Sephora Play October Edition: A subscription box review

It feels like everybody and their cousin have a subscription box. Some are too expensive, and some consist of too many drugstore stuff I won’t use. I got an email from Sephora about their Play box subscription months ago. It is currently in its beta testing phase so it is invite only, but Sephora carries pretty nice brands and it’s only $10, which is a pretty good deal. I didn’t get the September box, but after taking a look at what’s in it on Beauty by Jellybean, I decided to opt in for the October box. I’m not big on makeup but dewy skin totally sounds like my type.

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You get billed for the box at end of the first week of the month (Oct 9th ish) and it ships the third full week of the month (just got it Oct 23rd). Sephora will send you email with teasers during that time, altho this month’s teaser wasn’t entirely accurate. The teaser mentions hottest Korean beauty and upon first product reveal they listed Becca highlighter instead of Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin skin tint, but I suppose that’s why it’s beta and they are still working out the kinks. As for the products themselves, they are pretty nice.

20151024_110515This month’s products are all skincare with a perfume thrown in. I added my white Boscia konjac sponge in the picture for comparison with the Boscia konjac sponge that came with the box. It is a nice mix of new products and old products that are popular:

Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb ($7.6 for .34oz)reviewed it here when it first came out.

Sephora Collection Face Mask, Pearl ($6 for 1 sheet)reviewed here.

Boscia Konjac Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal ($6ish for a mini?): The mini is barely the size of a cotton pad after soaking in water, although still usable. There are no scent and it feels just like the full sized original one, reviewed/compared here. I can’t tell the difference between charcoal and original. The bigger one is more convinient, but this one dries faster.

Atelier Cologne  Collection Azur – Mandarine Glaciale perfume (???): Mandarin is the most prominent note, but bergamot gives it a more smokey woody note that makes it less fruity and more unisex. There’s also a hint of Jasmine, but it smells more like a juicier and slightly woody version of those fancy orange black tea. The strong note of mandarin fades after a few hours and it settles into a nice mellow scent.

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser ($5.6 for 1oz): It come out black like the Boscia black mask, but with a mild plant floral scent. It warmed up a bit when applied to the skin and foams/lathers up nicely. It leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth but does not hydrate. However!! An hour afterwards, my skin start to feel a bit itchy. I used the same routine the next day but with my old cleanser and my skin was fine. I do also feel a bit itchy when I used a few pore minimizing products before and the fragrance from Boscia black mask made me tear up, so if you don’t have the same reaction as me and have oily skin, this might be worth a try. I will stick to my Boscia Purifying Cleanser, which is nicer to my skin.

Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner ($6 for .5oz): It have a very green scent like freshly cut plant stem. It’s a milky slippery liquid that feels more like a thin serum or essence than toner. It’s got the ferment ingredient like most essence and makes my skin feel comfortable, plump and hydrated. I recommend treating it like an essence and using finger to apply rather than cotton pad due to it’s slightly more slippery and thicker consistency than most watery toner.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Day Tint SPF 15 ($4.8 for .17oz) : same floral fruity scent as the liquid. Feels creamy, no need to use moisturizer underneath, or it might not set well. Medium coverage and dries down to a natural finish. It will even out the skintone with redness but won’t cover freckles and spots. From swatch I thought it might be a tad dark for my light skintone but it blends in perfectly! I find a lot of light skin colors to be too pink on me but this is neutral/peachy/yellow so it looks natural on me. From the ingredients you can tell it’s a makeup not skincare (top 10 are all basically silicone). I would not recommend it for oily skin but if you have dry fair skin frustrated with pink undertone, this is worth a try.

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Above is a size comparison of the mini sponge, wet, with the perfume vial, and swatch of the Dr. Jart tint. The box also comes with a little brochure that explains each product, some tips and a card for a Sephora makeover thing. With that said! The routine they suggested is a little off. Boscia black cleanser and sponge are best for oily/combo skin, if you have dry/combo skin this will dry you out. Sure, you then follow with the Fresh toner, Belif moisturizer, an spf AND the Dr. Jart+ tint…. which would be too stuffy for oily/combo skin (you might want to skip the moisturizer in the morning). But, the productss are good, and it also include a card thing that gives you 50pts with instore purchase.

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The products total comes out to $30ish, it’s a good deal considering the fact the box is only $10 and the products are good. I’m a skincare addict (and previously shopped exclusively at Sephora until their customer service went downhill) so I’ve already tried half of the products, but I still managed to find a few things that I haven’t tried but was interested in. Since I’m only interested in skincare and this is a mix subscription box, I decided to cancel. You can’t cancel on the website but a brief phone call to Sephora CS was able to take care of that. The caveat is that, since it’s still beta, you can’t skip boxes and once you unsubscribe you can’t subscribe again. It may change after it’s out of beta, whenever that is.

The November box teaser is already out. If you haven’t tried a lot of mid/high end products and want something new to try, I would highly recommend it for the great value and selection of products (most of the products can be used by everyone except maybe 2). If you are a mid/high end skincare or makeup hoarder like me with shoeboxes full of skincare minis, the box might not be that exciting or you might have already tried most of the products in the box.

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3 thoughts on “Sephora Play October Edition: A subscription box review

  1. Ah! I’m looking forward to novembers box! I’ve been in the wait list for awhile and just got the email a few days ago and I subscribed right away! Would have been nice to get Octobers, I like most of the stuff in there! Hope you enjoy!

    1. Nov sounds like there will be a mini Bite lipstick (resvestrol lipstick) and maybe a Josie Maran oil (Moroccan multi-purpose product?) in there. I hoard skincare more than I hoard makeup so I cancelled, but if you like brands Sephora carries it’s a good box.

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