The best products I’ve bought from Sephora across skin, hair, wellness, and cosmetics.
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SEPHORA BEAUTY FINDS
Ah, the call of the giant SEPHORA sign and those welcoming doors. I’ve fallen prey to it at every opportunity! While we do not have a Sephora store on this side of Australia, I call in whenever I am in Sydney. Sometimes, several times per trip. Over the first quarter of the year, I had visited enough times to call this a bit of a ‘haul’. I’ve taken a few months to use and test out these products so I can confidently let you know how I found them. A couple of these items were also gifted to me from pr send outs over Christmas for my beauty gift guide, so I’ve included them in here too, now that I’ve used them more. Largely though, this is all things I’ve bought as I haven’t ever worked with Sephora. And, my beauty budget is officially spent, cause I bought too much! haha.
Shu Uemura – The Lightbulb Cushion Foundation – 764 Medium Light Beige
I’m kicking off with this cute cushion foundation compact, complete with application pad and glittering lid. This is the second cushion foundation I’ve tried, the first being from La Mer (which I reviewed here). I love the flexibility of cushion foundation compacts. They come with a decent sized mirror, do not mess product anywhere and fit nicely into my bag. The sponge applicators work well for me and mean I can do without brushes or my beauty blender on my travels. They are so good for touch-ups or to apply foundation in a hurry (even from the passenger seat of the car!). The Shu Uemura compacts are available in six shades, the finish is lightweight, breathable and feels like a second skin. It gives nice glowing coverage without being heavy.
I also have the Shu Uemura Lightbulb Fluid Foundation, which to be honest I’ve not really used a lot yet. This year I’ve been using mostly Nars, La Mer or The Ordinary liquid foundations and the cushion foundations. As you can tell, I like to mix up my foundations and try a few different ones!
The Lightbulb Cushion Foundation doesn’t seem to be available online from Sephora at the moment, but it is at David Jones. It retails for about $72.00 with refills at $55.00 so I’d put this in the luxury category. To compare, the La Mer cushion foundation is around $170.00 and refills are $90.00 and offer twice as many shade options. Comparing the two? Hmm, you might hate me for saying this but I love them both. However, I think that the La Mer sits better on my skin. It’s less obvious and feels like a nice blur effect. Sort of like a soft filter finish!
Huda Beauty – Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette – Coral Obsessions
I was introduced to Huda Beauty eyeshadows by Mario’s sister Alessandra who did a huge unboxing of beauty things she’d ordered one day while I was at her house. THERE WAS SO MUCH COOL STUFF! haha while I sat transfixed, she introduced me to a heap of brands I wasn’t familiar with including Huda Beauty. The eye shadow palettes had my attention. She’d ordered a set of the Obsessions palettes and I was keen to get my hands on a couple. Sadly, the Ruby Obsessions palette was sold out but I did manage to find the Coral Obsessions palette on my last Sephora visit.
I love the bold yellow, coral and pink hues so much!! They are beautiful to play around with and come up with warm, striking eye shadow looks. Or alternatively, I’ve been adding a pop of colour to a warm brown smokey eye look. So much fun!! Featuring two duo chrome shimmers and seven creamy, matte shadows, the Coral palette combines warm shades of burnt orange and dusty pink. I am in love! Formulated without parabens, these palettes also have a large mirror which is handy if I’m on the go or need to find good lighting.
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Gradient Blush Kit
This blush kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills was a sale item. I hadn’t seen these sorts of blush colours much and wanted to play around with them. HIGHLY pigmented, it only takes a little to really create an impact with these. In fact, I often have to take some off or blend a lot of powder over to knock back the colour. I love playing with these darker colours and building them up, they are beautiful and different from using peachy, red or light pink tones. I’d definitely be keen to try some of the other colour products in their range.
Beauty Blender – The Original BeautyBlender
I did not at all understand the fuss. Until I tried it. Since then, I’ve been hooked. This is now the main way I apply makeup, I rarely use brushes for foundation anymore. After using, I threw out the other beauty sponges I had, none were capable of producing the same blurred effect. Can you tell I am converted?! beautyblenders are worth the hype.
Tarte – Spellbound Glow – Rainbow Highlighter
The post-Christmas sales were still going at Sephora when I picked up a few limited edition sale items including the Tarte rainbow highlighter. It was so cute and smelled somehow like cupcakes so I wanted to grab one. Plus, it was cheap! The shades are pretty narrow, so I sweep a brush across the whole compact for a highlighting sheen. It wears well and can be built up. I’d try the Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Highlighter next.
Tarte – First Class – Amazonian Clay 12- Hour Blush
Now this shade is another limited edition in a mini compact set which came with a mini Amazonian Clay Mascara. Again, it was on sale for about $10 so I picked it up to see what both were all about. I have since decided the blush is perfect and have been using it all the time. Plus, I have since gone back into Sephora and bought a full-size version of the mascara. The blush compact is a smaller one which is handy for travel, the normal size is slightly larger with a mirror. The pigment is strong but somehow silky, it blends seamlessly without looking chalky. Suffice to say, I’ll be picking up some other colours in the range on my next visit. I’ve got a few blushes but somehow always end up with almost the same shades.
