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4 Feb 2015

Sephora USA Haul: First impressions

Well, well, well.

Could this be a blogpost? Yes it could and the reason why is because I am over-excited about some new acquisitions of the makeup variety.

So the backstory is as follows. Mr BNBL went to America for work. Mr BNBL's hotel was located near a Sephora. Mrs BNBL sent him a list of random goods over email that she cobbled together in 10 minutes. Mr BNBL went to Sephora and got everything. Result! If only all things in life could be this easy.

Expect many reviews and FOTD's with some of these products. I already have some thoughts collated in my head so I will spew out my first impressions here to get us started...

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

When I saw the press release regarding this beauty last year I had two thoughts:

1) NARS is becoming very commercial. The whole bringing out of palettes that incite retail rage within the mass market just smacks of a corporation - AKA Shiseido - hellbent on bringing home the bacon; and
2) What the hell, I embrace commercialism therefore I need this palette.

Now that it's in my reach I will say:

a) The packaging is once again a welcome departure from the rubberized casing of old.
b) The shadows are smaller than I expected. My reaction was the same when I opened the blush palette. First came a disappointed "oh...you shrunk" and then came the "but you look great" appreciation mode.

We have Europa/Himalia/Usa Major/Subra on the first row and then Andromeda/Lysithea/Giove and Sycorax on the second.

I have a feeling that Subra and I are going to be great friends and after taking the above photo I can now officially ruin it by using it.

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint

This was a wild last minute addition to my wishlist. I got mentioned in a post on Dara's Instagram and the commenter -  Jetwyo  - said that I would love this product and how, for her, it was superior to Chantecaille Just Skin. Well that was it. I added it to the list, mentioning two shades that may possibly work (Nude and Golden) and as it happened I ended up with both because apparently the Sales Assistant in Sephora said that they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. For reference, they aren't. There's a difference but someone (ahem) may have been overstating it.

This is definitely in the Just Skin family. It's a glow-giver delivered in a rich gel/cream. One pea sized drop and you get something that gives you a luminous finish wrapped up in Laura Mercier Silk Creme coverage.

I used my fingers to apply it this morning and it was a definite "OMG" moment. Deliciously rich and radiant.

I'll say this though, this transfers. We are talking wiping-down-your-iPhone-after-you-take-a-call transfers. For that reason the longevity cannot compare to a medium/full coverage traditional foundation formula. I am going to continue experimenting with it and tomorrow will try wearing it a different way (without applying my facial moisturiser) to see how I can boost the lasting power. Tips and tricks welcome!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi

I have seen many raves for this but in the end plumped for only one - Backstage Bambi. It's a run of the mill hot pink.

First impression? Bloody hell. This stuff is like glue. I don't mean in terms of texture I mean in the way that it bonds to your mouth in seconds. You could go out, eat a full meal, guzzle drink after drink, go to bed, wake up and it would still look pristine.

It feels weightless on but I don't know if I love how it applied. Is the applicator too stiff and the consistency of the product too thin? I only tried it once so let's see how this pans out.

BITE Cashmere Lip Creams and the Agave Lip Mask

Let's cut to the chase. I LOVE the Cashmere Lip Cream.

a) All the colours have a wine-related name (above you see Sancerre - a pink/red and Nappa - a medium-yellow toned pink) and
b) They are lovely to wear.

These are billed as a cream-to-matte finish that gives a weightless and bold finish. They don't promise to be long-lasting as such but I found (after wearing Sancerre this evening) that while the initial product may disperse over time, a gorgeous tint remains.

There is no discernible scent and the applicator is easy to use, smoothly packing the product on. My only gripe is the packaging - why does my Sancerre look like there is a crack in the tube? I have read that this is a common issue and although there is nothing actually faulty, the packaging is working hard to give that impression.

Lastly, we have the Agave Lip Mask in Smashed Agave. This is supposed to impart a "universal red-wine tint".

...this brand and wine. If it ever does make it to the Middle East, expect a speedy rebrand on the name front. 

