Today’s Prompt: Just for fun, your latest obsession. What can you not get enough of these days?
In November I wrote a blog post going through my wishlist for the Sephora VIB sale. In that post (which you can read HERE) I mentioned that I love the “Sephora Favorites” line of value sets that they do.
Just a forewarning, my Canadian-ness is going to show in this post as typing “Favourites” as “Favorites” pains me greatly, so I apologize if I switch between the two. Also, this post is going to be quite photo heavy.
It is easy for me to say that my newest obsession is Sephora products, especially the “Sephora Favorites”. While I haven’t just recently discovered these, over the past couple months I have been obsessed. I purchased these around Christmas and have loved being able to experiment with new products and seeing what works for me and going a bit out of my normal comfort zone. I love being able to try lots of different products that I would never be able to pick out myself in the endless aisles of Sephora. I search the website almost every day for new additions to this category!
You can see the sets that are currently in stock HERE.
I have previously purchased the Lash Stash, Give Me More Lip, and Superstars sets. In 2015… I went a little nuts. I rationalized myself out of purchasing some of them, but these are the ones I did purchase in 2015 and have been using and obsessing over ever since.
I’m going to start with the Give Me More Lip set, as it is the only one I repurchased. The set I had previously purchased was the 2013 version, which had all different products from this one. I feel like multiple lip products are easier to justify than say, multiple mascaras, as you can change them up to go with your different outfits and for different events where mascara… doesn’t really change much. I purchased the Lash Stash as more of a sampler to find a brand that worked best for me after I found out that the majority of drugstore mascaras test on animals. I didn’t finish all of them but I did find some stand out favourites (Buxom and Too Faced Better Than Sex), and that I should invest in a waterproof one (Blinc had a pretty good one). I get enough sample sizes through Sephora’s various point rewards and freebie programs that I haven’t had the need to go and buy a full size mascara… yet. To buy another Lash Stash is unnecessary, both because of the overlaps in products and I have found what works for me and what I like. The Superstars set (also very similar to the Beauty Closet set) has more of a variety of different products. However, both of the 2015 versions had a bunch of repeats and duplicates of products I already have. Erica, however, did purchase the 2015 Superstars (after some… friendly peer pressure from me) and loves it.
ANYWAY, on to the actual products for this year!
First, as I said before getting off track, is Give Me More Lip. This will be more of a first impressions as I haven’t tried all of them yet.
As you can see there is a wide variety in brands/ styles/ and colours. Some have been more wearable than others but I have pictures of all the individual products. I haven’t swatched them, but will link to pictures on Instagram and other social media posts as I try them out!
The first product is Bite Beauty’s Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Cognac. I have a total brand crush on Bite and of all the lip products I have, this brand is most plentiful. My first impression of Cognac is that is is a bit intimidatingly… brown. With the right eye look I am excited to give this a try!
Next is Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick in Homegirl. If the last colour was intimidating, this is outright terrifying. I want to be brave and try it but I haven’t had the courage yet. The packaging is on point though, and the dark black-but-purple colour looks amazing on other people… Maybe one day on me too.
The next lipstick is Nars’ lipstick in Scarlet Empress. While the website describes it as a semi matte blue red, it is definitely a darker brown tinged burgundy. So… close, but not really true to the description. However, this is a full size product and with a value of CAD $35, this one product alone is worth half of what I paid for the full set. My most used lipstick is another shade from the same line so I am looking forward to trying this one… once I feel courageous enough to go bold.
The next is Buxom’s Full-On Lip Cream in Berry Blast. This is the only brand that has multiple products in the set… and they are both lipglosses. While I feel this is something that could be seen as a negative, the Buxom lipgloss was my most used product from the previous GMML set so I was happy to see it again. I love the texture and feel of these glosses, although they are quite sticky.
Lancôme’s Lip Lover in 355 Framboise Etoile is one of the smallest products in the bunch. I also found it very difficult to determine the brand and colour shade because the packaging is… meh. The shade is alright, not super flattering on me but over top of other colours it’s not bad.
Having a gold YSL lipstick makes me feel very fancy. This one is Rouge Pur Couture in 1 Le Rouge and is, in my opinion, the most “true bright red” in the set. Very classic and makes me feel like Taylor Swift. You know, with that “red lip classic thing that you like”.
