Sephora Favorites Superstars

Sephora faves

Every year around the holiday shopping season Sephora releases some pretty awesome gift sets.  This year, after doing a bit of research on the value of the products (and taking advantage of the 20% VIB sale that is happening this weekend) I decided to wish myself a happy birthday and spend the money on the Superstars set.

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In a nutshell: this set is AWESOME!  The retail price is $75, so with the discount I paid $60 for the entire set.  If you can’t already tell by the picture, the value of the Superstars set is a lot more than what I paid for it.  It’s a lot more than what someone without the VIB discount would pay for it.  I’m going to go ahead and break it down for you.

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Working from left to right:

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (15ml/0.50 fl oz): Value: $14.00

I have heard a lot about this “miracle” product.  This is a pressed oil that is quite rare and can be used for many things:hair, cuticles, rough spots and face.  As a very acne-prone person, I’m always afraid to try oils on my skin, but as I’ve been doing research I have found people saying it’s actually great for acne prone skin.  I’ll report on it once I have made up my mind.  The giant 4oz bottle of this stuff retails at $96, so I am glad I get to try this out for such a great value.  Sephora does sell this size as well, so if you wanted to try it out, you can pick it up without breaking the bank.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (15ml/0.50 fl oz) FULL SIZE: Value: $30.00

Yes, this is our first of several full size products found in this kit.  I have actually gone through a tub of this already and I loved it, so the fact that for 1/2 of what I paid for the kit I’d be getting my eye cream that I planned on repurchasing for full price anyway was a huge selling point for me.  It is proven to brighten and de-puff those pesky under eye circles, and with ingredients like ginseng and caffeine (anyone who knows me knows I thrive off of caffeine) this was an amazing thing to get in this box.  Learn more here.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray (50ml/ 1.7 fl oz): Value: $15.00

I already had this product in my arsenal but truth be told I can’t decide how much I actually like it.  That being said, knowing I got my hands on another mini version of this surf spray (which can be purchased in that size) was nice because I don’t hate it, I just don’t think paying that much for a spray is necessary, so any way I can cut the cost and still have it works for me.  It’s a texturizing spray for the days you want that be achy, undone look.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball (10ml/0.33oz): Value: $29.00

Yeah, $29 for the rollerball.  I discovered this fragrance a year or so ago and I absolutely went crazy for it.  The problem was the price tag: $80 for 1 oz!  Thus, I had to morn the loss of probably never owning it and find something a tad more reasonable.  With notes of Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, and Patchouli, this scent makes me feel sultry and sexy, although I asked Erik what he thought just now and he likes what I currently wear (Marc Jacobs Lola) better.  I guess that means I don’t have to worry about spending the money on a new supply of this, and will enjoy my rollerball while it lasts.

Running Total Value: $88.00  *see? ALREADY the kit has been paid for*

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow duo in Sin and Mushroom (1.5g/0,05oz) FULL SIZE: $18.00

I LOVE Urban Decay Eyeshadows.  Technically this is a half size of two of their front runners, but the two combined equals one full eyeshadow.  These colors are exceptional looking when used together, and Sin is one of my all time favorites.

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (2.5ml/0.085 fl oz: Value: $6.60

This highly ranked brow brand brings us a gel that keeps those hairs in place all day.  Full size is 0.28 oz for $22

Too Faced Better than False Lashes Lash Extension System base and topcoat (9 ml/.30 oz) and Flexistretch Nylon Fibers (.8g/0.02 oz) FULL SIZE: Value: $35.00

This is a crazy little system.  The big gold tube is the black mascara base and topcoat and the white tube has these little fibers attached to a mascara wand.  First you apply a black layer, then a layer of these white fibers (which looks wacky), then you go over the fiber layer with another layer of the black.  I would say there for sure was a bit of extra va-va-voom in my lashes, but nothing as dramatic as in the photo they provide.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner (.5ml/0.016 fl oz)FULL SIZE: Value: $20

Stila’s trusted waterproof liquid eyeliner with easy application comes full size in the Superstar set.  I guess I should learn how to apply liquid eyeliner..

Running Total Value: $167.60!

