Unboxing: Sephora Play! July 2016

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Review Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

Last month's Sephora Play! box was a let down for me, so I was really hoping to get more exciting products this time. Because I like surprises I didn't look at any of the sneak peeks online I had no idea what this box contained, except that it had a summer theme. Let's unbox it together!

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 5 samples, deluxe or travel sizes of makeup, skincare, haircare products and one fragrance sample. 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.

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 only the third 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 July 2nd and my box was shipped on July 14th, but I didn't receive an email with my tracking number. I had to check my account on Sephora's website to learn that the box had shipped. 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 6 days to arrive to my Southern California location (took its sweet time), with a delivery on July 20th, no signature required.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

Let's unbox the Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

inside the Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box: canvas bag with popsicle

Let's unbox the Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

The theme of the box this month is Effortless Summer, with warm-weather essentials for the face and hair. The samples came in the usual canvas bag with black ribbons, but it has an adorable hot pink popsicle print this time!

What's in the July box?

Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box effortless summer

What's in the Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

Contents of the Sephora Play! July 2016 beauty subscription box!

- A leaflet with information and tips for each of the products with more pictures of pastel popsicles, 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!

- First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay: I don't think I've ever tried anything from First Aid Beauty, so I'm excited to test this brand for the first time! My face gets sweaty and oily in the summer heat and that often causes small bumps on my skin, so a deep cleansing, pore unclogging cleanser could be a life saver. Weird thing though, I quickly looked at the ingredients list and I can't find any clay. Maybe it's hiding under some obsucre name, but there's no kaolin in there. I'll do some research after trying it.

- Ouai Wave Spray: so it looks like every Play! is coming with one hair product, and this time it's a brand I find very intriguing, Ouai. The leaflet confirms what I thought, the name of the brand is inspired by the French word "ouais" which is a casual form of "oui", so you could translate it as Yea. Cool he? Anyways, again a brand that I've never tried but wanted to, and with my already naturally wavy hair, I'm curious to see how this spray will perform. It's a pretty big bottle so it should last me about a life (considering I have a ton of hair products and rarely use anything). Weird thing (again!): my bottle has two labels stuck one on top of the other, so I can't read the ingredients list because all the letters get mixed up.

- Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer: okay Smashbox primers are probably one of the most common makeup samples you can get. I think I have like 5 in my sample box. But this one is a good size and the pore minimizing version is exactly what I need right now. I just started a new job and today I saw myself in the bathroom mirror about 4 pm: foundation almost gone, T-zone shiny as hell and pores larger than the Pacific. Oh dear. I hope this can help! I'll put it to the test tomorrow.

- Beautyblender Blotterazzi: oh yeah! Like I said, my skin gets oily and shiny in the summer, and I rely on blotting papers right now. But a washable, re-usable version sounds so much better! This is one thin, flat sponge (basically a slice of original Beautyblender) and the "full-size" product just comes with two sponges and retails for $20. Score! This one only comes in a cardboard sleeve so I'm not sure yet how I'm going to transport it in my purse to keep it clean, but there's also a small sample of the brand's liquid sponge cleanser.

- Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate: oh yeah, again! This bronzer is in everyone's favorite list, but I haven't tried it yet! It's a really large deluxe sample with 2.5 g (larger than most full-size eyeshadows). I find the sweet scent a bit nauseating to be honest, but I don't expect it to last after application. Please tell me it doesn't. Chocolate is supposed to be the medium shade in this bronzer range, but it doesn't look too dark for me. In fact it swatches a bit weak, I hope it performs better on the cheeks - I prefer my bronzer to look very natural anyway.

- Perfume sample: Citrine by Nest Fragrances. And yet another brand I've been wanting to try for a while! My first impression is excellent, Citrine is a bright citrusy floral, totally my kind of scent.

Sephora Play! July 2016: beautyblender blotterrazzi and Too Faced chocolate soleil bronzer
The Beautyblender Blotterazzi and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer


Wow, this is my dream beauty box! Only brands I love or am excited to try, products that really fit the theme and that are truly useful in the summer: a deep clay cleanser to remove the grime, a blotting sponge, a primer to extend foundation wear and hide pores, a bronzer, a beach wave spray and a summery fragrance. I'm really impressed! Dear Play!, I forgive you for last month, please keep it up!
I do realize that some of these products are part of Sephora Favorites kits, such as the Summer Crush (Blotterazzi) or the Bronze Bares All (Too Faced Chocolate Soleil), so if you bought those sets they're not new to you and probably not so exciting. I haven't purchased any so I'm ecstatic about this box!

Number of products: 6
Makeup products: 2
Products I'm really excited about: 6
Products I know I won't use: 0
My grade: A+

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!

The box featured in this post 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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