I recently subscribed to the Play! By Sephora monthly box. I just received my first box (July 2016) about a week ago. I made the decision to subscribe because I get the majority of my cosmetics and skin care from Sephora. I like the idea of receiving items from one store and being able to purchase all of the items from the same store. Other subscriptions do contain items that are sold at stores like Sephora and Ulta, but a lot of them aren’t so you have to order online.
So far I’m really liking what I received in my box. Like all of the other services, the first thing you do is fill out a questionnaire. The products you receive are based off of the answers you put in your profile. I have normal to dry skin which explains why I received the products I did. Now to show you what I received in my July box…
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer– One of my favorite primers. Especially in the winter. Right now I am loving the Photo Finish Light for summer. I do not own the full size because I always get them as freebies with points. Glad I get to add another one to my stash.
First Aid Beauty Cleanser– The only product I have tried from this brand is the Ultra Repair Moisturizer. Although that product wasn’t hydrating enough, I’m excited to try this one. It’s perfect for traveling purposes. The 1oz is actually sold online and it is $5.50. There goes half your box!
Benefit Dew the Hoola– I wasn’t too excited about receiving this product. Even though I love liquid/cream products, this one seems a little orange. I have yet to try it on my face but we’ll see. The reviews online are def not the best.
Ouai Haircare Wave Spray– This is the item I was really excited to try. I’ve been wanting to try these products ever since they came out. The prices have been keeping me from trying any. I’ve used this a couple times already and I like it. Enough to buy it? I’m not sure… It smells great and gives the hair just enough texture to get that beachy look. Again, great for traveling or even my gym bag.
Blotterazi by Beautyblender– My friend has this and she loves it! It’s been pretty hot in Seattle lately (believe it or not) so my nose has been quite on the oily side. I will have to try this out. I like the fact that its reusable. It also comes with a sample of the liquid cleanser.
Nest Citrine Eau de Parfum– I LOVE getting perfume samples, especially if it has a spray top. I used to hate receiving perfume samples. One day I decided to put them in a really cute glass container in my bathroom. It’s so easy for me to dig my hand in the jar and actually use the samples. I also love to use them when I travel! I LOVE this smell. It’s the perfect blend of citrus and flower. I wouldn’t mind owning the full size.
Now I want to talk about the pros and cons of this subscription box…
- high end brands
- brands you are familiar with
- items great for traveling
- easy access in-store/online
- online how-to videos
- one-on-one tutorials in-store with play pass card
- 50 extra beauty insider points when you scan play pass card with any purchase
- chance of receiving products you dislike
- some samples are really small
Overall, I think Play by Sephora is the way to go. I used to be a subscriber for Ipsy and Birchbox years ago, but I got tired of receiving crappy items from brands I wasn’t familiar with. With the Play box, you at least know you will be receiving items from prestigious brands. I have created a chart below comparing other July boxes from Birchbox, Ipsy, and Boxycharm.
Play! By Sephora $10
|Smashbox Photo Finish Primer .25fl oz ($36)*
||Balance Me Radiance Face Mask 0.5fl oz ($34)*
||Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in No Filter ($15)
||OFRA Magnetic Palette with 6 OFRA Eyeshadows ($59)
|First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser 1oz ($5.50)
||Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution 1.7fl oz ($21)*
||Shray Queen Bee Mask ($6)
||Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush ($15)
|Benefit Dew the Hoola .16oz ($28)*
||Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara ($22)*
||Shray Ms. Amazing Mask ($6)
||Noyah Lip Gloss in Melbac ($16)
|Ouai Haircare Wave Spray 1.7fl oz ($26)*
||Raw Spirit Fragrances Mystic Pearl Eau de Parfum ($40)*
||bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag ($18)*
||PYT Hair Oil Treatment ($30)
|Blotterazi by Beautyblender ($20 for 2)
||MDSolarSciences™ Mineral Crème SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB Sunscreen .25oz ($30)
||Mellow Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Plum ($8 full size included in bag)
||Mally Waterproof Eyeliner ($18)
|Nest Citrine Eau de Parfum .04fl oz ($68)*
*price for full size items
Birchbox– Contains most items that are sold at Sephora. The good thing is that all of their items are sold online at birchbox.com. I also like their point system. You earn points by reviewing the products you receive. One hundred points equals $10, so thats a big plus!
Ipsy– The July bag contained only one item I’m familiar with. I would’ve been disappointed if I received this box. The Ipsy website does not sell items, but they do provide links to the designated website. They also have coupon codes for each website.
Boxycharm– This subscription box costs more, but it also has a value of at least $100 every month. The items in the July box are pretty good. I just can’t see myself spending 20 bucks a month. I’d rather use that money towards an item I really want. They also include brands I’m unfamiliar with. I honestly don’t think those brands are worth what they are retailed for. That goes for the items included in Ipsy and Birchbox as well.
I think if you are a beginner and have zero makeup, you can’t go wrong with any of these subscription services. My top choice would have to be Play! by Sephora, then Birchbox, Boxycharm, and lastly, Ipsy. There is also the Allure Beauty box ($15) and Glossybox ($20). Those may be worthy of checking out as well.
Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful! Let me know what your favorite subscription service is!