Allure Beauty Box vs Sephora Play February 2017 Comparison and Coupon

The Allure Beauty Box is one of the top beauty boxes currently available to subscribers. I like it a lot and find it hard to decide between this and the Sephora Play box. Sephora is new on the scene with its subscription but it’s full of brand clout. I freely admit that I can’t bring myself to cancel either one.

I did cancel Birchbox and Ipsy, though. I think that Allure and Sephora both send better brands in bigger sizes and offer more of a variety of products. I felt Birchbox leaned more toward skincare and Ipsy more towards makeup and I just really want a balance.

Here’s my comparison of what I received in my February boxes:

Allure Beauty Box

The Cost: $15/month

What You Get:  Six deluxe-sized samples from the world’s best luxury brands. Although I’d say they often have full size products included, not just deluxe samples. And sometimes the boxes can contain up to 7 items. Customer service seems to be spotty.

What Came This Month:

Cargo Colorstick in Champagne (full size)- A universally flattering highlighter with no obvious shimmer! Can I get just a little excited about a highlighter that isn’t going to make me look like I just threw a glitter party? I don’t need to sparkle like a disco ball or glow like a flourescent lamp. I just want a slight sheen. Boom. This is gorgeous. Love! Subtle perfection.

Beautycounter Lengthening Mascara (full size)- I was so excited, thinking this was a navy blue mascara. Which I would totally wear with my pink hair even though navy is so 90’s. But no. It’s black. I didn’t open it because I don’t want it to get old. I wear lash extensions so I don’t use mascara. Although, if you wear lash extensions and you wear mascara, pipe up in the comments because I’ve been wondering if I should but have been worried about affecting their longevity.

GrandeLips Hydrating Lip Plumper– This is a volumizing lip gloss that I’ve tried before. I’m gonna tell you right now that it tingles. I daresay… Stings. Be prepared. Ouchie. Does it work? Yeah, I guess, but I’m not quite sure it’s worth it? It stiiiings.
Olay Eyes Pro-Retinol Treatment (full size) I believe this is a Bonus and it’s a pretty good one, too. For all that Olay is a drugstore product, they’ve actually got some good, effective ingredients for reasonable prices. For this one, it has glycerin for moisturizing, niacinamide for brightening and evening out your skintone plus a (weak) form of retinol for refreshing your skin. Definitely worth using!
Red Flower Moroccan Rose Tealight (full size?)- Rose and patchoui scented. Very sultry! I hate patchouli, though, because it makes my nose itch.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads– Exfoliation is very important! There are several ways to do it and these pads are pretty handy, I’m not going to lie. These use lactic and glycolic acid to loosen up those dead skin cells and swipe them away to reveal your fresh new skin cells. Hooray for glow! I use a glycolic acid lotion but I’m also partial to the Dr. Dennis Glow Pads. I’ll definitely be trying this.
Sephora Play

The Cost: $10/month

What You Get: A collection of five deluxe samples plus a fragrance in a cute bag, delivered monthly. Plus a Play!Pass for 50 extra Beauty Insider points with any purchase in store. I haven’t had to deal with customer service so I can’t say how it is with the Play box.

What Came This Month: 

Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer- A lightweight oil-free moisturizer that’s also a primer! Based on the ingredients (squalane, beeswax, dimethecone), this should be the last thing that goes on before your makeup. It will create a nice barrier locking in moisture. BUT I wouldn’t count on it being very moisturizing by itself so moisturize first. If you find it pills, try it over a different moisturizer (an occlusive moisturizer could cause pilling). Reviews say it works pretty well to blur pores but doesn’t stick to oily skin well enough.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream- My skin reacts terribly to ginseng so I won’t be trying this. Ginseng is definitely one of the new popular additives to skincare, though. Kbeauty brought it over and now it’s popping up a lot. Sadly.

Bite Beauty Multi-stick in Cashew- Not the most awesome color but it’s supposed to be good for eyes, cheeks and lips.

Sephora Collection Lashcraft Length and Volume Mascara- A jet-black mascara with a paddle shaped wand. It professes to be clump free which is nice.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino- Play always includes a fragrance which I don’t like but the other stuff is good enough to make up for it. This is a citrusy floral fragrance with notes of lemon, lavender and neroli.

TooFaced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake- Another pretty blah color but I guess it fits with the whole “soft, muted” theme of the box so I shouldn’t complain. Compared to the GrandeLip plumper in the Allure box, this one doesn’t even compare except that it does have a touch of color.

VERDICT: I cannot tell a lie! Allure Beauty Box wins this month because FULL SIZE! Four full size products including one bonus. Allure also has a great combination of skincare and makeup this month with the tealight being a fun surprise home good. Loved it! Sephora is second only because of sizes. The brands are great and the variety excellent. The fragrance is never my favorite part but since I’ll be using everything but that and the Origins product, it brings this box to a solid second place.

If you’d like to sign up for the Allure Beauty Box, you can do that here and get $5 off your first month. New subscribers only.

Sign up for your Sephora Play! box here.

What’s your favorite beauty box? Why did you choose it over the others? I’m always curious to know what other people look for in their boxes.