Event Recap: Sephora VIB Rouge Reception (Ottawa)

Thursday 7 August 2014

I am such a fan of deluxe minis.  I use them almost as often in my daily routine as I do full sized products.  In fact, there are some products that I actually prefer as a mini.  Wild lipstick or lip gloss colours come to mind.  When it came to my attention that Sephora was having a VIB Rouge reception with a bag full of deluxe minis as a gift for spending $50 or more, plus 4x the points, it was booked in my calendar as non-negotiable.  One of the best party about going to this event is that I was able to invite a friend.  Having once gone to one of their Rouge events alone, I can tell you it is much better with company!

The event started at 7, but we arrived at 6 to confirm it was a 7pm start time, ask a few questions, and then grab a quick dinner at Rideau's new and improved food court.  You can't shop on an empty stomach.  At 6:58 we were back at Sephora ready to shop.  My friend and I had both put a lot of thought into this, and as a result already knew with 98% certainty what we wanted.

Upon entry we got name tags that said "VIB Rouge" and "Future VIB Rouge".

After making my initial $50+ purchase to ensure I got the sample bag (and a small additional gift with purchase aka a TOA), I wandered around the store to see what reps were there and who was handing out what.

The sample bag with 50+ purchase can also be redeemed online with code VIBPARTY.
Escada Perfume vial, MUFE Blush sample, Watts Up Mini, Living Proof PHC Hair styling cream, Hope in a Jar, Clinique Mascara, Buxom Mascara, Agisist Eye Cream

While there were some reps there, I was disappointed to note that none were handing out freebies or even gifts with purchase of their product.  To make up for it I went around and asked for a few samples of products I had been thinking about.

After taking a walk around I came across their little snack department.  There were patriotic cupcakes (fitting for our nation's capital!), bananas, granola bars, mini water bottles, coffee and tea.  I was delighted to see the tea so I poured myself a mint tea.  Life really is grand.  I grabbed a banana to eat...and then put it in my bag after re-noticing the cupcakes.  Oops?


Healthy stuff!

Water and tea!

In consultation with my friend we determined that we were a touch disappointed by the Rideau event compared to the Eatons Centre events we are use to.  I think in the future I will try and stick to the Eatons Centre.  That being said, Rideau did exceed my expectations for Ottawa.

I had a tough time telling the reps apart from the regular Sephora staff.  I ended up talking to the Guerlain rep and asked her about the new Kiss Kiss lipsticks that they have coming out (ahh can't wait!) and then idly asked her what this weird looking eyeliner did.  Well!  She explained that it was a "feeling" to apply and it was a "lipstick for your eyes" designed to make tight lining easy.  Oh. My. Gosh.  It works.  So I threw it in my bag!

It is called The Original Creamy Khôl Me Kajal Eyeliner.  It is specifically designed for easy tight lining.  I love how tight lining looks (lining your waterline) but I generally find it awkward, ineffective, and painful.  This product makes it so, so easy.

The actual eyeliner of this eyeliner starts where the red lip pencil indicates.  

I felt this event was a big improvement from the last VIB Rouge event I went to.  Last time as a Rouge I got samples and gift bags left right and centre and my guest who was just a BI got shafted.  It put me in an awkward position because I was getting so much and my guest...wasn't.  This time my guest got almost as much as I did, with the main difference being the VIB Rouge tote.  All things considered, I thought they did a good job at treating the Rouges well while respecting the friends.  After all, one of the Rouge perks is getting to bring a friend to these events.  Having my friend treated poorly just puts a damper on the whole experience.  Gold stars for fixing that Sephora!

My friend who I went to the event with had a good suggestion: Reps should each be handing out a deluxe mini of their product rather than tossing it in as a TOA.  Of course, the gift with purchase gift set should remain a set because those are amazing.  This way customers will engage with the reps, maybe discover a new product, and feel like they are getting more bang for their buck.  Think trick or treating but for beauty.

I didn't feel like the event was exclusive.  There weren't enough staff on hand to cater to all the customers, and I got the impression that somehow people who weren't on the list got in.  But, all things considered I had a great time at this event and I can not wait for the next one.  They usually do some sort of holiday party!  Mmmmm Christmas sets....

