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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – August 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 I naturally couldn’t resist this subscription!


FYI – Play! by Sephora’s waitlist just opened, so if you’ve been waiting to be able to sign up – go, go, go!


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


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


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.

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).


Sephora has an excellent info card – it feels like reading a magazine! This month’s theme is all about “eye openers.”

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.


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.


Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12 Hr Wear Waterproof, Flirting Game – 0.017 oz, value: $4.25

Sephora Collection makes terrific eyeliners! Plus, Sephora’s brand is the lowest price point you’ll find across their store. The formula of this eyeliner is very creamy and smooth and went on very easily. It smudges well, too. This shade, Flirting Game, is an easily wearable, shimmery taupe. I wish this had been full size! (I’ll show a swatch and a look using this below)

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – 0.1 oz, value: $5.50

Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliner in shade “perversion” is known by Sephora Employees by being the blackest black eyeliner pencil we sell. Urban Decay created this Perversion mascara to reflect the same intensity. This formula is creamy, and not clumpy. It lengthens and adds volume, and I experienced zero spidery-ness on my lashes even with multiple coats.


Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm – 0.16 fl oz, value: $19.84

Holy Hydration, Batman! This Caudalie Eye Balm is fantastic! This may be my new favorite find. It melts right into my skin, feels slightly cooling, and my eyes felt super hydrated for quite some time after.

Eye balms/creams are one of the products I can’t live without. I apply every morning and night and throughout the day when I need to feel a little pick me up. Eye products are super important for anti-aging and it even helps keep your under-eye makeup from creasing and apply much better. Remember, apply eye products on the brow bone, sides of your eyes, and under eye gently with your ring finger. Pat it on, don’t rub! Your under eye skin is super delicate and any pulling (especially with something you do 1-2x a day) will speed up signs of aging. And don’t worry about rubbing product all the way up to the edge of your under eye – eye products are made to spread, and that way you can avoid getting product in your eyes and irritating them.

Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer – 0.16 fl oz, value: $12.75

This liquid moisturizer is, well, liquid, so it’s quite runny. The info packet says it’s “thicker than an essence but thinner than a cream.” The result is a quickly-absorbing and lightweight moisturizer. It’s great on its own for these hot and muggy summer days. I have dry skin, so I’m not sure I would love this just by itself for my skin type, but I’m happy to try this! I love Lancôme.

I will note that my little bottle of this stuff seemed half empty, though.


Clean Reserve Blonde Rose – 0.05 fl oz, value: $1.33

Clean’s line of perfumes are very fresh, clean, and often unisex. This Blonde Rose fragrance is categorized as “Sophisticated, Classic, and Feminine.” Notes include Aldehydic Watery, Rose, Peony, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Musk. Personally, this fragrance isn’t a hit for me. It smells much older than I prefer to wear.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow Eyeshadow and Powder Blush, I-544 Pink Granite – 0.02 oz, value: $6

I was almost giddy to see that we’d be getting an MUF product in our box this month! I adore their products, and they’re not cheap. This shade is called I-544 Pink Granite. The “I” in the beginning indicates that it is iridescent. They have indicators like this for all their finishes – ME for metallic, D for diamond/glitter, M for matte, etc. It’s a perfect shade to use all over your lid.

The info booklet calls this a “gel-powder,” but I think that’s probably a little confusing. They call it this because it’s designed to have little hydration spheres that burst when you apply the product to really amp up the pigment – the texture is never really a gel but it’s an insanely creamy and smooth powder shadow.


I’m in love with this shade. When I saw these spoilers, I was seriously hoping this would be full-size but a full pan of this shadow is $22 so I knew that’d be unlikely. Make Up Forever is an incredible brand when it comes to long-lasting products with crazy pigmentation! In fact, Cirque du Soleil has even used MUF products for their performers.


Here’s a swatch of the shadow and the eyeliner. I love both these products!


Today I wore everything in the box, including the shadow, eyeliner, and mascara that you can see here (and below). As noted above, I was very happy with the mascara – application was easy and I felt it lengthened and volumized without clumping or looking spidery. And it built multiple coats well. It also applied easily and lightly to my lower lashes.


Here’s a better look at the shadow and liner. I used the liner for a thin, traditional line on my upper lid and on the middle and outer sections of my lower lash line. For the shadow, I applied it all over my lid, and I blended a similar but matte shade from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette into my crease, and a darker matte shadow in just the very outer corners of my eyes. I really wanted the Make Up Forever shadow to be the star since it’s such a gorgeous shade.

Verdict: This is one of my favorite Play! by Sephora boxes yet! I loved trying some new skincare products from brands I love, and getting deluxe cosmetics samples that all add up to a complete eye look (shadow, liner, mascara). I’m thrilled that we got a Make Up Forever product and that I found my new favorite under-eye balm. The value adds up to over $49.67 so I’m definitely happy with that for $10.

What do you think about the August 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. A couple months ago I got an email out of the blue saying “We’re sad to say that your subscription to PLAY! by SEPHORA has been canceled. The beauty game won’t be the same without you!”

    I called to find out what that was about. Sephora Rep had no idea why that happened and couldn’t fix it/start my subscription again. She acted like it was no big deal and oh well just wait for more openings later. That was terrible customer service!

  2. The tube you said seem half empty was pretty much empty in my box so they said they send a replacement box. A whole box. Great cs. I actually didbt even have enough to sample 🙁

    • Wow you were lucky! I got cancelled for no reason and they couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it.

