Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Last Minute Sephora VIB Sale Ideas: My High-End and Affordable Picks


JUST IN! There's a brand new Tarte Skin Squad Discovery Kit for $22 HERE ($68 value). Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to let me know about this one! What a perfect time to grab it.

We're getting down to the wire here for the Sephora Spring 2016 VIB Sale. Just to remind you of the codes and dates:

  • VIB Rouge: use code ROUGENOTE for 15% off all purchases in-store and online made between April 7th and April 13th.
  • VIB: use code VIBNOTE for 15% off all purchases in-store and online made between April 8th and April 13th.
  • Beauty Insider: use code BINOTE for 10% off all purchases in-store and online made between April 9th and April 12th.

I have some personal recommendations to share with you today, based solely on things that I have been loving right now from Sephora. You won't find any of the uber-popular (and already recommended a zillion times by every blogger and YouTuber on the planet) recommendations here. Why? Because others have already done a fantastic job at covering those types of "everyone must have" products. In this post I'd like to cover some under-the-radar or less-talked-about items that I think are strongly worth considering. So let''s get to it before those codes expire!


Sephora Collection Classic Mini Multitasker Brush - $14

I use this brush every single day. I use it for blending concealer, applying foundation, applying blush and/or applying setting power.  It is a TRUE multitasker and I cannot recommend it enough.

From my original review:

Coming in at about 3 inches long (from the top of the bristles to the bottom of the handle), don't let the small size of this brush fool you. I stumbled upon this brush on the Sephora website a while back and was curious after reading so many raves from customers. I finally bit the bullet and purchased it, just to see what all the fuss was about, and now it's an absolute staple in my makeup routine.

The small size of this brush means it fits perfectly in my hand, and the diameter of the bristle head is perfect for applying and blending out concealer and foundation in hard-to-reach places that other brushes might miss. Due to its size, it's also fantastic for applying and blending blushes, highlighters, and bronzers (powders and creams).

The bristles on this brush are super soft and dense, so I really love it for concealer and foundation. My favorite way to use it is for applying my powder foundations (you can buff easily with this brush) and for stippling and blending under-eye concealer. I also love the size for travel because it fits perfectly in my makeup bag (I keep it in the clear plastic tube it comes in when you purchase it). This brush really lives up to its name (Multitasker) and I swear to you, I could totally make it work if I only had this brush for face products. Let's not get crazy and say it has replaced all of my face brushes, but if I were in a pinch and only had this brush with me, I could definitely make it work.


Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner - $8; 2.0 oz.

If you've ever been in the middle of applying your makeup and looked down at a dirty brush and thought, "Darn. I really should have cleaned this last night!" then this product is for you.

From my original review:

Nothing takes the place of a good ol' traditional makeup brush deep-cleaning with soap and water, but once I finally tried this cult favorite last year, I found its role in my makeup routine. I now buy the small bottle and I only use it for my eyeshadow brushes (which means this 2 oz. bottle lasts a long time).

I only have a few eyeshadow brushes that I truly love, and I often need to use them for different colors within the same eye look. So I find that Cinema Secrets is perfect for removing one color from my shadow brush and going right to applying the next. Why? Because a few sprays onto my brush effectively remove every last trace of eyeshadow, without any waiting for my brush to dry. This stuff is magical in that it dries almost instantly (which is why it's such a favorite with makeup artists). I've heard some people say that they don't care for the smell, but it actually doesn't bother me (it's sort of a cross between vanilla and rubbing alcohol). Honestly, this could smell like dirt and I'd still use it because: no waiting for your brushes to dry.



Verb Ghost Oil - $14, 2.0 oz.

I've been meaning to do a full review of this hair oil since I purchased it a few months ago, but with the VIB Sale ending soon, please accept this mini review instead. 

NOTE: If you don't like using haircare products that contain any type of  'cones, then this product is obviously not for you. But because of my hair type (which I'll describe in a moment), 'cones work wonders for me. I've never been anti-cone, and I never will. Plain and simple: my hair loves products that contain silicone or 'cone-based ingredients. 

I LOVE this stuff. I've tried various Verb products (small, cruelty-free indie haircare company out of Austin, TX that doesn't use parabens, sulfates, or gluten in any of their products) and this is by far my favorite so far. I have long, naturally-wavy, color-treated, fine hair that is prone to frizz. I also have oily roots, but very dry ends. My hair is also super prone to tangling.

