Here in little old New Zealand, it can be hard to buy your favourite makeup brands in the shops, most of the time one must resort to buying online. When my husband and I were travelling overseas, one of the most exciting shops to check out was Sephora.
Sephora is big and a little overwhelming as it’s full of so many different brands. The first few Sephora shops I went into in the USA I really just browsed as I couldn’t handle how much stuff there was to look at and had no idea where to even start.
However, I must have just been in a different kind of mood when I went into the Sephora on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. For one, it seemed A LOT bigger than any of the other ones I’d been into and it also brought back memories of going in there as a 13 year old when my mum and I visited Paris.
Matt volunteered to wait outside so I could spend my time looking at all the different products. I ended up with a reasonable size haul, most of it consisting of the Sephora brand since it was a great price.
1. One of my favourite buys and something that now has become part of my daily makeup routine was the Long Lasting Kohl Pencil in Infinite Beige. I have always liked the look of lining the waterline with a light coloured pencil but found white too harsh and the one I had never lasted long.
This pencil looks a lot more natural since it’s a beige colour, it helps to open up the eye and brighten the whites of your eye. Plus, the Kohl Pencil means that it lasts really well- it’s not quite as intense by the end of the day but it’s definitely still there.
The Sephora Long Lasting Kohl Pencil is only US$10 on the Sephora website and also comes in 5 other shades.
2 .One product I was really looking for was a white highlighter- Because I am already quite pale, it needed to basically be white to have any effect and the Sephora Smoothing & Brightening Concealer was just the ticket.
You twist the tube to release the concealer and then apply with the built in brush. I tend to dab it onto the areas that I’m wanting to highlight like cheekbones, undereye and down my nose and then blend in with either my fingers or a brush. To me, it’s the perfect product for what I was looking for and it’s ease of applications works well for me- I don’t use it daily, more on photoshoot days or when I’m going out at night.
The Smoothing & Brighting Concealer comes in 6 shades and I bought 01- Clair Light as it was the lightest of the 6.
3. This next product is one that I was interested to try as it seemed to be a very similar to POREfessional Smoothing Balm. … I had recently discovered the Benefit POREfessional primer but it was quite a expensive product to buy! So the allure of the Sephora version sucked me – especially since it was just a third of the price!
To be honest, I cannot find much difference between the two products but perhaps I did tend to use a TINY bit more of the Sephora one compared to Benefit. It’s definitely a fantastic budget option for those who like POREfessional but find it too expensive.
I can’t seem to find this product online, it might be one that is only available in the french shops- It’s called the ‘Pore and Fine Line Filler’ so keep an eye out if you have a Sephora shop near you.
4. Of course I couldn’t shop at Sephora without buying a red lippy! With a arsenal full of bright reds, I searched for a deeper, darker red and found Intimidate which is in Sephora’s Rouge Cream Lipstick range. I can’t actually find this shade on the website anymore even though I only bought it just 2 or 3 months ago.
Testing it on my hand in the shop, it seemed like the perfect dark red but when I went to wear it for the first time, it felt much more brown than red and I chickened out. I have mixed it with one of my favourite reds, Natio RUSH to help give it a more red hue but keeping the depth and intensity of colour and that worked well.
It’s a moist, satin finish lipstick which does last well[- although don’t expect it to last as long as a matte lippy.
5. Another highlighting product! Can you tell I love to highlight???
The Brow Enhancer Pencil was something I picked up in the hope of even more brow bone definition and shimmer. It’s ended up being a wee bit of a dud and I hardly ever use it. The pencil texture seems clunky and if I haven’t tweezed my eyebrows in a while, it makes the area underneath the brow bone look lumpy. It also doesn’t give the dramatic shimmer I was looking for and so have gone back to using my MAC Lightscapade Highlighting Powder. On days when I’m spending extra time on my makeup, I will start with the Sephora Smoothing and Brightening Concealer (mentioned above) and then use Lightscapade over the top.
The Sephora Brow Enhancer comes in 6 shades and I chose 02- Beige Shimmer.
6. To finish- another favourite!
I mentioned that I love highlighting but what I’ve come to realise is that I much prefer to highlight or contour with a powder rather than liquids. So when I came across this brightening powder, I thought it would be perfect for me! I use it in all the places you want to highlight- cheekbones, undereye down the length of your nose and middle of forehead. I don’t tend to use it on the brow bone as I usually prefer a bit of shimmer there but I have used it as a eyeshadow.
It’s a great powder, really easy to apply and brightens without making me feel like I’ve used too much and made myself look like a clown. It’s another one that I’ve had trouble finding online! I’m assuming that the Sephora on the Champs-Elysees would not have old stock so potentially these products are ones that are new and yet to be put online… who knows!