I'm a Beauty Director—See How I Would Spend $150 at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta
Spring and summer are just around the corner, and with a new season also comes an insatiable itch to mix up my beauty routine and restock some of my favorite products. Anyone else? That said, once I get busy scrolling at retailers like Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta, there's really no stopping me, and I have to put a cap on my spending.
So what would I do with $150 at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta? Keep scrolling. Below, I'm sharing a mix of the beauty standbys I love, plus some new products I have my eye on.
A new season always calls for a little fragrance refresh. Blackberry & Bay has been a longtime love of mine, but I especially gravitate toward it when the days are dewy, cool, and a tad overcast (basically every day in L.A. lately). The brand says the mix of blackberry, bay leaves, and cedarwood is meant to evoke "childhood memories of blackberry picking, stained lips, and sticky palms." I personally didn't go blackberry picking as a child, but I feel as if I did when I wear this.
For a just-bitten tint, this oldie-but-goodie is just it. I've tried so many other options over the years, and this is what I come back to again and again. I love that it dries down and really sinks into your lips for a lived-in look—like you've been sucking on a Popsicle or making out for hours.
If I could only burn one candle for the rest of my life, Boy Smells' Cameo would be it. Every single person who enters my apartment when I have it lit completely freaks out over how good it smells. It's so well balanced and appeals to my guy friends and girlfriends alike. It's hard to describe, but the amalgamation of crystallized ginger, rose, tuberose, vanilla, white woods, and musk just can't be beaten. Boy Smells, I'm dying for it as a fine fragrance!
I have become completely devoted to Vacation's nostalgic SPF formulas. The packaging is positively delightful, as is the iconic "summer in a bottle" smell, but the products themselves really are so fantastic. With spring and summer around the corner, I plan on hoarding about five bottles.
I have serious lash FOMO because every beauty editor I know lately has said this has become their absolute favorite mascara. So yes, it's currently at the top of my "need to have" list at Sephora.
The TikTok buzz is real, guys! I can no longer do my makeup or morning skincare routine without pumping a few drops of this glass-skin elixir into my daily moisturizer. It gives you this juicy and dewy bounce and gleam to your skin sans sparkle. You won't be able to stop staring at your face!
Not only does this lightweight hair oil smell absolutely amazing, but it's also done wonders for my dry, often straw-like ends. Before a wash day, I like to douse my strands—mid-lengths to ends—with it before carrying on with my day. I use it like a treatment (it's also a great tool for sleek styles), and my hair is so much shinier and more velvety because of it.
Finally! A clean setting spray that is every bit as effective as the non-clean formula I've used for years (I won't name names) without the cringe-inducing ingredients. I have loved everything Caliray has put out, but this yummy hydrating mist is at the top of my list.
If you saw the TikTok of our beauty editor Katie Berohn getting her cheekbones dusted with this brand-new blush from Haus Labs, you, too, would have every single shade sitting in your Sephora cart.
This French thermal spring water from Avène is a morning and evening staple for me. After cleansing, I lightly shower my skin with this so the products I apply afterward can really do their thing and efficiently soak into my skin.
I love my freckles, and while I try to keep my foundation and concealer application light across my nose and cheeks, I like having this freckle pen handy to "re-pop," if you will, one of my favorite traits. I've tried all of the freckle products out there, and this one is my favorite since it gives me lots of control.
I'm keen on beauty sleep, but beauty sleep wasn't so keen on me until I started sipping this calming and relaxation-inducing elixir from Moon Juice in the evenings before bed. It contains L-theanine (what I've personally dubbed as nature's Xanax) and three different bioavailable forms of magnesium. In addition to better sleep and less anxiety, it helps to "keep things moving," if you know what I mean, and mitigate gnarly PMS symptoms.
If you're looking for a sign not to spend more than $5 on your lip liner, this smooth, pigment-packed one from Nyx is it. I'm constantly adding more shades to my collection.
I have been obsessed with this sheet mask ever since it launched a couple of years back. When I want smoother, softer, brighter skin instantly, these are what I reach for. They're made from a no-slip hydrogel, and they really do help flatten and erase anything uneven or bumpy happening on my face. Fun fact: This mask uses graphene technology, which essentially syncs with your body heat so that your skin is better able to accept and absorb complexion-improving ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, niacinamide, allantoin, and hyaluronic acid.
If you're applying sunscreen every day—which you should be—it's probably one of the beauty products you work your way through the fastest. Therefore, the cheaper, the better, but we don't want to sacrifice quality. This 100% mineral formula from Bliss first stood out to me thanks to the influx of rave reviews, and once I tried it for myself, I understood the hype. It gives your skin a dreamy kick of moisture and glow without looking greasy, and the tint vanishes seamlessly. It's also one of the few face sunscreens that absolutely doesn't break me out, even if I sweat in it.
I've been loving the tinted-lip-balm boom that's been happening recently, and while there are so many great options on the market right now, I'm partial to these ones from About-Face. They're $15 a pop and ultra-pigmented, and they have a just-right hint of shine. I'm very into a blurry '90s red/brown lip right now, and this shade called The Cranberries (so apt, right?) satisfies the craving.
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