Sephora VIB Sale: Top Picks

Sephora VIB Sale: Top Picks

THE TIME HAS COME. Sephora’s semi-annual beauty insider sale is back at it again, wiping our accounts clean and destroying our credit card limits. Unfortunately (and luckily) for me, my beautiful and talented friend Feyi (check out her Instagram and YouTube channel out) shared her friends & family 20% coupon code with me a few weeks ago bumping me to VIB Rouge. This means that this time around, I have not just one but TWO 20% sale periods ahead!

This fall/winter sale will be taking place:

VIB ROUGE: November 3 – November 6, 20% OFF use 20FORROUGE
VIB: November 10 – November 15, 20% OFF use 20FORVIB
Beauty Insider: November 10 – November 15, 15% OFF 

The semi-annual sale is a great time for three things: 1) stocking up on your essentials 2) purchasing the luxury products you’ve been eyeing or wanting to try 3) holiday gift purchases. Around this time, a lot of brands also release their products and kits or sets to Sephora and, perfect for trying products or giving gifts!

Below you’ll find my top picks for this fall/winter VIB sale starting at makeup followed by skincare, perfume, and hair. Since I already did major damage once (as in my bank called to make sure my credit card wasn’t stolen at Sephora), I already picked up a handful of the picks listed. Despite dipping into my monthly savings, I’ll probably pick up a few more these next two sale periods 🤣

You can click on each image to go to the Sephora webpage for that product! No links are affiliate links. Without further ado, let’s start shopping!



Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer, $34

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I purchased this in late September before any sales when I noticed that my pores were huge and hideous due to lack of hydration and not taking care of my skin at all throughout the summer on my Asia trip. Since then, I’ve been testing it. Overall, I loved how it wears and melts my pores away creating a smooth canvas for my foundation. But I will warn you that if you layer it on top of moisturizer, be sure to let the moisturizer dry well first and then wait a minute or so after applying the primer before layering on foundation. Otherwise, everything ends up sitting on top of each other instead of absorbing into a flawless second layer of skin.


First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, $28

Image result for first aid beauty hello fab coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer

I have actually yet to try this primer, although a coworker of mine has raved about it to me a few times. It’s said to be suitable for all skin types (but then again, which product doesn’t have that in the description anymore) and is a mix of primer and moisturizer, helping you combine two steps into one. My coworker has normal skin, not too oily or dry, and claims it keeps her makeup looking fresh all day and her face looking poreless and flawless. Considering I sit directly across her, I definitely see it to be true and would recommend you all (and myself) to pick up a tube and give it a shot! If you do purchase it, be sure to let me know if you like it in the comments below!


Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation, $42

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There are a few foundation recommendations in my picks with this one being the first. I watched my friend Rebekah (who was visiting two weekends ago) apply this foundation in the morning, trek all of Manhattan with me, speed change and go out with our college friends, pass out without removing her foundation, and wake up with about 90% of the foundation still completely in place on her face. If that’s not a a miracle, I’m not sure what is. This foundation is probably as close to magic as you will get when it comes to face makeup. I unfortunately purchased a light coverage Chanel foundation recently, but when it’s done, you bet I will be sampling this foundation and probably purchasing one for myself!


Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation, $40

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Oh Huda Beauty. Her products never cease to amaze me. This foundation has received a mixed batch of reviews. The one common comment all the vloggers and bloggers are making is that upon application it tightens your face and closes your pores, blurring out any imperfections immediately. It is buildable but still thick since it is a full coverage foundation. On the bright side, it truly covers almost everything while still looking natural to a degree. It literally looks like a faux filter over your skin! From what I see online and on my own skin, it does not seem to oxidize. One warning is there is a scent to the foundation. I didn’t think it was strong or a problem, but some people don’t like the smell of cosmetics in their cosmetics…if that makes sense. I thankfully no longer need full coverage foundations anymore, but would definitely pick this up if my acne picks back up again or if I’m in need of a full coverage foundation.


Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, $46

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The last foundation in my picks goes to the Hourglass foundation stick that I’ve been seeing all over my YouTube homepage. This foundation is medium to full coverage and leaves behind a satin finish. From what I’ve seen, you can apply lightly or literally color in your face with it and still have a flawless but natural look. However, at some point, you can look cakey, so I would be careful when applying. To apply, you would draw stripes down your cheeks and across your T-zone before buffing it out with a brush or blotting it out with a blending sponge. Fun fact: the formula adjusts to your body temperature to blend seamlessly into your skin. Again, I’m not dying to pick this up immediately, but it’s something I’m keeping in the back of my mind if I’m in the mood for a full coverage foundation to keep my light coverage Chanel one company.


Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder, $32

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This is by far one of my favorite translucent blotting powders. I picked one up back when Fenty Beauty first launched (and accidentally dug a giant hole in the middle, I’ll explain soon) and have never looked back. It truly does a fantastic job keeping me matte or lightly dewy instead of looking like the bottom of my frying pan. I found that dusting it with a fluffy brush under my foundation as well as patting it with a dense buffing brush over my foundation actually helps me stay matte for a good 6 hours. One thing to be sure: don’t get water on the powder. I accidentally did, causing me to have to scrape off the solid layer it formed, hence the giant rocky surface in the middle of my powder. It killed the beautiful aesthetic of the powder, but at least it still works!


Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette, $62

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I own one of the single Hourglass highlights and am showered with compliments every time I use it. This palette is perfect for all seasons and all different undertones. I simply can’t describe it. You just have to swatch and see how naturally beautiful it shows on your skin.


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $12 or 23

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My favorite mascara of all time will definitely be restocked in my VIB sale purchase! This mascara definitely lives up to its hype and can hold a curl longer than any other mascara I’ve tried. I personally don’t like spending more than low-$20s for mascara, so this hits the highest price point I would allow in my budget while doing the job phenomenally. I purchased the mini mascara way back in May and it lasted a surprisingly long time (6 months rotated between two other mascaras). While I would repurchase it in full size, I’m currently working through two other full-sized Maybelline mascaras, so I might be buying the mini one again to avoid wasting product or having it dry out as I rotate it. Or I might just buy the full size one. Who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 38 Green-Brown, $239

Image result for natasha denona green brown

Let me start this one by saying the photo above (and my own photos and everything else on Google Images results) does not do the palette justice. In person, you can see the chroma crystals and crushed pearls in the glitters and shimmers glistening and sparkling like it’s nobody’s business. Now I know you’re thinking, ERICA. WHAT ON EARTH would possess you to purchase a palette for $239 (x 80% = $191, but details)?! If you do the math, each pan, which is almost if not equivalent size to individual shadows, breaks down to $8.53 a shadow and $6.82 after the 20% off sale. That is the same price as a Makeup Geek or Colourpop eyeshadow. Now if you were to build your own palette with these colors say at Mac or Makeup Geek or Inglot, it would probably add up to about $200 something as well. So honestly, imagine spending all your money at once to purchase one big palette of all the colors you would have purchased throughout time. If you can afford it, why not?

Personally, I have zero regrets about this palette. When I first saw it, I would laugh at the people who would spend that kind of money on makeup. Now that I’ve tested it and eventually purchased it, I understand the obsession and craze as well as why Natasha dares to price it at that high of a price. If you are an eyeshadow lover or collector or simply want one palette that can cover the basics, I would recommend checking out this Green-Brown palette as well as her Purple-Blue 28 color one as well. I’l be reviewing the palette soon, so stay tuned for more insights as to why I love this palette.


Tarte Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette, $46

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If we’re being honest here, I will not end up picking this up strictly because I own the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette already, and these two are way too similar. However, I like Tarte’s buttery eyeshadow formula much better and would pick this up if I had not purchased the other palette. Most of Tarte’s Tartelette palettes live up to the hype, and if you’re a lover of warm but not too warm neutrals, this is definitely worth trying out.


Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette, $65

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Now on the contrary, if you’re a very warm and kind of not neutral lover, this is your next sunset eyes palette. As we all know, the red and pink eyeshadow trend came back especially after ABH launched the Modern Renaissance palette last year. Since then, we’ve seen Colourpop’s Yes Please, Natasha Denona’s Sunset palette, Huda’s old Rose Gold palette, and a million and one more warm toned palettes. I personally loved this one the most because it took those kind of neutral but not really sunset eyes on vacation and baked them in the desert sun. This palette is twice as red or pink or purple or brown than all the other warm toned palettes. Huda even adds duo-chrome toppers to give the look a flare. While this palette is bright and shimmery, there are enough mattes for me to use on a daily basis which justified the price for me. I’ll be getting into this palette soon with my review, but for now I would say if you’re a lover of intense warm shades, this is your new best friend.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Palette, $42

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Is it just me or does this palette look weirdly similar to the Subculture palette without it being the Subculture palette? I saw someone swatch the two together and honestly believe that this palette is the glittery and better sister of Subculture, because there are not that many differences when it comes to color range. Given that I have a lot of these shadows, I have to say that Osiris, Dimension, and Throne are three beautiful and unique shimmer shades that won me over in putting this palette as a possible pick for me this weekend. It is a holiday collection, so if you swatch it and like it, be sure to snatch one up ASAP! I will let you all know on Instagram stories if I end up purchasing it. For now, I’m just admiring it from afar and debating…


Urban Decay Heavy Metals Metallic Eyeshadow Palette, $55

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I have a glitter problem and this palette solves about half of it. To be honest, it seems more like a light glitter or a highly pigmented shimmer palette than a real glitter palette, mainly because I’ve been debating purchasing the Bomb Dot Com palette by Jolie Beauty to satisfy the inner child in me. If your inner unicorn or mermaid is screaming for this palette too, take advantage of the sale and dive in. I know I might. Not that I need it… But. You know.


Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Eyeshadow Palette, $62

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This line holds a special place in my heart because I have always loved the whole good vs evil theme. About to embarrass myself hardcore here, but my Sweet 16 theme was Saints & Sinners Masquerade. One side of the room was decorated with the 7 Deadly Sins and the other the 9 Heavenly Spirits. 7+9 also equaled 16, if you want some solid blackmail against me and my nerdiness. ANYWAYS this palette is absolutely stunning. Not only do you have all the colors you may need in here, you have all different textures ranging from matte to pearls to metallics. The formula is fantastic both in finger swatches and brush swatches from my experience. To be honest, $62 is a hefty sum for me to drop considering I own almost all but four or five shades in this palette. However, if you love to experiment with colors that aren’t too out in the left field, I highly recommend investing in this palette.

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, $25

Image result for stila glitter & glow liquid eye shadow rose gold retroRelated image

I can’t decide if I like Rose Gold Retro or Kitten Karma better, but regardless, THIS IS TO DIE FOR. My old boss who is a lover of all things sparkly and makeup like I am is gifting me her Rose Gold Retro that she doesn’t need and I’m literally this close to also purchasing a few other shades as well. The applicator is so easy to use and the product glides onto your eyes like liquid gold/silver/rose gold/copper etc. This is perfect for holiday parties and New Year’s Eve or honestly any day.


Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Pink Tea, $14

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You may be wondering why I’m adding a low priced item in a sea of high-end makeup brands. This is by far my favorite lip stain/liquid lipstick of all time. I have not found anything else that matches this nude in quality, staying power, and price point. I own three from this line (Pink Tea, Blackberry Sorbet, Pink Frosting) and would not be surprised if I continue to purchase more from this line. The color range is amazing and truly stays on my lips all day at work without making me feel extremely dry.


Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment, $26

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Everyone needs a good classic red. The ones I reach for in my collection are always Nars reds. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Powermatte Lip Pigment, and my old boss constantly raves about it to me. She claims it stays on literally forever and doesn’t make her lips feel cracked or lifeless. I’ll most likely be picking one up in Starwoman or Don’t Stop.


Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil, $20

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I’m between 1C and 3C at the moment, but I do know I’ll be stocking up on a MUFE lipliner. I didn’t realize just how important lining your lips is until I started seeing the feathering around mine in the mirror at work one day. That’s definitely not a cute lok to rock on so many video calls… MUFE’s formula is smooth and creamy and non-drying, so I would definitely recommend picking a lip liner up if you wear lipstick on the daily.


Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray, $31

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I’ve been trying a slew of different setting sprays and thought I settled on Kat Von D’s Lock-It when I realized I hate the scent. It just smells off and odd. Luckily, I only purchased the mini size, and will be trying this one after all the great things I’ve heard about it.



Drunk Elephant Volume 1: Hot Date Set, $98

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As you may know, I’ve been testing the serum and facial oil for a few months now and have seen drastic changes to my skin. I’ll definitely be purchasing this kit as it comes with a full size version of the serum ($90) and three smaller versions of the other products that I like/want to try for just an additional $8!


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $45

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This sleeping mask smells like a dream and helps lock in the moisture as you sleep, something that I will probably need throughout the fall when the air becomes significantly dryer leading up to winter. I’ve hesitated purchasing this mainly because I use serum and oils most nights, but sometimes it’s nice to condition the skin without slapping oil all over it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this mask and am so excited to try it out!


Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On, $28

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Rebekah introduced me to this product when I complained about my eyes being puffy in the morning. My roommate and I each picked one up during the friends and family sale, and I am forever grateful (unclear about how my roommate is liking it, because I have yet to ask). I won’t be picking a second one up since this tube lasts FOREVER but I do recommend it to anyone with puffy eyes or undereyes. I apply it each morning and dab it on after rolling it onto my skin about 10 minutes before I apply makeup. So by the time I start doing my makeup, my eyes are a lot less puffy and ready to go!


Too Cool For School My Skin-licious Secret Pantry, $24

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I tried Too Cool For School’s Egg Cream Mask back in August and really liked how my skin felt afterwards! With a full new kit out, I’m definitely picking this up during the VIB sale because the set lets me try their other masks as well. Egg is a staple in Korean beauty and helps with my skin texture and complexion. If you want to try it out, pick up a set and let’s have a spa day together!


Dr. Jart+ Tarot of Masks, $36

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Dr. Jart’s famous rubber masks are back in a set! This set targets everything my skin needs right now, which is why I plan on picking it up and taking care of my pores during this VIB sale. The set comes with 7 masks that target an array of troubles from hydration to diminishing pores. I have never tried a Dr. Jart mask and am very excited to see if they live up to the hype!



Elizabeth and James Choose Your Nirvana Coffret Floral Edition, $28

Image result for Elizabeth and James Choose Your Nirvana Coffret Floral Edition

I’m so happy Elizabeth and James added two new scents to their iconic four scents! I’m a lover of Nirvana White but also enjoy Rose and French Gray for winter. To be honest, this isn’t something I desperately need (@mom, Christmas is coming you know…) so I might not end up picking it up. But for the price point, it’s definitely a great set for you if you’re as ADD with your perfume as I am.


Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne, $65

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Remember WAY back when I mentioned wanting a Jo Malone perfume? Well, I had a rough time deciding between English pear & Freesia and Blackberry & Bay, but ended up going with the former since the latter somehow did not last long on my skin. It’s more of a spring scent, if I’m being honest, but I’ve been in love with it since one of my sorority sisters introduced me to it. Jo Malone scents are very unique, so I highly recommend taking advantage of the fact they’re in Sephora stores and testing some out before you purchase it. I switch my signature scent often, so I went for the travel size which is honestly more than enough for two years.



DryBar Velvet Hammer Hydrating Control Cream, $29

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I switch between this control cream and Moroccan oil every now and then depending on the state of my hair. My hair, unlike typical “Asian hair,” is not silky smooth or straight. While my roots are starting to grow out that way, the rest of my hair is still quite coarse and unruly. This cream definitely tames my frizz and makes my natural waves look like beach hair instead of a frizzy nest. I’ll probably be replenishing my stock this upcoming sale!


That’s all for my VIB picks this fall! I hope these helped you create your list. Don’t do too much damage, but have all the fun exploring the different products you normally wouldn’t reach for. Let me know in the comments if you purchase anything! Until next time, bisou bisou…







Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

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