A Literal Random Assortment of New-ish At Sephora Products I've Been Using
With a litany of new releases flooding the Sephora site every week, the word “new” starts to lose its meaning. Is a one month old product still considered new if there have been 10 other releases following it? These are the philosophical questions that are absolutely pointless but I’m asking anyway.
I’m using new to mean any product that came out within the past few months. Some of these products are heavily tested, while others are sort of first impressions. I tried my best to include how long I used each of these in my mini reviews. A couple of these reviews were going to be uploaded to my Instagram stories but I for posterity’s sake, I’m making it a blog post.
Any product marked with an asterisk, I received as a press sample.
Obagi Clinical Vitamin C+ Arbutin Brightening Serum*
I used this up within 3 months and it was one of my favorite vitamin C serums to date. The texture was so lightweight, absorbed easily, and never made me sticky. I can’t say the same for any other vit C serum, even my favorite DE c-firma. Speaking of DE, I know many people are avoiding them because of their recent IG scandals, so if you’re looking for a similarly priced vitamin C serum that also brightens and tightens, look no further.
Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum with Acerola Cherry*
I only recently started using this on a specific scar to see how it performs. It hasn’t been long enough to evaluate its efficacy but I can speak to the texture and scent. It has a cherry scent and a light, runny consistency.
My personal preference for vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, which is the form our own bodies synthesize so it’s super effective. This serum uses 3 different vitamin C derivatives plus cherry extract (personally, I seldom find these “naTuRaL fRuIT eXtrAcTs” to do much in terms of brightening or exfoliating.) My opinion solely based on the ingredients and not any actual results is that save yo coin for a serum with LAA cause it will deliver superior results. The Paula’s Choice Vit C serum is on sale for $42 and contains 15% LAA and delivers real, reliable results 👀
Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash*
There are very few face scrubs I love and this is not one of them. It’s not a bad scrub, but nor is there anything about it that makes it exceptional. It’s very fragranced and has a pleasant enough texture. You could find similarly performing sugar face scrubs at the drugstore. I personally prefer something even gentler like the Sioris Soft Grain Scrub.
Boscia Peptide Trio Eye Cream*
Peptides are one of those buzz word ingredients of the moment, in my books. Not that they can’t be effective, but seeing “peptides” in an ingredient list doesn’t automatically impress me. There are hundreds of different peptides, with different functions, and different mechanisms. This eye cream contains Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7— all three of which are well researched as effective anti-aging ingredients that are supposed to help with wrinkles and skin damage.
I can’t speak to the anti-aging benefits as I don’t have any major issues just yet. But as an eye cream it’s nice! It has a thicker consistency but has not given me milia, even after using it most mornings for a few week. It doesn’t irritate my eyes when I put it on my eyelids.
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer Reformulation*
I hated the old Lala cream. It was heavy and greasy yet still left my skin dehydrated. This new formulation has the addition of ceramides and is lighter in texture. It properly moisturizes my skin and absorbs well. I’ve finished up two minis and will probably crack open my full-sized jar come winter.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Serum Reformulation*
I’ve never tried the original formula of this serum, so I can’t compare the two. But the current formulation is *chef’s kiss.* One, the texture absorbs so easily. Two, it’s packed full of soothing ingredients which counteract redness and aid in fortifying your skin’s barrier. I haven’t over-exfoliated lately so I can’t speak to any repairing benefits, but it absolutely does help with my redness. After 2.5 weeks of applying this every morning, I noticed my chin was much less red than it usually is.
Note: if you are sensitive to essential oils, this is probably pass as it contains lavender and bergamot EOs.
Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum*
While there’s research backed evidence that Bakuchiol mimics the way vitamin A works on our skin, I just don’t think it will be effective as actual retinol. I have only used this sporadically a few times, but have seen people chatting about it on Instagram. I have yet to see anyone say it’s as effective as retinol— most people have reported it doesn’t really do anything?
