Help me have an awesome (value-conscious) consultation!
March 9, 2012 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Walk me through a makeup consultation at Sephora. Also give me advice on what kind of products to get!

After a most generous holiday gift card from the boyfriend at Sephora, have finally decided to finally GO and get a makeup consultation there. I don't have a lot of experience with makeup; I usually use drugstore stuff that has been vetted by MakeupAlley. Basically, I would like to upgrade my current regime and especially find a good foundation. However, I'm concerned that the makeup consultant will try to push the latest or trendiest products out there, not necessarily what is best for me. Any advice on how to be assertive about this if it happens? Or about what the process is like?

I've seen this question already, but it has been a few years and I would be interested if there are any HG (holy grail) items that you use in your daily routine that you highly recommend actually buying at Sephora, either because it's worthwhile to try it on while there or to get color-matched.

Related, are there any threads or products at MUA that are particularly helpful, as far as specific items that are really great or other items that are expensive and over-hyped but actually bad? I just want to be informed as possible before going.

Finally-- not sure if it matters, but I'm Chinese, and I don't have double eyelids. Therefore advice about a lot of eye makeup is a bit trickier on me. Useful to mention this beforehand???
posted by leedly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (33 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
I've found many of the employees at Sephora to be helpful, and not necessarily 'pushing' any products in particular. Their return policy is generous, and their performance is based on customer feedback, so I think they're fairly motivated to be as helpful as possible. What I do is go in, browse a bit, and check out the people working there. Do you see any associates that have a look that you'd like to emulate, makeup-wise? Unlike finding a hairstylist, these people do their own makeup and sometimes it's helpful to find someone with similar aesthetics. Of course, that isn't foolproof- good makeup artists can do a variety of looks. But I find it works for me.

Some of the more common holy grail items I hear about and/or have tried:

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation: Seriously nice stuff, popular and well-regarded around MUA. Have them match you to your shade.
Bare Escentuals mineral foundation: I like this product as well, very blendable and surprisingly non-drying.
NARS blushes
Urban Decay or Stila eyeshadows
Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil, Anastasia brow products in general
Smashbox primer

While it is tempting to want to blow the gift card on fun stuff (eyeshadow, mascara, etc) you may find it helpful to build a nice base set of quality brushes, skin care (!), and other essentials.

Let the employee know your concerns, any particular makeup looks you're interested in, how long you're willing to spend on your makeup, things like that. I hope you have fun! I love Sephora.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:31 AM on March 9, 2012

Nthing the brow pencil from Anastasia which I just bought and totally love. A good set of brushes as rachaelfaith said above would be a great way to go.

Also: Benefit's "They're Real!" mascara is awesome. I like Make Up For Ever's Matte Foundation because it seems to do a little bit better on my crappy skin. I also like Tarte's Recreate foundation (and am not a fan of Bare Escentuals because it irritates my skin).

Give yourself some time and be honest with them and I think you'll be just fine! I've never had a bad/pushy experience at a Sephora store.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:38 AM on March 9, 2012

My holy grail Sephora items are their Lash Plumper mascara and their nail polishes. Chanel Rouge Coco and Clinique Almost Lipstick are both great, too.

You might browse the Best Products list at Beautypedia to get an idea of some top products.

Unfortunately, I've had bad experiences with pushy salespeople at Sephora, but I don't think they have an overall reputation for it. It probably mostly depends on the person, and maybe on the location. I've practised saying "maybe next time" nicely.
posted by neushoorn at 6:48 AM on March 9, 2012

I went foundation shopping at Sephora recently with two of my friends, and I think they recommended three different products from two different brands for us. We all ended up satisfied, and they definitely took our different needs/requests into account. One of my friends is Chinese, FWIW. And don't be afraid to be honest with them about what you want to spend!
posted by MadamM at 6:50 AM on March 9, 2012

I only started wearing daily makeup maybe a year ago, I totally get how overwhelming that place can be. Don't worry! They're friendly! Here's what's on my face right now:

Tarte tinted moisturizer it's light coverage, just a bit to even things out. I put it on with a giant brush that makes me feel like a Fancy Lady. If you do get a thing that requires makeup brushes, the sephora-brand ones are pretty nice.
Diorshow mascara it's $14.50 right now if you get it in brown. It is not fucking around.
Clinique Black Honey it apparently looks good on everyone. It's 'almost lipstick,' pretty much a not-sticky gloss.
Nars Multiple as eyeshadow. I can't get the hang of eyeshadow but this is just a big stick. Super easy and just a bit of shimmer.
Eye primer dark circle eraser!!!

