May 20, 2016

Play by Sephora May Unboxing

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

Play by Sephora May

I got my very first Play by Sephora Box this week! Did you get yours? The Play by Sephora May Box’s theme is “The Forces of Nature” and includes high performing products that are good for you.

If you aren’t in the know, Play is Sephora’s new beauty box subscription service that costs $10, releases monthly, and includes five samples and/or deluxe size products as well as a tip guide, tutorials, and a perfume sample.

Play by Sephora was launched in a few select test markets but New York was not one until recently. Several weeks ok I finally received an invite to sign up for the box. Right now I believe it is open subscription so you can head over to, pop in your email address, and you’ll be signed up for the box. They close this down from time to time when subscriptions fill up quickly. In this case, you’ll be offered to be placed on a waiting list and they will e-mail you when the box sign up is open again. But as I said, as of right now, it appears to be open for enrollment.

It’s debatable for me whether the box is worth $10. Considering they do not charge a shipping fee I’m taking that into consideration as it must cost them anywhere from $4 to $5 bucks to send this box (it might be light but postage has gone up considerably so it likely cost them around $4.50 to ship this). Plus they put money into the box design itself as well as the enclosed tip guide and the drawstring bag everything comes in. On that note, I will say they might have blown most of their budget on the packaging and the shipping versus the actual content. There’s no reason to ship it in a box plus put it all inside a drawstring bag as well.

I love the idea trying something new from Sephora and there are a few products in here that I’ve been wanting to try anyway so in the case this was great. But overall, the contents for May are a bit uneventful and pretty small too so don’t expect too much!

Let’s take a look!

Sephora Play May Box

Play by Sephora May Unboxing5

Play by Sephora May Contents:

  • Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (0.34 oz)
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (1 oz)
  • Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi (.05 oz)
  • Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine (small sample vial)
  • Origins Maskimizer (sample vial), Origins Clear Improvement Mask (.1 oz), and Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (.1 oz)
  • Tarte Tarteist Lip Liner in Latergram (0.04 oz)

Play by Sephora May Unboxing

Play by Sephora May Unboxing14

Play by Sephora May Unboxing15

Play by Sephora May Unboxing18

Play by Sephora May Unboxing19

Note: I’ll update this post shortly with images and swatches of the Tarte Lip Liner.

As I mentioned above the packaging seems like it cost more than the actual contents inside! I might have been more excited if there were items I hadn’t yet tried in this box but many of the items I already own. I will say I haven’t yet tried Origins Maskimizer so I’m excited to give that a go but damn the vial is really itty bitty. I felt like some of these items were easy enough to get with a purchase in stores so they weren’t unique or large enough to get too excited about but hey, what do you expect for ten bucks right?

I’m a little disappointed in May’s box but I’m not cancelling my membership yet though! I’m hopeful the next box will change my mind.

Did you get your Sephora Play May Beauty Box?

Did you like the contents?

Did you feel it was the $10?

Do share!

Sign up for Play by Sephora at

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kimmwc03

    I loved the April box (it was my first). This one looks pretty good since I haven’t tried most of the items yet. So far, I plan on keeping my subscription going.

      • Rimavh

        I liked my “box” – worth $10 but not more. On the Tarte liner, is it possible that it is supposed to be enuf only for one lining? I can’t push up any further so that is disappointing. I always enjoy getting my Ipsy package even though I mostly don’t use/buy more of the included samples. Sephora, the packaging was Devine and I suspect I will buy more. birchbox I’ve had twice and cancelled a few months later each time

  • Rina

    My thoughts exactly! I got mine an hour ago and was underwhelmed… And I hate pink lipstick! Also, I kinda felt “less special” after ha ng received my off-the-wait
    Iist email to find out it was totally open to everyone, but that’s just me being petty, LOL! I too, will give it a few more months but if this is it, I’ll stick to Target or Amazon. There are way too many boxes available now for Sephora to slack off…

    • Isabella Muse

      Yeah me too! I’m going to play a wait game and see if maybe next month catches me! This month was a bit meh! Great lipstick but I have the same prob as you, didn’t love the color.

