Sephora Haul: Unboxing + First Impressions

I know what you’re thinking…didn’t I just write a post on minimalism? And you would be correct. But I also live by Aziz Ansari’s wise words occasionally you should “treat yo self.” A few weeks ago, I got my first full paycheck from my first adult job and decided it was time to celebrate a bit! Since I knew what I wanted would quickly add up, and for convenience’s sake, I decided to do my order online. Plus that way I could take advantage of all the samples online orders get. Keep reading for my full Sephora haul unboxing and first impressions!

sephora haul

Sephora Haul: What I Purchased

sephora haul

Sephora Collection: Beauty Amplifier Ultra Smoothing Primer

Described as “a smoothing face primer”this is designed to prep skin and extend makeup’s wear time for all complexions. Texture wise, it reminds me of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and/or the ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer.  It took a few tries to get the pump working which was an initial concern, but it seems to be working after the first pump. This Sephora Collection primer comes out a clear serum and all you need is a drop or two. It feels incredibly silky on the skin, but not greasy.  In particular, I noticed how it made my BB cream blend SO seamlessly on my skin.  I’m not sure if this would be great for super oily girls, but for someone with normal-combo skin like me this has hidden gem potential. I’m going to keep testing this and write a review to follow up so stay tuned!

sephora haul

sephora haul

Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

I have to admit…I gave into the sample psychology. You know where you get a sample, love it, then get the full product? Last year or the year before, I got the Benefit Cheek palette (I didn’t end up liking it) which came with a sample of their Watt’s App highlighter. When deciding what to include in my Sephora haul I knew I had to pick up the full size. I love the champagne color and how buildable it is. Definitely glad I caved for the full size of this! Just look how beautiful.

sephora haul

Sephora Collection: Colorful Gloss Balm

  • $ 5 // Here
  • Shade: 10 – Voltage

Although I’ve been averse to glosses for many years, after trying (and loving!) Coloupop ones I’m giving them another try. This Sephora one is on sale for just $5 so I added it to my cart to hit the $50 shipping. I like the easy applicator and how it glides onto the lips without feeling sticky. While it looks bright in the tube when applied I found it quite opaque. It should definitely be noted it’s more of a clear, tinted gloss than a colorful pigmented one.  While that was at first a little disappointing, I have so few glosses it’s still a solid addition.

Sephora Haul: Samples

Would it be a Sephora haul without samples? Between cashing in reward points, getting a free sample for spending over $25, and the typical 3 that come with online ordering it’s almost a mini haul within a haul!

sephora haul

Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color

  • Shade B302

As most of you know, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, blush = one of my weaknesses. I haven’t worn this yet, but the first swatch came off a little powdery. The second  had color payoff though so it might just be a more sheer satin formula. However,  I would be about the darkest you could be and still have this show up on the cheeks. On another note: I wish this wasn’t in such weird mini rectangle packaging. It makes it hard to get your brush into this…I’d much prefer if it was packaged as a mini circle.

GlamGlow Dream Duo

I’ve heard GlamGlow’s skincare line raved about in the past so I’m glad I could get my hands on a sample size to test. So far, I used this once overnight. It does sink into the skin nightly and it’s a 2  step serum + seal type deal. The sample is pretty small so I’m ~slightly~ skeptical if I’ll notice an effect but always nice to have a new face mask!

Korres Greek Yogurt Smoothing Primer Moisturizer

Does this sound more like a food or a face product? I haven’t tested this out yet but I’m curious how it would stack up against my favorite Too Faced Hangover Primer. I like the idea of a 2-in-1 primer and moisturizer especially with good for you ingredients.

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Primer

Overall, I enjoy this. This is something I’ll always pick up a sample of if I have the option, but have never splurged for the full one. It’s good for normal skin days and creates a nice smooth base. It reminds me of the Sephora Amplifier (see above) so I might test these against each other at some point.

sephora haul

Tarte Skin Heroes Discovery Set

It’s no secret that Tarte remains one of my favorite brands out there. Thus I took the plunge and cashed in 500 points (of my 800 lol) for this online-exclusive Skin Heroes Discovery Set as an added bonus to my Sephora haul.

Products Included

Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturizer

True to its name, this is a mix between a highlighter and moisturizer. It has noticeable shimmer but when blended out it’s almost too subtle to be a highlight, at least on me.  I’m still trying to figure out quite where this fits into one’s routine. It might work the best as a subtle highlight set with a powder, because as an combo skin gal I’m not about to put something so shimmery all over.

Maracuja C-Brighterâ„¢ Eye Treatment

Out of all the categories of makeup, things that deal with eye brightening are last on my list. (I don’t own or wear any concealer). It’s just not my thing(?). That being said, this has good reviews so I’m excited to try it. I put it on tonight and it feels smoothing underneath the eyes. This is a fairly generous sample so I might try it a few more times and see if it brightens up under my eyes. And if not, pass it on as I know people who are big into eye creams.

Rainforest of the Seaâ„¢ Drink Of H2O Hydrating Boost

I’m a fan of this Tarte line so I’m happy I could pick up something else to try in my Sephora haul. Plus for a sample size, it’s quite generous. I’m probably the least dry this time of year but I sometimes get drier spots around my mouth and nose so I’m testing this there. Initially, I like how sinks into the skin and doesn’t feel greasy. Still testing out how well it does in providing hydration but might hold on to it until the weather cools down.

Lights, Camera, Lashesâ„¢ 4-in-1 Mascara

This is probably the third time I’ve gotten a sample of this over the years. I don’t love it enough to purchase but I’ve also used worse mascaras. It does a good job with separating and lengthening lashes, but fails to hold a curl. Essentially it’s an “eh” product. I might keep this to drop in my travel bag since it’s so convenient compared to full size tubes.

tarteguard spf 20 Tinted Moisturizer

I’ve been a fan of the Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer for a while, which also has SPF 20, so I’m unsure what the difference is.  I’m considering doing a half a face with each and trying/testing the wear time. Regardless, I don’t think it’ll be hard to use up.

And that about sums up my Sephora unboxing this time around! I hope you all enjoyed it and could gain a little from my mini-reviews. As an at least partial beauty blogger, I try to keep testing new products and provide follow up on how things work out for me whether good or bad. So stay tuned for more reviews! Let me know in the comments what products you’ve been loving lately or have been wanting to try! Have you done a Sephora haul lately?

Happy Friday! I hope your week has been going as well as mine has.

Until next time,



FTC: This post is not sponsored. All products were purchased by me, and as always, my opinions are honest!


  1. I think getting your first pay cheque in your first adult job does warrant treating yourself! 🙂
    I have such a weakness for blushes too – I’ve been eyeing those MUFE blushes, there’s a lot of hype around them.
    That Tarte Skin Heroes Discovery Set looks really good! I’ve been hoarding my points, maybe I need to redeem for that.

    • pensivepalindrome

      Hahah sometimes you just have to! And ugh yes there are some beauty categories I can totally skip over but I am a blush collector too. The MUFE has a soft texture but very blendable which I like. This shade is a little sheer on me but it’s also lighter than my current skintone haha. I love the Skin Heroes discovery set so far- they’re actually quite generous with the amount of product in the skincare mini-tubs haha.

    • pensivepalindrome

      Thanks 🙂 I’m loving it so far, the skincare samples are really generous in size and feel so nice on my face. Def worth the 500 point splurge haha

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