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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – February 2017

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

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


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


Every month they include all of the samples a little drawstring bag with a different design. This month is a soft, pink, satin bag!

FYI – The box variation I received this month is box ending in #575. To find out which box you’re receiving at the beginning of each month, follow these instructions:
If you log in through a browser, not the app, and go to my account > account details > online orders and open the play! Order Details, you can see the “item number” next to the image.”


The Subscription Box: Play! by Sephora

The Cost: $10

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

Ships to: U.S.

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

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


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

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


This month’s theme is “the Soft Side,” and making “a radiant understatement.” I really like that concept. I love seeing a simple, natural look that is fueled by well-taken care of skin and easy makeup!


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


NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound – 0.07 oz, Value $9.10

This is not a matte liquid lipstick that dries down to be non-transferrable. It wears more like a cream lipstick – it sets to be semi-matte, but it wears a little like a gloss in that it doesn’t dry completely. I like the formula and the applicator, and it’s very comfortable on my lips! This shade is also very pretty – I know a lot of people will be happy to see a more easy-to-wear, everyday shade in their box! This shade, Bound, is a rose pink.


Too Faced Lip Injections Glossy in Milkshake – 0.03 oz, Value $4.71

Admittedly, like Liz, I generally don’t notice any difference with plumping lip products. However, I noticed a little bit with this one – but uncomfortably. The info packet says to expect some tingling while it gets working, and I did, but it lasted quite some time and honestly my lips were left feeling slightly irritated. I suppose that may be the idea behind the plumping process, though? Put enough of something that stings to boost blood flow to your lips? I didn’t find this to be too bad, but I just don’t need the effect enough to bother with the discomfort. I did notice while looking over the reviews on Sephora, that there’s a big influx of new reviews from people trying this in their box that said they had a much worse reaction to this formula than I did – I recommend testing this on your hand or something first!

The look of the product itself, however, is glossy and pretty with some subtle glimmer that I love the look of. The shade is pretty pale even for me and washes me out a little. The formula is slightly sticky, too. I think that the right color of this gloss could be a good product for someone who feels they need the plumping effect.


Here are swatches of the Too Faced gloss (milkshake) and the NARS lip glide (bound).


Sephora Lashcraft Length + Volume Mascara – 0.094 oz, Value $3.42

This is a new mascara from Sephora Collection. It’s meant to lengthen and volumize with a flat, paddle-like brush. I actually really like this formula, especially for the price. The wand gives me nice control and the nylon-infused formula is clump-free and lengthens well. I didn’t notice a ton of volumizing myself, but overall I like the result. It’s designed to just wash off with water, too, and doesn’t require chemicals or makeup removers! I wore this today and I felt like it was smudging under my eyes just a little throughout the day, but it really wasn’t much. The size of the sample irked me, though – this isn’t even a normal travel-size mascara. I wouldn’t have minded so terribly, except the cap is basically just as long as my thumbnail and was very hard to hold and use.


Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream – 0.17 oz, Value $10.20

I love good eye creams! I haven’t tried this one from Origins before, though, so I was excited to try something new. This cream is great – it’s lightweight and absorbs well but it left my under-eyes feeling hydrated for a good while afterward. This is designed to reduce dark circles and depuff. I don’t have a problem with either of these on a regular basis so I can’t speak to how well that works specifically, but I can tell you my eyes felt so good after using this. New favorite!


Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer – 0.24 oz, Value $4.56

The Pep-Start line is the latest release from Clinique. So far I’ve only tried the eye cream, which I like, but I am so glad I also got to try this moisturizer! It’s fantastic for mornings because it dries matte and helps blur skin imperfections, which add up to also being a fantastic primer. It also felt nice and cool on my skin. I used this this morning and I thought it was great.


Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence – 0.04 fl oz, Value $2.28

This perfume is supposed to be “sensual, radiant, and express glamour and luxury,” with notes of champagne, orange blossom, bergamot, hydrangea, honeysuckle, saffron, vanilla, and amber. The fragrance is a confident, floral one and I think some people may find it a little mature. One thing I learned while working at Sephora is just how different every perfume smells on individuals just due to their body chemistries. My beauty educator, for example, said she couldn’t wear fragrances that had apple in them because her body chemistry turned it sour. Personally, I think fragrances with patchouli end up funky on me. All that to say, this may smell light and flirty and floral on some, but others’ body chemistry and taste preferences may think it smells a little old. What do you think about it?


Here I am wearing the Too Faced Lip Injection Gloss and the Sephora Mascara. The gloss is paler than any lip product I own, but I actually like it more in this picture than I did in the moment. This is the kind of nude that would work with a bold or statement eye – maybe in the summer with a bright eyeliner?


And here’s what the NARS Lip Glide looks like on. I love it! And I’m happy with the look and performance of the Sephora mascara as well.

Verdict: This wasn’t my favorite overall Play! by Sephora box, but I still enjoyed it because I got to try and discover some great new products (which is the whole point, right?!). I was also happy to see some more neutral/easy-to-wear lip colors because so many of our readers have commented that they want to get more of those (rather than yet another red or bright pink lippie). All in all, I really have fun getting to try new products and new releases through Sephora’s subscription. The value adds up to 34.27, which I’m happy with for $10.

