If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
This kit is back in stock, but it has returned to its original $80 price tag. I went over the reasons I would not purchase the 2018 Sephora Favorites Superstars Kit at full-price in a previous article. The main reason was the original price of $80 was too high for mostly samples that Sephora has given out many times. Of the $85.50 in full-size products, none of the items really grabbed my attention. I already owned two of them and the other two were things I would not usually purchase, especially at full-price. All of the samples already existed in my collection, and I did not need duplicates of any of them. My decision in that article was I would purchase the kit if it dipped to $40. At that price, I could justify grabbing the two items I did not already own and keeping some duplicates of the products I really love and would actually need. Days after posting that article, Sephora discounted the set to $40 in its Labor Day Sale. To make sure I could not pass this deal up, Sephora allowed me to use my Rouge discount code from the Beauty Insider Appreciation Event for an extra 20% off bringing the final sales price to $32.
The only reason I bought this kit is because of the $40 price tag. I would NOT purchase it for $80.
I want to emphasize what I said in the Grab or Pass article. There are only three types of people who should ever consider it all full-price. Those are 1) people who want all four full-size products, 2) people new to makeup who do not own most of these products, or 3) people who do not mind paying for samples AND love most of these products.
There are 15 products in this set. Four are full-size. That means 11 are samples. Some of the 11 are normal sample sizes. Others are some of the smaller samples offered when samples come in multiple sizes. At $40, each product costs $2.67. That is a lot better than the $5.33 for each product from the people who paid $80.
As with all the larger favorites sets from Sephora, all products have a slot of their own to hold them in place during shipment. I have never received a broken product in one of the boxes, because the inserts are deep.
The 0.1oz Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Face Primer is worth $4.80. I love this primer for the areas around my larger pores. It fills them in nicely and lets everything on top sit nicer on the skin. This primer is not great for the dry areas of my skin, so I only use this in targeted places. As I already have multiples of this, I am unsure I will keep this duplicate.
The full-size 0.11oz Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Pure Hollywood retails for $20. I am not a huge fan of liquid lipstick, and I have not even tried this particular brand yet. Earlier this year, I purchased one (in a different shade) for an article I am working on comparing different liquid lipstick brands in my attempt to find one I do not hate. That was many months ago, and I had not brought myself to try it. Liquid lipstick is something I must be in the mood to wear, so I knew when I bought it (and some others from different brands) that the article I am writing will take a long time.
I do love this pale, mauve nude shade. From the swatch alone, I can already tell this is going to dry my lips out. Until I try it, I will reserve my official review. Scroll down to see the group of all swatches from this set. You will see that this is cracking. My lips are really dry as it is, so I do not want or need anything that exacerbates that problem.
The 0.12oz Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is worth $7.35. This is still one of my favorite primers, so it is a FabuFind. It is silky and smooth. My skin always looks better than it usually does when I opt for this one. Considering it helps my makeup last longer without drying out my skin, it is a nearly perfect all-around primer for someone with dry, aging skin.
The 0.85oz Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop retails for $19. Becca’s pressed highlighters never emphasize my texture as some highlighters do. They give me the wet skin appearance I love, which is impressive for powder. Depending on how heavy I apply this, it can look very natural or provide a blinding glow. It is shimmery without a drop of glitter. I do not need this duplicate, so I already gave it to a friend.
This is a great shade for my skin tone. While I would stop short of calling this universal, I think this is more versatile than Opal, which is the shade Becca always samples as the shade for anyone. The soft white-gold with peachy-pink undertones is my second favorite shade behind Moonstone.
Sephora lists the Lancôme Cils Booster XL Super-enhancing mascara base as 0.18oz, but it is 0.19oz. That is the full-size you would purchase separately, so it retails for $25.50. I love the CILS booster. Priming my lashes is a step in my makeup routine I usually skip to save time. When I do apply this, it always improves any mascara I pair it with. It is my favorite mascara primer, so it is a FabuFind. As I own multiples of this in full and sample size, I cannot say I will keep this duplicate. There is always a chance I will give it to someone else. Because it is something I love, I could always hold onto it for a backup. This is a backup that I would actually use since these go bad faster than most other beauty products.
The full-size Huda Classic Lash Scarlette #8 retail for $20. It surprised me that Sephora opted for a high-volume dramatic style for the lashes in this set. Everything else in this set is truly classic. Go figure that the only thing with classic in the title would be the opposite of classic. These are the second most dramatic lashes in the line Huda sells at Sephora. They would have paired nicely with a disco or festival set, but a favorites set full of staples was not the best fit. That said, I never would have purchased these outside of the set. Since I mostly opt for cheap ones, there are no overly dramatic lashes in my collection at all. This gives me a chance to try a truly over the top pair of lashes. I rarely wear lashes, so it will take a long time before I get around to trying these. My eyes will have to wait for an event that calls for a very dramatic look.
The 0.01oz Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer is worth $6.25. I love this eyeliner. It is very matte and very black. Once it is on, it is probably on for the rest of the day. Even crying and watery eyes can barely move this on the eyelid. If you want to smudge this, work fast. On the waterline, it will fight hard to hold on despite sweat, watery eyes, and crying. It will hold on better than most waterline eyeliners, too. Even though the sample is 4 times smaller than the full-size, the applicator is only half as small (full-size pictured for reference). That makes this sample easier to apply than some smaller eyeliner samples.
The 0.16oz Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer is worth $5.44. This is a primer I own, but I have not tried yet. I will eventually try it. Smoothing primers are great if they do not dry out my skin. If I like this once I try it, I will keep this duplicate.
