Wishlist & What to Buy | Sephora VIB Sale, August 2018

Recently, Sephora came out with an announcement that it’d be changing its reward program, and as part of that change, there would be a sale. That sale starts today, and I thought I could share some items on my wishlist (at this point though, I’ve already gone ahead and purchased them) and recommendations for what to buy.

As with usual Sephora sales, Rouge members get first access and the highest discount (20% this time), though unlike usual sales, the code you use to get the discount can only be used once.

Wishlist

As usual when Sephora has a sale, I try really hard to edit down my basket so that I don’t overspend and overstock on items that I won’t get to using for a while. I managed to limit my basket to just 3 items this time around, but to be completely honest, it’s because Dermstore and Biossance both just had sales with 25% off, so I picked up some items there instead. (The Biossance sale is ongoing until Monday! Get your Biossance goods there 🙂 ) Regardless, I thought I could share my Sephora basket items as well as the items I purchased from Dermstore and Biossance that could also be found at Sephora.

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Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial (2.02 oz, $68): I’m excited to use this because it claims to be a scrub, peel, and mask all in one, and glycolic acid does amazing things for my skin.

Biossance Only the Good Clean Beauty Gift Set ($72, $115 value): If it wasn’t evident already, I’m a pretty big fan of Biossance. This set was a no-brainer for me, since it included a full-size Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (1 oz, $72), a 1 oz Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist (full-size 2.53 oz, $32), and a little 0.4 oz Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum (full-size 1 oz, $78). I’ve been ambivalent about the oil, but I wanted to use it more and see if I would change my mind, and I’ve wanted to try the latter two since they were released.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed (0.52 oz, $26): I’m nearing the end with my current lip mask and have been dying to try this one for ages, so I definitely took advantage of the sale this time to pick it up.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo (8 oz, $42): I’m not generally one that likes spending too much on hair products, but I’ve heard amazing things about this, and I do get dry scalp when it gets dry in the winter.

Saturday Skin No Bad Days Set ($39, $69 value): This is an amazing value, and I’ve been really wanting to try all of their stuff ever since my friend let me try her Saturday Skin eye cream. These samples will be great for me to bring on my travels later this year as well. The set includes a 0.67 oz Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel (full-size 2.53 oz, $28), a 1.01 oz Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist (full-size 4.39 oz, $34), a 0.51 oz Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream (full-size 1.01 oz, $46), and a 1.01 oz Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream (full-size 1.69 oz, $49).

Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50 (1 oz, $25): When traveling, I love bringing stick products with me, since it means less liquids. I’ve heard great things about this one, so I hope it’ll be good! I love that it has such a high SPF.

What to Get

Rather than list specific things that are good to get during sales, I thought I’d just say that the best thing to buy during these sales are value sets. As you can see, I’ve picked up two value sets – one from Saturday Skin and one from Biossance. Value sets are great ways for trying new products or for getting travel-friendly sizes of products you like. Sales are the best time to pick up these sets because they’re usually pretty pricey, especially for higher-end brands, because you’re maximizing your savings.

For example, the Biossance set retails for $72, which is the price of just the Squalane Oil. This is already a great deal, but with the discount, you’re saving even more money. If you were to buy the set during this Sephora sale, you could save an additional $14 if you are a VIB Rouge member.

When looking at value sets to pick up, make sure you look at the descriptions for each set! The Sephora site is pretty good in that it tells how much each set is worth. If it doesn’t, that means the value set doesn’t actually save you money, and, in that case, it wouldn’t be worth it to purchase the set. Also look at what’s included in the set. If there are more items that you don’t care for than do, I’d say pass – you’d only be spending money on stuff you didn’t want, which defeats the purpose of using value sets to save money.

What are some items you’re planning to pick up during this sale?

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ANTI-HAUL | Winter 2017

With all the temptation and spending that comes with the holiday season, I thought it’d be nice to balance my Sephora haul (and other upcoming hauls…) with an anti-haul.

Although I’ve gotten a lot better about making more informed, thought-out purchases in the last couple of years, this anti-haul will also be a good reminder to myself that money not spent is better than money spent on a product I wouldn’t otherwise use or want to try.