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

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered Beauty Army and Birchbox in 2012 and instantly fell hard and fast for the world of subscription boxes. Over the years of writing for MSA she has found many subscriptions to fuel her addiction, but her favorites include fashion, geeky, beauty, and mom/baby boxes to share with her son.

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. The samples were way too small this month especially. They seem more comparable to the three free sample sizes Sephora gives everyone with any order placed on their website or the ones you can get by just going in and asking for them in the store. I think you can actually get larger samples through their rewards points system.

    I understand with respect to the non-Sephora samples and this being a $10 box, but if they are going to be including a Sephora collection brand item with every box, that one should be a full size item. I don’t want Sephora brand in my Play by Sephora quite frankly and if they must include one to promote their own brand in their own box and are actually going to be counting it as one of our items, then at least include the full size (e.g., a full liquid lipstick, a full size mascara, a full size individual highlighter pan) rather than sample sizes that are so small they are difficult to apply even.

    Everyone knows the margins in the cosmetics industry are like 80%+ and with Sephora’s house brand, the margins are likely even higher and thereby even cheaper for them to produce, so there is no reason why Sephora cannot be including a full size of their Sephora collection brand item in every box.

    They need to improve their box if they want to compete with other $10 boxes (Ipsy and Allure Beauty Box since they always seem to have discount codes going on to make their boxes effectively $10). Birchbox is like effectively $5 if you account that they give you points for writing reviews (something Sephora does not do) to redeem for items and give you discounts if you want to purchase the full-size version of the item.

    Sephora’s box has the potential to be the best $10 box, but as of right now, it still feels like the beta version of their box.

    • Birchbox stopped giving points for writing reviews. 🙁

      • #birchboxsucks! Gave them my $ for a few months, and didn’t get 1/2 my boxes. I understand I live on an island, but it’s not that far away 😂 Their samples are way too small! I’d rather pay $15 and get enough shampoo to use twice 😑 Canceled, hoping play doesn’t suck. #IPSY for the win hands down.

    • Love your comments and agree with them 100%. I subscribe to Sisley’s monthly box, and even though their samples are small , they’re about on par with this months Sephora. The Sisley Mascara was an actual travel size (not thumb size :(. ), and their value is on average over $100. The Sisley sample box isn’t for everyone but it emphasizes how little value coming in the Play boxes. You can – and need to do better, Sephora

    • A discount if you buy an item from the box is a very good idea.

      • 100% agreed, seems like that would be an automatic idea as a business? I personally have found a few amazing products from other countries and the shipping was almost as much as the product 😑 A little discount sure would help me punch in those credit card numbers faster. It’s just common sense and good business. #catchupmakeupboxes haha at least enough to order another box! Omg I feel addicted 😂

  2. My subscription started in January, so this is month 2. I have not been impressed with either month. Such tiny samples! My daughter gets Ipsy and her boxes seem to have better sizes, nice brushes and more interesting and fun items. We both tried the Too Faced lip gloss and didn’t like the color or the sting! It did look good on top the NARS but ouch! We had to wipe it off after 5 minutes and it is still stinging 40 minutes later. I like the NARS and the moisturizer-primer. The perfume smells “mature” on me and I would rather get something other than perfume anyway. I may give Play one more month and if it is another bust switch to different sub.

  3. Who knew samples could be made so tiny! I have box #591 and after reading all these reviews, I am not going to use the Too-Faced lip gloss. If anyone wants it, let me know. My lips are full enough anyway, and I don’t want to risk the burn. I wonder if I would be happier with Birchbox, for example, because there are some larger-sized products. Also, if I really like something in my Play box, Sephora’s prices are not cheap if I want to buy full size 🙂

    • I tried birchbox exactly once. The samples were small and one was actually a foil that counted as a sample.

      In a different post on this log, someone mentioned that the three free samples you get in the mail order from Sephora are bigger than in store or play box. I disagree unless it is a cologne sample I have only gotten foil samples and while this month’s play samples are small they are still bigger than a foil packet. Now sometimes the free gift for over $25 purchase samples is larger than some of the play samplea. That I will agree with.

    • I’d love to get the too faced lip gloss from you! I’ve been wanting to try the lip injection series for a long time but only recently started subbing to Sephora Play so I won’t get this months box.

    • Read a lot of birchbox reviews first, I HATED every item but 1, of 5 months (when they actually arrived), but perhaps because they were Barbie sized? I mean we want Barbie’s make up, but not the literal size! 😂 Honestly, size and weird face creams that were too small to figure out if they worked were my issue. They always give you mascara so, I guess if you need a lot it’s worth it! ☺️

  4. This was my first Play box that I just wasn’t all that thrilled about. There is usually at least two products in my box that I’ve had my eye on and couldn’t wait to try. I know not every month is a winner but I’ve been spoiled. I did love the Nars but I loved it prior to them sending it to me I just liked that I could try out a new color. As far as the too faced if you are not used to lip plumpers the result will overwelm you. The upside is that this formula is mild compared to others like DuWop Lip Venom which literally feels like your lips have been seared with acid but it works. With all plumpers that work is pain WILL BE involved. The sample sizes this month were laughable, my daughter even though some of them were toys for her doll. That was my biggest downer with this month is most of these samples are sizes you can get at Sephora for free just by asking and sometimes if they have to make the sample themselves you get more!

