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Play! by Sephora Review – January 2018 – Box #051

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

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

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

FYI – There are variations of this boxThis review is for the box # ending in 051.

To find out which box you’re receiving at the beginning of each month, follow these instructions:

If you log in through a browser, not the app, and go to my account > account details > online orders and open the play! Order Details (it was dated 11/1 for me), you can see the “item number” next to the image.

The Subscription Box: Play! by Sephora

The Cost: $10

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

Ships to: US

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

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

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

This month’s theme is “Happy You Year.” Now, on to the items!

L’OCCITANE Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate – 20 ml Value $5

This is a fragrant, lightweight lotion has a sweet almond scent, absorbs quickly, and left my skin feeling hydrated but not greasy at all. I thought it was nice to see a body lotion in a Winter Sephora box, my skin is so dry lately! (A word of caution though for anyone is sensitive to fragrances, this scent lingers and only was completely gone once I showered.)

CLINIQUE Pep-Start Eye Cream –3 ml Value $5.30

(This item will be in all Sephora Play box variations this month.)

This little eye cream was perfect for hydrating the delicate skin under my eyes without causing any irritation. I used it before applying makeup this morning, and I appreciated how quickly it absorbed. I didn’t notice any brightening or de-puffing, but I’m still happy with just a great eye area moisturizer!

NARS Orgasm Lipstick – .05 oz Value $11.67

This lipstick is a peachy pink shimmer that goes on somewhat sheer, with a satin finish. I’ll be using this over my matte liquid lipstick!

Here it is swatched:

So pretty!

GLAMGLOW SUPERCLEANSE™ Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser – .5 oz Value $3.20

(This item will be in all Sephora Play box variations this month.)

This cleanser smells like licorice! It’s a creamy charcoal formula that is designed to help purify and detox skin. It did a great job of removing makeup and my skin felt clean and clear without stripping it of any moisture.

SMASHBOX Photo Finish Primerizer – 4 ml Value $4

I’ve been using primer/moisturizer hybrids lately since my skin is so dry, and I really liked this one. It feels great on my skin, it gave me just a little bit of hydration, and my foundation has stayed put all day.

ALTERNA HAIRCARE CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction – 7 ml Value $2.46

Alterna products are ingredient-conscious, smell fab, and work great, so I was happy to see this sample in the box. I’ve used this cream many times before and I love that it works on both damp and dry hair, and doesn’t weigh down hair at all. A+ styling cream for me!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $31.63. I think that’s good for a $10 beauty box, especially since the box will always include high-end brands. I liked everything in the box, and I’m not a perfume wearer, so I was happy to receive a hair care product instead for this month!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. You have to sign up by the 15th to receive that month’s box, so as of today (1/24), your first box will be the February box.

Coupon – No coupons available for this subscription.

Value Breakdown: At $10 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • L’OCCITANE: $1.58
  • Clinique: $1.67
  • NARS: $3.69
  • GLAMGLOW: $1.01
  • Smashbox: $1.26
  • Alterna: $.78

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

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

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

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


  1. I’ve gotten one box so far and was disappointed, the lipstick color was way off base! Too dark, the only thing I kept was the sample fragrance

  2. My favorite thing about this month is the Becca Shimmering skin perfector liquid

  3. My favorite thing from this month is the Becca Shimmering skin perfector liquid

  4. The Smashbox primer is awesome… if you can get it out of the tiny glass jar!!!!! Can’t get more than a little bit out even by smacking it against my hand.

    Best thing in my bag was the Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner samples, have always wanted to try it.

  5. I cancelled because the box was sent to the wrong address 2 months in a row. December I was understanding and fixed it over the phone AND on my app. Yet January was still sent to the same wrong address. So I decided to cancel rather than look forward to products I will never get. Huge waste of time and energy. The only fix was my $11.00 back because they didn’t even have anymore boxes to send. This subscription needs to get it together

    • I had this problem last summer when I moved. Changing your address on the Sephora site isn’t enough. You actually have to go into your Play subscription and change the address there. (Dumb system!)

