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What NOT to Buy at Sephora – VIB Insider Sale Guide

Sephora Sale Buying Guide for Drunk Elephant, the Ordinary and more

I used to be so many products at Sephora that I regularly qualified for VIB Rouge status, for the following year. My tastes, ingredients my skin loves, and brands that I enjoy have changed so over time I’m using less from Sephora. I would love to save you time, money, and energy on your hyperpigmentation skincare journey so I’m outlining all of the products I’v tried at Sephora in that past year or two that didn’t work well for me or ones that I don’t think are worth the money.

I hope this helps you if you plan on shopping the bi-annual VIB insider sales, using promo codes at Sephora or just to stock up on the Ordinary, Drunk Elephant and other skincare darlings.

You may also find my hyperpigmentation and melasma skincare treatment routine for any budget help – it also outlines all of the dark spot treatments I’ve tried that include many available at Sephora.

Sensitive Skin, Clean Makeup

  • Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” Lipstick – lovely color! But I wasn’t “wowed” like I thought I would be given its cult status. The formula was soft, satin finish but it didn’t last long at all. I much prefer my RMS beauty lipsticks.
  • Speaking of RMS Beauty – I’m glad they sell this brand at Sephora. The Un-Cover Up used to be my go-to concealer but I now much prefer Ere Perez concealers vs the coconut oil-based RMS formula.
  • Lawless Beauty Woke Up Like This Flawless Foundation – I’ve reviewed this more extensively before here on my site. If you feel you must have a very full coverage foundation, this is a nice choice. Similar to Crunchi foundation but more scented. Very sweet and citrusy and unnecessary. But over time, my melasma treatments have improved my skin so much that I need less coverage and I want my natural glow to shine through. So for me, this wouldn’t be worth it to repurchase.
  • Becca Illuminating Primer – while I do find that a lavender tint helps to help skin look last done, this formula was very thin and drying. I think you would be better off with Westman Atelier’s Lit stick.
  • Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Primer – to be fair this primer is fine and almost comparable to an Hourglass veil primer. But I can’t say that I would re-buy and in my book that is the same as not recommending a product ๐Ÿ™‚
  • First Aid Beauty Coconut Primer – I’ve written about several First Aid Beauty products before and nothing will ever work as well as the original ultra repair cream. And this primer, unfortunately, is average at best. It is scenty and does provide a little bit of glow, but doesn’t provide a good surface for makeup for dry or dehydrated skin like mine.

Sephora Cleansers

  • Farmacy Beauty The Green Clean – I’m really not sure why everyone likes this so much. It’s almost impossible to tell if it actually comes off after removing makeup and dirt. It’s surprisingly mineral oil-free. I still much prefer a lighter oil cleanser like Maya Chia the Great Cleanse.
  • Drunk Elephant Beste Jelly Cleanser – To be fair, jelly cleansers tend to dry my face out too much. I’m not sure what makes this “innovative” as the brand describes. Maybe its really good at removing makeup? I love that it is fragrance-free, but outside of that it is nothing special.
  • Ole Henriksen Facial Scrubs – . More details on these and more Ole Henriksen hyperpigmentation treatments in my post here. Ultimately I can’t really recommend these but if you had to get one, the pore balance scrub is the best. Ahead of physical exfoliation, I would recommend picking up Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial instead.

Updated: Before I forget you can check out my IGTV video on this topic too!

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Are you getting ready to check out your shopping bag at Sephora? Or your thinking it over until Thursday or Friday? Here are the products I WOULD NOT buy. Eww – this video is honestly embarrassing – yes many of the products I've been meaning to review for years (so not all from the past year ๐Ÿ™‚), and some were free. But I'm upset seeing how many of these products I never finished. Even not liking a product is not an excuse not find a #sustainablebeauty solution I've majorly changed my ways and I'm hoping this is the last year I qualify for VIB rouge (I qualified for is before last year ended ๐Ÿ˜ž ) What I wouldn't recommend: >>Makeup : #charlottetilbury pillowtalk, #lawlessbeauty foundation, rms beauty concealer, #olehenriksen primer , becca primer >>Cleansers : Drunk Elephant beste jelly cleanser, farmacy green clean >> Exfoliating and mask : Ole Henriksen scrubs, #glowrecipe masks, #tataharper mask , #summerfridays jet lag >> Serums: B-hydra, c-firma (and framboos too), #caudalie #vinoperfect >> Moisturizers : #herbivorebotanicals hemp oil, #sundayriley ceo glow #sephorasale #sephorahaul #consciousbeauty #greenbeautyblogger #cleanbeauty #greenbeauty #cleanbeautyrevolution #mindfulbeauty #greenbeautycommunity #365inbeauty #365inskincare #glowingskincare #skincarecommunity #skincarediary #iloveskincare #veganmakeup #crueltyfreebeauty

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Serum and treatments for dark spots and melasma at Sephora

  • Drunk Elephant Bhydra – I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this hyaluronic acid serum. But ultimately I’ve found other products I like better. If you are looking for a HA serum from Sephora I recommend the Youth to the People Tripeptide, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
  • Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask – while this is nice I could use without the scent and ultimately I prefer the Drunk Elephant F-Balm overnight mask better.
  • Tata Harper Resurfacing MaskI’ve talked about this before years ago and I used to think it was good. But then Drunk Elephant Baby facial happened. I appreciate the mission of Tata Harper’s line but ultimately the mask was not effective enough for me.
  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum – More on this in my older Drunk Elephants posts on my beauty blog here. I just wasn’t wowed by this. My ultimate vitamin C serum is Kypris Antioxidant dew. But at Sephora right now, I would by the Youth to the People mentioned above or the Summer Fridays Vitamin C serum, actually.
  • Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum – this serum as strong reviews and is part of the clean at Sephora portfolio. But I went through 2 bottles of the serum without seeing any results. I don’t want you to waste $80!
  • Glow Reciple Watermelon and Avocado Melting Masks – More details on these k-beauty masks here. I really wanted to like this brand. But between the intense scents and lack of effects, these just didn’t work for me.
  • Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol – I have to much more to say on the topic of retinol. Long story short, pardon my french, but this Drunk Elephant retinol treatment is just crap.

Sephora Moisturizers

  • Drunk Elephant Protini and Lala Retro Moisturizers – I’ve written and filmed about both of these before. Ultimately I’ve found other moisturizers I love more, like the Sunday Riley ICE Cream with ceramides.
  • Biossance Omega Repair Cream – I wanted so badly for this to make my face plump and repair my skin barrier. But ultimately it smells funky and didn’t do much of anything at all. I continue to try squalane based products, but I much prefer the Indie Lee squalane cream to any other squalane product I’ve tried (and unfortunately it’s not available at Sephora).
  • Herbivore Botanicals Emerald Hemp Oil – bless their hearts. This oil just sat on my fave doing nothing – but feeling oily. I’m not sure who this would be good for. I do however recommend their Pheonix brightening oil.

Do you feel differently about any of these products? Drop your thoughts into the comments below!

1 Comment

  • Charlotte
    June 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Yeah, cleansing balms like the Farmacy one do feel like they leave slightly too much behind. I tested one, but found a light breakout during + abandoned.

    Could likely use as step 1 of a double cleanse to better balance out that excess feeling balms leave. Balms do melt off make-up well + have a lovely initial texture.

    Reply

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