The Sephora Beauty Insider Event for Fall is starting this Friday and I have a roundup of recommendations that include my favorite picks as well as items on my own personal Loves List. Rouge First Access starts on 11/3 and ends on 11/6. If shopping online, use code 20FORROUGE at checkout. The online code as well as mail-in offer card is valid on Sephora.com, in Sephora US Stores, Sephora Canada and Sephora stores inside JCPenny locations. You can use the code or offer card multiple times in store and online throughout the sale dates. This year’s Beauty Insider Event comes with a special surprise for Rouges, Sephora has added a Holiday Bonus Event which takes place from 11/10 – 11/15 and using the same 20FORROUGE code, you can get 20% off online and in stores as many times as you want throughout the event dates. Basically, this year Rouges are getting two sale events. If you listen real quietly, you can hear my wallet (or my guy?) crying from here …
For convenience, I have split my recommendations by category to keep everything organized by type.
Up first are complexion products. I have quite a few favorites as far as base products are concerned. At the moment I’m testing this new-ish foundation from Laura Mercier and the new Chanel concealer as part of a roundup I will post in a few weeks. For right now, my top three foundation picks at Sephora include Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (shade: Vallauris), Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (shade: 6.0 Natural & 6.5 Sable), and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (shade: 5 & 5.25).
For other complexion products, here are five more I can recommend:
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Volume 3 (reviewed + swatched here) – Each Holiday season, Hourglass launches a brand new edit that contains three best-selling shades and three new exclusives. This year’s rose gold edition is one of the better ones I’ve encountered. It’s an exquisite, well-executed palette that works really well for my medium skin tone and each of the shades layer beautifully with the next, making this a total travel gem. These have the perfect in-between mix of color and glow. They are luminous in a subtle nature so they give the skin that beautiful soft sheen with enough color balance to bring life to the face.
- Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette (reviewed + swatched here) – I can’t get enough of as far as highlighters are concerned. I love the packaging, the sturdy metallic compact and the finely milled smooth shimmers in this formula, not to mention the reflective, vibrant glow all three shades produce. The new Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powders provide the most intense and brightest highlight to the skin yet and the creamy texture melds the powders exquisitely with the skin. What I also like is that the metallic powders are very condensed containing significantly less shimmer/glitter than the standard Hourglass powders and are also a little less powdery instead providing more of a wet feel and finish. This palette is heaven for the highlighter addict.
- J. One Jelly Pack (reviewed here) – is a multitasking, anti-aging formula that works as a hydrating morning mask and makeup primer. The J.One Jelly Pack is a new, multitasking innovation that was designed to simplify your everyday skincare routine. Basically it combines your morning skincare routine, a mask and a primer all-in-one. The Jelly Pack is one of the best glowing, moisturizing and firming primers I’ve ever tried. It helps extend the wear of makeup and adds a glow without making you greasy. It helps smooth and plump the skin and adds an all over glow to prevent your makeup from looking flat. What I truly love about this one and what initially sold me on it is its instant tightening effect. The Jelly Pack is dubbed as a “corset mask” meant to firm and lift the face. This is amazing if you have textured/pore-like skin or if you have pronounced laugh lines and emphasized forehead creases. It melts on your skin, smoothing and erasing every single pore, fine line, and wrinkle – even acne scars.
- Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette (reviewed + swatched here) – a Summer favorite turned seasonless staple is the Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette. Endowed with warm sultry shades, the colors coordinate beautifully together for the complexion as well as the eyes. It’s wearable, easy to layer and I love the colors. Rose Gold and Beach Nectar are gorgeous highlighters perfect to brighten the face with a lovely flush of color and glow without being overdone or too frosty.
- Nars Liquid Blush (reviewed + swatched here) – has been one of my go-to cheek colors for the last couple of months. As a major fan of the original powder format of Orgasm, it only came natural for me to immediately fall in love with the liquid format. The liquefied song of Orgasm is perfect for that effortless dew with a long-lasting formula that glides on effortlessly for natural-looking coverage. It has semi- sheer to medium yet buildable coverage. Consistency is very lightweight and fluid, but not so watery to where you have no control over blending nor application.
For eye makeup, it truly does not get any better than the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad. There are 10 color varieties to choose from but if it’s a timeless neutral option you’re looking for, I highly recommend Nude Dip.
- Another neutral eye favorite is the Mod To Modern Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection by Laura Mercier (reviewed + swatched here). These are perfect no-fuss, one and done, cream eyeshadow sticks that you can swipe on, blend/smudge with a finger, and go. I have been using the Caviar Sticks for years and absolutely love them just out of ease and convenience – plus, most of the colors are to die for. For the Holiday season this year, Laura Mercier produced one of her best sets yet including beautiful neutrals in two finishes, shimmer and matte: Rosegold (shimmer), Amethyst (shimmer), Vanilla Kiss (matte), Au Naturel (matte). All four are stunning colors I use daily.