Before I begin with the anti-haul, I have to admit that I went ahead and purchased the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 oz, $80). I was partially motivated by maintaining my Rouge status, but mainly, it seems like a universally loved product, and is unique enough that I probably wouldn’t find a dupe easily, if at all. I’m excited to try it and share my thoughts on it with you 🙂

Although most of the products are carried at Sephora, this list will also include products from other brands (mainly Glossier). I’ll be honest here – my reasons for not purchasing items are all pretty similar… so feel free to skip through my descriptions for each product/brand.

  1. FENTY BEAUTY: I am a huge Rihanna fan, and I love the message behind the brand, but my makeup inventory is just way too full for more makeup products. I was tempted to get both the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (0.3 oz, $18) and the Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick in Supermoon (0.45 oz, $19), which I swatched in store and was super pretty, but in the end I decided not to because I’m not a lip gloss user, and there are other lip products that I would rather purchase to try. The highlighters look beautiful, so I may purchase them in the future when I actually need a new highlighter.
  2. FRESH Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner (8.4 fl oz, $44): As soon as this was released earlier this year, I had added it to my VIB sale purchase list. It’s gotten rave reviews, and just looks so pretty with the real rose petals in the bottle. However, I passed on this in the end, because I already have much more affordable toners that are already extremely effective.
  3. SON & PARK Beauty Water (11.49 fl oz, $30): Same reason as for the Fresh toner 🙂
  4. MILK MAKEUP: Every time Milk comes out with a new product, I am so tempted to purchase it. I really like the idea of their makeup – easy, for the on-the-go girl – but I find their items on the pricier side for what they are, and with the state of my current makeup inventory, I really don’t find it necessary to own anymore makeup items. That being said, I do own two items from them, one of which I would possibly repurchase.
  5. Pat McGrath Labs: Everything from the brand looks beautiful, but I don’t wear makeup often enough to want to spend that much on any of the products they offer.
  6. NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment (0.18 oz, $26): I’ll be honest – I was tempted. I haven’t really ever been disappointed with NARS products, and this has gotten rave reviews everywhere. But I’m not a fan of matte lip products, and am extremely picky about liquid formulations. That being said, I am planning on purchasing a Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick (0.25 oz, $24) at some point.
  7. Glossier Face Serums Set ($65 for 3 serums): I was planning to get this when I hauled some Glossier, but then I realized that each serum – Super Bounce, Super Pure, and Super Glow – had a dupe or similar product that could be found in The Ordinary line for a fraction of the price. I really enjoy some of Glossier’s products and the brand as a whole, but I personally just did not find that this $65 would be money well spent.

I could go on and on about what I am not buying and why, but I’ll stop here 🙂 What are some things you decided not to purchase or will not be purchasing in these holiday months?

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HAUL + Shopping Tips | Sephora VIB Sale, Winter 2017

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I’ve taken a couple of weeks off posting here, but the Sephora VIB sale, kicking off today, was good motivation for me to end my break and share with you guys what I’d hauled last week when the sale was open only to Rouge members.

I purchased five items and redeemed two point perks this time, though I’m already considering whether I should purchase more before the sale ends…

  1. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Peridot (0.01 oz, $25): I’ve been hearing good things about these eyeliners pretty much since they were released, and I finally decided to give the formula a try. Peridot is my birthstone, so I was immediately drawn to swatch that shade in store and fell in love instantly with the bright, shimmery sage-green. The formula seems pretty pigmented too, and I look forward to playing around with this fun color.
  2. Bumble and bumble The Hairdresser’s Set Sp(oil)ed Silly ($39): This set includes a 2 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, 2 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Conditioner, and 3.4 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, for a combined total value of $66. The hair oil is a full-size product, while the shampoo and conditioner are travel-size. This was a no-brainer for me, as the hair oil is one of my favorites, and the full size product retails for $40 on its own.
  3. J.ONE Black Jelly Pack (1.69 oz, $47): I’ve heard a lot of good things about both this and the original Jelly Pack (1.69 oz, $42), but as I’m trying to be pickier about what I spend money on, I decided to go with this one, since it’s an overnight mask, while the original is more for daytime use.
  4. Sephora Favorites Lashtash ($48, $132 value): I have never been disappointed with a Sephora Favorites set, and this mascara set is no different. I purchased a smaller Lashtash in the VIB sale two years ago, and even splitting the set with my sister, I only used up all the mascaras earlier this year. The set this year boasts seven deluxe size mascaras, two full size mascaras, and one pair of false lashes. I’ll definitely be splitting this set with my sister again.
  5. Sephora Favorites Beauty Sleep ($30, $92 value): This is already sold out on the site, so I won’t be able to share a link with you guys. I originally had planned to purchase a slightly larger skincare Sephora Favorites set, since it contained a deluxe sample of the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 oz, $80), but it sold out before I could place my order. I’m not mad at this set, though – it contains deluxe samples of: (1) Origins High-Potency Night-A-Min (1.7 oz, $44), a great nighttime moisturizer, (2) Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Transforming Gel (1.7 oz, $48), previously known as the Invigorating Night Treatment, (3) Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (1 oz, $90), (4) Sunday Riley LUNA Sleeping Night Oil (1 oz, $105), a universal favorite that I’ve been wanting to try, (5) Kate Somerville + Retinol Firming Eye Cream (0.5 oz, $85), (6) GLAMGLOW DREAMDUO Overnight Transforming Treatment (0.68 oz DREAMSERUM and 0.68 oz DREAMSEAL, $59), and (7) Living proof Perfect hair Day night cap overnight perfector (4 oz, $28).
  6. NEST Black Tulip (0.1 oz, 100 points): I’m a fan of NEST fragrances, so I wanted to give this one a try. This is a warm floral scent that features key notes of black amber plum, pink pepper, and Japanese violet. The full size is 1.7 oz and retails for $72.
  7. Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer (0.27 oz, 100 points): This seems similar to the Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer (1.7 oz, $28.50), so I wanted to get it to compare the two. The Sunday Riley full size is 1.7 oz and retails for $65.

