What to buy at the Sephora Holiday Sale 2018

It's almost THAT time of the year! Yes I'm talking about the semi-annual (although this year, for the third time) Sephora Sale AND the anticipated delivery of our first baby 👧🏻! Exciting that they will most likely be happening within the same time frame -- thankfully I feel pretty prepared to tackle both. 🌚
Collectible pins included at random in various Sephora Mystery Kits for lips, face and eyes.
Image credit: Sephora.com/ca
From the community forum on Sephora's website I've gathered the following intel:

ROUGE 20% off with code ROUGEBONUS - FRI 10/26 - MON 10/29 & FRI 11/2 - MON 11/5.
* For Rouge on 10/26 only, bring a friend and extend your rouge discount to them in store! Plus, you also get an exclusive sample set with any purchase (first-come, first-served).

VIB 20% off FRI 11/2 - MON 11/5

Beauty Insider 15% off FRI 11/2 - MON 11/5

I think this is a great opportunity to make purchases in the following categories: 
  • Restock on items that you use up frequently. Don't hoard though!
  • Value/Holiday Sets: these are gorgeous as gifts, or opportunities to try out new products/shades. Do your research on each item in the set, and do the math to find out the value you are getting. 
  • Splurge-y items that you would not purchase at full price EVER.
Read on for my "LOVED" list for this sale, with additional recommendations at the end. All the images in this post are credited to the Sephora website.

😻 Restocking Staples 😻

I must have done a great job restocking at the April and August sale... because this category is looking very slim this time around. 😆
Trustworthy performance in melting makeup together and extending wear-time. This new jumbo size (236mL) is a better value ($50) than buying the 2 x 118mL bottles set ($59) which has gone up in price by $11 since the last time it was offered. I still have a nearly empty 118mL bottle so I will be splitting this with a friend.
Cleansing oils are indispensable in my double-cleansing routine for makeup days. One full pump of a cleansing oil, massaged and rinsed, followed by a mild foaming cleanser gently removes all traces of makeup, even on the lids. I've been liking my Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil (450mL) but after three years I am ready to try something new at a fairer price point for a smaller bottle.

I usually put my hair up in a messy bun or ponytail as soon as I get home to get to more work or chores. These SLIM hair rings, normally sold in match-box sized packages of three for $10 are tiny but mighty. They hold my bushy ponytail securely even through dance workouts and does not slip off and make the pony tail fall flat over time. I also find that they recoil well overnight compared to my staple Daiso (Japanese dollar store) rubber hair ties.

 👁 Beauty Try-outs 👁

Below are items I have been eyeing to try out at this sale.

My mother, who is NOT a beauty-addict always has good things to say about Guerlain skincare products. This  treatment is a very sad 15mL for $36 but promises to "erase signs of tiredness and puffiness" and deliver a refreshed complexion. Sounds like a mama-to-be's miracle. I'd be super satisfied if has none to mild fragrance also (but it's Guerlain). 🤷🏻‍♀️

How many highlighters does one need? Rationally, I'd say two, one subtly natural for daytime and work, and one beaming for those special occasions/evening out. I have three in my stash: Dior Air Nude Luminizer - a beloved bday gift, build-able from subtle to beaming; Essence highlighter - subtle and natural for $3.99; and Becca liquid highlighter mini - smooth & beaming. Yet I still want more shades to play with? Thanks to my good friend 🍒 for splitting this holiday mini set. Can we just stare at the packaging for a bit? (OK, I did swatch all the shades in the store too....)

🤑 Buy-Me-Maybes 🤑

I'm still juggling the following items in my mind. "This may be a sign to NOT purchase them", the wallet whispers.

Much-hyped and reviewed primer with the ability to create a smooth canvas for base makeup and has an irresistible packaging that's also good for travel. I have dry skin all over, but an oily nose. I do love my Laura Mercier hydrating primer, but it doesn't do much for smoothing pores nor controlling base makeup disappearing on my nose within the first two hours. I'm also contemplating whether to buy it as part of the Tacha Makeup Lover's Obento box set.

I'm looking for an alternative to my old Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder, which is great for someone with combination or oily skin but pulls too patchy and drying on my nose. The Hourglass power felt very similar to my Giorgio Armani Neo Nude Fusion Powder compact in that it is extremely finely milled, goes on smooth and transluscent. It also has very tiny specks of shimmer (the diamond dust as advertised?) that are barely detectable, which would create a nice veil over my semi-dewy cushions foundations without mattifying just the nose area.

OK, I will admit that I'm a sucker for packaging. This is a great value set with three very wearable colours and two cases. I did check out swatches of their other duo set in store, and both colours #I Woke Up and #If Only are much nicer for human skin tones than depicted online. The lipsticks are slim and long, and glided smoothly on the back of my hand. This, along with the duo set would make great gifts for someone special.

 👍 Can't Live Without 👍 

Living in hotel dryness (locate Toronto) almost all-year-round (heat, AC), I've always woken up at night with parched lips. Not when I put this lip mask on. The 20g regular jar (Berry flavour) is only about half empty after a half year of nightly use. I apply a thin layer over the lips before bed and it always gives me soft and comfortable lips when I wake up. With this set, plus the discount, you can try three new flavours in 3g trial sizes with a few extra dollars. I could not wait for the sale and already packed a tiny Apple Lime flavoured mask for my hospital bag! 

Additional Notes

Many items from the Sephora Collection are both functional and economical:
  • Lip products: e.g. Lip Story lip sticks, Creamy lip tint, lip balms
  • Makeup cleansing wipes: many varieties in terms of smell AND texture, make sure you go to the store to take a whiff if possible for your favourite scent.
  • Makeup brush sets: the Uncomplicated series for eyes, smokey eyes, face, contouring seems to have great reviews, and look fairly good in quality in person
  • Retractable brow pencil waterproof: excellent dupe for the Anastasia ones
  • Items from the On-sale page at already reduced prices
I hope this has been somewhat entertaining. Remember to shop sensibly, as there will be sales and points redemption events at various stores between now and December. If I remember correctly, there were some pretty awesome items on half off discounts right AFTER Christmas at Sephora last year so hold your horses!

As always,
xo, mary

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