Everything I stocked up on at Sephora the other day

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I found myself in suburban Connecticut recently with time on my hands, so I did one of my favorite things to do in the suburbs, and went to the mall. It was a practical decision as well: Now that I live in a brownstone with no doorman, it’s tougher for me to do my shopping online—if I’m not home to receive a package and it’s left on the stoop, it will most likely be stolen. Annoyingly. So I was looking forward to checking a number of items off my list at Sephora, and that is what I did. For starters, I picked up this SPF 40, because I kept reading and hearing about how good it was. And it appears that the raves are entirely founded: this stuff goes on super-light and works to hydrate skin as it protects. Also, the formula is pearlescent, and leaves skin with a lovely glow.

I think I have maybe been loyal to Benefit’s Rollerlash mascara longer than I’ve been loyal to any mascara in recent memory. When I want big eyelash drama I’ll still reach for my Nars Climax, but for everyday, it’s the Benefit. It lifts and curls your lashes and manages to look deeply natural always.

I ran out of my Kosas Tinted Face Oil not long ago, so I used my old foundation for a week or so, and boy, is the Kosas better, especially for summer. It’s light, has enough coverage without making you look spackled, and is actually good for your skin.

Under typical circumstances, there are about three or four products I put on my clean skin in the morning, but when I’m in a rush all I go for is this Drunk Elephant Marula Oil, because it hydrates my skin really well and absorbs pretty quickly, leaving a supple surface for makeup. (I am curious, though, about this marula oil from The Ordinary, which costs a mere fraction of what the Drunk Elephant does, and is maybe just as good? Does anyone know?).

I was thrilled to find full-size specimens of this Milk bronzer, because it is constantly either sold out or only available in minis (and, alas, all Sephora has for sale online is the mini so that’s what I linked to). I—and clearly lots of others—get excited about this stuff because most bronzers have at least a little shimmer in them, and sometimes rather a lot of shimmer, and I dislike that. This stuff goes on totally matte (and is also lighter than it looks here) and truly makes your face look naturally tan.

And speaking of summer, I long ago learned that if I want to wear eyeliner when it’s hot and sticky out, it had better be waterproof. I also vastly prefer a pencil liner for ease of use. So I was delighted to discover this waterproof pencil eyeliner from Sephora’s in-house brand. It is a nice, deep, rich brown (but also comes in a ton of other hues) and stays put like crazy.

I am just so bad at applying eyeshadow, so I like products that make it easy for me, like this Ilia formulation (the color is called Dim), which is a super-pretty grey with a hint of lavender. It goes on liquid-ish but then dries as a powder, and is as difficult to screw up as you please.

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52 Thoughts on Everything I stocked up on at Sephora the other day
    Tara
    15 Jun 2021
    4:10pm

    I think I learned from another reader here or on Andrea Linnett’s iwanttobeher.com blog (Kim, you and Andrea are my faves) about a Kroger dupe for Supergoop Unseen Suncreen SPF 40. I haven’t tried the Supergoop version but bought some of the Kroger dupe and really like it. The gel in your hand seems weird but it applies smoothly and no white cast! FWIW: https://www.kroger.com/p/kroger-sunscreen-invisible-gel-spf40/0004126000791

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      Viajera
      16 Jun 2021
      2:07pm

      Thanks for the hot tip! That is a chemical block right? I will check it out after I’ve used up my current batch of not-great lotions. … … … If anyone ever finds a mineral block which is truly clear, reef-safe, and not awful to wear, I hope you will post here. (I know there are good tinted ones already … I am looking for a clear one.)

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        Sally
        19 Jun 2021
        3:58pm

        I don’t use chemical sunscreens, not good for the endocrine system. This is the best mineral one I have found with no white cast and it doesn’t stain clothes. I always have a bunch on hand cause it’s literally been such a slog to find a good one: https://www.dermstore.com/product_Mineral+Creme+SPF+50+_43929.htm

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        Tara
        16 Jun 2021
        10:00pm

        Yes, it looks like Supergoop has four sunscreens and two are chemical (Unseen Sunscreen and Glow Screen) and two are mineral (Sheer Screen and Matte Screen). This Kroger one is supposed to be a dupe for Unseen Sunscreen so it is chemical. It comes out like a slightly yellow gel but just disappears upon application and seems to have very little smell.

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          Viajera
          17 Jun 2021
          12:47pm

          Thanks, Tara! I took a quick peek on ewg and some of their items get good ratings. It is good to have options.

