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

My biggest Sephora VIB haul. Ever.


Today is just not my day. I woke up too early and lacking sleep on a Saturday morning from a bad dream; realized that despite having gone to Loblaws a mere 3 days ago, I’d forgotten to buy eggs; and upon going to the grocery store yet again, had a bus cancelled on me, making me wait an hour outside in the cold.

So. I am going to revel in the Sephora VIB haul I made on Thursday. Except now that I’m going through my pictures, my haul seems abysmally small considering the amount of money I’d spent…

Sephora had a VIB event (which I’d mentioned here) where VIB’s and a friend got 15% off as well as a Sephora umbrella and a bag of samples. If you missed it, don’t worry too much, as VIB’s will still have 15% off until April 6th.

Here’s what I’d intended to purchase on my way to Sephora:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in 18 Purple and 2 Steel

Well, that’s not entirely true. I knew I was going to get one MUFE Aqua Cream for sure – the second was a contemplation-in-progress. I was saving the MUFE Aqua Cream purchase especially for a GWP, as the price tag is hefty: $25 CAD for a single pot.

I currently own Aqua Creams in 13 Warm Beige (champagne shimmer) and 15 Taupe (taupe brown shimmer), which I’d gotten in a MUFE Lesson 1 Natural Eyes kit back in October. I’d been trying to decide between 17 Plum (burgundy plum shimmer), 18 Purple (light lilac shimmer), and 21 Turquoise (vibrant turquoise shimmer).

I got a sample of 17 Plum, but I don’t love it as much as I thought I would. I didn’t think 21 Turquoise would be as wearable on a regular basis, so I settled on 18 Purple as you see on the left. I also picked up 2 Steel (silver gray shimmer) on the right to complement the lilac – hope they look as good as I imagine they do! I should also be able to mix and match them with the champagne and taupe I have right now.

Unfortunately, intentions don’t always reflect in actions. And so it was, in this case. Here’s what I ended up walking away with:

Left to right:

  1. Sephora harmony trio bronzer in bronze
  2. Sephora harmony trio bronzer in pink
  3. Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask
  4. NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita
  5. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Radiant & Refreshed 6-piece collection
  6. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in 18 Purple
  7. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in 2 Steel
  8. Sephora Dramatic Eye double ended brush: eyeliner & crease
  9. Sephora Smoky cream liner in rags to riches
  10. Sephora Smoky cream liner in water park

The progression of purchases is as follows:

After swatching various Aqua Creams on the back of my hand and deciding on 18 Purple and 2 Steel, I proceeded to ask the nearest Sales Associate (SA) for a good lipstick recommendation. I have never bought my own lipstick – all the ones I currently own are either given to me by my mother (1) or gotten via GWP’s (3). So I had no idea where to start, let alone what was flattering. Taking a leaf out of Sunny‘s book (blog), I asked the SA for a nice moisturizing lipstick that was natural-looking: a.k.a. “my lip colour but better”. This way I wouldn’t be too intimidated to wear it often. She picked up NARS Dolce Vita and proceeded to apply it to my lips – I loved the colour, so I decided to take the plunge.

NARS lipstick retails for $30 CAD. This was my first NARS purchase as well as my first lipstick purchase. I love the packaging – it looks so sleek and professional!

I then proceeded to ask the SA if she knew of a good mask that draws out impurities without requiring scrubbing. She led me over to B. Kamins, a brand I can’t seem to find on the Sephora website. A Google search only yielded 2 products on Sephora, but I remember an entire section in the store dedicated to B. Kamins. Ben Kaminsky is a Canadian Chemist who developed skincare lines for mature skin, sensitive skin, acne, menopausal skin, extra dry skin, and men. The SA recommended the Purifying Mask, as she loved it and uses a lot of B. Kamins products. But because it was $50 CAD, I wanted to look for a less expensive alternative. I’d read a review on Origins’ charcoal mask, so I chose that instead for $26 CAD.

Origins is a fairly new brand in Canadian stores, so the SA said she hadn’t yet tried this product. She told me that other staff members have used Origins products and love them, so this mask should be promising as well. The mask also boasts a lot of natural ingredients, formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan. Neither mask requires a scrubbing for exfoliation, just a gentle wash-off.

The SA also gave me a generous sample of B. Kamins Purifying Mask to try out as well. Here’s what it looks like:

The description on their website is as follows:

A deep cleansing clay mask to help purify skin and absorb excess surface oil. Mattifying and balancing actives help control shine, while natural plant extracts help rid the skin of impurities.  A specialized skin lightening complex helps fade past acne scars and brighten the complexion while a blend of natural fruit acids moisturize and help renew skin cells.  Results:  skin appears refreshed and its texture more refined for a healthier, clearer complexion.

