Posted in cosmetics, subscriptions

Sephora PLAY! – Box #1 (September)

Happiness! My subscription box of Sephora PLAY! arrived a couple days ago! Though I already knew what was going to be in it, it was still exciting to open it up and see for myself.

I do like that it comes in a box. It’s a lot easier to store things that way. It also has a booklet with it, with the “title” of this month’s box: Uncover the Essentials. The booklet is pretty cool, going through each of the items in the box, giving you a Did You Know?, a Fun Fact, a Convo Starter, and a Play! Hack. In the back there are six more hacks for the items, and the Play!Pass. The Pass entitles us to one-on-one advice from someone at Sephora (which I think just comes with walking in the door, really), and if you scan the Pass when you are shopping, you are awarded a bonus 50 Beauty Insider points. (You know, so you have more points with which to try and snag something in those free-for-alls where they have only one or two of each item. Am I still sounding a bit miffed about that?)

2015 09 24 Play_ box

The box was very nicely packed, which I loved.

2015 09 24 Play_ opening

The booklet:

2015 09 24 Play_ booklet


And the items…

2015 09 24 Play_ items


Because this is a very limited release, I’ll copy the notes in the booklet, as well as give my opinion afterwards. How’s that? And of course, all of these items can be found at Sephora!

Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Ink – Peony: “Customize your color. Top off your TINT with a SHEER LIP GLOSS for a shiny finish, or use it as a LIP LINER, filling in lips with a lighter shade to create a GRADIENT LIP.” ~ Helen Phillips, Sephora Pro Artist

DID YOU KNOW? Five thousand years ago, the first lip stains were made with gemstones crushed into fine powder.

FUN FACT! This shade is inspired by the peony flower, a symbol of romance and beauty in Chinese culture.

CONVO STARTER… Rouge Infusion contains avocado and olive oils for lasting hydration – unique for a lip stain.

PLAY! HACK Dab the color lightly onto cheeks for a blushy stain with a dewy, soft finish.

What do I think about it? It’s almost watery when you put it on, but as it dries you can feel it drying, like a thin coating of paint (not in a bad way). Like the packaging says, the color is a nice neutral color, which would look good with almost every skin tone I’d think. No perfume to the stuff, though if you sniff too close to the doe foot applicator, like I just did, you’ll smell the cosmetic chemical smell. (So don’t sniff the applicator, d’oh!) As for the Coffee Schlurping Test – I waited a couple minutes before going downstairs to pour myself another cup of coffee, so it had time to dry and set. Lip prints showed up on my mug. Now, I do have a slight stain to my lips still, which I love, but it’s nothing dramatic or really very noticeable unless you’re looking for it. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Probably not. I like the way it goes on, and the darker ones probably stain a lot better, but it’s just not something I’d go out of my way to purchase. 

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon – Blacquer“This wonderfully LONG-WEARING LINER can double as a CREASE-PROOF SHADOW. Run it along your eyelids, blend up into the crease with your finger, and you’re done. A great way to achieve a SOFT SMOKY EYE!” ~Helen Phillips

DID YOU KNOW? There are five main forms of eyeliner: liquid, pencil, wax-based pencil, gel, and kohl. Solid formulas are easier to apply, while liquids offer bolder color.

FUN FACT! Blacquer was inspired by a black lacquer coffee table in Marc Jacobs’s home. He wanted the shade to have the same high-shine, intensely black effect.

CONVO STARTER… Eyeliner was first made by the ancient Egyptians, from ground minerals like lead (ouch!). Beyond vanity, it protected their eyes from the desert sun!

PLAY! HACK Simplify drawing a perfectly straight cat eye by lining your eyes with dots first and then connecting them.

