Sephora Haul: France

If there is one thing I love in life, it is a Sephora Haul. There is something amazing about being able to walk into a store dedicated to everything beauty and just being able to have a good old mooch around. I do feel like we miss out by not having Sephora in the UK but for that very reason it makes it more special when you can visit a store. If it was in the UK, it would be an everyday thing instead of an occasional treat.

My favourite thing about Sephora is that you can look at lots of different brands and the people who work there have an overall knowledge of each brand and most products. As they work for Sephora, rather than a specific brand, they are going to be less bias. Well that's how it works in my head. The closest equivalent in the UK would probably be Space NK which I don't mind visiting but it is not the same. Space NK does have a mix of brands such as Becca, Nars and Kevyn Aucoin but they are dominantly high end. The staff usually have a good knowledge of each brand and if you are looking for a specific type of product they can offer recommendations. Space NK is full of high end brands so your average person couldn't do a haul in there and that is the problem with Space NK. I only ever pop in to pick up one or two items and leave. Space NK has a similar customer service experience to Sephora but the brands are exclusively high end.

The only other UK equivalent to Sephora would be a beauty department in a department store. They are more likely to have a mix of cheap and high end brands but the layout is completely different. Some of the cheaper stands tend to be unmanned and you can have a browse but anything remotely expensive will always have a counter with a brand representative. This is great if you are looking for a specific product from that brand and you want good knowledge of that product. However they cannot recommend products from other brands so if you are looking for a mascara, it is more than likely that brand sells one but it might not be a strong product. To no fault of the sales assistant they are going to try and sell it to you, even if they think the mascara on the counter next to them would be better. At the end of the day, they have targets so you might not necessarily be getting the right product for you. Sephora doesn't really have counters, they have stands which you are free to browse at your own leisure and you can ask for help if you need it. This does not happen in the UK, if you approach a counter, the sales assistant is going to try and help you, if you want their help or not.

As I said Sephora staff have an overall knowledge and can recommend from any brand that is stocked in the store. This style of service is lacking in the UK. So many times I end up asking other bloggers or friends for product recommendations but why should you have to go online to find out? Shouldn't you be able to go into a store to have this sort of advice. The beauty market is massive at the moment and I think there should be beauty personal shoppers who can help you navigate the confusing world of beauty. You have fashion personal shoppers, why couldn't you have the same for beauty. Your makeup contributes to your look just as much as your clothes. Now, it is just an idea but if any store is looking for this sort of service (especially in Bristol,) hook a girl up, that is literally my dream job.

Anyway after my little rant about how much we miss out in the UK, lets get into my Sephora haul. Not only do Sephora have staff who can help with general advice but they have a good mix brands. The lower end of the budget starts at the Sephora Collection and then moves all the way up to super high end brands like Tom Ford, with everything else in between. I've been to Sephora in the US a few times but previously I had never been to a store in Europe. I knew they existed but I hadn't been near one to go in. That was until I was in Nice a few weeks ago.

I was on a Hen Party so shopping was not our main concern. We were actually on our way to the beach when we stumbled across the Sephora and I headed straight in, there was no way anyone was going to stop me. It would take a very brave/stupid person to stand between me and Sephora. I wasn't sure which brands they would have as I know the American and the European Sephora's are different but they were pretty much the same. The brand I was actually most excited to see was the Sephora Collection. From what I have tried of the Sephora Collection, I have been impressed. As I walked into the store, the first thing I zoned in on was the Sephora Face Masks. Really the face masks were the one item I desperately wanted to pick up whilst I was there. They are some of my favourites as: they have a good fit, they don't have too much serum and they give good results. They didn't have my favourite, the Rose version, which was slightly disappointing but I still managed to find some I wanted. In the end, I picked up: 1 of the Green Tea face masks, 1 of the Pomegranate face masks, 2x Cucumber eye masks and 2x Lychee eye masks. I tend to use the eye masks more than I use the face masks which is why I always stock up on them more. Also it is slightly harder to find a cheaper equivalent of the eye masks in the UK. I didn't want to be too excessive so I didn't buy too many, I was just pleased to get some. Plus more recently I have found acceptable alternatives in the UK. I really love the Origins Sheet Masksespecially the Rose mask, and I really love the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Masks but it is always nice to be able to pick up some of my favourites when I can.

After I had finished at the mask stand, I actually looked around the store and realised how vast it was. I wasn't really sure where to start and I knew I was on limited time as the other girls did not seem overly in to it. I tried looking for the Sephora Cream Lip Stains as I bought one last time I ordered from Sephora online and it was actually my favourite Liquid Lipstick of last year so I wanted to build my collection. However on a quick glance, I couldn't see them so I moved on to the miniatures.

