August 2017 Sephora PLAY! Box Review

If you’ve read my previous post about the Sephora play box (here), then you already know it’s my absolute favorite beauty subscription box. I would consider the July box a definite success, but when I saw the August box, I just knew it was going to be even better.

First of all, can we talk about the packaging….


I know I’m a nerdy scientist and all, but this bag was SO. CUTE.

The cuteness factor went into overdrive once I saw the package insert that was included. Typically, the insert gets tossed off to the side, forgotten until I remember to pull the 50 bonus points card off of it. Not this time!


Once I managed to get myself back under control, I pulled this month’s products from the (adorable) bag to reveal:


Beautyblender sponge (Full size 2 sponges @ $18, Sample 1 sponge, value $9.00)

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick (Full Size 0.25 oz @ $46- Sample 0.04 oz, value ~$7.36)

KORRES Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir Serum (Full size 1.01oz @ $98- Sample 0.14 oz, value ~$13.58)

Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist (Full size 4.8 oz @ $30- Sample 1.4 oz, value ~$8.75)

Clinique High Impact Mascara and Primer Duo (Full size 0.28 oz @ $18- Sample 0.08 oz, value ~$5.14)

Burberry (Fragrance) My Burberry Black (Full size 1.6 oz @ $95- Sample 0.06 oz, Value ~$3.56)

Total Box Value: $47.39… Another high-value box!


Product Reviews:

Beautyblender sponge: Okay y’all. This thing is kind of ridiculous… ridiculously small.

Damp Beautyblender (L) and (R)
Damp in my hand (for size reference)











I can see how they would recommend using this sponge for highlight or contour, but for me personally, it wan’t practical. I tend to use powder products if I ever contour, and the same goes for highlighter. On the occasion that I do use cream products, I usually just pinch the regular beauty blender to get the surface area that I want for product application/blending. Since I got the product as part of the box, I’ll probably hang onto it and use it. But I will definitely not be purchasing this.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick: So, I’ll admit, I’ve tried this product before. I remember thinking it was really beautiful at first, but not being completely smitten with it. I tend to donate products I don’t absolutely love, so this product was sent away. After using the product for a few days, I remember why I didn’t love it.

While the finish is lovely, the wear time isn’t long enough for my busy days. I found that I needed to blot/powder/reapply after 5 or so hours. This tends to get on my nerves, so I stopped using it for weekdays. I won’t be purchasing this product either, but I will enjoy using it for events requiring photos, or perhaps a special date-night.

KORRES Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir Serum: This serum makes some pretty serious anti-aging claims, boasting of the luxurious and rare namesake of the product: Golden Krocus. Krocus flowers produce a saffron spice that is extremely rare, and KORRES claims it has anti-aging and antioxidant powers. As I scientist, I’m pretty hesitant to believe such bold claims.

Further inspection of the ingredients lists yields several that have been clinically proven to reduce appearance of fine lines and exfoliate pores, such as lactic and salicylic acid. However, there is also evidence of high alcohol concentrations (which could seriously dry out the skin) as well as fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin.

Personally, I didn’t love this serum. I regularly use fairly strong acids, so I know I am not sensitive to them. But my skin did not like something about this serum. I typically do not have sensitive skin either, so I’m not sure what happened. I’ll be passing this one on for someone else to enjoy.

Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist: I rarely, if ever, actually go through the process of blow-drying my hair. I’m lazy in this particular beauty department, and I especially hate blow drying/using hot tools when its still 90 degrees outside. I went a bit rogue testing this product- I towel-dryed my hair, and spritzed it onto my roots and allowed my hair to air dry.


I won’t lie…I didn’t hate the results. I am a southern girl at heart, and we southern girls love ourselves a little volume (or a lot). Even without blow-drying, I saw a definite difference in my roots. This is particularly impressive considering how long, and therefore heavy, my hair is. I look forward to seeing how well this works when I finally take the time to blow my hair out!

Clinique High Impact Mascara and Primer Duo: I haven’t used a mascara primer in quite some time, but this product reminded me that they exist, and there is a good reason! I loved using the primer in combination with some other mascaras that I already have and love. The primer wasn’t too chunky, and didn’t thicken the lashes too much and make mascara application strange. I felt like the primer also significantly lengthened the lashes as well.

Clinique high-impact mascara and primer duo

As far as the mascara half goes, I wasn’t really impressed. The mascara seemed to transfer easily onto my eyelid during application, and did nothing to keep my lashes curled. I thought it did a fairly good job of lengthening my lashes, but it didn’t really make them look thicker or fuller. I will continue to use the “primer” side of the wand, and would consider purchasing the primer separately in the future.

Burberry (Fragrance) My Burberry Black: I thought this smelled awesome! It isn’t typically the type of scent I would go for, as it was a little muskier, but I have enjoyed wearing it. This perfume is also VERY expensive, so I doubt I will purchase it.

Although there were some not-so-great products, I still LOVED the make-up geek theme of this months box.

Did you get any of the same items in your PLAY! box?

Until next time,


Follow me on instagram: @omg_phd

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