Posted in subscriptions

Sephora PLAY! – Box #5 (January)

Sephora PLAY! is currently only out in Houston and Dallas, TX, Boston, MA, and the Cincinnati/Columbus area of Ohio. There might be a couple more areas now, but I’m not sure. All the items come in this nice box, great for storage, and placed prettily inside. It also has a booklet with it, and the “title” of this month’s box is: No Appointment Necessary, which for some reason makes me think of Anthony Bourdain (“No Reservations”). The booklet is pretty cool, going through each of the items in the box, now giving either tips or how-to steps. In the back there are five more tips for the items, how to match them up with each other, 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.

2015 09 24 Play_ box

The booklet that came with it:

2016 01 booklet


How stuff looked when I opened it – smooshed in there this time!:

2016 01 inside


And a better look at what’s inside! Still messy, but there’s a lot of items larger than usual:

2016 01 inside 2


Living Proof Prime Style Extender Spray: The Be-All, Extend-All. Split With the Salon. No touch-ups are needed with this innovative, weightless spray that helps hairstyles last twice as long.  

4 Steps for Long-Lasting Style

Step 01: Use on clean, damp hair before you blow dry or apply other product.

Step 02: To apply, part your hair into two sections by separating the crown from the bottom half.

Step 03: Holding six to eight inches from your head, spray each section from roots to ends.

Step 04: Distribute with a wide-tooth comb and style as usual.

What do I think about it? I love the smell. You know how sometimes hair products smell too perfumy or too chemically? This one smells good without being overpowering. Now, I have really long hair, and I don’t usually style it that much. I tried this out on a small section and it seemed to work well on the loose curl. Whether it works on my whole head of hair or not, I don’t know. I would hope it lives up to the hype, though!

Would I buy this at Sephora? As I said, I don’t really style my hair that often. It’s a huge pain in the keester to do, and I’m normally not going anywhere that calls for a perfectly-coiffed ‘do. If I was going to start working a lot with my hair, then yes – I’d probably purchase this. But not at the moment. 

Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No MoreNo Pain, All Gain. Cancel The Clinic. This targeted topical complex relaxes the look of wrinkles and helps to blur expression lines.

Smooth It Over – Needles No More can be used on the forehead, on the crow’s feet, above the cheeks and between the brows. Gently pat it on with your fingertips after cleansing and before applying moisturizer.

Meet The Ingredients – Needles No More includes magnesium and adenosine, known to create a muscle-relaxing effect, plus neuropeptides, which help these ingredients penetrate.


What do I think about it? Remember the Dr. Brandt item last month and the Make Up For Ever item in November, both which were empty? I was afraid that would be the case here, too. And no, I wasn’t too happy with that prospect. I kept squeezing and squeezing the little tube, but to no avail. Finally, though, a tiny bead of white appeared at the tip, so I actually got to try this product out! I could feel it tightening around my eyes, which is a much more sensitive area than around my mouth, the other place I dabbed some. In fact, I seem to have put it a bit too close to my waterline on my left eye, because I can still really feel it, even after washing it off. (So be cautious about that!)  Could I see a difference? A little bit, perhaps, on the bitty wrinkles to the sides of my eyes – the crow’s feet, which aren’t crow’s feet yet, thank you very much. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? This is a big, huge, enormous MAYBE. I would like to use it for a couple weeks, but I don’t know if there’s even another day or two in that sample. (Thinking of writing to the company and asking for more – maybe that will work?)  It costs $89.00, so I’d hate to spend that for a product that doesn’t really work well on me. Plus the area under my left eye is bugging me. I’m a great worrier, so that plays into it a lot, but I don’t know if I’d want something that might worry me like that. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting HighlightDo The Bright Thing. Bring home the makeup artist. This easy-to-use highlight stick reflects light to bring out your features with a natural, soft shimmer.   

Strobing 101 – A new way to contour. Strobing is the newest contouring technique, and an easy way to enhance your facial features with only one product. To do it, just apply and blend this highlighter on the areas you want to target.

For Brighter Eyes: Apply to browbone and inner eye corner.

For a slim, sculpted nose: Blend over bridge of nose and up between brows.

