Sephora Favourites | Superstars

Wednesday 9 March 2016

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

Every year Sephora releases some great sets in time for Christmas that bring together some of their favourite brands.  This year I had a choice.  I could cough up $90 and review this set before Christmas, or my Mom could buy it for me as a gift and I could talk about it after Christmas.  So thanks Mom! While this set is no longer available, any of these products are around all year in their full size form.
When I first saw this set I did some simple math, and I knew I had to have it.  I need a new Beautyblender every three months ($28), and a new Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Intense Back ($29).  I love NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows, and was thinking of getting another in a gold or bronze shade ($36)...which means I already saved $3.  By the time you account for the fact that I love Tarte brushes, and that Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight is one of my all time favourite highlighters....and that I had wanted to try Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight AND Smashbox Primer Water you can see why I had to have this.  Really everything beyond the first three is a bonus.

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

Initial Thoughts

Many items I use every day, or have had my eye on.  Never heard of the full size mascara brand.  Oh hi there highlighters... <3

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water $15
Travel Size - 1 oz

I don't know if I love this as a primer, but I do love it as a setting spray.  I've found that it makes my makeup look fresher for longer.

MAKE UP FOREVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Hydrating Primer 
Deluxe Sample - 0.16 oz

This primer is so nice and hydrating.  Not my favourite ever, but I find it does a really good job.  Happy to get a chance to sample this!

Beautyblender Original $28
Full Size

Once you go Beautyblender you never go back.  I started using one in the summer, after months of thinking "Who would spend $30 on a sponge".  So um, I am that person.  And it leaves my foundation flawless.  One of the best beauty investments I can possibly recommend.  Just run the Beautyblender under the tap to get it wet, squeeze it out so it is damp, and then bounce it over your skin quickly and gently to build up great airbrushed coverage!

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015 swatch

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight $26
Full Size

This was totally on my wish list!  This highlighting stick is super creamy and perfect for strobbing. Of course you can tone it down for day to day wear, but I love building it up for a bold look.  This highlighter is cool pink champagne.  This product brings on the shimmer and shine!

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight
Deluxe Sample - 0.06 oz

One of my every day products!  I have hit pan pretty hard on my full size highlighter, so I will be setting this aside for when the day comes that I use it all up!  I would describe this highlighter as a warm white gold champagne.  Not a true matte product, but by no means a satin or shimmer.  Just the perfect pop of light for your every day look.

Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer in Park Ave Princess
Deluxe Sample - 0.06 oz (Value $19.33)

This isn't my first time trying this product.  I actually tried it out this summer as a part of the Sephora Bronze Bares All set.  However now that I have had a chance to try it with its partner brush I am much more impressed!

Tarte The Slenderizer Bamboo Contouring Brush
Travel Size (Value $20.50)

I love a good quality brush.  This mini is not available on its own, and is actually just half of a double ended brush Tarte sells.  Soft, dense, and perfect for blending a cream contour.  Love it. 

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black $29
Full Size

This is one of my all time favourite eyeliners. I use either this, or Kat Von D Trooper every single day, and I generally try to toss them after three or four months.  This inky black waterproof liner lasts all day and leaves me with a cat eye that Marilyn would envy.

Lancôme DRAMA LIQUI-PENCIL Extreme Longwear Eyeliner in Noir Intense $31
Full Size

So when I went to swatch this the tip of the pencil fell off.  Not the best first impression.  I mean this is a nice black eyeliner, it sure lasts a long time, but at the end of the day it is simply a black eyeliner pencil.  I have loads in my room.  It would have been nice if they swapped this out for something more interesting.  Wear time is unreal though-- I just hardly use pencils any more.  I will say that I would never have bought this eyeliner on its own, but am way impressed by its budge proof status.

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia swatch Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Lounge

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia $36
Full Size

This eye shadow was a key attraction in the set for me.  It can be used wet or dry, and whileI thought I would shy away from it wet, I actually used it on my lids the other day and was blown away with how pretty and foiled it looked.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Lounge

Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Lounge $22
Full Size

A brick red-brown with a green lean.  I can honestly say I have nothing like this in my collection, and never would have tried it on my own.  It swatches like a dream, and applied way more red-brown than the green pan would suggest.  I can't wait to work this into a more dramatic look!

sephora favourites superstars christmas 2015

Benefit They're Real! Mascara $16
Deluxe Sample - 0.1 oz

While many people adore this mascara, I find it leaves my lashes crispy and dry, and that it is very hard to get off.  I use to use this mascara all the time, but since they released Roller Lash I just haven't been able to go back.  I will likely gift this to a friend.

Touch in Sol Stretchex Strech Lash Effect Mascara $22
Full Size

Concluding Thoughts

When you add up the value of each full size item/travel size product available for sale on its own you get a value of $210...really everything else is a bonus.  But if you add the value of those too you get $267.78.  Pretty great!

I think it is a little odd that there are two black eyeliners, two highlighters, and two mascaras.  It would have been nice to swap one of each of those for say a blush, a bronzer, and maybe a nail polish, a dry shampoo, a roller ball (full size or mini) perfume, or if it must be ground shipped some sort of make-up remover.  Or what about a lip product?  This set has literally zero of those.  Just saying.  It seems a bit silly to me to double up on three of the products and leave out a blush or bronzer. Including some of those products would make this a set that really does include everything. I will note that the two highlighters do have different undertones, and that there is a difference between a liquid and a pencil eyeliner.  But still.  Great value.  It was a gift.  That I asked for.  But still.

I like that they stayed away from colour cosmetics (brow colour, foundation, concealer, etc).  Last year their set included a full size Smashbox BB Cream (which I love!) in "Light".  This sucks for me because I am "Fair"-- "Light" is way too dark and yellow on me.  However it also sucks for literally any non-white/ possibly East Asian woman.  I know that I didn't buy the set because I would have literally no use for that item, and I can only imagine that countless others felt the same.  There wasn't even an option to customize.  So good improvement on that front Sephora!

^I can tell that they made a good move because long after Christmas they had last year's set on sale trying to sell it off.  This year this set sold out well before Christmas!  See!  The free market really does work.

But seriously.  What were they thinking last year?

Also...why the black pencil?  Don't we all have a gazillion of those?

Despite the level of duplication I think Sephora did a great job putting together a set that includes many products that anybody can use and that flatter most skin tones.  I love how many of the products were full size, and how many were "good" brands.  I can't wait to see what they do next year!

What make-up did you get for Christmas? 

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