When I do wear eyeliner, which isn't terribly often, I use either either this or this. Both come with a smudger sponge thing right on the pencil. It's supposed to smudge, I mean, it works pretty well as a mistake eraser.

Also: sign up for their beauty insider card (free) and every $100 you spend (including off of a gift card) gets you pretty nice free sample of a thing like eye makeup remover.

If you happen to be in the DC area, the Georgetown location staff is much more helpful than the Pentagon one.
posted by troika at 6:51 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Urban Decay eyeshadow primer is an absolute must-have. I tried to save a few bucks and buy the Sephora brand, and ended up throwing it out and going back for Urban Decay. I don't have much of a budget for makeup, but that eyeshadow primer is worth every cent.
posted by arcticwoman at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh I love and loathe you.

I swear by:
Nars Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo I've got really fair skin and the Orgasm/Laguna duo helps me put a little color without too much on my face.
Make Up Forever Kohl Pencil No joke it's the best eyeliner I have ever used. Goes on smooth, comes off with facewash/makeup remover and stays on for a long time.

I loved Stila's One-Step foundation, but they don't sell it anymore. A good foundation is worth the expense, and a good brush with which to apply it is also worth it. Good makeup brushes are a must, they can even help my crappy CoverGirl eyeshadows go on nicely and look like I spent a ton of money on eyeshadow.

I've never been one to spend gobs of money on mascara b/c I have found the big store stuff just as good as the really expensive stuff, but that's just me.

N'thing the joining of the Beauty Insiders club. Free birthday presents, free samples, free deluxe samples if you spend $500 in a really can't go wrong, especially once they get you hoooked :)
posted by bleachandink at 7:06 AM on March 9, 2012

Agreeing with the Urban Decay primer. That stuff is the BOMB. If you get eyeshadow of any kind, I highly suggest the UD primer.
Also I LOVE Urban Decay eyeshadow of any kind, and Urban Decay eyeliner pencils. Started wearing UD eyeshadow a few years ago and haven't used anything since then...and I don't wear daily, either, so it lasts me ages. I found out it's usually better (for me at least) to get one of their palettes of several colors, and seems like it's cheaper as well. They have quite a few to choose from, normally, and it gives me tons of options and combos.
I did a consultation once years ago when we got our first Sephora store locally, and the eyeshadow the woman put on me was horrible in the little pot (wayyyyy to bright for something I'd ever thought of wearing), but looked stunning on my face. They used to give you a little paper with a simple face outline, then fill in/write in what they used on your face for future reference if you want to come back. Dunno if they still do that but it's really handy!
posted by PeppahCat at 7:08 AM on March 9, 2012

*if you get eyeshadow of any kind, I STILL highly suggest the UD-brand primer. (It's editing is not working properly.)
posted by PeppahCat at 7:09 AM on March 9, 2012

Seconding Make Up Forever HD Foundation. The first time a coworker saw me with it on, she immediately wanted it for herself. It's fantastic. I have combination skin. It doesn't clog pores. I love the finish -- not overly matte but not too luminous either. It's just right.

If you wear eyeliner, Urban Decay's 24/7 eye pencils are very highly rated. The glide on easily and stay put.

Benefits' Cha Cha Tint is brilliant.

I also love Too Faced Perfect Lips lip liner and Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer.

Sephora's professional brushes with the silver handles are good.

You may want to check out this video for product and application ideas. Lisa Eldridge's model is Korean, not Chinese, but she does not have double lids.

A gorgeous video by AskMeMakeup: Brown Smokey Asian Eyes

Another tutorial that you might find entertaining/helpful, by Samantha Chapman:
posted by Fairchild at 7:10 AM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Be upfront with how much you're going to spend. The saleswomen work on commission, so it's in everyone's best interest that they don't give you a makeover with $80 foundation, because you're not gonna buy it. The more on-target their recommendations, the more you'll buy, and the more they'll get in their next paycheck.