Skin Type:
Oily, combination, and normal skin. Recommended for non-inflammatory acne conditions. Mature skin with hormonal fluctuations.

Primary Purpose:
A treatment to help reduce breakouts, purify pores, even out skin tone, and absorb impurities in the skin to help leave you with healthier, clearer skin.


  • Oil-, color-, and fragrance-free; won’t irritate skin.
  • Mattifying and balancing actives help reduce shine and provide an all-day matte finish.
  • Helps to absorb excess oil and sebum secretions.
  • Specialized lightening complex evens out skin tone and brightens the complexion.
  • Anti-inflammatory to ease the discomfort of acne breakouts.
  • Anti-microbial ingredients help prevent future breakouts.
  • Anti-oxidants help protect against free radical damage.
  • Formulated with essential nutrients, soothing herbal extracts, and water-binding ingredients that soothe and rehydrate skin to provide a more uniform, brighter, and firmer complexion.

The SA also showed me how to apply the MUFE Aqua Creams with a large fluffy brush – I have always been using my fingertips as I couldn’t get my shadow or concealer brush to pick up the cream. She also gave me some tips on my eyeshadow primer problem (we can talk about that another day). But here is where she left me to browse before she helped me with checkout (I had some other transaction issues she agreed to help me out with).

My meandering led me past the sale section of Sephora – this is where you find all the soon-to-be-discontinued products that haven’t already been sold out. And sometimes, you really get some fantastic goodies:

The double-ended eyeliner and crease brush was on sale for $7 CAD, the trio blushes for $5, the smoky cream liners for $3. $3 CAD! If memory serves me correctly, they retailed for about $14-15 originally, which was what put me off from buying them as I already had enough higher-end gel liners. But $3? Are you kidding me? Apparently both these shades are being discontinued – I cannot fathom the reason, as they are absolutely beautiful. Probably because they are not go-to colours and therefore less popular.

So I continued browsing. Until I encountered the white, fluffy, oh-so-soft brush in this Bare Escentuals collection. None of the other products mattered so much to me – from the moment I laid fingers on that brush, I was a goner.

Left to right:

  1. Tinted Hydrating Mineral Veil Finishing Powder (somewhat contradictory – there is a hydrating mineral veil and a tinted mineral veil – is this a new melding of the two?) – 0.05 oz new twist-top packaging
  2. Eyecolor in Renew – full-sized 0.02 oz
  3. Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara – full-sized 0.33 oz
  4. the oh-so-soft-and-fluffy Mini Hydrate & Brighten brush
  5. Pretty Amazing Lipgloss in Sass (limited edition Lip Color, which is indicated as a lipstick on the site) – full-sized 0.13 oz
  6. Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for combination skin (not my skin type but beggars can’t be choosers, right?) – 30 mL

This 6-piece set retails for $49 CAD. Pretty good for 3 full-sized products that already total $58.50 CAD if bought individually.

At this point, I marched right up to the SA and said to her: “I need to stop browsing now.” Quick mental math had me realizing I may quickly end up in debt if I continued to peruse any further. At checkout, even the SA commented, “Wow, you really stocked up! It’s the perfect time to do it though!” And she was right – my total wasn’t quite as monstrous as I thought it was. But still pretty monstrous.

I got my free samples in a Sephora-printed Ziploc bag:

Left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Thomas Sabo Charm Kiss: a luscious chocolate, champagne and strawberry kiss
  2. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy: wild berries and mandarin; honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine; amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood and praline.
  3. Dior Hydra Life Skin Perfect Pore Refining Perfecting Moisturizer
  4. Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer
  5. Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner duo pack
  6. glow by dr. brandt Overnight resurfacing serum and Ruby crystal retinol hydracreme duo pack
  7. Givenchy  Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen in 4 Mister Macaroon (medium complexions)
  8. Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara

And of course, the biggest incentive for the Sephora trip in the first place: the Sephora umbrella!

The umbrella is vibrant and of course, embellished with the Sephora logo and name. It feels quite sturdy and capable of withstand a windy downpour. A nice stylish replacement for my broken umbrella (which I’ve had for 8 years)!

This marks the biggest in-store Sephora haul I’ve ever made. I’ve had expensive online hauls, but that was because I needed to purchase $120 CAD in order to get free shipping, and my total would inevitably be over that by quite a margin. I’ve always gotten the cute mini-sized Sephora shopping bags, with an occasional larger rectangular-sized bag. I had no idea there was an even larger square-shaped bag. I’m going to have to save this one to mark the special occasion.

Have you hauled yet? What did you get? If you haven’t, make sure to take advantage of the 15% off for VIB’s until April 6th!


(Image source:


Author: pearlessence

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

52 thoughts on “My biggest Sephora VIB haul. Ever.