- A re-discovered mascara favorite I found in my backup stash is the Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Mascara. This particular mascara can literally do no wrong, in my book at least. This mascara gives the perfect amount of volume, length and fullness, and lives up to the promise of being buildable without getting clumpy. It has a very rich black formula that creates a sensual depth to the eyes and it only takes maybe two coats to achieve that “doll eye” effect. As far as the Eccentrico Mascara is concerned, this is the perfect counterpart/cherry on top to a smoldering smokey eye as it makes the eyes look super sexy.
- It’s easy to recommend the classic Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes since they are basic eyeshadow staples not to mention timeless classics – but, if you’re looking to satisfy the craving for both warm neutrals as well as richer, more vibrant colors, than Naked Heat (reviewed + swatched here) might just be right up your alley. This is the ultimate Fall palette with its medley of pumpkin spice and Fall foliage inspired hues, featuring an impressive range of trendy terracottas, oranges, reds, coppers, bronzes and more amber-based shades.
- ColourPop Polite AF Super Shock Shadow Collection – has launched on Sephora and I’m kind of interested in trying out some of their products since they come so highly recommended by their massive following. The colors in this set look absolutely gorgeous!
Onto the lips. This season, like most before, there are tons of great brands, formulas and colors to choose from – which can make the search both fun and a little overwhelming. My most reached-for formulas of the moment are the new Fall shade additions from Tom Ford (review to come soon) as well as his new Boys & Girls collection (reviewed + swatched here).
- The Bite Beauty Champagne Discovery Lip Set (reviewed + swatched here) is one of my favorite Holiday sets from Sephora. It includes the Bite Beauty Multistick in Cashew as well as the #036 Lip Liner. These two are by far my favorite matte formulations because they are not drying. Also included is the Champagne Prismatic Pearl Crème Lip Gloss, which is a gorgeous warm, light to medium bronzy gold with subtle orange undertones and has fine golden and pearl shimmer. All can be worn alone but layered together the result is absolute fire.
- YSL Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain – has been all the rage since its release. After looking up some swatches I have to admit that the neutral colors look amazing, even though it is has a matte finish. According to the countless reviews I’ve read on the formula itself though, the product is super lightweight and liquidy, dries down to a matte finish but is still hydrating. I would like to start out with just one and see what the hype is all about.
- Lastly for lips is an actual lip care set I’ve been obsessing over, which is the Bite Beauty Agave Kisses Set (reviewed here). This set includes three of my favorite must-have Bite Beauty lip care products, including the Agave mask, lip balm and scrub.
Skincare is primarily the one category I stock up on the most during Sephora sales since in retrospect most products are much more expensive than makeup. One item high on my list is the Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb. I received a deluxe sample courtesy of Belif a while ago and as expected I fell head-over-heels for it. This is the lightest eye cream I’ve ever tried and offers just the right amount of hydration for my normal/dry skin. The cooling texture almost has a water-like feel on the skin that instantly bursts with hydration and blends seamlessly, keeping the eye area supple and optimally moisturized. I love combining the Eye Bomb with their Eye Care Mask (reviewed here) as it is the perfect recipe for a dehydrated under-eye area that suffers from fine lines caused by dryness. After a few days of using said combination, my under-eye area looked much more youthful and streamlined.
- Another item that I am looking to purchase a full size of is the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. This dual-action exfoliation method works both physically and enzymatically to brighten and smooth the skin while effectively combating acne and blackheads. The overall consistency suggests it to be almost like a scrub and mask in one since you leave it on the skin for 20-30 seconds before you rinse, no scrubbing needed as the enzymes do their work automatically. For as potent as it is, the formula is quite gentle on my skin although it does cause some intense tingling here and there. After each use, my skin looks smoother, brighter and overall much more vibrant. I can’t believe how much I’ve come to love this treatment.
- Recently I received a deluxe sample of the Glamglow GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment. When GlamGlow first came out I was heavily into their THIRSTYMUD and SUPERMUD treatments and swore up and down by them. That “passion” kind of tapered off over time and I never used anything by them again simply because there are better formulations on the market for equal or lesser money. The GRAVITYMUD has kind of rekindled that fire for me since the mask did produce immediate results. While it left my skin brightened and glowing after, it was the clearing of my pores that I was particularly impressed with. I’ve been on the hunt to find a good mask that clears and diminishes pores down to nothing ever since Sephora US discontinued the Caolion Hot & Cool Pore Pack Duo, and while the GRAVITYMUD is not exactly as good it does cut it pretty close.
- A couple of months ago I was experiencing once again a bout of cystic acne, albeit not as terrible and widespread as the last time, the crisis took mostly place on my chin and right cheek and was enough to induce instant panic within me. Immediately I changed my daily skincare regimen and added the Time Release Acne Cleanser. Literally after just a few days of usage, the flare-ups decreased significantly and now a few months into it my complexion has not even suffered one cystic acne bump nor hormonal pimple. This is a gentle, low foaming formula that delivers sustained-released salicylic acid and improves skin’s appearance over time with consistent use. It has quite a thick texture but is creamy and leaves the skin feeling supple and hydrated. I have tried many different acne products in the past, but nothing has ever truly worked, except for Murad. My skin is soft, hydrated, has a beautiful glow, but most importantly of all is void of any bumps.
