If the mecca that is Sephora says these items are the big favourites then surely they’re right? Or are they wrong? Let’s see…
When I went to Florida I obviously made several pit-stops at Sephora. And when I say “several” I mean almost daily. Because when in Rome, right? Admittedly about 2 years back I was pretty peeved with the brand, I even blogged about it here. Having been an overseas customer of theirs for years, saving year-round to make an annual order of unnaturally large proportions on top of several other small orders throughout the year, I was really narked when they stopped selling to UK customers. With the arrival of new Data Protection laws, for reasons I still can’t figure out, Sephora banned access to its site from the UK. You can’t even *look* at it and browse nowdays, let alone shop on it. But meh, as angry as I was, I’ve mellowed. Most things I can get elsewhere with a little effort and some things I can’t change (sadly) so I parked my annoyance and manned up.
By the time I got to Florida at the end of last year, I was as excited as a kid at Christmas to get inside one of my favourite beauty shops in the world. Because Sephora is beauty mecca, right? I was really careful to only buy the things I couldn’t get hold of in the UK, that hadn’t yet been released or were Sephora exclusives. For me that meant getting as many of the holiday season Favorites Sets as I could get my hands on. The one I was most excited for was The Superstars set. Now before anyone gets upset, I know it’s a.) not available here in the UK and b.) not available at all any more BUT the purpose of this post is to check out the items inside and see if they’re truly ‘superstar’ label worthy.
The set itself originally cost $48 which was roughly about £36, which is an absolute bargain considering it contained 9 items and had a value of $137. If you were to get a set like this in the UK, you’d pay far higher prices. Everything is just much cheaper over the pond. And considering this set had the likes of Fenty, Urban Decay and Too Faced inside, for £36 it was a no brainer buy for me.
So let’s look at the products inside!
Hand picked by Sephora, these are the brands and items they say deserve Superstar status and I’m assuming that’s based on sales/public opinion. Including every day must haves, they had the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray taking pride of place in the box. Now this one I fully agree is superstar status because I’ve used it for years and years with no disappointment. It’s also used by every and any beauty guru on YouTube as their setting spray. You can use it before, during and after make up application and it helps hold everything in place. Perfect for long days, night’s out and everything in between. So for this one, a big tick.
Next up, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is obviously another big tick and fully deserving of its superstar status. Its also another product I’ve used for several years and repurchased more times than I can count. Its hourglass shaped wand works perfectly with the mascara formula and it’s one of my favourite all-time products. It lifts my lashes, gives a nice curl and covers them in a thick but not clumpy black coating that’s great for every day. Although admittedly the one in the set was tiny.
Inside the set was also a NARS Lip Crayon, again another product I totally agree deserves the ‘superstar status’. It’s one of the few crayon formulas that I actually like and gives great payoff, as usually a crayon gives sheer or minimum coverage. These however are brilliant at giving a lipstick level of coverage and high colour payoff. I have quite a few in my collection and a full size on it’s own costs around £20, so getting one in this set was a winner.
And then finally the fourth item that I totally agree deserves ‘superstar status’ was the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo. Anything Fenty gets big marks from me and this duo compact was not only full size (and it’s worth £28) but also the perfect shade for me. It’s a beautiful golden peach tone that works perfectly on pale skin and there’s two shades – one really intensely shimmery and the other slightly more subtle so you’ve got the best of both worlds. It’s a beautiful formula, doesn’t go oily on the skin and lasts all day. Totally worth Superstar status!
Now to the products that I’m on the fence about…Let’s start with the Benefit Roller Liner, shall we? I’m not knocking it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. But it’s not really superstar status worthy. It’s a good liner, some might count it as great and I don’t have any faults with it – but it’s not one of the liquid liners I would say outdoes most others. While I do use this one, it’s not often reached for as I prefer others in my collection. Good but not great.
The same applies for the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Crayon. I love the product, I love the formula, but is it a superstar? I don’t think so. Again, there’s nothing wrong with it at all – it’s a good product and if you like crayon eyeshadows and their sheer payoff then you’ll love it too. But if Sephora wanted to truly include a superstar product from Laura Mercier then hands down it should have been the Translucent Setting Powder – nothing beats that.
And again, the same really applies for the Bite Beauty Agave+ Lip Balm. It’s a tiny size in a bullet capsule (which I don’t like anyway) and while the formula is nice, I’ve not reached for it since I got it. Which tells me a lot. Yes it’s nice, it felt soft and my lips felt nicely lip balmy but it wasn’t the bees knees.
And then finally, two which (to me) are definitely not superstars. The first is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. I tried this recently, and I’m just not loving it like I remembered. I think because I have changed my brow regime a lot in the past year, and I no longer use or need (or really want) a clear brow gel any more, that’s why. It makes my brows feel rigid and I just don’t like it. BUT I will say that it’s not a bad product – if a clear brow gel is something you use then I’ve heard such brilliant reviews from people with much bigger and better brows than me. No hate, just not for me right now.
And then lastly, was the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer. I was really excited to see some Milk makeup in the set when I purchased it. But sadly this is one I can’t use, so I can’t say it’s a superstar for me. Priming my face for make up is something I’ve learned to be cautious with and I know I need matte primers as someone with oily skin. While this is hydration friendly and contains hyaluronic acid, so it would be great if you have dry skin, it just didn’t work for me. I need a primer that keeps things matte looking for as long as possible and sadly after a few hours I was shiny and oily on my cheeks and nose, which for me is the sign of a primer that doesn’t work for my skin. Sad times.
So there we go folks – the down low on all the Sephora Favorites Superstars, I think it’s been pretty impressive that so many products were genuinely what I’d class as true hero products. And even the ones that I was on the fence about weren’t bad at all, and still really lovely products. Out of the whole set only 2 are products I can’t big up, which is pretty good and shows that Sephora were almost right with their selections!
Spot any favourites of your own here? Or interested by their choice of superstars? Let me know in the comments!
**This post contains some gifted items and links may be affiliate but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.