Temptalia's Sephora Favorites | 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Our Sephora Favorites

Last week, I polled readers via Twitter about retailer-specific gift guides, and here we are with one of two for Sephora! I shared my limited edition, holiday picks earlier, and this gift guide focuses on a mix of specific shades that I particularly enjoyed over the last year (that are permanent) along with my personal, go-to formulas.

I’ve also done gift guides for: best blushes, best highlighters, best palettes, best eyeshadows, best lipsticks, best lipglosses, and best brushes (generally) that focus on permanent products.


Natasha Denona Sunset

Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.20 oz.) includes 15 eyeshadows in various warm-toned hues–a lot of red/orange-toned coppers, oranges, and browns–with a mix of matte, shimmer, and sparkle finishes. Read full review.

Availability
Sephora

Anastasia St. Tropez

St. Tropez is a deep, pink-plum base with strong, contrasting gold shimmer throughout. It had more of a metallic finish because of how intense the... Read full review.

Availability
Sephora

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25.00 for 0.01 oz.) is a smooth, gel-like pencil eyeliner with excellent adhesion to the lash line as well as the waterline and long-wear. Some of my favorites are: Peridot, Brown(out), Ody(sea), Intro(vert), and Blacquer.

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Sephora

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon

Marc Jacobs Beauty Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25.00 for 0.01 oz.) is just as pigmented, long-wearing, and easy-to-apply as the original Highliner range but in a matte finish. Some of my favorites are: Whirl(pool), Fine(wine), (Grape)vine, and Out of the Blue.

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Sephora

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil ($10.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of my favorite, go-to eyeliner formulas. They’re pigmented, comfortable to apply, long-wearing, and come in a variety of shades. There are only a few formulations I keep on my vanity, and this is one of them! Some of my favorites are: Fairytale, Good Mood, Suede Shoes, Flirting Game, and Go For a Ride.

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Sephora

Urban Decay Love Drunk

Love Drunk is a deep red with cool, pink undertones and a satin sheen. This is a newly released, permanent shade, which I just reviewed in the last... Read full review.

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Sephora

Anastasia Aurora

Anastasia Aurora Glow Kit ($40.00 for 0.90 oz.) includes six, sparkling highlighters that are supposed to have a "metallic" finish for "intense... Read full review.

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Sephora

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush

Marc Jacobs Air Blush ($42.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new formula for the year, but it is permanent and, surprisingly, quite good. The brand actually made a rather extravagant claim for wear, but it lived up to it better than anticipated–14 to 16 hour wear was definitely possible for me. They had good color coverage that was blendable and sat well on the skin. There are only five shades presently, but here’s hoping for a greater variety in selection in 2017! Some of my favorite shades are Flesh & Fantasy and Lines & Last Night.

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Sephora

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of those formulas that is just easy to use–the silky, incredibly finely-milled consistency makes short work out of blending and diffusing a chosen shade on the skin. The shade range is rather extensive now, too, which is nice; some pops of color with a lot of more neutral, everyday kind of shades are available. Some of my favorite shades are De Cherubique, Coup de Genie, Parfait, and La Vie En Rose.

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Sephora

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush ($23.00 for 0.12 oz.) is well-worth checking out if you have more mid-tone blush colors paired with pearly, luminous finishes. The finish is what draws me in with this formula, because it sits well on the skin–lightly glowing but never emphasizing. The consistency is smooth, dense, and blendable on the skin. Some of the shades I’ve been reaching for often (at least, more recently) are: Black Honey Pop, Peach Pop, Ginger Pop, Fig Pop, and Rosy Pop.

Availability
Sephora

Anastasia Modern Renaissance

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette ($42.00 for 0.35 oz.) includes 14 eyeshadows that come in a mix of warmer neutrals and pops of pink/red.  The one that started the avalanche that has become warm, red, rosy, and orange-toned palettes in the last year but still just as good today as it was when it launched!

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Sephora

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (Discontinued)

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow ($21.00 for 0.08 oz.) still remains my very favorite powder eyeshadow formula. I’m particularly fond of their more shimmery and satin finishes, though their mattes are nice (but they aren’t as dense, and I love a denser, creamier eyeshadow). Their are over 200 shades to choose from, so you can imagine it is hard to pick favorites, but here are swatches of some of my must-haves!

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Sephora

KVD Beauty Metal Crush Eyeshadow

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brilliant powder eyeshadow for those who like rich, shimmery formulas with intense pigmentation and long wear. I really like how well they adhere to bare lids while still being blendable and easy to work with. Some of my favorite shades are: Thrasher, Thunderstruck, Iggy, and Synergy.

