Earlier this year, when Sephora Play announced their intention to open up their subscription service to more subscribers, they gave people the option to put their names on a waitlist so that they could be included when the program became large enough that supply could meet demand. Like a dutiful Sephora minion, I signed up to be on the waitlist. And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Several months later, long after I had given up any hope of ever actually being taken off the waitlist, ever, I got an email that I could actually sign up to be a subscriber. This was far enough into June that I couldn’t get a June box, but not so far into June that it wouldn’t be a while before I actually got the July box. At the beginning of July, I was charged for my box, but since you are charged a couple of weeks in advance of the actual shipment, the box didn’t come until the third week of July. When I was on vacation. My brother-in-law came back from a camping trip to find it sitting on his front porch. I didn’t even know it was there until I dropped my nephew off at home after we got back from our trip. Anti-climactic as fuck, right?
Sephora Play is my first and only subscription box. I’ve thought about signing up for Glossybox, or Birchbox, or Ipsy, and have an account at Scentbird, but I’ve never actually pulled the trigger and ordered the service. My thought is, I have a lot of stuff already. Why accumulate even more stuff on the off-chance that I might like something in a box well enough to want to buy the full-size? I think I would definitely never actually order Ipsy, because a lot of the stuff they send seems to be cheap throwaway stuff. I have no problem with things being cheap, but if something isn’t prohibitively expensive, then if I already was interested in it, I probably would have tried it, already. So I feel like with Ipsy, it’s more likely that I’ll end up with stuff I don’t care about. Birchbox and Glossybox items seem like they’re more high-end, so it might be a way to try things I wouldn’t have wanted to buy without trying first, since they cost more money. That was essentially my line of reasoning with the Sephora Play box. Ten dollars is a small price to pay to get to sample products from the kinds of brands that Sephora carries. Especially skincare products, which are expensive and scary to blind-buy.
Sephora Play boxes come with six items all relating to a monthly theme. The theme for July was “Effortless Summer”. According to what I read, two different boxes were sent out with customization based on skin type. I think the Smashbox and First Aid products were different depending on whether or not your skin is oily or dry. As I have oily skin, the primer and the cleanser were geared toward that. I think all the other items were the same for all subscribers, but I could be wrong.
- First things first, the perfume. Nest Citrine. Last year, I went on an epic search for citrus-oriented perfumes that I might like, because I had decided to try to wear more citrus-y scents. I have no idea why. I’m given to strange bursts of micro-obsession. I bought a couple of things, but I never ended up wearing them that much. I like Citrine. It’s very heavy on the lemon blossom. It’s also supposed to smell of lotus blossom and freesia, but I don’t really smell those that much. I think it might be a fragrance I could wear more often. Possibly I’ll look into getting a rollerball of it. So, item number 1 was a hit.
- I don’t contour. I’m extremely white. They sent me a chocolate brown bronzer. Yeah, I have no use for it. Item number two, Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer, might be an excellent bronzer, for all I know, but I don’t know and have no desire to find out, so, for me, its inclusion was a miss.
- So, I get wave spray. I even own some. Beachy waves are pretty awesome. In practice, though, every wave spray I’ve ever used, from cheap to high-end, leaves my hair kind of crunchy. Ouai Wave Spray is supposed to give you “effortlessly chic, undone hair.” Crunchy is kind of the opposite of “effortlessly chic.” I can achieve actual mostly effortless waves by braiding my hair before I got to sleep. So, I have not used this spray. I plan to at least try it, to see if maybe it will live up to its ad copy, but I doubt that it will. Still, if it does actually turn out to be a crunch-free wave spray, it could be a hit, so, undecided, at this juncture.
- The beautyblender bloterazzi is dumb. It does what it says it does, but so do blotting papers, and they’re not twenty dollars. I got this one for roughly two dollars, and I’ll probably never use it. Miss.
- I was actually excited to try Smashbox’s Pore Minimizing Primer. I’ve read that it really does help with the appearance of pores, and having large pores is probably my number one beauty concern. I hate my pores. They’re the worst. I used it once, but I didn’t wear the makeup I had on for very long, and then I forgot it even existed for a couple of weeks, due to a state of makeup drawer chaos, so I don’t know how well it works, yet, but I’m excited to test it out the next time I wear makeup. Potentially big hit!
- I love First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay unreservedly. I’ve been using it as my go-to in-shower cleanser ever since I got it. I’ve going to have to invest in a full-size bottle, soon. I’ve already put it in my cart on Sephora’s website, so I don’t forget about it the next time I make an order. Basically, when I got back from vacation, my skin was a mess. I joked on Facebook that my forehead looked like the genitals of a syphilitic prostitute. It was an apt comparison. I had so, so many pimples, it was insane. I got one on my jawline that I kept picking at, so I’m lucky I didn’t give myself staph infection. Between the cleanser and my diet being better, my face has improved a lot, the past couple of weeks. Giant hit.
On to the next box!
- I don’t like Clean perfume, but I do like rose scents, so I was willing to give Clean Reserve Blonde Rose a chance. I tested it on paper, and while it did smell nice right after the spray, it faded really quickly. I like my roses with more assertive personalities. Total miss.
- I was worried, when I signed up for Sephora Play, that they’d put things I already have in the boxes. That happened here, with Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, which I already own several tubes of. I like Perversion, so I wouldn’t call it a miss, but I since I already had plenty, I gave the tube that came in the box to my sister.
- Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer was extremely runny in consistency and left my skin feeling sticky. I did not like it at all, and I certainly wouldn’t spend 55 dollars on a full-size. Miss.
- I’ve been meaning to get some sort of eye serum. I don’t have a lot of lines around my eyes, because I don’t spend much time outside, squinting in the sun, but I know that eventually I’ll have them, and it’s better to prepare for aging before it happens. I’ve only worn it once, so far, but if works out well, maybe I’ll become a regular user of Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm. I’ll have to use the product quite a bit more before I can form an opinion on its effectiveness, but its inclusion was a definite hit.
- I like Make Up For Ever eyeshadow, but I don’t think that a pinky-brown is a color you want to use to introduce your eyeshadow formula to people. It’s boring. Hit for including a fairly large sample of an excellent eyeshadow formula, but total miss in regard to color.
- Second verse, same as the first. The last product in the box was a sample size of Sephora’s Contour Eye eyeliner pencil. The color on this one? Taupe. A range of colors that includes several different shades of blues and purples, bright pink, shades of green and aqua and teal, and they send us taupe in the hopes of convincing us to buy their eyeliner. I’m sorry, Sephora, but no one is going to be seduced by taupe eyeliner. Miss.
Overall, I would say that July’s box was much more successful. There were some misses, but there were also things that I loved and found exciting. There wasn’t really much to get excited over in August’s box. With the exception of there being a chance that I could possibly come to want to use the eye balm regularly, there’s nothing in it that I feel like I need to have.
Next month’s theme is “Unbasic Basics” so I assume it will be mostly devoted to skincare, and I’m totally looking forward to that.