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    Shosie
    15 Jun 2021
    5:40pm

    I love the Sephora eyeliner. I’m glad to see you recommend it as well!

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    Paisley
    15 Jun 2021
    10:26pm

    Wait.. so we’re using marula now? what happened to squalane?

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    Elle G
    15 Jun 2021
    9:30am

    Regarding summer make-up not staying put – a tip I learned a couple of years ago was to use pressed powder on your eyelids to help the eyeliner set, almost like an eye-shadow. It makes a WORLD of difference in how much the eyeliner migrates off where I want it into the crease.

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      Heather
      15 Jun 2021
      11:32am

      I also like the eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay.

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      Viajera
      16 Jun 2021
      12:41pm

      Just in case … you mean, you put on a bit of powder first, right? Then the liner?

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    Rachel S
    15 Jun 2021
    3:22pm

    I saw recently that it isn’t recommended to use a facial oil under sunscreen as it may interfere with it’s ability to protect your skin. I believe I saw this on Dr. Shereene Idriss’s IG, she being a very social media savvy dermatologist, I tend to take her advice!

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    cw
    15 Jun 2021
    8:46am

    This is a great easing-myself-back-into-reality posting. I ordered the goop stuff immediately because I’ve been meaning to, but menopausal brain… And on another topic entirely…I’m curious as to how the GOACA collective is feeling about wide-legged jeans. Is anyone wearing them? How are you styling them? And is it just too soon to be wearing them again after their popularity in the 90’s? I remember in high school reading an article in my mother’s Vogue magazine about style circling around every 50 years, but now it seems to circle around every 10-20 years. Is this because of social media? (I drank my coffee this morning––obvs)

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      DeDe
      15 Jun 2021
      10:44am

      Honestly, I’ve just been moving away from jeans entirely. Like I just cannot be arsed to deal with the frustration anymore. I don’t want to think about rises, lengths, widths, washes, stretch or no stretch, crop or no crop, tapers, flares, or stovepipes. It’s all just too fucking much. Give me a dress or a jumpsuit or a (gasp) pair of goddam leggings witha tunic-y thing over the top, anything but jeans at this point. They’re a literal pain in my fibromyalgic ass and I SAY NO. That is all.

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        cw
        15 Jun 2021
        5:23pm

        Think of this sentence as being a long line of heart emojis, DeDe. Loads and loads of hearts.

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          DeDe
          16 Jun 2021
          9:04am

          Back at you times a million, C-dub.

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      Mouse
      15 Jun 2021
      9:49am

      I kind of love them, but at 61 and shrinking from my all-time high of 5’2″, they’re not a great idea for me. For us shorties height is almost necessary for them and I can’t do heels anymore, or clogs (devastation), so I shall trip over my old wide-legs around the house only…..

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        cw
        15 Jun 2021
        10:29am

        I haven’t even ordered a pair to try on in the privacy of my home partly because of my 5’2″ vertical. (sigh)

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        Viajera
        15 Jun 2021
        12:08pm

        Ditto Mouse. I like the way they look a lot – but they don’t work for me.

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      Mary Fullerton
      15 Jun 2021
      2:30pm

      I’m going for the wide-legged jean! I desperately need a change from the skinny/slim leg and just find them ever so comfortable, particularly in the summer. As for styling, still messing around but usually opt for a slim-fitting top, tucked in. Even better is a top that doesn’t need to be tucked in but is short enough so it doesn’t look sloppy.

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      MaryAlice
      15 Jun 2021
      1:45pm

      I have been wearing my wide-legged Everlane jeans a lot lately – I am not a thin person so I was not sure if I could pull them off, but I get compliments EVERY TIME. (most comments seem to come from young women) . I style them with a fitted T shirt and either my comfy Dansko sandals ( https://www.zappos.com/p/dansko-season-black-full-grain/product/8808905) or sneakers, and a little straw bag. As I live in Southern California, I generally pack away jeans in the summer, but these are actually amazingly comfortable in hot weather.

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        @MeezStephanie
        16 Jun 2021
        7:56am

        @MaryAlice, thanks for the styling suggestions! I do have wide-leg chinos and will try that out. the Dansko shoes seem genius! It’s a clog effect but looks way more comfy.

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          MaryAlice
          16 Jun 2021
          11:12am

          Those Dansko sandals are top-level comfy! I call them my Disneyland shoes because I could walk for 10 hours in them. And they come in a bunch of colors.

