The Beauty Products That We Never Buy From Sephora (and what We Do)
Sephora and us are like bread and butter. We're practically conditioned to say, "Do you have this in my shade?" any time we see a set of black and white stripes. It's our promised land, and when we're there, we're home. So what if we told you there are some products we've actually sworn off buying from the beauty giant? We surprised ourselves with this news too, but it's us, not it. When you live on a budget, there are certain products you can't justify spending a big chunk of your direct deposit on—even if it works like a charm—if you can buy it at the drugstore.
Below, take a look at the products we pass by in the sacred aisles of Sephora (as well as the products we absolutely have to add to our black shopping totes).
Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
Don'ts: "While there are a ton of lovely, gentle, delightfully-scented prestige makeup wipes, I can't help but stay loyal to Neutrogena's Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. They're inexpensive, remove mascara in a few easy swipes, and leave my skin fresh—never sticky or tight like most others do.
"Mascara is another product I won't spend a ton of money on—drugstore mascaras do it best. I have super oily lids and watery eyes (genetics, I guess?) and I need a formula that dries that easily and won't budge. I've found Maybelline and Covergirl have the best options, and trust, I've tried 'em all."
Dos: "I'm partial to a no-makeup, effortless-type makeup look (yes, I want to look like I haven't tried at all when, really, I'm trying very hard) and bright, even, glossy skin is the most important factor. As such, I don't mess around when it comes to concealer—I need it to do a lot of heavy lifting. Recently, I've been blessed with Benefit's new Boi-ing Collection (I'm keen on the Concealer) but I still use Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Concealer on special occasions."
Audrey Noble, Associate Editor
Don'ts: "I'm very loyal to my Bioré pore strips. I haven't found anything that really gets deep enough inside my pores to extract the dirt that causes blackheads. My favourite cleansers just happen to be wallet-friendly as well."
Dos: "The Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear™ Trans-Foam Clay in Refreshing Green does wonders for when I'm already breaking out. Plus, it becomes a foaming cleanser when you wash it off to give you extra exfoliation."
"My oily skin makes it so that lots of eyeliners end up running down my face after a few hours. My all-time favourite liner is the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in black—it does not move."
Lindsey Metrus, Managing Editor
Don'ts: I'm perfectly fine using a less expensive drugstore branded lipbalm like Nivea's Lip Butter in Coconut which still works extremely well while leaving me enough to gorge on vodka sauce pizza a few times over (priorities).
Dos: To me, a cheap fragrance is a huge turnoff. You get more notes of alcohol than anything else, and it reminds me of the body sprays I used to wear in high school. That's why I opt for pricier blends. Currently, I love using Mermaid No. 1 Perfume Body Oil to hydrate my dry skin while giving me a lush, coconut fragrance.
Maya Allen, Assistant Editor
Don'ts: "I rarely buy bath and body products at Sephora, but that's because I'm devoted to my drugstore favorites. I have hypersensitive skin, so sadly I can't indulge in all of the fragrant lotions and yummy smelling body washes.
Dos: "It felt like I was trying to master the perfect cat eye my whole life. Okay, I'm probably being dramatic, but my search for the perfect eyeliner felt like forever until a sweet Sephora consultant introduced my 16-year-old self to Tarte's Kitten Liquid Eyeliner. It's been a permanent fixture in my beauty routine ever since and my winged liner skills have improved dramatically because of its precise tip.
Dacy Knight, Weekend Editor
Don'ts: "Though I'm certainly not against any of the offerings available, I never buy body lotion from Sephora. I've been using the same drugstore lotion since my freshman year of college and haven't looked back since. Another regular purchase that I skip at Sephora in favour of the drugstore are makeup wipes. They're a travel and post-workout essential for me and I go through them too frequently to justify dropping $15 on one carried at Sephora when I've been content with my $10 Burt's Bees version (Cleansing Towelettes with Cucumber and Sage) for years.
Dos: "Beyond those two categories, I almost exclusively rely on Sephora for everything else I need (and many things I don't) from makeup to skincare to sun protection."
Erin Jahns, Assistant Editor
Don'ts: "Anything that's personal hygiene related—deodorant, cotton pads, and even makeup remover—I'll reserve for my drugstore run, not Sephora."
Dos: "Whenever I walk out of Sephora, my haul is usually 50% skincare and 50% whatever is in the checkout aisle. The sample sizes are brilliant, and I've discovered some of my favourite products (usually lip treatments and masks) as I wait to pay for some of my bigger ticket items. I know there are great skincare options at the drugstore, but I can never resist leaving Sephora without something new in my arsenal."
Next, check out the products the editors at our sister site, Who What Wear will never buy from Zara.