I have been wishing for quite some time now that there was a Sephora here in our country. I know every makeup junkie wishes that too. It seems to me that the owners of Sephora didn't notice that there's a tiny country in the world map called the Philippines that up to now they didn't even think of opening just one branch here. I'm sure, with the large number of Filipino migrants all over the world especially in the States, a good number of Filipino clients patronize the chains if not, the brand itself. So, Sephora, if you're reading this, please come to the Philippines and make us happy. But what/who is Sephora anyway?
Sephora is a chain of cosmetics stores founded in France in 1970 and acquired by Paris-based conglomerate Louis Vuitton • Moët Hennessy (LVMH) in 1997. The Sephora chain includes more than 750 stores in 17 countries. Carrying over 250 brands, including Sephora's own private label, the store offers cosmetic and beauty items that include makeup, skin care, fragrance, bath and body, hair product, and hair and make-up tools. (Source: Wikipedia) It's like our local Beauty Bar on steroids. hehehe. They carry products and cosmetics from most of the brands that I love, Benefit, Chanel, Tarte, Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua, Nars, Urban Decay (ok, I can't stop listing...) and of course the beloved Sephora Collection. My ultimate wish is to own the first Sephora here in the Philippines but I know it's close to impossible since I will be needing a whopping 2.5 million US dollars to begin with. But, hey who knows, I might close a good business deal with Bernard Arnault soon, eh?
So, just like any Filipina who resides in the Philippines, if we want any item from Sephora, we either rely on "padala" or gifts or packages from relatives and friends abroad or join the pre-ordering pools of some online sellers who offer Sephora merchandise.
But in my case, my recent Sephora haul was of course a "padala". Yey!
Last two weeks ago, Em's grandpa landed here in the Pi from the States because a brother passed away (God bless his soul). It was an emergency trip so he went here with just clothes in his baggage. As soon as I heard the news, I immediately messaged Em's cousin and asked a little favor to buy a few things for me, after all, a little black paper bag with wonderful goodies inside isn't too heavy, is it? And here's what inside that lovely paper bag.
I "ordered" a few items from Benefit, Nars, Sephora, MAC and Cargo but Cargo and MAC weren't included in Sephora's brands anymore so I just got these. I will review these products individually in the forthcoming days. Another good news is that these items are only worth $100 (because of the huge slash from my tab). Early Christmas gift, thanks to Em's aunt. :)
I still haven't opened any of these items though, they're still happily sitting in my stash. hehehe.
For now I will review Benefit Big 10, because I've been meaning to get my hands on this value set for the longest time, since it came out. It's called the Big 10 for a good reason, it's really the Big 10! 10 best-seller Benefit products that come in mini travel sizes. Ain't that lovely? It has blushes, highlighters, concealers, primers and tints in one package! If you're a Benefit newbie or just aiming to try out their products before opting for the full sizes, this one's a great buy especially at only $32.
The set contains:
- 0.1 oz Dandelion (soft pink)
- 0.11 oz Erase Paste in No. 2 Medium
- 0.08 oz Benetint (rose)
- 0.08 oz High Beam (luminous pink)
- 0.08 oz Posietint (poppy pink)
- 0.08 oz Ooh La Lift
- 0.08 oz Stay Don't Stray
- 0.25 oz That Gal
- 0.25 oz The Porefessional
- 0.1 oz Bella Bamba (watermelon pink)
|Benefit Big 10|
Let's begin with the primers.
|Benefit "That Gal"|
I have used "That Gal" before, but while most Benefit products work for me, I did not find this as exactly superb. It's an okay product, but I don't think I'll be buying the full size again considering its price. It's a brightening primer that's supposed to give you a radiant glow and make your makeup last all day but for me it just didn't deliver. Yes the dewy glow was there at first but at the end of the day I look like a grease ball. It didn't break me out though so a miniature "that gal" would be useful at some point I guess.
|Benefit The POREfessional|
I absolutely adore the Porefessional. I didn't see the need for a pore minimizer but this one does the job so great that I had to diss all my primers. Pores aren't my problem but this wonder surely helps eliminate shine and yes, hide any tiny pore that I see on my face even up close. For it's price, it's definitely worth it because you only need to use a small amount. What I love about it most is that you can use it either under or over makeup, at any time of the day. I will make a full review on the Porefessional soon because I also purchased the full size recently.
Next, the concealer.
|Benefit Erase Paste|
I've tried the Erase Paste before but I'm not really a fan of products in pots. I tend to drop them (I have shaky hands and most days, clumsy). This is okay but it really doesn't help too much in covering my very dark under eye circles. For minor imperfections, it does the job well. It does cake sometimes too but I dunno, maybe I just applied too much. Anyway, speaking of concelaers, I'm a big fan of MAC Select Cover Up, it's just wonderful. (I'll make a review before I even finish the tube - it's been with me for 7 months now and it's still alive, hehehe.) Going back to the erase paste, it comes in medium in this set- which is not my shade. I guess I won't be using this for a long time since I also recently got myself The Balm's Time Balm concealer which also comes in a pot. So far, it still has a lot to prove. Okay, I'm going out of topic now. Focus.
And now the highlighters and the tints (photo includes the Stay Don't Stray Primer anyhow)!
|L-R: Benefit Stay Don't Stray, Posietint, Benetint, Highbeam and Ooh La Lift|
I haven't tried Stay Don't Stray yet but the reviews seem promising. According to Benefit, it's a dual-action power primer works 360° degrees around the eyes to make concealers and eye shadows stay put.So we'll see. The Ooh La Lift on the other hand is an under eye brightening booster which will make tired eyes, yes, look brighter. I'll definitely give this a try and let's see if my gloomy eyes will seem happier.
The star highlighter in this set is of course the High Beam. It's a liquid highlighter which according to reviews is just perfect for your brow bones, cheeks, or just any area on your face which needs some accentuating. I haven't tried this one too.
The cheek and lip tints, Benetint and Posietint - do I really have to say something about them? They're such topsellers and I think every one knows what they are. Posietint is a sheer pink while Benetint (the Original tint) is a rose-tinted stain. I'm not a fan of stains but they're so versatile and easy to use so it's a must-have. And since they're stains, they last for hours.
And lastly the blushes.
|Benefit Dandelion and Bella Bamba|
I haven't tried any of these blushes yet since I'm a Coralista fan for quite some time so it's good to know that these two are included in the set. I'm such a blush addict so these are great additions to my addiction (?rhyme?). Both of them have such great reviews, Dandelion being a sheer pink powder with subtle shimmer while Bella Bamba is a 3D watermelon blush laced with shimmering gold undertones. Ain't that sweet? I'm excited to try them out soon!
Okay, I'm done here. I didn't realize that I've made quite a long post than the usual. Anyway, I hope you find the Big 10 as good as I do. If you want to purchase this locally, just click here.
Good night and happy weekend - and don't forget to wish upon a star - Sephora might hear us. :)
p.s. I need to share this first ever photo of my babies, Kitty and Nala, making "ligaw" with each other. Nala is still very young but he has always been persistent in befriending my "spoiled brat Kitty".
Any thoughts? I'd like to hear them.