Did Not Like This: Sephora April 2016 Play! Subscription Box

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I don't like subscription boxes because I get enough tiny samples in my daily life. I don't want to pay good money for things no one uses. Sure, I get that sampling is fun but unless it's color or perfume, why bother? Plus, you can walk into the actual store and get a sample of anything they sell. I forgot all of that when Sephora made me feel special by offering me exclusive access to try their new Play! subscription box. I must have been in a good mood, because I forked over my $10*.

According to their website, here is what you get:

Here is what I got.

I love the NARS lip pencil. It's one of the best lip pencils on the planet. The color is gorgeous and if I don't get distracted by the other 42 lipsticks in my bag and forget, I would definitely pick up a full size of Rikugien. It's a lovely nude with a little bit of bite.

The sample of Good Genes by Sunday Riley is lovely, but very small. It's what I would expect as a sample if I were to visit the store. I might pay $2 a pop if I could get six of them so I could try it for two weeks. But how about you just give me a real deluxe sample size, Sephora? Don't just squeeze a little in my hand and call it a sample. Give me something of value for my money, please. This is an amazing product I normally wouldn't pay $105 for. If I could try it just long enough to hook me, maybe. But at this size? Nah.

The Colorful Cheek Ink Gel in Peony is actually a product I was interested in previously. The size is useful and contains enough for many applications. However, it doesn't matter if none of the color ever shows up. I'm really, really fair and I can't make this shade appear on my skin. Fail.

Clinique Pep Start contains 7 peptides and and can be used over or under makeup. The sample size makes the Sunday Riley sample look like something to get excited over. Tipping the scales at 3 ml, color me overjoyed! Wow! Maybe I'm just salty that Ulta gives you actual money back and Sephora gives out minuscule samples. Since this is an eye cream, it will last you for at least a week. I suppose if you needed something to through in a bag you keep in your trunk for nights you don't make it home, this works. I guess. I'm looking for the lemonade...

I'm legit excited about Milk, the new line Sephora started carrying. I'm thrilled to have gotten a sample of their Sunshine Oil in a package that is actually useful. It's tiny, but I'm not mad at this sample. So far, we're two for five, if you're keeping score.

Perfume samples count as a decent sample in my mind, especially when they are larger than expected, so I'm happy to experience the new Derek Lam 10 Crosby scent. It's a regular, small vial-sized sample but it still contains more product than the Clinique Pep Start. Fun fact adding insult to my injury: The back of the sample package says it's a sample and not for sale. Sure, this is a BONUS and not part of the actual box, but I guarantee that is only because of the wording on the back of the sample. Don't try to cover me with glitter and glow and think I won't see the game you're playing with semantics, Sephora. Your shoppers are smarter than you think (you can buy 10 of these vials for $30, so $2 a vial is a savings. I guess).

And as a bonus, you get a sweet little makeup bag, which you can probably never have enough of. Mine didn't include the makeup bag.  I got hosed coming and going. This is why I hate subscription boxes.

Just so you don't think I'm being whiny... I know there are costs involved in sampling products and it's really expensive. Like tens of thousands of dollars expensive. But don't insult me by taking my money and then saying it's something you give away and prohibit selling. I know I'm being really picky here, but COME ON. Show me the love. Give me a tickle. Make me squeal with delight. And don't leave out the makeup bag. 

*this automatically makes me think of Better Off Dead and the kid who just wants his $2, a thought which has nothing to do with the topic at hand. However, last week, I actually saw a little girl riding her bike, yelling "I want my money!" really loudly.  If she had demanded two dollars, I gladly would have given it to her. My guess, based on my extraordinary knowledge of knowing nothing about 7-year-olds, is that she needed a new emoji keyboard for her iphone/itouch. I love the quirk of my weird, little neighborhood.

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  1. I agree with you 100%! In fact, I've been getting the Play! Subscription box for 6 months and none of them have been great. I have been trying to cancel my subscription for a week but they only let you cancel by CALLING and each time I call it is a 15 minute wait (and I don't have time for that!). I sent an email yesterday telling them to cancel my subscription and asking them to make that process easier for everyone. They make it hard in purpose and it's infuriating (especially as a loyal Sephora customer who spends a LOT of money there every year as VIB Rouge). Glad I'm not alone in my opinion of this box.

  2. Bummed to hear this.
    I haven't received my 1st Sephora Play package yet but I'm salty already.
    I've been on the wait list forever & when G from Nouveau Cheap posted that it was open to new subscribers I checked my email & STILL never got a notice.
    Then when I tried to sign up using my Yahoo mail ID that I have linked with my Sephora account I got WAIT LISTED again!

    Out of curiosity I tried signing up with my Gmail ID & was accepted but had to create a new Sephora account. WTF?? I just missed VIB Rouge last year & I get wait listed in favor of an unknown?
    Not cool Sephora....

    If the same brand is avail at Ulta I'll buy it there instead. I'll only buy from Sephora if its a product I can't get @ Ulta.

    As far as the makeup bag goes, I cancelled IPSY because of the bags (and the repeated shady brands every month).

  3. I got off the wait list and am now subscribed and waiting to get my first box. I dunno, maybe I'm in the minority, but I love subscription boxes. I'm been an Ipsy and Glossy Box subscriber for a few years now and have discovered brands and products I never would have found on my own. Like Sumita or Ofra or Rituals. Do I get stuff I don't like or won't use? Sure, but they just go out to my friends and family and I've found more stuff that I've loved and used than not. I'm not a blogger, I don't live in a larger city with great access to all kinds of products you can't get anywhere else. So for me sub boxes are the way to explore and be exposed to new stuff.


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