original. And the too faced chocolate soleil bronzer was spot on.

  14. I was NOT excited about this box but when I received it?


    I got the oily skin version.

    Wave spray worked well for me. I spritzed it on dry hair and then scrunched it. It gave me a lot of volume.

    Too Faced bronzer smells like chocolate! Omg!!! And it’s so pretty on my skin.

    Blotterazi is going to be used like a basic sponge. I don’t think it absorbs oil that well but I’ll have it as a backup for my MAC sponge.

    Love the perfume.

    Haven’t tried the primer yet (blah item) or cleanser but both will be used.

    So far, I’ve been enjoying everything I have received from Play.

    • I totally agree! I got the oily skin box too which is perfect as that’s what I filled out in my profile. I don’t know why so many people are complaining, I thought this was a great month.

  15. This was my first box from Sephora Play (I got the oily/combo box) and I’m really happy with it. I love the wave spray. The beauty blender and perfume were interesting to try, and the bag is really cute. Next month’s theme is about eyes, and that is very exciting.

    • I loved my box too. The wave spray is awesome! Sephora really nails hair products for me. The fragrance and the Too Faced bronzer I binned immediately because I didn’t like their sample packaging but I’m cool with that. I already know they’re good products and the other stuff more than made up for it.

  16. I really liked this months box, especially the wave spray. Much better than the Allure one this month and it is more expensive.

  17. I actually enjoy the Sephora boxes. I like that the products are higher end and I’m not having to wonder “what in the world is this brand?!” like I do with Ipsy. I actually am seriously debating canceling Ipsy because I find the bags have just been subpar lately and out of the 15 bags or so I’ve gotten, I’ve only used three to four items.
    As for my Sephora box it has the benefit bronzer, photo finish smashbox, and the regular first aid cleanser. All brands I know and use. I usually love wave sprays but I won’t use this one because Jen A is heavily associated with the kardashians and that’s just a big no no for me. But other than that I really do enjoy the box!

    • Re Jen A – I recently read about that too! Like she does a ton of collaborations with them or something. I personally have no opinion re the Kardashians, but I was wondering how people would receive the spray if they knew about this.

    • That’s exactly why I canceled Ipsy! I never heard of most of the brands. Love the Play box.

  18. Ooo I loved this month! I am experimenting with the bronzer, which is easier to use than last month’s. The blotterazi is a neat idea for summer. I love the ouai spray! I know that I am in the lucky minority here, but everything in the past three boxes really works for me or at least excites me to try. I prefer to get boxes to try new things, not really to stock up on values so this is my kind of box!

    • I agree! I have loved my 3 Play boxes. It’s so fun to get new items to try out. My biggest draw to this subscription was that it is all brands Sephora sells, therefore all brands I buy anyway. Loving this subscription!

  19. I loved this month with Play. I thought it was a great value for $10.

    Haley, you do a wonderful job with the reviews!

  20. Thanks for the bronzer tutorial!
    I tried the Oiou spray today on medium length curly hair, and it seemed to do just fine, like with mousse but lighter. It didn’t get frizzy and stacked a little more than usual, which is more or less what I want out of a hair spray. Last month’s Bumble and Bumble product had a similar effect.

  21. I think I am only going to end up using the Blotterazzi and the FAB cleanser (plus trying the others), but at least the brands are good! I foolishly sprayed the perfume on my wrists in a fit of exuberance – instant migraine. I won’t do that ever again – I’m glad the perfume’s considered extra. The sea spray – I don’t think it’s going to work for my hair. The Dew the Hoola – I was pleased that it wasn’t that dark, so maybe if I do the in-store demo thing I can learn how to use this one. I am down to one beauty box (having cancelled Beauty Fix today) – anyway, I didn’t expect better than this for $10 – Ipsy and Birchbox aren’t better. Next month’s theme is eyes and I’m not that excited about eyes but I’m excited there’s a theme. I thought maybe an under eye concealer would be great, but then I realized probably not good for a box because of the variation in skin tones.

    • I am going to try to work the phrase “fit of exuberance” into every conversation I have this week because it makes me so very happy.

      • Comment LOVE SarahFrances!! I thought that was so cute too! 🙂

    • I already know I don’t like this perfume (got a mini rollerball for a 100pt Sephora perk because I love Nest packaging) but I still did the same thing! I tried to wash it off and wasn’t super successful which I guess is good staying power for those who *do* like it, haha.