What do I think about it? I don’t see the high-shine part, personally… I DO, however, love the nice straight line it gives, and after letting it set for about a minute it seems pretty smudge-proof. (So I’m not seeing how you would do that smoky eye effect they are talking about in the top quote, but that could just be my ineptitude.) I am guessing the full size eyeliners also twist up from the bottom – I love that the sample size has that. I don’t yet know how much actually came in the sample size – and I am not screwing it all the way up to find out and risk breaking it! It’s easy to apply, which is something I desperately need in an eye liner. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? I might. It’s $25.00, which gives me pause, but I think all Marc Jacobs things are pretty up there in price, aren’t they? If I was out of eyeliners I regularly use, then yes – I’d probably splurge on this one. I really do like it. But I can’t see adding it to the vast array of liners I’ve seemed to have acquired lately. 🙂 

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Creme“Smooth a thick layer of SHEER TRANSFORMATION on your face for a RICH, LEAVE-ON HYDRATING MASK.” ~Helen Phillips

DID YOU KNOW? You love your morning OJ… but applying your vitamin C topically helps to promote collagen and a youthful glow overnight.

FUN FACT! Brand founder and skincare entrepreneur Ole Henriksen is an avid gymnast who practices twice a day in his Hollywood Hills backyard.

CONVO STARTER… At the beginning of his career, Ole Henriksen made all of his skincare products in his own kitchen.

PLAY! HACK Slather Sheer Transformation onto hands before bed to moisturize and help fade sun spots while you sleep. Cover with mittens to avoid mess!

What do I think about it? It is very smooth and buttery going on, and has a light-light orange and pepper smell to it. Maybe orange and cucumber and pepper? Anyway – it’s NOT overwhelming at all, and really quite nice. I know Ole Henriksen has been around for awhile, and I’ve tried out a few of his things before and liked them. Now, does this fade sun spots and all? I don’t know because thankfully I don’t seem to have any yet! Just freckles from this summer. I have always heard good things about this brand, though, so it’s possible. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Mmmmm, I don’t know. Probably not, at least not yet. I’ve got other night moisturizers I use already. I am getting to the end of my L’Oreal Revitalift, so who knows? I might decide to purchase a small jar of this and give it a try. First, though, I’ll use up this sample to see if I really like it!

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer“DRENCH DRY ENDS: Apply a generous amount to the tips of your hair before hanging poolside. Lock product in and protect your scalp with a scarf and shampoo out for ULTIMATE SOFTNESS.” ~Helen Phillips

DID YOU KNOW? Hair is made up mostly of keratin, the same protein animals’ horns, hooves, claws, feathers, and beaks are made of.

FUN FACT! The name Bumble and bumble has no link to our honey-making pals — founder Michael Gordon was looking for an English-sounding name with a quirky twist.

CONVO STARTER… Black is the most common hair color. Red is the rarest and only exists in about 1% of the world’s population, with blonde hair found in 2%.

PLAY! HACK Rub any extra product into your hands – the oils in this primer will help to soften, moisturize, and encourage nail growth.

What do I think about it? I was totally thrilled to be getting a Bumble and bumble item in this box, after having wanted to try their products for awhile now. There hasn’t been a chance really for me to use this primer yet, but after reading some of the reviews on the Sephora site, I’m a little reticent to do so. It might be just the ones I’ve seen, but it looks as though if you don’t have really dry, brittle hair, this primer will wind up weighing your hair down and making it feel extra-greasy and all. Yuck! I’ll try it, though – I have to! And I love the scent – just a beautiful fragrance I’d love to have in my hair. (Especially since I use Aveda shampoo and conditioner, which has a more Earthy smell to them. This would be a beautiful addition to my hair.) 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Another “I might”. If it really works well with my hair and I love it, then yes – I totally would. If, however, it makes my head one big greaseball and turns my locks into oilslicks, then nope, I sure wouldn’t go for that. And I realize it’s all in how certain things work with differen’t people’s bodies. Nothing “bad” about the product. 

GLAMGLOW Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser: “You can use your SUPERCLEANSE to SPOT-TREAT a BLEMISH. Dab a bit on, then let dry for 15 MINUTES and wash off.” ~Helen Phillips

DID YOU KNOW? This cleanser contains bamboo charcoal, which has been used for centuries in China for its absorption properties.