  3. I received my box yesterday (finally!), and I love everything! This is my first Sephora box that I’m keeping everything! I usually gift most of my items, but I literally took everything out of their packaging, put the items back in the bag, and put the bag in my purse. I’m wearing all of it today, including the perfume. If my daughter finds out i have the UD Perversion mascara, she’ll try to swipe it, so here’s to hoping it stays hid 🙂

  4. I just received my box today, and everything was great except I was supposed to get the plum eyeliner and my bag had the taupe color instead. (I got the variation with the cotton fragrance and algenist). I emailed customer service about it, and less than 30 mins later they replied to say they were sorry, and a replacement sample would be sent out. Impressed with the quick reply and I get to try both colors now, yay!

    • Glad you got great CS! I emailed them that I didn’t get the box until today after receiving a couple of different arrival dates. I then got a 3rd arrival date, though it did show up today. I got a different box than what shows on my account page. When I asked about it I was told there is no guarantee that what is shown to be in your box will be what you receive. Totally different CS experience. I cancelled.

  5. @Hayley – great review! I really do enjoy reading about your ‘insight’ into Sephora products and makeup tips, in general. I am clueless so I need all the help I can get, lol.

    I received my bag today and I am blown away, again. This is only my second month with Play! and I have only disliked one item and that was the funky Nest perfume in July.

    After reading some of the comments that indicated Clean Reserve was a unisex-type fragrance, I was hesitant about receiving it. I don’t like ‘cologne’ type scents. But, I LOVE this! It might just be my body chemistry but it was light – not heavy, not sweet, not vanilla…just clean. I am definitely splurging for the full size and would have never considered that without receiving this tester!

    Everything else was a total win for me, too. Can’t wait for September and so glad I signed up!

  6. Thanks for the detailed breakdown! I was hoping for the Algenist eye cream over the Caudalie, but I’m excited to try it now that I know you love it. My favorite for this month is the mascara. UD’s Perversion is one of my top 3 mascaras and I was just about to buy a new one! MUFE has great eyeshadows so that was nice to get. I was hoping too for a full size product. I know it’s just a sample subscription but I keep hoping each month they sneak in a surprise! I know the perfumes are a freebie extra but that doesn’t add any extra value for me as I’m allergic, but it’s nice to pass along to friends!

  7. I had an issue with my algenist cream. It came looking all yellow and just way way off. I emailed them at 2:56 and received a response at 3:02 and another email at 3:03 with tracking for the replacement sample. Was surprised by the super quick response and must say I’m impressed with it.

    • WOW – that is amazing service!

  8. I receive my box today, super excited. I like everything except the perfume.

  9. I just received mine! I’m pleasantly surprised by the eyeshadow, which is warmer on my skin than I expected. Their advice for how to apply to hooded eyes is honestly the most realistic and practical I’ve ever seen: “Eyeshadow is most likely to smudge with this shape, so go for a smokey effect using the colors of your choice- it will look good even if it smears a little.” Love it!

  10. This is the first play box that i really liked and I’m missing a product. All the others have been ok. Nothing wrong with them just nothing exciting. I did cancel this month only so i can try something else. I’m getting overloaded on similar little samples. Hopefully they replay my missing item but i wont hold my breath.

    • Ive unsubscribed as well…Its gotten a bit boring

  11. My eye cream was Algenist instead of Caudalie, so my bag’s worth was $61.56. Amazing!! Had variations on the perfume and the eye pencil, and I love it. Terrific all around. A better deal than even ipsy.

  12. This is my third (and by far favorite) month. I will absolutely use everything in my box. I got a plum eyeliner which is great and a different eye cream. Also different fragrance but also by clean. Happily, I loved my box as prior months products have gone unused. Yay!

  13. Sooo… I’ve had birchbox, ipsy and now sephora and I’ve only ever gotten brownish or beige eyeshadow. It works for me, but do they never send other colors? I think it’s strange. I wouldn’t mind trying something new.

    • Weird. I have gotten purples, browns, pinks, and silver.

    • I got the other color option from Sephora this month. Plum liner and a sort of violet metallic shimmer. I got all the opposites of Hayley’s bag this month. Don’t think it has much to do with coloring as I’m a pale redhead with amber eyes. Unless it went on eye color alone. But I’m super dry skin and concerned about eye area, so not sure about the difference in eye creams.

    • It seems like IPSY is always sending me dark eyeshadows, deep purples, grey that’s almost black, etc. I’d love more beiges and day time colors

  14. You look beautiful in the photos. Forget the cologne sample. Everything else was terrific. Sample size or not, it’s the best bargain to be had!

  15. A few people have mentioned asking for samples – how does this work? Do you ask someone working the sales floor if they have samples of a specific product after trying them? Do you ask the person at the checkout counter what samples they have? Is this something you can only do if you’re purchasing something else?

    • You just ask a salesperson the floor if you cna have a sampe of something and ususalyl thery go grab a sampe tub and pump /spray/squirt/pour out some fro the tester and give it to you to take home. Last month I asked 2 differet sales people for samples I left with three samples that day. Two were for skin care (Boscia charcoal mask and PTR Serum) the other was for Too Faced primer. They’re not packaged samples, but I think that little tub of primer they gave me lasted for 5 ful lface makeup applications.

    • If there’s something that you’re interested in trying and want to try it at home to get an idea of how it works with your routine you just ask the salesperson if they can make you a sample of that product. I’ve done this to try different products with my routine at home. The sales person has always been really nice about making the sample. You should ask the sales person on the floor and also you don’t have to buy anything to do this.