While I haven’t tried Ciate’s Liquid Velvet Moisturizing Matte Liquid Lipstick in Risqué (whew!) yet, it is still one of the most intriguing colours from the set. It is, as described on Sephora’s website, the “perfect orange red”. I am excited to try it in the summer!
Smashbox’s Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Magenta Matte (I couldn’t find it on Sephora’s website… potentially discontinued, but THIS may be close?) is pretty much what my 90’s Barbie dolls wore. Definitely a potential fun summer colour!
Too Faced’s Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony was one I was most excited to try. I’d seen the line all over social media and the colour seemed “safe” enough for me to wear without going out of my comfort zone. However, I found the formula hand to spread and clumpy. I may try it again after really exfoliating my lips or perhaps on top of another colour but I just haven’t found this one to work for me yet.
Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick in Streak is pretty true to the website’s description of “coral pink” but I would say it’s more on the orange side of coral. I do have to say this packaging is my favourite of the set and truly stands out in my lip product collection. Again, this is more of a summer colour and one I have to really figure out how to wear, but I’m excited because this product looks wonderful.
Sugar Lip Treatment in Tulip was a product I thought would be one of my favourites. I have tried it a couple times and I have been kind of disappointed… I don’t know if it’s the shade, the formula, or the sheer-ness but I’ll keep trying because I really want to like it!
Clinique’s Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Strawberry is a pretty basic lip crayon. I am not in love with it but I don’t hate it. It’s kinda just hanging out in the middle. I’m dislike the packaging because I just know that lid is going to crack.
This is the follow up to the aforementioned brand double. Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish makes a reappearance with Sophia. I feel the reasoning for this was that this one is from a separate branch of the FOLP lipgloss line, that has different packaging and each colour is branded by a different girls’ name. I am a sucker for this kind of branding and am SO unbelievably bummed that Adrianna is not one of the colours. I did, however, peer pressure Erica to buy “hers” (apparently I do that a lot… oops) and the girl at the counter admitted that she bought her name too. A+ marketing there, Buxom! Anyway, Sophia is a really nice nudey rosy mauve-ish colour (although the website just describes it as “sweetheart pink”, I feel like that’s very vague). Maybe one day my name will make an appearance as a lipstick shade name… here’s hoping!
Tarte’s Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss in Energy is definitely my most used product from this set. I was scared at first (and after seeing the colour on the brush) but it actually goes on pretty much sheer. It’s very glossy, pretty sticky, but I really like it. It’s very moisturizing and wearable. The claim to fame for this guy is that the formula will adjust to your lip’s pH levels and become the perfect flattering shade of pink. I haven’t really found that it changes, but I love the product nonetheless.
Laura Mercier’s Creme Smooth Lip Color in Milky Way is a strange looking lipstick colour. I feel like it’s supposed to be a true nude but it lends too closely to a yellow/ brown for my taste. I was actually going to buy the 2016 Give Me Some Nude Lip set but two of the five products are this exact shade, and the Nars shade that I got in my other Give Me More Lip set. Bummer.
Next is Sephora Favorites: Skin Wonderland. And… I confess that I actually bought this twice. The first time with my VIB welcome coupon, and the second time during the $15 off sale. I have very bad, angry, acne prone skin. I did a round of pretty heavy medication to clear it up last fall and while it worked alright, I was left with a lot of redness and scarring. Several of these products helped fade the scarring and just generally made my skin look nicer.
First up is Shiseido Benefiance WinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask (that’s a mouthful). This was a one time use foil packet that contained little pre-soaked sheets to put under the eyes. It is a similar process to a sheet mask, but just with two mini masks- one for each eye. I really liked these, it was a different sort of product that I have never tried and I definitely noticed my under eye circles looked less dark and puffy. I don’t think it’s something I would go out and purchase on it’s own, but would definitely be down for more one-use samples.
I am a toner junkie. While the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist isn’t advertised as a toner, I used it as one. It was nice and refreshing to mist on my face after cleansing or when my face was just feeling tight and gross. It was comparable to Lush’s Eau Roma Water toner, which has been my favourite lately. Overall it’s a nice product and was a treat to have in my skincare routine.
