Play! By Sephora – Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation Available Now + Spoilers!


This post may contain referral/affiliate links. If you buy something, MSA may earn a commission. Read the full disclosure.

Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation 

The latest  Sephora Play! Smarts Box  – Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation is available on the app now!

Get your K-Beauty fix with six trial-size products that combine skin-first science and innovation with major cuteness and style.

Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation is $20 and a one-time purchase, not a monthly subscription.

The Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation is available in Fair or Medium/Tan and includes:

– belif eye cream
– Laneige lip mask
– Erborian cream (Fair or Medium/Tan)
– Saturday Skin treatment
– belif face cream
– Glow recipe face mask
– Access to an exclusive live-streamed CRASH COURSE
– A limited-edition, reusable beauty bag
– Informational SMART CARDS for each product
– SMART PASS good for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with online or in-store purchase

Are you going to grab a – Play! Smarts K-Beauty: Skin Innovation box?

Check out our Play! by Sephora reviews, and all of our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes to find more similarly priced subscription boxes!

Written by MSA

MSA

My Subscription Addiction is the #1 site for all things subscription boxes. Check out the most Popular Subscription Box posts, our coupons, and the List of Subscription Boxes you can try for Free!

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.

Posted in Play! by Sephora News, Subscription Box News| Tags: play by sephora | 57 comments

57 Comments

  1. FYI, this is now on sale for $15. I went to buy one, only to discover they want to tack on an extra $8 for shipping and tax. No thank you!!

  2. This bag is now available to all shoppers on their website, and the posting lists the contents of the bag:

    K-Beauty: Skin Innovation includes:
    -Six trial-size products:
    – belif eye cream
    – Laneige lip mask
    – Erborian cream (Fair or Medium/Tan)
    – Saturday Skin treatment
    – belif face cream
    – Glow recipe face mask
    – Access to an exclusive live-streamed CRASH COURSE
    – A limited-edition, reusable beauty bag
    – Informational SMART CARDS for each product
    – SMART PASS good for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with online or in-store purchase

    What I find a bit disconcerting is that the comments that had been posted by folks who purchased early thru the app, which were mostly negative due to the limited range of colors for the Erborian cream, have been erased.

    • They were probably taken down because they were not reviews of the product but statements disagreeing with Sephoras inclusion of the CC cream. I didn’t see where anyone stated that they had purchased and received the item in question (I could be wrong). It’s one thing to write an honest review when you have received and tested the product and quite another to write your opinion as a product review. Do cosmetic companies need to do a better job at including the skin tones of WOC in their lines, yes.
      That opinion alone does not tell me whether this particular product will or will not work for me. There was nothing stated like ‘it leaves a white cast on my skin’ or ‘it doesn’t blend well’.

      I bought a box with the shade Medium/Tan- I am a WOC. I haven’t tried it on my face yet but I did swatch it on my hand. It blended in and didn’t leave a white cast. When I have time later, I will fully test it out to see whether it really works.

  3. Hmmmm. That Erborian cream is a problem. It is the CC Cream, and they only make it in these two shades. I dove a little deep into the reviews on Sephora, and the most common complaint I found in the negative reviews (aside from breakouts) was that the undertones of both colors are really warm, pink-orange undertones. Aside from the obvious snubs to WOC right off the bat, it’s disappointing that both the shades have the same warm undertones. I’m Caucasian, but my skin is a light olive and those undertones are not going to work with my yellow-green undertones, even if they are the right “color”. I really dislike it when these cosmetics companies try to do a “one size fits all” approach to tinted skin products, and it was even more stupid for Sephora to choose this specific product to include. Everything else looks pretty good to me, as I do like Belif and Laniege products. The value ($35) isn’t spectacular, but the only thing holding me back is that CC cream and wondering if I’m going to look like I used a cheap self tanner.

    On a side note to my fellow Caucasian women: yes, it’s hard to find a foundation. I have a light olive skin tone that is not always easy to match. But there is no freaking way that I’m going to compare that to the difficulty that WOC have historically had in getting mainstream foundations in the right colors for them. It’s gotten better in recent years, but WOC have a LOT less selection at the makeup counter than we have. I’d love to see Sephora curate some stellar boxes that include foundations in ONLY med/dark and dark, along with some deep burgundy lipsticks and eye popping coral blush. Sorry, pale girls…nothing for us for ONCE. Wouldn’t that be great?

