Oh, Sephora. You love to tempt me with your glamour and your promises. I’d love to believe that if I spend $50 on a lipstick, I will magically transform into a flawless creature and everyone will gasp at my beauty.
Luckily, I’ve done the hunting for you guys, and there are some really decent products at Sephora that you can get for under $20. Some of them are even a little bit magic (okay, they just feel magic, but still).
If you’re looking to operate at peak girliness, you need to get your hands on Pink Sugar. It smells like candy, but not in a cloying, Limited-Too kind of way. Instead, you smell adorable, fresh and feminine.
There are lots of perfume rollerballs for sale at Sephora that hover around the $20 range, but even better is just asking for a sample, and the nice employees will give you an itty-bitty perfume vial you can use a few times for free. Then you’ll realize you can’t live without it and you’ll come back and buy it.
Instant Nail Polish Remover, $9.50
This stuff may actually be real-life magic. Think of everything you hate about taking off nail polish–it smells and tastes bad, it takes forever, you waste a million napkins.
Sephora has solved that problem by creating a jar of pleasant-smelling nail polish remover that you just dip your fingers in (don’t take a big whiff of it, it’s still full of chemicals, but it’s nowhere near the gross alcohol smell of the other stuff). It dries immediately and won’t make your nails weak or peely. It also lasts forever, even for me, and I do my nails three times a week. Best beauty investment ever.
Tweezerman Tweezers, $15
There are zillions of tweezers for sale at Sephora, and I try to get nice ones since my ancestry is eastern European and my brows tend to get wild. Mine are Anastasia brand that I got free from my Sephora points, but they tend to be costly, and I’ve heard great things about Tweezerman.
You want something with a nice precise edge to grab out exactly what you’re trying to get, and not grab a clump of eyebrow. That would be awful, because nobody wants to lose eyebrow clumps. So get the nice tweezers.
I was a scary demon animal for Halloween one year, and I thought it would be an awesome idea to create a huge mouth using long-lasting lipstick. This makeup remover got every inch of my costume demonface off. It’s amazing, and works on more than just eyes, but any kind of makeup on your face.
BADGal Lash Mascara, $19
I’m not a huge mascara person, mostly because I have kind of long eyelashes to start with, and when I wear mascara, I have to be careful not to get Spiderweb Lashes. But BADgal behaves nicely and doesn’t do the spiderwebs and I really enjoy wearing it. It comes free in birthday packages or points packages a lot as well, so keep your eyes peeled
4-in-1 Brush Wand, $12
Guys, this is four different brushes that stack like those pencils we all had in middle school with the exchangeable lead points. So really, you’re getting four brushes, and unlike those lead points that wore down and became useless really quickly, these can be used over and over. Convenience!
If you’re super precise about applying your foundation and moisturizer and face makeup (notice that I am not one of those people, as I can barely describe face makeup), this is what you need. It’s washable, so you can get the gunk out of it, and won’t suck up all your makeup and make you waste the foundation that you just spent good money on. It also looks way cooler than a regular old sponge.