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There is a two-week period each year where Sephora employees get to send unique 20% discount codes to friends and family. It almost always starts in mid October. This is a real friends and family code meaning recipients are personally selected by an employee to get one. While some people may ask employees who are not friends or family members for codes, many will be unsuccessful. Some employees may offer theirs to strangers and customers they like where others will stick to the original reason for the code, friends and family. We all want to believe that our favorite rep is our friend, but unless the rep offers a code, the relationship is probably not a friendship. A good salesperson can make you feel like a friend though.
I was pleasantly surprised last year when a wonderful Sephora employee asked me to give her my email, so she could send me a unique discount code for 20% off. She’s pretty awesome, but that was above and beyond. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from a different incredible employee this year. Sephora employees usually go above and beyond, but this particular one is incredible. In case she happens upon this post, I will thank her here in addition to the message I already sent. Thanks! If you have not received a code yet, there is still time. The sale ends on the 28th. Assuming you are a VIB or higher, the VIB discount sale will also be coming shortly (probably around the 4th for Rouge and the 5th for VIB), so another 20% discount is coming.
A lot of the awesome sets or sale items released before the VIB sale will sell out during the employee appreciation sale. There were a few sale items I wanted and even contemplated using a 10% off code I won from the Beauty Shake Up event which ran at Sephora through 10/22/15. Those codes are valid through 10/31/15, so the VIB codes are coming right after those run out. These unique employee appreciation codes are only good once, so I may still use that 10% off code anyway if anything else opens up that may not last until the VIB sale.
At $80, I did not want the Guerlain Météorites Powder For The Face And Décolleté. I did want them for $64, but everyone else did, too. Even though I purchased the first morning on the sale and they were in stock the day before, they were out of stock when I went to order them. If these come back in stock for the VIB sale, I may grab them then. Luckily, I was able to grab everything else I’d been eyeing. A Sephora employee thinks these may re-stock, so I may still pick them up during the VIB sale.
Sephora only allows one promo code per order, so the only way to get freebies on a discount order is to add your samples and/or select point perks. I selected: a 0.1oz duo of Dior Addict Lip Maximizer High Volume Lip Plumper and Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink, a 0.13oz Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, and a 0.005oz Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil. The sunscreen and oil are new samples for me, so I look forward to trying them. While I already received the Dior lip sample, I selected it again, because I love two-in-one samples. Someone I love will probably benefit from this duplicate.
The Lip Maximizer is sticky when you first apply it, but settles into something less sticky as it wears. Within two minutes of applying, it is about a two out of five on the sticky scale. That makes it tolerable, but nothing I would purchase. It has a cooling effect and tastes weird (not bad, just weird), so my tongue tingles when it inevitably gets into my mouth. I did not find it very plumping and thought my lips looked the same as they always do, only more shiny. They also felt slightly more moisturized than what a standard gloss brings to the table. The light pink color of the gloss is almost non-existent on the lips, so this is essentially clear.
Every time you purchase something from Sephora using a Beauty Insider account, you get points. It is usually one point per dollar unless there is a promotion for bonus points. That means a 100 point perk is usually a reward you choose for spending $100. I like seeing freebies with my orders, so I cashed in 100 points for a 0.05oz Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lip Gloss in Bitter Sweet and 250 points for a Bite Lip Lab Trio in Kir Royal.
This looked very purple in the swatch making it look edgy.
It looked less purple on my lips, because my soft pink lip color muted some of the purple. This formula goes on glossy and takes some effort to make it all even. On a sticky scale of 1 to 5, I’d place this around a 1.75. Anything 2 and above is a no-go for me, so this is all right. The trade off for the slightly sticky formula is the color did last a while. As it faded, it stayed even and looked matte. The stickiness also faded, so it reminds me of a lipstick when it fades. Like most glosses, it did not highlight lip lines or accentuate dry patches.
Sorry for the low quality picture. It was raining, so the sun was hiding. I will edit in a better picture next time I wear this.
I’d been interested in the two previous 250 point Bite perks, but I hate ordering Bite lipsticks in the warmer months. They always arrive sweating (and sometimes arrive that way even in the colder months). Kir Royal, the October 250 point perk, is the prettiest color I’ve seen, so it was the perfect time to finally collect a limited edition trio. The set includes a button mirror and the burgundy-wine Kir Royale 0.05oz minis of the lipstick and the gloss. As soon as I try them, I will come back to edit this and review them.