    • Thank you for this! I was so bummed that this box was a complete non-starter for me as a WOC, as is almost every other Sephora box. Virtually ANY color product is a set up for disappointment. But what I do appreciate is other folks like you at least recognizing that fact 🙂 you are appreciated!

  4. Who cares what color the cc cream is anyway. Omg… the cc cream isn’t that great, much too heavy looking and color was off for me and oxidized within 30mins to an orange for me (nars light 6 ceylan). I purchased at full price and returned it. Everything else in the box is lovely. I wanted to purchase this box knowing the cc cream won’t work for me. And has nothing to do with color exclusion. Most k face products have 2 shades (light, beige), if you lucky u may get 3 shades (beige 2). Keep in mind that most of their face products (bb, cc, foundation,cushion) are pink undertone. K beauty products are produced & sold in Korea. Their products are trending, but doesn’t mean they plan to expand widely and feature 55 shades. When Laneige was 1st introduced to US market at Target stores & they had 2-3 (light1, beige, medium) color choices and that was it! After breaking thru the US market, Laneige made the decision to produce a larger variety of colors for the US market. Yes sephora could’ve made a better choice item, but not the end of the world either. Sell it, put it up for swap, or don’t get the box if it upsets u that much. And feel free to email Sephora your complaints directly, maybe if enough voices are heard they may switch it out.

  5. I’ve never been impressed by any Belif products I’ve tried, so I’m definitely not tempted by this one.

  6. So excited for this set! I ordered 3.

  7. I’m so sick of the hate. If the bag isn’t for you, pass it up. Not everything has an evil intent behind it.

  8. Also, there are thousands of Korean beauty products that are not tinted or colored. For goodness sake, Sephora, pick another universal non-colored Korean beauty product. Its not that hard Sephora. Korean Beauty products are famed for their skin care and not necessarily for their make up. I don’t use Korean make up products but I love the skin care products of various brands. I have nothing against the make up products, its just we have so many choices in the US and I often find the colors limiting even though I am an East Asian with light to medium skin tone. Although, I do like some of the Korean and Japanese waterproof mascara designed for difficult East Asian eyelashes.

  9. Love K beauty!! Can’t wait to receive my bag!

  10. This is just sad on so many levels. Shame on Sephora for opting to include a tinted skincare product that isn’t universally inclusive (but let’s be real, even in the Play! boxes those shades never match anyone well). Shame on the few MSA commentors who are shrugging it off like “what’s the big deal.” The “big deal” is that Sephora intentionally curated a box meant for people with lighter skin tones. This is not the same category as 30s, 40s, 50s skincare where you can shrug and just pick what works for your skintype. An earlier poster mentioned that the K-beauty market is varied and vast, Sephora could’ve thrown in another sheet mask, serum or a non-tinted moisturizer from the myriad of K-beauty brands that pop up every day. Erborian makes other non-tinted moisturizers that could’ve been substituted.
    The problem here is so much bigger than the lack of melanin-friendly product inclusion, because it’s a universal problem that is seen on this site as well as countless other subscription services. The problem is that most people don’t recognize that the box was EXPLICITLY MARKETED towards non-people of color! Products have always shown up in boxes that don’t work for all shades and hues, from lipstick to foundation samples that we put up for swaps. The issue here is that Sephora INTENTIONALLY, because they’ve never made the advertisements of their Play! boxes shade specific before today, marketed this K-beauty version of their box to disclude darker complexions.
    I’m not buying it and I’m not about to tell anyone how to spend their own hard earned dollars, but I just wish everyone here would pause and wonder why the need to explicitly curate a non-universal box.

    • Incredibly well said, thank you.

    • Oooooo maybe . Maybe it was curated from Korean companies because Asians has been sooo under represented. I mean it took 20 years later to make an all Asian cast since joy luck club. Only 6 Asians ever to host SNL. Not a single picture of an Chinese person at the Transcontinental Railroad ceremony historical joining the West and East parts of America even though they were the backbone of the labor. Soooo yes. Im glad this box represents the Asian communites long supressed in America. Thanks for the inclusion, Sephora.

      • Also I am Asian American and we come in all kinds of colors, ethnicity and nationalities. We aren’t all one color and Korean Beauty products are trendy for all people.

      • That’s insulting to think K beauty means 2 shades. I know Korean people are not just 2 shades. Yes Sephora is trying to introduce k beauty to people, however I doubt the intent is only to market to a fraction of their market. Let’s be honest people who are truly familiar with K beauty are not relying on Sephora for their products.

      • I bet that its the cc COLOR changing cream that can accommodate most skin tones not perfectly match the Foundation.