- My favorite moisturizer is the Tatcha The Water Cream (reviewed here). This is a oil-free, anti-aging water cream that releases a burst of complexion-improving Japanese nutrients, powerful botanicals and optimal hydration for poreless and flawless-looking skin. Formulated with Japanese Wild Rose, Japanese Leopard Lily and hadasei-3 (a proprietary blend of green tea, rice, and algae), The Water Cream delivers a luxurious spa-like experience balancing hydration as well as clarifying and refining the skin by tightening pores and smoothing out texture – all the while restoring and boosting healthy-looking radiance by imparting a subtle, shine-free glow with a touch of 23-karat gold. It’s a refreshing moisturizer that I have fallen head over heels in love with.
For hair, I’m quite content with my current routine which is primarily made up of Keranique products. I have been very open on the blog about my struggle with thinning hair as well as hair loss, but have also been sharing my recovery process throughout since I started their system. My last update was with this post in February 2017, now 8 months later my hair has been making tremendous strides. I am now able to put my hair up in a messy bun and the result not looking like a golf ball exploded on top of my head, plus, and this is the one that almost made me cry, my natural waves have started to come back. While my hair care routine mostly consists out of Keranique products, I have carefully added a few outsiders, if you will, to enhance the current recovery process and luckily I have been very fortunate so far with my picks.
- Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak is something I have been testing since late last year. This is a deep repairative hair mask that provides intense conditioning and is formulated for those with dehydrated, under-nourished and damaged hair and is ideal for hair weakened by overexposure to sun, chemical processing or excessive heat styling. In the Summer my hair has a tendency to almost become like straw in terms of dryness, so I will use this every single time after shampoo to keep it in shape. The mask has a lightly whipped texture. It immediately absorbs into the hair and has a pure, refreshing smell. Rinses out easily without leaving a heavy residue. It leaves my hair feeling soft and silky, as if I just left a professional hair salon.
- Verb Ghost Oil has been both a game changer and saving grace keeping my hair from turning into perpetual straw due to sun exposure and severe dry heat during the day in the Summer. Ghost Oil is a transparent, restorative hair oil that revitalizes hair from roots to ends. The formula features an integrated moringa oil blend that coats the hair shaft with essential nutrients. This can be applied to both damp or dry hair. I personally love to work this through dry hair every single morning before heading out the door. Literally after the first use my hair felt noticeably softer and so much smoother. Its very light and weightless but has incredible results. Hair looks healthier, shines brighter and I truly feel that it keeps the heat from drying out my strands, especially the ends.
- Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray is another long time love. I feel like this has been one of the greatest drugstore hairspray upgrades I have made in life. It’s super lightweight, no crunch to its hold and it just smells so fresh. It provides perfect separation and piecey-hold for a wavy look, which is my daily go-to hairstyle. Aside from the crunch factor, another issue I’ve always had with hairspray is that hair automatically looks like it’s full of product, regardless of brand or formula. This has been the first hairspray in all of my 30+ years that I have encountered that does not do that. Its effect on hair is amazing. It volumizes, holds, gives a cool, lived-in texture that doesn’t weigh hair down and is absolutely perfect for me.
- Verb Ghost Oil Kit is a five-piece hair kit featuring Ghost Shampoo, Ghost Conditioner, Ghost Prep, Ghost Hairspray and Ghost Oil. This entire kit is based on my hair holy grail the Ghost Oil and I have it on my Sephora Loves List ready to be ordered.
Last but not least are a few fragrance recommendations. Scent is so personal that it can be difficult to give viable recommendations since we all have different opinions on what smells good – not to mention that everyone has a different body chemistry and certain perfumes may not always react the best or mesh the same as with others. There are lots of value sets out during the holiday like this Elizabeth & James A Little Bit of Nirvana Fragrance Collection, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Gift Set and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Everything Cashmere Set. All of which are fragrances I personally recommend. Two that I am dying to try are the new Hermès Replica Set and Gabrielle Chanel. Since perfume can be pricey if you have a favorite or have a wishlist item, the sale is a great time to stock up on full sizes!
I’m still in the process of narrowing down and finalizing my list. I keep going back and forth removing and adding new things that come to mind at literally all hours of the day, no matter what I’m doing. There’s quite a few new releases that I would like to stock up on, like the new Tom Ford Violet Argente Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette and Lavender Lure Sheer Cheek Duo, which isn’t online at Sephora just yet but it is at Neiman Marcus. In case you need more inspiration, don’t forget to check out my Holiday 2017 series or the Fall/Winter 2017 collections I have reviewed thus far.
Depending on my takeaway, I might be doing a haul post once I finalize my orders and receive everything. The extra Holiday Bonus Event will really help out if I forgot something the first time around.
To recap, the 20% off sale at Sephora is on everything for VIB Rouge members first. It starts on 11/3 and runs through 11/6. The Holiday Bonus Event is for Rouge members only and starts on 11/10 and runs through 11/15. Let me know what you end up hauling or what you have on your wishlist!