Fall Sephora Sale Edit

I legitimately have spent enough money at Sephora to maintain my VIB Rouge status from these biannual — or sometimes more frequently if we’re lucky — savings events the last three years. Starting today, October 30th, VIB Rouge members will have access to 20% off until November 9th. Beginning November 3rd, VIB members will have access to 15% off until the 9th as well and beginning November 5th, any Beauty Insider member will have access to 10% off until the 9th as well. The code is HOLIDAYFUN and can be used as many times as one desires. Here are some products I’m interested in or would suggest you think about:

Briogeo Detox + Restore Kit ft. Scalp Scrub Shampoo + Don’t Despair Repair Hair Mask ($67 CDN | 2×236 mLs)

The Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Hair Mask might actually be my holy grail deep conditioner and those aren’t words I use lightly. This kit also comes with a full sized deep conditioner along with their scalp scrub shampoo for only a little bit more than the price of the deep conditioner alone. The mask is lightweight, silicone-free and contains a myriad of oils, biotin and some hydrolyzed proteins. It always leaves my wavy curls bouncier, clumpier and moisturized — the slip is also out of this world fantastic. The scalp scrub shampoo is a more recent discovery of mine and I enjoy using it as well — and it’s expensive so this kit is appealing. It doesn’t contain sulfates but it has more deep cleansing surfactants than I would usually use, leaves my sensitive scalp feeling soothed and refreshed and my hair not dried out. I’m usually against essential oils but I love the peppermint when I’m in need of clarifying.

Briogeo Merry Multi-Masking Kit ft. Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Honey Bear Hair Mask ($46 CDN | 1×236 mLs, 2×59 mL)

Because the very thought of running out of the cult-favourite hair mask gives me feelings of anxiety and because I’ve wanted to foray into their other mask offerings, I picked up this set during the Friends and Family Sale. I must say that for the price of the full-size classic deep conditioner — and a full sized product — this holiday kit provides excellent value. It has a full sized honey rendition of the classic mask that I’ve always wanted to try and two smaller tubes of the classic Don’t Despair, Repair and the new protein-free Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfood Mask.

Bumble & Bumble Repair Blow Dry ($38 CDN | 150 mL)

While the most heat I’ve used on my hair in a year has been a diffuser, I would still recommend this leave-in cream for those of you who blow dry or flat iron slash curl your hair. It contains silicones to smooth out the hair and, lock out humidity and protect the hair from heat damage — but I never experienced build up using a sulfate-free shampoo either. It doesn’t provide loads of hold but leaves the hair smooth, shiny, moisturized and super-soft. It’s a particularly great cream to use while blow-drying even wavy-curly hair into a smoother style.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Chia + Flax Seed Coil Custard ($34 CDN | 177 mL)

I’ve always been a curl cream kind of girl and that hasn’t changed since I’ve started or restarted the curly girl method. However, I’ve been struggling with finding the right one to help my waves and curls clump and form nice curls — especially since that whole Devacurl debacle began and I can no longer recommend their creams. Despite this being marketed as a custard and for way tighter textures, it’s an excellent medium to rich textured cream with light-medium hold. It’s silicone-free but contains castor seed oil, fatty alcohols, shea butter, hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids, glycerin and plant oils. I tend to pair it with a gel but I don’t have to and I actually don’t have to use much product in my thirsty, high-porosity waves and curls.

The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm ($12.99 CDN | 150 mL)

I’m borderline fanatical about using a balm or oil cleanser to dissolve sunscreen and makeup thoroughly with ease and minimal disruption to my admittedly fragile skin barrier — and this is one I’ve had my eye on. I’m not even sure if it’ll be eligible for a discount but I’m not sure I care. It’s fragrance-free, in tube packaging and contains sweet almond oil and oat kernel oil, along with soothing oat extract. It’s no frills but I’ve heard amazing things.

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer ($43 CDN | 150 mL)

This milky toner and moisturizer hybrid might seem boring as sin but it’s been a love of mine since I discovered it. It has a thick milky toner-lotion consistency that adds loads of hydration, soothing action and can function as a toner for drier skin types or a liquid moisturizer for the more sebum-blessed. It has an incredibly short and simple ingredient list: glycerin, meadow foam seed oil, vitamin e and tea extract. I’ve found it helps with hydration, protecting and repairing the skin barrier and leaves the skin luminous.

Viseart Aperol Spritz Eyeshadow Palette ($55 CDN | 12g)

This warm peachy-coral toned neutral palette is among my best makeup purchases of 2020. Ever since I bought it, it’s been my daily go-to palette; it’s easy, simple and has all of the shades I find myself reaching for on a daily basis. I love the variety of finishes and just how easy the drier formula shadows are to work with. I’m enjoying this edit format of Viseart’s palettes, as you get the versatility of one of the larger palettes and a variety of finishes. I would highly recommend Viseart shadows in general, but this format is my specific pick.

Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Eyeshadow Palette ($88 CDN | 16.72g)

This is actually a pick in my current small cart for the sale. A close friend of mine absolutely raves about the Huda Beauty shadows — I’ve never tried before — and in particular, this palette. I like the combination of some neutral shades in a variety of finishes, along with some pops of colour. Some of the colours are a bit outside of my comfort zone but I’m excited to play with the blues and purples — both shades are notoriously difficult to formulate but I’ve heard great things about these versions.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Face Palette – Sculpture ($105 CDN | 8.4g)

Those who have been long time readers of my little old blog here and those who I’ve waxed poetically about makeup to in real life will be aware of my love for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder formula. I have a bunch of the blushes — which I absolutely love –, a highlighter — that I’m not in love with — and a semi-shattered palette of the original powders but I’ve held off on buying the larger palettes they tend to release each year. The large palettes are very expensive, kind of impractical — I mean, I don’t always reach for large face palettes in my day-to-day makeup life — and are worse value for money than buying the original individual products but I’m happy with this one that I bought in the Friends & Family Sale. It features the powders in Diffused Light and Dim Light — which are the two shades I’d be most likely to use anyway, a pretty champagne highlighter, Glistening Strobe Light, two blushes in Mood Exposure and Vibrant Flush and Natural Bronze Light. The powders are some of my favourites as a powder-disliking gal on the fairer end of the spectrum.

