Unboxing: Sephora Play! June 2016

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Unboxing the Sephora Play! June 2016 beauty subscription box!

After receiving a fantastic first Sephora Play! Box in May, I was very excited about the June edition. Because I like surprises I didn't look at the sneak peeks online so I had no idea what this box contained when I found it in my mailbox! Let's unbox it together, shall we?

What is Sephora Play! ?

If you haunt beauty accounts on social media like I do, I'm sure you already know all about it, but if you're new to the concept, let me give you a quick explanation. Sephora Play! is a beauty subscription box that comes to members' mailboxes every month and costs $10, charged automatically to the credit card on file. For this price, we receive a handful of samples, deluxe or travel sizes of makeup, skincare, haircare products and fragrances. You cannot pick your samples - you just get what you get and there's no exchanging samples you don't like. I don't remember filling a survey asking for my preferences when I signed up, but the subscription is linked to your Sephora BI/VIB/Rouge account, so you might want to complete your profile just in case. This month it looks like everyone received the exact same products in the same shades/scents again.

The Sephora Play! program was launched last year in a bunch of test markets in the US and just opened nationwide in April, so this is the second box with a large distribution. Subscribers are charged in the beginning of each month and the box is supposed to be shipped in the 3rd week of the month: I was charged on June 6th and my box was shipped on June 14th, when I received an email with my tracking #. The box was sent through UPS Mail Innovations, which is a mix of UPS and USPS, where UPS brings the box to your city and USPS does the final delivery in your mailbox. It came from New Jersey and took 4 days to arrive to my Southern California location, with a delivery on June 18th, no signature required.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

Makeup, skincare, haircare, fragrance in Sephora Play! June 2016 beauty subscription box

The box is called The Minimalists, featuring products to create an effortless, low-key summer look. All the samples were put together in a small canvas drawstring bag closed by black ribbons, without any print on it besides the Play! logo this time.

What's in the June box?

Unboxing the Sephora Play! June 2016 beauty subscription box!

- A leaflet with information and tips for each of the products, and a Play! Pass for a free one-on-one tutorial plus 50 extra Beauty Insider Points with any in-store purchase (NOT valid online unfortunately). You can scan the images on this leaflet for additional product information using the Iphone app - as a proud Android phone owner I'm unable to use this feature!

- Bumble and Bumble Don't Blow It: a styling cream to add body and enhance the look of air-dried hair. I almost always let my hair air-dry, especially in the summer, and I have issues with frizzing, so this is something I'll be happy to test. I'm fairly happy with the products I use at this time (generally It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in) but I'll be curious to try it out and see if it really makes my air-dried hair look any better.

- bareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer: this liquid bronzer, just launched by bareMinerals for summer 2016, is the product I was most pleased to find in this box. I love liquid bronzers and I'm thrilled to see that the trend is picking up steam, with many brands launching their own versions this year, from Nars to Guerlain and from Benefit to Cover FX. That being said, the one from bareMinerals wouldn't be my first choice so I'm glad to test it but not exactly super excited.

- Benefit They're Real mascara in Black: seriously? A mascara that's been around for ages, and that Sephora gave away as a birthday gift several years ago? If they wanted to include a Benefit mascara in this box, at least they could have gone with their latest, the Roller Lash. Or even the color version of They're Real released last year, blue would have worked well with a summer theme. But this? I think I've received at least 4 mini black They're Real mascaras in the past few years... Boring! I feel like this sample is just a way to fill the Play! box space with something that had been cluttering their warehouse for too long. Thanks but I don't want the crap you took out during your spring cleaning Sephora...

- Becca Backlight Priming Filter: this is a shimmering makeup primer with a pearl finish that's supposed to blur imperfections and add luminosity to the skin. It's a fairly recent launch by Becca, just a few months old, and Sephora was offering deluxe samples on their website with a promotional code for a while. With my go-to foundation already having a dewy finish (YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint in its 2015 formula), and considering the fact that my skin gets oilier in the summer, I'm unlikely to reach for this very often in the next few months. It might work better for me in the winter when my skin is drier and can look dull.

- Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30: not a bad idea to include a sunscreen in a box that's sent in the beginning of the summer, but again I feel like there were newer, more exciting SPF products that could have been included instead of this. I'll try it and probably even use it up, I'm just not very enthusiastic about it.

- Perfume sample: Florence by Tocca. I know Tocca fragrances are quite popular and I had never tried one, so I'm pleased with the scent pick this month. It seems to be a nice, feminine floral.

Swatches of bareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer and Becca Backlight Priming Filter, in Sephora Play! June 2016 beauty subscription box
Swatches of: bareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer (top), see the micro shimmer?
and Becca Backlight Priming Filter


I absolutely loved the May box, but this June edition is a let-down for me. Nothing it contains is either very new or very exciting in my opinion. I feel like Sephora just stuffed this box with samples they had already offered on their website with a promotional code as "Weekly Specials", or as BI rewards. I personally rarely order from Sephora, but I suspect many Play! subscribers already received samples of the Becca Backlight primer, the Tarte sunscreen, and of course They're Real mascara before. That was actually my fear about a Sephora beauty box: that they would just recycle their Weekly Specials or past rewards and not provide anything unique to their subscribers. I hope we'll get a better selection next month!

Number of products: 6
Makeup products: 3
Products I'm really excited about: 0
Products I know I won't use: 1 (They're Real)
My grade: C

Where to buy? 

 If you want to sign up for Sephora Play! boxes, click here. I'm not sure if the subscription is currently open or if they have a wait list. Shop the products included in this box below!

See Past Sephora Play! Boxes

Sephora Play! Box May 2016

The box featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

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