  6. This is my 2nd month of not gettng this sub anymore and I am not sorry. It all seems like teeny tiny play makeup and I am swamped but those size products.

  7. I cancelled just before receiving this box, because I’m accumulating too much stuff. This month’s box made it easy to say goodbye.

  8. I actually disliked my box so much. I got 2 primers, one for my lashes and then for my face. Along with a rose toner, and the prep start and the Glam Glow. I love primers and all but I want like make-up(I know primers are) but 2 in one box is too much!

  9. I just have a general question. This subscription was voted #1 beauty box last year, but I’ve seen more negative comments on this one than any other. Lots more. The spoiler posts tend to be overwhelming in their negativity. So I’m just wondering if there has been a change in the sub itself or if there’s just a lot of box envy due to so many variations?

    • It could definitely be box envy because they now do far more variations than they did probably even a year ago. Also, I’ve read a lot of people saying that they have received duplicate products from past boxes too.

    • I think this box went downhill when they opened the wait list. I still subscribe but haven’t been excited about it in quite a while. Not unsatisfied enough to complain, but just kinda meh.

    • Hi WB! Don’t quote me, but, I’ve heard they are revamping their Play! One from someone and two, from a actual Play Sephora Call Center Service Rep (it was either a guy or a girl- I can’t remember off of the top of my head)! When I called a few times about all of the issues both reps asked me if I have redone my profile, and I wasn’t calling to tell them I didn’t like my products. I called because of box 036 in January had the wrong items etc…I’ve posted in the last week about it. On here and on different threads for Play! Boxes on here! I’m so sorry this is so long, but my gut tells me they are trying to make these changes (and I could be wrong)🙂

  10. Interesting that there is no perfume this month. I got a different lip gloss and a hair masque. I am ok with my gloss but would have preferred the NARS. I am wanting to love this subscription but don’t yet. Will hang in there for a bit, especially since I have received no communication from Allure. Really tiny samples this month

    • They are no longer doing a perfume every month. Their video said it was because too many people didn’t like getting a perfume every months, so now the “bonus” item will vary. I got hair care in mine, and I am very picky about my hair care. I use one brand that is such a great line. I gave my hair care shampoo/conditioner sample away when I got my box. I actually LOVED getting a perfume every month, so this new change was highly disappointing to me. I’ve only used one product out of my January box, and today so February 1st. I might use two other products, other than that I’m giving things away.

  11. This is my box . I was upset bc of the lotion but it’s nice quality. The one thing I’m pissed off about tho is the nars lipstick in Orgasm. So I was super excited to try this and as soon as I opened it the tube of lipstick was stuck real good to the cap of the package to where it took forever to get it off and it got ruined. So I called Sephora and luckily they sent me a new one. Love their cs and I love this cleanser, and eye cream! Their my favorite things in this box! ♥️

  12. I was really interested in the Nars lippie but it looks a lot more sheer than I expected. It’s gorgeous but I wonder if it’s very pigmented.

  13. This was my box, too. At first when I saw the spoilers, I wasn’t too excited, but after receiving it and trying out everything, I love it. The Nars lipstick is beautiful. I love the eye cream and face wash.

    I do wish the Smashbox Primerizer (?) was larger and easier to access the product, if that makes sense. I’m actually super happy with the body cream- I can’t stand the scent of the bodywash, so I was scared that the cream would smell the same. Very pleasantly happy with it!!!

    I too love the Alterna CC Cream- I have used it for three years now, and it’s one of the few hair creams that works well with my hair.

    I will admit, I’m sad there was no perfume, but I’m thrilled with this box. Everything will be put to use, so yay! Thanks for the fab review, Liz.

  14. So many variations and yet so many disappointed subscribers. The samples seem to be getting smaller. Despite the value being much higher than the cost of the box, it just doesn’t have that wow factor!

    • I agree 100% which is why I canceled last month.

  15. *yawn*

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