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Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light(30ml/1 fl oz)FULL SIZE: Value: $39.00

Over the summer I was a huge BB cream fan, and still am on days I don’t want to do a full foundation face.  I somehow got a sample of this BB cream and remember absolutely loving it.  The coverage was quite generous for a BB cream, my skin felt silky smooth, and it had some pretty fabulous staying power.  Thank you, Sephora for the full size BB cream in your awesome set!

Deborah Lippman Nail Color in Cleopatra in New York (15ml/0.50 fl oz)FULL SIZE: Value: $19.00

Again, a brand I’ve been dying to try but just not been able to justify paying the price, and now I can 🙂  The glitter shades run a bit pricier than their non-glitters, so the nail color in my set was of higher value than I thought.

NARS Blush/Bronzer duo in Orgasm/Laguna (5g/0/17 oz): Value: $24.00

This is the mini version (which you can purchase without a kit) of the ever popular duo in NARS’s best selling shades.  I have the Orgasm blush (one of my all time faves) and have gone through two full sizes of the Laguna bronzer.  I always like getting mini versions of my favorites.

NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita (3.4g/ 0.12oz)FULL SIZE: Value: $26.00

The price is a bit steep for a lipstick, but having owned several NARS products before, and knowing this is a very popular shade, this is a thrilling edition to the set.

TOTAL SET VALUE: $275!

Not too shabby at all!  Many of these products would have been difficult to justify spending retail price on by themselves, but for $75 you can get ALL of these amazing products to try for yourself. With a value like that, there’s no excuse not to give some of your guilty pleasures a try, when they all come in this one box!  Check out your local Sephora to see if they have it in stock, as I was online a few minutes ago only to discover it’s no longer available, at least not right now.  I have also found it on Amazon for for slightly higher price, but still nowhere near as much as it’s value.  Check it out if you want a chance to get your hands on it before it’s gone!  I give this set an A+!

*Disclaimer: I purchased this set with my own money and all opinions are my own*

Top 10 Summer Must Haves

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I figured since I initially intended for this blog to be a branch of of my youtube channel, which is beauty related, I should probably get a post going that isn’t about my life and all of it’s changing glory.

Everyone has their list of summer beauty essentials to get through the hot summer months, and I thought I should share mine.

1: Clinique CC cream

Summer means time to bust out the less intense face makeup.  Translation: lose the full coverage foundation for something a little more giving.  I have been exploring the world of BB creams for a while now, and on a recent trip to Sephora I was recommended Clinique’s CC cream.  For those new to the products, a BB cream is a beauty balm; it has anti aging, SPF, light coverage to blur out imperfections and all sorts of good for the skin things.  Well, CC cream (color correcting) is taking BB to the next level.  I consider this product quite a find for several reasons.  SPF 30 is built right in, making it impossible for me to forget to protect.  It’s a hydrating formula yet oil free, meaning my skin doesn’t get thirsty but won’t get clogged up either.   It’s a great lighter summer alternative to foundation.  I’m not confident enough with my skin to go bare-faced, but this CC cream offers the right amount of coverage without weighing me down.

2. Crocheted TOMS

After seeing TOMS on many feet I finally managed to get a pair of my own (two actually), and my cream colored crocheted pairs very rapidly turned into my favorite pair of summer shoes.  With MD (see my post about MD for more information) sandals and shoes of the like that are comfortable enough to walk in are nearly impossible to find.  These shoes are wondrously comfortable and SO cute.  These shoes cover your entire foot, but because they are crocheted they breathe everywhere.  It’s like wearing no shoes at all.  High comfort and adorable.  What more could you ask for?  They also come in a wide range of colors: neutrals, blue, purple, neon green, and beyond. Click here to see the complete line

3. Lip Balms with Color

I am never seen without a lip balm of some sort in my pocket or in my purse.  Having to apply a separate balm to moisturize and then reapply your color throughout the day is a two step process that you don’t need to spend time on this summer.  Enter the colored lip balms.  I have 3 favorites: Maybelline Baby LipsRevelon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.  I was going to try and pick a favorite, but I couldn’t decide which of these I liked the best.  They all offer exceptional moisture and a nice burst of color.  The Maybelline Baby Lips has less color than the other two, so if you’re a minimalist girl, these will give you a subtle bit of color and a lot of lip moisturizing nutrients.  The Revlon stain balm is more about the color.  It does a nice job of staining your lips with a semi-matte finish.  While it goes on like a balm, it leaves the least glossy feel of the three.  The Revlon butters are a great payout of color and moisture.  You can go subtle baby pink all the way to a bright splash of hot pink (one of my summer faves for the days your makeup needs a bit more spice).  These are a one step must for a splash of color and kissable lips this summer.  Pop one in your purse or pocket and go.