    • I was in store the other day and in anticipation of my August play box I asked if I could have samples of the cleanser, serum, toner and night cream from Lancome, in addition the salesperson also gave me a perfume sample. That’s a total of five samples more than what you get if you order from their website. You only get three samples online.

      • Really? Everytime I ask for samples they always tell me they dont have any :/ I usually buy over $100 in items…Some people have all the luck

    • Thanks everyone! I’ll have to try this the next time I’m in a shop.

    • I was in Sephora last night. I’ve wanted to try a new foundation. (something we don’t really get in sub boxes lol) I tried some of the testers, on my inner wrist, found 2 I wanted to get samples of – with which color – and asked the salesgirl on the floor for those samples. She was really nice about it and put them into small containers, put those into 2 baggies and labeled them for me. I didn’t buy anything either.

  16. I got my box today and was a little disappointed. It is all stuff I think I’ll use, so that’s good. But the sizes are all so small – who knew you could even make a 2-inch eyeliner? I know this is only $10/mo, but I often feel like I’m not getting much more than sample sizes I’d be able to get for free by asking in-store.

    • Sarah, if it helps, you definitely are getting more than you’d get in a store. Especially because you can’t really sample mascara or pencil liners. Generally the samples in the box are the same kinds/samples you could get for redeeming 100 pts each at Sephora. Infact, the MUF eyeshadow is in an MUF 500 PT reward right now. Because the box samples are packaged and deluxe size I definitely think they’re much better than ones you’d get in store. As a Sephora consultant you’re supposed to only pump or scoop enough into the little tub for 1-2 uses.

      Hope that helps! Thanks for reading!

    • I’ll also add that some of the products in the boxes are items you’d have to spend at least $25 to receive them as a GWP.

      For example, a couple of months ago the FAB Clay Cleanser was a GWP with a $25 purchase. I really wanted to try that cleanser, so I consulted this list of products I keep that I’d like to eventually try, and spent $25 to essentially get that cleanser sample (I’m a sucker for Sephora GWP items that appeal to me, even if it doesn’t make economical sense to get them). But, in last month’s box I ended up receiving that exact same cleanser sample!

      Seeing this, and what Hayley mentioned above, has made me grow hesitant on taking advantage of any GWP offers & 100 point perks because I figure I can wait until I eventually (and hopefully) receive them in my Sephora box. Since I really don’t need them, and just want them, I can be patient. 🙂

  17. So excited, I was able to subscribe to play today. Although now that makes 5 beauty subs. I started with birchbox a couple years ago but since I found MSA 2 months ago I’ve added 4 more subs. Yikes, I’m officially addicted! Since I’m new to this, what are your favorites? What might I be missing? I have BB, Glossy, Beautyfix, Love Goodly, and play.

    • Boxycharm is my favorite. Its $21 a month but everything is full sized and box values are always over $100.

    • Some other popular beauty boxes out there are Allure, Ipsy, & Boxycharm. Target Beauty Box is also super popular, so make sure to sign up on MSA to receive notifications for when the Target Beauty Box goes on sale (typically the 1st Monday of each month). This is a non-sub one-time purchase box that comes out every month. Walmart also has a box for $5/quarter, and I know some people enjoy it. There’s also New Beauty Test Tube, which I personally enjoy, but I know others have felt pretty meh about.

      Others that are gaining ground are Beauty Box 5, Essence, and Lookfantastic (my personal fave).

      Some more customizable ones are Beauty DNA, Wantable Makeup, and Julep (which is 100% customizable!).

      Also, if you’d like to try natural/cruelty free/vegan some of the more popular ones that provide a variety of products are Vegan Cuts, Goodbeing, Glowing Beets, Petit Vour, Yuzen, Terra Bella, and Benevolent Beauty. There are others that are at a higher price point, but they focus more on quality vs. quantity and they are: Beauty Heroes, Pearlesque, Boxwalla Beauty Box, Esthoria, & Art of Organics Clean Beauty Box.

      There are many K-beauty boxes out there. They mostly focus on skincare, but they do throw in at least one makeup product everything month (and you’re guaranteed to get at least one sheet mask in most boxes!). Some of the more popular ones are: 3B, Beauteque, Mishibox, Miss Tutii, & Pink Seoul (my fave).

      Finally, there are also boxes catering to WOC, and some of the more popular ones are: Essence, Cocotique, & Onyx Box (my fave).

      There are also many boxes catering to hair & fragrance, but I’ll skip those since you asked for only beauty boxes. 🙂 But, if you’re interested, just puruse MSA’s site… what I like to call, the Google of Subscription Boxes! 🙂

      I was just like you, and IMMEDIATELY got hooked when I discovered beauty boxes! I’ve been subscribed to each of the boxes listed above this year (and, that’s not an all inclusive list either!), and have enjoyed every one of them for different reasons. Even if they send the same types of products (i.e. K-beauty, natural/vegan, etc.) they’re still different in their own ways which makes it fun & exciting.

      Have fun falling down this rabbit hole with the rest of us! You’re in great company! 🙂

      • Thanks so much for all the great info. I’m really enjoying all 5 of my beauty boxes. Yuzen and New Beauty Tube are on my wish list. I’m looking for the right box to gift to my 16 year old twin nieces. Reading all the comments on MSA really helps to make informed decisions. I’m thinking either Sephora Play or Ipsy for a teenager??

    • Oh! I just saw a review for Lip Monthly, and forgot to include that in my comment above. I should have added them into the ‘they’re gaining more ground’ category. 🙂

      • I enjoy lip monthly even when the colors aren’t right because I just blend them with other items they’ve sent and I’m good to go.