Josie Maran’s Whipped Argan Oil in Vanilla Apricot was a product I had seen being RAVED about online. I was really excited to try it, but to be honest I wasn’t particularly wowed. The formula is really nice and absorbs into the skin well but I found it similar to other lotions I’ve used for a lot less (Nivea had one that I used a few years ago). As someone who goes through lotions really fast, this small size didn’t last me very long. The smell was alright, definitely more on the apricot side than vanilla. I am tempted to try the Jasmine scented one but would probably use it only on my legs in the summer when they are in plain sight. Overall it is a nice product, but I didn’t feel that it lived up to the hype.
I’ve been using L’Occitane hand cream for quite a few years now and have A LOT. This shea butter scent is my favourite, although the size is small and I went through the first one quite quickly and am close to the end of the second one. I am that person who is constantly putting on hand lotion because I hate the feeling of dry hands. These are my favourites and go-to’s, and I definitely recommend them.
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm is a small size but lasts FOREVER. In general eye creams take me the longest to go through compared to almost any beauty product so I do have a lot still that have come in similar sets, but I like this one the best. It has a good mix of thickness and moisture but absorbs nicely and works well.
I couldn’t find this product on the Sephora website (even though there was a video on how to use it…). SK-II’s Facial Treatment Mask is another one time use foil packet product. It is a sheet mask, which was nice to try although I do prefer cream based face masks. It felt nice and my skin was soft afterwards but I don’t think it was a game changer. I haven’t used the second one yet, so maybe I’ll have a different reaction the second time around. I did feel that there was a lot of product in the foil package, which is nice, but it took some extra effort to get it all onto the actual sheet.
Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Wrap is definitely one of the most unique face masks I’ve ever tried. The consistency is really unique… like a thick whipped cream. In general I really dislike this kind of packaging especially for thick products like face masks as it’s really hard to get all the product out. However, it does work really nicely and is one of the best face masks I’ve ever used. My face feels moisturized afterwards but also tightened and less puffy. I still have about one usage left in the first tube and the entire second tube.
First Aid Beauty has always been at the top of my list of brands to try as it is EVERYWHERE online… especially in the YouTube beauty community. I always wanted to try but was unsure where to begin. I thought that this Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration for Dry Parched Skin would be too heavy for my combination-oily skin. However, my cheeks get really dry to the point where my makeup will start to flake and it is especially bad in the winter. This moisturizer has been a life saver. I thought I would use it moreso as a night cream, but I have been using it during the day especially when I am wearing full face makeup. It would probably be too heavy for me in the summer months, but the fast absorbing formula makes it perfect for me right now! Even though it’s a smaller sized product, it goes a long way and I just finished the first tube after using it on a pretty regular basis for the past four months.
I’ve said it before and I will probably say it like eight more times in this post (not really, but you know)… I’m not a big fan of beauty oils. I don’t like the way they feel on my skin, I find they make my hair look greasy, and it’s difficult to use as a body moisturizer. Enter Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil. This fella is the fastest I’ve used a beauty oil EVER, not to mention the only time I finished it by using it as it was intended and without experimentation with ways to use it all up. The bottle has a dropper on it and you apply a couple drops on your face and massage it in. I usually apply a drop on my forehead, each of my cheeks, and my chin… massaging it into the places that are patchy/ damaged. This soothed the soreness and helped fade the scarring. I don’t know if it’s a product I can continue to use into the summer (not that it will last til then) but it’s definitely a product that I will keep on my radar.
Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment by Sunday Riley was my favourite in this set. Unfortunately it was also the smallest (at 0.33 oz) and (unfortunately again) it is INSANELY expensive for the full size ($147 for 1 oz). This was responsible for brightening my skin, fading my acne scars and overall redness and discolouration. It does sting a bit but nothing uncomfortable. If I ever win the lottery, this is on my list!
While the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser was by no means one of the products that caught my eye in this set, it has definitely become one of my favourites. After using up the 0.6 oz size from both Skin Wonderland sets, I ended up purchasing the 1.7 oz size. I like that it is very Clarisonic friendly, gentle on my angry skin, and is effective. I am also a big fan of the little-goes-a-long-way-ness of it. I am not the person who uses a quarter size/ pearl size/ pea size/ any recommended size amount of any product but this literally requires the smallest amount to adequately foam up and thoroughly cleanse my whole face. I am still open for trying other cleansers, but this one has definitely done a great job. I’m a fan.
