Before I even left for our holiday I had a Sephora list. Ah Sephora – I remember when you used to be a lovely little shop in the UK! I have a memory somewhere at the back of my mind, of a little shopping trip to Sephora in Bluewater when I was at Uni (back circa 2003…). My memory is a little hazy, so it might have been somewhere else. Anyway, I remember wandering the aisles being a bit overwhelmed at all the products and clearly, not appreciating the vast collections and choice that were available to me back then! Little did I know that later a) I’d actually have an interest, border-line obsession, with makeup and skincare and b) Sephora would be no more in the UK. Boo 😦
There was light at the end of the tunnel however, as Sephora recently started doing international shipping to the UK from their website. Hurrah! The downside though, are the quite high-ish fees for customs and taxes. If you spend over 75, the actual shipping costs are free, but on about 100 of virtual shopping in the basket, the customs/taxes came to about 30. It isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things, but for someone who has a major difficulty in paying 1.99 for shipping fees, I just couldn’t do it. So my holiday Sephora list got longer. And longer.
And I didn’t stray too far from the list to be honest. There were a few things that, upon swatching or testing, I didn’t fancy anymore and I actually think I was very restrained! The layout of Sephora didn’t help. I went to one that was in JC Penney’s, so it was only a little one, but the product layout was bizarre! Brands didn’t seemed to be grouped together and products seemed to be ordered in alphabetical order according to the individual product name, not the brand. This confused me greatly! I think I spent about 90 minutes just wandering around. The woman behind the till asked me about 5 times if I needed help … Anyway, for quite a ‘logical’ shopper, the store didn’t really help much. The other thing I noticed was that A LOT of the products were sold out … so I had to scrub about 5 things off my list due to that – which was a shame. In fact, with hindsight, it is probably just as well that the store was a nightmare to navigate and had hardly any stock, because god only know how much I’d have got if things had been different!
Anyway – on to the nice bit!
Boscia MakeUP BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil – $30.00 (converts to £21 at the mo) – I’ve had my eye on lots of Boscia products for a while after watching lots of YouTubers using and raving about them. This is a bit like TBS Cleansing Oil/Una Brennan Oil – just an oil based makeup remover that does the job. I’ve used it twice so far and I like it. It removed makeup and doesn’t sting my eyes; it doesn’t leave skin tight and it feels nourishing. I think it is quite good value for £21 to be honest, as it is a bit more luxurious than TBS and UB.
Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser $10.00 (currently converts as £10) – Again, I’d read a lot about this stuff for it’s ability to clear out pores, removed those horrible black filled pore/spot things on your face and generally smooth lumps and bumps. I’ve not tried this yet, purely because my skin has been insanely dry (as well as a horrible reaction around my eyes, to an eye serum) so I’ve been layering up the oils/creams and not looking for anything ‘detoxifying’ right now – but this will get it’s time soon! This is a warming gel, so I’m a bit intrigued to see how that feels/works. This was such good value as well, for only ten dollars. Sephora do loads of great ‘luxe sample sizes’ or smaller regular sizes of products for a really decent price – a bit like ‘try-me’ sizes, and that is what this is. I didn’t want to spend $28 on the full size of something that is quite potent apparently, especially when I will only use it when my skin needs it, not every day. I await the experimenting with interest! …
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation – $43.00 (currently converts as £30) – Now, this isn’t any cheaper in the USA, but they did have my shade choice – hallelujah! I’ve had my eye on this on the Debenhams website since it launched, but my shade – the palest shades obviously – are never, ever on there. So when I saw it in Sephora, I just grabbed it. I’ve heard SO much about this foundation and I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I’ve used it twice and I do really like it. It is apparently designed for HD filming and is invisible under the super-focused lenses. I’m not sure I care about that as I’m never going to be under TV lights/cameras, however I do crave a flawless foundation base that looks as much like real skin as possible, whilst hiding all my imperfections. This needs some more testing – the 18 hour school day; the summer heat etc. – before I pass judgement, but so far so good. Unexpectedly, they also gave a MUFE primer sample inside the box too, which was nice – America is so much better at giving away samples/freebies than the UK!