Now that you know about my hair, let me tell you why I love this stuff. First, it smells clean and fresh, but not obnoxious or strong. Second, it WORKS and it really is like a "ghost". After I apply it to my wet hair and allow my hair to air-dry (you can also use it with heat styling by I always let my hair air-dry), I cannot feel this product in my hair at all. However, my hair feels so soft, and so manageable. It doesn't weigh my hair down one bit, but it manages to keep the frizzies away, while also adding some nice bounce, moisture, and shine. Plus, it helps tremendously with tangles. My hair tangles EASILY and this oil helps not only with preventing tangles throughout the day, but it also helps brush out tangles when my hair is wet. My hair hits my bra strap in terms of length, so when I get out of the shower I divide my hair into two sections and I use one pump per section. That's the perfect amount for me, and this 2 oz. bottle is lasting me forever (and I've been using it daily since I got it). HIGHLY recommend if your hair is anything like mine. I think that if you have very thick, coarse hair, this might be a bit too light for you, but if your hair is normal to fine, this could be a winner. Oh and I haven't had any issues with build-up since I've been using this product, and it also doesn't add any greasiness to my already-oily roots. 



This is definitely a #treatyoself type of purchase but if you're like me, and have always wanted to try GLAMGLOW products, this is a nice way to try some of their most popular items at a way better price than full retail (especially with your VIB code).

This set includes:

1.7 oz Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment
0.5 oz Supermud Clearing Treatment
1 oz Youthcleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser
Dual-ended applicator brush

I purchased this set over the holidays (at a discount, of course) and now that I've had a chance to dig in and really try these products, I can totally understand the hype. The first time I used the Youthmud Tinglexfoliate mask, I could not believe how my face both looked and felt. My pores were tighter, my skin was so incredibly smooth to the touch, and my face was literally glowing. All of the little dry patches of skin that were previously apparent had magically fallen away, and I could still see the effects several days after using this product. There's something about using green tea leaves to exfoliate your skin that just feels so fancy and luxurious and..special (as opposed ground walnut shells or whatever is in your regular facial scrub). I love that you get the biggest jar in the set for this product--I have been using this mask once a week for several weeks now and I still have enough left for a few more applications.

The great thing about the accompanying brush is that it allows you to apply a very thin layer of product, thus ensuring that you don't waste one precious drop. I've been using the Supermud Clearing Treatment for spot treatments on breakouts and I'm telling you, that stuff is magic. It clears up new blemishes overnight for me, and it helps shrink existing blemishes. Plus even though the jar is small, it will last a really long time if you're only using it for spot-treatments.

I love the cleanser as well in this kit. It leaves my skin baby-soft, and it provides gentle exfoliation as well. Since the cleanser is also mud-based, I like to apply it and leave it on my face for a minute or two before I cleanse and rinse. Plus the bottle is generous for a deluxe size--I've been able to use it multiple times and I still have some left as I write this.

This set is a great way to try these products and if you can afford it--and have always wanted to see what all the fuss is about--I say get this at a discount while you can. But be warned: this could be a very expensive habit and I'm currently thinking about refinancing my home so I can have these products on hand at all times (I kid, I kid! Sort of.)


NARS Travel Size Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla - $12, 0.05 oz.

I've mentioned before that I was so happy to see that Sephora carries this concealer in a more affordable travel-size version (it only comes in two shades for travel-size: Vanilla and Custard). It's a great way to try this much-talked-about concealer at a more affordable price if you happen to be a good color match for either of the shades. Vanilla is a great match for my NC20 skintone and to put it bluntly, I freaking LOVE this concealer. The travel-size tube lasts me forever (I'm on my second tube after several months of continuous use) and even though some people find this concealer to be drying, it isn't for me. But I do want to mention that I use an eye cream before application, and I think that's definitely not a step you can skip with this concealer.

I use this concealer primarily under my eyes, and it works beautifully to conceal my dark circles. Plus, it stays put ALL DAY. even on my oily skin. It does not fade, crease, settle into my fine lines, or oxidize. I had to figure out the best method of application before it REALLY worked for me, though. I apply it in very small dots with the wand (less is more with this product), and then I blend it out in a stippling motion with the Sephora brush mentioned above. Then. I set it using a very small amount of NYX HD Finishing Powder (pressed). I obviously cannot guarantee that this method will work for you, but it has been working beautifully for me!

Also, many of you have mentioned that the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer ($14, 0.14 oz.) is a great dupe for the NARS concealer. I own the Sephora concealer and I can tell you that I do NOT think they're dupes. The Sephora concealer is nice, but I find that the coverage is nowhere near as good for me, and it doesn't conceal my dark circles the way that the NARS does. But I will say that it isn't as high-maintenance as the NARS concealer, meaning that you may not have to work to find a method of application that works for you. I have applied the Sephora version with just my fingers and it does blend well and it doesn't settle too much into my fine lines even if I don't set it with the NYX powder. I have the Sephora concealer in the shade Parfait, which is a teeny tiny bit too dark for me, but it's still workable. Overall, I just personally prefer the NARS concealer.

