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Play! by Sephora #609 Subscription Box Review – April 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.

FYI – The box variation I received this month is box ending in #609. 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 “a Step in the Right Perfection,” and the info booklet is all about taking your products and routine to the next level, and offers lots of tips throughout your entire beauty routine!


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!


Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover – 0.84 fl oz, Value $3.73

This makeup remover is definitely effective! It removed my eye makeup well. Plus, it’s gentle so it’s good for contact wearers and those with sensitive skin. It also contains ingredients to condition and strengthen your lashes.


Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – 0.25 oz, Value $9

If you’ve been a part of the subscription box world for a little while, you’re probably familiar with this primer. Smashbox makes excellent primers (they even have a whole line for different skin types and needs), and this one is a classic oil-free option. Primers help smooth your complexion to help your foundation look better, helps you need to use less product when you apply foundation, plus primers create a barrier between your skin and your foundation to protect it.


Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask – 0.5 fl oz, Value $9.39

This mask smells amazing! It’s in a marmalade-esque texture and also contains a paste made from Mediterranean lemons that offer some gentle exfoliation, too. It’s very citrusy and refreshing and is designed to revitalize dull skin and add a vibrant, healthy glow.


Make Up Forever Aqua XL Waterproof Eye Pencil in m-10 – 0.5 g, Value $5.25

I know black eyeliners are generally received with a collective groan from most of our readers, but honestly, I’m really excited about anything from Make Up Forever! They’re a pricey brand that makes amazing products. Their name is Make Up Forever because every product they make is meant to have amazing staying power and incredible pigmentation. And, after playing with all of their products while working at Sephora, I have to agree that they totally do! This liner pencil is no exception – it applies very smoothly, is an intense, opaque black, and doesn’t budge at all.


After a couple seconds to let it set, I could rub my finger back and forth over this and it didn’t even blur.


Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel – 2 single-use packets, Value $11

The full size of this peel is $88 for 16 treatments, which makes these 2 single-use foil packets actually value $11 altogether. This peel is supposed to be a medical-strength dose of retinol that exfoliates, promotes collagen production, reduces the look of wrinkles, and promotes a firm, radiant complexion. Two uses aren’t enough to really see a huge difference but peels are one of my favorite things to do for my skin. I love to use a peel and then a replenishing or hydrating mask afterward.


Each foil packet contains a pre-soaked pad that you massage thoroughly onto your skin. It’s really convenient, and it makes it easy to carry the product onto your neck and décolleté as well – those areas are often forgotten about during the use of anti-aging products!



Pinrose Secret Genius Perfume – sample scented sheet

This perfume is described as “warm & sweet gourmand” which is basically right up my fragrance alley. I love those kinds of fragrances. This perfume’s key notes are caramel and vanilla (yum) but also has notes of white chocolate, sandalwood, and cedarwood. I know many people write off the “bonus” perfume sample in this subscription (I kind of do, too) but it’s always a pleasant surprise when it’s a perfume I actually really like!

Verdict: This was a pretty good Play! by Sephora box for me. I got to discover some new skincare products that I like, and I’m always happy with any Make Up Forever product. The value this month adds up to $38.37, which I’m definitely happy with for a $10 discovery box!

What do you think about the April 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. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Any May spoilers?

    • I have been wondering the same thing? We were charged for the May box, but I have seen nothing. Not even on the site itself. So weird!

      • I wonder what’s going on! So strange for the site not to have anything.

  2. I prefer trying samples of newly released products so I was initially disappointed because I already own half of the contents of the box. In fact I got the smashbox primer in my July 2016 box and now again for April 2017, but at least I know I have use for every item. So now I’m happy with it.

  3. I got box #591 and the perfume called “Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume” is the perfect name because there is no scent after it is sprayed! None! Other than that, the rest of the box is okay.

  4. This is the box I got. I also subscribe to Ipsy and Birchbox and Sephora Play was my favorite of the three for the month of April. I prefer to use brown eyeliner over black, but I will use this eyeliner from time to time. It definitely has staying power so that’s a good thing. I love primers and am always happy to get more samples. The eye makeup remover isn’t a real exciting product but it’s useful and I will use every drop. The mask is amazing! It smells great and I loved the texture. My skin felt wonderful after using. I haven’t used the peel pads yet but I know I will. I love getting high quality skincare products. The only thing I was really disappointed with was the perfume towelette. All other boxes received a multi-use vial so a one-time use towelette is a bummer.

    • Try laying down the black liner and then putting your brown over it. It gives you your brown shade, but with more definition. I do this a lot when I want to wear any color other than black. I agree about the fragrance towelettes. I love and look forward to the fragrance samples, and I like them best when you can spray them on for 3-7 days 🙂

  5. I got the 591 box which is similar to this one. I really like the eyeliner! Like enough that I looked it up–and then groaned. Why does it have to be the kind you need to sharpen? I never remember to keep a sharpener with me. It’s annoying. I really wish it was available as a twist-up instead.

    • You can grab a little sharpener for 3 bucks or less at Walgreens or Ulta. I feel you about the portability, but I still like these better, because sooner or later, the twist-ups either break or fall out of the container.

  6. Love Play by Sephora!! I honestly dont mind Black Eyeliner. I use it everyday!

  7. This was the variation I wanted. *sigh*

    I’m annoyed with the person who came up with Sephora’s bag this time: “The best things in life are me?” It is like they are poking fun at people who are so foolish to subscribe to this box.

    • They really need to stop with the low quality bags. They look like a home ec project and the draw strings​ get pulled right out. The satin ribbon are not satin but nylon with the ends glued. It frays so easily. Plus this months graphic is a little scary.

  8. 2 peel packets? No fair, i only got one lol wonder if it was a goof. Anyone else?

