I'm a Beauty Expert, and These are the 11 Products Worth Buying From Sephora UK
Put down your passport (but potentially pick up your credit card) Sephora is finally back in the UK. From 17 October, you no longer need to travel as far as Europe or the US to shop from the hallowed beauty halls.
Feelunique.com has officially become Sephora.co.uk, bringing with it a lineup of exciting brands previously only available across the pond. Desperate to get your mitts on MakeupbyMario? Wait no longer. Longing to give Tarte a try? As easy as adding to basket! The shiny new Sephora site is also the exclusive home of ILIA, ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starr, Skinfix, Vegamour, and Sephora’s very own collection. There’s some familiar faces in the mix too, including Pat McGrath Labs, Fenty Beauty, JVN Hair, and Rose Inc. Not to mention the coveted Sephora advent calendar is now only a click away.
Want to get up-close-and-personal with the products? Unfortunately the relaunch is online only for now, and you’ll have to wait until Spring 2023 before the UK bricks and mortar Sephora store reopens in London, with more planned for later next year. The good news is, there’s plenty to keep us occupied in the meantime. As a beauty editor I see hundreds of products, so these are the 11 I think are worth bagging from Sephora.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer
Beauty experts have been raving about the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (£27) for years, and for good reason. With a generous, full but not cakey level of coverage, this is the kind of ally you want on your side on mornings when your skin isn’t playing ball. It blurs everything from moody dark circles to angry blemishes, is easy to apply with the tapered doe-foot applicator, and blends seamlessly (although you might want to use a brush to buff it out). Keeping the pigment company in the formula are nourishing shea and mango butters, as well as brightening liquorice root, to help your skin feel and look smoother. Available in 27 shades.
MakeupbyMario Soft Sculpt Shaping Stick
If anyone knows anything about sculpting, it’s the man who carved out Kim Kardashian‘s signature look. Sharpen your own features with a few carefully placed swipes of MakeupbyMario Soft Sculpt Shaping Stick (£32). Use as you would your normal bronzer, tracing around the edges of your forehead, across the bridge of the nose and chin, and beneath your cheekbones. Then, use the built-in angled brush at the base to buff away any noticeable lines. The creamy formula dries down to a matte – not flat – finish, for natural-looking definition and glow.
Skinfix Barrier+ Skin Barrier Restoring Gel Cream
If you’re not familiar with the phrase “skin barrier”, allow me to catch you up. While we might only really think about our skin in terms of how it looks, its key function is as a barrier, working to keep the good stuff, like hydration, in, and bad stuff, like pollutants and bacteria, out. When the skin barrier is compromised (by things like harsh cleansers and a more-is-more approach to acids) our complexions suffer, leading to things like dryness and breakouts. Skinfix Barrier+ Skin Barrier Restoring Gel Cream (£48) works to support this important barrier, with ingredients like niacinamide to balance and zinc to soothe. It locks hydration in the skin and is lightweight enough to keep oily and spot-prone complexions happy.
Sephora Collection Prebiotic Face Mask With Oat
I’m a sucker for a sheet mask and Sephora’s are just purse-friendly enough to convince me to add a couple to my basket. The Sephora Collection Prebiotic Face Mask With Oat (£4.99) is great for anyone with dry, dehydrated, or generally tetchy skin, as the ingredients are focused on soothing and moisturising. Prebiotics are food for the friendly bacteria (and other microorganisms) that live on the surface of our skin, helping to create an all-round harmonious environment. There are nut oils (like sweet almond) and hyaluronic acid in the mix as well, to hydrate and nourish. Of course the main appeal of a mask is its speed, and this quick-fix treatment only needs five minutes to work its magic. To fully reap the benefits, massage any excess into the skin.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30
Sitting on the fence between skincare and makeup, ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30 (£46) could play for either side. First up, there’s the instant makeup benefits, which offer a soft whisper of fresh, dewy-looking coverage. The pigment payoff is light, so if you prefer something that will fully submerge any perceived imperfections, this isn’t the base for you. Now for the skincare benefits. If you’re serious about skincare you’ll know that daily SPF is non-negotiable, and this tint uses mineral filters (zinc oxide if you’re interested) to achieve an SPF30 – as long as you’re applying generously. You can also find squalane, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid in the formula to nourish, balance, and hydrate.
