Aug 132015

belif bergamont herbal extract tonerBelif is a skincare brand sold in the U.S. through Sephora. Based on natural ingredients, the brand bases its formulas on ancient traditions combined with modern knowledge. A few months ago, I began to wonder whether my toner was too harsh. Still, I wanted something strong enough to wisp away any last remaining mascara and makeup after using my oil cleanser and Clarisonic. Here is a bit about the company’s philosophy (click to enlarge):

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Aug 122015

Having been through many limited edition battles in the past, I want to underscore that I have never seen anything like Monday’s Sephora Epic Rewards event. I’m sure many of you saw the press, and others of you actually experienced trying to add “available” rewards that wouldn’t go into your cart, rewards taken out of your cart before hitting the “order’ button, or never seeing the rewards go online at all because the window was so micro-short.

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From a public relations perspective, I believe that direct contact with affected consumers is the right move rather than the current social media onslaught. Twitter got very un-pretty, y’all. At any rate, you can see the statement that suggests an email to Sephora at the special address. I hope anyone who reads this with a sufficient number of points takes advantage of this communication channel.

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Aug 092015

Here’s a few things that I’m thinking about this weekend…

1. Gird Your Loins:  As you likely know, Sephora has been running an “extra points” promotion for its members.

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On August 10th, it will unleash some Sephora Epic Rewards for those that have 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 rewards points. I’m not certain what time this will be posted (do you know?) I’ve been reading that its during “business hours” but the Sephora Facebook page doesn’t commit to anything. The last round of epic rewards went very quickly, and many were disappointed that they weren’t able to get them. I’m hoping that the reward are more plentiful this time around. I wish I had enough points to try for the Armani or the Drybar (5,000 points each), alas I do not. The Givenchy set looks like a nice pick at 1,000 points, and the Yves Saint Laurent at 3,000.

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Of course, you need to make a purchase to get the reward. I’m not sure that I’ll be trying with fingers hovering over the “buy” button, but I thought I’d show you some suggestions. Most are on the lower end of the price scale.

2. Sign me up!  Speaking of Sephora, the store is launching a subscription box service similar to Ipsy and Birchbox, called Play! for $10 a month. It’s going to interface with a Spotify playlist–it appears that the first set is called “Uncover the Essentials” and will contain a Marc Jacobs eyeliner, a GlamGlow mask, a Sephora lipstain, a Bumble and Bumble hair oil, an Ole Henriksen moisturizer, and a bonus Elizabeth and James fragrance. Set to launch in select cities in September (I’m jealous of you, Boston and Ohio), there will be a national roll out in 2016.

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3. Is Marula the new argan? I was able to try out Marula oil available at (you guessed it, Sephora), a soft, moisturizing oil to make your summer skin glow like a goddess. According to the line, this oil is:

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Specially formulated for the face and neck, premium Marula Oil is a naturally soothing treatment that provides intense hydration, protection, and rejuvenation to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for soft, radiant skin. It is suitable for all skin types and contains a high content of fatty acids, resulting in fast absorption to leave skin smooth with a matte finish.

Marula Oil

The oil is cold-pressed from African madula nuts. I found it lovely, it’s very moisturizing and has a soft scent. It doesn’t feel “too rich” because it sinks in quickly. I love that the Sephora site has a try-it size for $15.

How is your Sunday going for you? Feel free to share in the comments…

Affiliate links. The Marula oil was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review

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Jul 272015

Sephora No 50 blush brush - 1This is a quick review of the Sephora Pro Flawless Light Powder Brush #50 ($38). Sometimes while testing products as Sephora, I’ve asked the makeup artists to borrow a brush. Each time that I’ve borrowed this Sephora #50, I’ve admired its easy of use and excellent results. For example, I’ve used it with Laura Mercier’s Ritual Baked Bronzer ($36), and loved, loved, loved the results.

Sephora No 50 blush brush - 5

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Jul 242015

Sephora Champs Elysee 27French line Sephora has an enormous Champs Eylsee location. Some things have changed since I did a previous trip report in 2010 here.  Yet still, this Sephora is the most impressive in size, depth and selection in Paris, and beauty lovers will want to allow at least an hour. Of course, there are numerous other Sephora’s sprinkled throughout the City of Light, but this one is centrally located and has the largest selection. The front area still has a “featured brand” area that is different every time that I’ve visited (this time, Hermes). Also near the front door is “grab and go” setup of items for quick Parisian-themed gifts, including $50 Hermes fragrance samplers and other delights.