  5. I got box #591 and while I loved all of my products, the Too Faced gloss SUCKED. It’s a great gloss, but it hurt my lips so bad, like they were burning. I don’t see the point in having a lip plumper, because it’s something only some people are interested in having, so maybe if they had sampled a different product I’d be happier with my box, but something like that isn’t something that appeals to EVERYONE, like a lip balm, which is actually GOOD for your lips.

  6. Haley Faye I just wanted to say that both this lip colors look great on you. I liked the Nars one for more of a night look. But I just wanted you to know that you have such great skin and your eyes are gorgeous! I love reading your reviews because your so honest and you aren’t afraid to say that something doesn’t look good on you based on your skin tone or personal preferences and you always make that clear, which I love. Because not every product is going to please everyone and you have a way of reviewing things so that we’re aware it’s based on your personal preference and you also give good descriptions of the products formula and texture and your not just dissing the products because they don’t suit your preferences, I don’t know if I’m even explaining this right lol, I just like your reviews because your stay and to the point but your also quick to say that it’s only your opinion. It’s nice to read an honest review instead of ones where each product is the greatest and the best deal and that you seemed to get the exact products you wanted….. When I read reviews like that, I just don’t believe them because I find it impossible for every product to be perfect! So thank you for your honesty and for always posting pictures with the make-up on, so we can see for ourselves how it looks. I have however, quit subscribing to Sephora. The sizes are just way too small and I find I get a better deal with other subs in the same price range. But I still like reading your reviews on it because I’m able to see the samples and the end results.

  7. I’m pretty satisfied with this bag compared to January’s. I got this same variation and have to say the NARS really saves this bag for me. I already own NARS bound and love it so it’s nice to have a little travel size for my hand bag for totebag. The mascara is another story….LOL I am sort of ok with it because I don’t really care for mascara samples much anyways I just find it odd how they have given bigger mascara sample sizes of more expensive brands in the past like Benefit, Bobbi Brown, and Urban Decay but when it comes to their own brand they are tiny? Though there is a history of Sephora giving skimpy sample sizes of their own house brand with the tiny eye pencils and red lip stain in previous boxes. I will just continue using my Maybelline Lash Sensational rather than trying to mess around with this miniature mascara that looks like it was made for an American Girl doll. I already have that eye creme from an Origins set I got on sale awhile back and like it and don’t need much of it so I don’t really mind. The moisturizer is ok as well, I’m not that picky with moisturizers I just use whatever I get in the box and move onto the next though I am curious about the Clinique Pep Start line. They have had that Clinique 500 point bonus for ages now and maybe if it’s great i’ll get it. The Too Faced lip product was sort of a miss, I wonder why they wouldn’t just put a normal Too Faced gloss in their or possibly one of their new lip oils. If i’m in the mood for a good burn maybe i’ll put it on, otherwise it’s going to my sister who enjoys lip glosses that have that burning sensational feeling (ahemmmm looking at you soap & glory). As said, the perfume is a little too mature for me but that may just me because I love fruity stuff like Ariana Grandes perfume or the NEST fragrances and I always just put the samples in a bag to give away anyways or if I really love it in my purse. The bag was also very cute and reminded of Victoria’s Secret or something along those lines and will be sure to repurpose it. Compared to January’s bag this was a home run.

  8. I too was disappointed in the tiny sizes of the samples this month I was even laughing about it with my husband showing him the size of the box it came in and the tiny little amount of actual product that I got. The Too faced lip injection gloss was awful. It burned my lips so badly and the sting did not go away even after several minutes. I ended up wiping it off as I couldn’t stand it. Really surprised Too Faced is putting out such a product if it was the first Too Faced product I ever tried I wouldn’t buy anything else from them and I have a lot of Too Faced stuff!

  9. I was so sad that I’m not getting the Nars velvet lip glide in my box this month. However, I purchased the Sephora Favorites nude lips set at my Sephora inside JC Penney a couple weeks ago. I just opened it today, and to my surprise, it includes the NARS velvet lip glide in bound! Yay!

  10. I just tried the Too Faced, and it does burn, but it actually works. It’s not as bad as I’d feared, though I was careful to only apply a thin layer over lip balm, and didn’t apply any on the outer third of my top lip or on my bottom lip. So, I used a tiny amount!

    My upper lip does look noticeably fuller than in my older pictures. I think it could work for photos or just dressing up, but tbh I’m worried about using it on a date or with a partner, since that burn might freak them out when you kiss them!

    Overall, I agree with Haley – even if it’s not unbearably painful, the Too Faced is too uncomfortable for a minor effect.

  11. After this box I finally unsubscribed from the box. The too faced gloss felt like I put acid on my lips and the rest of the samples just seem too small for the price. I was always shocked at the size of their own Sephora Collection items. Why wouldn’t they put in bigger samples of those items? Eh whatever.

  12. I got box 583 with the Bite beauty multistick and I hated it. I only tried it on my lips though, it looked too dark for my cheeks. It was horrible as a lipstick or whatever it’s supposed to be. My lips looked terribly dry, it went into every line, crack, etc. It looked AWFUL. This month’s bag was disappointing to me. I didn’t try the Too Faced gloss either, it looked too pale too. I’m super pale and didn’t think either one looked like it would compliment my skin tone. I LOVED the Korres lipstick from Glossybox, the shade is so universally flattering. I’ve been trying to find other shades like it.