First, consider your needs. Are you willing to wake up earlier in the morning (if you don't already) and wash your face, apply primer, foundation, highlighter, blush, etc? If not, ask for a low maintenance skin care regime. If so, remember your budget, because all that stuff will add up quickly.

My favorites!

Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara
Benefit's Erase Paste
Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Pens, mine is in Dolce Vita and it's a really vivid peachy-pink that looks good on lots of skin types
My sister swears by Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Face Cream, though I think it's an obscene amount of money to spend on face cream. MUA loves it, too.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:11 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zoomorphic, the friends I have that work at Sephora (and people I've asked) do not work on commission. The quick Google search I just did pretty much confirms this. They only work off of customer feedback, which you can submit via survey on your receipt after purchase.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:18 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just got a makeover at Sephora last weekend and they didn't push ANYTHING on me. Seriously, I came in, got made up, they took my picture and gave me a free gift bag (it was the 1-year-anniversary of the store) and that was it! Surprise. I wasn't planning on getting any makeup anyway because I'm too lazy to get made up any more so that was fine, but if you want to know what they put on your face, you'd better ask. Possibly before they start!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:25 AM on March 9, 2012

Forgot to add MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream Eyeshadows. I tend to use one color of eyeshadow because I have a small lid space. I like to use cream eyeshadows because they tend to look more modern to me -- less powdery. Also, MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in Rosewood 2C. The color is natural and very similar to Too Faced Perfect Lips, though a bit creamier and waterproof.

Aqua Cream eyeshadow in action if interested:
posted by Fairchild at 7:30 AM on March 9, 2012

i second getting a nice set of brushes. they will last you for years if you take care of them and they definitely do make application easier and better. good brushes can be expensive, so that might blow your whole gift card but it will be worth it.
posted by violetk at 7:49 AM on March 9, 2012

If you're planning on going to a Sephora inside JCPenney, call ahead to be sure your gift card will be accepted there. I've had problems with the JCPenney Sephoras not honoring Sephora coupons.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:55 AM on March 9, 2012

Response by poster: If I only want to get a few brushes, which ones are most important?
posted by leedly at 8:00 AM on March 9, 2012

brushes i would recommend:

* big fluffy face brush for setting face powder
• blush brush
• eye shadow blush
• eye contour brush

• eyeliner brush (i love by bobbi brown's gel liners so this is essential)
• eye blender brush

oh, one other thing, i have stick straight lashes that don't really hold the curl created by eyelash curlers. i use dior diorshow iconic extreme (waterproof) mascara and recommend it to everyone. according to several of my friends whom i have converted, it's a complete game changer because it actually curls your lashes without having to use an eyelash curler and they stay curled.
posted by violetk at 8:14 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like Bare Escentuals, as I have a rather yellow undertone to my skin. I like the Sephora brushes, Tweezerman tweezers, and their own eyelash curler.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:20 AM on March 9, 2012

As far as I know and I was told this last time I was in one, Sephora salespeople don't work on commission. So unless the salesman who told me this was outright lying, I don't think you'd have to worry about pushy salespeople!
posted by queens86 at 8:44 AM on March 9, 2012

Another vote for "don't worry so much about pushy salespeople".

I'm more or less terrified of makeup, and the few times that I've wanted/needed to look put together, I've had great experiences heading to Sephora and telling them what I wanted. Their salespeople did a great job listening to my requirements (not too pricey, low-maintenance, picky about colors...), and patiently letting me try different things. I seem to recall one of them basically saying "I love this product, but it won't be a good value-for-$$ for your preferences".
posted by Metasyntactic at 8:48 AM on March 9, 2012

Best answer: Ooh I love talking about makeup! Generally, I think that foundation / concealer / face products are worth buying high end, and you can get decent color products (eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, blush, etc) at the drugstore if you want to save money - though I buy some of those high end anyway. Some of my favorite brushes are high end, and some of my favorite brushes are drugstore.