  • Caroline

    I’m actually excited about this month’s box. I think the Bite Beauty lipstick is probably worth almost $10 by itself! I recently canceled my Birchbox in favor of just getting this box since I’ve been pretty happy with it overall (and I’ve been subscribed since November). The whole bag-inside-the-box thing is new this month, though, and I agree; it’s kind of pointless! Other than that I think it’s a nice subscription box for the price.

    • Isabella Muse

      The bite lipstick was very worth it everything else I’m a little meh on! Not sure if the lipstick though is worth ten! I’m hoping for something better next month!

  • Shelly

    Agree completely. My first box too. The only thing that tripped my trigger was the Bite Amuse Bouche lipstick, but the color is not for me. Overall, a disappointment. Won’t cancel though…yet.

    • Isabella Muse

      Likewise! Not cancelling yet! I was excited about the mask primer but it’s so small! 🙁 But hopefully next month will be nicer!

  • Christina Louise

    I cancelled all of my other subscription boxes and only kept Play! I like it MUCH better than others. Not only because ALL of the samples are brands I have heard of (unlike Ipsy) but also because I get samples of products I know I really WANT or at least have on my list of want to trys! (Like the Kat Von D eyeliner or the Amuse Bouche). The colors are not always what I would pick for myself but it gives me a chance to break out of my beauty box without spending a ton of money or at least try the formula even if the color or scent isn’t my cup of tea. Their samples are also not the same samples that you have received from every other company. The only think I am not a big fan of is the little bag ironically. I liked the shredded paper better because after Ipsy I am OVER getting a new little bag every month. Who needs all those bags? I would rather have another sample than another bag! But overall I LOVE Play and have converted quite a few of my friends.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m glad to hear you Like Christina!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 So far, I’m on the fence, hoping for something better next month but I’m glad you liked it!!!!!!

  • Nina R.

    This was my first Play box as well, and I knew I would be disappointed because of the sneak peeks I found online. The April box had some great stuff so I was doubly bummed about May. I did Birchbox for a year, as I had gotten a special discount subscription, and I didn’t think that was worth it. I tried the hair conditioner and it was fine, nothing I would purchase though. I already had a sample of the Korres Rose Sleeping Mask, which is pretty good but I didn’t need another one. The Bite lipstick was a nice size, but totally unwearable. I’ll stick with it for a few months…

  • Ally

    I loved mine. I love how the information sheet gives detailed info on the products. I’m kinda liking this over Birchbox even without the customization.

  • Jordan

    I just got my first box today and I am typing this with Kimchi Amuse Bouche lipstick on, wearing the Korres mask over the Maskimizer. I tried the Tarte lip liner first too! I think I got my money’s worth, love the lipstick, The Korres mask is a little too highly scented for me, the maskimizer seems nice, but may just try spraying my jurlique rose water pre mask as it may do something similar. Can’t wait until my next one!

  • Tracy

    I’ve been receiving the box from the beginning and this is the first time they put all that contents in a bag. That being said I actually like the box the others came in to store or separate products I’m testing out. i think this box is by far my favorite out of all of them since it contained many deluxe size samples. I think for the money it’s decent but there have definitely been hits and misses.

  • mlh

    I’ve received every Play! box from the start. This one was definitely the most disappointing – but with that being said, the previous 7 were fantastic. Give it time, samples are usually larger and make a little more sense. Hopefully this isn’t the trend going forward, but really, it’s been an awesome box so far!

  • MLH

    I’ve received Play! from the launch and I have to say this is by far the most disappointing (and honestly, not that bad)! The last 7 boxes have been fantastic and I feel like maybe I just wasn’t feeling this month. The other box samples seem to have been deluxe samples and I’m hoping this month was just a fluke. Seriously though, one of my favorite subscription boxes I get… and I subscribe to more than I probably should .

  • Stacy

    Ha! Mine had the masks but didn’t have the Maskimizer, and the lip liner doesn’t roll up. So this was a total dud for me! I’ll try one more month, but if it’s crap like this month, then no more!

