Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Haul to End All Hauls (Really): Sephora Fall Sale

I think a lot of people have spoken about the American election, in far more eloquent words than I can string together, and this is primarily a beauty blog, AND I'm not American, so there is an element of sticking my nose in where it may not belong. That said, I am Canadian, and live in a region that heavily depends on US exports, consume massive amounts of American media and goods, am influenced socially, economically, and politically by whatever happens south of the 49th parallel without much of a say in the matter (the mouse in the shadow of the elephant, if you will). I am grieved and angry. But I am also made hopeful by the outpouring of support that people have been lending one another all over the world. Keep it up, my fellow nasty women. The work is just beginning.

Anyway, on a Wednesday where I walked around in a kind of shell-shocked haze, I came home to my Sephora order from the VIB Rouge sale. I'm somewhat embarrassed to be Rouge and have been all year, because that is so much money. Some of it was accrued from buying things for American friends (all those Bite Canada exclusives) and I transferred a lot of my skincare buying to Sephora last year, and I usually clean up in gift cards, and the Canadian beauty prices means you actually get to Rouge faster in Canada, but all of these aside, it was not great, and part of my drive to be more mindful about spending this year. I am happy to say that I'm not going to come close to hitting Rouge this year, and frankly don't want to. The perks of Rouge have been much maligned all over the beauty corner of the internet, but I'll say it again: there is literally no point to VIB Rouge in Canada and honestly I'd rather they did nothing for that level of spending than half-ass it. I usually don't care too much about rewards programs at places I'm going to shop anyway, but after 11 months of Rouge, I got exactly one code that was worth it. The free shipping is nice, but since the free shipping threshold was lowered from $75 to $50 when Sephora opened their Canadian warehouse this year, I probably won't miss it that much. Whatever, Rouge, VIB is more than sufficient for my needs.

The arrival of my order could not have been more well-timed. It was like Canada Post knew I needed to lose myself in swatching new things that day - and also, knowing that my order was there helped me talk myself out of stress shopping. Another vice I've worked to buck. So far, still strong.

The goods.

I used the sale to do three things: pick up some things I wanted to try, replace a staple, and finally pick up some things I've been obsessing over for months. Yes, I did finally buy Bite Squid Ink and it is as magical as I thought it was the first time I swatched it in March. I have yet to figure out where to wear it in small-town northern New Brunswick, but I have it, so that's half the battle. It's so beautiful. I can't stop looking at it. And putting it on to finish my Gilmore Girls marathon every night after work.


I also picked up two more Bite lipsticks in the Amuse Bouche line: the Gold/Sour Cherry duo and Mauvember 2016. I liked the Mauvember shade from last year, but it's slightly too grey to be flattering on me, and I figured this year's was different enough to work. Plus I like the Amuse Bouche formula more than the Luminous Creme, after all.

Left Mauvember 2016, right Mauvember 2015

Left 2016, right 2015

2016 on my face.

Mauvember 2016 is slightly warmer and redder than last year's version, and I do find it more flattering on me. Less zombie, more interesting.

The Gold/Sour Cherry duo is probably the most impulsive of this purchase - I kept dithering over this one and the Bronze/Pepper duo, and ultimately decided that I reallllly wanted the gold. Plus, I don't actually own a true red lipstick (madness, I know). I'm very pleased with my choice. Wearing them together means I do end up having to wipe off the gold, but it's pretty and also how much am I going to wear a sparkly gold lipstick, either by itself or over another? Exactly. I think these duos are the perfect size for playing with a colour like that.

L-R: Sour Cherry, Gold


Sour Cherry

Sour Cherry + Gold. The gold is easier to see in person, but it mainly catches the light.

Non-lipstick things I picked up are the Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash (it's nice, but skincare is both highly personal and kind of boring to me so I'm not going to add to this), Make Up For Ever Water Blend foundation in R210 (after years of Missha, I decided to try another base), Hourglass Ambient Blush in Mood Exposure, and the Marc Jacobs birthday gift.

I really like the MUFE Water Blend, which is kind of unfortunate because it's pricey, but I was looking for something that was very lightweight and it reminds me of my beloved discontinued Maybelline Pure foundation, except better. I will probably finish off my Missha BB cream, which has been feeling a little heavy lately and switch over to this. It does have a really weird cucumber melon scent. It dissipates quickly and doesn't seem to irritate my skin, but it's weird. 