Regarding brushes, I'd say the essential brushes are foundation, concealer, powder, blush/ contour, small eyeshadow brush, eyeshadow blending brush, lip brush, eyebrow brush. Of course, you can skip any of those you wouldn't use (i.e., if you don't use concealer, skip the concealer brush). I'm not sure I would buy brushes with your limited Sephora funds though - I guess it depends on how much you have, and what you want most. Here is a post [self-link] I put together on my favorite brushes - most of my favorites are actually less expensive than Sephora brushes. Ecotools and Real Techniques have especially awesome inexpensive brushes.

Recommendations of actual products:
- MUFE HD foundation or Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (I prefer the oil free version) - ask for samples of all the foundations you are considering buying, try them out in different lighting conditions, see how they feel on your skin. A week or two later, go back and buy your favorite (or you could order online).

- Eyeshadow primer, if you wear eyeshadow - especially essential for monolids, since they're more prone to smudging. Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Primer Potion are equally good.

- If you wear eyeshadow, the Urban Decay Naked Palette (either version 1 or 2) is pretty awesome - $50 for 12 full size, excellent quality eyeshadows. Check out the colors and see if you like them.

- The Anastasia Brow Powder duos are really excellent quality if you fill in your eyebrows, but are expensive it's definitely true that you can find something good at the drugstore. But, they will last a very long time. (I like the brow powder better than the pencils).

- I like NARS lip products - the lipsticks, Velvet Matte lip pencils, and I've heard great things about the Velvet Gloss lip pencils. But, you can find great lip products at the drugstore too - so you have to decide if a good formula and the ability to try on colors is worth it to you. I have a Velvet Matte lip pencil in Cruella, which is an AMAZING red, and if you want a long lasting red, I do really recommend it.

- I would go against some of the other suggestions in this thread and suggest that you do not buy mascara or eyeliner. Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner (best) and Milani Liquif'eye are amazing quality drugstore eyeliners, to name just two. And, there are a ton of amazing drugstore mascaras - plus you should replace mascara every 3 months (or 6, if you push it), I don't think high end mascara is ideal if you have limited makeup funds.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:53 AM on March 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner (best) and Milani Liquif'eye are amazing quality drugstore eyeliners, to name just two. And, there are a ton of amazing drugstore mascaras - plus you should replace mascara every 3 months (or 6, if you push it), I don't think high end mascara is ideal if you have limited makeup funds.

I agree with this. I never buy high end mascara. CoverGirl LashBlast and Loreal Voluminous are good, among others. I also agree with the Milani Liquifeye -- they are very comparable to Urban Decay. I need to try the Prestige!
posted by Fairchild at 8:58 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

At risk of a total derail, the Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner lasts much better than the Milani Liquif'eye - I have the Prestige in black and blue, and both are super awesome. I highly recommend it!
posted by insectosaurus at 9:04 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's possible to make a LOT of mistakes in buying makeup. Sephora will give a refund on anything. They also give samples of every product that can be portioned out and put in little jars or packets; just ask and the sales person will make one or more. Don't be embarrassed -- it's what they do.

The people who assist you don't make a commission based on their own sales, but they do want to sell, sell, sell. They usually don't pressure you, but they will talk up the products and try to lead you to buy more stuff. In my experience, they're not rude or bitchy if you don't end up buying anything. You can always put some items in your basket and then decide to "buy them next time" if you're not fully confident of the selections. Once you get to the checkout counter, the person who assisted you doesn't know if you actually bought the stuff.

Since you're especially interested in foundation, I suggest you target that and one other thing first. Foundation can be really challenging. Be ready to say how much coverage you want (how well you want to hide your skin), what finish (matte, natural, glowy), and how oily or dry your skin is. Once it's swatched or applied on your face, go outside and look at it in natural light. Get samples, because you won't know till you apply it yourself.

Good luck, and have fun!
posted by wryly at 9:09 AM on March 9, 2012

My fave thing to spend Sephora gift cards on (which makes them go further) is Smashbox kits -- they have several for different colored eyes, or for testing different sorts of product. They often include brushes as well, and are priced WAY below buying everything separately.

Some of my faves:

Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Hyperlash mascara (I HATE mascara in general, but I LOVE this brand)
The gel liners in pots, and the waterproof version too

I don't especially love Smashbox's eyeshadow primer, and find Urban Decay's works better. Urban Decay's shadows are really awesome too.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 9:33 AM on March 9, 2012

I've found many of the employees at Sephora to be helpful, and not necessarily 'pushing' any products in particular.