  22. Thanks for the detailed review ! I really have no clue when it comes to beauty products but I am so glad I found this site. It is so much fun learning and trying new things. I love the clay cleanser so far.

  23. My 3rd box and its alright. The First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser smells like barf. I have other products from this brand that I love but this is repulsive. I would love a full size product in each box but it’s only $10 including shipping.

  24. Well it seems there are a lot of negative nancy’s this month! This is my first play box and I loved it! Nothing too exciting but all useful and practical items! I had ipsy for 16 months and HATED all the paraben-filled made in China repeat brands that I kept getting so I canceled a year ago and this is my first month without birchbox in almost three years lol. This sub is better for me! love the review of the bronzer! As a pasty white person I can’t wait to mix it with my foundation to match my summer “tan”. As for the bloterozzi I’m probably just going to use it as a normal beauty blender since, SPOILER, it’s made out of the same material!

  25. I got the normal/dry box, I have very dry skin. I already own the Blotterazzi compact and a full size Ouai spray, but I’ve used half a bottle this summer already. I love the scent and it makes my hair softer and fuller on volume even if I don’t get much wave effect (but a decent amount). I love First Aid Beauty products for my dry, sensitive skin as well…

    It seems a lot of people are always perpetually disappointed by $10 discovery boxes, yes some have more ways to customize like ipsy’s algorithms but even that isn’t a perfect system. I still think the value is there for trying out new items or new brands, and I appreciate the videos with a breakdown of the box items. Also, if you know you won’t use an item and don’t swap, just save them for making little Xmas gift bags or for stockings.

    A mass retailer with a huge customer base and brick and mortar stores isn’t going to cater to people complaining about items as much as a strictly subscription company would. Any sub is always a luck of the draw as to what will be in it, unless it’s something like Julep. I think for a large retailer, the value is there and the added points for in-store is great as well. The perfume sample is just considered an extra that they send one scent a month no matter what, so not sure why people complain about receiving one. They could just take it out. You still get 5 samples like Birchbox did for years, you just also get the perfume without it being Harvey Prince and counting as one of your samples lol. I just notice lately that so many people who have been doing sub boxes for awhile are so jaded about discovery boxes still. It’s been the same model around for ages, you don’t pay a lot and you get the chance to try new things and maybe find some stellar items you love in the process. I loved the Becca primer the other month and ended up grabbing a full size for example.

    • As an often jaded subscriber, I just want to say…

      You’re 100% right.

      Thanks for the reminder 😉

    • Thank you for this post! It’s 100% what I think all the time, but can never figure out how to put it into words and in such a ‘professional’ manner. (Side note – the fact that the name of this box is ‘Play!’ is perfect; that’s what we’re supposed to do – play around with things that are new and have a little fun – even if something doesn’t work for you.)

    • I agree with you totally. We all need to practice more gratitude for the blessing we have. Thanks for reminding us all. I am quite grateful for what I’ve gotten in each box for a mere $10. And Sephora’s points with the box are a nice frosting on the cake. I get 10 points/month when each box is billed to my credit card, plus 50 bonus points/month with the Play Pass…that’s 60 points total! That means that if all I do is buy a $5 item/month at Sephora to get the 50 bonus points from the Play Pass, I’d end up spending $15/month to get 65 points/month. It takes 350 points to hit VIB status, and 1000 points to hit VIB Rouge status. That means I’d hit VIB status in only 5.3 months (less time if I actually buy more than $5/month of stuff from Sephora). Or another way to look at it: if I have keep the subscription for 12 months each calendar year, I’m getting 720 points/year and then only need to spend $280/year to reach VIB Rouge status.

  26. Usually me and my curly hair hate sea salt sprays. I look like I have a sticky birds nest. The Ouai spray has no salt and uses rice protein instead, which did not make me look like I’d stuck my finger in an electric socket. Best wave spray I’ve tried.

