Well folks, it's about that time for the Sephora Friends and Family Sale. Which usually rolls around about this time of year. I use this sale mainly for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers from the travel section because....why not? I also use it to stock up on things I know that I'll re-buy like favorite foundations, any skincare favorites like cleansers or staples. I usually wait until this sale or anytime I have gift cards to buy things that I don't purchase very much at all like perfume.
So per usual I'm going to give you my buying guide. I've done this for several years where I recommend not necessarily "new" products, but products I've tested and liked through out the year and feel comfortable recommending. Of course, if there is anything you've had your eye on, now would be the time to buy it.
Starting with base makeup.
Base makeup is my favorite part of makeup. If you're base makeup looks good then it's a good day. Of course, your base has a great deal to do with your skin. However, I'm going to try to do skincare as a separate post.
Foundation is obviously a go to. I will say though that in the last year I've really loved more affordable and "drugstore-ish" foundations like Catrice HD and Makeup Revolution. There are definitely two staples that I have from Sephora which is Marc Jacobs Remarcable Foundation which is full coverage and more of a matte finish. The other is, NARS Sheer Glow which is a "sheer glow" and not "sheer" in coverage. So it's about medium to full and more of a natural finish. If you aren't wanting a tint or a little more than a "bb cream", I really love the First Aid Beauty Tinted Moisturizer. It's definitely more coverage than a tinted cream or bb cream. It has more shades than just the one typical "universal shade".
Next is concealer and I have two to talk to you about. One being the Too Faced Born This Way Sculpting Concealer which is super full coverage but insanely blendable. If the Tarte Shape Tape tends to give you issue in how the finish looks then try this. Now, if you're like me and you have dry under eyes or that's where your fine lines are then try the First Aid Beauty Bendy Avacado Concealer. For more coverage tap if out with your finger it's definitely not full coverage, but it's very hydrating and plumps up the under eye while it's on and it's easily mixed with other products while still keeping it's hydration benefit.
Keeping with base products we're going to shift to more powder products. I'm not a loose powder person. I'm a pressed powder person but honestly lately I've not been setting my foundation much at all. I know some of you are powder people though so I recommend Ilia Loose Powder, I got a sample of this in a beauty box or something and I actually really enjoyed it for days when I need to use powder. Of course my favorite pressed powder is the Algenist Color Correcting powder. It's been my favorite for years now. I don't really stray from it.
Moving onto face and cheek products.
What I have been enjoying more is face palettes. They're easier if the colors are something you will use like a blush, bronzer, highlight, face powder in one palette. That's the kind I'm talking about. So lately, I've been really into exploring face palettes that are for multiple things at once. The one that falls into that category the fastest is the Dior Backstage Face Palette. It's two highlights, a blush, and a bronzer. These powders, are unlike anything I've ever used. It's more pigmented in the blush and bronzer category that I thought. The highlights aren't super intense. They're exactly what I've been wanting and somehow goes with everything. Next is a newer product and it's the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4 the reason I recommend this is you get so much product with Hourglass powders in general. Also, most of these powders I have with the exclusion of the two new ones. They also have a good selection of face powders like "Diffused Light" being one of them which is a favorite of mine and a really nice bronzer which is Filtered Bronze Light. The blushes are really nice one is a staple of mine. Their strobing powders are really lovely in these as well. They are also Vegan, Cruelty, and Gluten Free now. It's definitely more of a splurge palette though but like I said the amount of product that you get in the pans makes it worth it for me.
If you're not really that concerned with the face powder aspect of it I also really love the Too Faced Natural Face Palette. The packaging is so nice and heavy and they didn't skimp on the quality of the 6 powders that are in here. I love that they included different finishes and even duo-chrome to the highlights slightly. I think it's a really good palette and I use it a lot. Also I love the Benefit Cheek Palettes. I have the first Cheek Parade but they have a new one with some staples and a new shade. I love mine, I think this would be the same.
If you're not looking for a palette and just interested a good bronzer. I'm still really enjoying the Marc Jacobs Coconut Mega Bronzer. I also really like the Hourglass Diffused Bronze Light and it's also available in a mini version and bear in mind the pan size and how many grams you're getting in these products to help you see what is a better value. I really like the Anastasia Beverly Hills bronzers. They're kinda like unsung heroes honestly. I don't think they're talked about enough. For contour I tend to just buy bronzers in an undertone that will work as a bronzer for me like the Hourglass one I mentioned. If you're into a bronzer/contour face palette the Tarte Park Ave. Princess Bronzer and Contour palette. I'm personally going to try the Dior Backstage Contour palette since I love the face palette so much.
For blush I've gotten into NARS blush again specifically Goulee. Which is sold out right now and it might only be a VIB Rouge shade, I'm not sure. Others that I do love are Benefit Rockateur, of course the Hourglass shades but they're available in mini versions as well, I really like Tarte blushes as well so if you want a few selection they do have a super cute blush palette that looks like a clutch. I'm also a fan of the ABH Trio blushes. They have a blush palette as well but I like the trios especially "Pool Party".