Perhaps if you have super sensitive and dry skin and have never tried retinol, this could be a viable option. But for anyone else, I think your money would be better spent on actual vitamin A derivatives. Lastly, the serum isn’t formulated without any preservatives so I would fear it expiring quickly like their prism serum.
Youth to the People Kombucha Power Toner*
I juuuust published a whole review on this Youth to the People toner, so I won’t re-hash things here.
Marc Jacobs Bronzer O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan in 106 Tantalize
The tale of the never ending bronzer. This bronzer is ginormous but I ain’t complaining. The formula isn’t new, but the shade is. I think this is appropriate for medium to medium dark skinned folks, who are looking for a warm bronzer that doesn’t read orange.
It blends easily and lasts through the day. It has a coconut-y scent but fades quickly. I love the compact too! It’s huge and has a large mirror and clicks shut. Aka everything I could ever want. If you’re lighter, I’ve heard the original shade is fantastic as well, and it’s why I purchased this new shade the day it was released at Sephora.
Lilah B Glisten + Glow Skin Illuminator in b. captivating*
I am a dum-dum. You can currently purchase this on the Lilah B site, but it doesn’t become available at Sephora until September 3rd, aka after the end of the sale. But because the photo for this post includes the highlighter, I feel obligated to talk about it. Plus, if you have never previously purchased from the Lilah B site, you can get 15% off your first order which is equivalent to the discount you would get at Sephora. Furthermore, they have a mini sized highlighter on the Lilah B site!
This highlighter is a multi-functional beauty. It looks gorgeous as a blush topper, highlight, and eyeshadow. The formula is a cream but it dries down and settles like a powder product. As an eyeshadow, it is prone to creasing after a couple of hours, but not as badly as some other cream shadows. My preferred method of application is with my fingers on my cheeks. I’ll warm it up a bit and then dab it on the high points of my face and boom, done. It’s a very POC friendly color!
Natasha Denona Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette
I’m not sure where the obsession began, but I went from having 0 full-sized Natasha Denona palettes to 3 within the span of a month. This is the first time the brand has come out with a palette of this size— it’s got 15 shades and retails for $65. While $65 ain’t chump change, it’s a lot cheaper than the rest of their larger palettes which are $129+. While the Sunrise palette is smaller than those, it’s still very much comfortably sized. The pans are large enough for the largest of my eye brushes, and it comes with a generously sized mirror.
The color selection of the palette is gorgeous. The metallic shades are suuuper creamy and pigmented. Awakening, aster, and azalea are all perfect for single shadow looks (that still look dynamic.) For the most part, the mattes also perform superbly. The only shade that was a little bit of a disappointment is citrine, which didn’t show up as vibrant on my eyes as I wished.
Dior Backstage Face & Body Primer
$36.00 for 50 mL (unsure of the size as it’s not listed on the Sephora site— size is according to Selfridge’s)
Hourglass’s mineral veil has been my favorite summertime primer for the past 4 years, but I think this new Dior primer has replaced it or at the very least tied it. It subtly blurs my pores, hydrates my skin, and ensures that my base makeup lasts all day long. I’ve been using a sample I got as a Sephora GWP and it’s lasted me over a month. If you have an opportunity to try it out, I highly recommend snatching the opportunity!
Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation
My previous post shared all my thoughts on this foundation! Spoiler: it’s a good one 👀
Tatcha Satin Skin Mist
I really like this mist as it’s essentially a light layer of powder suspended in liquid— a dehydrated gal’s dream come true. Unfortunately, the misting mechanism does not vibe with the formula. It’s so prone to clogging. For every spritz of product I get out, I have to press the spray 10 times with 0 product coming out. The brand offered to send a replacement, but I don’t think I have a defective bottle. All of them are like this 🤷♀️
Briogeo Banana + Coconut Superfoods Shampoo & Conditioner Hair Pack*
Both of these are a pass for me. The shampoo made my hair feel like straw and I don’t think it does a good job at removing oil and sweat build-up at the roots. The conditioner does an okay job at hydrating my hair, but nothing beyond that. They smell like banana candy, which is a pro or con depending on your feelings on such a scent.