A few more final tips for those of you who don’t shop often at Sephora:

  • The VIB sale is a great time for you to purchase more expensive products that you’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to pay full price for.
  • Always watch out for the Sephora Favorites and other gift sets. In order to get a good deal, make sure the product description also tells you what the value of the box is – if it doesn’t, it means the gift set isn’t actually cheaper. The high value sets are also a great opportunity to try more expensive products without committing to a full size purchase. The samples are also great for traveling.
  • If you’re trying to meet a shipping minimum, purchase sheet masks or little mask pods. Sephora has a bunch, including some hand and face masks as well. There’s a lot you can find under $10, and there’s never any harm in stocking up on masks 🙂

What have you purchased or are you planning to purchase during this year’s VIB sale?

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FAVORITES | August 2017

In the blink of an eye, it’s already September, and we’re heading into Labor Day weekend and the end of summer. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to start a favorites series before summer comes to a complete end.

These posts will primarily be on beauty favorites, but if I have any fashion or other lifestyle favorites, I will include those as well. For this month, I have a fashion love that isn’t included in the post image – continue reading to see what it is! 🙂

  1. LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25): My friend recommended this to me, and I am so glad I picked it up. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and very easy to use. I usually put this on in place of my nighttime moisturizer, and when I do, I wake up the next morning with soft, dewy skin. It’s also pretty good value for the price – you get a hefty jar of it, and the packaging neither looks nor feels cheap. There’s also a spatula that you can use to scoop out the product.
  2. Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette Pretty Cheeky (0.38 oz, $19.99 – currently $16.98): As soon as I saw KathleenLights recommend this on Youtube, I went ahead and purchased it. Despite being a drugstore product, the quality of the packaging is good, and the design on the compact is very cute. The formulas for the bronzer, blush, and highlighter are all amazing – if you swatch any of them with your finger, you’ll find that they’re almost creamy in texture. They’re also super pigmented, so make sure you go in with a light hand, especially if you’re more fair-skinned, since these colors are definitely more targeted for medium skin tones. There is quite a bit of fall out when you dip your brush in, but that’s not too much of an issue for me because they apply so nicely to my face.
  3. Kevin Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($21): My previous eyelash curler from Trish McEvoy was great, but it was old and no longer curling my lashes. I decided I wanted to try a new one, and this one had decent reviews on Sephora. It definitely didn’t disappoint – it curls my lashes nicely and fits the shape of my eye well.
  4. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I have a whole review of this here. I love how this makes my skin feel and plan to purchase a full-size version when I have used up more of my current skincare inventory.
  5. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve had this for a while and had been using it solely as a makeup remover. It did the job, but I never particularly enjoyed using it. Recently, I decided to try using it as a face wash instead, and I love using it as a face wash so much more than I ever did using it as a makeup remover. I use it as a morning cleanser now, and it leaves my skin clean and refreshed without stripping it of moisture. Unfortunately, I’m almost near the end of my bottle, so I won’t be getting back to it for a while.
  6. Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $22): I bought this a while ago when Glossier was first getting big, and I have to say I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary as a primer, which was how I used it. In hindsight, it’s probably because my skin is normal/combination/oily, so additional moisture isn’t really what I need in a primer. In a recent effort to finish products before they expire, I started using this as a moisturizer in the morning, and it’s amazing. It gives just the right amount of moisture and dewiness to my face. With the rediscovery and newfound love for this and the Milk Jelly Cleanser, I’m excited to get my hands on more Glossier products.
  7. The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel (25.3 fl oz, $20): I love The Body Shop’s shower gels, and they’re pretty affordable since there are sales so often. I got this particular one when Amazon had a deal on these for around $11, but The Body Shop often has “buy x amount, get x amount free” deals where you can get them for even less. I had to give a shout out to the Pink Grapefruit in this post because this scent is stronger than any of the other scents I’ve used, so every time I shower, my whole bathroom smells nice and fresh.
  8. The Gemma Mule in Leather in English Saddle ($98): I love these. I purchased them last month as a birthday present to myself when Madewell offered me $25 off my purchase. I hate wearing socks, so I’ve been trying to find a good pair of work shoes that don’t require socks. These are extremely comfortable, and I can walk a long time in them. The leather started off a bit stiffer and rubbed at certain parts of my foot the wrong way, but as I wear them more that’s become less of an issue.

