Things are crazy. For some of you, the Sephora Sale might not be a priority right now and I can’t blame you that. For me, browsing the website and putting together this list was a welcome distraction from all the noise. Please know that this is not meant to come across as tone-deaf or minimize all the pain and suffering that so many are experiencing. It turns out that buying things isn’t making me any happier or less anxious, but that’s not going to keep from adding things to my cart and trying again.
If you’re like me and have been stress shopping in hopes of producing a little bit of serotonin to get you through your day AND you love makeup, look no further. I spent an embarrassing amount of time compiling all the things that I’ve lusting for during this spring’s Sephora VIB sale.
Since I started taking my skincare seriously, I don’t normally purchase many things from Sephora and instead opt for investing my money in medical-grade products, which are similarly priced but more effective because they contain higher concentrations of ingredients. However, I can’t go see my esthetician right now because of COVID-19 and I would like new things to slather on my face, so here are my skincare picks.
Youth to the People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial
I follow someone on Instagram who is a chemist by day and beauty blogger/product reviewer by night and she was raving about this product. Add to cart.
Foreo Luna 2
Years ago my ex-boyfriend bought me a Clarisonic. I never really used it, because at that time I didn’t even take my makeup off before I went to bed, but now that I’m older, wiser and more committed to my skincare routine (and to dating guys that don’t suck) maybe it’s time to try this one out.
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Eye Patches
I love these eye patches. My mom got them for Christmas one year and I have repurchased them ever since then. They plump up your undereye and make your skin feel so smooth and supple. If I haven’t slept well and my under eyes look like the Crypt Keeper, (or if I’m hungover) I’ll slap these on while I blowdry my hair—or I’ll put these on while I do another face mask. I used to even be able to convince my ex-boyfriend to use these. If that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA % 2% BHA Mask
This is my favorite at-home treatment from Sephora. I think most department stores/OTC treatments are a waste of money, but this one actually shows some serious results. If you have pigmentation issues, dullness, dry spots, I highly recommend this.
Saint Jane Beauty Luxury CBD Beauty Serum
I love this stuff so, so much. If there was one skincare product that I recommended above others on this list, it would be this. I used this following my laser treatment back in February and I think it played a huge role in how quickly I healed. I use this every single night as part of my skincare routine and when I miss a night, I notice it in my skin the next day.
Slip Silk Pillowcase
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what is wrong with your current pillowcase. The short answer is nothing, really. Nothing enough to justify spending $80 on this one, TBH. The long answer is that cotton is very absorbent. It wicks moisture away from your skin and hair during the night, which causes creasing on your face and be hard on your thin, delicate skin over time. Silk doesn’t scratch, tug or twist your hair and skin and, over time, is supposed to be better. I have one of these and bought one for my mom, too. But if you don’t want to shuck out this much money this Amazon dupe does the same job (and at 2 for $12.99 you’ll have more money to spend on other things you really want).
Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm
As someone who wears a lot of makeup, I have a lot of experience taking it off. I really like this makeup removing balm and find that it does a good job of breaking up even the toughest, most stubborn long-wearing foundations and lipsticks. I’ll be stocking up on this during the sale!
I have long, fine hair. And I have a ton of it. All things considered, when it comes to my hair I’m pretty low maintenance. I get it touched up a few times a year and other than that I essentially call it good. I do wash it and blow dry it every day, which takes up more of my time than I care to admit. Here are the products that this quasi-low maintenance person uses.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Like I said, I wash, dry and style my hair every single day so having a blow dryer that doesn’t fry my hair is essential for me. This thing is lightweight, quiet and dries your hair in a fraction of the time that other dryers do. This is one of the only times during the entire year that it goes on sale, so take advantage of that!
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3
I know that I’m high maintenance in many ways, but when it comes to hair I’m really not. I mean, I used to use Suave shampoo and conditioner up until about 2 years ago. Olaplex was one of the products that helped me transition over to the dark side, because it’s genuinely like liquid gold. I try to use this about once per month, but now that I’m isolated in my house entirely by myself I use it about once a week. And I leave it on for anywhere from 12-48 hours. There are no rules anymore.
For what it’s worth, I also recommend Olaplex shampoo, conditioner, bond smoother styling creme, and the No. 7 bonding oil.