  • Joy

    I thought the same thing about the wasteful packaging. Contents are not worth $10. I’ll give it another month or 2. Have you tried Ipsy?

  • Carrie

    I have been a member since the first box. The first 3 or 4 were fantastic…I notice each subsequent box has been a bit disappointing to me. This box(May) I love the Bite lipstick…highly pigmented and moisturizing at the same time. I love pink so plus…plus here. The Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial I was excited to try…alas after about 30 minutes I had to wash it off. The rose scent is sooo strong…it gave me a migraine, sadly I am sensitive to scents. I tried the hydrating mask last night and really liked it. The tartiest lip liner is very thin…so careful and it does not wind back down so do not twist it up beyond what you need. The color is just alright to me…a sort of brown rosy/ nude shade. I will stay with the Play by Sephora a while because there have been some really good products that I have liked enough to incorporate into my routine.

  • Christine

    This is definitely something I’m interested in, love these type of beauty boxes 🙂 x

  • Kristina

    What’s interesting is that this is the first month it comes in an updated box and includes the drawstring bag. It usually is just in a plain box (almost like a small, square shoebox) with little pieces of confetti paper filling. The paper left little white fibers on EVERYTHING, so while the bag is a little excessive, I’m kind of glad they tried something new.

  • Steph

    Yeah I was disappointed too. I was SHOCKED that the maskimizer was so tiny, the only thing I was really looking forward to getting one I knew what was coming. I hate lipstick and lip liner so I’m sad that I got two samples wasted on that. I do not like the perfume sample and hopefully the hair product will be good but my hair is so thin and fine that it probably won’t work. I’ll try again next month but I was so sad

  • lynn

    The May box was my first box as well. I thought it was okay. Didn’t really care for the perfume or lipstick color. That is a personnel taste though. I would rather just get a box with some nicer products in it rather than them using the “money” towards the bag. I can’t see me using the bag again.. don’t really have any ideas for it.

  • Crystal Nelson

    This is my first box as well, and I also found it to be a bit “meh.” I was a little surprised to see how small some of the products were as well (I was really hoping the Tarteist lip liner was a little bit bigger). I subscribed mostly because I saw how awesome the previous boxes were and so I’m hoping next month will be better. I’ll give it a fair shot – another two or three months – to see if things get better. Of all the beauty boxes I’ve tried, the Allure Beauty Box is the one that gives the biggest bang for the buck.

  • CL

    I got the May box yesterday. The hair treatment is 1 ounce, and the 1 ounce package of it on Sephora is $9.00, so you can make a good case that this box is worth the $10.83 I paid for it. The lipstick is far too bright for me, but I can make it work if I apply it thinly with a lip brush. I’m annoyed that the skin care items seem to ALL have at least one problematic ingredient which should not be used in anyone’s skincare regimen. I’d prefer they stick to makeup samples in “safe” colors (no intense pink, for example).

  • recklace

    Here in Dallas, I’ve been receiving the Play box for 4-5 months now and this is the first time the items have been packaged in a drawstring bag. Previously the samples were always just in the box with the booklet and some shredded box stuffing. Compared to the past few boxes, I was very disappointed in this month’s box! I was super excited about the lipstick as I already love the Bite Amuse Bouche lipsticks, but that color is absurd. The Maskimizer sample is too small, and I already received a packet of the Briogeo hair mask at my last trip into a Sephora store. I’ve sampled so many Korres products in the past and their rose scent is just wayyyyy too strong for me. I do love the Atelier perfume sample and I’ll probably use the Tarte liner. Definitely not my favorite box but I won’t cancel yet. Still way better than Birchbox.

  • Ruth

    don’t twist the tart lip liner all the way up cause it doesn’t go back down. I may or may not have twisted it all the way and had an “oh sh!t” moment when it didn’t go back down and then immediately broke it.

  • Carolyn2

    Meh…. Wasn’t jumping for joy with my first box…June will be better tho, right!?

    I like the lipstick but not a fan of that bright color. I’m looking forward to trying the masks. And a neutral lip liner is always nice.

