I used to be obsessed with Birchbox which was undoubtedly the brand that thrust beauty subscription boxes into the limelight. But after awhile, I got tired of getting samples I wasn't using and steered clear of beauty boxes. I recently had a change of heart and subscribed to Sephora's monthly subscription, Sephora Play. I did some "research" prior to subscribing and went back and forth for a few months on if I wanted to commit to spending $10 on samples again. In the end, the pros outweighed the cons for me.
At $10 a month, it's the same price as Birchbox and Ipsy, but the brands sampled are ones you'll find at Sephora. I think Sephora does a really great job at curating brands as they won't work with brands that aren't at a certain prestige level and cut brands that aren't selling well. Birchbox and Ipsy sample some cool stuff but there's also a lot of fluff from brands I've never heard of and, honestly, am not interested in.
Another reason I was intrigued by Sephora Play was because fragrance samples do not count toward the five deluxe samples you're guaranteed in each box. You also get a cute little drawstring pouch that is different every month. I'm sure I'll eventually have a ton of these drawstring bags but they're nice to travel with and I can always give them away to friends.
Birchbox's old point system was a huge reason I thought the $10 per box was worth it. You could review your samples and earn back $5 to spend in the shop per box. Since they discontinued that and revamped their point system, it's not as good of a deal. While Sephora doesn't give you cash back to spend, you do get a little card in every Play box which you can redeem for 50 Beauty Insider points with an in-store purchase each month. I love me some samples and always wait for high value 100 point perks so the 50 free points is a nice bonus.
I travel quite regularly and it's nice to have a stash of travel size products for that as well as my everyday makeup and touch-up pouch and my boyfriend's apartment. Nowadays it's rare that I spend a consecutive week sleeping in one place (it sounds weirder than it actually is) so having minis to take with me is a huge help.
With all that being said, let's see what I got in my first July box!
At first glance, all the samples are good sizes - each one can be used more than once. The It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara isn't a bad sample in general but mascara samples are useless to me unless they're waterproof (and even then I always go back to my cheapie L'oreal Million Lashes Waterproof). I'm passing this mascara sample onto a friend. Fingers crossed I won't get a mascara sample every month!
Sephora released a spoiler for this month's box so we knew every would include a face mask. I was hoping to get the Fresh Rose Mask since I know I really like it but I got the Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Mask instead. I already have one of these from a Sephora Favorites kit. It's not my favorite but I also don't dislike it so I'll keep it handy for traveling.
The one hair care product I received was the Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray which I'm excited about! It's the perfect travel size and it smells quite good. I don't really use conditioning sprays so this will be nice to try.
The one makeup product is the Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag. While I cringe at the shade name, I actually really wanted to try one of these liquid lipsticks. They're not as drying as others and this shade isn't too nude as to make me look washed out or too crazy as to be unwearable.
The last deluxe sized sample... I'm not sure what to think about it. Milk Makeup is a relatively new brand to Sephora and I've never tried anything from the brand because the aesthetic doesn't really call out to me. I think it's geared toward more of the "cool kids" crowd. The Milk Makeup Cooling Water is a "hydrating gel stick" which I guess can be used as a moisturizer...? But it's not moisturizing and has no skincare benefits. It's also not a makeup primer. I just don't really see the point in a product like this. If you use this, please enlighten me on how you use it because I really don't know why anyone would buy this.
Last but not least is a sample of the Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine fragrance which I passed along to my mom. I'm not a big fragrance person and I've had a couple of samples of this particular scent before.
All in all, this was an okay box. For $10 I don't feel ripped off as I thought the sample sizes were good. I can definitely get use out of three of the five samples (and hopefully my friend likes the mascara) and two are products I'm quite excited about (the lipcolor and the conditioning spray). The thing that puzzled me most was the Milk Makeup product but I guess it goes along with the summer theme. At least I got to try it out (struggling here to think of a positive for the "cooling water" if you couldn't tell).
I'm already looking forward to next month's box! Do you subscribe to Sephora Play? Which subscription box do you think has the most value for the money?