I know I'm no longer a child, but birthdays still excite me, especially so when people enable my madness by letting me pick my own gifts! And so, since my sister-in-law's father was coming down from the States, I took advantage of the situation by demanding products I really wanted from Sephora US, as well as a couple of things from Target. It's entirely too convenient that he landed on Wednesday, which was my actual birthday, making me feel like a kid in a candy store!
[This is why I need to move...]
Let's start off with Target:
[Olay and Real Techniques]
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been eyeing Olay's Advanced Cleansing System, which is meant to be a dupe for the Clairsonic. However, it's been sold out here practically since it came out, on top of which, it's cheaper in the States. More importantly, they don't have it in pink here!
I suspect this Limited Edition kit was in line with Breast Cancer Month, but I'm not sure. In any event, they threw in a lip gloss, which means that all my dreams have come true.
[Olay's ProX Advanced Cleansing System - Limited Edition Pink ($29)]
It's so very convenient that they threw batteries in because it makes my life a lot easier. There are number of differences between this and the Clairsonic, but I'll do a full review in a later post once I've used it for a decent amount of time. I'm absolutely loving it though!
There was also a mini Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser contained in the box, and this is meant to be an excellent daily exfoliator though I haven't tried it and can't comment on it as yet. I'm very excited about it though!
For the record, the system is available exclusive in Watsons in Malaysia at around RM129.
On top of the cleansing system, there was a Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm as well.
[Covergirl's Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in 230]
Covergirl isn't available here, but these are meant to be absolutely fantastic according to all the reviews, and after trying it out, I completely agree! They're similar to Clinique's Chubby Sticks and Revlon's Lip Stain thingys. It doesn't hurt that I adore the colour as well!
Next up, we have brushes! I've been eyeing Real Techniques for ages because they are meant to be some of the best brushes hands down, and I've held back because the price difference can't really be justified when you buy them here (they're available at Shins) for about RM130 per set, and they come in 3 sets as well as individual brushes which mostly aren't found in the sets.
Now, these brushes are under the purview of Samantha Chapman (look up Pixiwoo on YouTube), and therefore you would think they would be cheaper in the UK. This is very oddly not the case. They run upwards of 20 pounds, while in the US, they are $16+. Not only that, these were on sale when they were ordered and cost just $13+! That's such a steal! I am a little sad now that I've felt them that I don't have the rest of them, but they are definitely on the to-be-acquired list!
[Real Technique's Travel Essentials]
One of the coolest things about the brush kits is that the case they come in is multipurpose.
It's of very good quality and works very well for travelling with...
But more excitingly, they function as a brush holder as well! You can fold it down and use it to as a brush stand, which is absolutely ingenious!
Now for running amok at Sephora! Everytime I look at the stuff I got, I feel so light and airy and complete. Perhaps this is what nirvana feels like.
Let's kick things off with the insane number of samples. I don't think it's at all rational that KL and Singapore don't follow the sample-provision format that Sephora US does because this is one of the best things about Sephora!
Firstly, we have a trial kit for Bare Minerals' Matte Complexion Kit. This is seriously insanely awesome in terms of the fact that it has your entire base makeup covered and it was free with a weekly offer code.
[Bare Minerals' Matte Complexion Kit]
[Foundation + Brush]
Yes, there's even a little mini brush in here! It's extremely soft and I'm so excited about using it! It's particularly convenient because it's the only buffing brush that's small enough to fit into this pot, and also the little Bobbi Brown pot I got in The Lilac Box's Outdoor Survival Kit!
[Bare Minerals' Stroke of Light]
This is meant to function in a similar way to YSL's Touche Eclat in that it brightens the undereye area, and provides a touch of concealing as well.
[How will it fare?]
There are perfumes! I've always loved Flower by Kenzo and it never hurts to have 10,000 of these lying around. The vial by Prada was pleasant enough, but nothing that really blew me away.
[Sachets: Clarins' Double Serum; Bumble & Bumble's Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner; Perricone MD's Photo Plasma; boscia's Self-Defence Vital Antioxidant Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30; fresh's Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream]
[Ren's Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream]
I did split my purchases into 3 separate orders in order to maximise sample accumulation. I do love samples!
Also, during the month of October, Sephora US was having a promotion where you could win prizes which you could redeem through use of a code with any order your placed. I had about 15 codes, but I picked just one.
[Alterna's Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist Deluxe Sample]
And then there were 100 point perks, and for both of those I picked the same thing.
[Korres' Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial Deluxe Samples]
[Exciting nights ahead!]
And since it's my birthday this month, they sent me a gift for being a member!
[Benefit Birthday Gift]
[Benefit's They're Real! Mascara & What's Up Highlighter]
Honestly, the samples and freebies are a haul in themselves! I love it!