Well the swatch on Sephora is pitiful - this is far stronger in terms of red tone than it would seem - and although the name sounds innovative it's really just a balm that makes your lips look juicy. As a self-declared lip treatment hoarder I don't see a problem with that and I will say that the texture is great. Upon application your lips are enveloped in a thick gel that seems to hang around longer than expected. I think I will wear it tonight, ruin my pillowcase with that red wine tint and see whether it can really help me achieve an "irresistable" pair of lips by morning.  I'll definitely let you know :) 


  1. I liked that Hourglass skin tint too! Totally reminded me of Chantecaille Just Skin. It lasted well on me even though I have oily skin. I didn't think it transferred more than other bases however I did not moisturize beforehand and I used a buffing brush/Sigma F80 to buff it in after applying it with fingers. Now I have to check out those Bite lip thingies. Thanks a lot, Laura :)


  2. That palette looks beautiful, what a fab partner you have! x


  3. Really like the lip glosses.
    so pretty


  4. Oooh I haven't seen that palette in store yet! And those cashmere cream lippies sound amazing :) Great haul!

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  5. I really want that Nars palette! The colours look lovely x


  6. love the mars palette, definitely on my wish list :)


  7. Hi Laura, it's a shame we don't have Sephora in the Netherlands. I know I can oerder on line but seeing stuff in real life is the exciting part, I love that Palette btw.

    Take care.

    Jo of saycheesycake.blogspot.nl

  8. All hail Mr BNBL! I'm looking forward to seeing some FOTD posts incorporating these products. Enjoy your lovely gifts xxx

    Kirsty - Effortlessly Excessive

  9. I love the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks. I have the shades Lolita and Luv and I love them! I'm in college so Iong wearing lipsticks are a must for drinks and going out. At the end of the night I have to fight to get Luv off my lips and even then im still left with a stain that is pretty.

  10. Sephora always sucks me in! You got some great stuff! The colors in that palette are gorgeous :)


  11. The palette and the lip creams look gorgeous!
    I really liked the Nappa shade of the lip cream :)

    Salha | Abuhayar

  12. 'Mr BNBL went to America for work' sounds like a great title for a new series of kids books.

    I had the same 'wahhh? y u so small?' reaction to the NARS 'And God Created The Woman' palette, but got over it pretty quickly. I find they are the perfect size to jam your pinkie finger into for some on-the-rush shadow application. This Dual-Intensity palette looks amazing. Want/need.

    a x

  13. That palette looks gorgeous! Xx


  14. Helluva guy Mr BNBL!

    Loved seeing your first gut reactions. Often times those are the most honest reviews. Looking forward to more in-depth details. :o)


  15. Loved this! I can't wait to see the update on the Hourglass Skin Tint :)

  16. Amazing haul - v jealous of the Sephora goodness. I picked up the NARS palette yesterday, and am so excited to use it! Particularly that navy, because I don't have anything else like it :)

  17. nice post!
    follow to follow?

  18. I have the Hourglass Skin Tint as well, and you definitely need a setting powder! I have dry skin and it gave me some serious glow, but the transferring is annoying. I dust a light layer of Tarte's Smooth Operator and it clears that problem right up!


  19. The NARS pallette ist what interests me the most and can't wait for it to come to switzerland.

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  21. Hey Laura!! Please keep us updated on the Hourglass Skin Tint! I read ttSandra's review on it and was going to purchase it but am now hesitant :-D I'd love to know what you think of it after using it a few times?!!!! have a great day!!! lisa

  22. Love love love the hourglass skin tint! :)


  23. I've had my eye on the Nars palette for a while now .. so pretty .. ah, yes, will probably buy .. soon.

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  24. All those products look so stunning! I mean that palette is something I'd definitely pick up.


  25. That hourglass skin tint sounds amazing! Looks like you got some really lovely things :)

  26. Loved this comment! "What the hell, I embrace commercialism therefore I need this palette." I've actually not tried any of these products. Bite is a little hard to get in Australia however there are a few online stockists. Hourglass is soooo expensive here you have to sell your right arm to purchase their products. In saying that I do have a few of their products and I've never regretted any of them!

  27. Who said anything about wine? Sancerre and Napa are just a town and a region to me ;)

  28. Love the Nars palette, although I have to admit I prefer their usual black rubberised packaging!