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PLAY! by Sephora #972 Subscription Box Review – May 2019

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019

PLAY! by Sephora is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box. Each month, Sephora sends you a mix of six samples (including cosmetics, haircare, skincare, fragrances, and other beauty products) personalized to match your preferences, a PLAY! BOOK of tips and tricks, and a PLAY! PASS to redeem in-store or online for 50 Beauty Insider points for just $10 + FREE shipping.

Sephora curates several variations of their PLAY! boxes each month and matches you with the version that best fits the preferences you set in your profile. (You’ll fill out your profile when you signing up—you can also update your profile at any time). The variation I received this month is the box ending in #972. 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.

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 open box

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

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 all contents

About PLAY! by Sephora

The Subscription Box: PLAY! by Sephora

The Cost: $10 + FREE shipping

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

May 2019 PLAY! by Sephora #972  “Beauty BFFs” Review

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 info paper front Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 product info

Each PLAY! box comes with an info sheet that provides the theme of the box and detailed product info. It also includes your PLAY! PASS, which gives you 50 extra reward points if you use it in-store or online. You can also bring your PLAY! PASS to any store and redeem it for tutorials and tips from a Sephora consultant. 

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 pouchfront Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019 pouch back

Each month, your samples are tucked inside a recyclable pouch. This one is incredible for travel—it’s so much chicer than a kitchen zipper bag!


Benefit BADgal BANG! Mascara, 0.1 oz – Estimated Value $8.33 (Buy a full-size 0.3 oz version for $25.00 here)

Benefit’s original BADgal Lash mascara is one of my favorites, because it coats my lashes like crazy, adding volume, and length. This formula promises even more impact. The main difference I noticed is that this mascara wand features a silicone-type brush, where the original BADgal Lash used traditional bristles. BADgal BANG! did give me tons of volume and length! It is also said to last 36 hours, but I did not test that claim—I cannot imagine sleeping in mascara, and though I love you all, I am not staying up for 36 hours. This mascara is actually one of the most dramatic formulas I have ever applied. Does it beat out the original? For me, no, but I tend to like a little more of a natural look. If you adore big, bold, in-your-face lashes, give BADgal BANG! a try.


Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base, 0.07 fl oz – Estimated Value $9.58 (Buy a full-size 0.19 oz version for $26.00 here)

I have yet to find a lash primer that I like and that works well, so I was less than enthused about this product. There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that this mascara base absolutely added length to my lashes. The bad news is that it turned my mascara into a clumpy mess. My lashes stuck together and were difficult to separate, and I wound up with that spidery look most of us try to avoid.

Play! by Sephora Beauty Subscription Box Review May 2019

Left, BANG! Mascara over Lancome Primer. Right, BANG! Mascara without primer.

I hope you all enjoy this extremely-close-up-and-not-awkward-at-all picture. I cropped out my nostrils so you didn’t have to look up into my brain.

KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil, 0.17 fl oz – Estimated Value $11.45 (Buy a full-size 1.01 fl oz version for $68.00 here)

Yaaaas, a face oil I haven’t tried! This formula contains noni extract, which I had to Google. Apparently, noni is a type of plant/seed that is really great for reducing inflammation. This blend also has rosehip and pomegranate oils, which promise tons of antioxidants for your skin and more glow factor. I put a few drops of this in my palms and rubbed them together, then gently patted the oil onto my face. I like to use oils like this before my nightly moisturizer, so I wake up glowing. Fun fact: This brand was founded by model Miranda Kerr.



Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Diva Cleansing Gel, 0.25 fl oz – Estimated Value $1.25 (Buy a full-size 5 oz version for $25.00 here)

I always like Tarte skincare items because they work well and the packaging is adorable. Like most of the products in the Rainforest of the Sea line, this formula contains marine extracts, which I personally find very calming on my redness-prone skin. This cleanser worked great, removing my makeup without stripping my skin. It smells very clean.



dpHUE ACV Hair Rinse, 1 fl oz – Estimated Value $5.00 (Buy a full-size 3 oz version for $15.00 here)

Do you like smelling like apple cider vinegar? No? Great! This stuff does smell like ACV, though it rinses out, which is a blessing for us all. This treatment is intended for when your roots are feeling gross and held down by hair product to gently cleanse all the gunk away. It was very gentle on my scalp and left my roots looking extra shiny.