Now, on to the full-on goodies!
[Kat Von D's Autograph Pencil in Turbo Lover ($9)]
I can't stress just how amazing Kat Von D's makeup line is, and I haven't tried any of her liners, but after testing this out, I'm absolutely sold on everything!
Not only does it come with a brilliant design, absolutely amazing liner in itself and a smudger tip, it's also got an in-built sharpener!
Next up is an item I couldn't resist because it was on sale!
[Stila's Rockin' in Rio Travel Palette ($10)]
The packaging on this is so adorable and not only does it have a fantastic mirror, it's got tips on using the palette in it.
My only gripe with this palette is that the cream convertible colour is in the same palette as the shadows which means that it's bound to get powder particles in it. If you're not familiar with Stila's Convertible Colors, you really need to check them out! They're multipurpose creams which can be used on your cheeks or lips. I've never tried them on my eyes, but I think they would crease like the world is ending so I would avoid that.
[Stila's Convertible Color in Freesia]
Look at the colour!!! It's so pretty!
Next up, we have the main reason I have been stalking Sephora's site for over a year now: Tarte! As a bit of a digression, Tarte will be available in Sephora, Singapore as off a couple of weeks from now, so that makes things a little better. However, it's to be seem how the prices compare.
[I am a bit of a Tarte tart...]
[Tarte's Thoughtful Treasures Best-Sellers ($19)]
While these are all minis, let me just make my case for why this was necessary. First of all, a regular Tarte blush runs at $26, and they are incredibly pigmented which means that getting through one of the regularly sized ones is unlikely to happen within a short time period. The blush in here, in itself, is worth getting this kit for. However, I've been very curious about the other two in here as well.
[Tarte's Pure Maracuja Oil]
Now I've heard excellent things about this, and if you're wondering, it's along the lines of Argan oil, just a different product. It's meant to be amazing for your skin so it's definitely worth a shot. I'll review it in due time.
[Tarte's Energy LipSurgence]
Dior has a product very similar to this, but in regular lip gloss form. The packaging on this states that it is a "skintuitive lip tint" because it's meant to pick up on the heat or pigmentation (or something else altogether) on your lips and turn a shade that's ideal for you. Definitely something I'm curious to test out!
And, of course, the blush!
[Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Thankful]
What's so awesome about these? Everything! From the packaging, to the colour selection, to the pigmentation, to their staying power, I've yet to read a bad review on these and now I know why!
Firstly, just look at the packaging!
I just can't get over the fact that the packaging mirrors the shade of the blush! It's so pretty!!!! And the embossing doesn't hurt either! GORGEOUS!
Now for the colour. Note that this was me just lightly swiping my finger over the shade:
Clearly I was angling to get their blushes, so when I found out they had a Christmas palette just over a month ago, I was sold without even looking. But when I saw it, I was on the site daily lusting after it.
Finally, it is mine!
[Tarte's Off the Cuff Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette & Bracelet]
Are you looking at the packaging on this? You really need to!
I'm not someone who is overly fond of glitter, but this palette is gorgeous!
On a more awesome note, the cuff is actually usable. Not even in a gimicky way either. The quality on it is actually rather spectacular!
[Leather and Gold Metal Cuff Bracelet]
Now for the palette! I can't get over how pretty it is!
Look at it! JUST LOOK!
[These were all very light swatches...]
The palette includes 4 blushes and 1 bronzer and I believe one of these shades is a limited edition which is only found in this palette.
Next up is a palette I saw on someone's blog, and I just knew I had to have it. Luckily for me, when I started actually putting stuff in my cart, I found this on sale! Yay!
[Too Faced Loves Sephora Palette ($39)]
This was a 15 year anniversary collaboration palette, and it couldn't be prettier!
When you open up the box and pull the actual palette out, you have the satisfaction of knowing that the palette itself mirrors the packaging, so nothing gets lost if you aren't someone who wants to pull your palette out of the box everytime you want to use it.
It's also quite nice that they provide an entire stack of makeup ideas to use with this palette!
The eyeshadows in here are absolutely gorgeous, and other than the bronze shade, I don't think I have anything similar enough to call a dupe in my collection. I love it!!!
And it comes with bronzers and a blush! The thing with opening up this palette is that the first thing you smell is chocolate! That's because "Chocolate Soleil" is made to smell that way and it's all rather decadent and lavish feeling.
[Bronzers & Blush]
And as an added bonus, there's a little brush in there, as well as a little tube of their Shadow Insurance.
[Brush & Shadow Insurance]
Definitely an excellent value for money and I'm so happy I have it in my stash!
