Beauty Haul Diaries: What Was Worth Buying During Sephora’s VIB Sale

If I had to estimate how long I’ve been a Sephora customer, it’s been (definitely) for over ten years! I was ecstatic when it opened at Boston’s Prudential Center (back when they sold brands like Bourjois Paris and Cargo). I went into that store so many times, I still remember on the one random occasion I decided to check out the fragrance section (I must’ve been craving a bottle of ckOne again), a security guard commented: “I’ve never seen you in the perfumes before.” WOMP.

Then, that was just the beginning stages of a now full-blown love affair with makeup that’s also evolved into regular, obsessive-compulsive, makeup purchasing. You’re familiar with this high if you love cosmetics (or anything for that matter. Sneakers, bags…food). Sometimes, just buying the item is more exhilarating than the thought of wearing it! Yet in all my years of being a huge Sephora fan and card-carrying member of their Beauty Insiders club, it was only just this past fall, I officially became VIB!

In Sephora-politics, the Beauty Insider is the standard towards collecting points for cute, free samples and of course, a birthday gift. But in order to take advantage of those legendary discounts and early previews and access to products, customers have to be VIB or of VIB Rouge status. And honey boo love child, that is and isn’t an easy task. For VIB, you have to spend $350 dollars in a calendar year. For VIB Rouge, it’s $1,000 of your money down the Sephora rabbit hole. (The catch for both is that if you don’t maintain that spending amount into the next year, you go back to swiping an ol’ Beauty Insider card).

As much as beauty addicts and enthusiasts love makeup, that’s a lot of money for us! And for most who love makeup, owning an intermingling of cosmetics brands from also the department store, drugstore, independent brands and online, makes wearing makeup even more fun! Well, apparently, I was feeding my ego to the fullest this year courtesy of this 45-year-old Parisian emporium because when the cashier excitedly told me I was VIB and handed me a silver packet with my new card, I was elated and wanted to kick myself in the ass. So have much have I spent on makeup this year already?!

Kim Kardashian

I received the self-bestowed treat just in time, however, to participate in Sephora’s annual VIB Rouge sale, a week and half blow-out in which customers (who are VIB) can use a 20% discount as many times as they please. Ooooo, was I pumped for that! I have certainly complained that Sephora never holds sales and that Beauty Insider card sometimes felt whack when all you received were samples (granted, sometimes very nice ones, like the BeneFit They’re Real mascara I got once). VIB Rouges got to splurge first, and then the VIBs. Like many other customers in the store during VIB week, I had my Sephora app opened on my phone. We were using out cart online as a wish list to track down all the dreams items I’ve ever wanted.

In total, I spent a little under $300. (Jesus). I made three separate trips and I walked up and down, to and fro the insides of my Sephora location, I was playing no games with VIB@ I was going to make the most out of it! This was not a time to get just the decently marked stuff. I was talking designer labels and gold plated cases.

betty boop

It was tough not buying everything (I got comfortable real quick with the idea of 20% off), but I did narrow my choices to a handful of items and I’ve been really happy with them! I didn’t purchase any lipsticks or glosses, but I was focused on getting quality foundation and high-end mascara. Below is a breakdown of what I got, accompanied by mini reviews.

  1. Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, $10.50 Such an amazing eye makeup Remover. It gets everything off! I use it after I wash my face and even after cleansing with coconut oil, that really breaks down makeup, like a magnet, the Remover still gets any leftovers. It’s kind of superb.

2. Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme, $44 So here comes a Sephora complaint. I often think that the lighting in the store kind of sucks. Actually, make that all time. They are times you try out a product and you look in the mirror and feel like the bomb 1995. But when you purchase the item and take it home, you suddenly find that the color looks lackluster or is a little off. In the store, Becca’s Complexion Creme in Sandalwood looked seamless on my skin. But at home, it seemed a tad darker than earlier. I wasn’t upset, just a bit confused, but I make it work by mixing it with my Black Up Full Coverage Cream Foundation. This a really good item.

3. MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer, $36 Intrigued by the many different options of primers from Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 line, I was originally going to get the tube for Oily Skin. But I went ahead with Caramel, designed for dark/deep skin tones. I thought it was pretty cool it existed and ir reminded me of L.A. Girl’s PRO Concealer in Orange Corrector, also meant for deep skinned makeup wearers.

4. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect, $32 I’ve always, always wanted this tube and for some reason never got around to buying it. Weird how that sometimes happens with makeup. But I think this was literally the first item I placed in my Sephora shopping bag. I really like it and glad it hasn’t disappointed me.

5. Sephora Collection Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner, $13 A random fine, but once I swatched Glitter Copper on hand and lower lashline, in the bag with YSL it went.

6. Guerlain Maxilash Volumizing and Curling Mascara, $30 Gosh, this one I had to consider getting especially because it was VIB time. The packaging alone is enough to make your mouth water and the formula is just the right about creamy for the lashes. The slight curl of the brush is also great. Yes! Yes Yes!

7. Sephora Collection Fine Line Waterproof 24HR Fine Liner, $14 The thinnest of Sephora’s eyeliner and Black eyeliner collections. In the attempt to still perfect the sleekest cat-eye, I tested it out on my lid and decided to give it a try. So far, it’s quite dependable.

8. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara $20 This was recommended to me after two friendly employees saw that I was disappointed on the sold-out status of Becca’s hard to find Ultimate Mascara. It was gone even before VIB started, but it transferred very similar to Urban Decay’s Perversion and Too Faced’s Better Than Sex. The employees agreed and then suggested Full Exposure. While not on the same level as the wet, full, high glam look of Perversion, Full Exposure is good for a more amped up take on the natural look.

9. Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, $27 I thought Clover went perfectly with my skin tone. In the store. But again, at home, it looked redder than in Sephora. It still works very well once I apply my concealer here and there. It surely stays put throughout the day.

10. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $17 So many amazing colors to pick from, it was a close call between four shades. You know I wanted all four shades, but I chose Acid, a purple hue. I will eventually get the others!

11. Hourglass Ambient Lightning Blush, $35 The design is enough to make you want to buy it (you’ve seen Hourglass’ gorgeous Modernist eye shadow palettes). The $35 price tag redeems itself in that this blush gives both color and highlight. Before I tried it on, Luminous looked kind of too light of a pink for me. But once I swirled it on, it was rosier than I imagined. I love this product and may be my favorite from the VIB sale. Go figure, it was the last one I bought too!

the little mermaid


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