  27. People kill me with their comments…. It’s a $10 box one item alone was worth more than you paid…. The idea of these boxes is to give you the opportunity to try things you wouldn’t normally use… And if you don’t like them then it was at little cost to you. I have found things I loved and things I hated. The blotterazzi sponge I literally had in my hand at Sephora last week and I just couldn’t justify spending $20 on it… So when I saw it in my box I was over the moon happy about it, and the bronzer I’m excited to try I’m Irish and I have to avoid “extra” sun for risk of skin cancer so this extra glow is more than welcomed….. Stop complaining, enjoy trying new things and lighten up life is was too short for all that ❤️

  28. Play by Sephora is better than Birchbox. I got the liquidate bronzer.

  29. I’m also on the fence. I waited awhile and now I’m like, this stuff is bleh lol even my teenage daughter isn’t impressed and she loves sephora lol Right now we have allure and ipsy. She loves ipsy, I’ve loved allure minus this month. Seems like the sizes are so small. Plus with Play, I automatically toss the perfume because I’m allergic. So minus one product out of the gate lol

  30. I really don’t know what all the hype is about. This will be my first month with this box and I won’t use a single thing. I think I’m getting the oily skin option even though I said I have dry skin. Has anyone who has dry/sensitive skin used the red clay cleanser? Is it too much for dry skin?

    • I have dry skin everywhere expect my t-zone and I have sensitive skin. I also got the red clay cleanser and though I’ve only used it a few times so far it hasn’t been too bad. Definitely more drying than my other cleanser so I make sure to use a good moisturizer afterwards. But it does help with my oily t-zone. And it didn’t irritate my very sensitive skin so that was nice.

  31. I decided to try out my Blotterazzi (?) and it did nothing for me. I even tried putting it on my face longer. Then I switched to my $1.50 blotting papers and they worked great! Shine-free face and can see the oil on the paper.

  32. I think I’m going to cancel sephora play. I honestly think the only thing that’s keeping me from canceling, is the fact that I was wait listed so long. I can’t help but wonder if that was one of the reasons they implemented the wait list.. I mean there is no logic as to how one gets off the wait list. It’s definitely not by location as they say. All i had to do to finally get in was change emails. The value of this sub is just not there for me. I keep getting stuff I don’t even use. I know it’s just 10 bucks but I’d rather put that towards beautyfix. Consistency is key, & from the looks of it, beautyfix is definitely consistent.

    • I’m with you. Definitely not impressed, and I’ve had issues with all 3 boxes so far (missing product, broken product, and this month’s box is apparently missing.) I was excited and totally bought into all the hype, but I’m close to cancelling.

      • Oh wow that’s insane that you’ve had all of those issues! That would’ve definitely did it for me. My fear is that I will cancel & then a great month will come along. When play 1st came out the products were amazing! Seems like once they got more subscribers, it started to kind of go downhill. I guess I will give it one more month. I’m on product overload & got so much stuff I haven’t been able to swap! It’s ridiculous. Will come in handy for Christmas though!

        • That’s my fear too – I’ll cancel, and then next month will have wonderful things! They got off to a really bad start with me, and I had a frustrating phone call with CS yesterday, so I’m still undecided about what to do. Birchbox gave me extra points when I received an empty product, but Sephora hasn’t offered any kind of consolation prize even though my experience has been so negative. I might give it one more month, but after that I’m likely done. 🙁

      • I cancelled last month and this for July, is my last one. I do not regret it. I got the oily/combo bag yet my skin is dry/normal, oh well, so I got the red clay cleanser (never tried & its a good sized tube), the TF chocolate bronzer (of which have at least 3 already from other boxes & GWPs so it may become an eye shadow instead) and the SB pore minimizing primer which is one I haven’t tried so that’s good. I’m oversaturated with wave sprays (no pun intended! They work for me but meh) and frag samples never wow me, hubby is allergic to 95% of those I try so few make the cut.

  33. Has anybody gone to any Play! Dates yet?

    I’ve read that separate stations for each product are set up, and everybody kind of rotates between stations, and the employees go over each product providing tips and explains about other products for each brand. I also hear everyone got a non-beauty goodie bag. I thought this sounded interesting so I signed up for my first one, and I was curious how those who went to them last month enjoyed them.

    • Someone who does reviews did go to one…there is a review! ( Lmao ? )
      Like….2 months ago??

      I’m still not amused that I got the dry skin one…

      • Iam confused i got the same box that she did but my email from Sephora telling me what was in my box isn’t actually what I got but I’m okay with that I like what I got and I already have the two faced chocolate bronzer

      • I’m the same way re the oily/combo one I got -when I am dry as my profile says. I don’t get how they figured that was gonna work but oh well.

