Hi guys! This is gonna be a special post because it’s a guest post written by one of my favorite people, Lucilla Pan! She’s one of my smartest friends, currently going for her PhD in philosophy at Emory. I asked her to write this post because I wasn’t lucky enough to sign up for the first Play! by Sephora box in time, but she was! For those who don’t know what Play! is, it’s Sephora’s new subscription box. When I first met Lucilla, she hadn’t been as into makeup and beauty as she is now but before she left Boston I knew I had to drag her into the world of makeup obsession that I am stuck in. So I brought her to Sephora with me one day and when we walked out I had created a monster. A beautiful one, of course. Keep reading to read her full review of the first month’s box!
Thanks Yna for letting me write a guest review ☺ This is my first ever beauty box, so I’m very excited about this!
Shipping and handling
I was actually really worried that they would refuse to ship to me because I didn’t live in Boston or Cincinnati/Columbus (oops), but they shipped it!! I was so excited! It came super fast too. It told me it was shipped on the 18th, and it came on the 22nd! That’s only three business days (I think…?). And the package was in really good condition when it arrived, so I was really impressed by that.
The box was super, super cute and a pretty good quality, which I wasn’t expecting. The products are also really nestled in the confetti and tissue paper, which I thought was a smart idea, and they didn’t skimp on the protection either, which was good. The box was also incredibly sturdy, and I can definitely use it to put things in it like my makeup or other small items.
I already knew what was in the box because they release the items online when it ships. I don’t know if this is normal box subscription protocol or not, but I think that took away from the excitement a little. But I was still super excited to get the box because everyone likes packages. I also liked the little booklet that came with the box. It had some cute fun facts about the products and included the Play!Pass. If you scan the Play!Pass with an in store purchase, you get 50 extra Beauty Points, yay! So that was a nice perk.
I’ve used this two nights in a row, and so far it’s been good. My skin has been kind of crazy lately (super dry in some areas and major breakouts in others), and I recently went on a no-spot treatment and no make up thing for a bit. So this was really hydrating without being oily. I think it sunk down really well into my skin. But I don’t know how much of a difference it makes to my Nivea Cream, which is a lot cheaper.
First time I put it on, I thought it was a little watery, so it was hard to get a good even coat. The color goes on reddish pink but then turns into a more plum shade, which I didn’t expect, but it’s really pigmented. I find a lot of colors don’t show up on my lips, but this does, which I like. It doesn’t feel so much like a stain than it does like a gloss though. I did like the scent. It smells kind of fruity? But not in an overt way, which I liked.
After I went to dinner, part of it rubbed off, so it was less glossy, but some of the color remained, so it was more like a real stain. I had ice cream later that night, and it was still on after that, so decent staying power. I tried it again the next time, and the gloss faded after a bit, but the color remained. So I guess it fulfilled its purpose.
I was super excited for this because I love their masks! I don’t wash my face with a cleanser every night, but I try to every other night. I didn’t need a lot to get a good lather, like a nickel size I think, and my skin felt soooo soft. It was a little drying, but I didn’t feel my face breakout or get irritated like it sometimes does after a new cleanser, so points for that! It also smells faintly like licorice, but not in an artificial way.
I was probably the most excited for this because I wear eyeliner the most, and I’ve heard super good things about it. It went on really well when I swatched it, but I was so disappointed when I tried to put on. I couldn’t get a good thick line, and the crayon kept crumbling!! I also had to press really hard to get something out, so I ended up with one eye with a defined line and the other with just some grey residue. I went over the other eye with my Makeup Forever Aqua pencil just so they’d look kind of even.
I primed my eyes two days later and tried again. This time, it went on a lot better, but it was definitely a very faint, smokier feel. The crayon crumbled a little bit, and it wouldn’t build up color. So this was still very disappointing, definitely the most disappointing thing in the box.
I was least excited about this coming in because I don’t do anything for my hair, but I read somewhere online that someone uses this to boost their hair later in the day if they’re going out at night and didn’t want to shower or restyle. I’ve started washing my hair every other day, and sometimes it gets super limp the second day, so I figured I’d test it out to see what it might do to help my hair. I’ve only used it twice so far, but I feel like my hair is easier to comb through and has more bounce after I spray it on. The smell is pretty strong when I first put it in, but after I combed it out, it wasn’t as noticeable. I also really like the coconut smell, so that didn’t really bother me. The likelihood of me needing to straighten or curl my hair is low, but maybe I’ll find someone with a curling wand just for fun.
I didn’t really test this out because it’s a perfume sample, so there’s much to test out except for the smell. Like I said above, it’s not my go-to scent, but I think it’s grown on me these past few days. I do just like having perfume samples around for travel, and I like how it is pretty strong, so one spray should be good. I don’t know whether I would necessarily purchase this after the sample runs out.
Swatch of the lip stain and eyeliner!
Overall, I think it was a lot of good stuff for the price ($10.80 including tax). Everything is from Sephora, and the cheapest product was $14 for the full size (the lipstain), so you do get your money’s worth. While these are not items I might want to buy again, at least I’ve tried them out to see what I like/dislike about them. I showed the contents to one of my friends, who has way more products than me, and she said she already had 4/6 of the products already. So I guess this wouldn’t be super useful for her to get. But since this is only the first box and it was called the “Essentials” box, I can understand why a lot of contents might already be familiar to makeup users. But apparently each box is going to have a theme, which is an interesting concept. I’ll give it at least another month at least and poll a couple more friends to see their opinions on the next box too. - Lucilla Pan
So that was the first Play! by Sephora box! Make sure to sign up for a spot for next month’s box ASAP - the theme is going to be Asian skincare products! Thank you to Lucilla for her review - if anyone else wants to be a guest blogger on here, let me know! Thank you for stopping by my blog, come back soon ♥