        • Yes – a lot of people on youtube have videos using this and show it actually covers a huge range of shades!

      • All Koreans are those 2 shades?! Erborian is a French company, try again. So’s Sephora, and both France and the US have large minority populations. This is a really weird hill to die on.

    • Totally agreed with you. It bothers me as well. They are either too light or too dark. They either should not include shade specific or a range of colors or let subscribers choose. Or even give them a voucher to go to a store (if possible) to color match and get a sample at the store or give people who don’t live near a Sephora an option to get a non-skin tone colored item in lieu of an in store sample of a tinted item or foundation sample. It never made sense to me because these items actually should be tested in person, plus you get people into the stores and I usually buy more than I intend to when I go into the store. Its very shortsighted and biased by Sephora. I am going to write them directly about this.

    • Agreed!

    • So don’t buy. I can’t use Eborian products because they’re too orange but other people like them.

      Skip this box and move on. It would be impossible to include every shade in a limited box. In case you haven’t noticed, Korean brands are not generally inclusive.

      Go buy from brands that create exactly what you want. Vote with your dollar bills.

    • This. I was all set to purchase but I found that gross. I probably could have made the tan box work but knowing darker people wouldn’t be able to buy or use was a big no for me. Sephora knows better so they need to do better.

    • DITTO! You nailed my complaints exactly. I would just add the following to Sephora’s marketing and management folks: “When in doubt, do without.” Either allow us to customize make-up selections by skin color/tone (i.e. only work with make-up companies that offer a wide selection of choice) or stay away from including these products in the PLAY boxes.

  11. Any idea of the sizes? I would love a large size of the lip mask. That would make it worth the cost for me. But if it is the $3 sample size, that is a very different story.

    • It’s probably a small $3 size. I was just looking to get a full size yesterday. That stuff is amazing!! I saw a set on Sephora with a full size and 3 different scent minis for 28 dollars. Either getting that or the full size alone, instead of this set.

  12. Omg all these comments upset me! I get there should be a darker shade but you know how many times there is not a shade light enough offered for my pale skin? It goes both ways and yes it sucks👎👎

    • It doesn’t go both ways, though. Please tell me what makeup companies are failing to provide a variety of options for pale skin. It says something that you’re more upset about people voicing their frustration than at this kit not being inclusive.

      • Macs shades are too dark for me so there’s that

    • Why are you upset? Because people in 2018 want their hard earned money to be met with respect when they decide to spend it. I think it’s a little naive to say there are no pale options compared to darker tones. Only in the last few years have brands started to seriously consider wocs buying power. Before there were only a variety of pale shades and maybe 3 dark, deep and tan to choose from.

    • I feel you! It is upsetting to see how we divide OURSELVES in this way. We are all different in so many ways and that is something we should embrace.

    • Yep! But I have this cc cream. I have the light one and put it on a alot of ppl even tried mine on my daughter that is dark. The cc cream isnt a foundation. But u dont see us fair ppl shaming anyone bc we cant pull the color card out like to to many ppl do daily. Geez u think some ppl would just stop with there mouth. Sephora will prob stop all of this bc all the ppl talking trash before they try!

      • The color card? Really? Aren’t you a piece of work.

      • And btw, I actually have heard a lot of fair skinned women bemoan the lack of choices for skin color products, and I think they have a point. But unfortunately only brown-skinned women get accused of playing the “color card” when we point out the same thing.

      • I feel and worry for your “daughter that is dark” if this is your attitude toward those of us with darker complexions.

  13. Looked up the BB cream on Sephora, they now have 3 shades, none of which would work for me and I’m not even THAT tan a Latina. It’s a shame they couldn’t use another product.

    • In pretty sure it is the CC creme they are offering which comes in 2 shades.

      • It’s definitely the CC cream, the insider forum list it as CC.

  14. Which Korean brands have items that cater to darker skin tones?

    The majority of people who live in Korea are Asian so of course make up lines that originate there will be skewed towards that demographic. Are the brown and black people in Korea badgering the make up companies there to be more inclusive?

    • The point is that Sephora could have opted to include a non shade specific product. They opted to alienate part of their audience by throwing in a product that is not inclusive. I’ve purchased almost every special box from sephora but will not purchase this one. I’m not buying a throw away product as I don’t have throw away money.

