Culture

What to Buy at Sephora's Spring VIB Sale

(Sipa via AP Images)

Ladies (and gentlemen), that special time of year has arrived: Sephora’s Spring VIB sale. The sale runs until April 23, so get your online shopping carts ready. The sale offers 15% off of your purchases and these are products that don’t go on sale, so this is a great opportunity to try some new products or get your old standbys with a discount.

The sale is tiered based on your insider status (A.K.A. the more loyal you are, the more you’re rewarded). VIB Rogue members got first dibs with 15 percent off with the code ROUGESPRING starting April 18. Starting April 19 (today!), all VIB members get 15 percent off with the code VIBSPRING. Beauty Insiders get their chance starting April 20, with 10 percent off with the code BISPRING.

So what to buy? I’m here to help.

First a word about skincare: there are all sorts of crazy claims about skin care miracles and I’m here to tell you they are all lies. There are only two things that you can put on your skin that will make significant “changes.” Those two things are retinols and acids, and they must be properly formulated in order to work. If you are looking to get rid of some wrinkles, clear up acne or just freshen up, you need to look toward products with those ingredients and if you are serious, visit your dermatologist for stronger items. Don’t waste your money on expensive crap. If you use retinols or acids, use a strong sunscreen. Use one no matter what.

Here we go:

1. Sunday Riley’s  GOOD GENES

It’s so good, I’ve capitalized the name. This is one of the greatest skincare products ever created. Plain and simple. It’s expensive — it starts at $105 (prediscount) but it is amazing and it is legit. Good Genes’ active ingredient is lactic acid and it is strong. I am a season acid peeler and I had to email the company to ask how much acid was in this after I was using it every day for two months. (They emailed me back: 40%, holy crap.) Sometimes Sephora has sample sizes of the product when you place your order and you can ask for a sample in a store if you want to be cautious. You will only need one night of this before you experience its power and become a devotee. I’ll be purchasing the jumbo size at the sale.  Now, if you want to “double-fist” your skincare treatment, if that’s how you roll, you will toss in a bottle of…

2. Sunday Riley’s Luna Oil

Yes, expensive at $105 for 1 ounce, $55 for 1/2 ounce, prediscount. Luna Sleeping Oil is blue from the blue tanzy in it, but it absorbs into your skin without notice. The major ingredient is trans-retinoic acid ester so this is a power player. If you want to change up your game, here’s how you use it: Apply the Luna Sleeping Oil and then apply the Good Genes over that. Yes, in that order. BOOM.

You can also use Luna alone, it’s very nice. Sephora sells a convenient combo of Luna Oil and Good Genes; it’s $85 before the discount. It’s a good way to try these products out.

3. NARS Velvet Lip Pencil

This is $27 before the discount. I use this as lipstick. Choose a color based on what works for your coloring. I use Dolce Vita most of the time. It’s a matte pencil but it’s not drying. I love the NARS brand and recommend most of their products, but let’s branch out since I don’t want to list 50 different NARS products.

4. Jo Malone London

Jo Malone London is a fragrance company and Sephora just started carrying the brand. It’s my favorite. There are no words to describe how fantastic Jo Malone fragrances are—I own at least ten. Since fragrance is very personal, go into a store and test them out. My favorites are Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Mimosa and Cardamon. And Orange Blossom. And Lime Blossom and Mandarin. Oh nevermind. These will set you back $65 before discount for a small bottle and remember, these NEVER go on sale so you are getting a deal. I keep telling myself that.

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

This will cost you $62 before the discount, but it’s a great highlighting product with three different “shades” of light to “soft-focus” your skin. And when you reach a certain age, it’s all about “soft focus.” It has a very sheer, light coverage so you don’t look like a over-Kontoured Kardashian.

6. Dr. Jart+ Ceramide

I use the liquid. Some people like the cream better, but this is a very moisturizing product with ceramides to protect your skin barrier. I love the way it smells but some don’t, so smell it first. Keep your skin moist and protect your skin barrier. It’s very important and Dr. Jart will help you for $39 a bottle before discount.

7. Shiseido Facial Cotton

It may seem kind of decadent to buy “designer” cotton pads but these are really nice. You can even cut them in half to double the number of pads. They are very soft and don’t over absorb the product so you are saving money by conserving your product. These will run you $10 before discount.

8. SK II Facial Treatment Mask

Bear with me: yes, these are insanely expensive for sheet masks, but they are on sale and I use them as a treat. I sheet mask regularly. They are very refreshing and seem to fix whatever ails you: brightening your skin, moisturizing, clarifying…all of it. These masks are based on SK II’s Facial Treatment Essence, which is also ridiculously expensive. Luckily there is a pretty close dupe: Missha’s First Treatment Essence for 1/3 of the price, although not at Sephora. The masks start at $17 each before discount.

Here are two things I am taking the plunge on that I do not currently own.

9. Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes

I am going to order these eyeshadows based on the recommendation of Stephanie Nicole, who I recently found on YouTube, courtesy of a skincare/makeup enthusiast friend of mine. I’m not a YouTube beauty guru kind of girl, but I like SN and will add her to my other YT beauty sherpa Wayne Goss.

These eyeshadows sound fantastic and they certainly look it. I avoid any shimmer shadows so I will be purchasing one of the matte palettes. It seems like the discount is a good occasion to try some new things.

10. Foreo Luna

I used to use a Clarisonic Mia, then I stopped entirely and switched to using a simple konjac sponge. But now I am curious about the Foreo. I’m still on the fence, but it’s likely I’ll just take the plunge.

So those are my suggestions. I don’t wear much makeup so my suggestions are skincare heavy. Hey, if you take care of your skin, you won’t need much of makeup. Good luck out there during the spring sale, and remember, if you miss it, there’s another one in the fall!