The 0.12oz Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder is worth $8.36. This is my favorite loose setting powder, because it is fine and smooth. My skin has wrinkles and it is dry, but this product does better than most powders and does not irritate either concern. It is also very silky, so it does not emphasize texture on my face. Shine and oil are not really concerns for me, so I cannot review it that way. Others say this helps with that. As much as I love this, I was planning on gifting it to someone else. Then, I placed it next to my full and travel sizes. It looks like a family, so I just cannot bring myself to separate them.
See what I mean! Could you separate this adorable little family? At least it is a powder I know I love, so I will definitely end up using it at some point. This is even smaller than my travel size, so I will almost certainly travel with it. I really dislike how the powder in this shifts during travel, because there is nothing to keep the powder on the proper side of the sifter if it tips upside down. I will have less powder to push back through if I travel with a really small one, so keeping this is practical.
The 0.13oz tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara is worth $12.46. This is another product I’ve received so many samples of. Thus far, I have not been inspired to try it. I refuse to have more than 2-3 mascaras open at once, because I do not wear makeup that often and mascara goes bad fast. When you have over 100 kinds of mascara, grabbing 2-3 to open every 3-6 months will get you to the ones that do not piqué your interest slowly. Yes, this could be a great mascara, and I will eventually find out.
The full-size 0.019oz Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper retails for $20. I own so many of these in sample and full-size. This is an eyeliner I really enjoy, because it does not really bleed. It stays put (unless my eyes are really watery). My favorite thing about it is I can easily correct the line when my hands shake (which they always do) without the line getting too big (which is awful on my hooded eyes). With most other liners, the tips and shaky hands result in big lines. I like that it is not too dark (even though it is black) unless I really shake it before each use to bring the product to the tip. Because this dries out fast and I do not use liquid liner often, this is a duplicate I will probably keep.
The 0.13oz Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than Sex Mascara is worth $9.18. This mascara is a little too dry for me. It flakes off and dries out fast. I do not dislike it, because it does look beautiful before the flaking starts. This manages to volumize without clumping too much. That is rare with mascara. Mascara primer can help it adhere better and flake less, and this set has the best primer I’ve tried.
The 0.04oz Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick 01 Always Red is worth $3.31. When I want a long-wearing lipstick that is comfortable, I will reach for this formula. It is not a traditional liquid lipstick, so it never fully dries down. Because of that, it does not dry out my lips. It does transfer, but it transfers less and wears longer than a bullet lipstick. Depending on the color, it will emphasize lip lines and accentuate dry patches, but it never does to the extent a traditional liquid lipstick does. This is a great happy medium for people like me who cannot tolerate liquid lipstick.
This red is a beautiful shade. I get so many in this color, so I definitely do not need this duplicate.
The 0.5oz Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is worth $7.50. This is my favorite makeup setting spray. It sets my makeup, helps it last longer, removes the powdery look, and has a nice spray nozzle. My only complaint is it smells like saliva. Thankfully, the smell subsides quickly. On days where I know I will be in the heat, I only grab this. My makeup has a better chance of staying on when I grab this one. With some, it melts right off.
The 0.33oz Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer is worth $17.16. This is the third sample in this set that I own but have yet to try. That speaks to the sheer volume of products I have in my collection. Between that and how infrequently I wear makeup, some things wait a long time for their testing day. Unless I find someone who really wants this, I will probably keep this duplicate. If I love it once I try it, I am less likely to run out and buy it given its price tag. Samples like this are more valuable, because they can save me money temporarily (but cost me more in the long run). It is always better to fall in love with cheaper products. My fear that I will love something expensive and not want to buy it is why more expensive samples seem to sit longer in my collection.
For those who miss(ed) this set, fret not. If you follow my blog and others like it, you can get a lot of these samples for cheaper than purchasing a $40 or $80 kit. A single Sephora Play box for $10 could house 5 of these samples. Trading in 100 beauty insider points could get you one for free. Purchasing a full-size item you know you want and redeeming a promo code could also get one for free. You could wait for Sephora to offer its sample bags and receive 6-8 samples like this for free. For the brands that Ulta carries, it typically offers huge GWP bags. For those who really enjoy sampling and do not mind paying for samples, you can get 8 months with a $10 subscription for $80.
Sephora advertises this with a $205 value. I calculate the value at $186.31. When it comes to the calculations, I always use the cheapest possible buy-in for the price per ounce. Products are usually more expensive in travel size. That means my figures are always generous. Coming up almost $20 short means Sephora was too generous with its estimate. My personal value is $118.37, because there are duplicates I know I will not keep. The only duplicate I am 100% sure I will keep is the Laura Mercier, because I love the little family this baby made. If I only kept the new items and that duplicate by the time this is done, my personal value would be $48.36. As I only paid $32, I would still feel like this was a deal for me. From experience, I can tell you I end up getting rid of all duplicates I intend to and some I think I might keep, so my personal value will fall somewhere between $48.36 and $118.37.
Yes, that is a huge range. Now, you can see why I rejected this at $80. Someone in a similar situation who realizes the personal value could dip to $48.36 by the time it is over might even reject it at $40, or even $32. While that is still a savings, it is not a great savings for a Sephora Favorites Kit. That is why I really struggled with this purchase decision. There are a lot of great items in this. Of the items I’ve tried, there is not a single dud for me. In fact, I love most of the items I’ve tried. This was extremely well curated as a cult classics box, minus the lashes. If I could have changed this, I would have made some of the samples full-sized and made some of the full-sizes samples. I also would have charged less initially or added an extra full-size item to justify the $80 price tag.
Sephora does not inform a single Beauty Insider of all deals. 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 Grab or Pass and 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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