"Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open."

GWP’s at Sephora and The Bay


Unlike many, I did not get out of bed this morning for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. What got me out of bed was seeing an email from Sephora indicating that there was an exclusive VIB Bare  Escentuals gift with a purchase of $25 CAD at Sephora. It was a beautiful day with beautiful weather, putting me in good spirits for a trip to the mall!

I had only intended to spend the $25 in order to get my GWP. I picked up Fairy Drops’ Scandal Queen mascara, which I’d heard great things about and have wanted for a while. On my way out, I passed by Buxom and checked out their cream shadows. My eyes got to wandering and settled on Buxom’s lash Mascara (one of my favourites!), and the available value sets – which inevitably led to…

Left to right:

  1. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Finishing Touches GWP
  2. Buxom Lash Hurrah mascara duo ($23 CAD)
  3. Fairy Drops Scandal Queen mascara ($28 CAD)

I could not resist Buxom’s mascara duo. The duo includes a full-sized Buxom Lash Mascara and a mini version of their newer Amplified Lash Mascara. I have a sample Buxom Lash Mascara (6 mL) from a Lash Stash and I love it. I knew I’d probably get the full-sized version, if I ever finished my sample. The full-sized Buxom Lash Mascara retails for $24 CAD – $1 more than this Buxom duo! I’m paying less for the product I want, and then an extra mascara on top of it. This was a steal to boot.

Top to bottom:

  1. Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara – 3.3 mL
  2. Buxom Las Mascara – 11 mL
  3. Fairy Drops Scandal Queen mascara – 7.2 mL

I discovered Bare Escentuals only last summer – incidentally, with Sephora’s BE GWP of a mini kabuki brush, mini Prime Time primer, and mini bareMinerals mineral foundation. The sales associate applied some on my face to see which shade of sample I should have. I had never worn any type of foundation before. Ever. This was also before I owned any BB creams. Because I was so used to having a bare face, this was perfect for me – I could wear a very light layer just to even out my skin. I went back the next day to buy the full-sized product (my very first foundation! I then proceeded to get my sister one as well). Despite it having an SPF of 15, it photographs beautifully – I wore it for my graduation pictures. BareMinerals is one of those rare foundations with SPF that will work with flash photography.

Since then, I’ve looked on BE with an approving eye. Granted, I’ve only tried their foundation and eyeshadow. But seeing a BE GWP is perfect because I’ll have a chance to try out some of their other products.

Bare Escentuals GWP (left to right):

  1. mini Hydrating Mineral Veil finishing powder
  2. mini Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black
  3. mini Pretty Amazing Lipgloss in Panache

Sephora VIBs: call in to your local store for availability and go pick up your BE GWP now!

I was making good headway. I came to the mall, got what I wanted, got a good Buxom deal… My wanderings took me past The Bay. And they had huge signs for a Shiseido GWP. I figured, why not, let’s go take a look. It wouldn’t hurt, right? I’ve been wanting to venture into the Shiseido line, anyway. I had especially wanted to try the Instant Treatment Eye Mask as well as the White Lucent line. I was intrigued by their White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment to combat my dark circles.


However, I had read reviews that the White Lucent eye cream was gimmicky – all reflective particles and no real results on dark circles. So I was going to purchase a face cream instead – until the lady at the counter told me that the White Lucent eye cream has be re-formulated into the Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream – the Brightening Eye Treatment was officially discontinued (I’d say it was for a good reason). Sephora has already updated their image for the White Lucent eye cream, but the reviews continue to be for the old version. When I was in Sephora, they still had the old version on the shelf as well. There are no reviews that I can find so far of the new eye cream. So I have no idea how effective this new one is going to be.

Let me just emphasize for a moment that Shiseido is not cheap – there was a value set available at the counter which involved 2 full-sized White Lucent products with a bag and a few other sample size items. The price? $170 CAD. *staggers* (I’m not kidding, I actually staggered in front of the saleslady.) It’s not pennies – definitely not something a student can dish out without heed. I will only have the luxury to indulge when I have a steady job and income.

The advertised Shiseido GWP is targeted for mature skin:

However, upon my showing interest in the White Lucent line, the lady at the counter told me she actually had a White Lucent GWP set in the back, which would be more suitable for my skin than would the Careset GWP be. I was thrilled – and the makeup bag it came in was so pretty! And of course, the sample size packaging was adorable. I got reeled in – hook, line, and sinker.

Shiseido GWP and purchase itself (left to right):

  1. Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream (the only mature-skin item in the set)
  2. White Lucent Brightening Balancing Softener Enriched w
  3. White Lucent Brightening Protective Emulsion w
  4. Perfect Refining Foundation in 140 Natural Fair Ivory (unexpected surprise)
  5. White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment (old version)
  6. included scoop for the eye cream (yay)
  7. White Lucent Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream – 15 mL ($68 CAD)

If you’re a Shiseido devotee or if you’re looking to try out something new, now would be a good time! I’m extra-happy for getting a White Lucent GWP, since I wanted to get the face cream anyway 🙂



I usually blog in the evening, but the past few days I’ve been lagging past midnight (staying up late, and getting up late). It’s 3 a.m. on the 18th, but I’m still counting “today” as the 17th. Just in case you’re confused. Going to try to get back on schedule with my evening posts… We’ll see how well that works out 😛

…where is my March Glossybox?!