        • I’m the same way! 🙂 Some of the colors are either too bold or too light for me, but I purchased that Lipstick Queen Black Lace Rabbit Lipstick which, despite its black coloring, is a VERY sheer lipstick that is supposed to slightly deepen light colored lip products. I also received a white ‘lipstick’ in another beauty box (I’m pretty sure it was Benevolent Beauty) that goes on sheer, and lightens dark/bold lip products. Plus, taking that extra few seconds to mix a color that doesn’t work for me with a little bit of gloss works wonders too!

          • Don’t forget about mixing with liners by lining your entire mouth and filling it in then placing gloss or lip color on top. That is a great way to change up the colors as well and September has a liner in the spoiler.

  18. HEADS UP!!! I went to the Play website just now to use my work email (as mentioned in a previous comment) and it looks like the list is OPEN right now!! I signed up, and got the confirmation that I am in!! hurry!!

    • Omg it worked! So excited!!! I’m going to cancel allure now. Their last box was a major bummer.

  19. Mine was different a bit. Recieved the algenist eye renewal balm not the caudalie and the plum eye pencil. The mascara is one of my faves we got that for buying makeup at Macy’s so I was so happy to get another one. It does not bother my eyes. TIP: it goes on way better and builds when you use primer first. Don’t do to many builds though with same brush because you can end up clumping your lashes instead use the tip in the pamphlet with a cleaned brush to separate lashes, I learned the hard way. I find the Sephora tips to be VERY useful as many I learned on my own. I did cancel this sub after 2months because so far I was recieving items I already owned.

    • Forgot to add, according to the price of the Algenist 15mL is 68.00 and this size is 7mL so it’s value should be $31.78

    • @C – Can I ask what your skin type is and any skin concerns you have? Just wondering b/c I was hoping I would receive the Algenist eye product, but it looks as though I will receive the Caudalie eye balm instead. I haven’t received my box yet (even though it supposedly shipped on the 15th), but when I check my Sephora acct, under Beauty Bag it shows which products I’ll be receiving in my box. It also shows I’ll be getting the Taupe eye pencil, which it’s okay with me. I know Caudalie is a nice Brand, but their products always irritate my super sensitive skin. I’ve used the Algenist eye product before, and loved it, so I was hoping to receive it in this month’s box. I know it’s been said Sephora bases the contents of the boxes according to how your Beauty Insider Profile is set up, so I was just curious what skin type/concerns your profile states. Thanks in advance !

      • Hi! I have my profile set to Dry/Combination and I’m getting the Algenist variation bag.

        • @Leah – Thanks for the reply! My profile is set for dry skin type, too, but I was thinking the Skincare Concerns category may have determined which boxes would get Algenist or Caudalie. Love Algenist eye balm, but I can give the Caudalie to a friend. 🙂

          • @B – According to another poster in the spoilers thread, you can determine which ‘version’ you are getting this month by your order number in your Play! account.

            The order number that ends in ‘2419’ is getting the version that Haley received. If your order number is different, I think you will receive the plum liner, Warm Cotton and Algenist.

            Hope that helps!

      • I have the dry/combination on profile and am getting the Caudelie variation.

        • I’ll be getting the Algenist instead ofthe Caudalie.
          My BI profile states I have Combination Skin w/ Concerns: Sensitivity, Redness, Blackheads, Aging, Pores, Sun Dammage.

          I think the eye balm you get is random.If you look at the Caudalie description:

          Algenist description:

          I don’t see how certain skin types would be choesn for one vs the other. If anything the only destinctive thing is id you chose Sensitive skin or not.

          • @Rceli – Sensitive skin IS a skin type/skin concern, which is why I asked @C in my original post what her skin type and skin concerns were, and what her Beauty Insider states. I am very familiar with both Caudalie and Algenist, which is why I was hoping to receive Algenist eye balm (I love it). Caudalie doesn’t work with my super sensitive skin type, but that’s the eye product I will be receiving in my Aug box.

          • @B
            I understand what you’re saying in terms of each and every one of us having different skin issues. All I was trying to state was if you read the descriptions on each eye balm as listed on Sephra’s website, to which I provided links, that’s all the info Sephora Play has to determine which eye balm each of us should get. Thry both make th same claims in terms of benefits of use. If you read the text on both eye balms they both say they are good for sensitive skin. In the Caudelie its not a bullet point but under What Else you Need to Know: “This fragrance-free product is opthamologist approved for use around the entire eye area, and suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers.”

            With that said, I don’t see how Sephora Play would be able to distinguish that your particular skin needs would be better suited for the Algenist.

            I’m sorry if you are dissapointed. You can try giving the 800 a call and asking them to send you the Algenist since you have bad experince with the Caudalie. Or if you’re really needing the Algenist eye balm I’ll swap mine for yours.

          • I agree, because I have oily skin, and I’m getting the Algenist too! It must be based on a certain skin concern? But, I won’t be any help there, because I think I checked virtually all options to make sure I don’t miss out on anything! 😀

        • Thanks, @Lola for the reply! Guess the Skincare Concerns category may have determined which eye product some received. Originally I had “sensitivity” checked off on my Beauty Insider profile, but I de-selected it last month, after reading some of the August boxes would include Caudalie eye balm, and some would include Algenist eye balm. I had thought sensitive skin types would possibly receive Caudalie. Maybe I was just too late when I de-selected “sensitivity” from the Skincare Concerns category or maybe it had nothing to do with it at all! No prob – still happy to receive some of the other items!

