Celebrating Two Years of Play! by Sephora

My May Play! by Sephora box arrived the day before I headed to NYC for a weekend with girlfriends so as soon as the box arrived I slapped on some makeup and filmed an unboxing video. Before I get into my full May 2018 Play by Sephora review, take a gander at my first impressions:

If you’d like to see future unboxing videos from me, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I literally have one subscriber as of this post (LOL). I’m not looking to become a famous YouTuber, but hey, if you like following my blog, why not follow my videos as well?  🙂

The May theme is Beauty Goals, in celebration of Play! by Sephora’s two year anniversary. I was surprised to learn that Play has only been around for a couple years! May’s samples are “beauty products that have stood the test of time with their incredible formulas and cult followings.”

My Beauty Goals box included three makeup samples, a skin care sample, a hair care sample, and a fragrance sample, all housed in a Play-emblazoned denim pouch. Disappointingly, only two of the samples were new to me. More disappointingly my highlighter sample shattered in transit. Noooooooo!

Play! by Sephora samples | May 2018

The Skin Care

My sole skin care sample this month is the Sephora Collection Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying (full-size, $20). In my video I said I thought I had tried a sample packet of this mask before. I knew I had another packet left so I peeked in my toiletry bag, and it was indeed the same mask. I had only used it once and don’t remember what I thought of it, so it’ll be nice to have a larger sample for multiple uses.

This mask contains zinc, copper, and white clay, which help purify pores and absorb excess oil. I suppose the oil absorption is the “mattifying” element in the product’s name. My skin isn’t usually oily but I’m always down for some pore purification (porification?). You can also use it as a spot treatment on blemishes. I used the mask this morning; it made my skin feel a tad dry and tight but also very clean.

The mask lightens in color as it dries.

I don’t think I’d buy this mask full sized. BUT, I can’t get enough of face masks so I always appreciate it when Sephora includes one in a box!

The Makeup

I was so excited when I pulled a Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter (full-size, $38) sample out of my bag. But then I was so deflated when I opened the compact to find this mess:

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter broken sample | Play! by Sephora
Color: Champagne Pop

Becca highlighters definitely have a cult following, but I’ve somehow never tried one. The only Becca product I’ve tried before is the First Light Priming Filter that I received in my October 2017 box—and I really liked it. After I finished filming my unboxing video I contacted Sephora’s customer service about my broken sample. They told me that they couldn’t send a replacement, but that they would give me a $5 credit. They sell $19 minis of this product that are the same size as my sample (0.085 oz), so the credit is much less than the sample’s value. At least it covers half the cost of my box.

Since I couldn’t get a replacement sample I decided to try the rubbing alcohol fix that I’ve heard about. I did successfully try it once before on a broken powder. And guess what…it worked again!!

Top left: pouring rubbing alcohol into the compact. Top right: powder + alcohol paste. Bottom left: pasty powder after being smoothed out. Bottom right: ALL FIXED!

I’m so glad I was able to salvage the product! Woohoo!

Champagne Pop is a “soft white gold with peachy pink undertones.” The shade was originally a collaboration between Becca and YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill. They created it to work with all skin tones, and apparently it broke sales records upon its release. Below I’ve swatched it on my arm so you can see how it looks on my fair skin, which I think has neutral undertones? (I haven’t quite been able to figure that out yet.)

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop | Play! by Sephora
Top: finger swatch. Bottom: blended swatch.

The shade isn’t as peachy on my skin as it looks in the compact and the radiance factor is legit. This highlighter is so pretty and I can’t wait to play around with it more!

My next makeup sample is one of my own personal favorites: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (full-size, $20). I’ve probably purchased this full sized at least four or five times, so clearly I love it. However, it’s not so exciting to receive a sample of something I already know and love. Part of the joy of these boxes is trying new things!

My third makeup sample is Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer (full-size, $31). This is a great product, but I was disappointed because Sephora already sent me a sample of it in my June 2017 box. I believe this is the first time I’ve received a repeat sample from Play so it’s not a big deal, but if I start to receive more repeats I’ll consider canceling. Benefit makes other versions of the POREfessional so it would have been nice to have received one of those instead.

In case you’ve never tried this primer, it truly does a good job of blurring pores and fine lines. It has a light tint that disappears right into my skin, but I’m not sure how it would look on darker skin tones. I’m all set on primers for the time being so I don’t have any plans to buy this product full sized.

The Hair Care

The final deluxe sample this month is Bumble and bumble Thickening Spray (full-size, $30). I was actually excited to receive this hair care sample—hair is not usually my jam. A thickening spray is just what my hair needs! I used to use Bumble and bumble products quite a bit but haven’t bought them in awhile; they’re not cheap and I now prioritize spending money on skin care and makeup over hair care.

The spray basically smells like Hair Salon. You know what I’m talking about…it’s that smell you’re faced with every time you step into a salon. The product is a pre-styling spray that can be used as a setting hair spray as well. You’re supposed to spritz it onto damp hair and then style. I’ve tried this spray a couple times so far. I can’t say it made my hair look or feel thicker, but I also put zero effort into styling after using it.  The spray might be great if you’re into styling but because I don’t bother 99% of the time, I don’t need something like this.

My fragrance sample this month is Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (full-size, $85-165), a spicy floral scent. I thought it was okay; it’s not something I’m into wearing but it’s not awful.

All in all I’d say my May 2018 Play by Sephora box was a bit of a disappointment. I’m most excited about the Becca highlighter so I’m VERY happy that I was able to re-press it. Considering the fact that I’d already tried three of my five samples this month (and one was a repeat), the box was a little underwhelming. Sending a box full of popular products feels a bit misguided because many customers will have already tried at least one or two items. Obviously I don’t speak for all subscribers but I think a lot of us prefer to try new products. Fingers crossed for more new-to-me products and brands in June (my birthday month)!

Did you discover any new favorites in your Play! box this month?

What is Play! by Sephora?

Play! by Sephora is a $10 per month beauty subscription that includes five deluxe samples plus one fragrance sample; the samples are curated based on your Sephora beauty profile (hair color, eye color, skin tone, skin type, skincare concerns, haircare concerns, etc.). And of course, you can purchase full-sized versions of any samples from Sephora and earn VIB points if you’re a part of that program—which I highly recommend signing up for if you ever shop at Sephora. This subscription program also offers subscribers a “Play! Date” each month, which invites you and a friend to attend an in-store meetup to learn how to use the products in that month’s box (RSVP is required).