MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

PLAY! by Sephora #966 Subscription Box Review – September 2019

Play by Sephora September 2019 makeup beauty subscription 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 #966. 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.

opening the black and white box

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

all included items

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: The US

September 2019 PLAY! by Sephora #966 Review

fold open paper with product info all products in pictures

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. 

aqua and clear plastic bag frosted white back of bag

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!


Benefit Cosmetics Gimmie Brow, 1 g – Estimated Value $8.00 (Buy a full-size 3 g for $24.00)

This is hands-down my fave brow product. It is also pretty common in subscription boxes I get, so I haven’t had to buy it in a really long time and my brows have just been living off of the samples. The little spoolie tip just does a perfect job of tinting and volumizing my brows without looking overly done or unnatural. #3 in Neutral Light Brown is a perfect compliment to my ashy blonde hair, and even though it is a little darker right now, it still works so well.


Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara in Black, 3.5 g – Estimated Value $10.80 (Buy a full-size 9.4 g version for $29.00)

I was surprised at how much I didn’t adore this mascara. It just didn’t do much for my lashes at all! I was expecting something rather dramatic from a mascara with “caution” on the tube, but aside from tinting them a true black, I didn’t notice really any remarkable volume or length. It is a shame, because this was a generously sized sample. I will give this another shot next week just to make sure, but I wasn’t impressed.


First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer, 0.34 fl oz  – Estimated Value $5.60 (Buy a full-size 1.7 fl oz for $28.00)

FAB has never been my favorite brand, but lately, I have liked samples from them more and more. This primer was great! I loved the scent and the lightweight matte finish was a dream under makeup or just on a shiny naked face. It absorbs instantly and has a slightly powdery finish without being drying. It absolutely made my face look smoother overall, minimizing my larger pores. It is also oil-free and perfect for more sensitive faces.


Fresh Strawberry Exfoliating Cleanser, 20 ml – Estimated Value $5.28 (Buy a full-size 125 ml version for $33.00)

How cute is this tube?? I love all of the Fresh packaging, and this is no exception. This cleanser has a heavier, jammy texture and a little goes a long way, something I didn’t realize when I first tried it. It is filled with sugar that is soft but still gently exfoliating, and it has a fresh (no pun intended) berry scent that is natural and light.


amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray, 1 fl oz – Estimated Value $5.00(Buy a full-size 5 fl oz version for $25.00)

My thicker hair loves salt sprays, but I know a lot of folks out there don’t enjoy how drying actual salt can be to tresses. This is a salt-free alternative that still works really well! I like to flip my head upside down and spritz liberally, then finger tousle my hair before flipping back up and hand styling. This gives me loads of volume and loads of extra texture! This spray has that classic amika smell of vanilla, citrus, and clovers, with a little spice!


Yves Saint Laurent Libre Perfume, 1.2 ml – Estimated Value $2.50 (Buy a full-size 50 ml for $104.00)

I am not as crazy about this scent as I expected to be based on the notes of orange, lavender, and musk, but that is exactly why I like perfume samples. Blind buys for perfume is such a risky game! This scent is arguably unisex because the base leans into a deep woods, but the top is honey and something tart. I think my dislike stems from the whole thing smelling like one big cloud of scent and I like when I can easily pick out notes. I also can’t help but feel like this smells a little more mature than I tend to feel, at least for now.

Verdict: This month’s PLAY! by Sephora box has an estimated value of $37.18 and had some products I really liked! The primer, strawberry scrub, and wave spray were all great! I didn’t find much special when it came to the mascara, but I was thrilled to get a “refill” of my favorite brow product. I also loved getting the perfume sample, even if I didn’t love the scent because it is a brand new fragrance and I like to stay on top of the new scents that come out.

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 Cosmetics Gimmie Brow $2.15
  • Hourglass Mascara $2.90
  • First Aid Beauty Primer $1.51
  • Fresh Strawberry Wash $1.42
  • amika Wave Spray $1.34
  • Yves Saint Laurent Perfume $0.67

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?

Play! by Sephora

How do subscribers rate Play! by Sephora?

per month
Created with Sketch.

Never miss a post: get email alerts about Play! by Sephora!

Enable notifications () to get the latest Play! by Sephora spoilers, reviews, deals, and news delivered to your inbox.

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 | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I’m canceling next month, I don’t even get anything good. It’s getting like butch box the samples are getting sameler and nothing good.

    • 👍

  2. This was my box and I feel the same about the review! I’m really upset though as when I went to go purchase a few items I added a reward and by the time I went back to the basket (5 minutes) it was gone and they just added it this morning, dang it!

  3. I cancelled the subscription a few months ago and so far there have been no months I regretted not getting.

    For the price of the subscription, I can buy what I want. I subscribe to Boxyluxe and IPSY Plus and Ultimate and even though they are pricier, I am pretty much covered and they seem to be more bang for the buck as there is ALWAYS enough in each of them to more than cover the cost of the bag. Allure generally doesn’t have items that are even worth the lower subscription cost

  4. same, same, same. this is why I don’t do play anymore..but I do get to pick out what I want at Sephora. when I purchase any I love that..

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

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

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.


Get gorgeous with The Glow,
a brand new email all about beauty

Get The Details