Hi everyone! In today’s post we are going to be reviewing the May 2017 Sephora Play! beauty box. For those who aren’t familiar, Sephora Play! is a monthly subscription beauty box that contains five deluxe makeup, skincare, or haircare samples, as well as one fragrance sample, for $10/month. The box variation that you receive is based on your Sephora profile. With that being said, let’s jump into reviewing what I received for my May 2017 Play! box.
Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash
Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash deluxe sample
- Full size: 6.7 oz / 200 mL
- Retail value: $20 USD
- Deluxe sample size: 1.7 oz / 50 mL
- Retail value: $5.07 USD
This cleanser is sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and paraben-free, all excellent things that I appreciate in skin care. Plus, I’ve heard many good things about Skin Laundry as a brand, so I’ll be going into using this with positive expectations.
But I can safely say that I do not need any more face cleansers from sample boxes. This one will have to wait until I work through my current cleanser, so you may not see this in an empties post for long while.
Belif Hungarian Water Essence
Belif Hungarian Water Essence deluxe sample
- Full size: 2.53 oz / 75 mL
- Retail value: $42 USD
- Deluxe sample size: 0.33 oz / 10 mL
- Estimated value: $5.48 USD
I’m a big fan of everything I have tried from Belif so far, so this is actually a product I was excited to get just because of the brand. An essence is meant to “prepare” your skin to receive other skincare (based on what I learned from spending hours on /r/AsianBeauty), but the Sephora App has a confusing statement on how it should be used. Plus, looking at the ingredients and what the product description is, I’m not sure if this is meant to be taken as an essence in the traditional Korean beauty sense.
So, for now, I’m choosing to use it right after my toner but before my serums and moisturizer. I have used it a few times now and I can say I do like how it feels on this skin, but I haven’t seen anything incredible yet. I’ll continue to use it until it is empty.
Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask
Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask deluxe sample
- Full size: 7 oz / 200 mL
- Retail value: $58 USD
- Deluxe sample size: 0.74 oz / 22 mL
- Estimated value: $6.13 USD
Not excited for this. I enjoy hair masks a lot, but there were other products that other Sephora box variations got that I would have preferred. The reviews are lackluster on Sephora’s website, with multiple saying it dried their hair out (!!) which is the last thing my color-treated hair needs… and beside that, I don’t even know if there would even enough in this sample for decent coverage of my long hair. I’m on the fence on whether I will try it or not.
Trestique Highlight + Perfect Multipurpose Stick in “Maldives Luminescent”
Trestique Highlight + Perfect Multipurpose Stick in “Maldives Luminescent” deluxe sample
- Full size: 0.21 oz / 6.1 g
- Retail value: $34 USD
- Deluxe sample size: 0.04 oz / 1.13 g
- Estimated value: ~$6.30 USD
This came broken. I took the cap off, and the entire highlighter product fell out of the packaging. I had to pick it up and gently placed it back into the component just so I could get this semi-normal photo (you can see a little bit of my finger print in the above picture), but since it’s completely broken I haven’t been able to easily use it yet. I will email Sephora regarding this and update later when / if I hear from them.
It didn’t have a product amount listed on it, so since my product had actually broken out of the component I went ahead and weighed it with a scale because I had to know what the estimated value was. It weighed out to be 0.04 oz (so about ~$6.30 value) which falls in line with most deluxe sample sizes.
The color is really lovely, and it feels very smooth and blendable, so this is actually a really nice product. I’m hoping to not receive any more highlighters any time soon, though, since we received Benefit Watt’s Up! as recently as March 2017. At least this shade is actually wearable for me–not too dark for my super light skin, more of a pale peach tone, not too golden or yellow.
If you keep reading, you’ll see a swatch of this along with the NudeStix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in “Greystone” on my skin.
NudeStix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in “Greystone”
NudeStix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in “Greystone” deluxe sample
- Full size: 0.1 oz / 2.8 g
- Retail value: $24 USD
- Deluxe sample size: 0.088 oz / 2.5 g (?!)
- Estimated value: $21.43 USD (?!)
Before even discussing what this product is supposed to do, let’s talk about the value first: I had to double check that I was doing the math right on this. The NudeStix deluxe sample component says the amount of product is 0.088 oz, and Ulta’s website says a full size is 0.1 oz, meaning this is nearly a full-sized product (just 0.012 oz off).
This would blow me out of the water and be awesome in terms of value if the color wasn’t such a brown shade. I had tried looking at swatches online and none of them were accurate to the actual product. It’s straight up brown, as you’ll see in my picture. A friend who also received this box posted their own swatch and theirs looks just like mine, so I am pretty sure this isn’t just an issue of bad lighting on my part.
I wish Sephora would have selected the shade “Boho” instead of “Greystone” to send us, because everything I have heard about the Magnetic Matte Lip Color is amazing… it’s supposed to be non-drying, waterproof, non-feathering, three-in-one lip stain, lip color, and lip liner. How awesome does that sound? I’m so bummed over the shade that was sent. 😦
Tocca “Stella” – Perfume Sample
Tocca “Stella” perfume sample
- Full size: 1.7 oz / 50 mL
- Retail value: $72 USD
- Deluxe sample size: Vial – unknown amount
- Estimated value: n/a
This is described as a fresh floral fragrance, with key notes of blood orange, white freesia, and sandalwood, but I would like to add it has a slightly creamsicle scent to it. Very sweet, not really a nighttime fragrance in my opinion, I’d feel more like wearing it during the daytime in the spring and summer. Not my favorite scent, but not terrible. I actually prefer Tocca’s “Florence”, though.
Photos taken in natural daylight, no flash, on bare skin.
Swatches of Trestique Highlight + Perfect in “Maldives Luminescent” and NudeStix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in “Greystone”
- Left: Trestique Highlight + Perfect Multipurpose Stick in “Maldives Luminescent”
- Right: NudeStix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in “Greystone”
The final value of the box totaled up to $44.41 USD, which is roughly what the March 2017 box was valued at. This exceeds the $10 I paid for it, but nearly half the value came from the NudeStix product which is in a color that I’m not excited at all for, so it’s a bit of a bust in that sense.
The total value of products that I’m actually “excited to try” is $11.78 USD, so this box was not that great overall for me. I’m always pleased to try Belif products and, even though it came broken, the Trestique will actually be a wearable color for me. I’m waiting to see how Sephora responds to my email regarding broken Trestique product, but at this time, I’d give this box a 1.5 out of 5 this month as a final rating considering everything. Sephora Play! hasn’t been impressing me with products lately in spite of my profile being up to date, so I will give it two more months before deciding if I will continue to subscribe or not.