          • Also, thanks @Luna for your reply. (I thought my reply to @Lola would show beneath her comment). I do think it had to do with which skin concerns are checked off in Profiles. Oh, well. No Algenist for me, but still have other goodies to try in the August box. 🙂

      • @B skin- dry. I also have Dark Circles, Dullness, Puffiness, Sensitivity, Sun Damage because as I’m aging those things are important. Skin tone is light. It seems with some of my other subs I usually end up with the better or more pricey eye products too. I know the higher the tag doesn’t mean better, but I do love being able to try them before breaking the bank.

      • @B I forgot to add when I talked to them on the phone, they did say when there are variations it will depend on your profile which variation you would be placed in but it’s not always a perfect match. The purpose is to sell product online and in store so if they just randomly throw variation at you it does no good. If a products formula is not much different than another than it can be random though. Hope that helps.

    • Hi other C, I also got the same box this month. Didn’t realize how pricey the cream was.

      • I know I was shocked, and I’m excited to try it.

  20. I got the same box as you minus the mascara which was not included. So irritating to be missing a sample. While it is only 10 bucks I still expect my box to be complete. I really wanted to try it. Defeats the whole purpose of a sub.

    • @Laura – Contact Sephora about the missing mascara. Under the FAQs for the Play subscription, there’s a question asking what to do if you receive a box with missing samples, and the answer states: “Please let us know! Give us a call at 1-844-PLAY-HLP so we can correct the problem.”

  21. Haley, I always have to give you props. You teach me so much with your background knowledge and I learn reading your application methods and then viewing the result. The wrist swatches are ok for color alone but seeing how you apply, blend and shade as well as the final photo of the makeup is invaluable to me. Thank you!

  22. I finally received my box today. I usually get it much earlier. I haven’t received my Ipsy or lipmonthly yet either which is strange because they always get here on the 12th. This months play was great. I can use everything. The mascara is now my new favorite and i will be purchasing a full size. I love the perfume. It smells really good on so it must mix well with my body chemistry. Sephora is definitely my favorite Sub box. I think i will be adding another profile so I can get both versions of the box.

  23. Make Up For Ever is always a treat to receive in my box so I was over the moon excited for the artist shadow! I already love UD so I’m excited about the mascara. I love the Caudalie eye lifting balm, I had never tried that before and I have to agree with Haley, it’s amazing! For those complaining about the size of the Sephora eyeliner, just toss it in your purse! I have several of the MUFE mini eyeliners and they are the same size, I just put them in my purse in case I’m in a rush.

  24. I have a love-hate relationship with mascara, but love eye makeup (in general), so I’m super excited about this box. The Perversion Mascara is one I’ve not tried yet, but it looks GREAT on you, so now I need to try it. I’ve actually considered switching to wearing lashes and clear mascara I have such ‘issues’ with mascara in general, but your review and that UD Perversion has given me new hope!

    Unfortunately, my box has been hanging out in New Jersey since the 11th and still hasn’t shipped, so I guess I’ll be waiting a bit longer for it to escape and make its way out to California. I’m sure I’ll survive the wait better than that eyeliner will survive our triple digit temperatures right now, so I certainly can’t complain.

    • My box has also been sitting in NJ since the 12th!! Hope it starts moving soon!

  25. I am still on the darn waitlist!! I may, or may not have just ordered the whole Play box on eBay LOL! I just had to have this box!! Anyone else crazy like me?!

    • Katie, I was also on the wait list for a fee months and heard nothing, but responded to the link from this blog last night and got in! Probably won’t get my fist box until September, but that’s fine. I never heard anything from the waiting list..

      • Me too!

      • After I saw on here that the wait list was open for new subscribers, I looked in my email and it turned out they’d sent me an email to take me off the wait list on July 21! Probably better for my wallet that I didn’t see it then, though, since that would’ve given me four subscription boxes/bags if I’d added it to my existing set. I decided to drop one of them for September so with Sephora added, I’ll still only have three and Sephora is a few dollars cheaper than the one I dropped, which will help. 🙂

    • I am. I’ve actually bought a repeat box on ebay if I have particularly liked a box, but only if it is reasonably priced. I don’t know how some of those sellers are getting buyers paying $20, $25 and sometimes more on a $10 or $15 box. And sometimes their samples are just foil packets. I’m truly amazed that they command those prices.

  26. While some subscription boxes are intended to get you great deals (PopSugar, for example), boxes such as PLAY! are curated by the retailer to introduce audiences to new products in hopes of getting return sales. With this in mind, I’ve been very happy with my boxes thus far. This box gives me the opportunity to try out new things from high quality brands. While I don’t always love everything in each box, I do feel that I’ve discovered something each time that makes the money spent worth while. This box isn’t for everyone, but it is one of my favorites.

    • This is my favorite “cheap” box due to the quality of the products. Even if I don’t use a product from the box it is still worth my money to try something new or have an extra of a favorite. And the fragrance is always a bonus along with the extra 50 Beauty Insider points when you make a store purchase.

  27. I’ve been trying for MONTHS. Thank you for the heads-up!

  28. I personally thought the Clean fragrance smelled like men’s Barbasol shave cream. Definitely not for me!

  29. If you just subscribed to Sephora play does anyone know if you will get the August box or September will be the first box?

    • You will get September, they bill you on the 1st and then ship out around the 9th.

      • Thanks for the info. I was wondering the same thing.

