Play! by Sephora #780 Subscription Box Review – September 2018

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Sephora box 780 September 2018 box

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 – The box variation I received this month is box ending in #780. 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.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 inside box

Every month they include all of the samples in a mini bag with a different design.

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

Sephora box 780 September 2018 all items

About Play! by Sephora

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.

Play! by Sephora September 2018 #780 Review

Sephora box 780 September 2018 info sheet theme

Each box comes with a foldable info sheet. The front always has a design related to the theme (this month is “next gen beauty”), and the Play! Pass.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 play pass

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.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 item info

The opposite side of the info sheet has pictures of each item and details about what they are, how to use them, and why they think you’ll love them.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 bag

This month’s bag is 100% recyclable and zips shut, which I like more than the typical draw-string bags.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 primer

Stellar Brilliant Primer, .24 fl oz – Estimated Value $7.50 (buy 1.12 oz for $35)

This primer is brightening and illuminating, and absorbs well into this skin! It definitely improved the texture of my skin and made my foundation apply better. I haven’t tried anything from this brand and I’m really happy with the performance of this primer!

Sephora box 780 September 2018 mascara

Sephora Collection Lashcraft Big Volume Mascara, .18 oz – Estimated Value $5.73 (Buy .44 oz for $14)

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a Sephora Collection mascara, and I’m actually really happy with this mascara! The brush reminds me of a similar shape to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. The formula applied well on my lashes without clumping, and I had no issues with smudging under my eyes. It took a little longer to dry than other mascaras, but for $14 this is a pretty good pick.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 clinique moisturizer

Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Mini, .5 oz – Retail Value $5

This is a new product from Clinique. I love their trademark Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, and this is a lightweight, oil-free version. It says this is for all skin types, and while that may be the case, it’s not personally a good match for my dry skin. Usually, moisturizers that are gels, jellies, and oil-free are targeted towards people with oily skin. It’s definitely lightweight and absorbs quickly but my skin loves oil and this oil-free jelly doesn’t hydrate as much as I personally need.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 PTR mask

Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Atomic Heat Mask, .25 fl oz – Estimated Value $2.84 (Buy 5.1 oz for $58)

This mask is heavenly. Apply a generous amount, leave on for 3 minutes, then wet your fingers and massage to activate it and it warms up! It feels great and not too intense, and then you wash it off. It left my skin really really soft. I even tried it on my hand before my face and I could tell a difference on that patch of my hand. I’m never disappointed by PTR masks.

Sephora box 780 September 2018 Nude stix pencil

Sephora box 780 September 2018 Nude stix pencil swatch

NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Kiss, .088 oz (FULL SIZE!) – Retail Value $24

I love getting NUDESTIX in subscription boxes because I love the formulas. This shade, Kiss, is a really pretty, cool-toned, rosy pink. It has a matte finish and works for cheeks or lips. This shade is really universal and it’s been my new go-to since I got my Play! Box. Plus? FULL SIZE!

Sephora box 780 September 2018 tom ford black orchid

Sephora box 780 September 2018 tom ford black orchid vial

Tom Ford Black Orchid, .05 oz – Estimated Value $3.68 (Buy 1.7 fl oz for $125)

Black Orchid is a very popular fragrance. Its notes include incense, orchid, patchouli, and sandalwood. I don’t love most spicy perfumes, unfortunately including this one. It smells a little licorice-y to me. (take this with the grain of salt that I usually go for sweet floral/gourmand perfumes.)

Sephora box 780 September 2018 modeled

Here, I’m wearing the mascara and the lip pencil. I love them both! This lip color is my new fave for sure.

Verdict: This month’s Play! by Sephora box has an estimated value of $48.75. I think that’s great for a $10 beauty box, especially since it includes a full-size product! I love my Sephora Play! boxes because it will always feature high-end brands. I love trying new things from brands I love and I trust Sephora’s curation of brands and products, as well. This month’s box was a nice win for me with some new favorite products! 

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive next month’s samples, curated based on your Play! Profile. Get email alerts for monthly spoilers!