Sephora Champs Elysee 26

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Apr 132015

Here are some things that I’ve got my eye on….

What do you think?

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Apr 062015

Sunday13Sephora shipped over a few of their favorites looking forward to the upcoming Coachella and other spring music festivals. Because I travel frequently, I thought I’d share some thoughts on these goodies, and also highlight a few formula. Of course, if you are the festival-going demographic, there are definitely some things that you would love.


First up, I don’t know how these Sephora Luster Matte Long Wear Lip Colors ($16 each). This formula is amazing–it’s opaque, long-wearing and totally on trend. Next time I’m headed out, I’m going to check out the other shades in this line. Here, swatches of Nude Pink (left) and Electra-Pink (right):

Sunday19 The Luster Matte in Electra Pink is bright pink opaque neon. These are long-wearing, and benefit by putting a balm underneath. Here’s a super quick swatch:

Sephora Electra Pink

Here’s a quick swatch of Nude Pink, an neutral shade that goes a bit pink when applied. Like Electra Pink, it’s opaque and benefits from application over a balm. These are long-wearing.

Sephora nude pink lustre matte

The Sephora Shine Beautifully Metallic Gold Temporary Tattoos ($10 for three sheets) are very high shine, easy to apply and needed an oil cleanser to remove. Let the sunshine and rain come down–these lasted far longer than I imagined!

Sunday26 You just cut them apart, remove a plastic shield, and hold them wet against your skin for about a minute. Easy, peasy!

Sunday28 The shine in the sunshine was throwing off my camera settings–these are true metallics.

Sunday30The liners were festival worthy in their color range. The Sephora Colorful Shadow & Liners ($14 each) are truly waterproof–no kidding! I had them on my arm when I was doing the tattoo and even though I had water on them for a full minute, they didn’t budge. Nice for the price!



Here are swatches of the White Matte pencil, Fresh (the green), and the Sephora Long-Lasting 12HR Wear Eyeliner ($12) in Fancy Blue:

Sunday24 This Art of the Updo hair set is awesome:

Sunday27There are few more travel-ready goodies that look very useful for my next carry-on bag. I love the great closure/packability of these. Sometimes drugstore removers dry out on the plane, but these Express Cleaning wipes ($4 for 10) have a decent closure.

Sunday14 The Sephora Express Eye remover wipes ($9/20) and super gentle on eyes



Although work deadlines will prevent me from actually going to Coachella, I’ll probably just fire up my Spotify, rock some great liners and lip lusters, and let my Springtime state of mind roll.

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)




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Jan 112015

Sephora marsala01Happy 2015! Sephora’s Pantone Color of the Year is Marsala, a wearable shade that is office-friendly and flattering on many skin tones. To commerate, Sephora has gathered an entire range of products from different lines that fit within this beautiful neutral. In addition, Sephora has put together its own items built around the Marsala color story. These include the Sephora +Pantone Universe Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette ($39) and the Sephora +Pantone Universe Pure Marsala Matte Lip Creme ($18). The eyeshadow palette is sold out online at present, but there were four or five at my local Sephora on Friday (so hopefully there will be some in yours as well).

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These items are packaged in a marsala-toned metallic-colored finish that actually very pretty. The eyeshadow palette is lightweight, slim and highly functional. Although it won’t keep the packaging designers for Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford all night, their simple design is reflected in this highly affordable price point.

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If you want my honest opinion, I think that the line put the money into the product not the packaging. At $39 and $18 respectively, that’s a good call. The quality of the product to the applied to the eye and lips is surprisingly good. The pigmentation, texture, and range of colors and textures is outstanding.

Sephora marsala07As you can see, there are different textures of Marsala-toned colors in the top center. Surrounding these are a range of beautiful colors that coordinate nicely. I found that these applied beautifully–the texture is soft, does not kick up a lot of dust, and are a breeze to apply and blend. If you are heading to the stores today, you’ll want to stop by your Sephora and try out the tester.

