A Few of My Favorite Things | Sephora Holiday 2020

Every year, in anticipation of the Sephora Holiday Savings EventSephora Holiday Savings Event, I share a curated list of my personal favorite products/formulas available at SephoraSephora for whether you’re looking to be tempted by something or to find a special gift to give someone else.

I have deliberately tried to lean-in to more exclusive brands and products, and these are all the permanently available products; you’ll find a gift guide dedicated to all things limited edition at Sephora here.

For a broader range of my all-time favorite formulas and products: Best Blushes, Best HighlightersBest Eyeshadows, Best Eyeshadow Palettes, Best Lipsticks, Best Lipglosses, Best Eye Brushes, Best Face Brushes.

If you’re curious about all of the holiday products and sets, in total, check out our Best of Holiday 2020 Palettes & Gifts, which automatically updates the rankings as new reviews go live.

Sephora’s holiday shopping eventSephora’s holiday shopping event kicks off October 30th for Rouges, who have early access to the event.  Rouges get 20% off all purchases online and in-store with code HOLIDAYFUN.  Starting on November 3rd, VIBs get 15% off and Insiders can save 10% off with the same code, HOLIDAYFUN.  Insiders get 10% off beginning November 5th with code HOLIDAYFUN.  The event ends November 9th for all tiers.

Also, for those at 10% off and 15% off, always cross-reference the brands/products you have your eye on to see if they’re likely to go on sale for 15-25% off in the next few weeks.  Many brands participate in Black Friday/Cyber Monday offerings at least better than 10%.

Eyes

Makeup by Mario Master Metals

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Makeup by Mario Master Metals 5-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteMakeup by Mario Master Metals 5-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new,... Read full review.

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Natasha Denona Zendo

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Natasha Denona Zendo Mini Eyeshadow PaletteNatasha Denona Zendo Mini Eyeshadow Palette ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, permanent mini five-pan... Read full review.

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Makeup by Mario Master Mattes

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Makeup by Mario Master Mattes 12-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteMakeup by Mario Master Mattes 12-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new,... Read full review.

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Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon

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Natasha Denona Sunrise

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Natasha Denona Sunrise 15-Pan Small Eyeshadow PaletteNatasha Denona Sunrise 15-Pan Small Eyeshadow Palette ($65.00 for 0.67 oz.) is a new, permanent... Read full review.

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Melt Cosmetics She's in Parties

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Melt Cosmetics She's in Parties 8-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteMelt Cosmetics She's in Parties 8-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.58 oz.) is a new,... Read full review.

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Dior New Look (599)

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Dior New Look (599) 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette ($65.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new, smokier neutral color story that had one matte... Read full review.

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Natasha Denona Bronze

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Natasha Denona Bronze 15-Pan Small Eyeshadow Palette ($65.00 for 0.67 oz.) is a new, seemingly-permanent warm-toned palette that includes five... Read full review.

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Milk Makeup Flex Highlighter

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The formula is supposed to apply "seamlessly" to skin and hydrate skin with a "weightless pearlescent base" that gives "next-level glow." There's no specific description about coverage, but the promotional swatches showed all shades as opaque. The formula is as smooth and as silky as described; it felt like a thinner, powdery cream than it felt like a true powder. Read more...

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Natasha Denona Biba

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Natasha Denona Biba 15-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteNatasha Denona Biba 15-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.2 oz.) is a new, permanent palette that... Read full review.

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Kaja Orange Blossom

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Kaja Orange Blossom Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow TrioKaja Orange Blossom Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio ($21.00 for 0.09... Read full review.

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Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction

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Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette ($125.00 for 0.47 oz.) is a new, permanent palette that contains an assortment of... Read full review.

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Face

Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick

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The formula is supposed to be an "air-whipped lip cream" with "rich, melted-in color" paired with "nourishing hydration." It's a liquid lipstick with a more velvety consistency and satin to matte finish--some shades seemed to turn matte very quickly while others were a bit denser and creamier. Read more...