    • I’ve gone to the May and June dates. May had the goodie bags. June had some leftover goodie bags from May. From what I’ve read on social media, the experience varies depending upon which location you attend. At the location I went to, we all gathered in a corner of the store (seminar lecture style) and they told us about all the products, passed the products around so we could play with them, there was a lot of audience participation and Q&A. In the May date, we all stood around bar cocktail tables, but we gave feedback that we wanted chairs instead. So they listened to out feedback and for June they set up chairs instead. It seems like the Dates are a work in progress and they’re trying to tweak it organically until they get it just right. Oh, and the Sephora lady at the June Play Date said that the demand for the box is HUGE; she said there are HALF A MILLION people currently on the waiting list for the Play box! So, it looks like Sephora really doesn’t need to cater to any picky jaded subscribers because if those jaded people leave, they have a long line of people waiting to take their place.

  34. I am on the fence about keeping this subscription. I have put a lot of subscriptions on the chopping block lately. Birchbox and Allure are gone, and Glossybox is gone as soon as my year is up.

    I hate bronzer. I do not use it. I do not ever go outside and do my best to avoid any and all sun exposure. Plus I wear strong SPF even just driving to and from work. So I have no summer tan. I just look like my face is dirty when I am wearing bronzer. I do not do contouring.

    I also am not enthusiastic about the wave spray. My hair is naturally pretty wavy so I don’t see the point in using something that is supposed to make my hair wavy.

    I emailed Sephora to complain about getting bronzer two months in a row and they gave me directions to cancel so I do not think they are particularly interested in keeping me as a subscriber. Even though I did also get an invite for the survey that has been mentioned elsewhere in the comments (and where I told them Julep was my favorite subscription because I can customize it to get only things I want!).

    • The Sephora lady at the June Play Date said that there are HALF A MILLION people currently on the waiting list for the Play box. So, no, they really don’t need to cater to anybody in particular because the demand for the box is HUGE.

  35. I really like the Blotteratzi! Any ideas on how to store it, so that I could easily carry it with me on the go? Or do I need to purchase the full-size item to get the carrying case?

    • I second this question

  36. I love my box! I like the Ouai spray for the reasons outlined by others. I have straight hair with a bit of texture to it, so it does give me some body without stickiness. I am happy to have another spray bottle of it, since I am halfway through the other one. I will try the twisting and sleeping with the wet hair method.

    I got the normal/oily set and have used the pore primer and its ok. I haven’t used the red clay cleanser, but looking forward to trying it. I would have liked the liquid bronzer because I have not used that brand before, but am happy with the size of the Chocolate Soleil Too Faced Bronzer and have used it.

    I also already have the Nest Citrine and I really love that scent – so a small sample is welcome. I cannot wait to use the blotter.

    Will cancel Birchbox when my sub comes up in December – but I love this sub so far!

  37. I guess I got it for oily, too, same as Krista, and like her, would have preferred the liquid bronzer…because oil in the T-zone is not the same as oil on the cheeks. 🙂

    I thought this box was just okay – not worth a 6 week wait to sign up.

    I really liked how you showed where to apply the bronzer, Hayley!

  38. I wound up cancelling my subscription, because I wasn’t super impressed. My mom still has hers though, and apparently they emailed her recently asking her opinion about the box. She said it was a pretty extensive survey, lots of questions about getting people into the store (extra points? swapping sample items? beauty party? etc.) and benefits for VIB Rogues. I think for $10 a month they should at least throw in one full-sized Sephora brand item. It would be an easy way to introduce people to the Sephora brand, and would make the sub seem more worth it. IMO.

    Ah well, good tips for the bronzer at least! Nice review, as always Hayley!

    • I totally agree – they should definitely add in a full size Sephora brand item. That would be so easy to do! It could be makeup, skincare, a tool. Anything!!!

      • That’s a great idea!

      • I’ve thought the same thing! My very first box had a full Sephora lip gloss which I thought might be the norm since it’s a Sephora item and a Sephora box and a great way to self-promote their products…..

        Since then just trial sizes, nothing full size 🙁

  39. I got the oily box and found a new product I love: the First Aid red clay cleanser. It’s so silky, I love it! Will be seeking out more from swaps and probably will buy full size, too.

  40. This was my first Sephora box, and I love it! Thanks for the great review, Haley! I love reading your tips. I will definitely try using the bronzer to hide tan lines–such a good idea! I actually really like the wave spray. I have fine, straight hair too, and this didn’t give my hair waves (and didn’t hold waves when I braided it), but it did give it volume without any stickiness.

  41. I agree about wave sprays also. I think there’s a large demographic that can’t use it the traditional way. I have used it to set my pincurls which worked well. I have fine hair with plenty of “texture” due to lightening so wave sprays tend to tangle it. But it’s a fun product to experiment with.