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      Lorea
      15 Jun 2021
      12:42pm

      The new wide-leg jeans seem different than the 90s ones, but some of the same style tricks apply. They seem to work best on someone with curvy hips (alas not me) and with something a little more fitted on top, or cropped, or tied at the waist. (Tied at the waist is, I guess, the new half-tuck.) I always looked stupid in wide-leg pants but that was because I was poor and could only afford one decent coat, which was fairly voluminous and made me look huge all over.

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      Joannawnyc
      15 Jun 2021
      11:30am

      I was just thinking about this, as today I am dressed as my middle-school self in wide legged rust-colored jeans and striped top with rust, magenta, lavender, off white and brown stripes and feeling pretty snazzy. So yes, even though I am but 5’3″, I like wide-legged cropped jeans. The key for me is waist definition, I find.

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      Meez Stephanie
      16 Jun 2021
      7:51am

      I have been wondering the same thing. I am trying the ‘vintage’ jean from Madewell, which is not a skinny jean but a slightly straight one, and that seems OK. But I have tried on a wider leg and it didn’t feel retro enough to me— just dumpy (or maybe it’s my pandemic body). Agreed that it feels a bit too soon. What does Kim think?

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    Caroline
    15 Jun 2021
    8:53am

    I’ve used the Drunk Elephant marula oil and the one from the Ordinary. Definitely like the Drunk Elephant one better. The Ordinary one is a bit tacky when it goes on and doesn’t absorb as much or as quickly.

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    Linda Boardman Kerr
    15 Jun 2021
    9:24am

    My experience with The Ordinary marula oil is excellent. Why pay more than you have to?

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    Eloise
    15 Jun 2021
    9:27am

    I’ve been trying really hard to ignore the Supergoop hype but perhaps your endorsement suggests I should give up the fight?

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      Angie
      15 Jun 2021
      6:36pm

      I was skeptical too but have recently caved in and got the Unseen Sunscreen and it is Ah-mazing. It’s clear! And goes on really smoothly, doesn’t have the SPF smell, and makes my skin feel hydrated. I love it.

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      Christina
      15 Jun 2021
      10:45am

      If it helps you get on board, Supergoop has amazing customer service. That alone has made me loyal to them.

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      Candy
      15 Jun 2021
      12:01pm

      Eloise— I was skeptical too, but I have sensitive skin plus rosacea and all the others I tried caused breakouts. Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is the only one my face will tolerate. It’s sort of a gel-like consistency, not sticky, goes on smoothly and is invisible. I use it on face, chest, arms. Really terrific. There’s a small, travel size if you want to try it without paying a lot.

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        Eloise
        15 Jun 2021
        2:44pm

        Thanks, Candy! I have mild rosacea, so your comment is keeping this in the cart….I am looking for a mineral sunscreen but keep coming back to this….

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        Mamavalveeta03
        15 Jun 2021
        2:27pm

        Is that a chemical or mineral formula?

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          Eloise
          15 Jun 2021
          2:38pm

          The one Kim posted is chemical (otherwise I’d have grabbed it). SG makes both kinds so I’m still debating a mineral one.

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    Heather
    15 Jun 2021
    9:17am

    I love this post and laughed out loud at the spackling comment, so the other people in the car dealership service waiting room now think I’m insane. I can’t comment on the Ordinary marula oil but I am currently using their squalane oil (after Kim recommended another brand on this site) and I find it really great.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    15 Jun 2021
    2:23pm

    Excellent choices, Kim! I heartily concur with Supergoop Glow Screen.

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    Lisa
    15 Jun 2021
    12:33pm

    This post is inspiring a trip to my local Sephora – so much wisdom in the post and in the comments! I may actually start wearing makeup again, as I’ll be traveling in July. OH joy! And will need time to practice adjusting my eye to seeing my non-naked face, which I have gotten used to.

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    Jill
    15 Jun 2021
    11:30am

    I’ve used the Drunk Elephant marula oil and it’s great but I use one from Trader Joe’s which I find just as nice. I’ve been using it for about a year and I love it. Plus it’s cheap as chips.

