I was FINALLY able to sign up for PLAY! by Sephora just this past month. It appears they’re slowly opening up subscription spots periodically, so if you haven’t gotten an invitation yet, it hopefully shouldn’t be long! Anyway, my first box arrived this week on July 19th. Inside the black and white striped box, there’s a folded insert that shows the products you received as well as a card for 50 Beauty Insider points when you purchase items in-store at Sephora. Underneath that is a bag containing the products. This month’s theme was, “Effortless Summer,” and the bag has a cute pink ice pop design with a lipstick kiss mark next to it. The boxes were apparently a little different depending on your preferences and I know I received the “Dry Skin” variant.
- benefit Dew the Hoola – 1 oz / $28 – (Sample size is .16 oz, value of $4.48 by volume) At first I thought, eh, bronzer, because it’s just not a thing I wear generally. I thought the product looked a little dark for my fair skin, but it actually goes on very subtly and makes for a nice summer glow that will definitely work to extend what little natural summer bronzing I pick up from gardening and mowing the lawn. It would definitely be too dark once I fade back to pale in the winter, but this will definitely work for late summer and fall.
- First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – 1 oz / $5.50 – (Trial Size Product) Fragrance free and SLS/ALS free! It foams slightly into a creamy lather and doesn’t irritate my skin or feel drying at all which is rather nice. Definitely going to keep this to slip into my travel bag.
- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – .5 oz / $16 – (Sample size is .25 oz, value of $8) I have a bunch of these that I’ve gotten as free samples on various orders, but it works well enough that I’m not mad to have another one that I’ll use eventually. I really don’t ever do a full-face foundation since I just don’t need it and feel smothered by foundation anyway, but for the times that we’re going out somewhere nice and I do the full dip, this is nice to have on hand.
- Ouai Wave Spray – 5 oz / $26 – (Sample is 1.7 oz, value of $8.84 by volume) It smells nice, but it has an ingredient, “Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate,” which is a, “sticky ingredient that can cause hair and scalp dryness, plus strip hair color with repeated use,” according to TightlyCurly.com. I do color my hair with henna and my scalp is already SO DRY, so this is a big miss. Bummer too, because it smells rather nice, but the more I look at ingredients, the more it seems they chose the more irritating ingredients. Plus, my hair is already phone-cord curly, and I really don’t need MORE waves/curls, so this misses the mark in multiple ways. Going to throw this is the trade/give-away box.
- Beautyblender Blotterazzi – 1 set / $20 – (Sample is a single blotter, approx value $10) Oh man, peak summer, so I can definitely use this. The little cardboard pack has a single blotter made from the same material as the beautyblender and has a small packet of liquid cleanser inside as well to clean the blotter pad. It’s pink (eew, pink, ugghhh), and I’m not sure how to keep it sanitary while being used since the packaging is cardboard, but I might be able to sneak it inside an old mint tin or something? Still, incredibly useful for summer whether you wear makeup or not.
- Nest Citrine Fragrance – 1.7 oz / $68 – (Sample is .004 oz, value of $.16 by volume) Well, I guess it’s good this is the lowest value item in the box because I really don’t like the scent. It’s far too floral for me and in a bad way. One of the scent notes is Freesia and that’s probably what’s turning me off. I like scents that are a little deeper and muskier, with none of the stinky flower shop florals (Jasmine, Freesia, Rose, etc). This is going to the trade/give-away box as well.
The total value comes to $36.98 which is decent for a box that cost $10.60 (including tax). Even when you take out the two things I won’t be keeping, the value is still $27.98 which is above the cost. I’m super bummed about the Ouai spray since it looks like it’s just going to irritate my already sahara-dry scalp, but I may give it a whirl on dry hair and try to keep it down at the ends to see if it helps with frizz. I’m not entirely sure if this box is going to be a hit most months since it’s not cruelty-free and doesn’t contain the hippie-crunchy-granola sort of products I like – it’s more mainstream and popular instead of ingredient-conscious. Still, for $10, as long as the box value keeps exceeding the cost for the items I do keep, it’s worth it! Plus, if you have a Sephora nearby, the 50 points every month add up quickly. Unfortunately my closest Sephora is in the Mall From Hell and between fighting for a parking spot and walking through the mall just to get to Sephora, I doubt I’ll be getting to the store to take advantage of these. Oh well, 4 out of 6 of the items in the box were still worth trying and keeping, so that works for me!