Viktor & Rolf Magic Salty Flower, 0.04 oz – Estimated Value $2.32 (Buy a full-size 2.5 oz version for $145.00 here)

V&R’s Flowerbomb is one of my favorite perfumes. I was really excited to try out this new perfume, because I love a great blend of salty, marine fragrances and flowers. This one was a bit of a dud for me, though, as the sea influence was basically non-existent on my skin. All I could really smell was a strong Frangipani scent. I was hoping for something a little more complex. I think I will stick to Flowerbomb.

Verdict: This month’s PLAY! by Sephora box has an estimated value of $37.93, which is a pretty good value from a $10 box. I really loved the mascara and face oil, though the cleanser was also great! I feel like my hair needed a scalp cleanse, and the apple cider vinegar formula was gentle and effective. The lash primer and perfume sample were both rather “meh” to me, but the rest of the box certainly made up for those items falling flat. This was a great box for revisiting old brand faves and discovering a few new players I plan on keeping an eye on. 

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:

  • Benefit BANG! Mascara $2.20
  • Lancome Lash Primer $2.53
  • KORA Face Oil $3.02
  • Tarte Cleanser $0.33
  • dpHUE Har Rinse $1.32
  • Viktor&Rolf Perfume $0.61

Check out all of our PLAY! by Sephora reviews, our best beauty boxes, 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?

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Written by Megan


I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: play by sephora | 19 comments

Comments (19)

  1. Great review!

    Macy’s boxes look great…imanna jump in lol

    And, omg, your lashes are soo long!😍

    I’m trying to grow my stubbs.

    • WT….?
      This is Sephora?
      I need help 😬

  2. The dpHue ACV hair scalp shampoo, I received a full size in another sub box and it actually made my hair greasy. So do you use just a little and only on your scalp, but then wash the rest of your hair with regular shampoo? Is it for people with oily scalps? I don’t mind the smell.

    • I used the whole thing on my head with it wet and rinsed out. I didn’t seem to need to shampoo after! I def wasn’t greasy after, but I have super dry hair.

  3. I could not get the gel cleanser to come out as it is very thick and the packaging/bottle is very stiff and doesn’t allow any “squeezing”! Very disappointing on that one.

    • Mine came out pretty easily, but it was also warm from my car. That little bottle is literally unsqueezable though!

  4. Great review! Love your honesty about the eyelash primer. Woof- them is some Younique caliber spider eyes! Nice to see some different products (Kora) featured from this box, though. I cancelled because of too many repeat products, so hopefully they might switch it up more?

    • Thank you Jenn! Yeah…. the primer search continues on. I can’t handle clumping!!

  5. Thanks for passing this along!

  6. Love your reviews. Thank you!

    • Thanks for reading! <3

  7. I received the Salty Flower perfume in my bag too and I was so excited to try it, however I was very disappointed. Not only did I not really care for the fragrance it made me sneeze most of the day. I love their fragrance Flowerbomb and Bonbon so I thought I would like this too. Its pretty expensive so I’m glad I didn’t like it.

  8. I used that primer and mascara combo and didn’t have an issue clumping. I like both but wouldn’t pay lancome prices as it just seemed like a normal eyelash primer. The mascara though, I would pay full price for that.

    • I feel like my lashes just hate primers. I have yet to find one that works without clumps. 🙁

      • With this primer (I’ve used it for years), you have to apply the mascara while the primer is still wet. That is the only trick with it. I’ve let it dry and it really doesn’t work for me, wet it’s great.

  9. Did you think that Kora oil smelled weird?
    I thought it smelled like pickles. I don’t know if it was old or something or if that is just how it is. I couldn’t use it.

    • Noni fruit smells so bad, but is sooo good for your skin.

      • Same. I can’t use it when I plan to sleep at my boyfriend’s because it smells so terrible. I don’t even use it on my face, but on my chest.

    • I didn’t think mine was bad! I noticed the rosehip scent more. But I do tend to like weird herbal smells?

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