Sephora’s “Summer Surge” kicked off on Sunday with an exclusive shopping event for VIB Rouge members (the top Beauty Insider rewards program tier) and I actually woke up extra early on a Sunday to head to my favorite Sephora store just so I could score the exclusive goodies. This cute shopper (above), plus a “limited edition” cosmetic bag filled with samples were available during the event (from 9-11 AM) with a $35 purchase.
I actually got there after 11 AM, but I called first to make sure I would still be able to get the free stuff if I came late, and the sales associate told me that the shopper and cosmetic bags would still be available until they ran out of them. So, if you missed the event, you might still be able to get the freebies if your Sephora store didn’t run out of them yet!
Sephora Summer Surge VIB Rouge Sample Bag
These were the freebies in the “exclusive” makeup bag. The bag itself was just a plain black case — they made it sound a little nicer, but it’s whatever. I have so many makeup bags at this point that I don’t even know what to do with them, and a solid black one always comes in handy. I think the products in the sample bag differed a bit from person to person, I guess it depended on whatever the store had available. The bag I received included the following eight samples:
DR. JART+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 Mini Sample (0.2 oz.) — Also a good size, especially for trying out the product over a few days (I think I can get at least a week out of this tube, maybe more).
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm Mini Sample (0.23 oz.) — Another great size. I had this same exact sample before and you get a LOT of use out of this little jar. I would say almost a month since you use so little of the product around the eyes.
Deluxe sample-sized (0.12 oz.) Blinc Mascara Amplified in Black — This is a completely new product for me so I’m excited to try it out.
Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter Mini Sample (0.08 oz.) — I have so many of these already that I haven’t even had to buy the full-sized product yet. Love this one and the sample size lasts forever because I use so little of the product, it’s great!
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Protect Deluxe Sample (0.5 oz.) — Awesome size, great primer. I have actually been mixing this with my other Laura Mercier primer (the radiance one) and I’m loving the result.
My purchases (4x points)
And, of course, I had to buy something. In order to get the freebies you had to spend at least $35, which is never a problem for me when it comes to ANY kind of shopping, not just makeup! I actually placed an online order on Sephora.com a couple days before the “Summer Surge” on Sunday, so I really didn’t NEED anything.
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Hair Spray ($18 for 7.5 oz.; sephora.com): I got this because I so desperately needed a new, GOOD hair spray. My hair gets super frizzy and poofy during the summer, and I have been on the hunt for a good anti-humidity hair spray for … years, really. I love Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth line so I decided to try this one out, and I’m definitely liking it a lot so far! I’ll really put it to the test the next time it rains — which will probably be in a day or two thanks to this super stormy New York summer.
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Violet ($20 for 0.01 oz.; sephora.com): I don’t really use Stila’s Smudge Sticks in natural colors for everyday wear, but I do love the ones that come in bright colors and I decided to start a mini collection. It seems like some of the bright colors are only available in stores (like the turquoise shade), but this beautiful violet is definitely available in stores and online. I’m going to do a colorful summer eyeliner post this week and include this one from Stila 🙂
Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix ($12 for 1.01 oz.; sephora.com): I’ve been using the Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray for a couple of years now, but I have been meaning to try out this one from MUFE since the product description makes it sound so wonderful. I only used this once so far (I’ve been doing lazy, half-assed makeup the last few days), but I think I like it better than the UD spray! I bought the smaller bottle so I could try it out; the full-size bottle costs $29.
Sephora Beauty Insider 100-point samples
And the very last things I got during the Sephora Summer Surge shopping event were these two Beauty Insider 100-point samples. I have so many points and I keep saving them up for an awesome 500-point set, and there are some great 500-point rewards right now but it’s all stuff I either already have, or stuff I don’t really have a use for. So I just pick up the 100-point samples whenever I see something I like. I actually have so many of the 100-point Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliant (my favorite exfoliator) right now that I don’t even have to buy the full-size tube anytime soon 🙂
The Sephora Summer Surge is going on until August 10 and it’s a chance for Sephora Beauty Insiders on all tiers of the program to earn extra points on all purchases, in-store and online. Beauty Insiders (the first tier) get 2x points, VIBS (the second tier) get 3x points, and VIB Rouge (the third tier) get 4x points.