Moving along to highlight. I have been in a liquid highlight type of mood. I'm not necessarily in a powder highlight type of mood. Sometimes I am but lately the liquid highlight and cream highlights have won me over. So I'm a major fan of the Algenist Pearl Luminizing drops they have 2 other shades as well. I've loved these for years. If you are a strobing type of person check out the Cover FX Liquid Metal style that will blind your enemies. I haven't tried this next one but I am going to buy it when the sale hits because I love the look of it. I love what I'm seeing in videos and that's the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter.
If you want powder highlights, again I say check out the palettes that have highlights in them as well like the Dior, Hourglass, etc. I really enjoy the Fenty Killawatt Highlighters they are stunning and you get to choose your intensity, personally I like the Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal but there are quite a few options. I also really like the TooFaced Diamond Light Highlighter. It's stunning and so is the packaging.
Eyes is what we're going to next.
First up eye primer. There are affordable ones that I love like Wet n Wild Photofocus but there are others that I use as well when I need to cover any veins on the eye lid. One of those is actually a matte concealer in a pot which reminds me of a paint pot from MAC and that's the NARS Soft Matte Concealer. It does a great job as a base. I know it's technically not a primer but I like it. Urban Decay still have a gold star in eye shadow primers, I prefer the regular one or Eden.
For eye shadow. I kinda have been loving individual products more than palettes. So I'm going to start with those first. I still love the Stila Glitter and Glow like crazy and if you want less glitter then you want the Shimmer and Glow colors. It's so stunning, I actually need another Diamond Dust. They have trios though that are smaller but you get 3 shades and it's around the price of 1 full size so I'd check that out. Also Tarte Top Yacht and Rose Gold look amazing.
For palettes, I'm sorry I'm just gonna go there.....Natasha Denona. Literally, whichever one that you like because they are lovely. I really like their 5 pan palettes and they have those in mini's as well. I reach for these the most. I'm still ride or die for the Tropic Palette and from a neutral matte stand point I'm really loving the Safari Palette or the Camel palette. Other palettes would be Norvina and Soft Glam from ABH. Norvina is my jam but if you want some neutrals in every area then I recommend Soft Glam above all.
I don't really use liners that aren't drugstore so we'll skip that.
Mascara. First of all if it's in a travel size get that because I notice that I don't use up any mascara by the time it expires or dries out which is why I get the travel sizes. So the two I'm going to recommend first is Milk Kush Mascara and Hourglass Caution. I lean more toward Caution because that is like hairspray on your hair that keeps the lashes lifted and curled. The Kush is really great at thickening the base of the lashes.
Let's hit brows real quick. Obviously you can't go wrong with ABH. I'm a big fan of the Benefit Brow products like the Precisely, My Brow pencil or the Goof Proof Angled Brow which is in travel sizes as well. I also love the Brow Contour Pro 4 in 1 pencil. I have a review on that as well. If you're looks for more of a tinted brow gel I'm a fan of MILK Kush Fiber Brow Gel. If you need a clear brow gel I don't think ABH can be beat in that dept.
If you aren't as into liquid lips, I recently tried the YSL Tatouage Couture Lip Stains. These are very thin, they never feel tight or dry. It does have quite a bit of pigment though. The Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick, which doesn't really dry down all the way but has nice pigment. I'm not the biggest fan of lipstick bullets because I usually mix them and combine formulas. Also, once again, I think that lipstick is just as easy to find at the drugstore.
Finally for lipgloss. I enjoy the Make Up For Ever gloss, the ABH glosses (which also comes in sets), I enjoy the DIOR Addict Lip Maximizer for plumping but they also have the Ultra Gloss. I, myself, am super curious about the INC.redible Iridescent Sheer Gloss. They have interesting colors and they actually aren't very expensive.
So with all that said, I didn't mention primers because I don't really use them that often. I will say that the most mattifying primer I've ever tried is the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming (also in a mini). I actually like mixing it with other primers and or only using it on my T-zone when I know I'm going to be at an event or out all day. Which is why I get the travel size of the primers I don't use that often like mattifying, poreless, or luminizing. I'm more into hydrating primers. So for that I enjoy Stila Nourishing Primer and the First Aid Beauty Coconut Priming Moisturizer which is a bit thicker than the Stila.
Also as I mentioned before it's a great time to get perfumes. I hate buying perfume. So if there's one that I want I will get it for Christmas or I will wait until there's a coupon because I'm really picky. I really like Commodity they're a little more unisex in some of the scents, I love Moss. I also like Derek Lam 10 Crosby in Rain Day. I also like Marc Jacobs Daisy too.
Of course it would be a great time for hair products and tools. I don't buy mine from Sephora. So to each their own.
Ok, I think I covered everything as far as makeup goes. Skincare will definitely be another post. I will update this when I find out when the sale begins. I expect it to be near the beginning of November. The reason I'm doing this now is because I literally start looking at stuff and saving it to my phone around now so that I'm ready to go when it starts.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.