  42. Haley on the wave spray I think the smell is way to floraly strong but as far as salt sprays go for thin hair try this. Put it in your hair once out of the shower wet and blow dry. The salt adds volume! I have horribly strait hair that doesn’t even hold a curl but salt sprays works great in my hair you just have to find a way to use it. Before they became big I love coming home from the beach and my hair was always thicker from salt and with a slight wave I could never achieve on my own so when they came out I worked with it girl! It also works dry to but you have to scrunch for dear life to get a slight wave (thinking 80’s-90’s scrunching lol). You can also put it in then braid your hair and let it dry. Once undone add more. It really can work for thin obnoxiously strait hair pretty darn well. 4 hair stylists in the fam and I picked makeup and fashion. My problem is the smell of this one was horrible perfume lady!! Loved the box idea and most of the products. Anyone try the spray? Does the smell linger? I got the Too Faced, red clay wash and the pore minimizing primer. On the blotter I only gave it an $9 value because of the cleaner. I would’ve gone $8 if no cleaner cause the full $20 2 have a case and that would be nice to have for sure. Love your liquid bronzer demos!! Thanks!!!

    • The floral smell is atrocious. It smells better and more “clean” in the bottle. But goodness it’s definitely not for me. Which sucks because it works really well for my hair. Oh, well.

    • Thank you so much for these helpful tips!!

  43. I actually liked the spray, it made my hair look really nice without feeling sticky or weird. I thought the scent was ok enough as well. I really love the perfume as well. I liked the box overall and am happy with this sub.

  44. I love your review. I love Play! I am down to 2 boxes of Play and petit vour as far as for beauty boxes. I have had Play since box 1. I have to say that not all Sephora gives out samples even if you buy something. The one by me almost tells me they do not have any and I am VIB rouge. They say they can make one but I think it is kind of unsanitary. So I think $10 for a box is a good deal. Plus a lot of these items are in the Sephora favorites sets and you have to buy anyways. Eg. The tarte lotion from last month.

    • Wendy, you’re right – they don’t give out samples like this, which are usually 100 PT rewards. They make them for you. I understand your concerns about sanitation… I can say the store I worked in was extremely anal about hygiene as far as we could control (and we can’t control other customers sticking their fingers in jars of moisturizers, etc). I suggest sticking with things that are very easily kept clean for samples (lipsticks if they remove the top layer and sanitize the rest with alcohol, perfume, things in pump bottles which is a lot of skin care, etc.).

      However Sephora also let’s you return used items with your receipt (and my store even took non-non-receipt returns, though we linked it to your ID and you had a tally of how many you could accumulate before the system wouldn’t let us) so you can buy new things and try them out! If you’re unsure about an item, keep your receipt in your wallet until you try it and decide. =]

  45. I got the oily/normal box as well. I love the red clay cleanser, I haven’t tried the bronzer or the pore minimizer yet. I will say, they can keep sending the the wave spray because it works for my hair perfectly!

    I love with this spray, there isn’t any hardness or hairspray texture left. My hair gets the wavy/beach look, but it stays soft and smooth. If I were to get that look with some sprays I get that almost gritty feeling like I had washed my hair with saltwater, or left the ocean and didn’t wash my hair, this doesn’t have that.

  46. I actually love the Quai wave spray. I use it on wet hair and twist my hair and sleep with it on or let it air dry. It gives such beautiful waves without the stickiness because instead of salt, it has rice protein which doesn’t dry out your hair.

  47. I love my version of this box this month. I love that they finally sent a scent that wasn’t tocca.

  48. I love your reviews- fantastic! And I totally agree- enough with the wave sprays. They do absolutely nothing for my stick-straight hair.

    • And I got the pore minimizing primer. It gets kind of meh reviews on, but I like it so far.

  49. I love the Smashbox primer and refuse to pay their inflated prices, so I’m always happy to find it in a sub box. This was my first Sephora beauty box (dropped Birchbox last month), and so far I’m pleased. $36 for $10!

  50. I got the normal/oily box, I think, which was Too Faced Soleil bronzer in medium/deep, FirstAid deep cleanser w red clay, and the Pore Minimizing Primer.

    I would have preferred a liquid bronzer as opposed to a powder, but overall I’m pretty happy with my first Play box.

    Lovely pics as always Hayley 🙂

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