They say the free goodies are just for VIB Rouge, but if it’s not a busy store and they have extra freebies they might be able to give them to any Beauty Insider member. Always ask for free samples no matter what! You’d be surprised by what they have behind the counter — like how I had no idea they had this freebie from BUXOM on my last trip. Happy summer makeup shopping!
OOOOkay … So, I am back from my few-weeks-long hiatus and I have A LOT to blog about. So many reviews to get up, a couple subscription boxes, outfits, and lots more. I’m also working on revamping the layout of my blog, and just really doing a lot more blogging in general.
Summer is finally here! I have really good feelings about the upcoming summer months and I have already done a lot of summer beauty shopping — new bronzers, blushes, lighter makeup and moisturizers … just tons of new stuff. I’m going to do a haul post after this one, but I wanted to get a review up of this awesome little summer beauty kit first.
I love Sephora’s “Favorites” collections so much that I always try to pick them up when a new one comes out. The past few Sephora Favorites kits that I got were a little pricier than this one (this one is only $45), and they came with mostly full-sized items (and lots of them), but this kit in particular includes mostly smaller, sample-sized beauty products. I’m definitely not complaining about this, and the value of the kit surpasses the $45 price tag, so it is worth it.’nn
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash ($45; sephora.com) comes with nine large, deluxe-sized samples, which makes it great for trying out new products and getting travel-sized versions of products that you already use (which is one of the reasons I bought it). Plus, all the items come packed inside a really cute shimmery, beachy-looking makeup case (below), which is the perfect size for carrying makeup on-the-go in your handbag, beach bag, whatever.
I’m trying to get more photos of myself up on my blog, especially in review posts to show how the makeup looks, so for this post I did try but I really feel the need to put up a disclaimer. I’m just a littttttle self conscious about putting such large photos of my face up on the Internet, and the photos really didn’t come out as well as I would have liked because I had to use my iPhone instead of my regular camera. I’m working on it, and the next time I take pictures I promise they will look a lot better (and I also won’t just be using the iPhone camera). Baby steps …
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, 0.50 oz.
The first product was my favorite setting spray by Urban Decay. I go through this stuff like water, so I love having mini bottles around to carry with me throughout the day, especially in the summer. This bottle is a lot smaller than the regular-sized version, but I think I’m going to save the empty mini bottle this time around and fill it up with the spray from the regular-sized bottle for travel purposes.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (reg. $30 for 4 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a weightless setting spray that keeps makeup looking just-applied for up to 16 hours.” UD has a whole line of setting sprays for different skin types (which I’m sure everyone already knows about), and even though I was using their spray for dry skin a lot throughout the winter, I still like this original one better. I find that it makes makeup look brighter and all-around prettier, and it definitely helps it last throughout the day. Sometimes if I need extra hydration I’ll spray UD’s Chill Setting Spray (for dry skin) or MAC’s Fix+ spray on top of the All-Nighter — I find that they all work very well together.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L, 0.025 oz.
I am lovingggg blue/green/teal eyeliner shades right now and the Make Up For Ever liners are one of my favorite formulas so this mini pencil in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash was another selling point for me. I tried to take photos of what the eyeliner looks like on my eyes but, like I said before, they didn’t come out so great (it was nighttime so the lighting isn’t very good, and I need to work on the angles better for up-close makeup photos). I’m working on it. There’s a better photo of how the liner looks with my eyes closed below.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L (reg. $19 for 0.04 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a creamy, long-lasting eyeliner for intense non-stop color.” MUFE’s Aqua Eyes eyeliners come in 26 different vibrant, waterproof shades. This is one of my favorite eyeliner formulas because I find that it has serious staying power and stays put even when my allergies are at their worst and my eyes are super watery.
