December 2016 Sephora Play! Box Review

December Play! By Sephora Box

I FINALLY got off the waiting list for Sephora’s beauty subscription box, PLAY! by Sephora and received my first box this month! The theme was “The Partygoers” and featured products for the perfect night out! Keep reading to see what was inside along with my first impressions!

December Play! By Sephora Box

I mentioned in my last post that my December Ipsy bag would be my last. I’ve been with Ispy for 5 years and like I said in the post, while I love it, I’m ready to change it up with something different especially since there’s so many options for beauty subscription boxes out there now. 

One beauty box subscription I’ve had my eye on for awhile was Sephora’s Play! box. I added my name to the waiting list a few months ago, got an opening, waited too long during that opening, then had to wait another two months before finally signing up. 

They are currently not taking any new subscribers, but you can do what I did and ask to be emailed when a spot is available. Once you get that email, take it from me, sign up ASAP before it fills up!

About PLAY! By Sephora

PLAY! is similar to Ipsy in that it is also a $10 monthly beauty subscription service that offers 5 deluxe samples. They also offer a bonus fragrance sample each month – I like that it’ll always be a “bonus” and never a main item. They curate the products for you based off your answers in your Play! profile (can be found under “My Account”) which asks mostly basic questions about your beauty concerns and of course things like your skin tone, hair type, eye color, etc. It’s not quite as fun as the little “quiz” you do for Ipsy, but, hey, as long as it sends me the right products!

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

What Do You Get Each Month?

Straight from Sephora’s website, here’s what you get with each Play! box (sorry it’s a bit of a retread of above):

– Five deluxe skin care, makeup, and hair care samples (plus a fragrance bonus!) that are curated by our experts. Since beauty isn’t one-size-fits-all, we send you a selection of products that we think are the best for you, based on the answers you provide in your PLAY! PROFILE.
– A collectible makeup bag that changes with each month’s theme
– PLAY! BOOK with tips, tricks, how-tos and beauty advice
– PLAY! PASS to redeem in store for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points and a free one-on-one tutorial*
– PLAY! DATE, a monthly subscriber event for you and a friend to learn how to apply the products in your box—and more!
– Free shipping on all PLAY! by SEPHORA boxes

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

The Bag

I like the bag! If they were going to do something different than Ipsy’s conventional zip-up makeup bag, this is a cute way to do it! The material is sturdy, I like the ribbon tie closure, and it keeps it simple with a nice theme-appropriate quote in gold foil on the front. Very classy looking.

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Inside the Bag  

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Makeup Forever Step 1: Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer

This felt very nice on my skin and gave my foundation a very smooth, flawless look while making my makeup last much longer. I liked it, but I wish it was just a bit less expensive (full size retails $37).

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

I love getting samples of dry shampoo and was even more excited when I saw the brand was Drybar. Unfortunately, I was left a little disappointed. Not that the product was particularly bad. I didn’t mind the smell (I thought it smelled nice actually) and didn’t have a huge problem with white streaks in my hair like I’ve seen others talk about…but it just seemed like any other dry shampoo I’ve tried. And for $23 (full size), I just expected a little more.

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

Yes, yes, yes!!! I absolutely LOVE this product!! Granted, it’s not a new product to me at all as it’s been one of my Holy Grail products for a few years but I did not mind at all now having a travel sized version to bring with me on trips instead of lugging around the full sized. In fact, I just packed it along with me on my trip to Florida! This setting spray is a lifesaver and is a regular part of my makeup routine now. Back when I used to go out club-hopping, this stuff always insured my makeup would last all night long no matter how much I would dance! I really can’t recommend this setting spray enough! It’s definitely worth the splurge!

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

I saw another blog write that this sample is half the size of the full-size which retails $30…which means this little sample is basically $15 – yikes! Nevertheless, it’s still quite a nice mascara, giving wonderful natural looking lashes with good length and no clumps. 

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red

Such a tiny sample! I wouldn’t have minded a little more especially since I’ve heard such great things about this lip stain! I haven’t personally gotten a chance to wear it for a full day so I can’t comment on it’s lasting power, but I can comment on it’s beautiful red color. It dries matte and smooth and looks absolutely gorgeous!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon

Very pleased with my first bonus fragrance! I usually prefer light floral scents, and while this was strong it wasn’t too empowering. It’s a nice balance of sweet with an woodsy, smokey smell. Very sophisticated and sexy!

December 2016 Play! By Sephora Box

Final Thoughts

Not a bad first bag! I’m very impressed with all the brand names that were included! Ipsy was wonderful at introducing me to a lot of new brands I’d never heard of. Sephora Play seems like it will allow me to try out products from brands I already know but normally wouldn’t try because of their price! My favorite product here is definitely the Urban Decay setting spray which I’m thrilled to now have in a travel size. There’s nothing here that I dislike or don’t think I’ll use – the closest thing may be the fragrance since I’m not an especially “sexy and sophisticated” person. Great variety of quality products here! I’ll think I’ll stick with it for another month!

