Unboxing: Sephora Play! August 2017

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My Sephora Play! beauty subscription box arrived super early this month, so I decited to wait a few more days to publish this unboxing to avoid spoiling the surprise for you. I think everybody should have received theirs by now, so let's open this baby together!

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 (+ tax), 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, 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 August 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. As most past months, I only got an email with my tracking number when my box was transferred to USPS, and I received it on the 11th (that's the earliest I've ever received it).

Let's unbox this month's goodies!

The theme this month is The Innovators: "these advanced formulas and hi-tech products are paving the way for the future of beauty". Oddly enough the classic drawstring bag has a print that says Makeup Geek. So of course, like many other people, I thought maybe the Makeup Geek brand was making its debut at Sephora and launching through the Play box (wouldn't be a bad marketing move if you ask me). But nope! Still not MG at Sephora, and the founder of the brand expressed her anger at the retailer for using her trademarked brand name on the bag.

I'm no lawyer so I can't say if Sephora using the name because it's an existing phrase is legal or not, but it sure was very clumsy. Why would Sephora confuse their customers and piss off a respected indie brand? Does the team of people who work on the Play box know so little about beauty that they weren't aware the brand Makeup Geek existed? That would be very concerning: I count on these people to deliver exciting new beauty to me every month, they better have in-depth knowledge of trends, brands and products!

What's in the August box?

Looks like I got the box #189 this month, you can see the alternative combinations that other subscribers may have received here.

- Kat Von D Lock It Concealer Creme in #11: that was a bold move, the risk of sending me the wrong shade was high! In fact there's a small video on the Sephora Play page to show you how you can use a concealer that doesn't match your skintone, so at least they were aware of the problem. If you received a shade that's completely off, it might be time to update your Sephora profile. When I first looked at the little tube of concealer I thought it was too pink-toned, but it actually worked quite well under my eyes. It's on the thicker side which is not my favorite kind of texture, but it did a fairly good job despite some creasing into my fine lines.

- Beautyblender Micro.Mini: I was actually considering buying one of these tiny blending sponges, so I'm very happy to get one in this box. I also appreciate the fact that it pairs perfectly with the concealer! Is it "paving the way for the future of beauty" though? I mean, it's a small Beautyblender, which has been an uber popular item for years, and in itself is just a fancier shaped makeup sponge...

- Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil: this weird mascara shaped eye makeup remover is something I've been curious about, but not intrigued enough to spend $17 on a full size. I have the feeling it might be a fail for my sensitive eyes, but I'll be glad to test it out!

- Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: this is a popular brand that I've heard of a lot but had never tried, so I'm excited to use it, especially since the full size is ridiculously expensive at $45! It contains guarana extract that is supposed to firm the skin, and apparently that's how it qualifies as an Innovator. Yeah, well, I have been using firming body creams with a multitude of plant extracts since my teens, from caffeine to hot pepper, so I don't find it particularly innovative.

- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo: yeah, my collection of dry shampoos is growing! It's a product I use regularly so I enjoy testing different formulas from multiple brands - I've tested the Drybar brand version I got in a previous Play box and hated it, now I know not to waste my money on it! Hopefully the Living Proof will work better for me.

- The fragrance sample, in fact sampleS this month: Kat Von D Saint and Sinner. This Play box is a little heavy on Kat Von D, but this is an exciting pick so I'm not complaining! I've heard about these two scents when they first launched but never got around to sniff them - still haven't actually - so I'm very curious.


Not a bad box at all if you ask me! As usual I got products from good brands, although some are in the boxes a little too often, and I was lucky enough to only get things I had never tried before. I feel like I'm saying the same thing every month now: I'd like more brand new releases, and I wish they would stick to the theme a little more. I don't feel like any of the products featured in this box are truly innovative or giving us a glimpse of the future of beauty!

Number of products: 7
Makeup products: 3
Products I'm really excited about: 3
Products I know I won't use: 0 
My grade: A-

Where to buy?

You can visit this link to subscribe to Sephora Play! There may be a waitlist.

The box 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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