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Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush

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The formula is supposed to give a "fresh wash of color" that is "effortless" to blend with a "natural-looking" finish. The coverage is designed to be "sheer, buildable" with a "sweat- and water-resistant formula." The brand recommends to apply with fingertips or their 125 brush (which is a fairly dense, angled brush). Read more...

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Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

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The formula is supposed to be "non-greasy," "sweat-resistant," "easy to blend" cream bronzer (or contour) with "sheer, buildable" coverage that has a "natural-looking" finish. The brand called out two shades specifically as contour shades--Amber and Toffee Tease--though they can certainly be used as applicable to one's skin tone and undertone. Read more...

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Pat McGrath Divinyl Lip Shine

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The formula is supposed to offer "mirror-esque" shine with "rich color" that has a lot of "hydration." It's part of the brand's Lip Fetish range, which is a lip balm-based formula, but these appear to be the higher coverage offering within the various finishes available. They have a smooth, balm-like feel--light glide but not overly slippery, lightweight, and comfortable to apply and to wear. Read more...

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Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color - Blush

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The formula is supposed to have "intense color payoff" with a "long-lasting finish." The range is split into three types--Highlighters, Sculpting Powders, and Blushes--that is easy to determine by the first letter of the shade name (H for Highlighter, S for Sculpting, and B for Blush). Read more...

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Lips

Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick

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The formula is supposed to be an "air-whipped lip cream" with "rich, melted-in color" paired with "nourishing hydration." It's a liquid lipstick with a more velvety consistency and satin to matte finish--some shades seemed to turn matte very quickly while others were a bit denser and creamier. Read more...

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Sephora Rouge Lacquer

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The lipstick is supposed to have a "silky smooth melting formula" that yields "intense long-lasting color and high-shine" with "instant hydration." Most shades were creamy without being so slippery that they felt that way or went on unevenly. They do melt quickly, though, so if they are left in a warmer area (with all my photography lights running) and applied, they feel substantially creamier than at room temperature (about 72 degrees). Read more...

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Shiseido VisionAiry Gel Lipstick

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The formula is supposed to have "high levels of pigment" for "cushiony, comfortable, weightless color" that lasts for "six hours." They had rich color coverage in a single stroke, just as promised, and they were creamy and emollient, which made them comfortable and easy to apply on my lips. Read more...

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Sephora Lipstories Lipstick

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The formula is supposed to be "lightweight" with "full-coverage color in one swipe." The majority of shades were pigmented with semi-opaque to full color payoff in a single layer, as described. The more shimmery shades tended to be a bit sheerer overall, while the mattes and creams were usually closer to opaque in coverage. Read more...

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Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer

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The formula is supposed to have a “peach-vanilla” scent (I’d agree–sweet, lightly fruity) and be “conditioning.” It was designed to be worn alone or layered over other lip products. The consistency was very smooth, light-to-medium in weight, non-sticky, and comfortable to wear. It had a plusher consistency that helped it stay out of most of my lip lines. The shimmer was moderate but noticeable, and it distributed evenly across the lips. They last about three hours on my lips but are hydrating.

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I think I just died a little. Cannot believe that I forgot all about Melt She’s In Parties Palette and Rare Beauty Lip Souffles. Or PML’s Divinyls, too. So many really solid performing lip products and workhorse palettes.

Thank you for compiling this list of ‘favourites’ Christine, it reminds us of all new brands and better products that are out there in the marketplace.
I would like the Dior New Look quint, the Shiseido lipstick in Sleeping Dragon and Sephora’s Autumn Blaze. Our Sephora hasn’t got the newer Lipstories lipsticks – whether it’s because of Covid and no supplies or they just aren’t selling them here, I don’t know.

Very true! It’s easy to forget what’s been released sometimes — too many good things to choose from!

I hope your Sephora gets the new #Lipstories shades soon!

They should do pretty well – especially if you gently blot on tissue or the back of your hand after the initial application, as they are more of a matte product. They do not have that full-on, flat-matte dry down instantly but will wear down to a more transfer-resistant matte finish over time (hence blotting to speed up that time!).

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!