Sephora Trip Part 2: Skincare and Fragrance

Last week we went over part one of my epic return to Sephora after three years away. Today we’re going to cover the skincare and fragrance section of the trip. Unfortunately, I don’t really have any swatches to show you but I do have several mini reviews and initial thoughts on the things I tried in store. Let’s dive right in!

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DIOR Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream For Nails $25

This is a salve for your nails and cuticles to repair them over time and make them look better in the short run. This is why I could no longer use my phone to photograph products! It makes your mitts super sticky! That’s why they only recommend it for night time use. It did make my nails and cuticles look better for about 2 days and then I was back to being a ragamuffin. Since I only used it in the store I can’t attest to the long term potential. I did enjoy it but it’s not a necessity for me. If nails are your thing, it might be worth it. I’d rate this product as a B+ based on it’s short term performance and how remarkable the difference was.

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PERRICONE MD Blue Plasma $95

Whoa… I used this on the back of my hand. The difference was immediate and it lasted about a week in the area that I applied it. The texture of my hand resembled the skin of a 10 year old. No joke. Plump, smooth, and slightly translucent. I couldn’t believe the difference. You get a generous amount of product for the money and it’s well rated online. What’s the catch? That’s just it! Salmon. It’s really rank and disgusting for a good 5 minutes. Once it’s dissipated, however, the smell is barely noticeable. Would I still recommend it even though it smells like a bait bucket? Yes! The salmon egg enzymes used in the product may stink but I’ve never seen such instant gratification from a product let alone such an improvement over one week after only one application! Here is the consumer research information about the product:

Consumer use studies of Blue Plasma revealed unprecedented results:

Immediately post-application: – 97% agreed their skin looked and felt “baby soft” – 90% agreed their skin was visibly more luminous and felt hydrated

After 3 days: – 80% agreed their skin looked dramatically luminous, radiant, and more translucent with a healthy glow – 95% agreed their skin looked renewed without redness, stinging, or burning – 92% agreed they loved how the treatment was less irritating than a chemical peel or an exfoliating scrub

After 4 weeks: – 80% agreed their skin appeared dramatically brighter with improved clarity and transformed skin surface – 82% agreed the appearance of their skin’s discoloration has improved and skin felt like it had been replaced with “new skin” – 82% agreed their pores looked as though they had been extracted and the dulling dead cells swept away – 87% agreed it gave them professional results without an appointment and it looked like they had had a facial, saying that it was the best resurfacing treatment that they had ever used

Do I agree with these claims? Yes! I don’t have the data to back it up because I only used it once in the store but this stuff is so good in the short time I saw a difference, I’m willing to purchase a bottle! I’ll give this an A+ and I highly recommend you sample it too!

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PERRICONE MD Cold Plasma Face $155

 Another product I tried on my hand. This was tested side by side with Blue Plasma. While it was nicely moisturized and left with a semi-matte finish, it didn’t provide the instant gratification of the exfoliating and plumping Blue Plasma. It also didn’t feel as smooth or look as luminous. Here is the research for the product:

In an independent four-week clinical study on women between the ages of 20 and 65: – 99% reported that their skin was soft and smooth. – 94% said they liked the results and felt it provided for their skincare needs. – 92% reported that their skin looked radiant and healthy. – 91% felt that their skin was infused with moisture.

If you are comparing it to Blue Plasma there is really no contest but they are made to work together and provide different benefits. I’m sure that if layered they would be spectacular. Online reviews are mixed on this one but people who paired this with Blue Plasma left the best reviews. Most people prefer the newer Sub D formulation of the product but even that isn’t a good comparison because it’s meant for saggy skin and fatty deposits in the subcutaneous areas of the lower face and neck. I can’t give a great review because I only used it once. Based on the initial impression alone, I give this a B.

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FRESH Seaberry Restorative Body Cream $28.50

This stuff is heavenly! Not only does it smell great but it keeps you super moisturized for over 24 hours. Even post shower you still feel it in the places you used it. I felt it keeping me hydrated for about three days on my forearms. Not only did I feel better but my skin looked very supple, plush, and younger. If you have seriously dehydrated skin on your body no matter how much you hydrate internally this is a great cream to try. I highly recommend it and I give it an A. I’d give it an A+ but almost $30 is a lot for a treatment body lotion when you’re on a budget. If you want to try this but it’s out of your price range, try Weleda Sea Buckthorn Lotion. It’s almost as good and it’s slightly less per ounce. Both products are usable on the face too as long as you exfoliate regularly. Once I get another bottle I’ll do a more in depth review and perhaps a side-by-side comparison for you guys!