    • I agree with Annie S in that the Korean cosmetic companies are creating these two shades because that’s what the majority of the their customers fall under. It’s definitely not to disrespect anyone. Just what’s practical. If there was enough demand to make investing financially in carrying more shades I think they would do it. I know that it’s no where as impressive as Fenty Beauty, but Laneige does carry more shades (six) including a shade called Cacao in a cushion foundation which is $38 at us.laneige dot com. I think it’s wonderful that we come in different sizes and shades. And being Asian I’m glad I can finally find foundations that work better for me. I’m grateful that I now have an easier time with K Beauty. And I love the skincare. I hope everyone who wants to wear foundation is able to find a good match for their skin tone as well as products that work well for them.

  15. Omg!!! I’m not even gonna touch these comments.

    • Lol! I’ve said my piece about it and I don’t have anything more to add. But even though my opinions are what they are, I would never judge anyone who is happy about this offering, plans to purchase it and posts as much. Exclusions from a large company with a diverse clientele like Sephora is disheartening, but I can think of many more pressing issues that I’d like to see people rally around. I’ll write to Sephora to let them know my opinions and I hope others do as well, but I certainly won’t be calling for a boycott 🙂

  16. So ridiculous that Sephora would put something out like this to the exclusion of women of color. Fair or medium/tan? Seriously? That medium/tan would be considered light by any other standard. It’s insulting that companies keep doing this thinking we don’t care or won’t notice. We notice.

    • Agree!!! It’s so unfair that almost all K-beauty products do not offer foundation/concealers for WOC. Companies like Sephora should speak up more about this issue.

      • Yeah I just don’t get it because there are plenty of black and brown folks who are also Korean??? I do want to sort of amend my statement because Korean women ARE women of color. But I mean specifically black and brown women. It boggles my mind that Sephora would put together something shade specific and only offer it in two light shades. It is unacceptable.

        • It’s not that shade specific. There are plenty of youtube videos of women with dark brown skin of varying ethnicities trying it out. BB creams do tend to be more versatile than foundation/concealers as they don’t need an exact match.

      • The demographics of Korea determine the main product shades they sell. And China is near 40% of their export market. The U.S. is increasing its share, but its still not even 30% of the export market. It’s probable that shade offerings will expand naturally as the world market does.

    • It’s a Korean skincare line – they only sell it in two shades (though supposedly it’s pretty versatile and doesn’t rely on an exact match.) Sephora could possibly have tried to find an alternate Korean brand with a broader range of shades but the focus of the bag is Korean skincare. They aren’t purposefully trying to leave anyone out.

      • There are black and brown folks who are Korean and who live in Korea. That is not an excuse. The brands failed and Sephora failed by featuring something shade specific when they knew only two light shades were available.

      • But the point is Sephora included that product, and by doing so they did purposefully leave out several potential customers. Or perhaps just didn’t give WOC a second thought, which isn’t much better.

    • Agree 100%. K-beauty in general still hasn’t fully acknowledge WOC, but that doesn’t mean that Sephora had to include this particular product. There are several other k-beauty products that could have been chosen. I’m sure Sephora counts several thousand WOC among their regular customer base, and to see such blatant disregard for them is very disappointing and makes me glad that I cancelled my regular Play subscription.

    • This is a major slight for anyone with the tiniest bit of melanin… while I recognize that Korean beauty companies are tailored to Korean skin tones, it would have been SO EASY to skip the bb cream and opt for a serum, or a sheet mask, or a nice lip stain from TonyMoly or PeriPera… I thought for sure based on the promo picture that one of the Its Skin macaron lip balms would be included, although I suppose with the Laniege lip mask they worried that would be too many lip products?

      Sorry, I’m rambling. The point is, there are tons of options of interesting K beauty products that would work for all skin tones, so why on earth did they choose something so offensively limiting?

    • Most K-beauty foundations are even wrong for us with pale skin. They tend to have the wrong undertone, or they are just REALLLY light. I’ve tried a few that I’ve gotten in other boxes, and they never work for me. And I’m freakin pale.

      I really don’t think Sephora set out to exclude people with one likely teeny tiny sample of BB cream. It seems a little strange to include a product that won’t work for many many people, but then again, they did send out that MUFE foundation in one of their boxes that almost all had Y undertones.

  17. Hmmm… I have been wanting to try the Erborian BB cream, but I’m not sure it’s worth $20 to me.

    • I’m pretty sure it’s the CC cream, because the BB cream comes in 3 colors.

    • I agree. I would like to try a Erborian foundation product, but I hoped there would be some higher value samples I could try to make this worth getting since I’ve already purchased the Belif products from Sephora so I want to try other products.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments may not appear immediately. More info here.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!