Want even more ideas? Check out some of my additional under-$15 picks from Sephora HERE. And please share YOUR favorites from Sephora in the comments below. I would love to hear all about them!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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40 comments

  1. They just added a brand new tarte discovery pack for $22 before the discount.

    This set contains:
    - 0.5 oz BB Tinted Treatment Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
    - 0.25 oz Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel
    - 0.24 oz Rainforest of the Sea Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist
    - 0.33 oz Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost
    - 0.13 oz Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara
    - 0.05 oz Oasis Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush
    https://m.sephora.com/product/P407614?icid2=skugrid

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks!! I actually added the link to the top of my blog post probably at the same time you were writing this comment! I received a ton of tips all at the same time. Thank you SO MUCH! :)

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    2. Welcome! Happy to contribute for once. :) you do such an amazing job of sharing sales with us.

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    3. Does anyone know what is the color of the BB Primer?

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  2. I ordered the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner based on your last Sephora post...can't wait to try it! I also got the Urban Decay Spectrum palette...the weather is finally warming up for good in New England and I can't wait to play with fun colors. :) Thank you for all your awesome posts!

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    1. You're so welcome!! I cannot wait to hear how you like the brush cleaner. Fingers crossed! Please keep me posted? :)

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  3. I have had my eye on that rough sponge you can rub your eyeshadow brush on to remove shadow in between applications!

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    1. I have the Vera Mona color switch &I also bought a hair donut from dollar tree & it's the same exact thing. If you haven't taken the plunge yet or aren't ready to spend the money, you may want to try the hair donut first. I just put mine in a tin I had laying around.

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    2. Just use one of those hair donuts! It does the same thing!

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    3. I've heard the donut works well too! :)

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    4. It's the same as a "stipple sponge" you can find it for $2 at Party City for costume makeup. Works great!

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  4. Thanks for this post! I haven't heard about most of the products you mentioned, but now I'd like to give them a try. :)

    I do have the NARS concealer and I like it. I just didn't know it came in a travel size.

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome! So happy to help! :)

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  5. Okay so I renewed my Flash subscription and put the $10 Tarte Rainforest of the Sea sampler and Sephora Favorites Power of the Petal sampler in my cart (with Milk Cooling Water stick, I assume I will love it since I loved the Boscia and Tony Moly ones). The Tarte sold out while I sat around, so I ordered without it. Now it is back in stock and the Sephora Petal is out of stock. So I ordered the Tarte $10 (I had seen the $22 but just didn't feel like I needed the extra items, I don't use blush) alone, (because Flash) and now I see this post and I am tempted by all you listed...and I already own that brush...lol...

    I have the Verb Ghost oil in faves/beauty bag...Looking thru there now....got another 26 hours on the promo. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol!! How do you like that brush? :)

      Also, I'd love to know what you think if you end up getting the Ghost Oil!

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    2. I ordered that brush quite awhile back, in fact I bet I was looking for something to pad an order for free shipping..lol! I didn't realize it would be small, but that didn't matter and I thought it was nice and dense and soft. I was partly considering ordering it again due to this post (why not have multiples), and then realized I haven't seen/used it in awhile. I think it got tucked away after a cleaning session, out of sight out of mind, oops!

      I've re-read your above on the Verb Ghost oil, it may work for my hair type, which is similar to what you describe, tho mine is stick straight. I have been using leave ins and chopping off length and I still feel like my ends are dry, but oily roots. I'll let you know if I give it a go!

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  6. I got some of those Dr. Dennis Gross exfoliating pads (the two-step ones in extra strength, which I love). And I ended up signing up for the Flash program, and I think that discounted a bit with the VIB discount. I pretty much decided to sign up for it on your advice, especially after thinking on it for a minute and realizing it'll pretty much pay for itself after two orders!

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    1. Yep, I always say that if you think you're going to order more than twice a year from Sephora, you NEED Flash! Lol. :)

      I've heard so many good things about those pads. You're tempting me!

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    2. I tried having just Flash in my cart the other day, and it removed the VIBnote promo and said it was for products only or something like that...

      The small print on the promo emails says:

      Valid on merchandise purchases only. Not valid on previous purchases, purchases of gift cards and eGift cards, packaging, applicable taxes or shipping & handling charges. Cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes.

      Delete
  7. Great post! What eye cream do you suggest to use under the nars concealer?