  30. I understand these boxes are hit-or-miss and not everyone will agree or be happy about the same items, but I’m in the disappointed boat here.

    I think the thing that irked me the most was the mini eye pencil. I guess I figured for it being a Sephora brand, a full-sized pencil wouldn’t be asking for too much. Practically speaking, a mini eyeliner isn’t very useful because of how short it is (making application difficult).

  31. Received the same exact box, was very happy with everything. Thank you Haley for your amazing review filled with such great tips! You look beautiful, as always. For a $10 box the value is amazing…your reviews are an added bonus to the info we get with the box itself, so helpful to have someone review the box that used to work at Sephora. Thanks for posting pics of yourself wearing the products, I’m not sure if I could do that {and I’m pretty brave}!

    • And the Amy’s are in agreement! Your reviews add a TON of value to the box! Thank you! And thank you for posting pics too!

  32. Thanks for review Haley, I’m pleased with this box. All these negative reviews bum me out. This box is meant for people to get exposed to new products and at $10.00 dollars you get 5-6 samples a month. The UD mascara is up to $10.00 in stores, sounds like a deal to me. The may not hit mark every month for every person, but for $10.00 really what do people expect. If your disappointed cancel and let the people who have waited forever a shot to get off waiting list. Just my opinion, not to offend. ?

    • I like every box, new things to explore without breaking the bank. Overall happy with this subscription.

    • I love love Sephora. Brands I’ve never used to try for 10 people complain they can go to Sephora n ask for samples but gas is expensive lol and I’m such an introvert lol

    • Plus, not all of us HAVE a Sephora store easily accessible to us, so the “I can just go ask for these samples in store!” doesn’t apply to me at all. Closest Sephora is an hour and a half away.

      I’d love to see them remodel our JC Penney’s here and put a Sephora in it. I think that’d help their business, cause our JCP isn’t as good as I remember it being.

  33. If I had of received items like this before, I wouldn’t have cancled.

    • Me too. The 3 boxes bodies this were meh!

      • *before!

  34. What lip color are you wearing, if I might inquire? It’s gorgeous! Still waiting for my box to arrive!

    • I would love to know as well. You often wear shades that I can wear…and I’m pretty limited in what looks good with my skin tone.

    • Kristi and Victoria, I’m wearing the Turn On Revolution Lipstick by Urban Decay. They recently did away with the revolution lipstick line for their new Vice lipsticks, bit there are hundreds of colots and I think many of them carried over to the new formulas. 🙂 I’ll try to make sure to note what all other products I’m wearing are in beauty box reviews. 🙂

      • Thanks Haley! I am always on the lookout for wearable shades since I’m pretty picky about what colors look right on me. It seems like we can wear the same palette of colors many times, so that would be very helpful 🙂

        Have you ever made an eye makeup tutorial? I basically just throw my eye color on and call it good, but yours always looks professionally done.

  35. I just subscribed, I am officially becoming addicted to subscription boxes. Help!!!

  36. I LOVED this month’s box. Everything is super useful and fun to try. Dare I say this eyeliner beats UBs 24/7?

  37. Oooh, I’m new to make-up, but I am absolutely adoring the eye make up this month- the UD mascara, the Sephora eyeliner, and that gorgeous MUF eyeshadow! Plus the skincare! A total win for me this month ?

  38. I really like your reviews, because you add your experience, Haley!

    That being said, I have to repeat what I wrote on the spoiler thread – so very disappointed in how TINY these samples are. Hardly anything there, there.

    And I’m not sure about the value…yes, on Sephora’s own site, the Caudalie is expensive, but on Amazon it’s much less, making the value in our bags $7.04, not $19. And like you, my tube of Lancome is only half full, too. Amazon stopped carrying the UD Perversion. ..

    Still worth more than the $10! It just doesn’t feel that great. This might be a better deal for people who live outside cities and Sephora stores.

    • Is the cheaper version on Amazon the real deal? Last 2 times I bought beauty products off of Amazon, they turned out to be fake or expired 🙁

      • Can’t trust any products on Amazon anymore. I wish they would do something about all the ripoffs. I stopped buying from Amazon cause it was too much of a hassle figuring out which shop had the real item.

      • Gosh, I don’t know.
        Is the Sephora version the real deal? 🙂

        • Donna, Amazon generally doesn’t support the selling of UD products, and many many products on Amazon are counterfeit which are untested, unregulated, and dangerous. I have bought some items from amazon in the past but by and large I am personally not comfortable with it and choose to buy from trusted sellers. I recently bought a Paul Mitchell product from Amazon that ended up being counterfeit, too. To me, knowing I can trust the retailer and hold them accountable is worth it. 🙂

          Another thing to note is that this box is meant for discovering products and brands Sephora sells, at Sephora, for the prices they are told from the manufacturers/brands. Yes, you can often find sub box items cheaper from different places on the net, but for the values for the article, I simply use the prices related to receiving the products directly from Sephora.

          I hope that helps! Counterfeit cosmetics and skincare can definitely be unsafe, so if you buy from Amazon just be careful, discerning, and buy at your own risk. 😀 thanks for reading!

          • There was a girl on here (msa) a while back, in the comments said that she sells her items from subscription on Amazon & ebay. AFTER SHE USES THE PRODUCT, she puts cheaper products in the bottles. I can’t believe she actually wrote that! But it’s pretty scary that people do that!

          • Haley,
            I’ve been selling books & things on Amazon for 15 years, so I’m pretty well versed on the backend. If Amazon gets even a whiff of a counterfeit anything, they ban that seller for life!! They will shut down anyone for anything – I see it every day.

