Since I usually shop online, it’s been a while since I last went into a physical Sephora store. The SAs are nice enough, and I somehow got roped into doing a ColorIQ to match my foundation color, again, and it matched me 3 shades darker, again. Somethings never change? Anyways, I replenished my stock of SPF and got samples of a few new skincare products to try. There were some newish makeup on display so I played around with them a bit. MUFE makeups are always good quality and this palette is a pretty good value. The swatches don’t really do them justice. All the shadows are buttery soft and pigmented, except for the dark purple, which was not as dark or pigmented as I thought it was and took a few extra dab to get the colors on. The rest of the colors are wonderful and even with 1 dud it’s still a pretty good value.
They also had the summer Guerlain bronzer on display. Even though I usually don’t wear bronzer, I do like how Guerlain bronzers look and feels on the skin. They provide a soft wash of matte colors that just melt into the skin… so much so that it’s kind of hard to tell. Err ignore the indent from my purse strap on swatch of 00 and 01, it’s nice to see a range of undertone as well as colors. 00 is pale beige with pink undertone, 01 is pale beige with yellow undertone, 02 can be a bronzer or a nude pinky blush and 03 is a sandy beige. The range is not as dark as most bronzers from other brands, but if you are super pale and have difficulty finding a good natural looking bronzer, try one of these. =)
Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 – It is a white creamy lotion with a light perfumed, kind of old school, fragrance. It spreads easily and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. The skin does not feel greasy or stuffy even when I apply it generously and it works very well with whatever makeup you put on top. It doesn’t have any fancy ingredients, but more of a good basic moisturizer with SPF 15. I would recommend it for normal/combination skin and sensitive/acne-prone unless you are allergic to the fragrance.
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle&UV Damage Corrector – It is a thick lotion-y serum with no scent. The consistency feels similar to the Clinique yellow gel, lightweight, sink in nicely and makes your skin feel smooth. Unfortunately the last part is probably due to the high silicone content. While silicone helps to seal in moisture and makes the skin feel smooth, making it popular in oil-free moisturizers and primers, it doesn’t really provide skincare benefit. The high silicone content in the serum also means it’s more difficult for the good stuff in the moisturizer/stuff you apply afterward to sink in. It’s appropriate for all skin types. If you have oily skin then this might pass as a moisturizer, but I would look elsewhere for serums….
Dior Diorsnow Brightening Illuminating UV Protection SPF 50 – I was caught off-guard by how thick it is. It is a thick cream, difficult to spread and definitely leaves a slight hint of white cast even after rubbing it in…. is this what they meant by brightening and illuminating? because I’m pretty sure it’s a side effect of the high SPF. Even after you rub it in, it leaves the skin with a slightly heavy tacky finish and I was afraid I was going to get breakout, but I didn’t so that’s a relieve. If you look at the ingredients, it’s basically sunscreen+silicone. Get it if you don’t mind slightly heavy/stuffy feeling and want a high SPF that slightly whitens the skin. If you are looking for a high SPF with skincare benefit, there are better ones out there.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 in Rose – I have proclaimed my love of the original Fresh Sugar lip Treatment SPF15 before. This one is the same but just gives the slightest hint of pink to your lips, subtle and sheer enough that it’s ok if you apply it messily and is flattering on all skintones. That’s the pro, the con is that it is a bit softer than the untinted version. The original untinted version was already soft enough where you can’t keep it in the pocket or carry it around in the summer, and this is even softer than that.
Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel – It is a rather thick, almost creamy serum/peel. It is light yellow in color and have a mild chemical-y scent. When I applied it onto the skin, I felt very mild stinging on my cheeks but nothing else during or after the application. They did mention to only use it every other day, so it should be fine for all skin types except damaged/irritated skin. It contains 10% glycolic acid and encapsulated retinol, which means you should treat it like a peel rather than serum. If you are using anything else with acid, retinol or hydraquonine or some active ingredients, you might want to stop that or introduce this slowly to prevent a reaction. It did make my pores look nice for a few days, but I was using DDG Medi-Spa and this on top of that was a bit too much for my skin and I had a reaction (itchy, bumpy and dry skin). =/
Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream – I am addicted to this scent! I’ve never been addicted to any body products before, but I just can’t stop sniffing it. It’s a beautiful balance of citrusy and gingery note. There’s enough ginger to make it warm and crisp, the freshness and sweetness from the citrus kept it from being overpowering or too warm. Scent aside, it is more of a body lotion than cream. It feels like a lightweight cream, spreads on nicely and sinks in nicely to the skin, but it is not as hydrating as Bliss Body Butter or Bath&Body Works Body Cream. It’s great for the summer and the refreshing scent makes me feel warm and happy whenever I sniff it, but if you’ve got dry skin, this probably won’t be moisturizing enough for you.
Origins Mega-Mushroom Toner – It is a watery toner with a slightly herbal scent. I applied it with a cotton pad onto the skin. It does hydrate and moisturize without leaving too much of a residue. It feels like cleansing water, not as thick as some of the hydrating toners and lightweight enough it won’t interfere with whatever serum you want to use on top. While it is hydrating, it wasn’t soothing and did nothing for the redness in my skin. I think it’s good for dry, combination or sensitive skin, I didn’t see or feel anything special from the toner so I won’t be buying it. My choice of preferred hydrating toner for sensitive skin remains the same (Dior Gentle Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract).
Shiseido The Skincare Hydro-Nourishing Softener – After a brief browse online, it seems to be discontinued, which I’m totally fine with. The softener have more of a liquidy gel/serum consistency rather than the watery toner consistency I’m used to, which means when I pour it onto the cotton pad it doesn’t really soak in. There is a mild perfume fragrance that disappears quickly. It does leave a slight residue on the skin, which I found most hydrating toners do as well, but it’s not really that hydrating. I honestly don’t care for it.
SK-II Wrinkle Specialist Moisturizing Serum – It is a light yellow serum with a mild chemical scent. It has a creamy consistency and spreads onto the skin like moisturizer, but sinks in quickly like a serum. My skin does feel smoother, softer, a bit more moisturized and healthy the next day. I can’t tell you if it’s effective on wrinkles, but I can tell you that it is creamy and sinks into the skin nicely without any adverse reaction so it should be ok for all skin types if you want to give it a try.
Tarte Tarteguard SPF30 – It is a lotion with a mild floral scent. It goes on a bit white but disappears easily or at least it wasn’t noticeable to me. It sinks in easily, giving the skin a natural, slightly dewy finish. The skin feels velvety and moisturized but not greasy. Depending on what serum I use underneath, this can feel a little tacky sometimes but it is not that bad. Murad Essential+C SPF 30 have a similar consistency with a bit more skincare benefit.