Recent Sephora Loves

Blogged with a Leinenkugel's Cranberry Ginger Shandy in hand...because 'tis the season, right?

Around this time of year (my birthday month) I usually have the opportunity to do a little bit of shopping at my favorite makeup haven, Sephora.  I've been a Beauty Insider since middle school and the intense obsession has only grown since.  

I decided that since I've recently tried a lot of things I really love love love, I thought it would be a good idea to do a round-up and share!  I'd rather just talk about what I liked about them instead of rate them or something because if I hated them I just wouldn't talk about them.  So just know that I was pleased with each of these products!  Details to follow.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (light to medium) - Not only is this contour kit perfect for my skin tone (and I mean perfect), but there's a video on where Lead Makeup Artist of Anastasia Beverly Hills, Cory Bishop, gives a tutorial of how exactly to use it.  It's helpful.  And don't think that just because you and I have different skin tones that this palette wouldn't work for you.  There are a couple shades I don't use, so I'm pretty sure as long as your skin tone is light to medium it would work pretty dang well.  There's also the medium to tan palette.  Now if only I had the right brushes.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel - Last year, I purchased the Sephora brand version of clear brow gel and the brush broke before I even made it halfway through the tube.  To make matters worse, they discontinued the product so I couldn't even get a new one.  This one was a bit more expensive, at $22, but I had a gift card and I'm hoping it lasts a while.  I luckily don't have to do much to my eyebrows to begin with, they're naturally very thick (much to my eyebrow threader's dismay), but I do like them to stay in place.  This does the trick to keep them perfectly coiffed.  Except a few days ago I was so distracted that I accidentally applied my mascara to my eyebrows instead of this, since they look so much alike.  I kept looking at my brows and thinking, "why are you so black today?"  Lo and behold, they were coated with mascara, not Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel.  It's been an off week, okay?

Sephora Favorites Liquid Luxuries Perfume Sampler - This was part of my birthday present, but my original intent was to use the voucher for a full-size version of Marc Jacobs Daisy.  That was the plan.  Of course, given this many options, nothing could possibly go as planned.  I think this is the third time I've bought/received one of the Sephora Favorites Perfume Samplers, so I'll give you the low down on how it works.  You buy whatever sampler (perfume, mascara, etc.) for about $65.  You get 15ish samples and one free voucher to get a 1.0 oz full size perfume of your choice from the options in your sampler.  

I should mention that I hate all powdery and musty floral scents, so that's why none of those have been mentioned.  But this was a good package!  I liked most of them enough to use all the samples up.  Except Sud Magnolia by Atelier Cologne, which I despised.  

I had 4 favorites:

Marc Jacobs Daisy was an obvious fave.  Strawberry, violet leaves, ruby red grapefruit, and such.  It's fruity and girly and you can't really go wrong.  I've been scoping this one out for a while, trying to find the lowest price.  That's why I've figured it's not worth wasting my free voucher on.  There are other more expensive perfumes that I like just as much in this sampler.  I can wait on Marc.

Versace Bright Crystal is one that for a bit I was convinced I would use my voucher on.  It was good enough that I brought it on vacation with me!  That means I found it good enough to wear for several days straight with no other choices.  This is big for me.  I don't know what iced accord, yuzu, or vegetal amber are, but they smell very nice together.  My only fear is that this one is almost a little too safe.  I like scents that really stand out, in a good way.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White has something that I don't think Versace has!  I wore it one day and someone mentioned it smelled like a boy.  I always buy candles and stuff that smell like manly cologne scents, but this is still "feminine and sophisticated."  It's Mary-Kate and Ashley's brand too, so bonus points from this 90s child.

Alien by Thierry Mugler is what I think will be the winner here.  It's unexpected and I like it.  Again a bunch of ingredients I'm unsure of - solar accord, jasmine sambac, and cashmeran.  But it's amazing.  And veeery expensive, so I feel like it will be a good use of my free voucher.  I feel like this is the curveball that was thrown into the sampler.  When I used to get the perfume samplers from Sephora, I would always use it to get a free Vivara by Emilio Pucci.  If you've ever smelled Vivara, you'll understand my attraction to this scent.  Same deal with the uniqueness.


Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray - Annoyed that I bought this in the full size version, then two weeks later got a sample size for free.  But I shouldn't complain about having extra of this stuff!  I'm still not 100% sure if I believe the hype, BUT I can say that I purchased this for a work event where I knew I would be running around from morning until night.  I didn't want to look...haggard.  And I can safely say that I put it on at the crack of dawn when I got ready and my makeup stayed perfectly in place until it was time to go to bed.  I actually looked at myself in the mirror halfway through the day and wondered why I didn't look terrible yet.  I have used it a couple times since then (but not all the time, because it's $30 so that means it must have come from the fountain of youth), and the same results have ensued.  Kudos to you, All Nighter Spray.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey - It's just that - almost lipstick.  It's matte and does the job with the color (a dark maroonish jewel tone) but is more like the consistence of a lip balm than your regular old lipstick.  I wouldn't say it's as moisturizing as Chapstick or it's fellow lip care competitors, but much better at moisturizing than any other lipstick I have.  If I was desperate and didn't care if I had dark lips, I would use it as a lip balm.  I received this a couple of years ago as a sample and it lasted until this summer.  The last little blob fell onto the ground at Summerfest :( Now it is the main color I wear on my lips.  Apparently it fuses with your lips to create a one-of-a-kind tone.  Usually I pair it with a liner and also another color underneath, but I reapply just this one throughout the day.  Not that it needs much maintenance.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer - If you think I would use this for any other purpose than contouring, you're crazy.  It's $30 and I don't take that lightly, as in, apply it to my whole face and neck lightly.  No, the cheekbones will be all, thank you.  I bought this before I bought the Anastasia contouring palette.  Actually I used a sample size of this for 2 YEARS until I had to buy it in its full size version.  That's pretty impressive, actually.  I think it matches my skin tone a little bit better in the summer, though.

Of course I have more favorites, but this has been my most recent.  Per usual, I had a lot more to say about them than I thought I did.  Yes, high-end makeup is expensive.  I do my best to wait until I have gift cards OR use a sample of a product before buying in order to make sure it really is worth it.  I don't just waltz into Sephora and buy everything on the shelf.  If you can afford that, teach me your ways.  And if there's a product out there that you think I NEED to try, plz lemme know asap so I can have fun too.

In the future, I'll probably do a post about my ULTIMATE ALL-TIME MAKEUP FAVES starting from the beginning.  But until then, that is all!

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