‘Do you want anything from Sephora?” old to be the most exciting question you could ask a British beauty disciple. I never flew to America without a long shopping careen of exotic hair, skin and makeup products that my boyfriends were hooked on or had seen in magazines. Nowadays, thanks to cult asset websites, QVC and pop-ups, few brands are unavailable in the UK (though there are some commendable debarments, at least for now).
First, Drunk Elephant. This brand merges hi-tech active ingredients with luxurious marula oil. I recently stocked up on C-Firma ($80), a non-greasy vitamin C day serum that lightens dullness and provides extra protection from harsh weather; and TLC Sukari Babyfacial ($80), an actual, high-concentration AHA and BHA cream exfoliating mask that de-flakes and exhilarates the complexion in 20 minutes (I use it before a night out, or on the mornings when I look half midst).
There are few brands more cheering than Milk Give the impression of run off Up, an innovative range of mid-price cosmetics with a focus on fun and daring. I snapped up a Supernova Holographic Stick, ($14), a space-age, silver lavender highlighter that massages on wherever you’d like a little ethereal glow, and Tattoo Designate ($12), an eyeliner pen with a star-shaped nib that deposits a satisfyingly classy temporary tattoo wherever you want it. But there’s more to Wring than gimmick. My favourite buys were the Hydrating Oil Poke ($24), a push-up moisturiser that melts on skin-contact, to be kept in your handbag and deployed whenever balls, hair, cuticles or lips feel parched; and Matcha Cleanser ($26), another airport-friendly substantial stick, to remove dirt and light makeup.
I’ll need a heavier bit cleanser to shift my new IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer ($24), a brighter, more wisely and currently US-only version of the brand’s original full coverage concealer, as evidently as Josie Maran’s wonderful Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Pliant ($45): this achieves the almost impossible, in providing both whole coverage and a dewy glow – ideal if you find that ancestral foundation cakes, flakes and blotches (caution: the shades encounter up a little dark). Delighted with both, I plan to sated my supplies via Sephora’s newish international shipping service (stints and tax included). Incidentally, everything above is cruelty-free, and much of it’s vegan, too.