It’s hard for me to wear non-waterproof eyeliner because my eyes do tear a lot, and I know that a lot of people don’t really like waterproof liners, but I’ve read that even those who aren’t huge fans of waterproof formulas still love the MUFE Aqua Eyes line.
Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten, 0.049 oz.; and Nars Travel Size Laguna Bronzing Powder, 0.08 oz.
Everyone loves the NARS Laguna bronzer, and this wouldn’t be much of a summer beauty kit without including this top-selling favorite. Currently, I only have the full-sized Casino bronzer, but I like Laguna better because it’s a bit lighter, and this little one is perfect for on-the-go use (although it’s a little hard to get product onto my big bronzer brush because of the small pan).
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder (reg. $38 for 0.28 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion” that’s “excellent for creating or enhancing the look of healthy, glowing, tanned skin.” Everyone loves this formula so much because it’s extremely blendable and pretty long-lasting on its own … and then if you set it with a spray it should last for the whole day (or night) with minimal touch-ups.
The next product is a mini eyeshadow in Stila’s new “Magnificent Metals” formula. I like the fact that the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this little shadow, but the regular-sized Magnificent Metals shadows come with this liquid primer/base that you either apply directly to the lid or mix with the shadow to make it apply smoother and more evenly (I picked up a couple of these shadows months ago but I haven’t done the full review yet). The liquid primer is so important that it’s also sold separately for $20, but I figured that the kit came without it, so I should be able to still apply the shadow just fine. I was wrong.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L and Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten, blended with Stila’s regular Kitten shimmer eyeshadow
I ended up having to mix it with some of Stila’s regular Kitten shimmer shadow (above) because the metal finish shadow just came out like a clumpy mess. I know I could have just used the liquid primer I already have, but I wanted to see how it would apply on its own (I used a regular shadow primer underneath). I really thought it would have been a lot easier to work with. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.
Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten (reg. $32 for 0.07-oz. shadow and 0.06-oz. primer; sephora.com) is described as a “one-of-a-kind, buildable, high-metallic cream eye shadow with a striking foil finish.” These shadows allow you to create “a variety of effects” and the set, which comes in 16 different colors, includes a mixing tray and a deluxe Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer, to prep, prime, and create “long-lasting adhesion to lids.”
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée, 0.095 oz.
This is another product in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash that I already own and love. I think I actually have three of these cheek colors now, so I’m definitely set for the summer and straight through the fall. This blush is veryyy natural-looking (don’t be fooled by how it looks in the jar), and it lasts forever because you only have to use a little, tiny bit to get a great color payoff.
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée (reg. $22 for 0.18 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “an innovative coconut water-infused cheek gelée with up to 14 hours of color and hydration.” It’s an awesomely buildable, blendable “blush hybrid” that “provides the natural look of a cream blush with the long-lasting hydrating color of a gel stain.” This blush is infused with 50%-pure coconut water to instantly hydrate skin, and vitamin E-rich argan oil for extra nourishing benefits.
Deborah Lippman Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream, 0.27 oz. (left); and BUXOM Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus, 0.23 oz. (right)
Another summer beauty must have is a shimmery liquid luminizer, and the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this highly-rated version from Buxom. This is the first time I’m really using this product — I received a sample of it awhile ago (at least over a year ago), but I never used it; I think I ended up losing it or giving it to one of my friends. Now that I have a shiny new (mini) bottle, I’m definitely going to be getting a lot of use out of it this summer. This luminizer is especially great for drier skin types (like me).
