Review: July’s Sephora PLAY! Box

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Hello all! I’m back after a few days of R&R. Since I traveled a lot last summer, I’m spending my vacations this summer a little closer to home. Recently I took off a few days and spent the long weekend golfing, swimming and trying out all of my new products in my brand-new Sephora Play! Subscription box!

About a minute after cancelling Glossybox last month, I got an email from Sephora announcing that I was off their Play! waitlist. I hadn’t even remembered signing up for the waitlist, yet I was curious, so I clicked to see what that month’s box contained. To my surprise, it included a bunch of small samples of things I had been wanting to try at Sephora, but didn’t want to blow the $20-$40 on full-size products. So, I signed up.

At $10 a month, it’s less than half the cost of Glossybox. Instead of fancy but hard-to-get products, the items featured are all available at Sephora. You get 5 samples each month, plus a perfume sample and a card that you can use on any purchase at Sephora to earn more points as a beauty insider. That’s an unexpected bonus: This month I bought a Nirvana White perfume rollerball and I was able to earn an extra 50 points on the purchase, even though a sample of that wasn’t included in the box. The box also includes invites to events held at local Sephora store and a little makeup bag.

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This was my first month, and boy, it didn’t disappoint. Literally 3 out of the 5 things were products that I’ve wanted to try out for months, but couldn’t justify spending the full amount on without trying. It’s the perfect way to try these little luxuries before I commit.

Let’s take a look at July’s box:

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Beautyblender Blotterazzi and Liquid Blendercleanser (single sponge; 2-pack plus compact costs $20)

Coming from the makers of the beautyblender, this little sponge is meant to sop up oil without messing up your makeup. It’s a cute concept, but I’m not sure how well it works as a sample. See, if you buy it in the store, it comes in a 2-pack with its own compact. In the sample, you get a single sponge all on its own. If you want to carry it around, you’ll have to stuff it in the bag (risking getting it dirty) or squish it to fit in your own compact. Plus, you need to wash it after each use, which isn’t really all that practical for someone who hardly washes her makeup brushes (shhh!). I tried it out and it works decently, but I think blotting papers are better. I like the idea, but unfortunately I just don’t see myself using it all that much.

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Nest Citrine Eau de Parfum (small sample; full size $68)

I LOVED this fragrance, which was surprising since I never really liked citrus scents all that much. But, this perfume combines florals and citrus in a unique, but pretty, way. I sprayed the entire thing just 2 days after getting it, and boy does it stick around on clothing. I love it (and so did Tom), and when I finish up my current bottle of Nirvana White, I may pick up a big bottle (especially since they’re so beautiful and intricate!).

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First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay (deluxe sample; full size $24)

AHH. I was so excited to get this, as it had been something I’d researched heavily in the past, but couldn’t bring myself to buy without trying it. At $24, it’s a lot for face wash, but I really love how squeaky clean this made my skin. I’m going to test it out for a few more days to check for breakouts (since my skin is so finicky), but I have a feeling a full-size bottle will land in my cabinet in the near future.

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Ouai Wave Spray (deluxe sample, full size $26)

Another thing I was super pumped to see! After I recently chopped my hair off (again) in favor of a short, layered bob, I was looking for something to enhance waves and add a little texture. This seems to help, but I’m not sure I’d pay full price. If I spray it and put my hair up into a (teeny, tiny) messy bun, I do get some kinks that last all day. But, I can’t just spray, scrunch and get beachy waves (which, really, is the ultimate goal). It’s on par with some other sea salt sprays I’ve tried, but those are a lot cheaper. Either way, I’m happy I got to try it out before committing to a full-size bottle, as I was previously planning to do.

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Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing (small sample; full size $39)

I’ve never been a huge fan of primers, but my sisters swear by them. So, when I saw that I got a small sample of one of their favorites, I was excited to try it. It didn’t disappoint. When I put it on my face before foundation, it blurred my pores and made my makeup last all day long. It didn’t feel super greasy either, like some other primers do. I doubt I’d pay full price simply because it’s so expensive, but I’ll happily use the sample until it’s gone.

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Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate (deluxe sample; full size $30)

This was a fun addition, though I wouldn’t call it magical or life-changing. In fact, I almost forgot to include it in this write-up. The bronzer does smell like chocolate, which is pretty sweet, and it gives you a nice, light wash of color. I’ve used it in place of my typical brick-colored blush, and it’s much more natural and appropriate for the summertime. Would I spend $30 on it? No. Will I use the sample until it’s empty? Absolutely.

Overall, I’m really happy with the switch to this box. Sure, the samples are smaller, but I feel like I get to try more things I actually want to try (and things that are much easier to find and buy). We’ll see if the August box keeps it up, especially since this month’s will be hard to beat.

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