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation – $43.00 (currently converts as £30, but it is £29 at Debenhams) – Again, as with the one above, my shade is always out of stock in Debenhams. This has been a huge talking point on blogs and on YT – and people seem to be torn. For some, this is the Holy Grail foundation and they can’t live without it. For others, it clings to dry patches and slips and slides all over the shop. For me – I really really love it! I’ve been reaching for this far more than the one above in liquid form. It is so quick and easy and blends perfectly. It is lightweight but it does cover redness and my spots. I have had such dry skin recently, but I disagree with those saying it clings and highlights dry bits – I find the complete opposite; I think it glides over the skin and smooths/melts in like butter – really moisturising the dry bits. I don’t know if it is because I’ve been using an awesome moisturiser/oil combination in the mornings, or whether this is a really moisturising and hydrating foundation, all I know is that for me, this is in a different world to the Bobbi Brown Foundation stick as it is so smooth and soft (I find the BB stick quite dry and ‘draggy’ across the skin). If you have really oily skin, this might be too much for you, but for my dry skin I’m finding it hard to beat!
Swatches – top is the stick foundation, bottom is the liquid. Right photo is blended in with a finger. The shades seems a bit off in the photo but they both work for me. The darker, stick colour is more my colour right now as I am a little more tanned from holiday. To apply the stick, I swipe it across my forehead, one on each cheek, down the nose and on the chin and blend with fingers or the Sigma F80 brush. The liquid I apply dotted to the face and blend it in with a Beauty Blender or the F80.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone $19.00 (currently converts as £13) – This is another ‘trial-me’ sized product – Sephora keep a load of these sizes by the tills which is a nightmare as it is hard to resist! I’ve wanted to try this for ages – ever since I watched amazing makeup artist to the stars, Lisa Eldridge, raving about it years ago. It is pricey to buy the full size one (£34 in the UK for the full size, £28 equivalent in the US) so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about first and when I saw this mini one I was sold! Every woman and her dog talks about/uses this on blogs/YT so it has to be good right?! I’ve used it a few times and it does give a nice glow … although I’m not entirely sure that it is worthy of the massive price tag. A little goes a long way, so in all honesty, the smaller version should last me absolutely ages. It is quite similar in texture and glow-factor to the 17 Wow primer that I got my hands on a few weeks ago and that is a fraction of the price. We’ll see, with a bit more use and playing around with it, whether I change my opinion on that – but for now, I am very glad I only got the smaller one.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Mother $20.00 (converts as £14 today) – So, here we have it, the real reason I went to Sephora and why I even started a Sephora list! Kat Von D – how many people have talked about you? Oh thousands. I almost had heart failure when I went to Sephora closest to our villa and there weren’t ANY of these liquid lipstick left. NONE! And there are 28 shades, so that tells you how popular they are! I desperately wanted Lolita and Lovesick but they had neither, so I went to the tills and asked the woman and thankfully, she had some under the counter … but not the two I wanted. She handed me about five different shades that they did have and I picked Mother as it was closest to the other two. In all honesty, this shade is stunning and I love it – I don’t know why it wasn’t on my original list. I am still lusting after Lolita (that is their cult shade) and I’ve either got to swallow the high taxes/customs cost at Sephora online or beg my brother to swing by a store the next time he is in the USA…. As for the formula or these – beautiful. They stay for ages, don’t go patchy or crack; they don’t gunk up around the inside of my mouth and they are stunningly matte on the lips. The hype was right – these are well worth the cash and quite frankly, are deserving of a much higher price tag. If you like a matte liquid lip, you need these.
These two little bits were freebies. I got the Philosophy night cream with my Sephora points card (when you reach 100 points you get a gift and 250 and 500 and the card works online too and the points can be kept forever – they never go out of date). The perfume sample, the lady threw in for free and it is not my cup of tea but a nice gesture nonetheless.
All in all, apart from the mental layout and the lack of stock I did enjoy my little jolly to Sephora. I was quite impressed with my own restraint and am a little thankful that the Sephora closest to us wasn’t one of those giant ones you get in New York, or I may have had to remortgage the house and sell the car. Anyway – I’m sure some of these will be cropping up in a favourites post soon or, dare I say it, a disappointed product post?…. Let’s hope not!
Thanks for reading 🙂