Cancelling My Sephora Play Subscription

I like trying everything, want to be in the loop, want to know if there is something new and wonderful out there… for that reason, subscription boxes appeal to me.  It seems like these days there is a subscription box for any interest- food, fitness, beauty, etc.  It’s fun and fairly cheap to get a random box of goodies in the mail to try… but sadly I’ve been disappointed with my Sephora Play subscription and have decided to cancel.

Each box comes with info about the products and how to use them.  On you can log into your account to see which products you got each month in case you want to order any of them in full size.

If you’ve been intrigued by the hype and are interested, here are the details:   Sephora Play costs $10 per month (including shipping), and you get 5 make-up, haircare, skincare samples plus a perfume sample all in a cute bag.  You also get a card each month which allows you to earn 50 points when you make an in store purchase.  Five samples for $10 sounds like a deal, and Sephora carries good brands so you assume that you’ll get samples you’re excited to try.. which has not been my experience.

My March box just arrived and the theme was “Glow Your Own Way.”  I have to say that I do like the little bags and have found uses for them when I traveled.  The box contained a Becca Shimmering skin perfector liquid, a Glam Glow shimmer moisturizer, a Verb hair oil, a Josie Maran Argan balm, an Urban Decay mini lipstick, and an Atelier perfume sample in Sud Magnolia.  This was probably the best box I’ve received.  I tend to stick with powder highlighters but am excited to try a liquid.  I enjoy Glam Glow products although I think they are over priced.  Verb is a brand I’ve heard of and not tried yet.  Josie Maran I could be excited about.  The Urban Decay lipstick is in a beautiful hot pink shade that I’m sure I’ll get use out of over the summer.  Atelier is one of my favorite perfume brands, and I knew the brand before it was so mainstream and popular.  This was one of their better boxes in terms of a nice mix of recognizable brands and varied products.

I’ve been subscribed for six months now and been really disappointed in the type of samples, the tiny size of the samples, and the lack of variety.  A few years ago I subscribed to Ipsy and feel like they had better variety because I remember getting hand cream, face wash, nail polish, eyeliner, blush, lipstick, etc.  In the short time I’ve gotten Sephora Play I received two hair oils, multiple face creams, two boxes that both had a glow/shimmer theme, multiple items from the same brand, two glow primers, and several lip products in similar shades.  Considering that Sephora is a make-up company, I expected more actual make-up and not so much skincare/haircare.  My boxes have sadly lacked any actual color cosmetic products beyond a lipstick.

Besides the lack of variety for actual make-up, I’m a little perturbed by the size of the samples.  I realize that the box only costs $10, but companies should also want to work with Sephora to place their products.  If I get a tiny sample which barely allows me to try the product at all, I’m not likely to purchase it in the future.  For example, the skin care samples have been 0.1 oz or 0.25 oz… the Josie Maran sample I got this month is not enough product to actually cover the bottom of the container!  Sephora regularly offers free samples with a $25 purchase, and those are always good sized.  I was expecting the items in the Sephora Play boxes to be similarly sized.

Over the six months that I kept my Sephora Play subscription I have gotten some items I was excited to try- a Laura Mercier caviar stick, a Becca shimmering skin perfector, and lip products from Urban Decay, Stila, and Nars.  One sample out of each box is not enough to warrant the subscription though.  I’m cancelling and will put my money towards products which I actually choose.  If you want to try a subscription box Ipsy is a better value in my opinion for exactly the same price.  I’ve never tried Birchbox so cannot weigh in with an opinion on that, but to me Ipsy beats Sephora Play.  Ipsy has cuter cosmetic bags which you can reuse, has a better variety of products, includes more make-up products, and usually includes larger samples and even full sized items.

Has anyone tried Birchbox, Fab Fit Fun, or any of the other subscription boxes?  I’m curious what other people’s experiences have been like and whether maybe I just need to try something else?


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