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FRESH Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 $22.50

I really never saw the hype behind the Fresh Sugar treatments. I’d only tried the original and the first color released which was Rose. They felt good but they didn’t last long and at the time I tried it, a single pass of Rose didn’t leave much color behind. I tried the Berry in the store; in the words of George Takei, “Oh my!” The formula feels improved in absorbency, nourishment, and upfront moisturizing ability. The pigment on the Berry shade is pretty good, giving you a soft mid tone berry with a hint of plum. On me the shade straddles the MLBB to “Dark Lips” territory with aplomb making it a shade and formula you can wear all year and for any occasion outside a spaghetti eating competition or a kissing booth.The initial application in it’s glossy balm form lasted a good 4 hours on me which included a hot tea and dinner. It stained my lips until bed time and they still felt great! My lips were still pretty smooth the next day too. I’d put the pigmentation on this shade between a Revlon Lip Butter and a Revlon Balm Stain. Is it worth $22.50? Yes and no. If you have trouble with lipsticks or glosses making your lips peel and you want something more pigmented than the average tinted balm, then yes it’s worth it. These are prone to melting so you can’t leave them in your purse when it’s warm or a hot car for that matter. Based on my initial impression, I’d rate this an A- due only to the price per oz of product.

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THIERRY MUGLER Alien EDP $120 for 2 oz

Normally I don’t like jasmine centered compositions but this wasn’t too bad. It has a slight green accord that keeps it from getting to sharp or soapy. I like that you can refill it there too without having to pay as much since you already have the bottle. On my skin, my initial impression was an expensive soliflore that has a bit of heft thanks to the base notes. It lasted about 10 hours on me. I’m not sure I’d buy it but it’s quality juice. I’d rate it a solid B.

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BALENCIAGA Rosabotanica $100 for 1.7 oz

I’d smelled this before over in Germany but the tester was pretty much dry so I couldn’t really get the full experience of it. This scent is a great abstract rose. It’s very green on me. If you could take Stella and then throw in a fig fragrance (less cedar then Dyptique Philosykos) plus a green citrus (perhaps a more mild version of TF Italian Cypress) you’d be quite close. It’s got just a bit of musk in the mid to dry down phase but is pleasantly green throughout. It honestly seems like Chanel Cristalle warmed up; more modern and youthful. I enjoy it but I’m not sure I’d wear it outside of summer. It lasted for about 4 hours with minor traces for another 2-4 hours and almost no silage past the initial spray. I’d give it a B+.

What I got for take home samples:

1. Tarte Maracuja Oil $46 for 1.7 oz

2. Tarte Maracuja C Brighter Eye Cream $35 for .35 oz

3. Fresh Peony Brightening  Night Treatment Mask $65 for 1.6 oz

4. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum $48 for 1 oz

5. Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Activating Oil $45 for 1 oz

6. Nirvana Black and Nirvana White 1.7 oz for $75 each

For this group of samples I allowed the SA to match me to some products she thought would help my skin concerns of pores and brightness while remaining gentle and more natural in formulation which were some of my top criterion in the selection of take home goodies. I’m not against cutting edge products, I just usually prefer a softer approach in my skincare. We shall see how it goes!

 Have you tried any of these products? Have questions about what I tried at Sephora? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

    • 2

      Erin says

      It’s some pretty amazing stuff! I think the closest Sephora to you is in Strasbourg. Though there may be one closer in South Eastern France that I don’t know about! It might be worth contacting Space NK UK and asking them to send you some samples! They have pretty great customer service! Space NK is even more dangerous then Sephora! You’ve been warned!

  1. 3

    says

    Salmon? Huh. I think I could deal with the fishy smell for incredible results. I agree 100% with your Rosabotanica description. In the store I fell in love with the initial spray (love Phylosykos too), sadly by dry-down the romance had ended.

    • 4

      Erin says

      It might work as a good layering fragrance, I hadn’t though of that until now. But at that cost, I’d rather plunk down $$$ for Jo Malone for that purpose!

        • 6

          Erin says

          I’ve only tried about 1/4 of their line but I love the citrus line, the Cologne Intense line, and some of the floral line up. They have a combination suggester on their site too and they are pretty spot on. The CI line really doesn’t need to be combined though for a full smell as they are not only more potent but a little more complex. I’ve also combined their Lime Blossom and Lime & Mandarin with Pacifica Amber for a really nice complex but still sheer scent!

  2. 7

    says

    The PERRICONE MD Blue Plasma sounds very promising! I’m not sure about the smell though! But for such impressive results, I may just have to endure it and try!

  3. 9

    says

    You know, I’d been wanting to know about that Dior cuticle cream for a while! Clever Girl to the rescue :-) I can only imagine what the price tag is on it here, and I am FAR too lazy to ever take care of my cuticles (bad Syl!), but I did think it looked amazing…

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