Happy Thursday, friends! I’ve got exciting beauty news to brighten your week… Sephora’s huge Holiday Savings Event opens to EVERYONE today with code YAYHOLIDAY! Not a Beauty Insider member yet? No problem, sign-up is fast and free HERE, and you’ll be able to save 10% starting TODAY!
To help you navigate this epic savings event, today I’m sharing my top 10 ride-or-die Sephora beauty products in every category… makeup, hair, and skin, along with new things I ordered.
Now is the best time to stock-up on faves or try out new things… not to mention, grab great gifts for the beauty lovers on your list! So many incredible stocking stuffers, too (like this fun set for just $12!). And if you’ve had your eye on something splurge-worthy, now’s your chance to save!
My Beauty Must-Haves //
I’ve been introduced to a lot of great makeup in the last several years, thanks to my friendship with makeup pro, Suzie Moldavon. She has access to every product on the market, so if she loves it, I know it’s good!
Most of these products I’ve loved for years, and are part of my every day.
Best in Beauty – Makeup //
1. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 // If I just need light coverage for around the house or out running errands, this tinted moisturizer is always what I grab! I wear shade ‘Alaska.’ It’s hydrating with a smooth finish, plus a touch of color and coverage. And… SPF!
2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer // I’ve been using this concealer for years! It’s got great coverage and a brightening effect, but is super hydrating so it doesn’t settle in to fine lines… an essential for those of us no longer in our 20s, ha! I wear shade ‘creme brûlée.’
3. tarte Fake Awake Eyeliner // My favorite makeup trick… line your lower waterline with this nude pencil to neutralize redness and instantly brighten eyes. Use it in the corner of your eyes and on the brow bone, too.
4. Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense // I think I’ve tried half the eyeliners on the market, and I always come back to this one. It goes on smoothly without tugging, and it smudges perfectly. Layer a little shadow over for all-day staying power.
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil // Good brows can make you look 10 years younger, and this pencil goes on easily, both drawing in missing spots and coloring over too-light hairs. I wear ‘taupe.’ If you like a brow gel, I recently started using this tarte Sketch & Set and really like it. I wear ‘ash blonde.’
6. Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick // I have an arsenal of favorite lip brands and colors, but Hourglass is always a go-to. It’s creamy and hydrating, with all-day staying power. I love that the formula is also 100% cruelty free, and made without Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates. My go-to shade is ‘I Can’t Wait.’
7. Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner Pro Starter Kit // The quickest and easiest way to get your makeup brushes clean, with barely any drying time! Simply dip the bristles in the cleanser, then swirl them on a towel until clean. The fast drying and powerful cleansing formula melts away all traces of creams, pigments, and waxes from synthetic and natural bristles instantly, with no need for rinsing.
8. IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+ // This is my and Mama Sugarplum’s go-to foundation! It has great coverage that doesn’t look flat or painted on, is hydrating, and gives a subtle, natural glow! Plus, SPF 50!
9. Shiseido Eyelash Curler // I used to think all eyelash curlers were created equal, until Suzie introduced me to this one. I’ll never use anything else again!
10. NARS Blush // I’ve been using NARS blush for years, and I love the high pigment formula and natural flush they provide. In fact they’re so pigmented, it only requires a single swipe across the product with a brush, and it stays put all day. My go-to shade for a natural flush is ‘Amour.’
Best in Beauty – Skin //
1. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Peel // Chock-full of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids to visibly reduce signs of aging and encourage natural cell turnover, these pads provide a powerful at-home facial. I’ll dermaplane before applying this peel once a week, and I swear that this combo has made the single biggest difference in the texture and appearance of my skin!
2. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultimate Strength Hand Salve // I’ve tried a slew of hand creams over the years, but none have come close to the healing and moisturizing of Kiehl’s Hand Salve! It allows skin to absorb water from the air, forming a ‘glove-like’ protective barrier against moisture loss. It’s instantly soothing, rubs on easily, and absorbs quickly. Not to mention, makes my hands look younger!
3. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse // Looking for a golden, natural tan at home year-round, without the damaging rays of the sun? St. Tropez is the product for that! I shared my tips and tricks for At-Home Self Tanning a few months ago (see it HERE).
4. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask // No more chapped lips! I slather this on every night, and even use it as a light gloss during the day. I’ve yet to find anything as effective. It’s the perfect little gift, too!
5. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ // For days when I’m not wearing any makeup, or for trips to the pool, this is my hands-down fave face sunscreen of choice. I love the matte finish that smoothes skin, while providing great sun protection. I rub any leftover product on the tops of my hands.
6. Olehenriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner // This toner is one of my newer finds, and already it’s my favorite step in my morning skincare routine! It removes oils and products from overnight, leaving skin clean and awake, with a perfect oil-free base for a new day. I’m obsessed with the scent, too.
7. Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme // Another new fave to my morning routine, and I never skip it! Hydrating and brightening, it instantly wakes up my tired eyes and prepares the delicate skin for makeup. It also helps to lighten circles over time.
8. Clarins V-Facial Intensive Wrap // A luxurious, cream-mousse formula, this mask goes on thick and literally seems to absorb puffiness! To preserve this precious product, I concentrate it in my puffiest areas, as opposed to applying to my entire face. The only downside is the cult following that keeps it sold out more often than not!
9. Tan-Luxe THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops // For natural color on my face, I apply 1-2 drops of this self-tanner to my favorite moisturizer (don’t forget to wash your hands!). It gives me a natural, bronzy glow that matches the St. Tropez self-tan on my body.
10. Olehenriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum // Vitamin C is an essential step to your morning skincare, as it acts as a barrier protecting your skin from pollutants all day. This highly concentrated formula glides on easily and leaves my skin looking bright. Make sure you allow it to absorb a minute before applying moisturizer.
Best in Beauty – Hair //
1. Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers // These are my secret weapon for volume at the crown and reviving day-old hair. I set my part and crown with these large rollers immediately after blow-drying for more volume and smoothness, without additional heat.
2. ghd Curve 1″ Classic Curl Iron // I picked up this curling iron (a favorite among the pros) last year to see how it compared to my go-to T3. Let’s just say I’ve since donated every other curling iron and use this one exclusively! The smart technology keeps the iron at the perfect temperature for curls that last, without damaging hair. It slides easily through my hair, and curls last for days! If you have hard-to-curl hair, this iron is for you.
3. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer // Pricey? Yes. Worth every penny? Absolutely. Dries hair faster, leaving it smooth and shiny. Plus, it’s lightweight and fairly quiet for a dryer.
4. Drybar The Morning After Shower Cap // Surely you have this by now? The only way to extend your style, it’s lined with terry cloth to absorb moisture and humidity while you shower, leaving your hair exactly the same! It’s a great bigger size too, so it covers even the thickest head of hair!
5. Olaplex N0 6. Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme // This miracle styling creme is the only product I’ve found that actually allows me to air-dry my hair without frizz or kinks, delivers a smooth blowout, and helps protect. And a little goes a long way, I’m still on my first bottle after a year of use!
6. amika Blowout Blow Dryer Brush Set // A great blow-out is the foundation of a good hair day (or days!), and this dryer brush delivers! I use it for the final 20% of drying, and it lifts and smooths hair effortlessly with no fumbling. It’s lightweight, and most importantly, it has adjustable heat settings, which is essential for fine or color-treated hair.
7. Drybar Super Lemon Drop Brush // A great brush for detangling wet hair easily, and brushing out day-old product on dry hair. It glides through hair gently, with no tugging or breaking. I also have the mini for travel.
8. Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo // This dry shampoo is a fine dry mist and quickly absorbs the excess oils in my hair, with no residue or texture. I actually spray it to my roots at night and brush through the next morning for fresh hair! And this product is brand new and already getting rave reviews.
9. Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium Hold // This hairspray provides a strong hold that leaves no sticky residue or stiffness on the hair, and the flexible formula keeps hair looking natural and touchable. I love the fine mist that makes it easy to get in all the areas of my hair, and there are no clogged nozzles!
10. Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector // You know I’m Team Olaplex all the way, but if I had to choose just one, it’d be this miracle treatment! The Hair Perfector strengthens and protects compromised hair from within, and restores a healthier appearance and texture. Apply it weekly to damp hair (I try to use it twice a week since my hair is so fragile from coloring), let it sit for 10 or more minutes, then shampoo as usual. It has made the single biggest difference in my hair’s appearance and manageability. I literally look forward to using it because I know my hair will instantly look better!
Okay… that was definitely hard to narrow down, but I stand behind all these beauty must-haves! Do we share any favorites? The pricier items I only replace once or twice a year during this sale (looking at you peel pads and de-puffing mask!). It’s also when I splurge for the luxury items like my hair dryer and curling iron.
I already placed one order stocking up on old faves, and splurged on this gadget and this mask. I also grabbed this dry shampoo that I’ve heard great things about, and this blonde enhancer I’ve been itching to try.
The Holiday Savings Event is open to all Beauty Insider Members for unlimited use with code YAYHOLIDAY. Not a Sephora Beauty Insider member? No worries, sign up HERE is fast and free!
What are you stocking up on or trying new?!
[More Hi Sugarplum beauty posts]
Holiday Makeup & Girl Gang Gift Guide
Amazon Beauty Faves
How to Curl Your Hair with a Straightener
Beauty Files | 5 Step At-Home Spa Facial
Beauty Files | How To Olaplex
Tips for a Natural Self-Tan at Home
My Morning Skincare Routine
Beauty Files | Winter’s Heavy Hitters
Dyson Dryer – Worth the Hype?