Sephora's Beauty Director Shares the Holy-Grail Contents of Her Shopping Cart
If you were to analyze my sweat as a product-obsessed beauty editor and hoarder (my vanity, desk, and car have officially reached maximum capacity), you'd probably discover the elemental ratio as follows: 50% coffee, 25% water, and 25% essence of Sephora. Despite the fact that countless brands and retailers send me products daily, nothing gets my heart racing in excitement more than entering the magical realm of Sephora—be it online or in person. It's been my favorite shopping pit stop since middle school when I first discovered beauty products, and I have a hunch it will remain my favorite until my dying day.
Currently, Sephora (which debuted in North America back in 1998) has over 460 stores across the Americas, and that's not including an additional 660 locations tucked inside JCPenney locations. Impressive, right? Sephora stores open at a fairly rapid rate globally, and earlier this year, the retailer announced it will be expanding its U.S. trajectory with 35 new locations—one being a clutch location in the heart of Palm Springs, which opened two weeks ago.
Since I'm based in L.A., just a hop, skip, and jump away from the beloved vacation destination, I was lucky enough to be invited by Sephora to visit the new store and check out its offering of endless beauty options, which includes roughly 25,000 products from more than 400 of its carefully curated brands. Another cool perk? I had access to makeup artist and Sephora Beauty Director Myiesha Sewell, who has been in the cosmetic industry for more than 11 years and with Sephora since 2007. In other words, she knows her shit when it comes to beauty and could walk us through Sephora's product abyss with her eyes closed while hopping on one foot.
So obviously, I had to be nosy and ask Sewell what her all-time favorite products are—the must-have makeup, hair, skincare, and wellness picks she'd immediately put in her shopping cart if given free buying range at the new Palm Springs store. Curious for her all of her insider faves? Keep scrolling! You may want to grab your credit card.
Skincare & Wellness Picks
"I find mists incredibly refreshing, and they are a great way to give my skin light doses of moisture throughout the day. I will admit I may be a little addicted. I mist myself constantly!
"This one from Glow Recipe is one of my faves. It smells incredible, balances the skin, and combats that dry look you may get after touching up your makeup with powder. Something I love about Glow Recipe is the careful selection of ingredients that make their products so skin-type inclusive. Watermelon is known for its natural hydrating properties, hibiscus extract contains natural AHAs that smooth texture, and apple cider vinegar helps to balance excess oils. All these ingredients work together to create the ultimate crowd-pleasing spritz."
"Hydration is the solution to so many skin and makeup woes, no matter your skin type. I have oily skin, but I dehydrate easily due to my eczema, so this mask from Farmacy is my go-to when I need serious moisture. Honey is a humectant, like sugar or agave, which naturally draws in moisture. I also recommend exfoliating before you do any hydrating mask (shout-out to my bestie, the Kora Organics Turmeric 2-in-1 Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, $48, shown below!) and removing it with a warm washcloth for amazingly soft skin."
"I love using this to exfoliate my skin before I mask with the Farmacy Honey Potion above!"
"I recently jumped on the whole 'new year, new me' train and started making a conscious effort to take better care of myself. I definitely saw some great results and even lost a bit of weight, but I was still bloated. I found it difficult to find something for gut health that fit into my travel-full lifestyle. Everything I liked had to be refrigerated. That’s when I tried these digestive enzymes from Hum. My tummy was flatter, and the overall discomfort of bloat was reduced. These are a daily must for me. I even have everyone I know taking them because I love them so much!"
"A great introduction into the wellness life is this complete collection from Moon Juice. It gives you a chance to try six of their most popular blends of adaptogenic super-herbs so you can discover your favorite. As the name suggests, adaptogens adapt and give you what you need based on how your body handles stress. They’ll do something different for everyone, making it a cool, unique experience you can share with friends. They also make a great gift for your foodie friends because you can add them to your favorite treats.
"My current favorite concoction is a Dream Dust turmeric latte right before bed: Dream Dust, turmeric, raw honey, and warm almond milk. It’s calming, anti-inflammatory, and gives me the best night’s sleep."
