My credit card knows, I am no stranger to Sephora and since I have been trying a lot of hyped (or just new) products lately, I figured why not mention them all in this sweet little (maybe not so little) post? In other words, time for the December favourites!
I only have two skincare favourites to share with you today, but I do enjoy them a lot. Origins finally launched in the Middle East back in October, which I was very excited about. I do love the brand's skincare, especially their Rose Clay and Drink Up masks (both amazing), but it was the first time that I actually got my hands on Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer. It is a nice product for someone with young skin; perhaps the only non "anti-ageing" moisturizer that the brand offers.
Ginzing has a lightweight "gel" consistency, similar to Clinique Moisture Surge, but with a lot more wonderful ingredients in it including: mix of citrus oils (lemon, orange, grapefruit), jojoba, shea, raspberry leaf extract, barley, wheat germ extract, ginseng, rosemary, caffeine, squalene, biotin and even folic acid. To me it smells like a zingy, tangerine dream. It is beyond delicious. Formula is very lightweight and gets absorbed really well, leaving no sticky or shiny residue on your skin. My dry skin drinks it up in one go; Origins recommend using this moisturizer both day and night, but I only use it in the morning and find that it sits well under make-up.
Since this is a gel formula, I think it will work best for people with normal, combination and oily skin. It won't be hydrating enough for someone with very dry skin; my skin is dry, so this is one of the reasons why I always apply a coat of a hydrating sunscreen on top of it. I still pray for the day when Origins release a version of the same cream, but for us Sahara-skin gals, because I will be all over it. Other than that, it is a beautiful little product and I think it is great for someone, who loves a lightweight gel moisturizer.
My second skincare favourite is Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment. Not going to lie, at first I just thought "okay, yet another clay mask". Having dry skin, I personally don't use masks like this very often, so it didn't spark my interest right away. However! Although this mask is not designed for my skin type, it still works as a wonderful spot treatment. I often get those very painful/blind/hormonal breakouts and this little guy saved the day more than once. It doesn't feel as drying and has way better ingredients than all of the other clay masks I have tried in the past; it contains a mix of six acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic, mandelic, pyruvic and tartaric acids), which are known for their skin-rejuvenating and clearing properties. I am a huge sucker for anything glycolic and lactic, so I gave it a go one day and it worked like a miracle. What's even better, skin around the affected area is never flaky/dry/patchy after using this mask, which is why I will be using it over and over again.
If you have combination or oily skin, this mask should help control natural oil production, as well as detox your skin. Always use it in the evening and make sure to wear a good sunscreen the day after. If you are looking for something more moisturizing, the brand's DreamDuo mask is still my number one choice (and it has got hyaluronic acid in it, so it's a win-win!). Read my review here.
Make Up For Ever is not a brand that excites me that often, but after falling in love with their Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in the shade Golden Pink, which is probably the BEST pink-toned highlighter known to the mankind (thank you Shireen for the inspiration), I instantly craved more. When I was in New York back in October, I spotted the brand's Flagship Boutique on Lexington Ave and it just lured me in right away. It was exactly when the brand introduced customizable "Artist Face Color Palette" system for the first time and I ended up getting H106 Highlighter, B212 Blush and a little magnetic palette that came along with them.
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You can easily choose between 1-, 2- or 3-pan palette, as well as a great variety of matte or shimmery face powders (be it highlight, blush, contour or bronzer). B212 is described as "shimmery pink blush" and has a satin finish with lots of finely milled (microscopic) bits of champagne gold highlight running through it. Although it looks like a cool pink in the pan, this ultra fine champagne shimmer makes it look quite neutral (especially when blended out), almost giving me that NARS Deep Throat vibe (texture-wise), but certainly much pinker/smoother. It is absolutely gorgeous!
H106 turned out to be just as amazing as the brand's Pro Light Fusion Highlighter. This is a very blinding, pale champagne-gold highlight. Swatches don't really do it justice. In terms of colour it is similar to Becca Champagne Pop, but more sparkly. I adore it; if you want to send a message to the Moon and back, don't even sleep on it. Plus pricing is amazing. I only paid 35 USD for everything, which in high-end make-up terms, is a total bargain!
KVD launched a few new face products not long ago. You must know that the brand's original Shade & Light Face Contour Palette had a huge success; however, this time around Kat released a cream version of it. I don't know about you guys, but I am a huge fan of cream face products. I am using a cream bronzer from Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette and Fenty Beauty Match Stix in the shade Truffle every single day and love both of them.
Shade + Light Creme Contour Refillable Palette are a bit different though; this new formula doesn't have a very balmy, sheer consistency like Tarte per say. These turn into powder as soon as you start blending them. They lock into place right away and won't budge, so do work one area at a time. I use Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 (a perfect tool for any cream product) to blend these and it does a great job. Don't waste your time with a make-up sponge.