Lastly, this is definitely the set which takes the cake. I didn't even know I wanted this until I watched a YouTube video of a review on this kit and then I was smitten. It retails at RM75 for a kit that contains $280 worth of products. If that's not a steal, the fact that I got an additional 20% off on it definitely makes it so! This worked out to $60, which by any standard is an absolutely amazing value!
[Sephora Favourite's Super Stars ($75)]
As the name suggests, this is a culmination of Sephora's best-selling products in one big kit. OMG I love so much!
When you slip the kit out of the sleeve, you are met with a gorgeous rose gold box (very on trend), though the camera isn't picking up the exact colour on the closed box.
[So much happiness!]
[Deborah Lippman's Nail Glitter in Cleopatra in New York]
These nail polishes have rave reviews, but they also run at about RM70 on Luxola, which means that nothing is going to make me buy them individually. That's madness on a whole other level. This is gorgeous though!
[Ignore the chipped nails please. It had been 4 days]
On a side note, Sephora has a new line of X nail polishes which are meant to be the best thing to happen to your nails since nail polish was invented. Their finish is that of gel polishes and the application is supposed to be flawlessly simple. Do you feel like you need them? I know I do! Let's hope they pop up on this side of the world soon.
And then, there's BB Cream!
[Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream in Light]
Sephora is always spot on with sending samples which are right for my skin tone because they have my colour in their system, so I'm a little astounded that this came in light. Perhaps this is due to the pre-packaging issue. This, too, has an extensive fan base and I'm really excited to try it out! If the colour isn't right, it would be the perfect time to break out Tarte's Park Avenue Princess bronzer, don't you think?
Next up, we have a product I'm always looking at but have never settled on purchasing.
[Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil]
Argan Oil in its pure form is ridiculously expensive, and this is no different. This is a little size, but a little goes a long way. I've used it in my hair today, but I'm curious as to how it fares for my face, and how it stands up to Caudalie's Divine Oil and Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse.
Then we have the one item in this box I could have done without:
[Bumble & Bumble's Surf Spray]
This is a sea salt spray that's made to gift you beachy waves, etc. I don't like the beach, and I certainly don't like looking like I've been there. Also, I'm not going to spray sea salt into my hair and dry it out.
If anyone would like this, let me know.
And then there was eyeliner!
[Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner]
I've swatched this umpteen times in-store, and I'm so glad I held back because this is the perfect way to get hold of this! It's supposed to be a holy grail product, so we shall see!
Sephora wouldn't be Sephora without Nars (unless you're in Asia, apparently), and I couldn't be happier!
[Nars' Lipstick in Dolce Vita]
This colour is gorgeous! I used to have the blush in this shade, but someone borrowed it and as with situations like this, it's gone AWOL. Love!
Then there's eyeshadow!
[Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Duo]
[Sin and Mushroom]
Urban Decay's singles and duos are infinitely better than the shades you get in their palettes. At least, better than their matte shades! These are very pretty and not chalky at all, so I'm quite excited to use them. They would be perfect for an everyday eye duo and I love that!
And eye cream!!!
[Origins' GinZing Eye Cream]
This stuff is spectacular. It's what I'm currently using during the day, so I'm happy to have a bigger pot of the stuff!
Then, we have more Nars!
[Nars' Duo of blush & bronzer]
This is a duo of their best selling blush and bronzer.
[Orgasm & Laguna]
I had their blush in Orgasm at one point, but I traded it with someone who MAC eyeliners because I felt it didn't suit my skintone. I still stand by that. It's a little too cool-toned for my skin, and it irks me that people say it's the perfect shade for any skin tone. This is a lie. I do think that Deep Throat is a far more appropriate shade for someone with my skin tone, and it's one of my favourite blushes even until now. In any event, Orgasm definitely works as a blush you layer with, so it should be interesting to test it out now that I've been rid of it for a few years.
Then, we have a rollerball perfume which I've heard people wax lyrical about. And I finally understand why. I love it!
[Victor & Rolf's Flowerbomb]
Yes, it does smell like a divine explosion of flowers! Love love love!
They can't leave you sans brows, can they?
[Anastasia's Clear Brow Gel]
Anastasia is basically the goddess of brows, though I don't do my brows out of laziness and lack of actual necessity.
What's been missing in this kit thus far? MASCARA!
[Too Faced's Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System & Mascara]
I've never used a product of this nature before, and I'm extremely curious. It even comes with instructions on the method of application!
I absolutely adore that fact that this box has everything you need to get all done up in it. It's basically a magic box of loveliness and I am beyond pleased that I have it in my clutches!
And that is the end of this insane haul. I'm so excited with everything and I can't wait to play with it all! So much love!!!