Sephora VIB Sale, November 2017: My Skincare Picks

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The biannual Sephora VIB Sale (20% for VIB Rouge November 3rd-6th, 20% off for VIB Rouge and VIB November 10th-15th, and 15% off for Beauty Insider November 10th-15th) is second only to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in terms of how important it is to me. I don’t go in much for holidays, but massive sales always have a special place on my calendar. This year, I am going to share my skincare and makeup picks–I don’t buy hair products at Sephora–some of which I will buy at the sale myself, and some of which I already own and would recommend. I’m going to start with skincare.

Skincare is a major passion of mine, but one I have avoided talking about on this blog since I’m not sure if it really fits the rubric of this blog. Let me know if you want more posts on this topic, but for now, I’m just going to write a post about it every once in a while. While many color analysts will argue that wearing the right colors will render your skin imperfections more or less invisible, I still believe in taking care of your skin, versus trusting your color choices to do all the heavy lifting. And things like foundation and concealer and even eye makeup just won’t sit correctly if the canvas beneath it is damaged. Figuring out what works for my skin has made a huge difference in terms of what I can do with makeup and how I feel. Before I fixed things like my undereye area, I felt that sometimes I looked better before I put the makeup on. Anyway, basically I just love skincare and I feel like writing about it, even if it is not necessarily a direct component of style systems.

So here are the things that I would get from Sephora in the skincare department.


Tata Harper Glow for It Kit, $60 ($48 with 20% discount, $51 with 15% discount)

The main reason I’m recommending this is because I got a sample of the Resurfacing Mask, and it is amazing. The description says:

This award-winning glow mask is formulated with two natural sources of BHA that gently exfoliate and clear the way for fruit enzymes and botanical extracts to cleanse skin and refine pores for a noticeably vibrant, instantly radiant complexion. Antioxidant-rich beet extract promotes hydration to improve skin tone and boost glow, while willowbark and meadowsweet—natural sources of salicylic acid—slough off dead skins cells like a traditional peel without irritation (which is perfect for normal and sensitive skin). Bergamot essential oil provides a sweet citrus scent.

All I know is that it made my skin feel really, really smooth without it being dried or irritated, and I now look forward to masking with it once a week. On its own, it costs $58, so this means that you get two small sizes of other products for $1 each. I haven’t tried the other products, which are the Regenerating Cleanser and the Reparative Moisturizer, but if they are the same quality as the mask, they’re worth trying. I just don’t want to like them too much, because I’m not prepared to spend $105 on moisturizer.


Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, ($158 for 1.7 oz, $126.40 with 20% discount, $134.30 with 15% discount; $105 for 1 oz, $84 with 20% discount, $89.25 with 15% discount)

Clearly, the VIB sale is the logical time to pick up an extremely expensive product like this. I tried it in this kit. In case you don’t watch skincare gurus on YouTube ever, here’s the description:

Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. Fine lines appear visually plumped while the skin looks more radiant. With continued use, the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation and the visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthier-looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types and all ages, this treatment is enhanced with licorice for brightening, Good Genes clarifies, smooths, and retexturizes for instant radiance.

What I like about this product over going with something like one of The Ordinary.’s Lactic Acids is that it has all of these extra ingredients that make it less irritating to your skin. I tend to be on the more sensitive side, and I definitely purged during the first week or so of using this. Some people prefer the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, which also comes in a reasonably priced set, so it’s worth trying both to see which your skin prefers.


Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($19 for 2.4 oz, $15.20 with 20% discount, $16.15 with %15; $32 for 7.5 oz, $25.60 with 20% discount, $27.20 with 15% discount; $48 for 18 oz, $38.40 with 20% discount, $40.80 with 15% discount)

This sunscreen doesn’t break me out and is moisturizing enough to double as a moisturizer, since it has hyaluronic acid.

This broad-spectrum SPF 50, high-performance, water-resistant sunscreen provides protection for face and body in a skin nourishing lotion that is truly meant to be worn every day. Powered by potent antioxidant-rich Cellular Response Technology™, it protects from UVA, UVB, and IRA rays, while a unique oat beta-glucan—proven to deliver better long-term moisturization than hyaluronic acid—helps combat the skin dehydrating effects of sun exposure. Natural extracts of lemon, orange, basil, and bois de rose provide a subtle scent with no unpleasant sunscreen smell.

Basically, if you’re not using a good sunscreen, all of your other skincare is useless. I’ve gotten the Sephora sample kits and tried a whole bunch, but they either broke me out or left a white cast. This one feels like a moisturizer, but is SPF50 and does its job. It does make me a little shiny though, so I do have to use powder on my chin and forehead.


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 ($45, $36 with 20% discount, $38.25 with 15% off)

What I do 90% of the time is mix this tinted moisturizer with the sunscreen above. I don’t think that sunscreen in makeup or a moisturizer is ever really enough–you would generally have to put on a LOT to get the advertised SPF. I’ve written about it before, but here’s the product description:

Infused with lush, naturally-derived ingredients, this lightweight tinted moisturizer immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. It has been proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation for a clearer and brighter complexion in as little as four weeks. Oil-free and luxurious, it obscures the appearance of lines, wrinkles, pores, and other imperfections while broad spectrum SPF 30 protects skin.

Basically, tinted moisturizers are rarely light enough for me, and this one is. It was the only tinted moisturizer at Ulta that didn’t make it look like I was wearing self tanner.

What skincare are you planning on picking up at the sale?

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