This has been my experience as well and is the reason why I love Sephora. They are not pushy at all. I haven't had a consultation but I like that I can browse in peace, and if I have a question the sales person will not latch onto me. Anyway I would definitely go there for a consultation and tell them your budget, and you will probably get some great recommendations.

Ask them about Urban Decay's magic potion eyeshadow primer - it is a wonderful product and really works. You only need a dab so I usually replace the tube once per year and sometimes the tube isn't even empty yet. I also like to check out the eyeshadow pallets - since Sephora has a wide variety of makeup companies they usually have any pallets that are available - they are a good deal (in my opinion) for what you get.
posted by fromageball at 9:47 AM on March 9, 2012

Forgot to mention, when I buy the eyeshadow pallets I usually use the darker colors as eyeliner. It's fun if you like experimenting with makeup because you have tons of colors to try as eyeliner or shadow.

If you decide to try that, get a slanted brush - Sephora can recommend a good one. I don't buy eyeliner because I'm not good at using pencils or liquid, but I get a lot of compliments when I use the shadow. Just wet the brush and apply away.
posted by fromageball at 9:51 AM on March 9, 2012

Best answer: Two really good lines that are now available in Sephora are Hourglass Cosmetics and Edward Bess. They're fairly new, and their makeup collections are smaller and more tightly edited, especially if you feel overwhelmed by the other bigger brands. And you definitely won't find any glitter/shimmer bombs in those lines. From Hourglass, I definitely recommend their primers and liquid foundations, and their eyeshadows are really among the best out there. As for Edward Bess, there's nothing but great work and travel-friendly neutrals, stuff that you can apply without a mirror or even in bad lighting without goofing up.

Other than those, I think Urban Decay's Naked palettes are great value for money. Unless you love bright greens and blues and pinks, you probably won't need to buy eyeshadow for a very long time. Nars is an old favourite for eyeshadow and lip products, but I have a love-hate relationship with the rubberized packaging as it gets sticky and attracts dust over time. Another staple in my makeup bag is Benefit blushes--Benetint or Dandelion--as they're super easy to apply, and Dandelion comes with its own brush. Handy!

As a fellow Chinese woman (albeit double-lidded), I am a little bit dubious about most Non-Asian over-the-counter makeup artist's approach to our eye shadow concerns. In my experience, American makeup artists always want to line my eyes all around and "smoke" them, while makeup artists in Asia have pretty much held my purchases ransom until I solemnly promised them to never attempt a smokey eye. While I prefer the latter, neither is wrong. Just different approaches, different techniques, different training. This isn't to say that you won't have a great experience in Sephora--if you live in an area with a large Asian population, the makeup artists are likely to have had a lot of experience with Asian eyes. Go in with an open mind--if you don't like the end result, just focus on finding colours and textures that you love, and experiment in the comfort and privacy of your own home with your new stash after! I've been having a lot of fun with YouTube tutorials, perhaps you'll find these useful if you've never seen them:

Lisa Eldridge - Fresh and Polished Look for the Office/Work

fuzkittie - Eye Makeup for Monolids and Hidden Half Double Eyelids

From Head to Toe - Just Eyeliner and Mascara Monolid Tutorial (Nearly everything she uses can be found at Sephora)

jungsaemmool's YouTube channel. I'm practically re-learning how to apply eye shadow and blush with these.

Have fun at Sephora!
posted by peripathetic at 11:29 AM on March 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

Just wanted to say about brushes: if you're somewhat handy you can buy most makeup brushes at the art store and cut the handles down if they are too long for travel. Here's a link to Taklon brushes and Mega Brushes from Dick Blick. Sephora's Classic Angled Eyeliner is 14 bucks, and you can get essentially the same brush for under six dollars from the art store. They are the exact same thing made from the same various fibers, without the chick-stuff markup. The only ones you can't really get are spoolies or dual-fiber brushes.