    • HI! I also got the box with the Bite multi stick and Too Faced gloss. Now separate, these two products didnt go well, but i tried dabbing the Bite multi stick on my lips then added the gloss on top and i loved the color it gave me. And putting the gloss on top helped with the stinging sensation.

  13. Yikes! I just subscribed last night after being on the waitlist. Now, after reading the reviews this month I fear I made a mistake. I loved the Allure box, but it went south fast. The Target box hasn’t been interesting either the past few months. About ready to abandon subscription boxes altogether. Sigh.

    • Just give it a few months. Make sure your profile is filled out too.
      I loved this month’s box, but everyone has their own opinion.
      I especially loved discovering I Could mix the hydroblur with my foundation!
      I will say though, if your looking for knock your socks offf value, get boxycharm too

    • This is the only box I haven’t been happy with in a year so don’t worry. It will be fine.

  14. I received box #583. The only difference was the Bite multistick instead of the NARS lip gloss and Tom Ford Neroli Portofino perfume ($225 for full size….yeah won’t be purchasing that in the future) instead of Marc Jacobs. I tried the Too Faced lip injection. The smell reminds me of tanning bed lotion when you first put it on your skin. It does feel a little tingly/burning but I’ve used it for three days and my lips are super soft which has always been a struggle for me. It does plump my upper lip making it seem more full. I love the Bite multistick. I used it as blush and it lasted all day!

    I agree that the samples seemed hilariously small! This is my first month receiving the box, so I will give it a couple of months before giving up. Hopefully they will listen to their subscribers and start putting actual samples in the box! I signed up for Sephora Play because they were supposed to give “deluxe” samples…..yeah right.

    • Same here it was my first box also, the size was a big disappointment for me considering I can get the same same when I purchase something Sephora online

  15. I can’t wait to get mine! I’m hoping to get it tomorrow. I hate holidays when the mail doesn’t run lol!

    On another note, do you think the Sephora Flash Shipping for $10 is worth it??

    • Yes!!!!! It’s been forever since I paid for shipping, but I’d imagine it’d pay for itself after only two orders below $50.

    • Definitely. It’s so nice to order just one thing if I want.

    • Absolutely!! You pay $10 a year and then never pay for shipping until the year is up. I believe its 2 day shipping as well. Definitely worth it.

    • Glad I purchased the flash shipping. Worth the $10. Two or three orders and that fee is covered and most the time it arrives in two or three days regardless of order size. Like Amazon prime it pays for itself in the end.

  16. I got 575 too. I love this bag! The only thing I’m hesitant about is the lip injection gloss. It was fine when I tested it on my hand, but I think I may still toss it. I don’t want to risk a reaction.

  17. They do a much better sampler bag free with purchase monthly than I’ve felt like I’ve gotten with this subscription. The perfume doesn’t count because it’s free with ANY purchase online in the same size. I agree with most people here I wish they’d give a free full size product from their line. It would be great for all of us that love sephora anyway to try one of their products we wouldn’t normally try. A mini sample of a $12 mascara is kinda ludicrous. I’d be happy if they threw in a face mask monthly. They give them free anyway most months with purchase and it would make a giant difference for me at least.

    • In store or online…I shop at Sephora all the time… I’m even a VIB and I’ve never got a free gift with purchase in store 🙁

      • I’m a VIB but I only get a free gift on line with $25 or more purchase. Sometimes a gift kit is available at $35 or more purchase. One of my favorite gifts was a two year subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine. Now they have Bazaar Magazine as a gwp.

  18. I have to agree with others that these were really small samples. I would be OK with that if these were really high-end, like the Nars, but really, I would not pay $2 for most of these and Sephora brand products should be nearly full-size, especially when they are included so often. I was really happy with Play through November of last year, but December and now February are kind Eh for me. I just got a nice set of sample Glamglow products fwp, and a great sample bag fwp that included a Buxom eyeshadow in the fall, so I’m starting to wonder if I should let this one go. Funny, I was going to cancel Allure and try Ipsy, but now that Allure is doing eyeshadow every couple months, I want to see a few more colors before I decide.

  19. Everything was so TINY this month

  20. I did not like the Too faced lip product at all. Loved the Nars lip glide. I prefer these tiny sample mascaras. Great for travel and with the expairation time for Mascara Iat a few months, don’t mind that they are small.
    I think at this point in time, I have had my fill of SephoraPlay and will cancel. Enjoyed it so far, but I am on sample overload. It was nice to receive this little treats each month, but I have enough products to last quite a while. I think I need to hold back a bit.
    Look forward to checking to seeing what you all may get next month. Enjoy!!

  21. Suggestion for Sephora: include one full size sample a month. Most of the current samples can just be gotten for free, so the real box value is relatively low. Even if you’re just throwing in your full sized mascara, it gives us something with significant value (still under $20) and makes sense for Sephora branded products. There’s nothing wrong with the Sephora brand, but it feels so silly and cheap to get Sephora samples that are the same size as the Nars samples!

    Also, is there any chance we could get a wider variety of samples? I’d love to see a nail polish, an eye shadow, a blush, etc. I feel like the boxes are too formulaic and could use some color!