BUXOM Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus (reg. $28 for 2 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “face and body cream luminizer with a unique, refreshing sensation.” It has this slight minty, cooling effect that a lot of people seem to like, but some others don’t like it at all. I’m 50/50 on this minty feeling; I find it a little strange to have your whole face (or wherever you apply the product) feel tingly for such a long time (the “sensation” lasts for awhile). At first, I thought my face was too sensitive to the product and it was actually burning my skin, and I’ve never really had that happen before so I was a little freaked out. Then I read up on it and saw that it’s supposed to feel that way. Either way, I really like this luminizer a lot and I want to try it out on the rest of my body as well; a lot of people say it looks great on their legs/arms/decollete during the summertime.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream, 0.27 oz.
The Sephora Summerstash also included a summery nail polish – this glittery formula from Deborah Lippmann. I don’t usually like glitter polishes, but this one went on really well (my nails are in horrible condition in the photo above — the polish itself went on nice, but my nails need a good professional manicure this week) and it looks like it has almost a multi-dimensional effect. It also dried really quick, which I always love since I am such a mess.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream (reg. $20 for 0.50 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “seafoam splendor” — a pretty seafoam green/teal with specks of blue and light-gold glitter throughout. Deborah Lippmann nail colors are infused with “treatment benefits” from ingredients like biotin and green tea extract, they are “5-Free,” and are not tested on animals.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave, 0.08 oz., and OCC Lip Brush
The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics gloss was one of the only products in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried. I have been meaning to try out these glosses for awhile now, but I’ve been so stocked up on lipgloss lately that there are many that I haven’t even opened yet, so this is like the one product that I really can’t justify buying (and it takes a lot for me to hold myself back from buying new beauty products).
The OCC lipglosses seem to be a bit less popular than the brand’s Lip Tars (which I also haven’t tried yet), but they have gotten okay reviews. A lot of people complain that they come off too quickly, which is something I’m just so used to with lipgloss so I guess that’s not really an issue for me. This gloss looks like it would be super sticky, but it’s not at all, which is a huge plus for me, and I was pretty impressed with the color payoff.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave (reg. $18 for 0.33 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a gloss that combines the pigment potency of Lip Tar with a casual glossy finish.” These glosses can be combined with OCC’s Lip Tars “for added shine and color-transformative options,” or they can be worn alone for a more “translucent” look. There are 13 different Stained Gloss shades to choose from.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Lash Lifter Mascara in Blacquer, 0.09 oz.
I pretty much saved the best for last. This mascara is awesome and amazing and wonderful and I am loving it so much. This was another product in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried, and I’m sooo happy I got a chance to test it out. The mini size (0.09-oz. tube) is great for travel and you will get tons of uses out of it. My lashes are sparse right now because I had the very awful habit of pulling my mascara out and my lashes went along with it, so I’m currently waiting for them all to grow back (NEVER do this, it is the worst thing ever and I’m kicking myself for it). So this mascara actually made my sparse lashes look so much better — normal, even (normal for me), and I was so surprised. I love this stuff.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Lash Lifter Mascara in Blacquer (reg. $26 for 0.24 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “the blackest, shiniest mascara with the ultimate lift, length, definition, and curl.” The innovative triangular brush is combined with “exclusive E-Lash-Tic Lash™ technology” to create “ultimate glossy lashes.” Micro-crystalline powders coat and stretch your lashes and provides for a rich, smooth application that “never clumps.” I was pretty blown away by this mascara so I’m definitely buying the full-sized version on my next trip to Sephora.
Wow … that turned out to be a pretty long, photo-heavy post. The Sephora Favorites kits are always so awesome, and even though this one didn’t have any full-sized items, all of the deluxe sample sizes are great for travel purposes and you will get plenty of uses out of them (some more than others). This was definitely one of my favorite Sephora Favorites kits and it was great for me because I was able to stock up on travel-sized versions of some of my favorite products and then I was also able to try out a few products that I’ve never used before, and I ended up loving those, too. Plus, the makeup case that comes with the set is also really cute.
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash Kit costs $45 (items are valued at $123) and it is available for a limited time in Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com.