Play! by Sephora Final Review

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Happy Friday!

It’s that time of the month again!

If you read last month’s review post, you’ll know that I talked about doing a review on beauty boxes once a month. Last month I reviewed the Play! by Sephora box, and I got another one from them this month just to give it an extra try. I’m really glad I did an extra one, because I was even more impressed with this box than the last one!

This box’s theme was “Insta Beauty,” so I got several products meant for perfecting skin for the camera (or more specifically, selfies). I also got a facial mask from Fresh, which was a really nice surprise. My bonus sample for this month was a fragrance, which was a nice bit of variety in the primarily face-focused box. 

The only thing I would like to have seen in this box that I didn’t get is a mascara. I feel like Sephora really focused on pore-refining products in my box, which is great, but like, my pores aren't my only f***kin concern, Sephora (knowwhatImean?).

Anyway, one of the tips included on the pamphlet that came in my box was to apply extra mascara since lashes can tend to look less prominent in photos. I feel like including a volumizing mascara would’ve been a really thoughtful addition in that aspect. 

Also, I would have really liked to have gotten one of the moisturizers instead of a primer, since I received a primer last month. But I really liked the primer I got this month, so it was a happy ending, regardless.

On to the review!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and advertisements, which means, at no extra cost to you, I receive a small commission when you click on certain links below, or if you make purchases as a result of visiting the retailers directly from my website. Please note, I only recommend products that I truly love and think that my readers will also love.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector - $36

Shade: #6 (Warm Sand)

Before I get into it, I’ll tell you my process for using these products. I started with a clean face (obvs.), and moisturized with my usual Neutrogena Water Gel SPF 15 Moisturizer. I then applied the Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die For primer, followed by the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector, and finished it off with the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores powder. I did not apply concealer, because I wanted to see the power of all of these products on their own. I also tried each individual facial product on its own with my usual makeup regimen throughout the week for comparison.

With that said, I was honestly kind of underwhelmed with the Ultra HD Perfector (sad face). My main reason for saying so is that my skin was perfectly matte after using the Peter Thomas Roth primer, and this "skin tint" (as they call it) completely counteracted it and left my forehead fairly shiny again.

I did like that it had a nice consistency and coverage somewhere between a BB cream and a foundation. It didn’t feel too heavy on my skin, but it did a nice job at evening out my skin tone. I did notice that my dark circles actually looked better without having to use concealer, which says a lot. They weren’t completely gone, but my skin did have an improved glow to it.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad product, but I don't think I would replace my current product with it. And definitely don’t use it if you’re not looking for dewy skin!

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss - $20

Shade: SPL (Holographic Candy Pink w/ Iridescent Sparkle)

Okay. Although I was really excited to try this gloss when it launched on UD’s website, I was also really skeptical when Sephora sent me this shade. It’s like everybody’s favorite 90’s lipgloss on ‘roids. 

However. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not as juvenile-looking as I feared it might be. It just has a really nice pale pink holographic shimmer, which you can wear all on its own, or layered over another color. The sparkle is much more subtle on the lips than it is in the tube.

There’s a really nice, mellow minty scent to it, and it tingles when you apply it, so you know that it’s working to plump your lips. The only thing I didn’t like is that it was sticky. Like reeallllllll sticky. 

And for being as sticky as it was, it didn’t seem to have a lot of staying power. BUT, after the gloss formula wore off, the color stayed, so I was left with this really subtle matte sparkle on my lips and ITWASSOGORGEOUS. I think I even liked it more than the gloss itself.

I wore it out to dinner the night I got it, and got a ton of compliments on it, so I think I can call that a good sign! Although I’m not really a lipgloss kind of gal, I actually really liked this one. I would really like to try some of the other shades (particularly Gold Mine, Midnight Cowgirl, and Fireball).

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder - $29

Shade: Translucent

I was pretty excited to get this powder because it has raving reviews on the Sephora website, and it didn’t disappoint! The powder has a really silky consistency that buffs out very nicely, although the applicator sponge included in my sample didn’t work very well at all for blending. I ended up just using my powder brush for the initial application, but I imagine the sponge would do for touch-ups on the go.

One thing I noticed is that this powder isn’t as tightly pressed as many of the drugstore brands I’ve used before, so it’s very easy to pick up a good amount of product. It also does a fantastic job of mattifying and reducing the appearance of pores, so I can say that I would definitely buy this one in the future.

