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21.6.15

Navigating Sephora And What To Pick Up On A First Trip

If you're like me, you are fortunate enough to live in any state in Australia other than Sydney, or in any state that is nowhere near a Sephora. We cry internally whenever our favourite YouTubers and bloggers do a Sephora haul, and the newest most coveted beauty products always manage to find their way there first or exclusively. It's known as the mecca for all things beauty and the store for the best of the best, the creme de la creme of products.
For those of us who have never set foot in one, it can be seen from the outside as heaven. A giant store for everything, a Priceline but bigger and with more selection. Well, apparently not.

While in Sydney for two weeks, I decided the one thing I must do is visit Sephora. "Now's my chance to see inside this magical wonderland and walk away with my very first black and white paper bag." 
As I walked down Pitt St and drew closer to that massive neon sign with lights illuminating the front, my heart began to pick up. Once inside, I began to skitter down the isles and immediately realised the mistake I had made. I had made an assumption about what Sephora was going to be like, and now my expectations have been shattered by reality. This isn't like Priceline at all, this is more like Myer.

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First thing's first, Sephora is basically, a high-end designer warehouse. Dior, YSL, Lancome, (sigh) Benefit. The first floor is where all the makeup, perfumes and tools are. Each brand sectioned with specific isles. Disappointed that not a single thing can be afforded, and with a budget put in place for my own sanity, I directed myself toward the wall. An entire wall dedicated, to Sephora Collection makeup. Here we go! Eyeshadows, mascaras and lipstick galore. Come to, mamma? Hold up, one lipstick is $30? I can buy a Chanel for that price! I mean, I get that all these prices are inflated because Australia but damn!
After doing the rounds on level one and tearing up over Marc Jacobs and wishfully passing the perfumes, it was time for level 2 and the bath, skincare and haircare portion. My favourite.
Once more I was hit with designer everything. However, I was pleased that Philosophy was stocked and those prices are much more justifiable. The Sephora brand stuff was also much more justifiable for the products. I can't work with $30 for a lipstick but that same price for a cleanser or body cream? Yeah, I can get on board with that. There were less high-end skincare products and more of the lower-end stuff which officially made this section my favourite.
Whatever the level, it's easy to figure out which section you, and your price range, should be heading for. The designer brands are collected together in the centre sitting one after the other. One side of the section has the Estee Lauder level of prestige while the other side gets Tarte and Make Up For Ever. While the wall, or back sections are for the Sephora Collection

After spending $40 on a Glasshouse candle as a present for a family friend, the last thing I was going to do was walk away without bringing something home. And I don't think I'm alone in thinking that. 
Sephora Buys.
When everything else is just way too pricey to sleep comfortably that same night, you're severely limited to what you can buy. Especially in Australia. When finding something affordable, the best bet is to stick to the Sephora range and hover around the check-out. Set up around the queue line are shelves stocked with mini samples, travel versions and little items that are all decently priced. Here, you can find things from all brands; moisturizers, cosmetics, rollerball perfumes. 

The Sephora sheet face masks are dirt cheap and can be purchased singular or in a pack. A girl can always do with a good face mask to keep her skin looking fresh so you can't go wrong. 
Practicality is my middle name, so I like to find things that I can get the most use out of, and that will be the handiest. A rollerball perfume was only fitting, and the Elizabeth and James Nirvana was the obvious choice. Still a little pricey, but it was much better than the full-size bottle, and sitting around the check-out it was even cheaper. This beautiful floral musk scent is divine and mature. In a rollerball, it can be thrown in a handbag and perfect for travel making it practical. Mary-Kate and Ashley can do no wrong.
Sephora's Ultimate Warming Cleanser is a worth-it one to grab on the way through to check-out. In a mini travel sized bottle, it's cheap and is actually pretty good. It removes makeup and dirt to lift away impurities. It leaves your face feeling amazing and relaxed, and the warming part heats up your skin a little to get it working. It improves blemishes almost instantly. 

On the way out, the girls will throw in some free samples (at least, I hope they do this every time) which will not only add to the things you get to bring home, but will make the final cost a little more worth it. The cleanser was thrown in for me, along with Marc Jacobs 'Le Marc' lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bangas a sign from the gods that this experience was no mistake. A sample but still, so gorgeous and the best thing I've ever owned. Who knew a dusty rose would be my colour? 





Photos by Sheree Grace

- Sheree

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