Unlike in the US, the aisle of doom did not form a queuing system in this particular store, it was a section on its own. This was good for my bank balance and stopped me from making rash decision. I only wanted to pick up items I couldn't get in the UK but I did have to make one exception, the Sol De Janerio Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. As I thought I could only take 10 liquid items with me and I wasn't sure how a cream would fit into this, I thought the safest option would be not to take one. However after using suncream and fake tan, my skin had started to dry out so I wanted a cream to help. When I saw the small size of the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, it seemed like a good solution. I had been loving Bum Bum Cream whilst I was at home and it has the perfect holiday scent so I decided to treat myself to a new tub as my one at home was running low. I have to admit I didn't save much money by buying this in France, it was 18 euros whereas it is £18 in the UK. The exchange rate is pretty crap at the moment so it is basically the same price but it was worth it because I love this cream and my skin was definitely struggling.

After checking out the mini section, I had a look around the store. Looking at the various brands they stocked, they basically had everything you would expect Sephora to have: Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kat Von D, Too Faced, Fenty Beauty and lots more. As I walked past the various Sephora Collection stands I finally found the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. When I had first heard about these lipsticks a few years ago, they had about 10 shades, now there are around 90. I instantly went to the nude shades and picked out shade 33 as I had heard Sophdoesnails talk about it and I zoned in on 72 but after thinking about it, I really did not need another nude lipstick. Logically I wanted something I could use whilst I was away. The only lipstick I had with me was the Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Venus but I had wanted a red for nights out so I started looking at the reds. During the Summer I like warm toned, orange reds like Tom Ford Flame or the MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus 2 Lipstick which was launched a few years ago. I wanted something similar to these two shades: a red with an orange hint. In the end I went for 85 Electric Red so it is quite a rich red with a slightly warm undertone. I love the formula of these liquid lipsticks as: they aren't drying, they are super pigmented and they last well. Over the day, they don't remain as bold as when you first apply them, they leave a stain on the lips, as the name suggests. I am pleased to have been able to add another one of the Cream Lip Stains to my collection because these truly are amazing and if you have the opportunity to add one to your collection, I highly recommend you do so.

Getting the final product was pure luck. I hadn't noticed the stand for the brand until I was doing a final walk around the store to check I hadn't missed anything. That was when I noticed the Marc Jacobs Beauty stand. I've said it before but Marc Jacobs isn't a brand I look at very often. I have no idea why because I love the products I have tried but recently they launched their Summer Coconut Collection for the second year in a row which really caught my attention. Last year the collection was much smaller and I treated myself to the Coconut Dew Drops in Dew You? which I still love to this day. Last year I missed out on the other product I wanted which was the O!Mega Bronzer. For some reason the Bronzer was limited to Harrods and they sold out really quickly so I didn't get one. This year it is available on Net-a-Porter but once again I wasn't quick enough. When I saw the stand in Sephora I thought I would just check to see if they had it and by some miracle, they had one left! Of course that one came home with me, I was not going to miss out a second time. This is the Limited Edition Rose Gold version but I do believe they are actually bringing it back with the silver detailing as a permanent product later in the year. I used this whilst I was away and I am so pleased I managed to get it. It is more of a light tan with a more neutral undertone compared to the terracotta tones of Benefit's Hoola which is my current bronzer. I will be writing a full review on this bronzer but I can already say it is as amazing as everyone says it is.

After my pure luck with the Marc Jacobs bronzer, I decided to call it a day, also I knew I had problems waiting for me back home. Before I left for France, my car had issues (what is new) and I had no idea what was wrong with it or how expensive it was going to be. I knew I had to face it when I got back to the UK so I didn't want to spend too much. Not the best timing as it is probably the only chance I will get to go to a Sephora this year but it was quite fortunate it happened before I left as I was more careful with my money. Whereas if I had spent lots of money and got back to car troubles, it could have meant money troubles as well. I hope you have enjoyed this Sephora haul, they don't happen very often on my blog but they are one of my favourite posts to write just because it means that I have shopped at Sephora. I always have regrets when I walk out of a Spehora. I always remember a brand or a product I wanted to test out. This time I do wish I had taken a better look at the skincare but I always feel so overwhelmed by Sephora that I get in bit of a panic and only really look at the make up. I hope you enjoyed this post, it was quite a small haul but I am thrilled with every single item I treated myself to.

You might also like:

Sephora Haul
2nd Sephora Haul
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Sheet Masks
Bum Bum Cream



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