Be sure to check out my other unboxing posts!

What did you think of this month’s Sephora Play! bag?

  • I haven’t heard of this box! But, I do love subscription boxes. I’m bummed there is a waiting list! Looks like some amazing products for last month!

    • I think it’s a relatively new box but word is quickly spreading and for good reason – they have really great products! xx Amanda

  • Catherine M.

    What a great selection of beauty finds! My sister just recently got that Urban Decay setting spray and loves it! Can’t wait to see what’s in next month’s box!

    • Me too! The bar is set pretty high after this one! That setting spray is love! xx Amanda

  • Theresa

    I could really use a beauty box to try out different products! I finally got around to buying a Chanel mascara because I loved the sample, but the full size one comes out clumpy. I’d love to be able to try out different beauty products every month!

    • Ooh then a beauty box subscription would be perfect for you! Sorry to hear the full sized Chanel mascara was clumpy – I hope you were able to return it! xx Amanda

  • Brandi Puga (Big Fit Fam)

    ooooh! I didn’t realize sephora did a box! My makeup is seriously lacking right now, this might be the perfect way to jazz it up a bit!

    • That’s why I originally signed up for beauty boxes! It’s such a perfect way to spruce up your makeup collection each month adding in new products but without breaking the bank! xx Amanda

  • Karen Yannacio Morse

    Ok – how have I not heard of this Sephora service before now?!? It looks really fun and I love testing out new products, especially beauty products! I think I’ll give it a go!

    • I hope you will, Karen!! If you like testing out new products (like me), this will be such a treat each month! xx Amanda

  • I didn’t know that Sephora offered a subscription box. That’s a lot of beauty products for just $10!

    • I would never have know if I didn’t see other bloggers talking about it! It’s such a great deal!! xx Amanda

  • Laura Romberger

    This is so awesome, some really great products there too! I love how the idea is to be interactive with the box too – the “Play” Date is my favorite!

    • Yes, I love that as well! Love how they stick pretty well to their theme too! I wouldn’t definitely use all these products for a night out! xx Amanda

  • Julie Porter

    I had no idea Sephora did a subscription box! I think I’m going to get on the waitlist now and hopefully there will be an opening before my daughter’s birthday. She would so love this box, and the products for this month look great!

    • Ooh it would be such a great gift! I think she’d love it! Definitely hope you’re able to snag an opening in time! xx Amanda

  • I’ve wanted to try Play for so long, but when I finally made it off the waiting list I was at work and couldn’t put in my info 🙁 Guess I’m back on the waiting list!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • Oh that’s totally what happened to me! It’s crazy how fast those spots are snatched up! 🙁 Hope you’re able to snag a spot soon! xx Amanda

  • Lisa Elaine

    I’m just now seeing so many post about this!! those are all great products that I actually use. Might have to give this a try!!!
    Lisa Elaine

    • Definitely worth a try! I am pretty impressed with the brands and curious what I’ll get next month. Sephora seemed to be keeping it pretty low key but I think more and more people are finding out about it ^^ xx Amanda

  • Ellie Augustin

    Oh I love dry shampoo it’s my BFF for sure! hmm and it’s $10 too oHHH well I guess better add my name to the waiting list! I loved Ipsy but after a while I kept getting things I didn’t like nor would use. Thanks for sharing

    • You’re welcome, Ellie! I feel you on Ipsy – I felt like it was time for a change…definitely doesn’t hurt that this box is the same price! Hope you’re able to get on the list! xx Amanda

  • TheMummyToolbox

    This looks so pretty! I love the idea of boxes like this and I would definitely use all of these products too!

    • Right?? Definitely a great set of products for a first box! xx Amanda

  • I love that bag! I am a huge lover of dry shampoo, I’ve never heard of this brand before, I’ll have to check it out!

    • Thanks, Joanna!! It’s definitely worth checking out!! xx Amanda

  • I’ve been so curious about the dry shampoo, a sample size would be so worth it. I love the Urban Decay all nighter, such an amazing product.

    • Definitely give shampoo a try! They can be a bit hit and miss with me but can definitely be a life saver if your hair tends to get oily quickly! I cannot say enough praises for that Urban Decay setting spray! xx Amanda

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    I love Sephora and buy some of my makeup there. I’ve never heard of the Play Box though. It look really cool! I need to ask about it.

    • I hadn’t heard of it for a while either! I think it’s somewhat new but definitely seems to be popular looking at the waiting list! xx Amanda

  • Heather Garcia

    This looks much better than Birchbox! I have been getting those boxes for a couple of years, but have been becoming less and less impressed with them. I agree on the Urban Decay All Nighter! I have gone to concert festivals for an entire day out in the sun and still had makeup on at the end of the night! It is a miracle product!

