PLAY! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – September 2019

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Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription box that brings only the best and exclusive Sephora beauty and makeup samples. The subscription costs $10 per month, and you’ll get 5 deluxe beauty products plus a bonus item, playlists, and coupons you can use when you visit in-store.

Aqua is one of my favorite colors – love it on this month’s bag. These bags are reusable and recyclable. How do you put yours to use?

Directions on how to Play!. Open, enjoy, and repeat!  That’s what I do each month. ?

Don’t forget about your Play! Pass. It gets you 50 extra Beauty Insider points with a purchase from the box (in-store only). Your subscription also entitles you to Play! Date meetups, if your store participates. You can also get a complimentary mini-makeover too.

The theme for September is Must-See Beauty. This month’s box puts hair care, skincare, and makeup in the spotlight to entertain you. The play on movie and TV show titles had me cracking up. Plus, don’t forget to check out The Beauty Insider Community. Create a profile and start joining the discussion!

The fold-out poster shows a list of all the items included in this box plus tips on selecting natural ingredients to help with your beauty needs. You can access all of the information and also watch videos right on the Sephora site or use the app for more info!

Here’s my September assortment. Remember, items are chosen based on your personal profile. So, you may have some differences. Click here to see variant items in other boxes.

benefit Cosmetics | Gimme Brow + Volumizing Eyebrow Gel in 3 ($8.00):  I was happy to see this in my box. However, I normally wear 5 (cool black-brown), and my profile lists that I am a brunette. So, I’m not sure why Sephora sent me a shade that is intended for neutral light brown hair?!? Maybe someone knew I was planning on getting some highlights done…

Anyway, Gimme Brow was the first brow gel I ever tried and I still use it years later. I have patchy brows, and this does a nice job of filling in the gaps. You can start by shaping your brow with a pencil and using this to fill in color and groom hairs. Or, you can use the small tapered end to work color along the edge of the brows to shape. The formula is buildable; use small strokes and layer on for more volume or color depth. Tip, start at the tail and brush against hair growth for a fuller look. This is also waterproof, so no worries about sweating your brows away.

HOURGLASS | Caution Extreme Lash Mascara in Black ($10.80):  This is an all-in-one mascara that “delivers a look of endless length, intense volume, and sky-high lift for extreme, dramatic lashes.”  The vegan and cruelty-free formula is buildable and highly pigmented to provide bold lashes that won’t smudge or flake.

The 4DAmplifier™ brush combines two brushes in one to deliver volume, length, lift, and definition for extreme lash looks. Unfortunately, due to the size of the sample, I had a hard time taking advantage of this brush. The lid is very large in comparison to the wand, making it difficult to reach the lashes in my inner corners. However, the brush did do a nice job of coating and defining my lower lashes.

First Aid Beauty | Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer ($5.38):  I have combination/oily skin and was happy to receive this oil-free, matte-finish primer. I’ve had mixed results with First Aid Beauty products, but I was willing to give this primer a try. The formula contains fig extract (said to have antibacterial properties) and a proprietary blend that works to control skin’s sebum production. It also contains salicylic acid and optical diffusers.

Instantly, I noticed two things about this primer – it smells like cucumber and it’s hydrating. I normally use Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas, so that was my basis for comparison. This did a nice job of blurring my pores, but it didn’t cover as well as what I’m used to. Also, with Tatcha, I can get through most of my work day with only minimal shine the last hour or two. FAB’s primer did not have that same staying power. I was shiny by the middle of my day. This primer might be better for me during winter months when it’s drier outside and I need a bit more hydration.

fresh | Sugar Strawberry Exfoliation Face Wash ($5.28):  I am a huge fan of exfoliators and was happy to see this in my box. Since I was in middle school, I’ve used a scrub on my face; my favorite is by St. Ives and Brandy makes fun of me for this (to be fair, I’ve changed the formula that I use over the years as my skin has changed). Getting back to fresh‘s exfoliating face wash, this is a gentle cleanser that exfoliates and cleanses while smoothing the skin’s texture and maintaining moisture. The formula uses real strawberries and a blend of sugar crystals.

Since this is listed as a face wash, I was expecting it to foam; it does not. The strawberry scent is delicious, and grapeseed oil maintains skin’s moisture. The grit of the sugar crystals is extremely fine. However, that does not limit the effectiveness of the product. I noticed a difference in my skin’s texture after a few days of use.

amika | Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray ($5.00):  This is a multi-phase no-salt wave spray designed to give a piecey beach waves look with body, grit, and a touch of hold and shine. It contains zeolite (fights frizz, detoxifies hair, and builds long-lasting volume and texture), silica (absorbs moisture and sebum to give hair matte volume) and sea buckthorn oil (rich in vitamins C and A, antioxidants, and healthy omega fatty acids). I’ve received this before and did not have good results. I used it on my natural curls and air-dried my hair. It left my curls feeling sticky and dry. This time, I decided to watch Amika’s video on Sephora’s site and will try this again when I want to create waves or curls with a styling tool. Maybe it will help my hair hold the shape – surprisingly, my naturally curly hair will not hold a curl from an iron or rollers. ??‍♀️

**BONUS** Yves Saint Laurent | Libre Eau de Parfum ($2.50):  “Libre Eau de Parfum is the new fragrance of freedom, a statement fragrance for those who live by their own rules. A reinvention of the floral perfume, it combines Lavender Essence from France with the sensuality of Moroccan Orange Blossom, for a unique floral fusion complemented by a daring note of Musk Accord.” –

The scent was bolder than I expected but not overwhelmingly so. For me, the orange blossom stood out most. This does seem intense when first applied but will dissipate some as you wear it. That does not take away from the fragrance’s staying power. I did not have to reapply this during the day.

After last month’s box, I revised my Sephora profile and feel that the changes were evident with this assortment. I received a nice mix of products that cover my needs from hair to skin to face. The fragrance was in line with my tastes too. With a retail value of $37, I feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth when compared to cost of a single box. Play! by Sephora always makes me feel like a savvy bargain hunter!

Did you have any favorites this month? Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts.

Are you a Sephora Play subscriber? What did you think of the box this month?

Visit Play! by Sephora to subscribe or find out more


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