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

  • Primer: $1.54
  • Mascara: $1.18
  • Jelly: $1.03
  • Mask: $.58
  • Lip Pencil: $4.92
  • Perfume: $.75

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!

What do you think about my Play! by Sephora box? Which variation did you get?

How do subscribers rate Play! by Sephora?

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Do you subscribe to Play! by Sephora? Add your rating now!

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.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Play! By Sephora Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: play by sephora | 35 comments


  1. I’m so disappointed I didn’t get the Nudestix. I got a Marc Jacobs eyeliner instead (not full size, tho). Just my luck to get the one box out of a dozen that has an eyeliner, when I don’t wear eyeliner.

    Honestly, I have oily skin, and that Clinique moisturizer isn’t hardly enough even for me. Might be a good pick for a teenager.

    • No, I used Clinique and it actually messed up my skin so much.

  2. I received my box today….. i really like the perfume, mascara, the warming mask and the marc Jacobs foundation in deep. I did receive the Boscia cactus water…it looks like a deluxe size but i dont know what to do with it. I dont plan on using it….

    • I got most of what you got except I received MUFE tinted moisturizer. The moisturizer was a bit too dark but I do like the feel of it. I love the Boscia cactus water cream. I have combination skin and wear a small amount (little goes a long way) in the morning before I apply my make up, especially in the eye area. It’s very light and absorbs quickly. I agree it may be a full size.

  3. I got that perfume sample it’s smells awfully bad on me.

  4. I know I have way too much makeup and skincare right now to go back at this particular moment in time, but I’m loving so much about this box and the changes Sephora has made to it. The new bag is a nice change, though I think I’d rather have no bag at all. (Seriously, I have a lot of bags, thanks to Ipsy and Sephora.) And I’m hearing you can now use the Play Pass online? I hope that’s true. That mascara, by the way, is one of my favorites. It doesn’t flake or budge on me at all, and it goes on beautifully!

    • You can use the Play! pass online but it counts as your one and only coupon code.

      • I think you can use it on any size purchase, though. So if you have flash shipping and aren’t ordering $25 or more to use a coupon for an item, may as well redeem for your points.

  5. I like the drawstring bags. I also liked last year’s plastic see through bag with the snap. Similar to this but this feels like a throwaway, although I did read that they encourage you to use it as an airline travel bag to meet the FFA regulations. It would have been nice to have it in the thicker plastic with a zipper so it could be used more than once. As for the products, it is nice to recieve some new items I never heard of and a new release by Clinique. Finally a Sephora branded item that is larger than one inch. Looking forward to trying the mascara. I love my sephora boxes for rhe high end skin care samples that I can’t usually get other places and all these appear to be nice and full. Most boxes I get are wins but there are always a couple that are not very good and that’s the way it happens sometimes. I am sorry for those of you who got the packet sample box. I would call and complain, maybe they’ll send a new one, give you points or something like that as it sounds way below theor normal standards. Happy playing with new products.

  6. Finally got my box today! Tried the thermal mask right away and I love it, too. I felt like it had a little ultra fine grit to it when I applied it, and although the heating sensation is very slight, my face feels great. Really fun product. I’m really happy with the mascara, also.

  7. That Sephora mascara is Amazing!! It works better than most of the high end brands. It is now my favorite mascara!

  8. This is my box, too! That Nudestix color is absolutely perfect on you! Gorgeous, girl!

    I’ve been using the Clinique gel as a serum under a heavier moisturizer and can tell a difference in the bounciness of my dry skin. Alone it isn’t enough, but as a pre-moisturizer serum it’s pretty fantastic!

    • That’s a GREAT idea, to use it as a “serum”! 🙂 Thanks, Susan!

  9. I gave up on Play because I was getting too many pink lip colors.

    I got a sample of the Ciinique jelly as a gift with purchase and I really like it,even though at 56, I still have combination skin so it’s great when the humidity is high.