I am super into blush right now and I won’t apologize. I’ve seen some people argue that this is a hipster/Tik Tok trend but it’s not. Anyone can wear blush to brighten up their face. Man, woman, young, old. I don’t care. I will die on this hill.
Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
These are just released today! I haven’t tried them (obviously) but they’re in my cart just waiting for me to check out. I can’t wait to try them.
Nudestix Nudie Matte Blush & Bronze
I love Nudestix. These are truly so easy to use, so easy to blend. Whether you’re a full coverage queen or you opt for an easier, low-maintenance look, I promise you’ll love these. You can’t go wrong with Nudestix.
Tower 28 Beach Please
I love this blush so much that I’m buying another one. I have the shade Magic Hour and I have been wanting to try the orange shade, Golden Hour. If you like cream products, I promise that you’ll love this blush.
I have been quarantined for what feels like months (and is actually quite literally the truth). I could easily say that the quarantine and the pandemic is the reason that I’m pale but it’s not. I wouldn’t be in the sun if I could be. I have spent too much money on my skincare to fuck that up with harmful UVA/UVB rays. Fake bronzers all day, everyday baby.
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that I’ve talked about this one million times. It’s truly one of my favorites.
Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer
Just like the cream blushes, the cream bronzers are just being released today. IMHO, cream bronzers are a little trickier than cream blushes, so I can’t wait to try these out and see what I think about the color payoff, the formula, etc.
Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Cream Bronzer
This is the best cream contour product that I have ever used. I got the coolest shade, which is still incredibly intimidating both in the pan and on your face, but it blends out so perfectly and is so easy to work with. The shade that I got is cool toned and perfect for contouring but if you wanted to use it as a bronzer to warm up the face, there are quite a few shades to choose from!
Tom Ford Soliel Glow Bronzer
I don’t own this. I want to own this. Unfortunately, it’s $100. It’s sitting in my cart. Should I buy it or no?
If you’ve been around for a while you already know that I have incredibly oily skin. Now that I’m getting older, my skin is changing a little bit. Part of it is so dry that it flakes off and the rest of it is so oily that the United States government is trying to start a war over it. The worst of both worlds, really. Because of that, I’m super picky about powders. Here are my favorites.
Laura Mercier Translulcent Loose Setting Powder
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? The OG of setting powders. No flashback, no weird cast. You can use it to finish, to set, to bake—you can’t go wrong with this. It’s a no brainer purchase.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
I got this last year in Chicago and have used it almost every day since. It is now my preferred powder to set my undereye concealer with. It truly gives you a flawless finish. I read some reviews that said it broke really easily but it’s been to Chicago and Detroit with me, as well as making two trips to Traverse City and hasn’t broken. It’s also been knocked off my vanity by my jerk cat more times than I can count, so I don’t think it’s that fragile.
HUDA BEAUTY Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder
I feel like I judge Huda products more harshly than I do other brands because I have this preconceived notion that they are all just an Instagram gimmicky hoax. Most of the time I am pleasantly surprised by the quality and slightly horrified at the fragrance because they are SO strong. Nonetheless, this is a really good powder. I don’t use it to bake, but I do it to set my undereye concealer on occasion or use it as a finishing powder when I’m done doing my base.
I have seen really good reviews about this product and am so tempted to try it. Do I really need a different powder for my undereyes than for the rest of my face? Is this really worth shucking out $30 for (well $30-20%)
I have my eyebrows microbladed, which I talked about in-depth here. I love my microblading and recommend it to anyone who will listen, but I do still do a little bit with my brows on a daily basis. Read on for my recommendations.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
I have been using quarantine to try other brow hacks, like soap brows, which has become my everyday go-to styling method. I fill in any sparse areas in with Dipbrow and I’m good to go.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil
This item definitely isn’t a must-have, but I like using it to brighten up underneath my brow. I have had mine for easily 5+ years, so the $20 something investment will be a good one!
Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil
I feel like the amount of money that I’m willing to spend on brow products just keeping creeping up and up. I bought this on a recommendation from Allana Davison, who is my favorite YouTuber of all time. She’s right, it’s a great product.
MILK MAKEUP KUSH Fiber Brow Gel
This is essentially a dupe for Boy Brow. It has eerily similar packing and does the same exact job. I’m not really partial to either product, TBH. This is 20% off, so I’ll probably get a backup while I can.
