Sunday, December 3, 2017

My Sephora Picks for the Holidays AKA A Huge End of Year Haul


This is what several online orders, a few in-store stops and a few coupon codes from Sephora looks like.... Yeah, I'm not too proud of my spending right now. This collective haul encompasses everything I bought during the 20% off sale until now. Let's just say everything here bumped me into VIB Rouge status. Which, honestly, I don't think is even really worth it but I guess 2018 will tell. 

In my defense (not that I have owe anyone an apology for spending my own money), a lot of the things I picked up were haircare and skincare products that I will use at some point. I only allowed myself one eyeshadow quad (because Tom Ford is too pricey to buy without a sale) and most of the holiday makeup gift sets didn't appeal to me (too much glitter, weird colors, etc.).


I'm typically very low maintenance with my hair care but a few weeks ago I got balayage highlights done and I'm trying to give my locks a little more TLC. The hair kits were generally a good value and as a hair product newbie I love sets that give you a lot of variety. The Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue and Prep & Protect sets will certainly come in handy for travel. At $25 and $24 respectively, these Sephora Favorites kits are a great way to sample several popular products to see which ones, if any, suit your needs best.

The Briogeo line has favorable reviews so I bought two sets with full-size products from the brand to try. Verb is another brand that's new to me and their Ghost line has fantastic reviews so I grabbed the value kit. I like that their shampoo and conditions aren't too pricey so if I like the travel sized ones, I'll get the full size later on.


I admit to having back ups upon back ups of skincare after my Japan haul and a few purchases from The Ordinary and May Lindstrom that I haven't shared on the blog yet. I couldn't resist a few other things to add in my rotation. I tried a sample of the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask and liked it a lot so I picked up the Glow For It kit - it has a full size of the mask and for $2 more, it includes generous sized minis of their Regenerating Cleanser and Repairative Moisturizer.

Another face mask I knew I liked after using a sample is the Fresh Rose Face Mask. I picked up the trio of masks which include the Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask and Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. For some reason the packaging for this trio says it's $57 but on my invoice it says $54 and now Sephora is selling this for $50.... Nonetheless, with the 20% discount I paid around $43 and an ounce of the black tea mask itself retails for $28.

I had to check back on the Sephora website several times to hunt down the Sephora Favorites Beauty Sleep set which is an excellent deal. The set costs $30 but has a value of $92. I already have a small tube of the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum and enjoy it so I wanted another for travel. I've also really wanted to try the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil and the 5ml size you get in the kit is worth about $18. Everything else was pretty much just a bonus.

Sephora put a bunch of their old Play boxes up for sale so I picked up the version with a mini Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser and Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. I've been curious about the Sunday Riley cleanser for years and this sample alone makes the $10 price of the box worth it. I have a slightly larger mini tub of the Christophe Robin scrub and it doesn't hurt to have tiny tub for travel (retails for about $9). I'm not crazy about the other samples in the box but the two products I was interested in are worth more than what I paid.

I go through spray toners really fast but I love having them around. This time I picked up the Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Toner which is a new one to me. It has really great reviews for combo-oily, acne-prone skin so I'm hoping for the best.

Last but not least, I picked up my birthday gift in-store and opted for the Caudalie skincare duo. I've used both the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and Moisturizing Sorbet and they were fine - nothing great but not bad. I wasn't crazy about the Tarte makeup option and knew the blush and liquid lipstick would disappear into the depths of my makeup collection immediately. At least the skincare duo I can use up on a week-long trip.


Before I get into the makeup I bought, there are a few skincare stragglers that got lumped into this photo. The first being a new tube of Shiseido's Full Lash Serum - I always need to have a new back up of this on hand. I think this is probably my 5th tube and I will continue buying this until they stop making it. I haven't been as diligent about using this as I used to be and I can definitely tell the difference - you really need to be consistent about using this to see results.

Right before the 20% off sale I picked up the Bite Beauty Agave Kisses set to try out their famed Agave Lip Mask, Lip Balm and Lip Scrub. I really enjoy the Lip Mask so during the sale I picked up a full sized tube. I have chronically dry lips that are easily irritated so I can never have too many lip salves. It's one of the things I have no trouble finishing. OK, onto the makeup.

I think I did pretty well on the makeup front. The big splurge was my first Tom Ford eyeshadow palette. I chose the shade Nude Dip because everyone that has this seems to love this and I have a soft spot for taupe shimmery shadows. I'll probably do a more comprehensive post on this palette after I've had some time to play around with it.

The Sephora Favorites Prime, Set, Go kit was an excellent value as most of the samples were very generously sized. The mini Laura Mercier powder is 9.3 grams whereas my full size Nars loose powder is 10 grams. The sprays are also 1 oz each which is quite substantial for minis. I can see myself using up pretty much everything in this set.

In one of my earlier orders during the sale I got a sample of the Nars Soft Matte Concealer and fell in love with the formula. It's medium to full coverage while being ultra blendable and natural looking. With my $25 off $50 coupon I picked up a full size of the concealer in Custard. A little goes a long way with this concealer so I'm actually still using the foil sample - surprisingly it hasn't dried out yet and is still going strong.

Brow pencils last me ages and I'm not close to using up my current Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil but I wanted to take the opportunity to grab one of the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencils. It seems pricey but it contains a lot of product so it actually works out to be quite affordable compared to brow pencils from other high end brands.

I picked up two lip pencil duos: the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Damned and Walkyrie (mini size) and Bite Beauty's Lip Pencils in 018 and 024 (full size). The Nars duo was $20 and the Bite duo was $24. The Nars shades are perfect for winter time and the Bite pencil in 018 is a great brown nude shade for my skintone.


I wanted to include some of the deluxe sized freebies that I also picked up. The Bite trio including their Line and Define Lip Primer, Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Sweet Cream and Lip Liner in 068 is one of the better gift with purchases I've seen from Sephora in recent memory. I'm excited to see how the lip primer compares with Colourpop's.

This year's VIB Rouge welcome gift is a mini version of Sephora's PRO Flawless Airbrush #56. The full size retails for $32 and I like how this cute little one looks. Definitely will be packing that with me for my next trip. Honestly, I think Sephora could do a better job with the Rouge welcome gift since you do have to spend $1,000 to access this tier. But I'll take the brush over nothing.

I cashed in 200 points in-store for two mini Dior lipsticks in 999, a matte classic red. I'll let you in on a little tip: I almost always redeem point perks in-store because you don't need to make a purchase to use your points. You can also redeem more than one of the same item whereas you can't do that online. Each of these mini Dior lipsticks is 1.4 grams and the full size is 3.4 grams so altogether my the minis are worth about $29 combined! Talk about maximizing your point potential.

Aaaand that wraps up my collective Sephora haul ahead of the holidays. I don't plan on placing any more Sephora orders until 2018 so here's to hoping I don't get suckered into any promotions before New Year's. Did you buy anything during the sales? Tried any of the products I bought? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!

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