Tarte – Gifted – Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
I used the mini travel size mascara quick-smart. It is amazing. So much so that the next time I was in Sydney I ran up and bought a full-size mascara in anticipation of the other one running out.
Amazonian clay is known for restoring hydration. It replenishes dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout. The natural clay performs all day by absorbing oil and keeping the mascara in place for flake-free, longer wear. Amazonian clay also enriches the pure color pigments, creating a volume-boosting formula with higher intensity and truer color. It makes for intense looking and voluminous lashes that don’t flake or transfer. It is everything I have ever looked for in a mascara! AM IN LOVE!
NUDESTIX – Satin Finish – Magnetic Eye Colour – Gilt – Immortal
I’ve had these products from NUDESTIX for a while now. I’ve recently been listening to a bunch of podcasts interviewing beauty company founders and one was about the two girls who created NUDESTIX. Listening to them made me re-try these, which were at the bottom of my beauty drawer purely because I’d seldom thought to use a stick product for my eye colour over a shadow. Way back in the day I shared a no-makeup-makeup look using them on the blog which you can find here. They are actually really nice, the shimmer is pretty, can be worn as an eyeliner or blended out for a soft flattering metallic shimmer. Gilt is a soft gold while Immortal is a darker browny bronze. Both came in the NUDESTIX mirrored tins with sharpeners, though I don’t think I kept the tins! They took up too much room.
The NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek pencil is another I don’t tend to use just because the colours are not really me. Well, they look okay, but I’m not much of a pale pink or brown lip colour girl. Applied too strongly, I think both shades age me and I’m obviously not keen on that. They do create a soft finish and are not drying or feathery. If I apply a little then dab with a tissue and apply a clear gloss, the shades are more flattering. Overall, I probably just need to try a different shade. I do use the brown shade as a liner if I want to apply a lipstick or gloss over the top or to add to the corners of the lips to contour.
Next on my wishlist from NUDESTIX? The Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze in Sunkissed.
TOM FORD – Lip Colour – Wild Ginger
My gosh, I am in love with this incredible, striking lip colour! The compact is clearly stunning, so it always feels a bit exciting to use. The warm orange-red shade is unlike any others in my collection and feels vibrant and fresh. I have a lot of lipsticks already and this is definitely a luxury buy so I would love to collect a few more. One day.
While I still think that the best liquid eyeliner I’ve used is the Stila ones, these are the closest second I’ve yet to find. Mostly I’ve been using the brown one for every day but have a few colours to play with should I want to mix it up. The liner tip is very fine and easy to use.
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I’ve generally always been pretty loyal to my hair product brands. I stick to Aveda, Klorane and that is mostly it. However, I’d wanted to try Ouai for as long as I could remember.
OUAI – Wave Spray
OUAI – Hair Oil
Over the summer, while in Sydney, I noticed my hair frizzed and went limp in the humidity instantly. Despite my curling efforts, the waves came out and my hair went into an unflattering frizzy mess. One day we called into Sephora and I marched upstairs to try the samples from Ouai out. I was shocked! In front of my eyes, my hair miraculously de-frizzed and went back to being soft, shiny and happy. The waves I’d tried to put in that morning looked a lot better and I was instantly hooked. Needless to say, I bought both the Hair Oil and Wave Spray right away. I’ve since returned and bought a travel size wave spray which is a lifesaver. Plus both smell beautiful.
Any tips of what I should try from Ouai next? Let me know!
Olaplex – Hair Perfector – No.3
I’d actually bought this one at my hairdressers last year but it’s a Sephora staple so I thought I’d bring it up. As I highlight my hair once a year, the ends can dry out so I treat it with this. Sometimes I apply overnight and wash it out in the morning. Other times I just leave it in as a treatment and wash out after half an hour or so. It was amazing when I last completely went blonde and I still love the repairing it does to my ends.
Slip – Silk Scrunchie Set
I’d bought these late last year from the Slip website, but I’ve spotted them at Sephora and other places like Net-A-Porter and Shopbop since too. I love them! Not only are the colours pretty, they don’t create kinks in my hair. Perfect as a finishing touch on a day I don’t want to have my hair out, they pick up just a bit of sheen which I think elevates them just a little.
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The wellness section that has dominated beauty departments is something I am always excited about. As a long time fan of Kora Organics, I was super excited when Sephora was announced as a stockist. They also carry WelleCo which I have been using for a couple of years and The Beauty Chef.
The Beauty Chef – Glow Powder
I’ve written about the Glow Powder from The Beauty Chef a few times and it remains one of my favourite things! I use it every day, either on top of my granola or dissolved in a glass of water. It tastes like berries and in general, I find without it, my stomach doesn’t process foods as easily. The glow part? I hope it’s obvious on my skin and hair.
The Beauty Chef – Beauty Fix Balm
Last year I was at a Wellness event at the Westin Perth where The Beauty Chef founder, Carla Oates was a guest speaker. It was hard to ignore her long shiny hair or beautiful clear, natural skin. Being a bit of an observer, I also noted her using the Beauty Fix Balm a couple of times through the talks and wanted to try it too. So, after a long time of trying to track one down, I bought the last pot Sephora had one day and have been addicted to it since. Made using fermented coconut oil, it’s a topical balm for lips that I also pop onto the spots on my face that are showing aging. It is so hydrating and lovely, I carry it around with me everywhere now.
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