Last weekend Sephora hosted a promotion (aka, shopping incentive) for their VIB’s. Not only would purchases made between Aug. 8th-10th yield you double beauty insider points, but also a free swag bag brimming with deluxe samples.
Could I miss this? No. Luckily, I was in dire need of a refill of my holy grail Kate Somerville clarifying toner. Lucky me!
Have a look inside…
Included in the swag bag:
1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (0.5 oz.) in the shade Nude. This happens to be my shade, by some stroke of magic (I believe it is the second lightest) and the item that I anticipated the most! It provides adequate coverage for me despite the sheer texture. For reference, the Korres TM is a bit thicker, dries faster, and applies more like a foundation. The Laura Mercier TM truly feels like moisturizer as you rub it into your face. I love both, honestly, and plan on reaching for whichever based on how much coverage I desire on a given day. Going for a summer hike? Korres! Going to grab a coffee? Laura Mercier!
Here I am wearing the Laura Mercier TM (and not much else– just a bit of NARS Orgasm blush and MAC Opulash black mascara):
Isn’t the finish lovely? Personally, I think it photographs really nicely. It also looks very natural in direct sunlight. I’m curious to see how the oil-free version compares, but so far this one is AMAZING.
2. Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener (0.13 oz.). Another item that was on my “to test” wish list, Smashbox Photo Op brightens the under eye area in a subtle yet dramatically flattering way. All you need to apply is a tiny little dot of product, under each eye. The sample size tube is slightly bigger then one half of the full size product. I apply this over my Bobbi Brown creamy concealer that I swear by, and it adds a healthy sheen that can only be described as that ‘well rested’ look. Such a simple little product, but I’m hooked. I love face products that enhance ones natural beauty without screaming I applied shimmer powder! Which, by the way, is totally okay. Just not every day, please!
3. Phyto Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm (0.5 oz.). This one is an old favorite, so I’m pleased to have another deluxe sample join my collection once again! I apply this to my damp hair before blow drying, and it leaves me with silky shiny locks. It leaves the hair super soft and manageable. This Phyto balm is chemical free, instead utilizing plant extracts and essential oils to saturate the hair cuticle with moisture and relax frizz. This doesn’t make my hair greasy or heavy at all, which is important. I think this would work for anyone who heat styles and desires a smoothing product to help combat humidity.
4. Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster (0.17 oz.) I haven’t tested this one out yet, but the idea behind this anti-aging product is to enhance the youthful elements in ones skin. It is supposed to increase skin elasticity, boost collagen production, and help to smooth over wrinkles. Sounds lovely for spot treatment around the eyes, upper lip, and forehead.
5. Clarins Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum (0.35 oz.) I haven’t used this product yet, but it works to renew skin cells through gentle fruit enzyme exfoliation. It helps combat the earliest signs of aging and improves elasticity. We shall see! It looks promising– Kate Somerville ExfoliKate (my favorite EVER) opened my eyes to the world of fruit enzyme exfoliation and I’m a big fan. Hopefully the Clarins serum will serve as a nice facial pick me up to add to my skin care routine.
6. Urban Decay Stardust Eye Shadow in Retrograde (0.035 oz.). This little gem is nearly full sized (0.05 oz. = reg. full size UD, 0.12 oz. = full size UD Stardust) and is absolutely gorgeous! When Stardust shadows first launched I swatched them all, purchased none, and have been lusting over them ever since. I still would like one of the neutral toned shades (Space Cowboy, Diamond Dog…) but that is a separate story! Stardust shadows impart a sheer wash of color and leave super fine glitter in their wake. So the name is quite fitting, hmm? They aren’t supposed to have much fallout; I’m interested to see if that holds true once I play with this on my eyes (and not the back of my hand). I think it’s important to emphasize that these are NOT intended to give a bright pop of color– just a sheer wash of shimmer. It might not sound like much, but I think the superfine texture of the glitter makes this shadow stand out. It’s very polished looking– glitter for grown ups? Perhaps!
The trial size packaging is adorable. The pot is made of sturdy, thin, cardboard complete with magnetic closure. Very practical!
7. Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara. This will remain sealed until I’m in need of a new mascara– I have two black, one brown, and one blue open at the moment. I prefer to have at most two black mascaras open at once so I can use them up within 3-6 months without waste. Mini mascaras are great for travel as well, thus they are always handy to have in your collection or purse.
Also in the swag bag were two Sephora lovin’ buttons (pictured way up top) and a coupon for one time use free shipping on any purchase for VIB’s only in the month of August. That’s a nice option to have if you only wish to order an inexpensive item, redeem a perk, and not have to drive to the mall OR pay shipping while still staying under the standard $50 free shipping threshold.
If you have read through this entire post and still don’t know what VIB stands for, I shall explain: Sephora Very Important Beauty Insider, a customer that spends over $350 in a calendar year (which is so easy to do, if you purchase makeup, skincare, appliances, etc.). Each year you receive a 10% off coupon to use on anything in the store, a gift card at the holidays (I can’t remember if last years was $20 or $25), and frequent offers for bonus gifts and perks.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside the swag bag!