18 Clever Hacks We Learned From Sephora Reviews
Allow us to unveil what we at Byrdie HQ describe as a “Sephora black hole.” You’re going about your business, catching up on your daily beauty reading, and you find a product that catches your attention. You click the product to shop it, and you land on Sephora.com. You check out the ingredients list, the description, and scroll down to read the reviews section. Fast-forward half an hour, and you’re suddenly on page 20, ravenously consuming every word of every review and taking it as gospel—after all, these are real women (your very own peers) who have no reason to cushion their feedback. Hours later, you’ve finally made up your mind, and you excitedly either add the product to your cart or click out of the screen, relieved your fellow beauty aficionados warned you the buzzy pick was just subpar. Resume this cycle every few days; repeat as needed.
If this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. As beauty editors, we get to try so many products firsthand—yet we constantly find ourselves reading reviews online to see if other people’s reactions match our own, or if the product only worked for our specific skin type or hair texture. Along the way, we started noticing something: There are some smart beauty tips in the reviews section. And we’re talking truly ingenious and clever—these aren’t your average run-of-the-mill, universally known hacks. Some of them have changed our lives—our wallets are forever grateful for the self-tanner wipe tip—which is why we’ve compiled some of our favorites in one place for you, dear reader. From primer-mixing to a clumpy mascara cure, keep scrolling for 18 of the best beauty hacks from Sephora’s reviews section!
Kate Somerville 360° Tanning Towelettes ($48)
The user: harmony1977
The hack: If self-tanning towelettes are your jam, you’ll be glad you know this tip: Harmony1977 says she cuts these luxe towelettes into four to six smaller squares and stores them in a Ziploc bag. That way, you can use each small piece one at a time for your body and face, and store what you don’t use. This tip is also perfect if you prefer your faux tan a deeper color—use half, store the rest, and follow up with another application the following day.
Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation ($62)
The user: katedoggg
The hack: People swear by spray foundations for their dewy, even coverage—and the fact that you can spray them directly on your face without blending. However, it can get a little messy, which is why user katedoggg suggests using a damp Beauty Blender ($20) to apply Dior’s version instead. The effect is sheerer and more natural—perfect for days when you don’t need a full-coverage finish.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow ($22)
The hack: Any thick-browed girl is lost without her brow gel, and people rave about Make Up for Ever’s version. But there are secret ways to use this brow gel in your beauty routine. User jem1 says she applies it over her brow pencil to lock it in all day, and then over her mascara to prevent raccoon eyes. Meanwhile, melissa929 says she uses it to tame flyaways and baby hairs along her forehead, especially when pulling her hair into a ponytail. Genius.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($32)
The user: nicnacbeauty
The hack: Smashbox says you can use this magical spray three ways—to prime your face, to set your makeup, and to refresh your makeup throughout the day—but user nicnacbeauty says she uses it a fourth way, too. “I also use it by spraying a little on my brush before putting on my foundation, and it works like a charm,” she says in her review. She swears this helps the product lock in her makeup all day—and we’ll be trying it out immediately.
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($24)
The user: MacBeth7
The hack: It’s no secret we’re obsessed with Urban Decay’s various Eyeshadow Primers ($24)—and so is the majority of the beauty world. Only thing is, the toothpaste-like packaging means there’s often a lot left over that we can’t squeeze out. Luckily, Sephora user MacBeth7 has a genius solution: Once you near the end of your supply, take scissors and cut off the bottom of the tube, scoop out everything inside, and store it in an old eye cream jar.
Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($32)
The user: JuneViolet
The hack: Whether or not you’re a fan of cleansing oils, you should probably add one to your beauty routine. Why? Because you can use it for facial massage, obviously. JuneViolet says she uses Josie Maran’s version not to wash her face, but to massage her face for 20 minutes each night. “I recommend you do this at least three times a week,” she says. “It’s the secret to never-aging skin.” For a visual guide, we’ve got you covered with four anti-aging exercises to do instead of facelifts.
Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat ( $18 ) ($9)
The user: Wombatsma
The hack: Nothing is more satisfying than painting your final layer of high-shine topcoat after a painstaking self-manicure. That glory can be short-lived, however, when your nail polish starts cracking a few days later. Wombatsma has an easy solution: Just wait until the following day to apply your top coat. This will ensure your nails are completely dry and prevent any shrinking and peeling after applying the topcoat.
Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($35)
The user: courtneyolsen
The hack: People rave about Kat Von D’s cult foundation for its full-coverage, last-all-day finish, but—as with all full-coverage foundations—you run the risk of a slightly cakey finish. User courtneyolsen says she remedies this by mixing the brand’s water-based Lock-It Featherweight Primer ($32) with the foundation. “It helps thin out the thick foundation and gives a beautiful finish,” she says. “It also lasts me about 14 hours without oxidation, separation, or oiliness.”
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Hair Mist ($53)
The user: girloncanvas
The hack: Ever find that your hair perfume either makes your ends greasy or gets overpowering, smell-wise? Try this trick girloncanvas shared: spray it underneath your hair, near the nap of your neck. That way, your body heat will allow the scent to lightly disperse without leaving a super-strong perfume trail (a good tip if you’re planning on wearing hair perfume at the office or during the day).
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38)
The user: SherryLovesMkup
The hack: If your setting powder has a tendency to sit in the creases underneath your eyes, try this trick from SherryLovesMkup: "Apply the powder very lightly to your finger and pat the powder into the under eye area with the pad of your finger!" This will help provide a smooth application with no concerns of settling.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($20)
The user: review1219
The hack: Say goodbye to the days of your eyeliner drying out. Review1219 suggests storing it upside down to coax every last bit of product out. And, as an added bonus, this method will help you avoid "the dry out from one eye to the next that some complain about."
Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter ($37)
The user: missasweetheart
The hack: In order to avoid mess and excess powder when perfecting your highlight, missasweetheart recommends using a synthetic brush sprayed with some setting spray. This will help create a more accurate application, so you don't end up looking a little too shimmery.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($38)
The user: princeofcats
The hack: This luminizer is quite versatile, especially due to its moisturizing effect. User princeofcats likes to use it on lips for a balmy and shimmery effect. "I sometimes tap it on as a gloss if I'm wearing a stain and not a lipstick. It's not glossy exactly, but adds a touch of depth. I really have no regrets about buying this."
CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops ($42)
The user: anisamk
The hack: These highly pigmented drops are meant to be added to your products for a completely customizable effect. Anisamk likes to use them with a primer but also suggests trying them under foundation "for a subtle, lit-from-within glow." And for more color, "Tap on areas you want to highlight before applying foundation for a little more intensity." The possibilities are endless.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($179)
The user: Stylist430
The hack: This cult-favorite can be upgraded in a simple way: Forgo applying with a cotton pad. This will help stop any product from being absorbed by the pad before it gets to your face. "Place a few drops (3-4) on the palms of your hands and press the product into the skin of your face and neck," suggests Stylist430.
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask ($52)
The user: thefox
The hack: A unique, cooling texture makes this mask a sensorial experience not only for dull skin, but to revitalize eye areas as well. "I don't only use it as a mask, but also under my eyes when I have puffiness," explains user thefox. And, for an even more cooling sensation, try sticking it in the fridge before using.
This story was originally published on August 28, 2015.
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