Oh hey – I’m still alive! How have you been? After a wonderful few weeks away I’m back in cloudy England all ready for the impending Christmas season.
Last time I visited the sunny USA I didn’t post a haul, but thought I’d do one this time around, especially so close to the festive season – if you’re near a Sephora yourself or flying over for the holidays, I hope my purchases will be helpful & inspiring. Not that I truly needed any of these products, especially whilst valiantly working through old products for my Empties posts, but with the 20% off VIB discount last month I really couldn’t say no! (And can we appreciate how great the lighting is in my boyfriend’s apartment?!)
1. Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Studded Kiss Lip Set ($42) – Incredible value for $42! This set includes 7 mini sizes of the creamy, pigment-loaded lipsticks by Kat Von D as well as an exclusive full size lipstick. An ideal gift for yourself or any bold lip lover. Considering a single full size KVD lipstick is $21, this is the perfect way to try 8 new shades without spending a small fortune. Gotta love Sephora gift sets!
2. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer ($22) – After trying a deluxe mini size of this primer that I’d received as a freebie and stashed in my travel bag, I was amazed at the extra length and definition this product gave under my Maybelline mascara, so I’ve been using it every day since! Not to mention Tarte is one of my favourite brands (but sadly hard to obtain in the UK) due to its ethics and good-for-your-skin approach in all its products.
3. Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo ($28) – A lesson in never leaving yourself in Sephora unattended! My Batiste is a perfectly good, affordable dry shampoo that really does the job to combat greasy roots, but after trying this out in store I couldn’t walk out with such soft, sweet-scented hair and not buy it. I initially fell in love with the Nirvana White fragrance a year ago, but suddenly I’m very much into the more sensual, sultry Black scent. A very extravagant & unnecessary purchase I know, but I can’t imagine anyone not wanting their hair to smell this good.
4. Sephora Favorites Extend Your Style Set ($32; currently out of stock) – I debated on picking this up but decided to just purchase it anyway..and I’m glad I did! $32 gets you 7 travel size high end dry shampoos, all perfect for throwing in your handbag or suitcase. Just over $4 per product is very reasonable, especially when this set contains coveted favourites from Bumble & Bumble and Dry Bar. I can’t wait to try these out for myself.
5. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105) – Ridiculously expensive, but not quite so much with my 20% off code. I’d been trying a couple of samples before my trip and really didn’t want to enjoy something so pricey, but unfortunately it worked some brilliant magic! My skin is temperamental at the best of times and this lactic acid serum drastically improved my uneven skin texture and pigmentation within just a few days. I’m taking a break from it temporarily and being very gentle with my skin since it’s having something of a freakout after returning home to drier weather, but will absolutely be returning to it very soon. I just dread ever having to repurchase it without some kind of heavy discount!
6. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey ($36) – The only powder foundation that’s ever provided any kind of decent coverage for my pigmented skin. I use a fluffy kabuki brush to apply – Tarte’s own Airbuki brush is far too dense and stiff for my liking. This is my absolute favourite easy foundation – no mess, looks good and feels perfectly comfortable on the skin. I use other formulas for longer wear and days out, but this is my go-to for errands and lazy days that makes me look like I actually made some effort.
7. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($12) – One mascara I’ve heard so much hype about and absolutely have to try for myself! I didn’t want to drop money on a full size without knowing if it would work for me first, so this mini size is perfect. I still have quite a few mascaras to work through, but can’t wait to try this one next!
8. Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer ($20) – Very similar to the above Tarte mascara primer, though this one was sold out everywhere for months! I’m curious to try these two primers side-by-side, especially as I know both really do make a difference to your mascara. Not to mention I’m not the biggest fan of the Urban Decay Perversion mascara – maybe this will help it work for me while I finish it up.
9. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Hand Cream ($15) – Living in a cold climate in the winter means a hand cream is always a necessity. After picking up the Nirvana Black dry shampoo, I spotted this and had to try it out too, especially as the scent is so lovely – I’m sure I’ll feel very luxurious every time I sniff this on my hands. And the slim, mini size is perfect for your handbag.
10. TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatale Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Set ($42) – After thoroughly enjoying a mini rollerball set by TokyoMilk last year, I decided to pick up this beautiful set of miniature bottled perfumes by the brand this time around. I already have a full size of the darker, more mysterious citrus-scented Everything & Nothing and can’t wait to try out the rest. An ideal gift for anyone who likes more unusual, non-mainstream scents but don’t want to buy a specific one for. A fragrance brand I feel is a little underrated – there really is something for everyone to fall in love with.
11. Sephora Beauty on the Fly Travel Bag ($4.95) – A traveller’s essential! My flimsy little ziplock bag broke on my way over there, so I decided to invest in a more sturdy replacement. I believe this is the American TSA’s regulation size, but according to reviews it may not be acceptable for passing through UK and European airports, which is a shame. Otherwise it’s surprisingly large and fits plenty of travel size liquids for your flight. I may just carry an extra plain ziplock for UK security and use this during the rest of my journey in future, as it seems to stand up much better to repeated use on a long trip.
I also received mini sizes of the D&G Light Blue fragrance as well as 2 of the Nest Indigo fragrances as 250 point and 100 point perks – I’ve yet to try these out but can’t say no to a good fragrance freebie.
My only complaints would be that there was an issue placing my initial VIB order where it didn’t seem to go through and I had to re-order later in the day after realising (luckily everything I wanted was still in stock!), and also I didn’t receive any samples at all in my package after requesting them. I did have some issues with USPS immediately returning my packages because of a ridiculous ‘undeliverable as addressed error’ that was an absolute nightmare to sort out; at least this arrived fine, as I’d be very upset if it was returned!
I hope you enjoyed checking out what I grabbed in the Sephora VIB sale! Please let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!