This post needs no real introduction. I went to Hawaii and I made damn sure to hit up Sephora, Target and any drug stores I came across in our travels around Oahu. Here’s what I came home with!
1. L’Oreal Wear Infinité Studio Secrets Eyeshadow in Seashell and Brushed Suede: I grabbed this at an inpromptu stop at a Long’s Drugs. Funny story here. If you have a toddler, and you don’t need to pack your make up bag until the day of your flight, you might find that as you put on your make up 45 minutes before leaving for the airport and try to simultaneously pack what you need in a cosmetics bag, things might not go as planned. I was putting on my usual make up, then trying to put it straight into the cosmetics bag I was going to slot straight into our luggage, but my daughter was getting stuck into my make up case and trying to do her own eye shadow, so instead of putting my eyeshadows into my cosmetics bag, I was wrestling things away from her and put them back into my make up case. So I ended up only bringing one little eyeshadow trio with me to Hawaii, which would have been fine, but it was a Stila palette that had all fairly darkish shades. So I grabbed a couple of eyeshadows wherever I saw them in lighter, base shades. Within the first few days of our trip we happened upon a Long’s Drugs drug store, which was like hitting the jackpot for me. I told my husband we HAD to stop there so I could have a look at all the cosmetics and grab a few items I’d forgotten to pack. These were two of them and they’re nice colours that go with lots of other shades.
2. St Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub: THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SCRUB OF ALL TIME (read that in Kanye’s voice, please). I’ve never found a scrub as gritty and scrubby feeling as this, and when I saw this 170ml bottle in the supermarket for about $9US I jumped on it. The 100ml bottle retails for about the same price, if not a bit more depending on where you are here, so it was too good to pass up.
3. Beauty Treats Collagen Facial Mask: I haven’t tried this yet, but I bought it at the supermarket at the same time as I bought the apricot scrub because it was almost a week into our holiday and my skin was feeling a bit over-exposed to the sun and salt water and I wanted something to freshen it up. I bought it back to our apartment, put it in the toiletries bag and promptly forgot about it until the last night when I packed the suitcase to go back home.
Sephora Pore Clarifying mask: I thought these were discontinued, as my aunt was told this on the east coast of the States earlier this year when she tried to find them for me, but I spotted them as I browsed all the minis on my way to the register and grabbed a couple. I’ve used them before and love how fresh they make my face feel.
4. e.l.f. Studio Face Primer in Tone Adjusting Green and Clear: I haven’t bought any e.l.f. cosmetics for a few years. I don’t know why. Possibly because I stopped seeing it in chemists here and forgot it exists? Absence often does not make the heart grow fonder, it seems. It makes me forget you ever existed. So I saw these two primers in Target (US Target is wonderful, FYI) for $6USD each and grabbed them. I’ve been looking for a new primer, and these ones are silicon mineral based, and they go on like silk and absorb into my skin straight away. There’s something slightly unsettling about slathering a green gel cream onto your face. The first time I thougth I was going to end up looking like the Wicked Witch, but they feel great to wear, completely weightless. I don’t know how much colour correcting the green one actually does, but I like the feel of them so I’ll stick with them until they’re finished. They also retail at $12AUD here, so if you see them overseas, grab them.
5. Buxom Full & Fabulous Vanity Lash Mascara in Show-Off Black: Another impulse purchase on the way to the Sephora counter for my travel cosmetics bag. It’s a nice mascara, the brush is HUUUUGE, but I don’t think it’s life or lash-changing (few mascaras are, I’ve found).
Sephora Outrageous Volume Dramatic Volume Lash Mascara in Black: I have yet to use this, but for some reason that day I wanted to grab a few different brands of mascara to try.
6. Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Sin, Bordello and Toasted: These were on my Sephora wish list and I wasn’t going to go home without at last one of them. I have all three Urban Decay Naked Palettes and I loooove them. But I have one or two shades that have nearly run out because they’re my favourite shades, so I grabbed these three while I was in Sephora. I could have grabbed a few more, because I love UD’s eyeshadows. The pigment is great and they have the right amount of shimmery, metallic-ness (technical term) without all the glitter, so I don’t feel like I should be at a rave in 1997 when I wear them. I’ll happily buy a few more of these when Sephora opens here in December. They were $18USD each, but for a tried and loved product I think that’s completely fine.
7. Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick – Melted Fig: Too Faced is a brand I’ve heard a lot about but never tried. I’m trying to wear more lipstick, but darker shades terrify me slightly (ok, they terrify me a LOT). However, this is a lovely darker shade that isn’t too agressive. But I think I’ll wear it at night to begin with just to be safe. They had quite a few other lip colours I could have come home with, as well as a few blushes, but my basket was getting full. There was a little promotional four pack of mini tubes of these lipsticks that were gorgeous, and I kind of wish I’d bought one of those to try a few other colours, but there was at least one colour that I knew I would never wear. Anyway, this is another product I would happily purchase again from Sephora in a different shade.
8. Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Magenta Luster and Electra-Pink Luster: I am SO impressed with the Sephora brand of products. I tested a bunch of stuff in the store and loved all of it. These two glosses are very outside my comfort zone when it comes to lipsticks, which is why I made myself buy them. I really like the Magenta one, but the Electra-Pink one was a much better idea in theory. I think my realxed, sun-adled brain convinced my sedate, office-job going brain that it would be a great purchase. Here at home it’s way, waaaaaay too electric neon pink and I highly doubt I’ll ever wear it. I might try and sell it, since it’s only been swatched and applied with a make up brush once. But it’s worth noting that the colour pigment is fantastic in both of them.
9. Sample – Benefit The Pore Professional PRObalm pore minimiser: this was a freebie when I redeemed my VIB points that I haven’t tried yet.
10. Sample – Bad Gal mascara: this was a freebie when I redeemed my VIB points that I haven’t tried yet.
11. bare minerals blemish remedy: this was a freebie sample the girl chucked into the bag that I haven’t tried yet. She also gave me a few little sachets of moisturiser and eye cream which I forgot to add in to the photo.
12. Sephora Eyeshadow in Mirror Mirror: this was a freebie sample the girl chucked into the bag that I haven’t tried yet, but I suspect it will be right up my alley. As you can see, I quite enjoy brown, neutral, and bronze toned eyeshadows.
13. Fresh Lotions Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex: a little travel sized pot I bought to stick in my travel cosmetics bag. Haven’t tried it yet, but I like the clean packaging of all the Fresh products while I was browsing in Sephora, so it was an impulse purchase as I went to the counter.
14. Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Pads and solution: I’ve been wanting to try something like this for a while now, because I know that when I cleanse my face in the shower my make up doesn’t fully come off. And I don’t use toner at all because I’ve never really found one that doesn’t make my skin feel like I’ve just wiped my face with acid. So after my shower I use one of these and it’s oddly satisfying to see how much more make up comes up. Plus it doesn’t feel oily on my skin, it just feels like an extra bit of cleaning. This tub of pads comes with a little bottle of solution that you pour in to the tub and then you store the tub upside down so the solution soaks through to the top. It’s about $15 cheaper in Hawaii, so I was happy to have picked it up over there. I’m having a real love affair with philosophy at the moment. but I googled some of the items while in Sephora to see how they compare to the Aussie prices and they often weren’t cheaper in Hawaii at all. Next I want to get one of their lovely eye gels. Those crow’s feet aren’t going to smooth themselves over, you know what I mean?
15. Wet’n’Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in I’m Getting Sunburned and Silent Treatment: Wet’n’Wild was on my wish list of eyeshadows to buy. About four years ago my sister traveled to the States and I told her to buy me as many Wet’n’Wild eyeshadows as she could. She came with about six of them for me, some little trios and some big palettes with about eight shades. The colour and pigmentation is outstanding, despite the application being quite powdery when applying. So I was excited to see what other ones I could pick up in Hawaii. Disappointingly, these two are the only two new trios I could find. All the other palettes are the ones I got four years ago. So either Wet’n’Wild doesn’t produce new eyeshadows very often, or they just don’t stock them in the drug stores and Target/Walmart in Hawaii. Still, these two that I bought have great colour combos, and while they have a bit of powder fall out when applying, I love them.
16. Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Autumn Coppers: I grabbed this at the inpromtu stop at a Long’s Drugs to pad out my make up bag. The shades are nice and they don’t have too much fall out when I apply them.
17. Revlon Illumiance Creme Shadow in Wild Orchids: This Revlon quad was also one of the things I grabbed at the drug store. But I didn’t realise this was a creme eyeshadow, so while I’ve used it a couple of times, I suspect it will get chucked out soonish. I’ve never met a creme eyeshadow that didn’t just smoosh up into my eyelid crease within an hour of wearing it, and so far this has been no exception. Pretty colours though.
18. Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Seashell: as above. I grabbed this at the impromptu stop at Long’s Drugs. It’s a really nice pink base shade, but very, very powdery when applying.
Not pictured is the EOS hand cream in Berry Blossom I grabbed at either Target or Walmart, I can’t remember. But I grabbed it because of the shape. it’s the perfect size for my handbag: lightweight and small enough that it won’t weigh my bag down or take up too much room. It also smells really nice. Also not pictured is the L’Oreal Colour Riche Gloss in Saucy Mauve, because it’s already also made its way into my handbag and is my current favourite lip gloss. Though it must be noted that the colour is not mauve in the slightest; it’s actually a brown-y pink, which is my usual lipstick/lip gloss shade (and the reason why I’m forcing myself to step outside my liptsick comfort zone – every gloss and lipstick I picked up first was a browny-pink shade. It was ridiculous).
A note about samples.
I signed up to be a Beauty Insider before I went over to Hawaii, and on Natalie’s advice asked for a loyalty card in the store, which they gave to me. I was elevated to the next level when I bought all my purchases, so I’m now a Sephora VIB, and I got to choose from some samples when I redeemed my points. Now, one of the two things that bugged me about the Sephora experience was the samples on offer. If you have enough points to get four samples at once, and three of the four samples are mini mascaras, I think that’s a bit crap. Obviously you want to get one of each of the sample products to try, but I really don’t need three mini mascaras on top of the mini mascaras I had just bought. So I opted to get one mascara and three of the mini Benefit pore minimisers, because they’ll be good for travel instead of bringing a huge bottle of primer with me.
The other thing that bugs me, which I only just found out on the weekend is that the beauty insider points DO NOT TRANSFER over to the Australian store. How hard is it to link up the systems? Especially if the prices are going to somewhat similar? I’m glad I opted to redeem all my points while I was there in stead of saving them, because who knows when I’ll be back in the States to shop there again, even though the sales girl told me the points never expire.
I had a much longer wish list for Sephora, but I had to scale it back A LOT because we bought quite a bit of clothing at the outlet mall. Since I like make up, but I loooove clothes, I didn’t hesitate to pare back the Sephora wish list, since I knew I had picked up some great Winter clothing, and some good cosmetics at the drug stores I went to. I was disappointed that Sephora didn’t sell the Lorac Pro palette, and I could easily have bought a couple of big eyeshadow palettes from Stila, Sephora brand, and Urban Decay, as well as some lovely cheek stains from Tarte. And I just loved the roller ball perfume selection. Such a fantastic idea – they have name brand designer perfumes in long, thin test tube sizes with roller ball applicators. One item I always, always forget to bring with me, or sacrifice for the sake of luggage space is a bottle of perfume when I travel, so I was very close to buying one, but I got distracted by something shiny and colourful and walked out without buying one. I also couldn’t find my preferred foundation (By Terry Cover Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation) ANYWHERE. Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus didn’t stock it, which is a bummer, because I was hoping it would be a lot cheaper over there. All of them said it’s possible that the store does stock it, just not in Hawaii, which is a shame. I use it, and my mother now uses it on my recommendation and it’s about $80 here, so I was hoping to grab it for significantly less. Oh well, looks like Strawberry Net has some busines coming their way!
Also, if you use Clinique skin care it’s quite a bit cheaper over there at Sephora. Like, half the price in some instances. Man, we get ripped off here.
And finally, possibly my favourite thing about the Sephora experience is all the little mini travel sized items you can buy. As you walk to the registers, there is a double sided row of the products they stock in miniature sizes, which I think is such a fantastic idea. It’s a great way to kit out a really good travel toiletries and make up bag, and try a lot of products for a quarter of the price. Didn’t like something? Who cares, you only paid ten bucks for it instead of fifty! It’s such a great aspect of the store. I really hope Sephora Australia mimics this.
So, there you have it. My USA cosmetics haul. I’ll be interested to hear your experiences with Sephora either online or in the stores, or any drug store finds, so hit me up in the comments! I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a Walgreen’s drug store anywhere because it would have been good to see the difference in range compared to Long’s Drugs, but never mind. I think I did pretty well nonetheless!
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