The button mirror matches the lippies.
Like most Bite Lipsticks, Kir Royale is extremely moisturizing. It feels amazing on really dry lips like mine. The color is a beautiful wine shade that I loved against my skin tone. This did not highlight dry patches or accentuate lip lines. The formula even lasted a bit longer than most of my other Bite lipsticks.
This swatch shows how smooth and even this applies.
I love this color. The formula is a little sticky (probably about a 2 out of 5), but it is long-lasting for gloss. It does not highlight dry patches or accentuate lip lines making it a wonderful formula for days when lips are really dry. That is why I love gloss in general. This is probably not a gloss I would buy, because I prefer my gloss to be 1.75 out of 5 or less on the sticky scale. The sample is great though, and I will happily use it.
I’ve purchased some nail art kits in the past, including one from Sephora, but I have not tried any of them yet. For Halloween, I am planning something artistic. It will probably be a hot mess, because I cannot draw with my dominant hand and feel drawing with my other hand will look like I allowed my four-year old to go to town on my nails. Regardless, I hope the Sephora Collection Art At Your Fingertips Nail Kit will help make my creation a little less frustrating. Once I’ve designed my first creation, I will come back and edit this.
I had to take a picture without the flash to show that while the leather-like fabric is shiny, it is not that reflective.
There is a pouch with pockets inside to hold everything.
The kit includes: a metal dotting tool, a fan brush, a flat brush, a pointed brush, and 2 fine-tip nail art pens.
There is also card describing the products.
I used the black fine tip nail art to draw Jack Skellington in my Halloween nails.
Formula X in X ♥ Rouge is a classic candy apple red. This was actually the gift given to VIB Rouge clients when they qualified in 2014. The store I qualified in did not have any, and I’ve wanted it ever since. Paying for something I should have received for free did not excite me, but paying $8.40 beats paying $10.50. I did get the Bite mini VIB Rouge lipstick in 2014 (the 2013 gift), so I did not leave empty-handed. Compare this to my other red polishes.
Bésame Cosmetics Lipstick & Matchbook Set in Red Velvet 1946, a mid-tone neutral red. I have a lot of red lipsticks and thought I would not be buying another red anytime soon, but this cute set from the brand that controls the red lipstick standard called to me. Most of my reds are orange or blue reds, so I am hoping this neutral one can fill a hole. At some point, I need to swatch all my red lipsticks to see if I have all the shades covered or not. The Matchbook will be perfect for travel, and I love that this set is only $1 more than a regular lipstick. Getting the Matchbook for $1 ($0.80 after the discount) seems like a steal. Once I wear this, I will edit to review.
I usually go for blue toned reds, but getting the matchbook for $1 instead of $6 made me give this neutral shade a chance. It is actually even prettier and deeper on my lips than it appeared in the swatch. This is one of the best lipsticks I’ve ever worn. The red is striking. My dry patches and lip lines were not accentuated. Even after eating, it still looked bright. It wore off evenly, too. I applied it in the morning and only reapplied it once the whole day, but there was still a lot on when I washed my face that night. The best part is it was moisturizing. There are some more moisturizing formulas, but this was the most moisturizing of the long-lasting formulas. Neither Tom Ford nor Bite last this long.
I’ve always wanted to try Bliss Fat Girl Slim. After being surprised by how wonderfully DERMAdoctor Shrinking Beauty worked, I only wanted to try this more. When Sephora put Bliss items on sale, the kits that already had a great value became steals. Bliss Rock The Party not only includes a full-size 6oz Fat Girl Slim for less than buying it on sale separately, but you also get: a 1oz Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream, a 0.5oz Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask, and two Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Masks (one for each eye so it’s a single use). Other than the hand cream, which I really like, all three items are new to me. The hand cream moisturizes well, but the smell keeps me from loving it. I look forward to trying the others.