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    1. I've been using Boots No 7 Youthful Eye Serum (got it at Target) and it works well for me. I've also been using the Algenist eye gel that I got on sale during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty event and I really like that too, with this concealer. :)

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  8. G, I have pretty much the exact same hair (although it's shorter right now) as you! I bought NARS creamy concealer earlier today so I might as well get all your recommendations. VIB here I come! :)

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    1. Ooooh, I would love to know how they BOTH work for you when you get them!! :)

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  9. Do you know when exactly the sale ends? Does it go until midnight Pacific or Eastern? (I learned the hard way that Ulta's sales end at midnight Central.) I'm testing out two foundations I got samples of earlier and want a few more hours to see how they wear so long as the sale isn't ending in 36 minutes.

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    1. http://m.sephora.com/content/mobile-offers?mediaId=11000020&icid2=m_homepage_banner_lovenote_us_040916_image


      *Beauty Insiders will receive 10% off 4/9/16 to 4/12/16 at 11:59 PM PDT, VIB will receive 15% off 4/8/16 to 4/13/16 at 11:59 PM PDT, VIB Rouge will receive 15% off 4/7/16 to 4/13/16 at 11:59 PM PDT. Offer valid in Sephora U.S. stores, Sephora inside JCPenney stores and online. Offer not valid on jcp.com. No minimum purchase required.

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    2. According to Sephora's website it goes till 11:59pm PDT (I checked this morning)!

      Delete
  10. That Tarte set is tempting and I have wanted to try the NARS concealer forever. But I think I definitely need the ghost oil... How would you compare it to It's a 10 (assuming you've tried that)? Thanks for your detailed information as always, G!

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    1. I have used It's a 10 and while I also love that product, sometimes the It's a 10 makes my hair a bit TOO soft, and almost a little flat, is that makes sense. I love that the Ghost Oil doesn't decrease volume for me, which is rare when it comes to oils and my hair! Hope that helps a bit?

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  11. Thanks for the post G!It is such a crazy crazy week!!!haha
    There is another value set for $18, BENEFIT COSMETICS
    "1st Prize Highlighters set" it has 3 deluxe trios of Sun beam, High beam, and
    Dandelion Shy Beam. 😍😍😍 i want everything!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, thank you so much, Isu!!! Will have to do another post! :)

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  12. The new Viseart Theory palettes just went live! Just under the wire!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, thank you, Debbie!!! Will do a post!! :)

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  13. I think the nars radiant concealer only comes in the travel size in shade Vanilla. I tried to select it in a shade for myself and it jumps to the $29. Bummer! Was looking forward to trying it out before committing to the full size.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry if you missed it, but I mentioned in my post that the travel size only comes in Custard and Vanilla.

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  14. Thank you for the tips! You mentioned using the Sephora brush for your powder foundation. Which powder foundation do you use? I have super oily skin too and have trouble with powder foundation staying put. Thanks! :)

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    1. Right now I'm using Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation (which I bought when Clinique was doing one of their free shipping + samples offers that I tend to post about):

      http://bit.ly/1T4xlom

      I actually didn't like this foundation when I first started using it, because I originally used the accompanying sponge, and it deposited way too much product and made me look like a cakey mess. But now that I use the Sephora brush and buff it into my skin, I quite like it! It doesn't oxidize on me, it provides excellent coverage, and the staying power is awesome. If you can wait for a good sale, Gift with Purchase, etc., I would certainly give it a shot if there's room in your budget. The compact is lasting me a REALLY long time and I use it at least 3x a week.

      As for drugstore powder foundations, I'm afraid that I haven't liked any that I've tried in a very long time. I am currently testing the new NYX Hydra Touch Powder Foundation for review, but it's too early for me to have an opinion on that one yet. I got that product at Ulta when they were having a BOGO1/2OFF sale (it's currently part of the B2G1FREE sale):

      http://bit.ly/1NWERfl

      I hope that helps a bit! :)

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    2. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to give such a thorough answer. :) I'll definitely look into this foundation and I'm excited to try it. I am so flattered that this prompted "The Wednesday Question" post!!!

      Delete
  15. Hey everyone, I just want to mention something here regarding some comments about VIB status (which I just deleted).

    If there are rumored ways to "trick" the system, PLEASE do not attempt to do so. When customers try to take advantage or be disingenuous, it causes retailers to abandon or alter rewards programs altogether. So by doing things like this, it literally ruins it for ALL of us.

    To that end, I deleted the comments from earlier that specifically discuss this. I'm not saying that any of you would try to do it, but I just don't want that type of information out there in general. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree! Trying to trick the system is a selfish move and it may eventually effect you too when the retailer doesn't offer a program anymore.

      Delete
  16. Dangit! I wish that I had read this earlier. I'm on the hunt for another small but good quality face brush -- I got the travel set from IT Cosmetics from Ulta over Black Friday and LOVE IT, but it's usually $19 and I don't ever use the eye brush. This sounds perfect! But I'm only a "Beauty Insider" and the discount is over. Oh well, $14 is still a pretty good price, I may still give it a whirl. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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