            I do buy on Amazon, thanks, have never had a problem. Most fakes are big brands, not little ones like this. It’s very expensive to make your own products, so they wouldn’t bother.

        • “Little brands like this”? Urban Decay is one of the biggest names in cosmetics and easily one of the most counterfeited. Amazon doesn’t allow UD to be sold because of all the fakes of it….

        • Donna, that’s awesome you haven’t had any issues! I’ve heard some horror stories! I just know that Urban Decay is very commonly counterfeited and hope none of our readers experience any issues due to sketchy online cosmetics sales! Not everyone is as savvy about navigating or discerning online purchases. It can be tricky for some, you know? 🙂

          • Hayley, you get a cookie for being so polite and gracious.

    • My first thought was how tiny everything was. A little disappointing on that end. The pencil especially! I feel like one time sharpening it will use it up.

      I’m glad I read the review though, because now I feel like even though the eye makeup is small, they are worth trying out and seeing if I want more. A lot of times, I will get a beauty box where I won’t use 1-2 of the items at all, and I will use everything in this one (except the perfume). I may only get one use out of it, but it nothing is headed to the swap pile for a change.

    • And Donna, I agree that this box is fantastic for people who don’t live close to a Sephora store! especially because Sephora is all about being able to try the products in store for free before purchasing and free samples and such. The closest store to me is 30 minutes away inside JCPenney so they don’t carry all the brands and products, and as a mom with a toddler I don’t want to bring my child with me and hope they behave while I peruse and try all the products. I love that I can spend $10 and try some deluxe sizes (often what they’d have as 100 PT rewards) without having to order online and hope for the best! Especially when it comes to brands like Lancome and Caudalie that are expensive and not sold at Sephora Inside JCP and such.

      • I have to wholeheartedly agree with this! The nearest Sephora to me is 2 hours away- yes 2! I would spend more than 10$ in gas just to visit the store. Plus, it’s a Sephora at JCPennys as well, so not a full store. There is no way I could visit there once a month. Once or twice a year is more likely. I am thrilled with this box overall because I can try things and if I like it, I can order on their website with full confidence I like the product. I also ordered knowing full well I wouldn’t get to use the points so I’m ok with that. I love this box!

      • Thanks! I have several Sephora stores a short drive away, and they’re all separate stores, and very big, so I’m fortunate.

        Haley, were any of these samples what you would call deluxe size?

        • Donna, you are so blessed to have access to so much then! I guess that’s the trade off I have for the country life, nothing is near me. But darn it, this girl still loves her make up and skin care even if I’m only looking pretty for the trees!

  39. This is the first Sephora Play box where I know I’ll be trying everything immediately. Can’t wait to receive it.

  40. Does anyone know if the eye liner pencil is a twist up or does it need to be sharpened? and/ or is it just meant for a few uses? TIA for any response. I need a decent brown liner badly. Love Sephora’s eyeliner.

    • Sharpens and it’s about 2 inches.

    • It needs to be sharpened. Not so sure yet about if it’s just meant for a few uses or not, I hope not though. Mine was very sharp when I received it and went on easily without noticbly shortening the sharp part so hopefully it’ll last

  41. I just subscribed! Thank you for your thorough review 🙂

  42. I was finally able to sign up for a Sephora Play! subscription using my VIB Rouge account! I like how I was able to subscribe by “purchasing” the subscription rather than having to put in my email address. For some reason, a couple of months ago I was able to subscribe with a rarely used email address (and, it also too my work address), but never my regular email address my Rouge account is associated with, so needless to say I’m very happy tonight! 🙂 Now, the conundrum…. do I cancel my other sub or alter my profile so I can start receiving both variations? I think definitely the latter, but I couldn’t see where I could update my Play! profile.

    Does anyone happen to know where I can update my Play! profile? Thanks!

    Btw, I should be getting the Algenist variation of the box this month, and I can’t wait!

    • Never mind! I figured out how to update my profile. 🙂

    • Are there really 2 different play boxes? How do i go about getting both?

      • In July, Sephora began to do variations in their boxes (so far it looks like it’s been based on skin type… i.e. oily/combo vs dry/normal). I have oily skin, but I still enjoy using products catered to normal/dry skin in the evenings for that extra hydration. Also, since they started to do variations, I’ve really liked all items included in both boxes.

        I’m sure they may do variations in terms of skin tone & hair type in the near future. But, since I’m a huge skin care junkie, and love to try new products, I thought I’d cover my basis by creating two profiles (one with oily skin & one with dry skin) so I could get all of the skin care products.

        I’m also a big hair product junkie, but I’m keeping my profile the same for hair type since samples are never enough for my hair, and this way with the two (same) samples I’ll be receiving, I’ll be able to better test out whatever products they send. 🙂

      • Oh, I forgot to answer your 2nd question…. you can get both by creating two different Sephora accounts using two different email addresses.

        • Thanks Luna. I will definately be creating another profile.

    • Just food for thought, Luna….when I finally escaped Waitlist Hell, it was with a rarely used email address.

      I chatted a rep to ask for a merge of the Play! to my regular Sephora account and was promptly and curtly told ‘no’.

      So, while I still had her in chat, I called in and a phone rep was more than happy to switch the sub to my regular account.

      Hope that helps.