    I’m glad to finally get the subscription, tho!

  • Kelly

    I agree with you. This is my 2nd box. The Bite lipstick shade isn’t for me. The masks seem like fillers for the box. The Atelier sample smells so good though. I threw away the Tarte lipliner. It’s so hard that it kept breaking when I tried to apply it. I’m on the fence with this subscription. Why pay $10 a month when I can go into the store and play with all of it and choose my own samples to take home? I haven’t cancelled yet…

  • amy

    This was my first one too, and I was not impressed. I probably have an unpopular opinion on this, and I get that they’re just getting started rolling this out across the country, but you are a huge company, with TONS of records on file of your company’s customer sales records. How do you not have a better “survey” system that customizes these a little bit more? At least to the point where you can allow your customers to say “don’t send me X items”, such as no lips or no perfumes?

    I couldn’t use half of this box, because I am allergic to the primary ingredients in lip products, and two of the primary ingredients happen to also be popping up in masks, so basically I could use one of the packet masks from origins and I think one other item. I also can’t do perfumes because they trigger my asthma. It was really disappointing.

  • Carrie

    I would like to never receive the perfumes in the box…everything now a days sets off my migraines. I did smell this scent and thought it was just awful…JMO. I also wish most of the products did nnot have these highly scented skincare products as well. The rose scent in the one sample was very…very strong…not a light scent which renders the product not usable to me.

    • Jessica

      Every box will now have a fragrance sample, according to their website :-/

  • Jennifer

    This was my fifth box. I have absolutely loved the others but this one left me underwhelmed! I did like the Bite lipstick since I haven’t tried it and I love bold lip colors. I thought there was less value overall in this box, I hope the next box is better or I may cancel!

  • Ashley

    My experience was horrible. Waited to get the invite!( FOR.EV.ER.FOR.EV.ERJust like in the movie Sandlot:). Recieved invite in late february, they had an issue with the order not going thru, I had to call several times to make sure it was on its way, because by golly miss molly they took it out of my checking aka debit card statement $10.70. By the time I got the box, I was impressed by the April box, as I think I kept 2 of the items, and gave the rest to a friend at work. Saw spoilers on another blog, and I just went ahead and canceled it. Instead I splurged and signed up for a year of Allure’s beauty box. Out of all the boxes I’ve tried I think its the best band for your buck, however I was sightly disappointed that their Foreo spoiler for this month’s box sold out, how can they run out? Hello $39 value, better stockpile these in a warehouse in the desert somewhere. Hopefully June’s Allure box won’t disappoint. Haven’t had much luck with these boxes lately. I heard that Bloomingdales and Nordstroms are starting a monthly subscription service, that might be worth trying, since its higher end, maybe less likely to be disappointed idk…I’ll try anything once.

  • Ashley

    is it just me, why do I always mis spell words, and then re-read what I wrote and it doesn’t even make sense, hah!

  • yelena

    ehhh I cancelled after 2 boxes. but this looks better than anything I ever got. I love the packaging and its cute, but I thought it would only be in my welcome box, after the 2nd box, I was like seriously? can we spend more on the product and less on the packaging?
    the things I got were things I could just easily get with 100pt perks.

    I am giving ipsy a try and I loved my first 3 bags so far…. I don’t mind getting the bags, u can use them for gift bags 😉

  • Ann-Marie

    I don’t like lipstick color so I will never wear it BUT I did wonder why they didn’t send a coordinating lipstick color and liner. I don’t think the Tarte one they sent would go well with the bright pink lipstick.

  • Jessica

    I’ve had the Play! Box since it rolled out in September 2015, and it just keeps getting worse. Sadly, the smallest, cheapest, and most disappointing box I’ve ever gotten was this one. I feel bad for all the new people getting it. Boxes in the past had minimal IF ANY foil pack samples, and typically had at least ONE FULL SIZE item. I don’t cancel simply because I don’t feel like dealing with their customer service team. As a Rouge, I get more and more frustrated everyday with Sephora. Not getting to be worth my money and time anymore. 🙁