The Urban Decay Urban Ammo Eye Palette has graced the sale section for a while, and I kept passing on it. I have a lot of Urban Decay palettes. It hit me that I have a lot of Urban Decay palettes, because they are all great, quality palettes. Thus, I decided to pick this up. Getting an Urban Decay palette for $12.80 is a steal, so I am glad I went for it. At 0.03oz each, the shadows are 60% the normal size. There are 10 though, so you get 0.3oz of shadows in: Smog (deep coppery bronze), Maui Wowie (sandy sheen), Mildew (shimmering metallic green), Shattered (bright iridescent aquamarine), Oil Slick (black with rainbow glitter), Polyester Bride (sheer white shimmer), Last Call (iridescent plummy purple), Grifter (sparkling pale purple), Chopper (shimmering fawn with glitter), and Sin (light shimmering champagne).
Smog, Mildew, Oil Slick, Last Call, and Chopper.
Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, and Sin.
I was mostly pleased with my first use of the palette. Like most Urban Decay shadows, there was a lot of fall out. Polyester Bride was harder to control fall out, because there is so much glitter in it. It did apply less chalky than its swatch though. Despite being careful and tapping off the excess, my face was covered in glitter. The shadows blended easily, were creamy, were pigmented, and did not crease. Mildew went in on my lid. Smog was my crease color. Polyester bride went just below my brow (and all over my face but not on purpose). Chopper lined my lower lashes and and in my outer V. Maui Wowie went in the center of my lid. When I washed everything off about 10 hours later, it looked as good as when I applied it. There was no fading and the glitter from Polyester Bride partially stayed through the face wash.
Every time I went to purchase the Burberry Mini Beauty Box, it was out of stock. It was so nice to see it back in stock for the beginning of the sale. The set includes: a 0.08oz Light Glow Contouring Powder in Earthy Blush Number 7, a 0.035oz Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Military Red Number 109, a 0.17oz Fresh Glow Fluid Base in Nude Radiance Number 1, and a Mini Kubuki Brush. Once I try things, I will come back and edit this.
I love that the mini brush comes with a little pouch. It’s an elegant touch.
The Earthy Blush has an eye applicator, because it can double as an eyeshadow.
From the swatch alone, I do not think this would work as well on the eyes as Burberry shadows. Pale Barley is probably my single favorite shadow from any brand and this is nowhere near as beautiful. It is a nice color though.
I used Earthy Blush on my cheeks only and am pleased with the look. It looks more natural than I imagined, because the powder is matte and barely darker than my skin color.
I tried Earthy Blush on my eyes to see how it wore as a shadow. The color is only slightly darker than my natural color, so I thought it gave a very natural look. Although I am not a huge fan of all matte with no shimmer, I thought this looked nice. It did not crease proving it really does work well on both cheeks and eyelids. A lot of multi-use products miss the mark in one or both of their intended areas.
I used Earthy Blush again in the picture below. Although I used a MAC Skin Finish for a light bronzer, I used Earthy Blush as the sole blush. It was also my base for my eyeshadow where I paired it with Rosewood and Pale Barley.
In the picture above (with the pink lipstick and green eyeshadow), I am also using Fresh Glow but only in the places I use highlighter. I’ve received the Fresh Glow in the past, so I am attaching that swatch. It provides a very pretty glow, so I am happy to have a backup.
I used Burberry Fresh Glow as all all over luminizer in the picture below. This is my preferred way to use this product. It makes my skin look dewy even near areas where my skin is actually dry.
The Burberry Military Red is a beautiful color, and I love the finish.
It is semi matte with a hint of shine.
This does not accentuate dry patches or lip lines. The formula is moisturizing but lasts a decent amount of time. It is a muted red but red nevertheless.
The NARS Audacious Lipstick Janet is a deep magenta. I missed the boat on the Audacious craze, but I’ve watched looks and swatches with a careful eye and felt confident that Janet was where I needed to start. A friend said Janet is her favorite, and she has an impressive collection. Janet also looks amazing on her. She’s the same friend who enabled me on Tom Ford Francesco, which is as amazing as she claimed.
This lipstick is incredibly moisturizing. It does not highlight lip lines or accentuate dry patches. While it does move (thanks to the moisturizing formula), it still lasts a long time. Hours after putting it on and even after a heavy meal, it was mostly still on. In that sense, it reminds me of the Tom Ford formula.
I am happy with this purchase. Thanks to the sale and kits, I feel like I got an amazing deal. Sephora does not inform a single Beauty Insider of all deal details. Certain offers are targeted and others have different purchase minimums based on the code. Remember to check New Offers and/or Recycled Offers before placing an online order. If you’re spending over $25, you can add a promo code to any order. See all Sephora articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Sephora. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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