Beauty Picks: What I Would Buy With a $500 Gift Card at Sephora

Sephora to me now is like what FAO Schwartz was like for me as a kid. It’s a wonderland of all things beauty. I have a vivid memory of my mom returning from a trip to Paris when I was a teen, telling me all about this amazing beauty store she visited called “Sephora” and how much I would love it. Then she gifted me a bottle of French perfume (my mom always knew what kind of fragrances I liked and is the only person who could buy them for me which was odd since she smoked and didn’t have the best sense of smell).

Fast forward a few years and I had the opportunity to travel to France for a few weeks one summer with friends and was able to experience Sephora for myself. I had never seen anything like it and remember my friends eventually  dragging me out. Back then Sephora gave out tons of samples and I loved trying new products I had never heard of. When I moved to Chicago in 2001 there was a Sephora walking distance from my apartment. I spent way too many hours wandering around that store on many a Sunday afternoon. I was obsessed. And I still am. There is something about Sephora that catches me…and my wallet.

What Would I Buy With $500 at Sephora?

Surprisingly I would not blow my entire $500 gift card on an expensive bottle of perfume (besides, Barneys NY was my favorite store for fragrance, now replaced by Bergdorf’s) or a Dyson Airwrap (did you get one yet?) I would prefer to leave with a bag full of goodies. Sephora always has the latest and greatest so I would try a few new products and stock up on some tried and true.


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Here is what I would buy with a $500 Gift Card to Sephora.

LANEIGE Divine Lip Duo Set sephora beauty pick fountainof30

LANEIGE Divine Lip Duo Set, $22

If you are as addicted to lip “stuff” as much I am you will love LANEIGE so grab this limited-edition two-piece set which includes their best-selling products: Lip Glowy Balm in Berry and Lip Sleeping Mask in Peppermint. Your dry lips will be kissably smooth in no time! I leave these on my nightstand.

spehora pro berush set fountainof30 pick

Sephora Collection PRO 8-Piece Face & Eye Brush Set, $95

A makeup artist friend once told me Sephora makes some of the best pro makeup brushes. It’s their own brand. So I would snag this set of 8 brushes that has a $200 value for just under $100. The set includes a brushes for foundation, powder, blush, highlighter, concealer, shadow, crease and brow plus it comes with a vegan leather pouch.

Kosas Glow I.V. Vitamin-Infused Skin Illuminating Enhancer fountainof30

Kosas Glow I.V. Vitamin-Infused Skin Illuminating Enhancer, $38

Looking for that glow you lost years ago? I found it! This clean vitamin-infused skin liquid instantly activates a lit-up glow. It’s not a foundation but does come in 10 shades which means there is one perfect for your skintone. You will look sun-kissed instantly but not too sparkly.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer sephora beauty pick

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, $100

As soon as I tried this moisturizer on the back of my hand at Sephora I had to have it. It’s that good and I don’t say that about many moisturizers. It’s packed with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamins C and E. Your skin will look instantly softer, smoother and plumper. It’s a miracle of sorts. In fact, I might grab the extra large jar.

Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt® Shaping Stick fountainof30

Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt® Shaping Stick, $30

As I have gotten older I have come to depend on a really good contour to fake high cheekbones. And what I love most about this one, isn’t just the color and formula but the hidden buffing brush on the other side (which you can remove and wash). Comes in 6 beautiful shades.

Olaplex Vibrant Shine Healthy Hair Kit fountainof30 pick

Olaplex Vibrant Shine Healthy Hair Kit, $38

If you ever have the opportunity to stock up on Olaplex I say DO IT! This line was developed for super damaged hair. It works on a molecular level by restoring the hair’s broken bonds which can result from harsh chemical treatments like bleaching and coloring. This limited-edition value kit is a great way to try the brand or take it for travel. It contains a mini No. 3 Hair Perfector™, No. 4C Bond Maintenance® Clarifying Shampoo, No. 6 Bond Smoother®, and No. 7 Bonding Oil™ to restore strength and shine to all hair types. 

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam best beauty sephora fountainof30

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam, $38

This gentle gel cleanser intensely cleanses pores yet leaves skin feeling hydrated. It’s one of my faves.

Dr. Dennis Gross DermInfusions serum fountainof30

Dr. Dennis Gross DermInfusions™ Fill + Repair Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, $75

OK, I am not going to say this is as good as filler (which is the claim) but it is a really good serum. It plumps and firms skin while restoring skin’s moisture barrier function with an intense boost from Hyaluronic Acid. It also contains 4 Peptide Proteins, Niacinamide and Ectoin.

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream sephora shopping fountainof30

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Firming & Lifting Eye Cream, $56

This is one of the best eye creams I have tried in years! I could not love it more. And trust me, I am a tough judge of eye cream. This award-winning eye cream instantly lifts and firms, diminishing fine lines and brightening the entire eye area. Yes, it’s expensive but you’re wroth it. Besides, you have this gift card.

TOTAL $492

With the extra $8 browse the Sephora Collection makeup section and grab whatever catches your eye. Like maybe a brow shaper pencil, a foot mask or a lip gloss. Or save it for the next time you go back…and you know you will.

Lauren Dimet Waters Signature

Read some of my other anti-aging beauty posts like Splurge Vs. Steal: The Best Anti-Aging Skincare Edition and The Best of The Best in Anti-Aging Foundations from $10 to $50.

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