(Image source:;


Author: pearlessence

She who loves shopping, baking, gaming, and all things Disney! All on a student's meager budget :)

34 thoughts on “GWP’s at Sephora and The Bay

  1. Omg! I should’ve asked if they had another gift package instead of the Benefiance one!! You get so many eye treatments + eye cream! Hope you’ll do a review on the eye cream/treatment! I still can’t find the perfect eye cream yet 😦

    • Neither have I – but I’ve only tried a few. I managed to find an eye cream with SPF though – that was my biggest eye cream accomplishment haha. I did a review on it 2 weeks back, it’s by Clarins.

      I think I was just lucky that the saleslady had one, and she was the one who offered it to me. Probably in the hopes that I’d be more willing to purchase something haha.

      I’ll try to be diligent with the new eye cream >__> I’m really bad with that >__<

      • Yeah the sales ladies at make up counters are so scary. I just walked by Dior and she kept showing me stuff and standing there awkwardly >_<""

        I'm currently using a Dior eyecream and it seems to be working better than the other ones I've ever tried.

      • Luckily, my saleslady was pretty nice. I told her my budget was… whatever will carry me to get the GWP 😛 Haha and she just suggested the White Lucent cleanser, which was the cheapest ($43<$50, can't remember).

        Just the name Dior has me visualizing my wallet emptying. Not sure I can afford such a luxury brand! Have there been improvements for you?

      • Blah my White Lucent softener was expensive T_T My sales lady was okay…

        I didn’t buy it on it’s own. Sephora had a VIB coupon for $20 off $50 purchase last year so I used it to get that 😛 I’d never buy it regular price. I probably spend more than I earn 😦

      • I can’t spend more than I earn because everything I earn over the summer is what I subsist on over the school year. I’ve still got another 6 weeks to go though, but my funds are running dangerously low hahaha

      • Oh no!!! At least school year is almost over… 😛 I have another 6 weeks too I think….

      • I’m looking forward to it!

  2. I’m a shiseido addict. But seriously, i pay too much attention to science article about skin car ingredients to try anything whitening. am terrified, i have way too sensitive skin already. and on the mascara, i’m a mascara freak, have you tried the MAX factor and Bourjois ones? the best i’ve ever tried.

  3. I woke up to the same email yesterday and if it hadn’t been for other plans already, I woulda been rushing out to Sephora right then and there too….instead, I just went this morning! lol

    I haven’t tried any Shiseido product before, but I’m certainly intrigued!

    • It’s really surprising to me sometimes to find that Sephoras in other cities still have GWP’s the day after the event. GWP’s are always cleared out within the day in Toronto! Makes me wonder why they don’t stock more 😛

      • They had a tonne left…the cashier wasn’t even familiar with the promotion, she had to call someone else over to find out where they were. Crazy how different it is. I’m shocked Toronto stores don’t just stock more.

      • I remember last summer when they had the cylindrical box full of samples – it was insane in the store. And I already booked it to Sephora in 15 min as soon as I was off work at 4.

      • I guess the obliviousness (not sure if that is a word lol) of Ottawa pays off this time!

      • That’s a good thing 🙂 Always extras in case you’re busy on GWP day

      • Definitely. Not to mention the lady at Sephora gave me the NARS Pro-Prime Sample too because “we have more than one promotion right now for VIB’s”. Sounded good to me… 🙂

      • WHAT? I didn’t get this mystery “other promotion”. I actually had to ask the cashier for the BE GWP. He gave me some anti-wrinkling sample *shakes head*. Now I’m mad, I even went up to the counter to pay twice. >=[

      • I think the lady was confused, because when I asked about the GWP, she was like “oh this NARS one?” and pulls it out and puts it with my stuff and I was like “no, the BareMinerals one with the mascara, lip gloss and powder” and she replied with “oh, I didn’t know we had another one” and proceeded to ask for help, and then gave me both. 🙂 Not sure what was up, but I’m not complaining. The NARS sample isn’t huge, it’s about the equivalent of a 100 point perk though.

      • Haha oh well that’s okay. Considering how steep the prices are for things at Sephora, it’s good that we can get samples. Although sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth it – the points are only redeemable for more samples, which are usually not that impressive. At least Optimum points at Shoppers Drug Mart can be redeemed for monetary value, spent on anything you want…

      • I see it more like…I am going to purchase things at Sephora regardless of the point system…so I might as well also get things for free. 🙂

      • This is also true. It really hasn’t stopped me from shopping at Sephora anyway 😛

  4. review on the fairy drops mascara! 😀

  5. I love gift with purchases! 🙂 Looks like you got a great haul there. What did you buy to get the Sheisdo GWP?

  6. Pingback: COSME-DE.COM mini haul and review | pearlessence

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