Unboxing: Sephora Play! May 2017

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I've been a busy bee lately, and you probably noticed that I skipped last month's unboxing of my only subscription box, the Sephora Play. To be honest, I didn't think that the April edition was worth my time, or yours for that matter. So is the May box making up for my disappointment last month? Let's take a look!

What is Sephora Play! ?

By now, I'm sure most of you already know. If you don't, here's the deal: 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. Different subscribers may receive different samples every month, so what you see in my box might not be what someone else got.

The Sephora Play! program was launched in 2015 in a bunch of test markets in the US and opened nationwide in April 2016, just over a year ago. Subscribers are charged at the beginning of each month and the box is supposed to be shipped in the 3rd week of the month: I was charged on May 2. 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 to your mailbox. I did get a tracking number this time, and my box arrived on May 21, a little later than usual.

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

The theme for this month's box is The Rising Star: "This month we're taking you on a tour of cult favorites, hard-to-find formulas, and up-and-coming brands that are making their mark right now". That should basically be the very definition of the Sephora Play box, if you ask me, so it's a very vague concept (how is formula "hard-to-find" when it's sold at Sephora??), and unsurprisingly the mix of brands and products is rather random.

The big surprise this month actually comes from the bag, or should I say the pouch! So far, the products in the Sephora Play box have always come in a drawstring bag, generally made of white canvas, but we've seen interesting variations lately (black velvet, gym mesh, pink satin). This time, however, we got a transparent plastic pouch with red graphics. I appreciate the change, although if I'm honest I find the drawstring bags more useful - I have about 500 small bags and pouches I got in gift with purchase offers and rarely use them, while I always find something to stuff in the roomy drawstring bags.

What's in the May box?

- trèStiQue Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick in Maldives Luminescent: I wouldn't call trèStiQue an up-and-coming brand, considering they've been at Sephora for a while - great brand name by the way, if you don't mind it being misspelled by 99% of your customers... Anyways, a highlighter in a stick form can always be useful to throw in my weekend makeup bag.

- Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone: so with Nudestix and trèStiQue we have two brands that specialize in stick makeup in the May Play box. That's really weird, usually when a brand partners with a retailer for a special promo (such as being in a box), the retailer guarantees that there won't be a competing brand participating in the same campaign. Here the two are in the exact same niche. But hey, a matte lip crayon is something I'll use, although I'm not too sure about the brown shade, that's very 90s!

- belif Hungarian Water Essence: I discovered essences fairly recently and I've immediately been hooked to these intense, hydrating toners. I actually looked into this product when it first launched a few months ago, so I'm very glad that I'll get to try it!

- Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil: a cleansing oil is also something I'll definitely use, and I haven't tried much from Tatcha yet. I find the brand image very appealing, but whenever I look closely at formulations, I find nothing that would really work for me. Hopefully this cleansing oil will make me change my mind... but already I'm annoyed that they call this oil "pure", suggesting it's natural, when in fact the main ingredient is Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, an oily liquid that can be derived from plant extracts but is definitely not a "pure" natural oil.

- Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask: I started hearing about high-end haircare brand Rahua several years ago, but I've never tried it - did I already mention that I suck at hair? Well, I also have a hard time spending money on hair product, and Rahua is certainly not cheap. I'll gladly try this nourishing hair mask on my very dry tips.

- Perfume sample: Tocca Stella. Second time I'm getting a Tocca sample in a Sephora Play box. Aren't there enough brands of perfumes sold at Sephora that we can get some variety?

Swatches  - trèStiQue Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick in Maldives Luminescent Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone
Swatches of trèStiQue highlighter stick in Maldives Luminescent
and Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone


I opened this box as I was just coming back from a week away from home for work, and I found it rather disappointing then. Maybe it's being stuck for almost 7 hours on a plane next to a woman who would not stop moving (get some meds or buy yourself a G&T and chill, lady!) that put me in a bad mood, but this box has actually grown on me. I'm really happy with the skincare and hair brand selection in particular, and there's nothing in here that I wouldn't try.

Number of products: 6
Makeup products: 2
Products I'm really excited about: 3
Products I know I won't use: 0
My grade: B+

Where to buy?

Check the Sephora Play! page to sign up for a subscription - there may be a wait list. Shop the products I got in my box below:

The product featured in this review was purchased by me. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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