Monday, May 30, 2016

May 2016 Play! By Sephora - The Forces Of Nature - Unboxing & Review!

Recently, Sephora opened their subscription service, Play!, to a wider audience. I believe you still have to sign up for the waitlist, but it seems like more and more invitation e-mails are being sent out. There was even a weekend where you could just sign up for it without having been on the waitlist, but then some people ended up on the waitlist anyways and then weren't able to subscribe...I'm not 100% sure what happened, but I know it was a very confusing situation. Along with changes in the subscription process, Sephora is apparently reworking the service itself, starting with the May 2016 box.
To be honest, I'm not really sure I like the direction this subscription service is going; I haven't been subscribed for very long, but I much prefer the previous couple boxes I've gotten over this newer version.
An interesting assortment of items, though there are some that I unfortunately can't use...
Quick Run-Down: $10 a month makeup/beauty subscription service curated by Sephora; five deluxe sized beauty samples (think the 100-point rewards Sephora offers) and one perfume sample; all products and brands are available to purchase at Sephora; no reward system, but you get a card each month that you can redeem with a purchase in-store to get 50 extra Beauty Insider points; still limited as to who can subscribe, but it seems like Sephora is letting more and more people in (pretty sure you still have to sign up for the wishlist, though, and that a lot of the limitation is based on location rather than amount of current subscribers).
A lot of changes for the month of May, some of which I'm a little iffy about. First off, it looks like you no longer get a cute, sturdy box, but a canvas bag within a box. The box made this feel like a real subscription service, while this bag makes it feel more like one of those bonus sampler sets that are free with purchase every now and then.
The info booklet has been completely redone as well. In that it's no longer a booklet, but a weird poster thing. This is what the box looks like right after opening; you get the info poster on top with the redesigned Play! points card on top. I know I complained about the info book  before and that it was a lot of paper without a lot of info, but this poster just seems so...weird. It does save paper though, so I suppose that's a bonus.
The theme for May 2016 is The Force Of Nature, which is supposed to include products that perform well and are good for you and/or the environment. Sephora did a pretty good job including products that fit this theme, but then again, there are a ton of products on the market right now that would work.
I'll start with the perfume sample. One thing I really like about the Play! subscription service is that you get a perfume sample every month, but it doesn't count towards your five deluxe-sized sample count. I love trying new fragrances, but I don't think they add a lot of value to a subscription box, especially since you can get a ton of them for free if you just go hang around a perfume counter. The perfume for this month is the Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine.
Sorry for any blurry photos; my camera is starting to go, but I'm trying to put of buying a new one for as long as possible. I love the presentation of Atelier Cologne samples; they all come in rice paper envelopes with informational faux-postcards. I do like citrus scents, and orange can be quite uplifting, but the geranium goes a bit off with my skin chemistry.
The first deluxe-sized sample in this box is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi.
I'm already a big fan of Bite Beauty products, and I'm really excited to be able to try out one of their new Amuse Bouche lipsticks! Not only are Bite Beauty products high-quality, they are made out of food-grade ingredients. Which means that you could technically eat them. You know, in case there was an apocalypse or something.
Some people weren't too happy with the color choice, but I love bright, bold lip colors and most subscription services tend to shy away from them (for obvious reasons), so I'm quite pleased to see that Kimchi is a bright, blue-based fuchsia.
You see there where it says there are twelve edible oils in this lipstick? Guess what one of those oils is? Yup, argan oil. Companies aren't declaring when their products have argan oil anymore so I have to be especially careful when trying new products and make sure I read the ingredients fully.
I did swatch it out of a sense of duty and an itchy, red hand is a lot easier to deal with than an itchy, red mouth, but honestly, it just makes me more sad that I can't use this lipstick because it's super creamy and opaque.
We got two lip product samples this month: the bold Kimchi lipstick and the neutral Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram by Tarte.
This is supposed to be a two-in-one lip liner and primer, though I think it's weird that they call it a lip crayon. When I think of 'crayon', I think of something more, well, crayon-like.
My camera would not take an in-focus picture, but you get an idea of how small this pencil is, which is great for precision lining. This is an automatic liner, but once you twist it up you can't twist it back down, so be careful you don't turn up too much at a time(especially since I don't think you get a lot of product in here to begin with).
Latergram is described as a matte-mauve, which it is, and it's the type of mauvey-nude that I think looks flattering one me. There are quite a few negative reviews of this product on the Sephora website, mostly based on this sample. I thought that I swatched alright, but I suppose the true test will be to see how it applies on my lips (to be fair, a lot of people are also saying that the full size performs much better than this sample, so it's likely a problem with the sample and not with the actual product).
I have mixed feelings about this next sample. On the one hand, it's of a product I'm actually interested in trying, Origins Maskimizer mask primer. On the other hand, it's like two steps away from being a foil packet/perfume vial sample.
This sample consists of a spritzer vial of the Maskimizer and single-use foil packets of the Clear Improvement mask and the Drink-Up Intensive overnight mask. I do like that they included two face masks to use the Maskimizer sample with (not everyone is as obsessed with face masks as I am and may not own any, which would make the Maskimizer sample worthless to them), but I would have preferred a bigger sample of the Maskimizer by itself.
I also wanted to note that Sephora's pun game is definitely off this month; perhaps they got new writers? This is definitely a niche product, but if it works, I might consider buying a full size since I do use face masks so often.
Is Korres still popular as a brand? I feel like I heard a lot about it when I first got into makeup, but I hadn't thought about it again until I got a product in one of my recent Sephora Favorites kits. As we got two lip products this month, we also got two face mask products; even though I like the products, I would like a little more variety of products.
This mask has a foil seal, but I can smell the rose-scent through it, so I'm going to pass this on without even opening it. The last thing I want to do is slather my face with a rose-scented product before trying to go to bed. Probably not a bad product, just not for me.
Yup. I have gotten this sample now in every single subscription I'm currently subscribed to (with the except of Julep) and some that I'm not any more.
This is the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! mask. It has argan oil in it, so I can't use it, and I'm sick of getting samples of it. Hopefully this means I won't get it as a sample ever again. The pun for this product also really rubs me the wrong way; I don't care that it's slightly risque, but it just seems like it's trying a little too hard.

Overall, I got five deluxe sized samples and one fragrance sample. For $10, I do think you get your money's worth, but it's unfortunate that I won't be able to use three out of my five samples (and I'll be giving the fragrance sample away as well), which lowers the value of this box for me. I don't really like the direction this service appears to be going in; it's more widely available, which is good, but it also feels a little...cheaper. Like Sephora is trying to cut corners to keep costs as low as possible. I understand that there are a lot of costs involved with these boxes--printing, packaging, curating, shipping, etc.--and that Sephora probably doesn't make much, if any, money from this service, but I would prefer paying a little more to keep the old service than paying less for this revamped one. This is still a new service, and Sephora is probably trying to figure out what works best, so I'm not going to unsubscribe, but I'm worried about what the June box will bring.

Thanks for reading! <3

No comments:

Post a Comment