Along with the Sunday Riley product, I found the REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot worked miracles on my skin. While it didn’t do as much in terms of the discolouration, it did a nice job at firming my skin in areas that are distorted from acne scars. I liked this especially under makeup. I have the tiniest bit left in the second tube (I used it more sparingly than the first) and I’m so sad that I’m going to have to part with it!
Caudalie’s Divine Oil smells lovely. Again, I am not a big beauty oil person but they fact that they are so multipurpose makes getting them not a bad thing. I tried using this one on my face but found it to be too heavy. I am using it as a cuticle oil, which works double duty to stop me from biting my cuticles as it tastes really gross. That was probably too much information, but oh well. Since I have two bottles of this I keep the other one in my room with a spoolie brush for my eyelashes as a kind of lash conditioner. Overall a nice product, and if you’re a fan of beauty oils I recommend it!
The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is definitely a shock when you first use it. From the cheery outside packaging I was expecting the product to be white, maybe yellow or orange… not olive green. My first reaction was mentally comparing it to the form foam that is used for flower arrangements. ExfoliKate is a strange product but it is one of my favourites from the set. It does sting quite a bit, but the results are great. When my pores are looking big and gross, I like to use this and it does a good job minimizing them.
The Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation face cream was one of the products that enticed me to buy the set after previously getting a sample. Even though the size is tiny, a little product does go a long way and it’s a nice light moisturizer that would be great for summer time.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel is a strange little treatment. This was another one of the one time use foil packets, but it is separated into step one and step two. The first step was very reminiscent of my OXY-Pad days, it’s a pre-soaked towelette that you wipe on your face until it feels dry. You wait a bit and then use the “milk” and massage over your face. Again, it felt made my skin feel nice and I noticed my pores were less noticeable but the process was weird and would be a deterrent to actually purchase this product.
Next is Sephora Favorites: Beauty Sleep. This little guy was in one of the little cubbies in the checkout line… I am a sucker for all those products. I picked it up when I was getting some Christmas presents as I had tried the Origins product and LOVED it and was interested in trying another product by Sunday Riley.
Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment is in almost identical packaging to the Sheer Transformation moisturizer I talked about earlier. However, instead of a light cream moisturizer it is a watery gel texture to use at night. In the morning my skin feels nice after using this product but I’ve found there’s a sticky texture once it’s applied, and sometimes a bit of residue in the morning. This might be from applying too much, but I’m not a huge fan of gel formulas in general.
Korres Wild Rose Advanced Sleeping Facial is not available on the Sephora website for some reason so I’ll keep it short and sweet. It’s a very thick moisturizer and smells amazing. The formula is great and even though it is thick, it sinks in nicely. My skin is always really soft in the morning with no residue.
After the Sunday Riley product from the Skin Wonderland set, Luna Sleeping Night Oil is mostly what drew me to this set. My curiosity of the product and interest in the brand outweighed my normal skin oil deterrent. Overall, this is a nice product. I wasn’t as wow’d by it as I was the Good Genes treatment, (although both price tags make my jaw drop!) but I am still using it and seeing if I will see more of a result with continued use. I have to say, the blue colour makes me feel like a really fancy smurf.
Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-enriched renewal cream is a product I had tried before purchasing this set and LOVED. I got a sample (the same 0.5 oz size) with a free with purchase Sephora sample set and was blown away with how long such a tiny product lasted, even with my more-is-more philosophy. Right after Christmas I ended up getting a larger size (1 oz) that came with the GinZing Moisturizer, and have just started using that. I love the smell and feel like it works well and makes my skin feel amazing. Out of all the products in the Beauty Sleep set, this is my favourite and is something I will continue to purchase.
All in all, I love these sets and my obsession is SO real. I’m excited to see what other new ones will come out in 2016 with products I don’t already have! I’d love to see a nail polish one!
Have you purchased any of the Sephora Favorites sets? Have you tried any of the ones I talked about? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!
As always, thanks for reading!!