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PLAY! by Sephora #021 Subscription Box Review – July 2019

Play by Sephora July 2019 beauty makeup subscription box review

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 #021. 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.

open box

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

all box 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

July 2019 PLAY! by Sephora #021 Review

product info sheet back product info sheet with all items and details

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. 

clear and green plastic bag with all items inside white back of bag with text

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


Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop, 0.04 oz – Estimated Value $6.24 (Buy a full-size 0.25 oz version for $39.00 OR a mini 0.085 oz here for $22.00)

I truly love highlighters and I am still not sick of them. I could easily never receive another highlighter in my entire life and never run out, yet I still enjoy getting them. I also really like this brand, and I have played with a few of their highlighters before in-store. While I liked the soft golden glow of this one, I personally prefer a smaller sparkle particle. (Say that three times fast!) This is likely because I have larger pores and highlighters like this often settle into them, adding texture to my skin that I don’t love. I know this is completely subjective, but something about this formula felt more like a metallic eyeshadow than a highlighter, at least on my face. The upside is that it actually makes a fantastic shadow that is wearable day or night.

Tone-wise, the warm shade was perfect without being brassy or too golden.


Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glacé, 0.03 oz – Estimated Value $14.40 (Buy a full-size 0.05 oz version for $24.00)

I am also a bit Bite Beauty fan, mostly because of their amazing Agave Lip Mask in Lavender (it HAS to be the lavender). This shade was easy to love, a dirty mauve that is pretty much perfect for fall. The pencil tip makes application a breeze and I appreciate that it is a twist-up since I never have a sharpener around when I need one. Although this is described as a matte formula, it was delightfully satin on my lips, which I much prefer. It also looks totally gorgeous under a high shine gloss!

A very “Megan” color.


Korres Greek Yogurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, 20 ml  – Estimated Value $3.47 (Buy a full-size 150 ml version for $26.00 OR a mini 75 ml for $16.00)

I have sampled this product before and I really like it. It is such a creamy formula that is cleansing while hydrating. It doesn’t smell at all like yogurt (thankfully!) but has a clean, creamy scent. I have a long weekend trip coming up and this couldn’t have arrived at a better time.


Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask, 0.5 fl oz – Estimated Value $7.94 (Buy a full-size 3.4 oz version for $54.00)

My inner lazy girl loves a mask I don’t have to wash off immediately (or… ever?). My skin really seems to love this stuff, immediately looking much smoother after I applied it and looking downright dewy the next morning. Though the instructions say to wash this mask off when you wake up, I didn’t because I was running late and I often find myself ignoring directions because I don’t like being told what to do. (This quirk manifests itself in weird ways sometimes.) Instead of washing it off I just spritzed my face with a toner, applied my makeup, and went on my merry way. It smells a little herbal with something floral in there too, but much more in a chamomile sort of way than a rose or jasmine way.


Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo, 30 ml – Estimated Value $5.25 (Buy a full-size 160 ml version for $28.00)

I haven’t had as much luck with this brand as I would like, especially since people adore it. I feel I need to explain that I only shampoo once every 3 or so days, so I need my shampoos to really deep clean my roots or else it is oil city on day 2. I immediately thought I might have more luck with this shampoo since it is a detox formula and filled with charcoal. I was right! My roots were left squeaky clean and the scent of this stuff is fabulous.


Prada Candy, 1.5 ml – Estimated Value $2.33 (Buy a full-size 80 ml version for $124.00)

I know a ton of people find this perfume too sweet and if I was just looking at the main notes, I’d agree with them. Perfumes are always out to surprise and when I sampled this scent a few years ago I was shocked at how much I liked it. It is true that the main notes are basically fancy dessert ingredients: brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla. But there is this heavy (and rather sexy) spice happening somewhere in there that grabs me after I let it dry on my skin for 5 or so minutes. I will admit that I have never actually bought this scent because there is always something weirder or more “indie” that ends up claiming my $$$ but I am happy to have this little sample for myself.

Verdict: This month’s PLAY! by Sephora box has an estimated value of $39.63, and is likely one of my favorites yet. There really wasn’t a dud in this box, though I will be using the BECCA highlighter as a shadow instead of on my cheekbones. The skincare samples were both excellent and I am really thrilled to have them right before my mini summer vacation. I finally found a shampoo from Living Proof that I like, though now I might have to buy an actual bottle… they got me! The lipstick was just my type, though I might reserve it for fall, and the perfume is one I already know and love. 

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:

  • Becca Highlighter $1.57
  • Bite Lip Color $3.63
  • Korres Cleanser $0.88
  • Khiel’s Mask $2.00
  • Living Proof Shampoo $1.32
  • Prada Candy Perfume $0.59

Alternatively, each of the 6 samples has an average cost of $1.67.

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 Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

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, Play! By Sephora Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: play by sephora | 15 comments

Comments (15)

  1. I love the smell of Prada Candy, but it smells horrible on me. So I’ve been using my full size bottle my husband got me when he found out I liked it as my bathroom air freshener. 😀

  2. This review is kind of making me want to subscribe to Play! again – what a great selection! My boxes always felt like leftovers from other, better boxes.

    I totally get what you mean about needing a highlighter with a smaller sparkle particle. I can’t wear the more glittery highlighters for this exact reason. Ofra highlighters were the first I tried that didn’t settle into my pores.

    I’ve sampled Prada Candy before and it instantly gave me a headache! Too musky and incense-like for me, but I get why others like it (I’m more a of fruity/floral scent type).

  3. Not washing your face in the morning is like not brushing your teeth.

    • It doesn’t hurt once in a while. I use cleansing wipes in the morning and sometimes on weekends I may not wash my face until evening.

    • I read in a face mask website where a person said not to wash your face with soap in the morning to not remove all of the lovely work the mask did the night before.

      I get what they mean, I wake up and my face looks moisturized, bright and ready to go after a great night routine.

      So, I don’t see it as a bad thing once in a while!

    • Forever thankful that faces can’t get cavities though!

    • I used to regularly not wash my face in the morning. It never did me any harm. My skin was oily-to-normal and didn’t need moisturizer in the morning, either. Now that my skin is drier I was my face in the morning because I use an oil at night, and you shouldn’t apply moisturizer over an oil.

    • Why? I stopped a few years ago and my face immediately became more moisturized with less breakouts. A Derm recommended for me to only use warm water no cleanser. Improved my skin for sure.

  4. My living proof shampoo in my box is a black color. Now I am kind of freaking out that something may be wrong with mine seeing that yours is white. Did anyone else get a black shampoo?

    • The product shown above is the 5 in 1 styling cream which is white, but the review is for the Detox shampoo.

    • I would think it’s black because of the charcoal. The pic above does not match the review.

    • Not to worry Cecilia! This was an error on my end. One of my Birchboxes came with this styling cream and the tubes are nearly identical. I will update them! <3

      • Ah, thanks!

  5. Your review is for “living proof detox shampoo,” but the item you pictured is a 5 in 1 styling treatment?

    • Eep! Sorry about that guys. It came with the charcoal shampoo but my photo was of the styling cream that came in Birchbox curated #3, a review I was also working on. Let me swap those images out. Sorry for the incoming iPhone images (I am not in the office)!

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