"I’m 33, and I’ve been using firming eye creams since I was 19. I can’t say for sure that this is the reason I don’t have any wrinkles, but hey, I don’t have any wrinkles! I love the texture of this eye cream from Fresh because it’s super creamy, de-puffing, and wears well underneath makeup. The fermented black tea, or kombucha, it contains makes my eye area look smoother and immediately brighter."
"Every makeup artist has a weakness, and dark circles are certainly mine. It’s always this push-and-pull with covering them completely or dealing with an overly cakey under-eye; it’s a very delicate balance. This concealer from Charlotte Tilbury has been my saving grace in this department. I can perfectly conceal anything on the face with no cakiness or texture emphasized. It can even be used as a foundation in a pinch because of how seamless it is. The only explanation for how Magic Away Concealer works is Charlotte Tilbury being an actual magician. It’s magnificent!"
"I’m pretty selective when it comes to my lipsticks, especially my red lipsticks. Sephora Collection’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red 01 ($14) is the perfect shade of red. The color is truly universal, lasts all day, and the formula wears comfortably on the lips. I like to adjust the depth and undertone of it by using different lip liners to get a customized shade. My favorite pencil to pair it with is Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Limitless Brown ($18). It makes it more of a brick red that’s more harmonious with my warm undertones."
"I love to pair this lip pencil with Sephora Collection's red lip I mentioned above!"
"These Duo Chrome Top Coats from Natasha Denona are my secret weapons when I want to fool everyone into thinking I put a ton of effort into my makeup. The formula is a beautiful, creamy, translucent glitter that you can swipe on with your fingers. The duo chrome shades shift as you move, so everyone will be mesmerized by all the different shades they’ll see. The sheer formula can also be layered on top of a fully pigmented shadow or eyeliner for a totally different look."
"I’m an all-or-nothing kind of makeup wearer. It’s either full glam or sunscreen slathered on my bare face. But on those natural days, I do appreciate a nice feathery brow. I love using this gel from Anastasia Beverly Hills because I can get fully sculpted brows with just one product and a few swipes."
"Not only are these blushes from Kaja the most adorable way to apply blush, but they're also one of the most natural. The texture is weightless and blends beautifully onto cheeks for an incredibly skin-like flush. Saucy is a gorgeous all-purpose peachy-mauve, and Coy is a super-delicate, light peachy-pink shade that’s perfect to pair with a bold eye."
Hair & Fragrance Picks
"This product is a super-nourishing, balmy cream that really packs a punch as far as hydration goes. Its weight and texture make it ideal for naturally coarse hair, and a little goes a long way. It contains castor oil, olive oil, and vegetable glycerin, which are all ingredients my curly hair loves."
"I avoid the sun as much as I possibly can. I also try to take great care of my hair, so it didn't make sense that I was being inconsistent with SPF on my curls. This primer from Bumble and Bumble is a great way to ensure that I get adequate sun protection without weighing down my hair with unnecessary product. It also has heat protectant for those days that I diffuse my hair and six different oils to ensure hydration."
"This shampoo-and-conditioner duo takes some of the drudgery out of my long wash day. I typically steer clear of shampoos because they can be drying for my coarse hair, but this one from Briogeo is very gentle, lathers up beautifully, and smells amazing. Its conditioner counterpart is deeply hydrating and allows me to quickly detangle my hair while still in the shower."
"This Tonic Lotion from Bumble and Bumble is the natural hair girl's version of dry shampoo. The spray contains tea tree oil to refresh your hair, soothe your scalp, and rid your hair of unpleasant smells. It was actually formulated with men in mind as a styling primer, but it has been a staple of mine for years. It also works amazingly well for the itchy scalps that often accompany box braids."
"I came across this fragrance while doing a YouTube video for some of Sephora’s newest niche fragrances. I instantly fell in love with a scent that I didn't even know I needed. Berdoues perfectly captured the feeling of fragrant black tea leaves, citron, and sandalwood with Assam of India. It's incredible, and I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a teahouse every time I experience it."
Next up, see everything 2019 Carrie Bradshaw would (theoretically) buy from Sephora.