    • That’s kinda what happened with me and Birchbox. They were my first beauty box subscription so I was super excited about them in the beginning but then just lost my excitement for them. Then I found Ipsy and were with them for 5 years…now I’m giving Sephora’s box a shot and so far I have to say I am pretty impressed! Ahhh yes, that setting spray is magic!! I sometimes would pass out after a long night in my makeup (terrible I know) and wake up and my makeup would STILL be in place the next morning! So crazy but amazing!! xx Amanda

  • Krystel Seijo

    Wow these items look super high quality. My roommate used to get Birchbox and this one looks way better. I mean Sephora is a great store!

    • So true!! Sephora definitely has the connections with all those great brands so it’s understandable their box would have some great products! I used to do Birchbox for over a year before I canceled. Seeing as how they’re both the same price, I think you get a lot more bang for your buck with Sephora’s box. xx Amanda

  • Debra Hawkins

    This looks so fun, I’ve never heard of these before – do you get new make up every month?

    • Yes!! Every month they send you different makeup products that go along with a theme more or less! Such a great way to try out a lot of different products from a bunch of different brands! xx Amanda

  • I had no idea Sephora had a beauty box service! I need to get on the list for this bad boy!!!

    • Me neither for the longest time! So happy I finally got off the waiting list! xx Amanda

  • Reesa Lewandowski

    I’ve never heard of this!!! I love Sephora and I need to get one of these for myself!!

    • I felt like I was the only one who hadn’t heard of it! So glad I was able to finally get off the waiting list! xx Amanda

  • Sami Mast

    I love that Urban Decay setting spray!! It works so well! This subscription box seems to have some awesome stuff!


    • Right?? That spray is like magic! Keeps my makeup in place all day! xx Amanda

  • hzajac13

    I am still on the waiting list for Sephora Play. I hope I can get a box soon!

    • I hope you’re able to snag an opening soon too! xx Amanda

  • *sigh* I so wish I can Sephora here in the UK. I would love to try all of these products one day. xx

    • Awww hopefully they’ll come to the UK one day, Anna! xx Amanda

  • I would love to try Sephora as everyone I know raves on about it. Its great to try new sub boxes like you said.

    • Sephora is like a makeup junkie’s heaven! I hope you get to go someday! xx Amanda

  • Jennifer Anderson Marx

    This is a fun looking box!! That dry shampoo looks cool, as does the mascara. They all seem fitting to the theme, too!

    • Right? I love it when the products actually fit the theme instead of a bunch of random stuff! ^^ xx Amanda

  • chelsea damon

    I’m sad that you didn’t like the dry shampoo more! I saw the word “detox” and got really excited haha.

    • Haha it’s definitely been growing on me more and more! Maybe I’m just expecting too much because of the price tag lol. xx Amanda

  • Amanda Love

    That’s a lot of awesome stuff! I think it’s amazing that they included Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown. Those are lovely brands! You’re definitely going to enjoy this box!

  • TravelingWellForLess

    This looks like a fun box. I’ve never tried dry shampoo but travel a lot so and others have recommended it.

    • Dry shampoo is a life saver especially if you travel or are on the go a lot! You should definitely look into it ^^ xx Amanda

  • My Sephora Play box was very similar to yours! I really enjoyed a travel size of Mubarak all times favortie all nighter setting spray as it was handy to grab with me on vacation. I also was hapiy to see my favorite dry shampoo in there! Overall I feel that this box was totally worth the money!

    • Oh, that sounds great!! Yes, most definitely worth the money!! I can’t wait for the next box 😀 xx Amanda

  • I have to agree about the sizes. I love getting the smaller sizes as they are perfect for travel, or throwing in my gym bag!

  • Brittany Muddamalle

    Ooh I would love to try a Sephora box like this! I love everything I find from there. I would love to try out some dry shampoo. I’ve heard a lot about it but I’ve never tried it myself.

    • Dry shampoo is wonderful, you should definitely check it out! There’s plenty of affordable options out there! ^^ xx Amanda

  • Stephanie Lee

    That sounds like such a fun bag! Love that dry shampoo and mascara. I can’t believe there’s such a wait to sign up!

    • Yeah, I’m kinda surprised, kinda not surprised about the waiting list! Seems like there’s still many people who don’t know about their box…but at the same time, it seems like everyone who does, wants to sign up! Maybe since it’s newer, they’re still testing things out to see what the demand is like? Hopefully, they’ll open up more slots soon! xx Amanda

  • Looks so classy!! That’s a cool size and packaging. Love that they profile our tastes and curate the contents. Bonus fragrance sample never making it to the main makes sense. Lol.

    • Yes, I love the packaging so much!! Super classy like you said! xx Amanda

  • I had been on the fence about subscribing since I already so Ipsy, but holy moly the products you got are SO SO GOOD!!!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Right?? I think I definitely made the right decision switching over! Hopefully their next boxes are all just as good! xx Amanda

  • fashionofphilly

    I’ve heard some good things about the Sephora box. I really want to try the Urban Decay seeing spray!

    • Oh yes, it’s such an amazing setting spray!! I can’t say enough good things about it! xx Amanda

  • I had no idea Sephora had a subscription box, you got some great products. I especially like the Bobbi Brown mascara.