  1. What a great haul my dear!

    The bags of samples were all gone by the time I got there, so all I got was the umbrella when I went….and I did go immediately after work. 😦 And I also totally got that yellow double ended brush from the sale section! But those Sephora gel liners were not at the one here in Ottawa, which sucks because I totally would’ve bought them!

    Your NARS lipstick looks gorgeous, I can’t wait to see a picture of it on you.

    • To be honest, the samples aren’t all that exciting when compared to the umbrella! Better to run out of samples than to run out of umbrellas, in my opinion 🙂

      Sale items always vary between stores – between one store and another in Toronto alone you can have sections full of the product you want or none at all! It was a very lucky find…!

      I’ve been opening the NARS lipstick every once in a while, looking at its pristine, unmarred surface… and repeatedly thinking “$30 $30 $30 $30” hahaha! I also tend to have this thing with not wanting to ruin the manufactured surface. *sigh* I’m a strange one 😛

  2. Omg, I went back to Sephora today and was looking at that bare minerals set today! I bought other stuff though…writing my part two haul post now -.-” Why does Sephora keep sucking us back?!
    I was looking at the mask online! I was thinking of getting it, since I need some intense pore cleansing. You’re so lucky, your sales associate offers you samples, the one I go, I never get offered any!!

    The trio blushes look so nice! I’m going to check out the sale part in Sephora again to see if there’s any stuff like that. Though when I passed by today, it was nail polish and some other random stuff that didn’t catch my eye.

    And you got a nice sample bag too with dior!

    I have a feeling I might make a third trip…..

    • I usually have to ask for samples, but once in a while an SA will offer to make me a sample 🙂 And only twice have I gotten two jars of the same product in one go! Once was MUFE’s HD Foundation – I’d never tried liquid foundation and she gave me “enough to last me a while and figure out if it works with my skin”. These two jars were a nice surprise, too!

      Oh my goodness, did you still get 15% off on your second haul? I was under the impression that VIB codes are one-time only. Maybe the discount code isn’t? I can’t wait to see your second haul! What are you planning to get on your third? You’re tempting me to go back to Sephora hahaha 😡

      • Yes! The 15% lasts from March 28-April 6, so you still have almost a whole week to still use your coupon 😉

        I want a sample of the MUFE HD Foundation! I shall ask sometime when I go back! Maybe I’ll go to a nicer location and they’ll probably give it to me haha.

        How are the Aqua Creams like? I rarely wear eye shadow but they look so nice. :3

      • Oh man… more incentive to return to Sephora? Eek! Best check my bank account first 😛 The worst thing is that it takes almost an hour to get to Sephora in London 😦

        The SA was very helpful when I told her I’d never used foundation (it scares me, seriously) and she grabbed a whole bunch of different brands to test colours on me. I also told her that I have sensitive skin and tend to dry out and get flaky really easily. She assured me she’d give me samples to see how it works with my skin first – which is really the way it should be done, because if we love it we’ll definitely come back for the full size! Whereas if we just buy the full-sized product and return it, that’s a huge waste of one big bottle…

        You should! Eyeshadow is the best makeup product IMO, because you can wear the full spectrum of colours on your eyelids, whereas I wouldn’t go out in public with blue lipstick 😛 I would love to see you in some greens and purples 🙂

        I love the MUFE Aqua Creams! So far, I make pretty subtle smoky eye looks when blending out with my fingers, but I think it could be built up better with a fluffy brush like the SA showed me – I’ll be experimenting to find out. This stuff stays on my eyelids the longest (if you’ve read my other posts, my eyelids produce some sort of natural eyeshadow repellent – which makes me really sad because I love eyeshadow :().

      • I do have the Urban Decay Naked Palette, since it’s mostly browns so it’s fine. But I’m such a newbie using it, so I just soften the outer corners of my eyes with brown. It sucks wearing glasses and I look horrible with contacts! If I wear contacts, I need to wear under eye concealer everyday and I’m way too lazy. 😦
        I should ask Sephora to teach me how to use eyeshadow for glasses.

        And makeup brushes are so expensive too 😦 My mom will shoot me if she sees me add another brush into my tiny collection.

      • The biggest thing is practice. And you can wear eyeshadow just as nicely with or without glasses! I have glasses that I wear when I forget to wear contacts as well, and my under eye circles are horrible either way. I’m sure yours aren’t that bad, you’re just not used to seeing your glasses shadowing your eyes.

        It will take a good MUA at Sephora to work with Asian eyes – I find that a lot of SA’s at Sephora tend to be Caucasian and tend to apply colour in the crease (which doesn’t exist for most Asians!).