Availability
Sephora

Anastasia Eyeshadow

Anastasia Eyeshadow ($12.00 for oz.) are available as pans only, which can be put into any freestyle palette system or if you purchase four (or eight), you’ll get a palette from Anastasia (and I love their quad–very sturdy and travel-friendly). Their Titanium finish is my favorite, because it’s a denser, almost cream-like formula with rich pigmentation and good adherence to the lid. I also like a lot of their newer mattes, which are soft, smooth, and blendable while still being pigmented. Check out our list of the top 25 best Anastasia eyeshadows!

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Sephora

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a very pigmented–typically opaque with one pass–formula with a few shades being semi-opaque but usually buildable. The majority of the shades I’ve tested have been lightly hydrating to non-drying and fairly comfortable to wear for the long-haul. They wear longer than average, from four to eight hours, depending on the intensity and propensity of the shade to stain. The range is rather extensive, so you may find our top 15 best Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks list useful. Some of my favorite shades are: Pickled Ginger, Kale, Sour Cherry, and Spritzer.

Availability
Sephora

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amouse Bouche Liquified Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a liquid lipstick with a natural finish (so not a flat matte finish!) that has rich color payoff, long-wear, and a hydrating formula. Some of my favorite shades are:  Chutney, Candied, Braised, Chiffonade, and Infuse.

Availability
Sephora

NARS Audacious Lipstick

NARS Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is supposed to be a richly pigmented, creamy, hydrating, and long-wearing formula. In my experience, the formula is typically opaque in a single stroke, lightweight, moderately to very creamy with four to six hour wear. It feels lightly hydrating to mostly non-drying overall. There is no noticeable scent or taste, and they are very comfortable to wear. Some of my favorite shades are: Apoline, Natalie, Anna, and Audrey.

Availability
Sephora

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is an incredibly smooth, lightly creamy formula with opaque coverage that are long-wearing but extremely comfortable and easy to apply. I have only tried six shades in the range, but I loved Madame Greige, Beautiful Creature, Major Red, and Sorry Not Sorry.

Availability
Sephora

Huda Beauty Lip Strobe

Huda Beauty Lip Strobe ($18.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is a shimmering, hydrating gloss that wears four to five hours available in sheer to opaque shades with a mirror-like shine. Some of my favorite shades are: Angelic, Fearless, and Saucey.

Availability
Sephora

NARS Velvet Lip Glide

NARS Velvet Lip Glide ($26.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a hybrid between lipstick and lipgloss that is hydrating, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. They have stronger color payoff, a non-tacky consistency, and a smoothness to their consistency that is a lot like a good lipstick, while they have a plusher, thicker texture that gives lips a plumper, fuller look along with a glossy sheen that is more like a gloss. Some of my favorite shades are: Unspeakable, La Maine Bleue, and Bound.

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Sephora

Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre

Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is is a light-medium thick, tacky gloss that feels very smooth going on and holds on well, even when the coverage is on the sheerer side. This gloss lasted for four hours and was somewhat hydrating while worn. I like the more shimmery shades in the range, which have great shine and sparkle. Soigne is one of my favorites from the shades I’ve tried.

Availability
Sephora

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Mariella Avatar

I’m always happy to see the Sephora Contour Pencils getting some recognition. They are SO good and so affordable and often much better quality than pencils costing 2 or 3 times as much. I just wish they hadn’t discontinued a few of the shades, like Snakeskin Dress (the pencil, not the eyeshadow).

Mariella Avatar

I know – I feel sort of the same and if they discontinue Diving in Malaysia, I’ll have to get several backups if they make it into the sale (sometime they simply VANISH but do turn up in the Sale section but months later!). And they’ve also discontinued some of their quite new and really lovely eyeshadows (many are still in the “Sale” section but not available in-store, which is what I prefer at any time). I don’t know if it’s because they’re not real “movers” because a lot of folks don’t realize just how good they are or what the cause is.

Seraphine Avatar

I get a lot of emails from makeup companies in my inbox every day. Today I received one from Estee Lauder that announced Kendall Jenner’s holiday picks. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I can’t stand that whole family. Jenner/Kardashian is not a selling point for me…quite the opposite. On the other hand, I depend on Temptalia—both Christine and her readers—for well-thought out, helpful reviews and opinions. Just needed to say this.

There’s so much good stuff on this Sephora Favorites list!! There are several items that I’m hoping to get one day, and a few I didn’t know about, like the Sephora pencils, that I’ll have to check out.

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!