What were your favorites this past month? Let me know in the comments section below!

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HAUL | Sephora Birthday Gift + Minis

As I’m sure most of you know, Sephora offers a free birthday gift every year to its Beauty Insiders. It’s a pretty generous gift, given that you don’t have to redeem it with a purchase, and it’s usually a couple of deluxe sample sizes in a little birthday gift set. This year, there is the choice of a Caudalie skincare set, a Tarte makeup set, or a Jack Black moisturizing and cleansing duo.

When I was redeeming my birthday gift, I realized that I hadn’t redeemed any of my points in a good while. Then, I got sucked in by the face masks, and ended up picking up some of those as well. Consequently, I ended up with a little haul… and well, I guess at least I can share with you all what I got!

  1. Caudalie Moisturizer and Serum Set (0.33 oz each): I am currently using the Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 oz, $49) and loving it, so I figured this birthday gift would be a good opportunity to try other products in the line. The set includes the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (1.3 oz, $39) and the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (1 oz, $79).
  2. SEPHORA Collection Sleeping Masks ($4 each): I got three of these, in green tea, pomegranate, and rose. I love these because they’re such easy masks to use – usually, I put this on as the last step of my nighttime skincare routine, in place of my usual moisturizer. A little goes a long way, so you can use each packet a handful of times before it’s gone. They’re good for travel too, since they take up so little space. Honestly though, from the times I’ve used these masks, I haven’t seen much difference between the different masks. Regardless, I would recommend them because they’re affordable, and every time I use one, I wake up with moisturized, dewy skin.
  3. Tatcha’s The Water Cream (0.17 oz, 100 points): I’ve been wanting to try this since my friend recommended it to me, and when I saw this available in the Rewards Boutique, I added it to my cart without a second thought. Also, considering how the full-size of this product (1.7 oz) is a hefty $68, redeeming this reward was such a steal.
  4. SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil (0.17 oz, 100 points): Another steal, considering the largest size of this product (1.18 oz) is $80. I’ve never tried any Sunday Riley products, and this product is supposed to help smooth skin.
  5. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua XL Color Paint Shadow in Iridescent Warm Beige: (0.05 oz, 100 points): I’ve been hearing quite a few beauty vloggers rave about this, so I got curious. The full size (0.16 oz) retails at $25.

I’m going to be traveling for ten days next month, so I’ll be trying all of these little minis then. I’ll make sure to update you guys on my thoughts after I try them!

If you’ve already had your birthday this year, which gift did you get, and did you like it? If you haven’t, which gift do you want? Let me know in the comments!

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MAKEUP ROUTINE | 5 Minute Makeup

As I’ve become someone who doesn’t use makeup on a daily basis, I’ve developed a quick routine for days when I suddenly have plans after work and want to look a bit nicer. Recently, I started toying with the idea of actually timing myself, and last week, I decided to put myself up to the challenge when my boyfriend and I planned a last minute date night. I actually managed to do this under 5 minutes! (I had two seconds to spare….)