Don't spend your money on brushes until you know what you really want and need. Ask for samples of things you are unsure about, like foundation. Don't be afraid to return things- Sephora has a great return policy.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:53 AM on March 9, 2012

I'm getting married this summer so needed to upgrade my cheapie makeup supplies and hopefully get some makeup advice because I am clueless. I went to a Sephora in a JC Penney and had a great experience.

I 2nd the recommendation made above to scout out the employees to find one with a makeup style similar to what you might like. The first employee that approached me asking if I needed help had very heavy makeup on and a style I don't like at all so I just told her I was just looking. After wandering around a bit another employee approached me and her makeup style was much more similar to what I like so I asked her to help me pick out the right foundation color.

I chose the Makeup Forever HD Foundation mentioned by a few people because I had seen it recommended for photographing which was important to me. The employee did a great job matching my skin color and took her time trying several shades.

She was not pushy at all and I would definitely go back. One tip I recently learned is that Sephora has a 3 samples policy - if you buy something you get 3 free samples. At the time I just thought I had the nicest employee ever!
posted by scrubbles at 6:53 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Before I tell you my current favorites from Sephora, I urge you to take two trips to Sephora - the first to get samples (one foundation sample can last up to a week) and the second to buy your favorite item out of those samples. I did this with foundations and found several that broke me out. Granted, Sephora's return policy is amazing so if you bought an entire bottle and hated it you could take it back, but the samples just make life easier. Sephora will give you as many samples as you want of whatever you want.

Okay, now things that I've bought recently and really like:
- Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (tons of people have recommended this, it's great, stays on forever and the range of colors is really good - my Indian skin is almost impossible to find matches for and MUFE had a great match for me)
- Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes mascara - I really like this b/c it's more natural looking than most mascaras and hasn't flaked off on me like others sometimes too. I'm new to tarte - it came as part of the True Blood eyeshadow palette (which if you can still find it, is an amazing value - 17 eyeshadows for $35 on sale)
- Bare Escentuals matte foundation and mineral veil - my day to day foundation (I use MUFE for days when I need more coverage)
- Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner - easy to put on and will stay on forever
- Benefit blushes - I like Dallas. One little box will last you forever
- Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor is, well, pretty amazing. Just a really nice texture and lasts longer than you'd expect.

Brushes: Get good eyeshadow brushes (Too Faced teddy bear hair are nice) and if you use mineral powder, I love the Sephora mineral powder brush.

Oh also if you want perfumes, I cannot say enough good things about Sephora's sampler box. You get 10-12 samples and a voucher for a full size perfume, all for the cost of a full size perfume. It lets you try out each fragrance for about a week so you can decide what you really like.
posted by echo0720 at 7:02 PM on March 9, 2012

I have a love/hate thing about going to Sephora. Quite the opposite of being pushy, over here (the Middle East) the employees tend to be snobby if you walk in and look like you can't afford stuff. Or it could be because I'm Asian; I notice they're quick to attend to the Caucasian and Arab customers. Sometimes when I have a full face of make-up on and am dressed smartly, they treat me better, but that's more of the exception. But I guess it's different for different countries.

That said, here are my favorite Sephora brushes:

- the Sephora brand angled liner brush (#15) is razor sharp (I have the black handled Professionel one, so I don't know if the silver handled one is any better), which makes it perfect for tightlining my upper lash line with powder. I have hooded eyes, and too thick a line makes me look completely lid-less. This brush is irreplaceable for me!

- the Sephora (flat top) bronzer brush (#43) is my favorite for not just contouring, but as a flat-top kabuki for applying pressed powder or foundation. Also great for buffing out mistakes like when I put on too much blush or contour poweder. It's really soft and dense.

- the Sephora rounded crease brush (#13) - I used to have MAC 224 and 217, but I sold those off and now just use this one. It's more pointy at the end so it pops into my almost nonexistent crease (again those dratted hooded eyes) and puts the color where I want it, then blends it out.

- the Sephora smudge brush (#14) is said to be the dupe for the NARS smudge brush. If you do smokey looks a lot this is great for smudging out your eyeliner.

There are other Sephora brushes that get good ratings from MakeupAlley, but these are the ones I have that I've personally been loving for the past 1-2 years.

P.S. Don't buy the retractable powder brush. Looks like a great idea, but the bristles are scratchy and it sheds a lot. :/
posted by pimli at 3:42 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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