This stuff is so sheer that a sloppy swatch is as good as it gets. I'm also wearing it in all of the swatch pictures on my face.

Water Blend is really sheer, but can be built up to light-medium coverage. Because I'm a heathen, I've been using my fingers to apply it and haven't had an issue. 

I am probably most excited about Mood Exposure, of all the things I got, which is kind of surprising. I wanted a new blush, since I booted most of my loose blushes from my collection, and was looking for something more neutral than my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Star Wonder that I use most often. I'd read the rave reviews of the ALBs, but it clicked when I first tried it out. Soft, blendable, glowy, and has great longevity. I want more, but have reminded myself that blushes aren't all that different and I do not need to be collecting expensive blushes. Plus the pigmentation means I will have this blush forever, probably. 

I swear Mood Exposure is on my cheeks here. It's a beautiful plummy nude.

Having a birthday late in the year means that everyone has already picked up the gift and talked about it to death and now everyone's looking to see what next year's is, but whatever, I'm going to talk about it anyway. This year, you could chose between a set from Fresh that had a cleanser and a mask, or a Marc Jacobs set that had a black eyeliner pencil and a mini lipstick in the shade Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is described as a baked rose. It's a nice pink. It tends to pull brighter on me than I expected. I don't particularly love either of these items but they're nice enough, and I'll actually use them, which is much better than other years.

The more I wear Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the more it grows on me.

I'm happy with all of these. I've owned them for a few days now and tried them all at least once - and actually tried, not just swatched. This is probably my most successful Sephora order yet. Who knew that careful planning and research would work out so well?

...okay, I'm done being obnoxious.

The size of this haul brings me to my next point: after it, I intended to go on an ill-defined no buy, which I promptly broke on Saturday since I was in Halifax and therefore near a Lush and wouldn't have to pay shipping (in case I hadn't emphasized the backwater remoteness of my current home, the closest Lush is a four hour drive. The closest Starbucks is an hour and a half). And I know better than to say something and then not plan it out because then I don't stick to my plan. I'm currently playing around with a few ideas for my 2017 low-buy, and have almost settled on one. I need to work out some details before committing. But I do know, while I am pleased with this order and how it went, I'm ready to pare down my spending even more and only make purchases that are this well-crafted. 

And that end of the year/pre-Christmas no-buy starts now. Really.


  1. All of the Bite items are gorgeous. Squid Ink and Mauvember look amazing on you! I'm so tempted by that duo, though I rarely shop at Sephora anymore and have actually never bought a Bite product. There's a first time for everything, though... And I hope you love Mood Exposure as much as I do! The ALBs really are beautiful, but there's not a lot of shade variation so you probably don't need to collect many. I actually think I could do with 3 of my 4 - I bought them in a frenzy since the formula is so good, but on the cheeks they're not that distinct.

    I have similar thoughts about the MJ birthday gift - I won't buy either item in a full size, but I'll probably use them both up. My birthday was in June and I've used the lipstick a fair amount already; it's a nice everyday type of shade that I don't have to think about. But not special enough to repurchase!

    I wish you luck with your no-buy and low-buy!

    1. Bite is probably my favourite lipstick brand, and the fact they're made in Canada has almost convinced my mother that my lipstick habit is worthy.

      Thanks! I'm pretty much decided on what to do now and it will be a challenge, but hopefully one I can rise to!

  2. Looking forward to seeing your strategy for a low-buy future! I'm always interested in the methods we try to hold ourselves accountable. And I only hit Rouge once but that actually led me to just turn my back on the whole beauty thing, so it was kind of good? lol

    I'm almost tempted by Mauvember, but I recall so vividly how much I detest the slipperiness of most Bite lipsticks. Enjoy your goodies!!

    1. They're going to be quite stringent! I'll probably be buying a car in the new year (ughhhh I don't want to but once I get my license, it's going to have to happen) so that's incentive. I wonder how many people reach Rouge and are immediately horrified, rather than happy about it. I bet the stats would be interesting!

      Amuse Bouche is less slippery than the Luminous Cream, but yeah, still more slippery than the average lipstick. I'd advise against it since you don't like it. I am enjoying them a ton!


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