  1. Base: My skin’s been treating me well, so I try to avoid foundation when I can. As a foundation substitute, I use a few swipes of Milk Makeup’s Blur Stick (1 oz, $36) across my t-zone and blend it out with my fingers. It really does what it says – it gives my skin a blurred effect wherever I apply it and makes my pores less visible.
  2. Concealer: I follow that with a few dabs of Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer (0.14 fl oz, $14) in Madeleine under each eye, and blend that out with a beauty blender.
  3. Set base: I dust bareMinerals Mineral Veil (3 oz, $22) in Mineral Veil, a loose powder in a sheer, lightweight formulation, over my t-zone and under-eye area to set my base and concealer.
  4. Face color: Since I’m in a rush, I usually stick to one of blush and bronzer, and add highlighter if I have time. When I timed myself, I went for Milk Makeup’s Lip + Cheek (1 oz, $24) in Perk, a cream blush in a coral shade that leaves me with a natural flush after I blend it out with my fingers.
  5. Eyeliner: If I’m feeling like the winged-liner gods are happy that day, I’ll go for a winged liner, using either Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner (0.19 oz, $20) in Trooper or NYX’s Epic Ink Liner (0.02 fl oz, $7.99). I’ve only just started using both of these, and they’re both amazing. Look out for a liquid liner review/comparison soon 🙂
  6. Lashes: Curl lashes, lash primer, mascara. I currently use the Trish McEvoy Lash Curler ($25), but plan on switching it out soon. Lancome’s CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base (0.19 oz, $25.50) is my one and only primer, and I’m currently using Marc Jacob’s O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara (0.25 oz, $26), which is just okay to me.
  7. Lips: For a 5 minute makeup routine, I go with something easy – IPKN’s Twinkle Lips (0.16 oz, $18) in Glow Pink. It changes shades of pink according to the natural chemistry of your lips, and goes on more like a lip balm than a lip stick. You don’t even need a mirror to apply it 🙂

I was surprised by how much I could accomplish in five minutes! What was even more shocking was that I could do even more or have even more time to spare had my makeup been more organized… I probably spent a good thirty seconds or more in those five minutes just digging around for things. Regardless, this was a fun little exercise, and I may want to try a ten minute routine in the future.

Do any of you have your own 5 minute makeup routines? Please share with me in the comments below!

HAUL | Sephora VIB Sale Spring 2016

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Sephora’s spring VIB sale is only 15%, compared to the 20% offered in the November sale, so I had planned to get only what I needed. Of course, that didn’t happen, so here’s a haul for y’all.

The sale ends tomorrow (Wednesday, April 13) for VIB & Rouge members and tonight (Tuesday, April 12) for Beauty Insiders, who get 10% off. Get on it if you want to take advantage of the sale!

  1. Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler ($25): It comes with 7 perfume samples a voucher for a full-size rollerball. It’s a good deal because some of the rollerballs cost more than $25. Unfortunately, when I opened my box, I found that one of the samples was basically empty and a couple of them were only half full. Did anyone else have this issue?
  2. Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 (3.4 fl oz, $28): This has a nice concept but mixed reviews. Stay tuned for a review.
  3. Fresh Lotus Lovers Skincare Collection ($41, $56 value): You get a bag, 1.7 fl oz Soy Face Cleanser, 1 fl oz  Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, and 0.16 fl oz Lotus Youth Preserver Eye Cream.
  4. Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (0.8 fl oz, $12): A YouTuber was raving about this so I decided to give it a try. The full-size is 5.1 fl oz and $48.
  5. Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base (0.19 oz, $25.50): This really makes a difference in how my mascara looks and applies. The extra step is worth it.
  6. Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Dark Brown (0.15 oz, $20): I’m currently using Benefit’s Gimme Brow (0.10 oz, $24), so I wanted to see how this compared.
  7. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil (3.4 fl oz, $40): I’ve gone through so many samples of this, so I figured it was time to purchase a full-size.
  8. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Original (0.33 oz, $20): For my oily eyelids, this primer works the best.
  9. SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in 06 Madeleine (0.14 fl oz, $14): I wanted to see how this compared to my current under-eye concealer BareMinerals BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (0.20 fl oz, $20), which does the job, but I feel like could be better.
  10. Forula X Delete All – 5 Finger Nail Polish Remover (5 oz, $15): If this works how it claims to, I’ll never use normal nail polish remover agian.

What did you get during this Sephora VIB sale?