FUN FACT! GLAMGLOW began as a Hollywood insider secret: Their first masks were hand-packed and sent to high-profile celebs in plain, unmarked containers.

CONVO STARTER… The use of mud and clay as a medicinal skincare treatment dates back to ancient Mesopotamia.

PLAY! HACK Here’s a dirty little secret: Keep SUPERCLEANSE in the refrigerator for a refreshing treatment – perfect for summer!

What do I think about it? After washing with it, my face feels tight. Of course, it’s supposed to be clearing away the excess oils and impurities, so I guess that should be expected with charcoal and clay. (Actually, it feels a lot like after I take of my clay mask!) It has a faint hint of peppermint smell, I think. Or maybe that was just my toothpaste… This stuff really does clean well, though, and my face feels very smooth and soft after washing with it. I didn’t see it really foam up, but it’s not that hard to get off once you add water to it and massage in a circular motion. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Actually, I think I would. I’ve been curious about this brand, too, and was very happy to see it in my box this month. Being able to try this out has made me want to check out the other things they offer, too, and see what treasures I might find. 

Elizabeth And James – Nirvana White“Mix a few drops of UNSCENTED HAIR OIL with a couple sprays of NIRVANA WHITE. Rub into hair from the tips up – you’ll smell the fragrance all day and the oil will visibly SMOOTH split ends.” ~Helen Phillips

DID YOU KNOW? Muguet is also called lily of the valley, a sweetly scented woodland plant known for its clusters of tiny white flowers.

FUN FACTS! The word perfume comes from per fume, Latin for “through smoke”, because the earliest forms of freagrance were made as incense.

CONVO STARTER… When creating this fragrance, designers Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen medeled the full-size bottle after a vintage piece from their own collection.

PLAY! HACK Always store your perfume away from sources of light and heat, which can damage the scent and shorten its wear.

What do I think about it? Okay – I liked the scent when I tried it on. Very floral. Didn’t smell like a 12 year old would be wearing it. It also didn’t smell like really cheap body spray. (Hey – some of them smell like that!) Then I stuck my wrist under Hims’ nose, which immediately wrinkled up. “You smell like an old lady,” he told me. I sniffed again, and realized it did have the aroma of Old Lady At Church. Still not a horrible thing, but now that’s in my head! Dang it, Hims! 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Nope, I wouldn’t. I’ll wear it until the sample runs out – I do like it enough for that. But it doesn’t beat out my usuals from Dior, Tocca, etc. It was nice to be able to test out, though!


 If anyone would like for me to copy down the extra hacks they have in the back of the booklet, leave me a comment and I will in an additional post.

So, what did you guys think of the newest entry into the subscription beauty box field? When it goes nationwide (and hopefully includes Canada) next year, do you think you might try it out? Or would you rather reserve your decision until you’ve seen some more of their boxes?

And… for a special treat for reading allll the way to the end: While I was taking the shots, Dexter decided to photobomb me! He didn’t realize he was jumping nearly on top of the candles, poor thing. 🙂

Gotta love the cats!
Gotta love the cats!








Syd is a Midwestern girl who doesn’t think the term “girl” is sexist in the least – especially after she left her 20s. She holds a huge love for history (from WWI through the end of WWII, Victorian, Regency, and Elizabethan eras), some science fiction, and likes to pass the time reading, working with photography and needlework, and writing things. Lots of things. Syd likes to dance, too, but she looks like an utter goob doing so!

16 thoughts on “Sephora PLAY! – Box #1 (September)

    1. Oooh, I didn’t put the price in the post, did I? It’s $10.00 (plus tax, so like $10.64 or something) each month. Right now, it’s only available to people in Boston or the Cincinnati/Columbus, OH, areas. I got on right after signing up for the wait list for Ohio. They have been saying they are hoping to expand to the rest of the US and I hope Canada next year.

      Heading over to your blog, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah – apparently they opened it up to the Dallas area, too. Yay for you guys! I’m just glad that for once I live in the “right” place at the right time. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s