My Haul

Things I Paid For:
Living Proof Style Extender Spray
Ole Henriksen On The Go Cleanser
Hourglass Lipliner in "Icon"
NARS Dual Intensity Shadow in Andromeda 
Stila Convertable Colour Blush in Lillium
Guerlain The Original Creamy Khôl Me Kajal Eyeliner
Orchid-Violet Hair Ties

Things I Got for Free:
2x Sample Bags with 8 samples
2 Clinique bags with a nail file, mini mascara, and nail clippers
See By Chloe Deluxe Mini
2x Benefit They're Real Mini Mascaras
An eye cream
Guerlain foundation mini
Some perfume samples

I actually ended up with two of the sample bags because I had made an initial purchase and then near the end of the event went back to buy the Guerlain liner and the hair ties.  They had a different girl on cash, and well, I wasn't going to say no to another bag of samples!  My mom will be getting some of the goodies when I get home tonight.

I use this cleanser and hair primer daily.  Never a bad idea to stock up on staples!  I first received this cleanser for Christmas (2013).  I not have about 1cm left at the bottom.  Not too shabby!

Andromeda is the prettiest palest gold that completely brightens up my eyes.  Lillium is a soft, pretty blush that gives just the right flush of colour.

These two follows are more true to colour:

Icon is such a powerful red.  I ordered the lipstick online but after thinking about it realized that such a bold colour needs the matching lip liner.  I can't wait to rock a strong red lip this fall.  The Guerlain eyeliner is something else!  I love how smoky and smouldering it makes my eyes!

Love these new additions to my collection!

Swatches!  Icon, Andromeda, Kajal eyeliner, Lillium

For comparison, I have swatched my Stila Convertible Colour in Peony next to Lillium.  Lillium is the lighter shade, where as Peony has more of a mauve undertone.

The sample bag:

I was so happy that the Living Proof hair cream was from their PHD line.  I have tried it a bit but am excited to make it a part of my daily routine!

Some of the TOAs I received:

I walked out with 8 free mini mascaras!  What is this madness?  I guess I will continue my trend of not buying mascaras...I've got 8 more at home!  Delighted to have two of They're Real by Benefit.  One of my top 3 mascaras.

I was pleasantly surprised that this foundation actually mostly matches my tone.  It is 02, where as I would be 01, but in the summer I can get away with it.  Beautiful feel to the foundation!

The Escada samples appear to be half full.  But given how much I got for free, no complaints!

In the end, this is my haul:

The red totes are really useful.  I have a few from last year and I use them for almost everything!

All things considered I am delighted with my haul!  I love all the deluxe minis I was given.  Walking out with 8 deluxe sample mascaras means I will not be buying mascara for a very very long time.  I also earned close to 800 points.  Oops? Bringing me to a total of about 3000 points.  Lately I haven't seen anything worth redeeming for.  However I can't wait to see what they will have over the next few months.  I walked out of that event happy, and despite the rain on my walk home I stayed happy all the way to my bedroom where I proceeded to dump my bag and start swatching.

Today I was chatting with my friend who joined me and her boyfriend.  Her boyfriend wanted to know if when I got home I wanted to show each and every object to my boyfriend.  The answer is yes, yes I did.  Her boyfriend was about as amused by her haul as mine was.  They should be happy that we're happy!  I could swatch and play with my haul all day.

I will be doing a second haul post of all my products that I ordered online once they arrive!  I will also be doing posts on the products I purchased.

Did you go to the VIB Rouge reception?  How was your experience?  What did you get in your haul?


  1. Great detailed summary of the event. At my store, Lancome was giving out some samples, nothing super exciting. No cupcakes but muffins :) I got some KvD lipsticks, tarte Rainforest after Dark (another item with $10 markup from US price) and some Sephora X nail polishes

    1. Lucky you that brands were handing out things though! I just think its more fun when you get to go around and engage and learn about different products! Some of the stuff I got had a significant US markup. If it wasn't for 4x the points I would have bought it in a few weeks when I am in the states. I really like the Halifax Sephora. I've been there a few times. What did you think of the sample bag?

    2. Really? Our Sephora is quite small, but we are getting another one in October, not very close to me but I can make a trip if need to. I want to try a few things out of the samples but am not super impressed with it. Oh well :)

    3. When I lived in Halifax it was pretty new and the staff were really friendly! Granted, now that the TorontoEatons Centre has been upgraded...which mall is getting the new Sephora?