Sephora Play! January 2017

My first Sephora Play! box of the year arrived last week! Last month’s was a huge hit for me so I was really looking forward to what this one has in store.


If you aren’t familiar with Sephora Play, be sure to check out some of my previous posts for an idea of what comes in these boxes. It’s a subscription box that’s $10 a month, and in the past few months they’ve really been focusing on switching things up with different variations.


Each month it comes with 5 beauty products and a perfume. There’s usually a good variety of things – I pretty much always get at least one each of hair, skincare, and makeup products. Each box also comes with a bag and a Sephora card good for 50 extra Beauty Insider points.

This month’s theme was “Beauty, Set, Go”, which I take to mean products that are low maintenance or good for travel and using on the go. Here’s what was in my box this month:


Tory Burch Love Relentlessly Perfume
$3.40 value

This month’s perfume is Love Relentlessly by Tory Burch. It’s a floral scent with notes of pink pepper, rose, orris, and sandalwood. I am horrible at describing scents but this one smells nice and warm, and there’s something really familiar about it. I’ll add it to my collection of perfume samples and cycle it through over the next few weeks.


Tarte FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser
$4.84 value

I wasn’t sure what this was when I opened the box but the directions say to apply it directly to damp skin as an exfoliating cleanser. In the tube, it feels smooth but not greasy and is the consistency of a very thin gel. I tried this out a few days ago and applying it was a breeze – it’s almost like the consistency of a glue stick, without being sticky haha. However, I didn’t enjoy washing it off. The exfoliation part of it felt like I was rubbing sand on my face. I’m not a huge fan of physical exfoliating skincare because it makes my skin a bit irritated, and I don’t even have sensitive skin. I wouldn’t recommend using this under your eyes because I have a feeling it could really irritate the delicate skin there. I’ll continue to use this but I wouldn’t repurchase it.


Ouai Treatment Masque
$6.67 value

This will be the second Ouai product I’ve tried from a Play! box – I got their wave spray in a box last summer. This product is a “healing mask” designed to smooth and soften hair. The full size product is sold in little individual packets rather than a tube like this, and I actually think I prefer this to single-use packs. This looks like significantly more product than one of those sample packs. We’ll see if this holds up to its claims.


Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
$9.71 value

This is a described as a mix between a lipstick and a gloss, but in my opinion it’s actually closer to a balm… like, a very moisturizing tinted chapstick. I wouldn’t call this a lipstick at all. It looks very dark in the tube but it swatched very sheer on my hand (pic below), and on my lips it looked like I may as well have not been wearing anything at all. I prefer colors that are very opaque and strong…if you’re going to wear a dark color, wear it! I think this fits the theme of the box because I could see somebody throwing this on in a hurry to have something on your lips…but that person really isn’t likely to be me haha. It is extremely moisturizing though.


Youth to the People Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream
$6.00 value

This is a vegan skincare line and this product contains plant extracts and antioxidants to rejuvenate skin. To people who are not vegan, this is really just a moisturizer that smells like an herb garden. I don’t hate this, but it’s got a very earthy smell that kinda throws me off haha. Luckily the scent doesn’t linger after applying. This moisturizer has a medium thickness and I don’t feel like it’s super ridiculously hydrating but it is pretty nice. I used this after the Tarte cleansing stick and it was really nice and soothing.

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ in 104 Tan Blush & 106 Almond Blush
$5.71 value

This is the most disappointing item by far. I want to love cushion foundations SO MUCH, but they’re not super accessible in the US – there’s a few drugstore ones but very limited shades, and I’m wary of buying it without being able to test the color. I’ve only tried a cushion once before, out of a Target box, and it was WAY too yellow for me. I had high hopes for this one because on the Sephora website, they made a big deal of telling us to fill out our beauty profiles this month with eye color, skin tone, etc., so we assumed that we were going to get customized/matching products….but this foundation is WAY off! I put down that I was the lightest skin tone and this product is LITERALLY orange. The darker shade is even worse. I put this on my face just to test it out and I looked jaundiced. Like this is laughably bad lol. And the aggravating thing is that they MAKE lighter shades of this!! Why would you not send the lightest shade to someone who specified that they have ghostly pale skin. Why Sephora????

Swatch of the lipstick and the stick cleanser (I had to do like 10 passes of the lipstick to get it this dark):


Swatch of cushion foundation:


The darker one is on top. It doesn’t look THAT bad here but it was a mess on my face.

The bag this month is super cute – it’s a white swishy material that kinda reminds me of a gym bag (perfect for the theme), with a bright neon ribbon and the back is mesh:

I really like how they’ve been mixing it up the bags lately!! As of last summer they were plain white bags with simple pictures on them, and then the pictures got a bit more elaborate, and last month they debuted that stunning black bag…Sephora’s really stepping it up with these bags!

As always there is also a card for 50 extra Beauty Insider points, along with a pamphlet explaining how to use each item and why they picked it (click for bigger):


Value & Verdict

All together the value of this bag adds up to $36.33. For reference, December’s was $39 and November’s was $54, so that’s a pretty significant difference.

This box wasn’t as much of a hit for me as December’s box – I ended up loving every product in there and I felt like it was one of the strongest yet. The theme is a good idea – low maintenance, effortless, on the go, etc. – but in thinking about it I realized that nothing about makeup is really low maintenance or effortless for me haha. I put a lot of effort into this and spend a good amount of time getting ready and I like that. Beauty is truly a hobby for me (as evidenced by my obscene amount of beauty items) so while I think the theme was creative and well-suited to some people, I’m just not one of those people. I don’t HATE this box of course and it’s not enough to make me unsubscribe, but I’m crossing my fingers that the next box is a bit more suited to my interests.


That’s all for my review of this month’s Sephora Play! Box! This is still my favorite subscription box for some of the awesome things I’ve gotten out of it since I subscribed last summer. If you’d like to sign up for Sephora Play!, the waitlist opens periodically here. Be sure to check out my previous reviews too for a better idea of the kind of products you receive 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤ Kaela

PS: This post contains affiliate links, meaning for each purchase made through the links in this post, I will receive a small (very small!) percentage of that purchase. My full disclaimer can be found on my about page🙂

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