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The Sephora Marsala eyeshadow palette was swatched with the NARS Artistry Smudge Brush #45 #45 ($28)(reviewed here), which is a pretty awesome brush. I did an eye with the Wayne Goss #6 brush ($25) and found that the colors applied and blended very impressively. For the price, this Sephora eyeshadow palette is a steal.

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The Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala lipstick ($18) is a nice reddish-brown neutral that is semi-matte.

Sephora marsala06Swatch of the lipstick:

Sephora marsala14I attempted a lip swatch to give you a sense of the color:

sephora marsala lipstick4The good news is that those gorgeous geniuses at Sephora have provided Cafe Makeup with a fresh never-used eyeshadow palette and lipstick for giveaway!  Fun, right? If you’d like a try, you must leave a comment here on Cafe Makeup through the Rafflecopter form for one point (only once for the entire contest, please). If you’d like additional points, you can voluntarily tweet about the giveaway for another point (you are limited to one tweet per day) through the Rafflecopter form below. The comment is mandatory to enter, the tweet is not.

Note that the tweet must be through the Rafflecopter form. 

The contest is open the U.S. readers only and ends on Friday 1/16/15 at 12:00 am Eastern time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to everyone!! Sephora marsala03 Sephora marsala02 These items were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for review and give-away. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Oct 272014

Sephora Chroma Color Giveaway2 copyIn addition to our giveaway for the Sephora Holiday Festival Blockbuster palette, there is another one for those who love their eye color–how awesome is that? Cafe Makeup is sponsoring a second giveaway, this one for the Sephora Chroma Color Eye Palette (retail price $65).  Sephora sent both of these lovelies to Cafe Makeup for a giveaway to our U.S. readers.

Sephora Chroma Color GIveaway two1 copyThis rather impressive gift has 54 eyeshadows, 12 full size pencils, and a double side eyeshadow brush. This is some serious fun!

Sephora Chroma Color Giveaway5 copyHere’s a close up of a few of the full sized pencils and the double sided brush:

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If you’d like to enter, please leave me a comment on this exact post, saying “enter me” or something similar (I’m sorry, I can’t track entries left on social media). If you’d like to enter the other Cafe Makeup/ Sephora giveaway, go for it!  Just only enter once per giveaway.  This contest for the Sephora Chroma Color Eye Palette will end Wednesday November 5th at midnight. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. Good luck, lovelies!!

This palette was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge, and this post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup


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Oct 272014

Sephora Color Infused Giveaway1Those lovely people at Sephora have shipped over this Sephora Color Festival Palette ($49.50) as a giveaway for Cafe Makeup readers. If you’d like to enter, just leave a comment that says “enter me!” or something similar. This giveaway will run until Wednesday November 5, 2014 at midnight Eastern time.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. If you’d like to enter, please leave me a comment on this exact post, saying “enter me” or something similar (I’m sorry, I can’t track entries left on social media).  Tell your friends!

Sephora Color Infused Giveaway2 copyThe palette is bow-shaped, but opens in intriguing ways to reveal a huge quantity of colors:

– 72 x 0.014 oz Eye shadow
– 28 x 0.014 oz Lipgloss
– 8 x 0.077 oz Blush
– 18 x 0.014 oz Cream eyeliners
– 4 x 0.018 oz Two-in-one creams for cheeks and Lips
– 2 x Mirrors
– 6 x Makeup tutorials

Sephora Color Infused Giveaway3 copyYou can open the tops of the “bows” reveal the mirrors and eyeshadows. Then, you can “spin” the palette to show the layers of colors underneath.

Sephora Color Infused Giveaway4Cute!  Here’s a look at the whole range (although stopping the pivot at different points will show an entire layer.


Sephora Color Infused Giveaway5postHuge!! Do you want it (it’s unused, and shippings on me!).  Just let me know in the comments. This is also available for sale at Sephora. If you’d like to enter, please leave me a comment on this exact post, saying “enter me” or something similar (I’m sorry, I can’t track entries left on social media). If you’d like to enter the other Cafe Makeup/ Sephora giveaway too, go for it! Just only enter once per giveaway. This contest will end Wednesday November 5th at midnight Eastern time. Good luck, lovelies!!

This palette was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge, and this post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup

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