Vegamour GRO Scalp Detoxifying Hair Treatment Serum
The Vegamour brand is based around using sustainably harvested plant actives to improve hair growth by reducing fallout and protecting from external factors. In the simplest terms, hair grows from our scalps, so for the healthiest hair possible, we need to take care of the source. If our scalp is unhappy it shows, with itchiness, flaking, and a decline in the appearance of our hair. Vegamour GRO Scalp Detoxifying Hair Treatment Serum (£38) gently persuades away product buildup, flakes, and excess oil to reset the scalp, as well as moisturising and balancing. It has a zingy citrus scent too, for a refreshing feel.
Refy Brow Sculpt
If you’re yet to give Refy Brow Sculpt (£16) from influencer Jess Hunt a try, take the UK launch of Sephora as your cue. Use the wand to apply the product to and through your brows, before using the dual-sided brush and comb in tandem to brush them upwards and set into place. The brush is great for the bulk of the brow and creating that coveted fluffiness, while the comb is best for precision and teasing those teeny tiny little hairs into place. The gel itself is hardwearing and sets well, without the tell-tale white residue or flakiness that other brow gels are guilty of creating.
JVN Hair Complete Nourishing Shine Drops
Everyone wants shinier hair, right? For some, glossy locks come easy, but if your hair is neither super dark or poker straight, that sheen requires a little more work behind the scenes. Enter JVN Hair Complete Nourishing Shine Drops (£21), promising hair as swishable as its creator, “Queer Eye“‘s Jonathan Van Ness. It’s a hair oil, but not in the traditional slicked-back, weighed down kind of way. Instead, the formula is lightweight enough to not only use through the mid-length and ends, but can be smoothed up top near the hairline, too. Just go slow and sparingly – you can always add more. Hair doesn’t just look better, it feels it, with hibiscus extract to prevent damage and colour fade and hemisqualane (a lighter take on silicones) to nourish.
Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Eyeshadow Quad in Ritualistic Rose
Call me dramatic, but I’m convinced you haven’t experienced true beauty until you’ve felt the weight of a Pat McGrath eye palette in your hands. No one does colour quite like makeup artist and all round beauty-icon McGrath, reflected in the rich pigments of her makeup. Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Eyeshadow Quad in Ritualistic Rose (£55)is a gleaming quartet of molten gold, bronze, and rose shades which can be worn alone, or combined for a synergistic look. They’re best applied and blended with a fluffy shadow brush to cover the lid, or with a tapered detail brush to get nice and close to the lash line.
ONE/SIZE Secure The Blur Makeup Magnet Primer
I’ll say it louder for the people at the back, but everyone has pores. Even if you think someone’s skin is so flawless that you can barely perceive them, trust me, they’re there. And while having pores is a very normal and necessary thing, that doesn’t mean you have to let textured skin steal the focus when it comes to the finish of your makeup. Enter makeup artist Patrick Starrr’s ONE/SIZE Secure The Blur Makeup Magnet Primer (£32), which mattifies the surface of the skin so it looks smoother and more even, as well as holding on tight to your foundation to help it stay put for longer. The best way to start your routine.
Rose Inc Cream Blush Cheek & Lip Colour
With the small caveat that no blusher will give you Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s sky-high cheeks, the Rose Inc Cream Blush Cheek & Lip Colour (£23) does do something quite magical to your complexion. The creaminess of the formula not only gives you a radiant, healthy glow, but means it can be applied with either fingers or a brush. I personally prefer the first option, as the warmth of your fingertips helps to really melt the blush onto your skin. The added benefit of being able to use the colour on your lips too is not only music to the ears of the makeup multi-taskers, but means you don’t need to put any thought into coordinating shades. Low maintenance beauty at its best.