Shameless Indulgence in Makeup and Beauty Products

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sephora Friends and Family Haul 2011

Hello all! It's been a minute since I last blogged. This is going to be a great post because.... I’m very enthusiastic to tell you what I bought during Sephora’s Friends and Family Sale which occurred October 20,2011 through November 2, 2011! If you haven’t heard about this sale then where have you been?! Don’t worry, this is the first year I actually bought makeup goodies during this sale. Anyway, I digress. Sephora Friends and Family sale is a special time of year where Sephora offered 20% off your entire online purchase. The best part is you don’t even have to be a Sephora employee or be their family member or friend to receive this discount. You were simply required to enter your e-mail address on and a special one-time use code was generated. Regularly, Sephora never has a sale this massive so you can only imagine how many of the beauty obsessed took advantage of this opportunity.

For a sale like this I had to have a battle plan. When compiling my shopping list I made it a point to purchase items I’m running low on, trying popular brands I should have tried sooner, and purchasing products from the high end brands- Lancome, Dior, YSL, etc.

A piece of advice, don’t procrastinate and wait until the last few days of the sale to make your purchase. Many of the popular products and gift sets were out of stock by the time I was ready to put everything into my cart. If you’re lucky, the products might come back in stock but I wouldn’t count on it. Oh, Diorskin Shimmer Star in Amber Lights! I was wishing on a star that you would come back in stock but my wish didn’t come true. Oh well, maybe I can ask Santa to bring me more makeup.  

I made a resolution to not touch or use these products until I have completely run out of what I currently have. Hence, no swatches or reviews of products with this post.  Before I get to the bulk of my order, let’s begin with the samples I received.


To my surprise I received a sample of all the shades of Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original, Sin, Eden, and Greed. It was a surprise because they must have run out of the sample of Bliss Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream I originally picked. Sephora substitutes so that is understandable. The other two samples I chose were Per-fekt Brow Perfection Gel and Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola Eau de Parfume. The brow gel was appealing to me because I usually apply the powder in my Benefit Brow Zing in Medium to fill in my brows. I’m a sucker for itty bitty perfume samples especially one with a spray already included. Oh, Lola is a sweet floral scent that I’m sure I’ll enjoy spritzing on. 

Tarte for True Blood 

I’m not even going to hide it. I’m addicted to eyeshadow and I know I didn’t need another eyeshadow palette. However, I made an executive decision to treat myself. I’m a huge fan of the show True Blood so when I heard Tarte was coming out with products influenced by the show I must have been glamoured into buying this. The Tarte for True Blood Palette includes 20 shimmery and matte shades with names giving a nod to the show such as Glamour Me (a deep purple), The True Death (a very shimmery silver), and “V” (a shimmery, deep crimson).  If you need inspiration, included is a card with 4 looks created by True Blood’s lead makeup artist, Brigitte Ellis.  

From Left to Right - Top: The Light, Fairy, Dusk
2nd Row: Dawn, Werewolf, Waitress, Nocturnal
3rd Row: Charmer, Glamour Me, Stake
4th Row: Bayou, Telepath, The True Death, Immortal
5th Row: Moss, Legend, "V"

Exclusive Looks created by Brigitte Ellis

Within the “Open After Dark” drawer, lined with a sultry red velvet material, housed a Lifted Natural Eye Primer with Firmitol; a Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara; and an emphasEYES aqua-gel eyeliner.  I’m most excited to try the eye primer because I’m very loyal to Urban Decay Primer Potion. The best part about these products are they are cruelty free and formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. 

Take a better look inside

For the mornings when I’m in a hurry to get out the door or when I’m in the mood for light foundation coverage I’m going to reach for Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Caramel. This tinted moisturizer is a,”sheer, lightweight, buildable foundation that can be worn by all skin types but especially those with acne prone, sensitive or oily skin.” Laura Mercier’s line of tinted moisturizers is regarded as the best tinted moisturizers by both Allure Best in Beauty and In Style Best Beauty Buy. To accompany my new tinted moisturizer I purchased the Hydrating Foundation Primer to ensure my dry face will hold the makeup throughout the whole day. Now I know some people don’t care for primers citing a good skin regimen ensures even and lasting foundation coverage but I beg to differ. My skin is a sponge and primer gets into those little nooks and crannies on my face to smooth everything out. Primers provide a great barrier between your face and your makeup, preventing the makeup to really sink into or clog your pores. For the same reason you would use a primer on your eye lids, face primer also prevents the foundation and powders from slipping and sliding and fading away. Laura Mercier is a brand I have been meaning to try for awhile so I hope she will help me achieve the flawless face I’ve been looking for.

Left - Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, Right- Hydrating Foundation Primer

Urban Decay is my favorite brand and the company is based out of Orange County so I feel obligated to show them some love. Urban Decay is another great cruelty free brand and they even carry vegan products. Again, referring back to my loyalty to Urban Decay Primer Potion, I re-purchased this product in its newly re-designed packaging. I look forward to getting my money’s worth with this product because the old genie bottle shaped packaging was a pain in the butt to extract and de-pot the remaining primer. De-potting only made the primer dry out faster after putting it in a new container. I must also mention the doe foot applicator was useless because I rather use my finger to apply the product to my lids. All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray made it into my cart because my MAC Fix+ is on its last few sprays. SKINDINÄVIA partnered up with Urban Decay for this weightless, fine mist finishing spray that boasts to make your makeup last for 16 hours. I’ve heard SKINDINÄVIA products have a cooling effect on skin so that will be a unique experience for me.    

Left- UD Primer Potion, Right- All Nighter

The NARS Blush/Bronzer Trio with Orgasm, Albatross, and Laguna is going to be a staple in my routine. The sturdy hard case, mirror, and zipper closure makes this convenient for travel- for my suit case or in my purse for touch-ups. I must be the last person on earth to try NARS Laguna Bronzer but better late than never! I hit pan on my Orgasm blush and this is a great excuse to re-purchase it in a trio. Nonetheless, it was a great deal because a full-sized blush is regularly $27 and the bronzer is $33, so to get a trio (2 blushes and one bronzer) for $55 + 20% off = A STEAL! I know, I threw in some math there I hope I impressed you! 

From left to right: Laguna, Albatross,Orgasm

That concludes my haul! I can’t wait until next year’s Friends and Family Sale. I vow to do more research throughout the year and purchase everything when the sale begins so I don’t miss out on the products I really want. If you participated in F&F this year what did you buy? If you missed out, what would you have bought? Leave me your comments below, I love reading them! J


  1. Great Haul! I love your "executive decisions." I am excited to hear about how you like the Tarte palette once you get a chance to try it!

  2. Hi Emmy!! I FINALLY joined and followed you!!! ;) "Better late than never!" PS. I have never, to date, try the NARS Laguna bronzer either.

    lol. I guess great minds think alike! BC that was my game plan as well!! I even have your Christmas presents from the F&F sale!! So whatever you are buying between now and Christmas, make sure you don't throw out your receipts!

    Anyways, I wanted to also thank you and let you know that I have finally put my UD Naked palette into good use!! 5 times in the last 2 weeks!!