September has been a bit of a whirlwind, so I practically forgot about my Play! by Sephora box until it arrived last week! The day after I received it I went to visit family in St. Louis for a few days, so I didn’t get a chance to publish my post until now. This month’s box has a “Fall Into Beauty” theme to coincide with the changing of the seasons. Surprisingly, there were no products containing pumpkin. 😛
I’d been toying with the idea of doing YouTube videos to supplement some of my blog posts, so when my box arrived I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give it a go! Obviously with a subscription box, an unboxing video makes the most sense…so as soon as my box arrived I sat down with my laptop and filmed a video. (Below the video you can read more in-depth about my thoughts on the samples). Apologies in advance for the poor quality—I used my laptop’s webcam. If I make more videos in the future, I’ll try to use my digital camera for better quality. Anyway…here goes: my very first video for this blog!
So…that’s it! I have to say, even though the quality isn’t good and it’s a little hard to hear me in some parts, I’m actually pretty pleased. And I’m typically very uncomfortable being on camera. 🙂
Now let’s move on to a more traditional post about my Play! by Sephora box. As you saw in the video, the brochure revealed three makeup samples, two skin care samples, and a hair care packet. I had received two of these samples in prior sample kits from Sephora (not Play! boxes). I decided to take most of the samples to St. Louis with me so I could test them out on my trip!
This month’s pouch is a satiny pink number with “A Change of Face” printed on it. I tossed this one out because I’m oversaturated with bags at this point!
My first sample was a packet of Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask (full-size, $36). I received a sample of the brand’s Rosarco Milk in July and have already used it up, though to be honest I didn’t think it was anything special. This deep conditioning mask is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. I’ve gotten better about checking labels for these kinds of ingredients before I buy, so I always love when I receive samples that are ingredient conscious! I brought this packet with me to St. Louis and used it three days in a row…unfortunately, I’m not impressed. I applied the mask after shampooing and let it sit for five to ten minutes before rinsing. I used half the packet the first time because I don’t have much hair and I thought using the whole thing would be way too much. I used about half of the remainder the next day, then the rest the day after that and didn’t really see any results either. The mask only made my hair feel marginally softer than usual; other deep conditioning masks I’ve tried have definitely made my hair feel silkier. So far, I’m just not sold on Briogeo.
Next up is a sample I’ve tried before: Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream (full-size, $112). Awhile back, Sephora had a five-piece Algenist deluxe sample set as a VIB reward, so I added that to my cart when I placed an online order. This cream was one of the samples, and it was pretty good but I don’t remember it being anything outstanding—certainly not enough for me to spend more than $100 on a full sized tub of it! (I mean…whoa.) The cream is designed to lift, brighten, nourish, and fight wrinkles, and it’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Sounds pretty good, right? I can’t say I saw any results after using up my first sample, but it can be hard to tell whether a product is effective when you only get to use it for a limited time. The first sample I received had a somewhat strange texture for a cream; it was kind of bouncy and marshmallow-y. This new sample, however, seems to have a normal cream texture, so now I’m wondering if my first sample was old and a little bit dried out? That first one even smelled a little marshmallow-y sweet, too. Anyway, I’ll definitely use this new sample up, but I can’t see myself shelling out so much money for the full size.
I received a second age prevention cream in this box, the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex (full-size, $45). I was definitely more excited to try this cream since it was new to me and because I REALLY liked the Fresh Rose Face Mask that I received in my July box. This cream (also free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates) is meant to provide skin with 24 hours of moisture, boost radiance, and prevent visible signs of aging. Lotus in particular is supposed to be good at combating inflammation and defending skin against free radicals, which can lead to wrinkles. For some reason I assumed this was a night cream, but it can be used in the AM or PM. It’s more lightweight than the Algenist cream and has a really lovely light cucumber scent. This cream is fairly light so I’m not sure how good it will be in the winter when my skin gets extra dry, but it seems to be pretty good as a summer moisturizer.
My next sample is from a brand I had never heard of: touch in SOL Metallist Liquid Foil & Glitter Eye Shadow Duo (full-size, $25). It’s rare that I receive a sample that I immediately know I have zero interest in using, but this was one of them. Glitter on my eyelids? Pass. I guess glittery makeup is trendy right now but this trend is definitely not one I’m on board with wearing. I also really hate messes, and this product is messy as hell. You can’t open the glitter end without at least a little glitter falling out. As I was filming my unboxing video I realized that my nieces (ages 9 and almost 11) would love this product, so I brought it with me to St. Louis and gave it to them. They recently started cheerleading so it’s a fun thing they can wear while cheering.
My next sample is Wander Beauty Wanderout Lipstick in Wanderberry (full-size, $30). My prior knowledge of this brand was just they make multitasking products intended to streamline your travel bag. This lipstick shade is a gorgeous color for fall; in the tube it looks like a sort of blood red/brick/berry combo. The formula is matte, and after applying it I must say it’s one of the least drying matte lipsticks I’ve ever tried. It’s also quite long-wearing…so much so that you really need to use
a sandblaster micellar water or a face wipe to remove it all. I think the color works well on me, too—further down in this post you can see a swatch on my arm as well as a photo of me with it on my lips. It seems that this product is only available full sized as a dual-ended lipstick; this particular color, Wanderberry, comes with a mauve nude called Barely There. The price is pretty good for two lipsticks, but it’s not great if you only end up liking one of the colors. This is definitely a product that would be best to try in stores so you can make sure you like both colors before shelling out $30.
My final sample this month is another one that I’ve received before: Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Black Lace (full-size, $10). I’m not a huge fan of waterproof eye makeup because it takes that much more effort to remove, but I realized as I was filming my unboxing video that the Urban Decay 24/7 liners I sometimes use are waterproof too. I got this Sephora liner in an eyeliner sampler box that I bought a couple years ago, and I don’t remember it being anything too special. It’s pretty similar to the Urban Decay liners, though it’s not quite as creamy. These days I’m not super into pencil liners because I find that they tend to drag on my lid, which makes it difficult to create a sharp line. I’ll keep this liner in my travel bag, but it’s not something I’d use regularly.
Here are swatches of the Sephora Collection eyeliner (thin and thick lines) and the Wander lipstick on the back of my hand:
And below I’m wearing the Wander Beauty lipstick in Wanderberry. The lipstick doesn’t look totally matte here because I applied lip balm underneath it.
And if you watched my video, you already know that I didn’t receive a fragrance sample this month! I’m kind of thrilled about that because it’s one less thing to go to waste (I basically always throw those out).
Overall, I’d call my September Play! by Sephora box average. It’s always slightly disappointing to receive products that I’ve tried in the past via non-Play samplers. The Touch in Sol sample is a 100% NOPE for me. The jury is still out on the Fresh cream, but I’m glad I got to try it regardless. But the Wander Beauty lipstick is great—by far my favorite sample in this month’s box—and it got me interested in trying other products by the brand. I think this subscription box is a little tricky for those of us who have been regular Sephora customers for a long time, because the odds of sending us a box filled with samples we’ve never tried before are pretty slim. That said, I only receive duplicate samples here and there, so I plan to stick with Play! for awhile longer.
What did you get in your September Play! by Sephora box? Did you fall in love with any of your samples?
Read my previous Play! by Sephora reviews.
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).