Play! by Sephora Review

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Happy Friday, everybody! Today I want to talk about...

beauty subscription boxes.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, there is a plethora of them out there. Every time I see an advertisement for one, I get into the “ooooh, shiny!” mindset and want to subscribe.

But which one is the best? I subscribed to Ipsy for awhile, but ended up stopping my subscription after several months because I found that I was getting too many generic products (i.e. Jergens lotion; really?), and that the colors included in my bags didn’t really match the profile I had filled out.

So I decided that I’d like to do an experiment to find out which subscription is best. I’m thinking I'll do two boxes from each service in order to get a good idea of whether they work for me or not.

beauty subscription box sephora

First up, I’m reviewing the “Play! by Sephora” beauty box. For March, the theme for this box was “Beauty is my Spirit Animal.” The box is $10 monthly, and comes with five generously-sized samples, plus a bonus one-time-use sample. You'll also get a cute little bag to hold all your items. Extra benefits include:

  • Play! Pass: Gives you an extra 50 Beauty Insider points when you make any in-store purchase.
  • Play! Date: Exclusive in-store meet up where you can get info on how to use/pair the products from your box, and take home exclusive swag with purchase.
  • Free mini-makeovers and exclusive tutorials.

As a preface, here are some of my beauty concerns and preferences (so you can compare yours):

  • Early aging (specifically crow's feet and deep lines on my neck)
  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Dark circles
  • Freckles (I need a light coverage foundation that doesn't cover them up)
  • Color-treated hair
  • Frizzy hair
  • Low-maintenance beauty
  • High-end products (I usually buy lower-cost stuff, but for samples I like to try the fancy things!)
  • Mostly neutral makeup colors with an occasional bold lip.

So without further adieu, let's get to it!

 Buxom - Plumpline Lip Liner in Hush Hush ($17 for full-size at  Sephora )

Buxom - Plumpline Lip Liner in Hush Hush ($17 for full-size at Sephora)

Let me start by saying that I love, love, love a matte lip. However, since I tend to have dry lips, formula is really important for me in a lip product. This Buxom liner had a really good matte finish, but I found that it worked better with a lip balm of some sort underneath it. 

The color was beautiful; Sephora describes it as a warm cinnamon. I felt like it was a deeper version of my natural lip color, so it worked beautifully on my skin. I think that this would also work really well as a nude on medium or slightly deeper skin tones.

It is a thick pencil, so don't expect to get a super fine line out of it. However it does come with a brush on the end, so this helps to blend when you're layering it under another product. Sephora suggests the Buxom Full-On Lip Polish, so I’m interested to try that out.


 Sephora Collection - Matte Perfection Powder Foundation in Neutral Linen ($20 at  Sephora )

Sephora Collection - Matte Perfection Powder Foundation in Neutral Linen ($20 at Sephora)

Foundations are a touchy subject for me. Since I have plenty of freckles, I don’t really like full-coverage foundations because they can look really obvious and caked-on. However, I have bad dark circles, so I need something that blends well enough with my concealer.

Let. Me. Tell. You.

I think I’ve found my new favorite foundation! This Sephora foundation has a great, lightweight and buildable formula. The powder ensures a matte finish, but doesn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles (hallelujah!).

I tried this foundation first with a beauty blender. This allowed me to get a medium-to-full coverage application, without looking caked on. I used this application for my t-zone, and it gave a nice matte finish while also reducing the appearance of my pores.

For my cheeks and jawline, I applied the foundation with a powder brush, and was able to achieve a lighter finish that blended with my concealer.

I definitely will be buying this foundation in the future! P.S.: Sephora did a great job at picking a color that went well with my skin tone, so I’ll get plenty of use out of this sample. This foundation also comes in 35 different shades, so it caters pretty well to ladies of all colors, yay!


 Lancome - Miel en Mousse Foaming Cleansing Makeup Remover ($40 for full-size at  Sephora )

Lancome - Miel en Mousse Foaming Cleansing Makeup Remover ($40 for full-size at Sephora)

I was pleasantly surprised by this cleanser. It has a nice scent to it, which came off a bit perfume-y, but it didn’t bother my sensitive skin at all. It also foamed up really nicely, which means that a little goes a long way with this cleanser.

As far as makeup removal goes, I was surprised at how well it worked. It didn’t completely take off my waterproof mascara, but I didn’t need to use as much eye makeup remover afterwards as I do with most other cleansers.

My skin felt soft and supple after using it, and overall, I felt like I didn’t have to work as hard to get my skin completely clean. I don’t know if I would drop $40 on it right away, but it is definitely something I would think about, given how great my skin felt after using it.


 Verb - Ghost Oil ($16 for full-size at  Sephora )

Verb - Ghost Oil ($16 for full-size at Sephora)

This product worked well, but I wasn’t particularly impressed for the price. It did tame frizz and flyaways, and had a nice silky texture, but I feel like I could get the same results from a John Frieda serum for less money.

UPDATE: After using for an extended period, I really like this oil as an after-shower leave-in treatment. It helps detangle, and keeps my hair smooth and shiny. On dry hair, I have to be careful not to use too much, as it can get a little greasy if I'm not careful. But on wet hair, it works great.


 Murad - Age Reform Invisiblur Perfecting Shield ($65 for full-size at  Sephora )

Murad - Age Reform Invisiblur Perfecting Shield ($65 for full-size at Sephora)

I have mixed feelings about this one. Sephora calls it a “sunscreen-primer combo that fights signs of aging while blurring imperfections.” I really like the addition of SPF, which is not common in primers; however, as I use SPF in my moisturizer, this isn't a feature that I can't live without.

I feel like it did blur imperfections in terms of skin tone, but it didn't really reduce the appearance of pores for me.

It had a nice lightweight, silky formula that applied really smoothly. However, it had kind of an unappealing scent. Almost like menthol or cough drops? Really weird.

Overall, I don't think I'd drop the full $65 on this one.


 Ouai - Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets ($18 for full-size box at  Sephora )

Ouai - Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets ($18 for full-size box at Sephora)

This was my bonus sample, and it is probably my favorite thing in the whole box simply because of the way it smells. It’s a really mellow blend of jasmine and vanilla, and I’m pretty sure that’s what heaven smells like. Of course it helps that these actually work miracles on flyaways and frizz. One swipe over my hair and it was instantly shiny and perfectly tamed. Love these!


There’s my review for the "Play! by Sephora" box! Have you guys tried any of these products? And are there any other beauty boxes that you would like to see reviewed? Also, how did you feel about this review? Is there any information you would like to see that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Much Love,

Michelle