    • I totally agree with you! Last year, I felt that Sephora was doing pretty good with providing something most months that had some color, whether it was a different eyeliner or lip item. The most “color” I was getting from Allure was neutral highlighters, nude or red lips and gold/bronze eye and contour products, most of which are not flattering on super-pale, pink toned skin! Now Play seems to be a bit stuck in their monthly “recipe” of a tiny eye or face cream, a primer, a mascara, etc.
      They sell SO many different brands but it seems to be rare to see most of them in these bags.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this! I’m also very pale and cool-toned, and I’m on the same page as you with the colors. I still try to pull off gold / bronze-y / rose gold eye makeup at times because I love the look, but warmer colors are terrible anywhere else on my face. Play sent out a bronzer last year (which never work because they are too golden and dark), and they actually gave me the darker version… I try not to complain too much because I imagine that darker- skinned women get super unflattering colors all the time.

        You’re right about the brands, too. I looked at some of their boxes from last year and there were some brands I’d never heard of in the variations I didn’t receive. This month, we have Clinique, Origins, Too Faced, Nars, Tarte, and Sephora – all brands you’ve probably seen or heard of if you’ve gone to Sephora. I mean I love Tarte, but I don’t want to get a sample from them every month.

    • Yeah, I’d be happy if they threw in anything other than perfume now and then. A full size even every other month or different things like facial wipes or brush cleaner. Change it up a bit. Overall, I’ve been happy with SephoraPlay. The value for $10 is always there but there’s always room for improvement.

  22. I loved the brands I was able to sample this month, but I was almost insulted by the size of the mascara. Really, Sephora? I almost cancelled on the spot when I pulled out that one product. I’m going to maybe give this box one more month…

    • Same here. That sample was embarrassing. I could get my favorite brand, benefit, in travel size for the same price, and it’s a larger amount. All the samples felt tiny this month.

      • I got a deluxe better than sex mascara and a mascara melt off for $10 in a gift pack. Bigger samples can be done, if only they would.

  23. I got the same box as you Liz. I really loved the NARS lip product. That what made the box for me great. I really liked everything even the satin bag.
    My question is to everyone
    What do you do with all the play bags ?
    The satin one we got can be used in your drawers with as a sachet with soaps & stuffed with that fragrance stuffing ( can’t remember what’s it is called )

    • I think you mean potpourri? 🙂

      I use my bags for everything (I love bags)! I put all my nail stuff in one as a makeshift manicure kit that I keep in my purse. I imagine it’s also a good size for tampons, portable first aid kits, and small things you want to keep handy in your purse if it doesn’t have decent-sized pockets. I also use them for storing odds and ends at home – I have one I use for assorted washi tape, and another for hair ties (which I otherwise just lose). When I travel, it’s a good way to store and sort things, like jewelry that isn’t too delicate.

      I think half of the appeal of Ipsy is all the bags haha.

      • Thanks for listing all this, Julia! This is my third month, and I’ve been wondering what to do with my bags if I don’t swap them away. My ipsy bags all have their jobs, my boxes from Allure (I LOVE the glossy red) and Target and Walmart and, um, yeah, the boxes from all the subscriptions that are more than I need… but I couldn’t figure out what the heck to do with bags!

        • I’m the same. 🙂 I have Birchbox, Allure, Target, Julep, and even a few Play boxes holding my makeup stash. They’re all labeled with a cute black “chalkboard” sticker and chalk markers so I know which one has my eye creams, face masks, mascaras, etc. Of course this is for products that aren’t in active rotation, lol. Those ones have their own displays on my vanity!

    • I use the bags to fill with product overload and donate to women’s shelter or homeless etc. sometimes I make up a box from my other subs and give it away on a “pay it forward” group I belong to on Facebook. It’s for locals in my city.

  24. I received box 591 and like it for the most part. The two skincare products were ok, but I doubt I would buy full-size versions of them. I’ve owned Prada Candy before and like it and will definitely use the sample, but I was hoping to try one of the other fragrances. I agree with everyone that the mascara sample was very small, but I will use it. Black mascara is an absolute necessity for me so I’m always happy to get more. I really liked both lip products. I know a lot of people get a bad reaction from the Too Faced Lip Injection, but it didn’t bother me. I liked the color too, very subtle. My favorite product this month was the Tarte lip balm. It is super moisturizing and I loved the nude color. I will definitely buy the full-size in this and maybe in multiple shades!

    • I received the same box and feel the same, the Tarte lip balm is so awesome! I am definitely glad to discover this and will buy the full size!

      • There’s a sephora favorites kit out right now that has a full size of the Tarte gloss and it’s a great deal! I think it’s called beauty after last call

    • I was bummed because I was really hoping for the Bite multi-stick. I already have the Tarte Lip Quench in the same color so that really stinks…

      • I’m getting the Bite and want the Tarte!

    • I cannot use Clinique and the Origins ginger smell is too much for me. The mascara made me laugh. I didn’t like the Prada candy scent. I don’t like things that smell like fruit or food with the exception of lime, lemon or orange. Coconut products are ok however. So this months bag, 591, was loser altogether for me but I have to say, this is the only one in a year that I haven’t liked. I hated my ISPY this month too. They say everything comes in 3’s so I’ll have to see what happens with my Allure box this month.

  25. Newsflash to everyone: the Too Faced Lip Injection contains capsicum, which is derived from a red chili pepper. It is similar to capsaicin, which also burns on application.

    • No wonder. I felt liked I had just rubbed a raw chilli pepper on my lip. All this time.

  26. The lip injector gave me a blister! I tried it once and it burned so bad that I wiped it off; the line of my lips turned bright red and about an hour later I had a blister (I never have blisters so it was either one heck of a coincidence or it was the lip injector).