4. Naked Eye Palettes

Urban Decay is hands down my favorite brand for eye shadows and liners.  The color payout is awesome, the staying power is great and the colors themselves are to die for.  My favorites for summer (well, lets me honest.  These are my favorites, period.) are the Naked Eye Palettes.  The entire collection offers a fun play with neutral colors: shimmers, a few glitters, mattes.  They’re all in one place and ready for action.  Naked and Naked 2 are the larger collections, and for the minimalist girl there is the Naked Basics Palette, which has all matte shades  except for a subtle highlight.  Again, I can’t pick a favorite because the entire collection is incredible.  Perfect to keep it beachy and natural while still looking a bit glam.  What more could a girl ask for this summer?

5. SPF

Let’s be honest, SPF might be the most important summer accessory.  Personally, I need to get a lot better at this.  Sunscreen is essential to healthy summer skin.  Let’s do everything we can to stay skin cancer free, my friends.  For the body I recommend Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration.  SPF and moisture all in one bottle.  I tend to notice that well hydrated skin tans better in the sun, so while protecting you this stuff offers a bit of soft and silky help too.  For the face you need to take a different approach.  Neutrogena Clear Face offers a nice coverage of SPF and the promise that it won’t clog your pores.  For trouble skin like mine this is a God send.  Now there’s no excuse to not protect your face while laying out catching rays.

6. A favorite water bottle

I know this sounds like an odd summer essential, but a water bottle could be the most important thing you keep with you this summer.  Water is SO important for so many reasons; Your skin stays clearer and more moist, your body functions better, it keeps you feeling fuller, it’s great for your diet, it will keep you a bit more tolerant of the summer heat; the reasons water is essential to your life are many and all are important.  Find yourself a cute water bottle that can double as a fashion accessory and keep yourself hydrated.  I am proudly sporting a cute purple one that ran me a whole $10 at Target.

7. Skinny cow ice cream treats

Ice cream is one of my favorite things about summer.  Skinny Cow is a brand that the Weight Watcher in me absolutely adores.  The ice cream treats this brand offers taste outstanding and have a PointsPlus value that doesn’t do the taste justice.  Amazing ice cream bars in flavors like chocolate, cookies and cream and pink velvet (my favorite, and pictured above) are only 3 points.  There are ice cream sandwiches and new bars (cookie dough and caramel pretzel OMG!) that offer sweet tooth satisfaction at only 4 PointsPlus.  Check out their site for all of your flavor options and then hurry to your grocery store to stock up.  Ice cream is an essential part of summer.  Feel free to enjoy and not feel one calorie of guilt!

8. Waterproof mascara

Whatever your favorite mascara is, I suggest getting the water proof version for summer.  Raccoon eyes are not hot, ladies.  Between pools and spending time outside (inevitably getting a bit sweaty) mascara is bound to get a bit runny.  Keep your pretty eyes together with some water proof mascara.  I use the Cover Girl Clump Crusher in the water resistant formula.  I use this simply because I found this mascara to make my lashes look the best, but I know every glamour girl has her favorite mascara.

9.  Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

I probably should have put this product at number 1.  This is one of my holy grail products and will be a continuous repurchase.  This is a makeup setting spray that also controls shine.  In the summer it is easy for your makeup to melt right off, and we don’t have time for that.  This spray will keep your products right where you put them, they’ll last a lot longer AND it will help keep shine at bay.  I have never had any breaking out from this product (added bonus!) and my makeup stays looking fresh.  To ensure this staying power I start my makeup routine with a splash of the spray before anything else as well as spraying it liberally after all is said and done.

10. Bright Nail Polish

Summer is about bright colors, and the easiest fashion accessory to change up and get noticed comes in a bottle.  There are amazingly bold nail polishes out there, and summer is a chance to try colors you normally wouldn’t.  Give the neons a go.  Try a hot pink or a peach, or go really bold with summer blues.  Pictured above are just a few of my summer faves.

I’m sure my list could have gone on for another 10, but there you have it!