I worked as a Sephora makeup artist all through college and, because of this, I’ve become quite the product junkie (I’m very proud to say that I will NOT be renewing my rouge status this year because I haven’t spent enough there for the first time since they launched the program). Sephora’s price points can be pretty steep, so here are a few complexion products that I think are worth every penny.
Side note: I initially intended for this post to encompass of all of my favorite items from Sephora, not just complexion. After realizing how many products I love…it was just too much for one post.
Hourglass N 28 Hydrating Primer, $22 for 10 mL
Best for: Anyone with dry skin, visible pores or texture, and people who feel their makeup melts off during the day.
Honestly there isn’t much to say about this one other than your makeup will actually last all day when you use it. It instantly makes pores disappear and fine lines appear less visible. It is, quite simply, magic. Which is why the full size is $60.
Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer in Radiant Primer Blue for Light Skin, $37 for 1 oz
Best for: Pale people/anyone who feels like their foundation is slightly too dark for them.
I’m basically the palest person on the planet, so I mix this with foundation that’s slightly too dark for me, and it lightens it up a bit so it matches me better and I don’t look yellow 🙂 It definitely does reduce the appearance of pores and texture, but that is 100% not why I use it. The radiant finishes are also great for dry skin.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, $46
Best for: Anyone with a face. Namely, those people who want a softer-looking face, or a finishing powder for a day on which a lot of photos will be taken.
I have pretty dry skin, so I have never liked to set my makeup with powder. That changed when Hourglass launched the Ambient Lighting collection.The line is technically marketed as, “highlighters,” but I use this baby all over my face. Why is it so great? Well, when I worked at Sephora and these powders came out, I was all, “$50 shimmery powder? Let’s see what this does…” and I put it on top of my makeup. I looked in the mirror, didn’t see a difference, and went back to work. Except for that I didn’t really get to work much at all because all of my coworkers kept asking me why my face looked so smooth! I kid you not, these people who saw me 5 days out of the week noticed that something was different. I used it a couple more times and totally did end up seeing the difference, and it’s amazing. Also, it’s like the only translucent powder I’ve seen that doesn’t wash you out in pictures.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder, any and all colors, $38
Best for: People who want a powder that blends better and isn’t chalky.
Not much to say about this one other than it is thee prettiest highlighting powder on the planet. Opal is everyone’s favorite shade, so it is always sold out online.
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, $56
Best for: oily skin, unfortunately for me.
I personally don’t use this product on a daily basis because 1) it doesn’t come in a light enough shade and 2) my skin is too dry for it. BUT when I did use it, despite it being completely wrong for my skin in two ways, I loved it. I also used it on all of my oily-skinned clients who wanted a full coverage product and they all loved it. It’s a liquid foundation with medium-full coverage which has a matte, powder finish. It helps fight acne like no other cosmetic product and I’ve even heard people say that it works as a spot treatment for breakouts (though I haven’t seen proof).
Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, $35
Best for: anyone who wants really full coverage.
This is for people who want the fullest of the full coverage. People who are horrified by this idea refer to this foundation as, “a mask,” but there are some people who really like to cover it all. And this is for them. It totally lasts all day even without a primer and is amazing for the people who are in the market for a product which cover all imperfections, freckles, blemishes, etc. without having to use additional concealers.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $43
Best for: anyone who wants medium coverage.
THIS one is my jam. It’s perfect, medium coverage which can be built up to a full coverage. For a reference point, I’ve heard this is what Kim Kardashian uses for magazine shoots 😉
bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Best for: people who want a powder that doesn’t look, “powder-y.” Or, dry-skinned folk.
The day I realized that I liked bareMinerals was one of the more embarrassing days of my life. There’s a certain clientele who looks EXCLUSIVELY for bareMinerals and it’s not a population that you want to be grouped in with (commonly heard from these people is the phrase, “I only use bareMinerals because it’s alllllll natural.” False). BUT, as I’ve probably said 16 times before, my dry skin hates powder.This is the exception. It’s the most radiant, hydrating all-over face powder you can find and the coverage is super buildable. Plus!! SPF!! Wooooo, bonus points. This is what I wear most frequently, when I’m going out in public but don’t want to have to put blush on.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29
Best for: Anyone with redness, dark spots, or under-eye darkness.
This is my favorite concealer of all time for several reasons. First, it comes in a huge assortment of colors. Like, they have a shade that might even be too light for me. That’s pretty impressive, but there’s even more! This formula is super buildable. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend building it up around your eye area (the texture starts to become more obvious the more layers you apply), but if you’re someone who suffers from various degrees of redness depending on the day, this is awesome. I do use it around my eye area, but I’m also really careful to blend it (using the Sephora Pro Crease Brush #10 which, BONUS, you can also use to blend your eye shadow) so that it matches the texture of my skin and doesn’t cake up in the creases or otherwise emphasize texture in that area. The product lasts all day, doesn’t exaggerate texture, and is cruelty and sulfate free.
BEAUTYBLENDER the Original Beauty Blender, $20
Best for: literally anyone who uses liquid foundation ever.
This is my absolute favorite method of application for any and all liquid complexion products (ok maybe not all. but concealer/foundation). In case you don’t know: the Beauty Blender is used wet. You completely soak the sponge, and then towel dry it so that it feels barely damp. When wet, the sponge doubles in size and allows for seriously flawless, ridiculously easy application. Something about its composition and being a wet sponge makes all liquid complexion products mimic the exact texture of your skin, so your foundation and concealer always look as natural as possible. Bonus: the narrow end is awesome for blending concealer around your under eyes.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for part 2: non-complexion products, which I’ll post on Monday of next week.