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    lola
    15 Jun 2021
    10:48am

    My family was away camping last weekend so I too spent an extra leisurely hour in Sephora. I have seen Ilia on the ‘Gram constantly these days and I was intrigued. I bought the Ilia eyeshadow in the bronze color and the weird green color and I am in love. As I get older, I really like very light creams instead of powders. This dries to a very light blendable powder. You can blend it with your finger, or with a fluffy blending brush. I tried their serum foundation but couldn’t find a good match. I ended up with the Tarte BB cream, which I really love.
    I used to work at Sephora and I’ll give you a tip about that Milk bronzer stick (and any other stick type or cream cosmetic that may seem intimidating). Get a rounded foundation brush (Sephora has a great mini one that I use for all cream blushes), rub the brush on to the stick (rather than rubbing the stick on your face), and blend the bronzer in where you want it. Your chances of putting too much on are slim to none and even if you do, you can buff it out.
    I use the Ordinary Buffet and their hyaluronic acid and it’s amazing. And 8.00. I would imagine their oil would be just as good.

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    Jane
    15 Jun 2021
    12:20pm

    This question made me think of the stuff at Trader Joes and I wondered if marula is marula. I’m sold! Thank you!

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    Sara C
    15 Jun 2021
    12:28pm

    I guess I’ll just go ahead and sound like a crazy person, but your skin is the largest organ on your body, so it’s good to be extra discerning about what you put on it! The Ordinary is super cheap for a reason — their ingredients are not of high quality. Splurge on Drunk Elephant for their higher standards. Your skin deserves it.

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      Stephanie
      18 Jun 2021
      10:18pm

      The primary difference between the Drunk Elephant and Ordinary products is their packaging and margins. I’d stick with the Ordinary.

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    SDK
    15 Jun 2021
    11:47am

    I use the Ordinary marula oil and I really like it – but I haven’t used the Drunk Elephant. I will say that I’ve tried many Drunk Elephant products, and the only one that I think is worth the money and hype is the Baby Facial.

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      lola
      15 Jun 2021
      11:51am

      I agree – Drunk Elephant in general is meh. But the Baby Facial is their hero product.

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        MeezStephanie
        16 Jun 2021
        7:53am

        Funny, that’s the product of theirs that’s not available in Canada. Maybe the wonder ingredient is something suspect?! But either way, thanks for saving me money! I tried a sample of something and wasn’t thrilled.

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    Dk
    15 Jun 2021
    11:50am

    Apparently the Drunk Elephant marula oil has a smaller molecule size that aids absorption. YMMV.

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    Anna
    25 Jun 2021
    12:33pm

    Regarding Ordinary products: they are amazing. I have not used Drunk Elephant marula oil, the price on that thing is ouch, but have used array of Ordinary oils and they are amazing and the price is by far the best. I have used many other products from Ordinary and most of them have superior quality. It would be nice if you did review of some of their products too.

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    Ashley
    16 Jun 2021
    9:12am

    Another endorsement for Supergoop! Love the unseen sunscreen. I have Drunk Elephant and Ordinary marula oils and they seem the same to me. The Drunk Elephant Baby Facial is worth every single penny. I’ll have to try the Ilia eyeshadow, I love their tinted face oil (SPF 40) and the eyeliner. Great recommendations, Kim!

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    mlinky
    16 Jun 2021
    12:29pm

    I haven’t tried the Ordinary marula oil, but I use their squalene oil religiously, often with a drop or two of their serum foundation. The foundation can be difficult to get a color match, but at the price, you can afford to experiement.

    I also recommend their caffeine eye serum. It takes very little (will probably last me more than a year) and does a nice job for tired looking eyes.

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    Francine
    16 Jun 2021
    2:51pm

    I’ve been on a sunscreen-testing rampage and have tried SuperGoop Glow (nice, but definitely glowy), SuperGoop everyday (smells terrible), Dr. Brandt Sun Shield (lovely, serum like, hydrating), Elta MD (overrated), Aveeno (weird texture), Sun Bum (I really like this one!) and La Roche Posay (nice one). But I always come back to Dr. Perricone Photobrightening ) spf 30 for everyday and Neutrogena Sun Block for summer/lots of outside time. Both are hydrating, glowy and don’t alter the shade of your makeup. If you have a sunscreen you like but it leaves a white cast, just add in a little bit of liquid highlighter or illuminator. Works every time!!

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      liz
      16 Jun 2021
      6:54pm

      I like the everyday moisturizer and I use it with the Sun Bum 50 (I have enough to last all summer).

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    Tina
    16 Jun 2021
    4:17pm

    I bought the Kosas tinted face oil and was not loving it. It was hard to apply without using too much. It just did not spread on my face. Now I mix a few drops into The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% & B5 and apply it with a dense foundation brush. They play so nicely together! Sheer coverage and the hyaluronic acid makes it all a little glowier.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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