I’m trying to work through my extensive stash of skin care, makeup and hair products before buying anything new, so I’ll probably skip the Sephora VIB summer sale. But it’s a great time to score some of their premium products at a rare discount, so if you want to treat yourself to some special beauty bits or level-up your skin care routine, here are my top 10 favorite “splurge” products that I’d recommend for the sale.
VIB members take 15% off, and ‘Rouge’ status take 20% off with code SUMMERSAVE.
(Valid through 8/27.)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase from my recommendations.
If I could only use one skin care brand for the rest of my life, I’d happily choose Drunk Elephant. They’re a ‘clean’ brand that spends a lot of time and money on R&D to develop formulas with high-quality active ingredients that deliver maximum results with minimal irritation. If you’re going to get spendy on one category in your beauty routine, I highly recommend investing in one or more of their serums + a moisturizer. (Also: the makeup-melting cleansing balm is A++.)
Drunk Elephant – C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum :: I started using this serum years ago and couldn’t even tell you how many bottles I’ve gone through. They recently changed the formula and I find it a little too oily to wear under makeup, so I mix it into my retinol and apply it in the evening. (It has a reservoir effect that keeps it active on the skin up to 72 hours.)
Drunk Elephant – A-Passioni Retinol Cream :: This is a relatively new release from Drunk Elephant, and it’s a highly-active vegan retinol that helps resurface to diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. A word of caution: this stuff is intense; go in sparingly until you build up your tolerance (I learned this the hard way, and I have experience with retinols). I mix a pea-sized amount with the C-Firma and a little moisturizer, and apply it every-other (or even every 3rd) night.
Drunk Elephant – Protini Polypeptide Cream :: This my favorite moisturizer from the brand, and my preferred mixing medium for my evening skincare cocktail of the two serums above. (I also add a few drops of their Marula oil for extra hydration.) I love that DE products are designed to mix and match into super-charged treatments; it’s like blending ingredients together into a super-food smoothie for your face.
Tatcha – Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 :: If you hate wearing sunscreen every day, you’ll love this primer/SPF hybrid. It has a really creamy texture that dries down to a silky-smooth base for your makeup. It doesn’t smell like sunscreen (more like a spa treatment) and doesn’t leave any white cast on the skin. It’s ridiculously expensive, but I figure it’s better to splurge on a product I’ll happily use everyday than to skip daily SPF because it’s greasy/chalky or messes up my makeup. I’m probably on my third or fourth tube, and I always buy it during a sale to catch a break on the cost.
Giorgio Armani Beauty – Luminous Silk Foundation :: This is such a beautiful base with a natural satin finish that’s buildable for customized coverage. It’s a lovely daytime foundation, but it’s my go-to for special events: it lasts for hours, photographs beautifully, and is so comfortable on the skin. (I’m in the shade 4, for reference.)
Charlotte Tilbury – Hollywood Flawless Filter :: If you want your skin to look like it’s bathed in golden candlelight, get your hands on this multitasking liquid highlighter. You can use it as a primer for a little shimmer under your base, mix it into your favorite foundation or tinted moisturizer for a dewy finish, or tap it onto the high points of your face for concentrated glow.
Charlotte Tilbury – Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo :: This was the first ‘luxury’ makeup item I ever purchased (probably 6-7 years ago?) and it’s still one of my favorites in my collection; I bought a new one in the last sale because I completely panned the bronzer. It’s perfect for warming up and sculpting the face, and adding glow to the tops of your cheekbones, temples, center of the nose and cupid’s bow. I also love it on the eyes: I buff the bronzer shade all over the lid and along the lower lash line, and put the glowy shade in the inner-corner and brow bone. It’s a great palette to stash in your bag for easy on-the-go looks!
Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Palette :: Fun fact: I hate most powders, but I live in Florida and need something to lightly set my cream products so they have a chance of making it through the day. The Hourglass Ambient Powder does just that, without making my skin look chalky, matte or dry. A little goes a long way, and I use a Real Techniques Setting Brush to lightly tap it only where I need it: to set my under-eye area; and around my nose, chin, and forehead where I get oiliest throughout the day.
Christophe Robin – Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts :: Fellow fine-haired friends with oily scalps who struggle to get their hair really clean and lifted at the root: this clay-based cleanser is for you. It does a great job removing oil and styling buildup, and the clay gives my hair some grip and texture. I only use it once a week for a deep clean, so a jar lasts a long time.
Dyson Air Wrap Styler :: I can’t bring myself to make the investment for this multitasking Dyson set (it’s more than my car payment) but if it’s in your budget and you want some super cool styling tools to curl, wave, smooth, and dry your hair, the sale is the ideal time to order one; you’ll save $100 on the set!