For enhanced cheekbones: Swipe on temples and the apples of your cheeks.

For fuller-looking lips: Dab above upper lip and on Cupid’s bow.

What do I think about it? Very light. Very, very light. I can see how it would be a very subtle highlighter, and could work quite well. Unfortunately, my winter complexion seems to be a little too light for this to give much effect. I do like the creaminess of the stick, and would probably use it without any foundation because I just can’t see it working that well in conjunction with foundation. If I try to blend it, will it just rub right into my base, or will both wind up coming off? 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Ooof – no, probably not. I really love the liquid Moon Beam by Benefit. I can db it on and blend it that way, and it works nicely on top of my foundation. I’m not saying the Clinique product is bad at all! Just that I think I prefer a liquid for this, at least if I’m wearing full makeup.   

Sephora Collection Eye MaskEyes Couldn’t Mask For More. Relax and revive. These natural fiber masks nurture and refresh undereye skin with targeted potent active ingredients. Discover the complete line at Sephora, available in eight unique varieties.   

Use It, Don’t Lose It! – if there’s extra serum left in the package after using your mask, don’t throw it away! Store it in the fridge to use the next day as a refreshing eye treatment.

Masking on the Move – Sheet masks are great to use while traveling, but if you’re not ready to sport a full-face treatment in public, these small eye masks are a covert way to stay hydrated on road trips and long flights.

What do I think about it? I received the Green Tea Eye Masks, which the website says “gives a cool, fresh sensation to the eye area and provides a smoothing effect for a wide-awake look.” It moisturized and cooled and soothed the skin under my eyes. I’d say it plumped up the skin a bit – not like I had bags, of course, but it smoothed out tiny lines. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Again, something I could buy at my local Korean grocer’s for lots cheaper than the $5.00 they are asking at Sephora.  

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula: The Dr. Keeps It Peel. Skip the spa. This daily two-step facial peel treatment includes exfoliators and retinol for brighter, younger-looking skin. 

About The Ingredients

Gentle yet effective, this Dr. Dennis Gross peel is great for using in a daily antiaging skincare routine. It uses the following ingredients to create a glowing complexion:

WILLOW BARK EXTRACT: Cleanses and exfoliates

GLYCOLIC ACID: Visibly reduces signs of aging

MANDELIC ACID: Contains anti-irritation and antibacterial qualities

RETINOL: Reduces the look of fine lines and increases elasticity

What do I think about it? This one I haven’t yet tried. I really want to – I just kept forgetting about it when the time was right to use it. Thankfully, they sent a package of three, so there’s three days’ worth which should give me a good idea of how it works. 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Oooh, let me see how it works first! Five treatments is only $16.00, but then you get into thirty treatments (plus five bonus ones) which comes with a price tag of $88.00, or sixty treatments for $148.00. That’s getting pretty steep there. This is definitely something I would need to see working, and working hard.        

Tocca Beauty IsabelThe Belle of the Bouquet

WHY WE LOVE IT This classic floral fragrance pairs Old World notes of Spanish rose, bergamot, and Mediterranean orange above unconventional modern accords of leather and vetiver.

DID YOU KNOW? Each Tocca Beauty fragrance has a feminine name that comes from a unique person or place. Isabel is inspired by the natural beauty and artistic spirit of Barcelona, Spain.

BEHIND THE BRAND Named for the Italian word for “touch”, Tocca is more than a wardrobe of exquisite fragrances. It is also a fashion house that is known for creating highly detailed, elegant styles.

What do I think about it? Disclaimer: I have five small bottles of different Tocca perfumes already. When I saw this one in my box, how happy! And I wasn’t disappointed in the least when I opened it up to sniff. It’s simply gorgeous! 

Would I buy this at Sephora? Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times YES. (And it doesn’t hurt that through Valentine’s Day I can get three times the Insider Points for it!) It will probably have to wait, though – but it’s definitely on the “I want” list. 


I just wasn’t that thrilled with this month’s box. Hey – I can’t complain for $10.00, especially with a couple full-size items. The perfume sample made up for a lot in my book. Now let’s see what they send in February’s box! 



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!

5 thoughts on “Sephora PLAY! – Box #5 (January)

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