I got a lip flip last summer and even though it only changed my appearance a little bit, it was enough for me to stop shying away from lip products and embrace my lips. Now I can’t stop buying lip products. Please help.
Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm
I am a sucker for anything new. I doubt that this is anything crazy or lifechanging but I’m gonna try it out and let you know.
Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly
This is the best lip gloss on the planet. It’s moisturizing, it’s never sticky and it makes your lips look amazing. And it’s only $14. If there’s only one thing you buy based on my recommendation, let it be this!
Kosas Wet Oil Lip Gloss
I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and figure that when I can get it for 20% is the best time to try it. It won’t be better than Tower 28, I know that going in. But it’s worth trying I suppose.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick
The best matte lipstick you can buy. It’s a cult classic for a reason. Everyone loses their mind over Pillow Talk and, I’m not saying that it’s bad, but I am saying that Very Victoria is better. Trust me.
Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips Lipstick
I know that I literally just said don’t buy Pillow Talk but please know that is specifically in reference to the Matte Revolution Lipstick. In the Superstar Lips lipstick (I cannot say that without mentally picturing Molly Shannon), Pillow Talk is my favorite color. This is like a glossy, your-lips-but-better lipstick that you can throw on anywhere, at any time (without a mirror) and instantly look better and more put together.
My foundation changes with the season. These are my favorite at the moment.
Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation
This might be my favorite foundation of all time, to be honest. It’s so easy to apply. It blends out really well, has great coverage and great staying power AND it has a great shade range. 10/10 definitely recommend.
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream
You really can’t go wrong with this product. You can use this when you want to do a full glam look and you can throw this on your face in the car in the parking lot of your office. It’s so versatile, has great coverage and works for everyone. I have turned so many people onto this product, including my mom who is the most difficult person to convert in the world. They should be paying me at this point.
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Years and years ago I went to a Sephora with my friend who hated makeup and didn’t wear any. The salesperson recommended this product. There are a million tinted moisturizers out there, but for some reason, I tend to like this one most. It has a pretty finish and gives a very skin-like appearance.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint Foundation
I have seen a few YouTubers review this and have it waiting in my cart. I want to be someone who uses a low-coverage, dewy foundation but not sure I can pull it off.
Estee Lauder Double Wear
This is my holy-grail for full coverage. I always stray away from this foundation in pursuit of something better but, in reality, very few foundations can match up to this one.
Beauty Blender Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation
I never see anyone talk about this foundation and it makes me sad because it’s so great! If you like Double Wear, you’ll love this. It’s similar except, in my opinion, it’s more skin-like. It’s extremely long-wearing, controls oil, doesn’t transfer and has a satin-matte finish. I bought this in Chicago last year and have repurchased three times since then.
I used to be loyal to only Shape Tape and now I just kind of hop all around and use whatever suits my fancy that particular day. Different strokes!
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer
This is my favorite undereye concealer. It does an amazing job of reducing dark circles, doesn’t settle into any fine lines and doesn’t crease. It’s been my most used concealer since I picked it up during my Chicago trip last spring.
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer
This is the best concealer in the world for hiding blemishes. It’s so easy to use and will hide all your deepest, darkest secrets. TBH, no other concealers even hold a candle to this one.
Milk Makeup Flex Concealer
After spending the past decade searching out the most full-coverage products I could find, I sometimes forget that products like this exist. I picked this up a while ago to wear on days when I opt for something like a CC cream or tinted moisturizer and really like it.
Makeup Forever Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer
This is a somewhat new product (I think?) and I had to pick it up because I couldn’t imagine using a concealer that doesn’t need to be set with powder. I had low expectations and it exceeded them. It’s more on the low-coverage end of the spectrum. If you’re a no muss, no fuss kind of person I think you’d really enjoy this.
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
When I first started getting into makeup and learned about Kevyn Aucoin I was so obsessed with him. I wanted to buy every product that he had, but I was poor and couldn’t afford it. I saved up and bought this concealer. It is heavy-duty, it is heavily fragranced—but it is beautiful. There are other concealers that would probably work better for most people, but if you’re someone who appreciates artistry and “collects” makeup, you should try this at least once.
Some people say that primer is a waste of money or a hoax. It’s not. Depending on the product and what you’re going for, primers can help hydrate your skin, make your skin look smoother, make your makeup last longer, etc. These are a few of my faves.