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Now, I will say this - I don't really care for the top "Light" row. Only because I am never "high-maintenance" when it comes to face contouring; I only (ever so slightly) deepen my already existing cheekbones and that is it. I do get how you could visually "lift and chisel" with all six colours though, so if this is something you love doing as part of your make-up routine, you might get a ton of use out of this palette.
Bottom row, on the other hand, is what I am all over. I adore both Spice and Woodland and think they make amazing contour/bronze shades for someone with light, light-medium and medium skin tones. This formula takes a little bit more time when it comes to blending, but it wears all day long and looks incredibly natural on the skin.
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If you love cream contour products that actually set matte and are incredibly bulletproof, you might really want to try this palette. Same goes if you are a freelance make-up artist; a palette like this will truly save the day as it is quite versatile and will work for a plethora of skin tones. If you are more of a make-up beginner, stick to something a little bit more user friendly like Fenty Beauty Match Stix instead, since they set matte too yet are a little bit "quicker" in application.
You guys might remember from my Instagram posts that I am a huge fan of KVD Lock-it Setting Powder; I reviewed it here a while back and am still using it on a daily basis (works well for a dry skin). So when I got my hands on the brand's newest pressed Lock-It Blotting Powder, I had a feeling I would love it. And I sure did.
People often associate KVD with everything matte and high-coverage. This powder is neither. It comes in four shades and is designed to be invisible on the skin (which it is). Shade "Light" is a perfect match for my skin tone (I am NC20 in MAC, Shell in Hourglass and 150 in Fenty Beauty). Although I am quite dry, my foundation can look a touch too dewy in certain areas and this is when this powder comes in handy. It takes away the shine, but in a very sophisticated way. Packaging is a piece of art and it is quite portable, so you can always blot on the go.
This formula will absorb any excess oils, without making you look like a "cake central". It is incredibly smooth and finely milled, so little goes a long a way. I keep it in my handbag and this way I don't have to worry about a shiny nose or chin (very sexy I know). Judging from sephora.com customers feedback, this formula works well for oily and dry skin, which is incredible. If you are on a hunt for a lightweight (yet effective) blotting powder - look this way.
I wanted to try these Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow bad boys for as long as I can remember. When I spotted the brand's holiday mini kit for 25 USD only - it immediately landed in my basket. Although this petite kit is not available online anymore, these are still part of Stila permanent collection and here is what I think about them.
Three shades I have here are: Diamond Dust, Kitten Karma and Smoky Storm. Normally you would need to layer some sort of a base shadow, add glue, press glitter - but not anymore. Stila revolutionized the way you wear and apply glitter. Essentially, these liquid shadows are a mix of base colour, glitter and glue all in one.
Despite some negative reviews, I personally experienced zero fall-out, blotchiness or any other "alleged" issues associated with this product. You do, however, need to wait a good minute for your liquid shadow to set, which is why it is better to work one eye at a time. I typically tilt my head back and let it air dry, keeping my eyes closed; this way there will be no glitter transfer either. Once it sets, it looks dazzling all day/night long and I couldn't recommend this formula enough. The hype is real, you guys.
My favourite shade has to be Diamond Dust; unlike your traditional silver, this one has specks of multicoloured glitter running through it (gold, blue, purple, pink ahhhh it's amazing!). Amazing choice for the upcoming holiday season.
Bite Beauty Multisticks have been on the market for almost a year now, but I only got my hands on the shade Lotus last month. Great thing about a product like this is that you can use it as a blush, lipstick and even eyeshadow. I know, eyeshadow.
These come in a ton of shades and set matte. So, if you are a fan of a nice monochromatic make-up, look no further. This formula is free of nasties and is quite blendable/lightweight. You can always build it up if you want to; apply/blend with synthetic brushes or fingers. Both methods work just fine. I always keep Lotus in my gym bag; since I am a swimmer, by the time I am done exercising - my make-up is pretty much gone and having a multi-tasking product like this is great. I really love the formula and believe that more people need to talk about it.
Left: Lotus, Right: 020
Another Bite hit is their Lip Pencil in the shade 020. I first mentioned these in my How To: Bold Berry Pout review; 020 is a shade I use on a daily basis now. It is that perfect neutral colour, which makes your lips look poutier in a very natural, Bardot way. Formula is impeccable; it is very creamy, blendable and forgiving. These are not waterproof liners though, so if you want a bit more longevity, check out my KVD Everlasting Lip Liner Swatchfest here.
That's it for my December '17 Sephora Favourites! All of these products are available in stores and online: sephora.ae (Middle East) or sephora.com (North America).