Last weekend I was in France! Aside from a lovely weekend with my husband and our friends in Lyon and the chance to see London Grammar play live... it meant I could go to Sephora!
I often read about Sephora from other bloggers, but we don't have one in the UK (Why not?!). When I returned from France last weekend I discovered that Sephora have actually started delivering to the UK!!! This is fantastic news, postage isn't cheap and there are conflicting reports about import tax/duty being charged. But more importantly it gives us the opportunity to access new brands as well as Sephora own-brand products (which I like!).
When I looked online I immediately gravitated towards the NARS section as they had the elusive Narsissist Palette in stock..... but alas they don't deliver this to the UK. Obviously some things they can't ship such as nail polish due to postal restrictions but the NARS thing I don't understand. Oh well, I can't afford it anyway...
Last weekend I made three separate visits to Sephora in Lyon (actually to more than one of them) and of course the obligatory French Pharmacy purchase of Bioderma. In Sephora, the displays of eye and lip products were just beautiful - I was just like a child in a sweet shop! to be honest I hadn't had the chance to do any research on blogger recommendations so I decided to try some Sephora own brand products.
|Sephora eyeshadow: No. 74 Walking in the sand|
Immediately I was drawn to a beautiful neutral shimmery eyeshadow which was Sephora's Walking in the sand no.74 (HERE on the French site although I couldn't find it on the US one) which was about 11 Euros. It is a pale warm peachy brown with fine glitter. It hardly shows in a swatch, but on the eyes it is really pretty especially with a bold lip and liquid eyeliner.
Not stopping there I tried to resist (and failed) Sephora's It Palette - Nude eyeshadow collection (see HERE on the US site).
|Sephora It Palette - Nude eyeshadow collection|
|Sephora It Palette - Nude eyeshadow collection swatches: Top row of palette|
|Sephora It Palette - Nude eyeshadow collection swatches: Bottom row of palette|
Of course I didn't need it seeing as I have all 3 Naked Palettes and a bulging MAC palette. But it was 29 Euros ($32 on the US site) and came in a padded case with a mirror, 12 eyeshadows (one is a base, one a highlighter and two are dark matte powder eyeliners), a double ended brush which has an angled liner end and a fluffy blending end. PLUS a brown eyeliner pencil! I have to say I am really impressed with this. All of the shadows are really usable shades, where as my NAKED palettes obviously have some that I just don't use. The brush is amazing - it rivals my expensive MAC offerings and is way better than the hard scratchy synthetic one in the NAKED Palettes. The pencil is good too, although I probably won't use that much as I prefer gel or liquid liner. As a starter kit this would be perfect! It is also fantastic for travel as everything you need is in there!
I also spotted a smaller travel palette which is almost a stocking filler type product, it is tiny! It comes in a hard black plastic case which clicks shut, little red silk hooks, a mirror, 4 neutral shadows (matte nude, darker brown, silver and black), 2 lip glosses (bright pinky red and nude) and a peach matte blusher. It was about 6 or 7 Euros and I couldn't resist it - handy for keeping in a handbag in case of a make-up emergency (have I even ever had one of those?). I haven't tried this properly yet, I did swatch the colours and found the pinky-red gloss is very soft and you use lots with the slightest touch so it probably won't last long. It is also so teeny it is quite hard to get your fingers in to swatch it, but a small brush would do the trick. I can't find an official product name for it or a link to it on either the French or US site so I guess it was just one of those close-to-the-till impulse buy type of things!
|Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stains: Rosewood, Tangerine and Coral Extract|
Then I moved onto lips.... I love a long lasting lip product and have recently tried a lot of glossy stain type products and really liked them. I spotted that Sephora had a display of newly launched Rouge Infusion Lip Stain 15hr colour glossy stains (see HERE). They were about 12 Euros each ($14 on the US site), so not cheap compared to the likes of Topshop's Gloss Ink or other drugstore offerings such as the L'Oreal Glamshine Stain Splashes. I ended up buying 3 (I had to make a return visit to try other colours!). The colour range was really good which is why I was drawn to them. They had the usual bright red, darker berry and plum and a fuchsia pink. But it was the more toned down colours that I liked. There was a very pale nude called 01 Beige Extract but I decided to skip this as it had a grey tone to it and I couldn't see much of a stain to it. So I chose a dusky brown-pink called 02 Rosewood, a peachy pink shade called 06 Coral Extract and soft peach shade called 08 Tangerine.
|Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stain swatches L-R: Rosewood, Tangerine and Coral Extract|
The Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stains have quite unusual packaging - like a pen with a small lid that unscrews to reveal a lipgloss applicator that you dip into the pot. The fragrance is quite sweet smelling but not unpleasant. They apply really well and don't feel gloopy or sticky on your lips. In fact they dry down to feel like you don't have any product on your lips. I like them. They are very similar to the Topshop Gloss Ink. The stain is very strong and if you swatch them on your hand you will have a job removing them. I have to say that there is no way they last for 15 hours though. I had to reapply 3 or 4 times during the evening as of course we were eating and drinking and the Lip Stains couldn't withstand that. They did fade to give me a bit of a 'ring around my lips' effect. I also noticed that when I reapplied them the stain really darkened and intensified the colour, so that the Tangerine one became quite a bright orange and the Coral Extract was actually quite a deep fuchsia colour (I do get very paranoid about bright colours though...). So whilst not fully standing up to their claims, I did really like them and will get good use out of them!
I did see some other beauties in Sephora but somehow managed to walk away. Eyeshadow palettes seem to be something that they do really well. I persuaded my friend to buy a beautiful smokey eye palette (I am a terrible enabler). She bought the grey-brown palette (HERE on the French site) but it also came in a green-cranberry set which looked amazing. There was also a very tempting alternative to my nude eyeshadow It Palette which had darker glittery colours (HERE). It seems that now you can order from the UK they may be mine after all...
Will you be ordering any Sephora products? I'd love to hear your reviews and recommendations so please leave me your links!
You can now order from Sephora for UK delivery HERE.