    Overall, I liked the bag better than any of the items; everything was so small. I’ve been thinking that I need to let one or two of my subs go and I think this is the one.

  27. I swatched the Lip Injection on my hand and within a few minutes of wiping it off, that spot was itchy and really red. I won’t be trying it on my lips. I’m bummed, because it’s the largest sample in this month’s bag. I was REALLY hoping to get the Lip Glide, but I received the version with the Tarte balm. Which is very nice and hydrating but doesn’t add any color. LOVE the blush pink satin bag.

  28. I hate, hate, hate defining scents as “mature”, it’s a literally meaningless phrase, since the way scent is categorized is based solely on fashion, and it’s very ageist. 😒 The Marc Jacobs scent smelled exactly like ‘Poison’, and I wasn’t able to keep it on long enough to determine how this flanker differed from the original, it was that unpleasant to my nose.

    • I completely agree. If a fragrance smelled good when it was introduced, it smells good now. I don’t understand why younger people refer to some fragrances as “old lady” and I find it insulting. I love Joy, introduced in the 1920’s, and I adore most of Michael Kors fragrances. Maybe younger people identify fragrances that their grandmother wore as mature. My Grandma wore a Coty fragrance. I find the fragrance very comforting, but I don’t wear it. It’s not an old lady fragrance. It’s Grandma.

      • I feel the same way about Shalimar! Well, that and instead of smelling like a rose bouquet, it smells like anise on me😛

        • Shalimar being my grandmother’s scent!

          • Yes! My grandmother used Shalimar as well!

  29. This was my bag, too. I liked the Too Faced Lip Injection – the burn was a bit of a shocker, but it was the sensation of cinnamon oil and went away after 20 minutes. The gloss effect lasted a decent amount of time, probably because I didn’t want to lick my lips or transfer any plumping on my skin. 😉 Love the Nars in Bound and I tried it layered with the gloss and loved the effect. I can’t wait to try the origins and Clinique creams, and the mascara will wait a long time for me to even try because of its ridiculous size. I’ll mess with that when I’m low on mascara.

    • Me too! They look beautiful together. I happen to eat super spicy food a lot, so I don’t really feel a “burn” more like a tiny tingle. I love the Bound lipstick it is something I would never think to buy and now it moved itself into my lipstick rotation!

  30. I’m getting the same box. I was disappointed since I wanted to try Bite but the NARS color seems nice so I’ll give it a try. Based on everyone’s comments, the too faced gloss is going straight to the trash.

    I’ve noticed the samples in this subscription are getting smaller and smaller every time. To me, Sephora Play is not worth $10 when I can walk into their store and get samples for free. Like Haley, I’ve struggled applying samples Sephora has sent before and it’s not worth it. I end up frustrated and decide to try something else rather than buying more. I have a Sephora relatively close but even if I didn’t, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Bye, Sephora Play! “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” (I just saved $120 a year) 👍

    • I agree with you completely and unsubscribed after this month. I’d rather just use rewards points for tiny samples and save myself the money for beauty boxes I’m happier with (there are plenty of options out there).

  31. I really liked this month with the exception of the Too Faced. Omg….it my first time trying this stuff and it will be my last. My Lips stung so bad it actually scared me.

  32. I am ISO of the Empty bag from the February box. Would love to trade or purchase multiple bags. Yup, I am like the kid that prefers the box to the toy.

    • I can send you mine. I have no use for it. I am not sure how we’d contact each other, though!

      • Hi do you use Facebook? I am Tamara Storey or list the bag for a swap and I will find you

  33. I’m sad to say I dropped thos sub. It was better than Birchbox and Ipsy but not by enough for me to love it.
    I looked forward to getting off the wait list for so log but never loved a box

    • I cancelled it too. I was looking forward getting off the wait list for so long I missed out on the early awesome boxes when the subscription started. When I finally got in, I discovered great products and brands but now samples are too tiny to even worth $10.

  34. That Nars color made the whole box for me. I love the formula and the shade. I am nervous to try the too faced gloss….maybe I will be brave later today ☺ My biggest complaint about Sephora is the size of the box they send. It doesn’t fit inside my mail box. I have a gated yard so I either have to sit around listening for the mail carrier to meet them outside or I have to wait a day and pick it up at the post office. The samples and bag are always so tiny they could easily downsize the box they ship it in.😬

    • I’m guessing the bigger size is for sheet masks? I hate when you have to go get your packages though. 🙁

    • UPDATE: I tried the too faced gloss today. I did not have any problems with it. Maybe a slight burning, but nothing too bad. Thanks for feeling my pain Julia <3 thanks for pointing out about sheet masks. I guess my boxes seem to only ever have tiny samples. Maybe one day I will get a big item that is worthy of the huge shipping box! 🙂

      • Fun story: I was getting an urgent package in the mail that required a signature (which I didn’t realize). I wasn’t around when the delivery came, so I had to track down the package myself. Everything said that my package was at an ice cream shop! Apparently, there was a new service where certain retailers would hold your package so you could pick it up at another time. So I had to drive to an ice cream place to retrieve my very important package. It was surreal.

        I’ve been getting this box for 8 months now and I’ve yet to get anything large enough to fill the box. We can hope, though!

        • Did you buy any ice cream?

          • Of course!

