Unboxing: Sephora Play! August 2016

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What's in the Sephora Play! subscription box for August 2016?

It's that time of the month again! No, not the time when we get zits and suffer mood swings... the time when the Sephora Play! box arrives! After last month's mind-blowing box, I was hoping to get some really great stuff again. Were my expectations met? Let's unbox this baby together and find out!

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. One thing I noticed is that people started receiving slightly different products since last month (I've seen July boxes with a different cleanser and bronzer).

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 fourth 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 August 2nd and my box was shipped on August 15th, and I did receive an email with my tracking number this time. The box was sent through UPS Mail Innovations as usual, 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 5 days to arrive to my Southern California location, with a delivery on August 20th, no signature required.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

Sephora Play! subscription box August 2016: the Eye Openers

Unboxing the Sephora Play! subscription box for August 2016

Sephora Play! August 2016: what's in the bag?

Unboxing the Sephora Play! subscription box for August 2016

The theme of the box this month is The Eye Openers, with a selection of products to beautify the eyes. The samples came in the usual white canvas bag closing with black ribbons, and it has a print with winking eyes this time. It's not as cute as last month's popsicle, but the printed hrase "Wink outside the box" is pretty smart!

What's in the August 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!

- Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544: nice! This eyeshadow formula has a great reputation but I haven't had a chance to try it yet, so this is a great pick for me. The sample is a generous size, about a third of the full version, so I won't struggle to use my regular eye brushes with it. The shade is described as a "pink granite", but to me this is more of a rosy taupe. I just swatched it and it feels smooth, rich and highly pigmented.

- Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Flirting Game: if Sephora's going to include products from their own line in their boxes, I think they should really make them full size... Anyways, this pencil eyeliner formula is great, shade 13 Tiramisu is actually my favorite matte brown pencil liner and I use it almost every day to tightline. It does last very well, even on the waterline. Flirting Game is a shimmery taupe with pink undertones and rich pigmentation. I like that Sephora chose a liner shade that pairs well with the eyeshadow color - in fact they suggest combining the two for an easy smoky look.

- Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: another product with great reviews that I haven't tried yet! I've been testing many different mascaras in the past few months and I've been disappointed by the last 5 or 6 of them, but I have my hopes up with this one!

- Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm: I guess an eye cream was to be expected considering the theme of the box, and I haven't tried this one yet. I'll definitely test it, Caudalie is a French brand after all!

- Lancôme Energie de Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer: I've really been wanting to try products from this new skincare line by Lancôme, especially this new liquid moisturizer - it sounds pretty novel and exciting, doesn't it? The thing is, every retailer under the sun has been giving out samples in the past few weeks, and I just received this exact mini with my last Nordstrom order. In fact, I wonder if it wasn't a 100-point reward you could get at Sephora last month?

- This month's perfume sample: Clean Reserve Blonde Rose. I'm not a fan of Clean in general, and I don't really get the concept here. The leaflet says it's supposed to be made with gentle, cruelty-free ingredients... What? Who's testing fragrances on animals? How is fragrance gentle or not gentle? I have to do some research about this but the marketing blurb about the scent is confusing me.

Sephora Play! for August 2016: swatches of the makeup products
Swatches from left to right: Sephora liner, MUFE eyeshadow,
Urban Decay mascara


This is an okay box for me, pretty good but nothing to write home about. I like that almost all the products are neatly tied to the theme, the Eye Openers, and that Sephora carefully selected the shades of the makeup samples so that they would work together. That being said, when I hear Eye Opener I think concealer, corrector or brightening wand, and I was disappointed not to find such a product in the box. I also wish that Sephora would be more careful about not including products that they gave away with a code or in exchange for rewards points just a few weeks prior!

Number of products: 6
Makeup products: 3
Products I'm really excited about: 1
Products I know I won't use: 0
My grade: B-

So what do you think? Good box, meh box, or bad box? If you're also a subscriber, did you receive different products?

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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