Side Note: One of the recent reviews I read on Sephora said the powder caused major flashback for the user, so I tested it for myself. I didn’t have any issues, though, so I’m not sure what the problem may have been for her.

Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die For No Filter Mattifying Primer & Complexion Perfector - $28

Shade: Translucent

As I mentioned above, I wasn’t super excited to get another primer since I received one last month. However, I was excited to try a Peter Thomas Roth product (I've got a couple of his skincare items on my Mother's Day beauty wishlist), and I love this one! It’s got a super silky texture that feels very lightweight on the face. There is a light beige tint to it, but goes on translucent.

As far as mattifying goes, this was amazing, especially when compared with the Murad primer I got in last month’s box. It also did a pretty darn good job at evening out my skin tone, especially around the perimeter of my face.

Overall, this was a great product that I can definitely see myself investing in!

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask - $25-62

This was probably the item that I was most excited to get. I have been looking for a great mask lately, and this one is wonderful! It’s like a scrub/mask hybrid, and you only have to leave it on for about 5 minutes to really get results from it, so it’s great if you’re busy, or super lazy about skincare like I am.

I'm a huge fan of Fresh's Sugar Lip Polish, so I had a pretty good feeling about this mask going in because of the great benefits I get from the lip polish.

The mask has seaweed and lotus seeds as exfoliants, and has a really nice, delicate cucumber scent. The seaweed really helps to exfoliate without being too abrasive for sensitive skin. After using it, my skin felt baby soft, and had a nice dewy glow to it. I’ll be purchasing this one in the future, for sure.

Miu Miu L’eau Rosee Eau de Toilette- $28-105

I have been looking for a new fragrance recently (see my Wishlist Wednesday post from last week), so I was really excited when I saw that Sephora was including perfume samples in this box. Although I don’t think it’s exactly the scent I’m looking for, L’eau Rosee definitely comes close.

It’s a fresh floral scent reminiscent of roses and lilies, and has sophisticated musk notes to keep it from smelling too “green.” This is a lovely, delicate fragrance perfect for spring and summer, as it’s not too overpowering.

The only letdown for me was that it is an eau de toilette, which means it doesn't have much staying power. I think I wore it for an hour and a half before I noticed that it was significantly less fragrant. But overall, I think it was a lovely scent!

Overall, in just two months, I have been really impressed with Sephora’s box. I love that they only include high-end products so that I’m not spending money on something I could find for a low price at a drug store. Although I don’t usually purchase full-size high-end products (hello, budget!), I feel like this is a great way to get a little bit of luxury every month for a really good price.

It’s obvious that Sephora really puts a lot of thought into their Play! box. The themes every month seem to be very relevant to current events/seasons, and they pick great products to go with those themes. Last month’s theme was Festival Beauty, and I received the OUAI anti-frizz hair sheets (which I included in Wednesday’s Mothers’ Day gift post), and they were such a smart addition for ladies that are out and about at festivals in the heat. Bravo, Sephora!

The products also seem to be pretty well tailored to my personal profile and preferences. The foundations/creams have matched my complexion pretty well, and they have done a great job at not giving me any really crazy colors, while still remaining interesting and fresh.

What about the extra perks, though?

While the box does come with some great in-store benefits (like free mini-makeovers and product demonstrations), I feel like I would get more use out of an online discount for the products included in the box. As a busy mom, I don’t usually get the chance to go in-store to buy beauty products, despite having a Sephora store close by. I feel that this is also kind of inefficient for customers who don’t have a store near them.

That being said, I feel that Sephora is really trying to foster a sense of community and of education among its customers by inviting them to in-store events, and I love that. I am definitely going to try my hardest to get into the store to take advantage of my free mini-makeover that came with my Play! Pass this month. I have until the end of May, so I think I should be able to manage it (insert crying laughter emoji here). You guys have to hold me to it!

Although I’ll be switching my subscription to (spoiler alert!) BirchBox next month, I have a feeling I may end up going back to Sephora in the future. I feel like they just have a really good connection to their audience and aren’t focused on serving any one age group, which is great for the thirty-something lady that feels a little awkwardly stuck between two generations. Yayyyy.

So that's it for my review! Let me know what you think, and have a great weekend!

Much Love,