      • Hi KC,
        I also called CS last month (my 1st box), and they were able to ‘merge’ my accounts, which really only resulted in emails relating to Play going to my regular email account associated with my Rouge Sephora account. However, I was told that I had to retain my non-Rouge/Play account because it was associated with an email address that Play was accepting, and the waitlist was “full” which is why I couldn’t transfer the Play subscription to my Rouge account (which used an email address the waitlist wasn’t accepting). Despite me telling him that I know the waitlist isn’t full because it was accepting my work email as we were speaking, he still said I couldn’t transfer my subscription to my Rouge account because of the different email addresses, and that the only way my Play account would show up in my Rouge account is if I signed up for the sub using the email associated with the Rouge account.

        When I noticed the 10 points were posted to my non-Rouge account last month I called CS back, and they transferred the points to my Rouge account and assured me they were linked and the 10 points would post to my Rouge account going forward. But, I noticed that the 10 points for the August box is in my non-Rouge account again. I’m just going to leave it for now, as I know this will continue every month, and I really don’t want to speak with their CS again (both times it was a little frustrating due to some communication barriers). Maybe I just got the wrong guy to help me (I happened to get him both times!)

        Thank you for your suggestion, as I know it’ll be helpful to others as well. 🙂

        • @Luna – LOL, I can identify with the CS communication barrier. That can be frustrating.

          I was lucky to get a nice guy who ‘got me’. He didn’t know how to correct it at first, as I had Flash on my primary so merging the ‘new’ Play! into that account presented challenges. But, he was diligent to get it corrected and oh-so-accommodating.

          I believe the ‘merge’ was really on a ‘forwarding of info’ for me, as well. I am only BI, so he did mention that I will have to call in when I hit VIB/Rouge to have them transfer any ‘qualifying’ details and upgrade me manually.

          If you ever have the time, try to call in again. Hopefully, you can get a ‘good’ rep and thus, alleviate a little monthly ‘sub stress’ for you. 🙂

  43. I’m so sad right now. My box has not moved since I got the tracking email on Monday. I called customer service and they said they have until the 20th to deliver and the tracking problem is such a problem with UPS that they are looking into it supposedly. If my box doesn’t show up by then, I’m supposed to call back and more than likely just get a refund, as they will probably not have a replacement box to send me. This is by far my favorite box to date and it’s looking like I won’t get it. Send me good vibes!

    • I’m on the same boat ?

    • Mine isnt moving either

      • Just FYI- my tracking hasn’t moved since August 12th. It says “ready for shipment” and I received my box yesterday.

        • ?

    • Totally understand! My box was the same until this morning. Now it says arriving August “24th”. It usually comes sooner that this says. I can’t wait to get my hands on this box.

    • I received an email stating my box had shipped on the 15th, and I usually receive my box just a few days after the ship date, but tracking hasn’t changed at all since the 15th. I called Sephora, and Rep wasn’t really able to help. I wonder why there seems to be a problem with some of us this month? I guess I’ve been spoiled with receiving my boxes so quickly in the past. 🙁

    • same here. “Ready for shipment” since the 16th…
      Never took so long for Play before.
      Hope it will come eventually!

  44. Thank you so much for such a thorough review! I’ve been on the edge of my seat for a review of this box since mine hasn’t come yet and I’ve been looking forward to seeing the eyeshadow swatched. I love it! Also the eye shadow looks gorgeous on you Haley!

  45. I really LOVE this subscription. I make use of everything in the box, month after month. I’m particularly excited to see the algenist eye product (it also works really well on deeper wrinkles like the “parenthesis” and the “elevens”)

  46. So glad to see a great Sephora play review. I got the same bag as you , and also love the entire bag.
    I’ve heard a ton of people really give the subscription very bad reviews, but I have had it now for about 6 months and have not been entirely disappointed by any bags so far. I do agree that it seemed like the more people that were added, the wow factor went down a bit, but I figured that was temporary. If this bag is any indication then it seems that was correct. It was just growing pains.
    Anyhow, i. Loving this bag, and this subscription.

  47. I love this month’s box! Such a cute bag design too 😉

    For perfumes that you don’t like on yourself you can use as air freshener in the bathroom by putting a few drops on the cardboard part of your toilet paper roll. I did this with the Tocca Florence because it is just too much for me to wear.

    • Oh wow, what a great tip about spraying fragrance on the tp roll!

    • I really like that idea! I remember years and years ago buying disposable tp roll holders filled with a scent. Something like that, but your idea is great. I have so many vials I need to give this a try and pass that tip on!

  48. Loved this months box and liked it was curated for my eye color (purple liner) and eye needs. Got the Algenist eye balm and its enough to last for sometime.

    • I got the same box too! This was by far my favorite box I’ve gotten. The eye cream is amazing and I can’t rave enough about the eye shadow. I wore my box today and even though it so humid in Michigan right now, everything stayed on my eyes from 7am until 10 pm and looked as if I just applied it, just wish my foundation did the same 🙂

      • I just bought Too Faced Born This Way foundation and it is like a true miracle! It is medium to full coverage and stays on all day. I’m really bad about touching my face but it survived! Totally worth the money.

        • I had the opposite experience with the Born This Way – it was sliding off my face after only 2-3 hours of wear. It truly is a gorgeous foundation, though, so I’m saving it for this winter and hoping the lower temps and my decreased oil production will make it a viable option.

      • Really like Laura Gellers Balance and Brighten for the summer. not too heavy and doesn’t sweat off.

  49. Everything looks fantastic on you. Thanks for the pointers of Sephora. Didn’t realize I could ask for samples.

  50. The color of the shadow and the liner that you got ar gorgeous! I hope I like what I get.

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