  10. The weight she listed (.088 oz) is indeed the weight listed on Sephora’s site for full size at $24, so I think she is accurate. I really wanted that Nudestix, so I have to admit I’m pretty jealous! My box is still good and I’m getting stuff I want to try like the cactus water, heat mask, and Too Faced primer…and I’m super happy I didn’t get the Clinique stuff because I know it would be too lightweight. I think Sephora Play is a great sub in general, and there is no way I expect full size luxury beauty products regularly in a $10 beauty box. That being said, I do think it would be nice to give *everyone* one full size product if they choose to include them. They could do that maybe twice a year as a special treat.

    • Well…before you feel too bad about it, that tiny full-sized product lasts about two seconds after eating or drinking anything. It doesn’t smear, thank goodness, but it does disappear quite quickly. I expect a lot more from my lip products.

      • Ha, well thanks Susan! Actually, that does make me feel better! 😁 Like I said, I’m still really excited about a lot of the things I’m getting, so I’m definitely not going to be too grumpy about it!

  11. Play pass can be used online now too👍😊

    • This is EXCELLENT news for those of us who have Flash shipping and prefer shopping while wearing our pajamas.

  12. This looks like a great box! I haven’t subbed to Sephora for awhile but boxes like this make me want to go back.

    • Do not go back. Today I received my box & I did not get the samples that I was suppose to receive. The samples in this forum were the samples I was suppose to receive yet I received sample packets of the cheaper skincare & face lotions. Along with eyeliner instead of the lip pigment. And a packet.. yes a tiny packet of belief face lotion, not the Tom Ford parfum. Did I get the garbage box because I am not at rouge status anymore? Idk. I am so done with Sephora boxes. I’ve been disappointed the last 4-5 months. Today I called it quits. To many other competitors I can give my money to.

      • I am a rogue and got the same box as you. Very disappointed.

  13. The Nudestik doesn’t look like a full size, the full size i received from Allure as welcome bonus gift last month is longer.

    • All of the full-size Nudestix on Sephora’s website and on the actual brand’s website are listed at .088 oz, but I did notice Sephora had some Limited Edition pencils that are listed as .1 oz. Maybe the one you got is a Limited Edition color?

  14. I’ve never seen a play box with a full size??? Did all of the boxes get a full size?

  15. The lip crayon was the only thing I’m disappointed that I’m not getting, and I didn’t realize that it’s full size! Honestly, I can’t really can’t really complain because I’m getting other stuff I really wanted to try like the cactus water and thermal mask, plus the hangover primer. I don’t really think it’s practical to think that a $10 beauty box will send full sized products often (or ever), but it would be nice to give everyone a full size item if they’re going to do this in the future. Despite my envy, my box is set to arrive today and I can’t wait to open it after I get home from work tonight!

  16. Wow! A full sized product from them is a miracle. I cancelled this one due to the small sizes and lack of actual make up items. I hope they are working towards changing that. I’ll keep watching!

  17. The Nudestix doesn’t look like a full-sized, the full-sized which i received from Allure as bonus gift last month is longer.

    • I received the same full size Nudestix from Allure. Does anyone know how to get more of it since there is no twist up thing and it doesn’t come with a sharpener?

      • If it was a full sized and came in the tin it has a sharpener. If it did not come with one you can use the larger size (by removing the ring in the largest size).
        I also agree this does not seem like full size just based on the pictures of the caps next to the product but it could just be a camera angle thing.

        • I meant to say of the Sephora brand sharpener lol after the larger sized bit!

    • Vera, all of the full-size Nudestix on Sephora’s website and on the actual brand’s website are listed at .088 oz, but I did notice Sephora had some Limited Edition pencils that are listed as .1 oz. Maybe the one you got from Allure is a Limited Edition color?

  18. I got the same box, and I don’t know why they would send us Sahara-skinned people jelly moisturizer..??

  19. We are box twins again! I always appreciate that because I’m such a make-up novice and not sure what I’m looking at. Your reviews are always helpful for me.

    • That’s so great to hear, Marilyn! We must have similar features in our preferences profiles. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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