Will you be buying anything in the sale?
Maggie, x.

The Favourites | Late Spring

There are times when beauty products and your self care ritual really matter; these lasts few months have been one of those times. In hindsight, it probably was not a great idea to reintroduce a prescription retinoid into my routine at the same time that the weather was changing, I was dealing from irritation from wearing a mask during the pandemic and was dealing with a bit of a seasonal transition skin freakout. The act of self-care was something I really got back into when dealing with this quite frankly super weird and anxiety-inducing time. I discovered and rediscovered a bunch of essential products and here they are:

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Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer ($43 CAD | 150 mL): This is a soothing milky toner with a minimal ingredients list that is incredibly sensitive or sensitized-skin friendly. It’s fragrance-free and has a short but substantial ingredient list featuring glycerin, meadow foam oil and green tea.  This is one of the products that helped me get through the period where I reacclimatized to using a prescription retinoid and was starting to deal with the irritation of wearing a mask. It’s incredibly soothing.

Avene Mineral Tinted Fluid SPF 50+ ($33 CAD | 40 mL): I realized that I had in previous months been slacking on the sun protection front, when I got better at applying it every single morning and my skin was looking so much better. I was enjoying using this tinted mineral sunscreen with iron oxides (that help protect further against visible light). The tint is actually a bit dark on me but I can make it work. It’s a golden kind of shade that would be ideal for light to medium skin tones. It has a super lightweight and thin vehicle that is hydrating and doesn’t include drying alcohols or anything of that sort. It was ideal for when I was using fake tan during the past few months, but can also get away with without. It was great on my sensitized skin and didn’t even highlight dry patches. Plus it offers enough coverage to actually cover redness and the like and I’ve been using it as my face product on more minimal makeup days.

Bioderma Photoderm SPF 50+ High Protection Milk ($25.90 CAD | 100 mL): Another sunscreen discovery was this one by Bioderma that I enjoy wearing (even on my face), despite being a chemical sunscreen. I’ve been happily using it daily on my neck, chest, shoulders and arms. It doesn’t contain any drying alcohol and has a comfortable lotion vehicle but most impressively, it features the less irritating filters Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M for far superior UVA protection and photostability. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized but not sticky or greasy.

Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 ($29 US | 60 mL): I’m on a SPF favourites roll, it appears. I didn’t realize how much I loved this moisturizer-sunscreen hybrid until I accidentally threw my tube out (an unfortunate accident) and instantly found myself repurchasing. It was a great daily pick on my sensitive flaking skin, with mineral actives but no real white cast on my fairer skin. The ingredients in this lightweight lotion gives a greyish beige cast to the product that adds some glow to the skin and diffuses redness slightly, without adding any sort of colour to the face. It was a gentle sunscreen option that was moisturizing without being greasy or thick. It contains soothing liquorice, kiwi extract, niacinamide and a vitamin c derivative.

Paula’s Choice Omega + Complex Moisturizer ($35 US | 50 mL): I’m a bit of a Paula’s Choice skincare fiend but it’s been years since I’ve loved one of her standard moisturizers — I’m a major fan of her sunscreen-containing moisturizers, however. In the last couple of months I bought this one and have loved it, especially during that stage when my face was flaking, burning and generally hurt. With its fragrance free, shea butter, plant oil, fatty acid and ceramide laden formula, I experienced minimal stinging and an immediate calming effect. It has a fluffy consistency that is rich without being overly heavy that I think anyone experiencing dryness would enjoy, especially if dealing with sensitivity.

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer in 02 Butta Biscuit ($42 CDN | 0.22 oz): There’s something just so easy about cream products and I often find myself reaching for them the most often, even when I’m not doing an elaborate whole face of makeup. This is an easy to use balmy cream bronzer that blends like a dream and offers buildable colour. I really like the warm caramel colour it offers without veering into orange territory and the natural glow it gives to my fairer skin.

L’Oreal Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner in 700 Black ($14.99 CDN): Even though I’ve been into a more minimal makeup look, black eyeliner is still always in the equation. I’ve been really liking this precise brush tip liner because of how black it is and how precise and thin of a line it allows you to draw. It wears well, only smudging slightly if I nap on my side right on the wing and removes easily. I will note it requires a steady hand, as its not a pen style liner.

L’Oreal Bambi Eye Mascara in Blackest Black ($14.49 CDN):I may have rolled my eyes at the marketing of this mascara when I saw it but it’s a good one and does achieve that wide eyed effect. It achieves loads of volume and separation, achieving drama without feeling heavy on the lashes. It has a large somewhat football-shaped synthetic wand that isn’t difficult to use. It doesn’t flake or anything on me and isn’t a hassle to remove. It’s a good one.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum ($123 CDN | 50 mL): I invested in this spendier perfume around Christmastime and I’ve been loving wearing it, even just for myself, even moreso now that late Spring is in bloom. It’s a gorgeous warm orangey citrus with some rose and jasmine and some warm patchouli. It’s a warm floral that I love that’s surprisingly fresh and lingers. There’s a reason why everyone wears this one.

What have you been loving?
Maggie, x.