Unboxing: Sephora Play May 2018

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To say that I've been disappointed with my Sephora Play beauty subscription boxes lately is quite an understatement. I haven't received a good box since the beginning of the year, and I was really hoping that Sephora would up their game for May. Did they, or was it another miss? Let's find out!

If you want more info about how the Sephora Play subscription works, take a look at one of my older posts, like this one. In a few words: the subscription costs $10 a month plus tax, and there are 6 beauty products in each box (one is supposed to be a "bonus", usually a fragrance sample). I also do a video unboxing of my Sephora Play every month in my Instagram stories, follow me and keep an eye on my stories if you want to watch the next one!

I don't know if we can really still talk of a theme, but the official name of the Play box for May 2018 is "Beauty Goals". Then Sephora goes on to say "This month marks two years of Play! by Sephora" (the subscription launched nationwide in May 2016 and I've been a subscriber since day one) and that "to celebrate [they] compiled the beauty products that have stood the test of time with their incredible formulas and cult followings". Doesn't that sound exciting? You'd expect a fun anniversary box filled to the brim with iconic best-sellers. Yeah, but nope. This is one of the most boring boxes I ever received. If that's how Sephora puts together a celebratory box to commemorate the 2nd anniversary, I have no more hope for the future of this subscription...

On the bright side, the little bag for this month is different and very cute: it's a light blue denim fabric with red drawstrings that look like a climbing rope. That's so much nicer than the usual white canvas bag!

Let's take a closer look at what I got:

- Buxom Lash Mascara: okay, a mini mascara is something I'll use when I travel. But I've never heard of this particular mascara before so it certainly doesn't have a cult following, and I already got a Buxom product in last month's box (a gloss). Once more, Sephora repeats brands in the Play boxes again and again.

- Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer: this primer is well-rated, but it's been around for ages and everyone has tried it multiple times before. I sure did, since I already received this exact same sample in my Sephora Play box for July 2017! That wasn't even a whole year ago... Sephora has been sending repeats a lot recently and that's really not okay considering we're paying 10 bucks for a box of 6 samples. Honestly I don't understand how they think that they can get away with it!

- Alterna Caviar CC Cream for Hair: I'm a hair dummy but surprisingly hair care products were often what I liked the best in my Play boxes. I don't think I ever tried something from Alterna but I heard good comments about the brand, so I will try this little tube. Can I roll my eyes at the silly "CC Cream for Hair" name though?

- bareMinerals Mineral Veil: here's one product that fits the cult classics description. But like the Porefessional, it's been around for so long that it's not exciting anymore. Besides, I have a full-size jar of this setting powder, and I've been struggling to finish it for ages. I know it's very well regarded, but I don't like it! With most of my foundations it creates an excessively powdery look and clings to my peach fuzz, making it 10 times more visible - yes I use very little. I don't think it makes my base last longer either, so for me it's really not worth the hype.

- Sephora Collection Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying: what the?? I updated my profile on Sephora's website several months ago to switch my skin type to dry - it's more combo but I kept receiving products for oily skin in my Play boxes. What is Sephora's excuse to send me a mattifying mud mask now? Obviously they sent this sample randomly without even looking at my profile information. I'll have to pass this along because mud, charcoal and clay masks have been way too drying for me lately.

- Atelier Cologne Clémentine California: I love this scent BUT a) this has to be at least the 5th time I get an Atelier Cologne fragrance sample in my Sephora Play box; b) I got this exact same scent in my March 2017 box! (what a fantastic box that was in retrospect...). That's a product repeat, AGAIN.


Honestly my expectations were very low, yet Sephora managed to make this box worse than I feared. And that's an anniversary box! I got absolutely no new or remotely exciting product, and I received TWO repeats that I previously got in past boxes. At this point if I had to describe the Sephora Play subscription in one word I would have to say "lame". I feel like they're not even trying to come up with original ideas and fun themes anymore, they're just throwing together random samples, not even adapted to my skin type or complexion. I said last month that I would give Sephora till the summer to turn things around and start curating good boxes again. Well, summer starts in June, so they better send me a really great selection of products next month or I'll have to cancel my subscription.

Number of products: 5 + fragrance
Makeup products: 3
Products I'm really excited about: 0
Products I know I won't use: 2 


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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