Tatcha the Liquid Silk Canvas: Featherweight Protective Primer
I recently included this primer in my March favorites blog. At the time, I was kind of on the fence about it. I actually have really started to love this primer. It is expensive and there are definitely other primers on the market that do a similar job at a more reasonable price point, but if you have some money to blow I recommend giving it a try.
Farsali Skintune Blur Perfecting Primer Serum
I 100% thought that this was going to be a gimmicky product when I bought it, especially because of the name. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the softened, smoothed (dare I say blurred?) look that this primer gave my face. I have this sitting in my cart right now, we’ll see what happens.
Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer
This is an oldie but a goodie. If you have dry skin, you’ll love this. It helps to hydrate your skin while also locking your makeup in place for the whole day. Bonus: it smells like coconuts.
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base Priming Moisturizer
This is a favorite among makeup artists because it’s so universal. If you have dry, sensitive skin and are looking for something a little more on the luxe side, that walks the line between a skincare product and a makeup primer, this is it. Most products claim to be smoothing but this one lives up to its claim.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
A cult classic for a reason. I’ve probably been through ten bottles of this in the past 5 or so years. If you’re not sure what kind of skin you have or what kind of primer would suit you, this is a good place to start. Pricy, but worth it.
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Primer
If you have oily skin, you’ll love this. It is extremely sticky and you have to make sure that you press it into your skin as opposed to rubbing because it will ball and pill. But once you get the hang of it, this will keep your looking matte and flawless all day, no matter how oily your skin is!
Milk Hydro Grip Primer
This primer is the best of both worlds and somehow ends up working for just about every skin type and concern. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I do. It’s hydrating but also sticky (I mean, it’s in the name!) and really makes your makeup last all day. I have used it with a variety of different foundations and never had a problem with it.
I love highlighter. Over the years as trends have changed I have fluctuated between an insanely blinding highlight to transitioning to a more subtle look, but I have never wavered on my love of glossy cheeks. From liquids, powders and creams to everything in between, I’ve tried them all. If you’re looking to buy a highlighter during the sale, here are some of my favorites and one that’s lingering in my cart.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
I bought this at a Charlotte Tilbury Nordstrom counter last summer because the saleswoman convinced me that I needed it. It was too much for me in the summer, but over the winter I started adding this under my foundation for a subtle glow. If you like a lit-from-within look, you could also add this to the high points of your face. Surprisingly versatile, I think is actually a good investment.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
This was the first highlighter that I ever bought and for that reason is has a special place in my heart. It’s also just a really good highlighter. In fact, Opal might be my favorite highlighter of all time. Using this as a chance to stock up since mine is long gone.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
This is definitely my go-to highlighter for the days that I don’t want to look like a disco ball. If you’re more into a subtle, candle-lit type of glow, I can’t recommend this palette enough. I love that it comes with all three ambient lighting shades so you can try them out, mix them together, etc.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer Glow Quad Mini
I really liked RMS beauty products. This is a great way to sample multiple products if you’re interested in the brand (they’re clean & cruelty-free!) without committing to spending a ton of money on each product individually. A heads up: I have noticed that this dries out quicker than other cream products. Maybe because it’s clean? Not sure.
Tower 28 SuperDew Shimmer Free Highlight Balm
This is one of the most unique products I’ve ever used. There’s no color, no glitter. It’s just a balm. It gives you the most dewy, wet looking, gloriously effortless sheen. I am obsessed with this stuff.
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand
This is such a glossy, beautiful highlight. It’s a liquid but dries down to a powder feel so you don’t have sticky cheeks all day. I say this about everything but is one of my favorite products.
Gucci Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière — All Over Face & Lip Gloss
I have not tried this, but I’m tempting the idea. It looks like a pretty, glossy, universal product. How do we feel about Gucci Beauty? Worth it or is it more of packaging/label thing? I’m interested in hearing anyones experience with their products!
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
I’ve never used these but I have a friend who raves about them. I’ve been meaning to get into self-tanning since I no longer see the sun or leave my apartment. Fake (bake) it til you make it.
I have a million products that I want to stock up on and try out, but I’m not sure what all I’ll actually be picking up. If nothing else, browsing the website is a good distraction from all the chaos that’s happening in the world right now. What’s on your list or in your cart? Let me know! I hope you’re all staying safe and staying inside!