Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016

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Sephora Play beauty subscription box

I always get really excited when I find out that my monthly Sephora Play! box is on its way, and the waiting game is tough! My box finally arrived today after sitting in LA county for 2 days, apparently waiting for the first day of rain in ages to show up... Anyways, let's unbox it together and see what's in it!

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 a few months ago (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 fifth 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 September 3rd and my box was shipped on September 14th. I did receive an email with my tracking number (it wasn't always the case). 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 6 days to arrive to my Southern California location, with a delivery on September 20th, no signature required.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

sephora play beauty subscription box makeup skincare haircare fragrance

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

The theme for the box this month is The Unbasic Basics, with a selection of products that are supposed to be must-have staples. The white canvas bag is decorated with the drawing of a lipstick and the phrase "This is not (just) a lipstick.", it reminded me of Magritte's famous The Treachery of Images painting (This is not a pipe)

What's in the September box?

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

Unboxing: Sephora Play! September 2016 "The Unbasic Basics"

- 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). I used the pass last month to get the extra points but they were not added to my BI account. I had to contact the customer service, and they gave me the points within a couple of days. 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!

- Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell: I know that the Sephora line has great products and I'd love to discover them, but this mini lipstick is TINY. C'mon, this is a SEPHORA product in the SEPHORA box, give a full-size! Or at the very least a large travel size! On top of that, the pale pink shade is just not a color I can wear without looking like I'm rehearsing for the zombie apocalypse... I'll give it a try because it's sheer and shiny, but I don't think it can work for me. Miss.

- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper: I like a good liquid eyeliner so I'm happy to test this one by Kat Von D. That's also going to be my first experience with the brand. I've heard mixed reviews about the Tattoo Liners and I can see why: it swatches quite sheer, what you can see on the photo below is 3 swipes! Hopefully it builds easily on the eyelids.

- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel: okay, a clear brow gel that's been on the market for years (I used it almost 5 years ago). How's that supposed to be exciting? Sephora, if you're going to send me anything from ABH, pick something newer and more inspiring like a mini highlighter or foundation! Or if you really want to send me a brow gel, make it the new one by Benefit, or by one of the lesser known brands you carry!

- Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation moisturizer: I probably have 6 packet samples of this face cream in my stash. Again, it's been around for ages, everybody's already tried it. Yawn!

- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector: okay, this is mildly intriguing, and the sample is a generous size. It's supposed to soften and add shine to the hair and last for 5 shampoos. If it helps with frizzing it could be a great product for me!

- Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia fragrance: this is the second time we get an Atelier Cologne fragrance in the 5 months I've been subscribing. I know they're a great brand, but to be honest a lot of their colognes smell similar, so I'm not too happy about a repeat. I also already got this sample in the past and the scent is part of a travel-size box I bought a while back, so this is not a new discovery for me.

Sephora Play September makeup products
The three makeup products in the Sephora Play! September box

Swatch of Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell and Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
Swatches of the Sephora Rouge Shine lipstick
and Kat Von D Tattoo Liner


This is a pretty lame box if you ask me. Nothing in there is new, we're getting a Sephora lipstick in a ridiculously small size, plus a bunch of stuff most subscribers have almost certainly tried before. I've never been concerned about value but I don't think I'm getting my $10 worth this month. I'm not excited about a single product in this box! I think the theme should have been "The VERYBasic Old Basics"...

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

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 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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