Play by Sephora July 2016

Beauties; I have for you, my 3rd installment of the Play! by Sephora subscription box!   I think of the 3 I’ve received, this is the closest to being along the lines of what I had expected to receive each month from this sub; some classics as well as some hot new products, with some bigger sizes.  I did discover a great new item for every day use in June’s box, which I purchased, and a travel sized non-breakable back-up of my favorite Becca primer; but aside from that I’d been a bit underwhelmed with the sub.  I do love that they switched to the draw ‘ribbon’ fabric bags; they’re really nice, will be great for gifts and this month’s, with the summery themed Popsicle print is way cute!

Here’s the lowdown:

Play! by Sephora

The beauty subscription box that brings you the best of it.

Each month, you’ll look forward to:

A curation of five deluxe samples handpicked from Sephora shelves (plus a fragrance bonus) all in a collectible bag – for just $10.00 (ships free) US only

Tips, Tricks, how-tos and beauty advice to get the most out of your products.

Free one-on-one tutorials and subscriber meet ups in your local Sephora.

July Theme:

Effortless Summer

July ‘Bag’:

July Play! by Sephora

The Bits:

ouai wave spray hair

Ouai Wave Spray:  Travel Size.  Full Size $26.00

I just recently received a bottle of this in my Rachel Zoe, Box of Style; so I will provide a link to that review.  I’m not typically a fan of wave creating sprays.  While I do like the initial look they give, my hair begins to frizz soon after, worsening as the day progresses.  Of the many, many I have tried this was the first that my hair reacted pretty well to.  Here is a link to my original review.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay: Deluxe Sample/Travel Size.  Full Size $24.00

I totally expected this to be a thick, dense clay like substance; due to the name/description.  I was surprised when I gave the bottle a squeeze and a poppy hued, gel-like substance ran down my finger!  I really loved this cleanser.  It’s a repurchase for sure.  It gives you the feel of deeply cleansed, ultra refreshed skin without the dry feeling you sometimes get after using traditional deep cleansing, clay based cleansers.  It has a eucalyptus/licorice like scent when first dispensed which dissipates rather quickly. I love how my skin felt after using this cleanser in the morning…and it’s safe for sensitive skin.  I love First Aid Beauty products!

Fab beauty deep cleanser

[different than I expected]

Blotterazzi by Beauty Blender

BeautyBlender Blotterazzi: 1 blotting sponge + cleanser sample.  Full sized set is $20.00

I love my Beauty Blender; I’ve been using it for years now, so of course, I was at least a little bit intrigued by this product when it launched..just not quite enough to spend $20.00 on it.  After all; the little blotting papers are inexpensive, work perfectly and are disposable.   This being said; this product has some pros, it works good if you are not really oily and obviously feels much nicer on your skin.  It’s soft flexible nature allows for easier blotting around the nose and other areas, doesn’t require grabbing a second on particularly oily days; and of course, is re-usable and washable, just like the beauty blender.  You also will not need to find somewhere to toss your used paper if you are out and about.   One thing is for certain though, it doesn’t soak up oil nearly as well as a quick blot to the forehead, as with most papers I’ve used do.  I think it works best for smoothing your makeup; under eye creases or settling around the laugh lines.  The other clear issue I have is that I feel as though I would need to wash it daily to keep from spreading my yesterday’s bacteria and such on my today’s face; and well, I don’t want to do that! LOL

Beauty Blender Blotterazzi

[a closer look]

Smashbox Photo finish Pore minimizing primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer: Sample Size.  Full size $16- $39.00

My have I grown tired of Smashbox primer minis.  The good news; I actually received a different formula this time, one that I’ve not yet tried.  This is the pore minimizing formula.  I thought it would be similar to the porefessional, by Benefit, and it is somewhat, with less moisture.  After smoothing over your face it has a light powdery feel and finish, making it a good option for oilier skin, but likely not for drier skin.  Other than that, the appearance of my skin and pores looked about the same as with the original version after application.  I do like the feel and texture of this version though.

smashbox pore minimizing primer

[peachy tint, similar to porefessional]

too faced chocolate soleil bronzer

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate:  Deluxe Sample/Travel Size.  Full size $30.00

I have used this bronzer on and off over a span of many, many years.  It is one of the best matte bronzers out there and definitely the first one I remember; and you can’t deny the delight that is its scrumptious chocolate aroma.  This is a medium to deep bronzer and while it is the perfect shade for my summer skin; if you have light or fair skin, I’d start with a fan brush or a very light dusting with an ultra fluffy brush, being mindful of the amount of product you pick up, and then build slowly.  If too much of this product is used at the beginning, especially being a matte formula you can end up with splotches that are hard to blend out, giving your face a dirty appearance.  If it’s still too dark they do make a milk chocolate version for lighter complexions and a dark chocolate for deeper complexions!  Rejoice!

chocolate soleil too faced

chocolate soleil swatch

chocolate soleil blended

[Some swatches]

The Perfume Sample:

Nest Citrine

Nest Fragrances Citrine:  Sample spray vial.  Full Size is $25-$68.00

Fresh Lotus flower and freesia mingle with bright citrus and a base of precious woods.  More floral than I’d banked on.  Freesia can be a bit off-putting to me, if it’s a prominent note in a fragrance that stands out apart from the rest and lingers.  The citrus helps and the dry down of the fragrance is much nicer; still, not a fragrance I plan to purchase.

The Play book:

July Playbook Sephora

The Play Pass:

Sephora play Pass July

(redeem this is any store and receive 50 extra beauty insider points with purchase)

This was my favorite Play! by Sephora of the 3 that I’ve received.  Any other ‘newbies’?  What do you think of Play!(?)

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Thanks for reading!

-Kelli xoxo


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  1. Jessica MacLafferty

    Great review! I’m on the wait list for Sephora play – how long did you have to be on the list? X;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      Thank you!! Well…I was on the waitlist for a very long time; but, I’m not sure that my experience carries any weight as to how long you might be on it. I signed up for it the day they announced its launch, I believe September of last year (first box, I think, was October 2015) but was waitlisted as they were only offering it certain states, maybe even only one, at first. It took months before that changed much and it ended up being about 7 months before I finally got the invite…which I assume is when they finally opened it up to a wide area. I wouldn’t imagine the wait list would still be long like that anymore; but I haven’t heard from anyone who has signed up after the fact regarding such. In my experience with other popular subs, in which i’ve been waitlisted, it was generally a couple weeks to a couple months. Good luck to you; hope you get an email soon. I know I was thrilled when I finally got the email as I had pretty much just let it go by then! lol xx


      1. Jessica MacLafferty

        Thanks for telling me ! Now I know what to expect!! Yeah, I’m super excited! x 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. kelifornia79

        Of course! no problem. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Jessica MacLafferty


        Liked by 1 person

  2. MyBeautyJourney

    I just got off the waitlist for Play!, and I’m so excited to get my August box! Super disappointed I didn’t get the July one though, it looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      Hurray! I know; I felt exactly that way with the one prior to the month I got in! I hope next month’s is fabulous!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Pink Adour

    My favorite was ouai wave spray what was yours?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      hmmm. I already owned a bottle of that prior; I do like it, but my favorite is the FAB Cleanser. I thought it was a really great product and I am already a fan of the brand!

      Liked by 1 person

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