        I got the 11-piece ELF Studio collection brush set, priced at $30. I ordered it when ELF had a 50% off Studio promo and have ordered several backup sets whenever I see the 50% off Studio! It comes in a zip-up brush case as well, and the brushes are good quality – soft with no fall-out (unlike the original white ELF brushes that cost $1). Great wallet-friendly brush set for $15!

      • I have really small asian eyes, and my eyebags are bigger than my eyes themselves 😦 It’s pretty bad >.>” She keeps saying online shopping will be the downfall of my savings.

      • Hahaha oh my mother doesn’t even know the extent to which I shop online and in store. I hide all my purchases from her. And she’s told me to stop buying makeup many times, but I’ve long since turned a deaf ear 😛 My money is my business ^__^

  3. Ahhh NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita! Love it! You should try the Dolce Vita blush too! It’s my favourite haha! I hope I see you wearing that lipstick next time I see you!

    Great haul! 🙂

  4. Wow! :O so much amazing stuff! btw mom bosses at work use nothing but origins and they love it! I’m sure you’ll like the mask 🙂 my bosses skin looks amazing

  5. Omg, really wished I didn’t have to pay my rent so I could’ve spend money on this. /cry ROFL.. such a good haul though!!

  6. Oh wow, now that is what you call a haul! I can’t believe that was your first NARS purchase ever! You’re going to love it – their lipsticks and blushes are the best and totally agree with the comment above that you should try the Dolce Vita blush next 😀 Looks great on Asian skin!

    • I’ve never used any blush but theBalm’s Hot Mama – I figured, why mess with what works? And I feel like overly dark, overly orange, or overly pink blushes wouldn’t look as nice on me – there should only be a certain shade for certain skin tones… right?

      I will check it out the next time I see it though, I didn’t know that NARS shared names between lipsticks and blushes!

  7. Gorgeous haul! Anytime I see the name Sephora I cry…(we no longer have one here in the UK)! Thanks for visiting my page and checking out my blog on foundations etc! Hope you’ll come back soon! Till then looks like we have make-up in common! Yipee! 🙂 TBH! xoxo

  8. Sephora, to me, is like a drug addiction. I can’t ever seem to get out of that store without losing my damn mind and buying tons of things I never intended to purchase. I am super impressed at your haul; those look like some really fun purchases. 😀 Be careful with that charcoal mask though, I have a esthetician friend who warned me to use them sparingly so as to not over dry your skin. She did say that used correctly they do a great job of pulling out impurities from your skin. Enjoy your big score!

    • We’re all here feeding each other’s addictions 😛 I know exactly what you mean.

      Thanks for the tip! I have dry sensitive skin so I will have to be careful with this. If there are issues, I can always return it – thank goodness for Sephora’s return policy!

  9. Love the lipstick and the aqua creams, I have one of those myself! Come in very handy! 🙂

  10. I love the Origins charcoal face mask:) you got some goose stuff!

  11. Nice haul! The MUFE aquatic cream 2 has been on my list for a while now. Do tell how you like the Nars lipstick! and the sephora cream liners .
    Thanks for sharing

  12. I agree with you, I think the umbrella is worth all the samples! I’d be interested in hearing how their primer works out for you. I’ve been using M.A.C’s primer for years…but always open to another good product!

    • I didn’t know that MAC has an eyeshadow primer. I didn’t get a primer that day at Sephora. Or are we talking about something else? Haha

      • Oh…I’m sorry I saw the primer in one of your photos and thought you purchased it. LOL Yes, M.A.C. has an eyeshadow primer…but I LOVE their Prep and Prime Face Protect Primer…with an spf 50….I don’t feel so guilty about being in the sun 🙂

      • Ohhh the face primer haha oops yeah I completely forgot about that! What is MAC’s eyeshadow primer called? The only face primer I’ve used is MUFE’s HD primer. Can’t really comment on it or compare…!

  13. I use the ‘prep and prime eye’ eyeshadow (in gold) from M.A.C. You can use it alone or under eyeshadow. It’s really nice….

  14. HAHA omg!!
    You went crazy at sephore!!! It’s kinda hard not to right? at least you got some discount 🙂

    What’s an aqua cream? sounds really interesting!!

    • Actually, I always tend to avoid making huge purchases when I’m at Sephora. This trip surprised even myself! But you’re right, at least I got 15% off – what a relief 🙂

      MUFE’s Aqua Creams are “waterproof cream colour for eyes and cheeks”. The product label says it can be used on eyes, cheeks, or lips, but they have some colours formulated especially for lips and cheeks (usually the pink-red range) and the rest are for eyes and cheeks. They are like cream eyeshadows that are supposedly waterproof, long-lasting, and don’t crease or run. I personally wouldn’t use these on my lips as I think they’d be too drying for my sensitive lips. I’ve never used them on my cheeks (and with the colours I have, I feel no inclination to :P), but I love them as eyeshadow!

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