  35. I had the worst reaction to the Too Faced lip injections. My lips were hurting so bad, even after I took it off 2 seconds after applying it, it lasted for almost an hour.

  36. I love love the Too Faced color but the stinging was awful! I wish I could find that color in a normal lipgloss. I canceled my sub to Play and Birchbox after receiving both boxes this month and not being interested at all

  37. I just signed up last nite. Have I been wait listed? They sent a email that is unclear. And they did not charge my card.

    • I signed up in the middle of January. My first bag is this month February.

      If you signed up you should see your subscription in the “My Account” section of the Sephora site in the “My Information” page. Scroll down.

      Your first bag will likely be March with payment coming out in the first few days of March.

    • I signed up first few days of this month an wasnt seeing a charge either, so i asked around. I found out that u dont get the month u signed up in, but the following month an we will be charged within the first few days of the next month.

  38. After reading all these comments, I’m afraid to try the Too Faced lip product. My lips size isn’t a huge concern for me, anyway, so I think I’ll try out the plumper in this month’s Allure box and skip this one…

    And what was with the tiny mascara? I get why an eye cream (a product you use slowly) from a brand like Origins would be a tiny sample. But Sephora can make decent sizes of their own samples! It’s almost impossible to judge a mascara when the wand (which is supposed to be a selling point) is too small to use effectively.

    The Nars color is so nice. I appreciate that Sephora does mix up the lip colors in Play quite a bit. Recently, we got the Clinique in Black Honey in Jan., the Sephora creme lip stain in Always Red in Dec., the Sephora lip gel in Pin Up Pink (bright pink) in Nov., the Smashbox matte liquid lipstick in Driver’s Seat (warm/orange pink) in Oct., and the Sephora rouge shine lipstick in #14 Love Spell (rose pink,) in September. Even though some of the shades didn’t flatter me as much, I’m glad that they had a larger variety instead of just red.

    • I did not have any problems with the lip injection. I love it.

      • I’m glad it works for you! It might be totally fine on my lips too, which is why I’m going to try a different, milder lip plumper first. If that one stings, I’ll know to definitely avoid the Too Faced.

        The only products I’ve actually discarded are foundation samples that don’t work for me at all. I’d prefer to use everything in the box. 🙂

        • I get both boxes as well and actually found the too faced plumper to be gentler on my lips than the grande one that came in the allure box. The allure one burned for quite a while

          • Oh no! I was really hoping the Grande one would be gentler! Thanks for the head’s up, that’s really good to know. I guess I will put on lip balm and try it at night, and hope I don’t have major problems.

    • Agree! The sample mascara is too tiny to use by most humans.

      • Maybe it’s for Barbies?

        • Nah, it’s too big for Barbie. Now an American Girl doll – that sounds right. 🙂

    • I know. I haven’t gotten my box yet. But my skin is so sensitive and pale, so it will probably wash me out anyhow. The nars bound looks beautiful and I think I will love that color. I will keep the mascara too and try it out. The nars and mascara look beautiful on Haley and I think we have a very similar skin tone. I’m a bit disappointed as I will probably only use 2 products this month. I’m considering canceling and trying out ipsy for a bit…

      • I’m really pale too, and also worry that the Too Faced color would make me look like a corpse. I haven’t tried it because of the formula, though. The Nars in Bound is nice fairly neutral color and has a light vanilla scent. 🙂 I also feel pretty uninterested in the skincare items – I just have soo many moisturizers and eye creams from subs and I’m much more excited about some of them. Black mascara is also something I’ll probably ignore unless it has great reviews, since I have so many!

        I just added Ipsy this month and think it’s pretty good so far. The sample sizes are excellent (I got a full-sized lipstick, highlighter, eye shadow, and 2 sheet masks), but you’ll be getting NYX instead of Nars. I like sampling pricier brands like Tarte, UD, and Smashbox. That’s the main reason I keep Sephora around.

  39. I just re-subscribed, and I liked the Nars. I already have the Clinique and Origins products. The Too Faced burned, not tingled. My lips were burning for a good half hour or more after I washed it off. Not only that, but it did nothing at all and made me look like a zombie with that color! Haven’t tried the mascara yet. Not sure if I will bother, due to size, and having so many already. I like other Marc Jacobs fragrances a lot. This one was very strong on me, and “mature” is also the vibe I get. Not sure I will ever be mature enough for this one.

    • I don’t think I’ll ever be mature enough either. Personally, I can’t figure out why you’d want to smell like alcohol, even if it is champagne (I’m definitely not a fragrance expert).

  40. Same box for me! I tried the lip injection and it was horrible! I have used plumping glosses before of different brands but I felt like my lips were on fire! It burned for hours after washing it off. Straight to trash! The color was awful with my pale skin, but I thought I would try the formula around the house that way if I liked it I could get a color that did look good on me! Loved the NARs though and the Origins! I have used so many products for under eye and never see a difference but did with the Origins!

    Besides the huge miss on the lip injection, I also wasn’t happy with either of the “freebies” this month — I didn’t like the perfume at all and while I thought the bag was beautiful upon sight anytime I pull an item out it is covered in fibers from the bag so I won’t be keeping that either. Not a big deal as neither are included in the value of the box and I don’t mind having to toss one of the valued items because at 10 bucks it’s just not a big deal. I was just surprised to have both a happy and unhappy experience at the same time this month….