    • I thought I only got one also, untill I took it out of the sleeve, there was 2 attached together

  9. Honestly, I’m pretty new to the sub-world, but Sephora was one I had high expectations for. Unfortunately I’m finding it to be a shinier Birchbox. That’s fine and all, but I’m looking for something more exciting.

    • If you don’t have ipsy, get one! If your more interested in makeup over skincare boxycharm is my favorite for the higher end $21 a month maybe? But it’s mostly makeup..great brands and most full sizes. I sub to almost every beauty box there is! Allure is usually a good box, however the last few months haven’t been so awesome, but last year they were AWRSOME.

  10. I’m becoming more convinced each month that the box is a handy way for Sephora to offload free points samples. With a few exceptions (in particular anything house branded) items have been available for points rewards. I subbed to try products, not “been around for years” products like the Smashbox primer. It would also be nice to have a box that doesn’t have a Sephora brand item. Talk about self-gratuitous (and shrewdly cheap for them). Overall I’ve been pretty let down by Sephora Play. The variations aren’t so bad but I just don’t think they’re necessary. But I do think they need to curate a box that includes all new (or at least newer than things that have been around since the 2000s) products. It’s a stretch to bill this as a beauty discovery box when they seem to focus on cult favorites and house brand items.

    • ahhh this is exactly, to a t, how I feel.

    • Of course there will always be a Sephora item. Most of these subs want you to purchase from them, and what better way to get you to their site than to give you something you can only get from them. It aims to get us interested in their brand, which costs us less and gives them much bigger profit margins.

  11. I would have been much happier with this box than 583. :-/ variations = BAD. :p

    • Same here. This one looks so much better

    • Me three. I would’ve loved the Fresh nectar and the Dr Gross peels. Since sub boxes are determined to do these variations, it would be better if they let us know in advance which boxes were on offer and let us choose which one we wanted, sort of how Birchbox lets you pick a sample each month. Then I think variations would work and be fair to all.

  12. I don’t usually write off the fragrance sample, but I got 609 and I write off towelettes.

  13. I’d LOVE to swap for the Dr. Gross, I’ve been hunting a sample to try. I’m over on the swap site and would be happy to swap for something. Thanks.

    • Monique, I thought of you when I saw this sample was in the box, and I was hoping you subbed to this box & got this variation. 🙂

    • I’m on the swap board/off the waitlist for it but I’ve never used it… (I swap through FB), but I got and won’t use the Dr. Gross. If someone wants to give me super quick rundown of swapping here I’ll gladly take a look at what you’ve got to swap for them.

      • I wish I knew how and where to swap on FB i belong to this swap place but I don’t know how to do it. Also I belong to BB Sephora Ipsy Allure beautycon Target & Walmart. And have over 2 yrs of products lol. Not opened and ready for swaps. Especially the past few months of all my sub boxes 😢. Thank you for your help everyone 😊

    • I got the Dr Gross and won’t use it. I’ve never used the swap board here yet though I’m off the waitlist (I just swap on FB for now…), but if you don’t mind being a bit patient while I figure it out I’d be glad to swap them for something.

  14. I cancelled last month, but honestly wouldn’t have minded getting this box. It seems I always receive the same boxes as you, Haley. Oh well. I’m sure I can swap for the mask, at least.

  15. Waterproof eye pencil? It wasn’t even smudge-proof.

    • Wow, really? That’s the ONLY eyeliner pencil that stays put on my freakishly oily lids. It always amazes me how different people have such wildly different experiences with the same products.

    • I had a similar experience. On my hand it looked great– black and opaque, smooth, and budge-proof. My eyelid was a totally other experience. It skipped and tugged. The best I could get was a dark charcoal grey, and it smudged within two hours.

  16. The Vitamin Face Mask was the one item I was hoping for this month, but I didn’t get it. Kinda bored with this months box, but there’s always next month! 🤗

  17. I’m a big skincare fan, but the fact that I only got one actual makeup product in my box was super disappointing. I’m happy with the Cloud Cream and surprisingly enjoyed the scrub, but everything else in my box was a total dud. This was probably the most disappointing box to date, and it has me seriously considering switching to Ipsy.

    • I switched to ipsy 3 months ago and have no regrets 🙂

    • Ipsy is awesome…you wont regret the switch 😉 ive cancelled Boxycharm and others, but i wouldnt ever give up ipsy.

  18. I had box 583 and it wasn’t good for me this month. I don’t like that eye makeup remover at all and am
    so over that primer. The eyeliner is nice but I get these boxes for things I haven’t tried yet. Play has not been sending very trendy items lately, just same old same old.

    • I cancelled last month. I want fun new makeup, not lotions, primers and things I already have.

    • Same here, I got 583 and all I can say is Sephora better step it up or I’ll be stepping off. The box sucked, there was nothing I could use and it made my dry skin worse.

      I’m giving it one more month and then I’m done. If they actually looked at my profile I’d stick around. I’d rather use the money to buy what I want.

      I did buy the full size two faced lip plumper that everybody hated. It works for me, I use it everyday but that’s the only product in 5 months that addressed one of my skincare issues.

      Sad, I so wanted to love this subscription box.

      • I LOVED the Too Faced Lip Plumper! The color was nice also! I wish they sent more nude color lippies! I’m going to be buying the full size also!

      • I adore that too faced plumper. it’s AMAZING!

        that one seems to be a “love it or hate it” product!

      • OMG I loved the lip plumper as well! I just bought the full size — because my purse was stolen and my favorite lippies were in it!!! Sadly I’m more upset about losing the lippies than the purse, lol 😉

    • Have 20 tubes of smash box primer. They put it in everything. Groan when I see it. Its a good primer but think its just put in to many boxes too many times.

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