  41. Just make sure you don’t apply too much of the Too Faced Lip Plumper and put it only on the thickest parts of your lips.

    Don’t go near the edges or in the corners- otherwise you may get irritated and red. The gloss will migrate on its own and it will reach those spots eventually, but with much less intensity.

    The tingling only lasts a couple minutes, but there’s a dramatic decrease in lines and absolutely my lips are fuller.

    I think it’s a great product, especially in the color they sent (Milkshake). I apply with a brush if I want to put it over a lipstick and it still works great on top.

    Definitely a keeper.

    Great box this month!

  42. I actually like the shade of the Too Faced but the stinging is not worth it. My lips are already pretty full.

    Love everything else in the box, though.

    • I also really like the Too Faced shade but after reading everyone’s comments about it and the reviews I’m terrified to try it.

      • Yikes me too!

      • I was nervous to try it too but did it anyway. IT BURNED SO BAD! The burning started after about a minute I think, then I left it on for about 5 more. Even after I washed it off my lips were burning for like 10 minutes. I didn’t even notice any plumping from it. 🙁

        This didn’t happen to me with the Grande Lips stuff or any of the Buxom products.

  43. I received the same variation. I hate the way the too faced lip gloss feels. I had to wash it off after only a few minutes. Nars Bound is great. I already had a sample in this size from a 100 point perk, but I guess I have a backup now! I was also slightly annoyed at the size of the mascara. It seems like the in-home Sephora brand sample is always tiny. Off the top of my head, we’ve had an itty bitty liner and lip stain recently.

  44. After reading all the reviews about the plumping lipgloss, I am going to stay away if I get it. I will be receiving #591.

    • I got 591and it’s in there. I used a tiny amount and it’s not bothering me, just a slight tingle and its a really pretty shimmery pink, not beige. You want to use far less than a typical lip gloss. There’s a Tarte balm that is amazing in the box, so moisturizing, pretty color and gorgeous packaging. I like it all excep the Prada Candy sample, too sweet.

      • Bag twins. Everyone was complaining about the tiny Tarte balm but I love it. It is my favorite thing this month from them. Pretty sure it was made just for me.

        Wonderful review Haley!

  45. I love the lip injection and the Mars. The clinique pep start was horrible. It pulled up on my face and left little pieces all over.

    • *Nars

  46. I’ve used the Ginzing eye cream for a long time. I really like the subtle light reflecting particles in it too.

  47. Word of caution: if you’ve never tried a plumping gloss, do it in a night where you don’t have to do anything the next day!!!

    It plumped my lips and I could feel blood pulsing BUT it was burning like acid on my lips and it left sores around my mouth that look like cold sores this morning… it plumps but at what cost?! Just be careful lovelies 😘

    • Same here!!! A red outline of my lips for about half hour!!! It looked like I had real injections 😂 Not ideal on your way to work. Glad it wasn’t just me 😳

  48. I’m not a fan of nude makeup for myself, but you look lovely in both those lip colors, Haley! I have box #831, so I got Prada Candy perfume, and Tarte lip balm in Nude. I can’t use scents of any sort as my husband is allergic, and I also can’t use plumping agents, so I’m very glad to be swapping, but I couldn’t resist the pretty Tarte packaging, and it turns out that I like the shine and bit of color of it. I do use a lot of balm and it never hurts to have more.

    About lip and other colors, I’m one of the people crying for pinks and other non-neutral colors, though I’m not big on reds or darks. Bring me the violet! The blue and the green!! I like Glamorous Chicks and Medusa’s Make-Up boxes, tho Medusa’s lippies tend to be low pigment, so they’re easy to wear for most people. I just got my first Notoriously Morbid yesterday, and I’m looking for more boxes with unusual / bold colors.

    Still, I like Sephora and Allure and ipsy, because it’s hard to go too wrong for ten bucks, really, and I feel very lucky that I can afford so many subscriptions.

  49. I tried the gloss as soon as I got my box and OMG my lips were in so much pain. I tried to just suck it up and wait for results but I couldn’t hold on for too long. It truly doesn’t feel like any other plumping gloss I have ever tried 🙁 didn’t like it. I love the rest of the box though!

  50. Yay first comment. Haley were box twins. <3

    • I thought it was kind of pathetic that the mascara was not full size since that would have helped with the value because it’s kinda low. Definitely swapping the lip injection and I don’t care for the smell, I might give the mascara a go because it’s barely worth anything. I am most excited for my new nars, origins, and clinique products. I guess 3 out of 5 or 6 isn’t bad. Not my favorite either…hopefully March will be better. 🙂

      BTW Haley the Nars Lip Glide in Bound looks beautiful on you, perfect shade on you for sure. <3

      • is there a way to swap out products we don’t like?

        • Aimee, there’s not a way (that I know of, anyway) to swap out products thru Sephora; when we talk about swapping we mean swapping with each other. Up at the top of nearly every MSA page, you’ll see the headers Subscription Box List, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Box Coupons, Discussion and then Swaps. You have to sign up to swap, and there’s usually a bit of a wait; I think I waited a couple weeks.

          There’s a whole fabulous infrastructure wherein you list what items you’d like to swap, and other people can browse your listings and you can look thru theirs, then you contact each other and hopefully work out a swap for items you feel are equal value. There’s a rating and feedback system in place to keep it as safe as possible (i.e. not getting ripped off), and it’s very very fun.

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