beauty

We asked Sephora employees for the best products to buy (and which ones to pass on).

If you're anything like me (oh hello! Love the hair), you quite like having a nosy into other people's beauty routines. A peep inside their beauty bag. A pervy glance into what they buy when they're trawling through the beauty aisles.

I know I do. I love speaking to celebrities/doctors/makeup artists/my postman, and asking them what they spend their money on. The kind of products they love. What they don't love.

Why? Because it's fun knowing what products other people rate – especially experts.

Watch: Here's me putting 10 layers of foundation on my face because TikTok. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Because when you're wandering around a giant beauty heaven like Sephora and you're feeling overwhelmed as hell and worried you're about to drop a whole heap of money on the wrong thing (gosh there's nothing worse), chances are you'll turn to one of the beauty advisors (who are usually trained makeup artists or skin experts) and ask them for their recommendation.

More often than not, they'll tell you to ditch whatever 'viral' product you're clutching and instead reach for something they genuinely recommend and use themselves.

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So, you know what I thought would be cool? Asking Sephora employees what they would actually spend their own money on.

I sent an anonymous survey and asked five Sephora beauty advisors to answer a series of rather pokey questions.

Can confirm: They DELIVERED.

Here's what we found out.

The most-requested products in Sephora.

Rare Beauty Liquid Blush, Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, Makeup By Mario Master Matte Palette. Credit: Sephora/Canva. 

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Told you this would be pervy!!

According to our survey, the Rare Beauty Liquid Blush, $41, is the most requested product in Sephora, followed by the famous Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $31, and the Makeup By Mario Master Matte Palette, $83.

As someone who has tried all three of these products (you'll have to bury me with the sleeping mask), I can honestly say they are really, very good.

Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty Liquid Blushes are highly pigmented (you only need a teeny bit because it goes a really long way!), creamy and ultra-blendable, giving your makeup look the most perfect fresh pop of colour.

The Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask makes my lips feel way softer, comfier and more hydrated (the hype is justified IMHO), and the Makeup By Mario Master Matte Palette is super versatile and the perfect base to create both natural and smokey eyeshadow looks. 

So, I totally get it.

Also on the most-requested list were Dior Lip Oil, $62, and Fenty Lip Gloss 'Hot Choc Lit', $40 – both amazing lip formulas that give you high shine, without the stickiness.

The best foundation in Sephora.

Dior Forever Glow Foundation, Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Matte Foundation, Beauty Blender BOUNCE Always on Radiant Skin Tint Foundation, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear and Glow Foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF10 Foundation. Credit: Sephora/Camva. 

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The most highly endorsed foundation was the Dior Forever Glow Foundation, $99, which also happened to be the most expensive out of all the formulas. Interesting!

This is a full-to-medium coverage number, which is also surprising given the recent explosion of sheer, barely-there formulas on the market. But judging by the 4.7 stars on the Sephora AU website, there's no question it's a popular choice for customers.

Following Dior's popular formula, other highly rated favourites from Sephora staff were the Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Matte Foundation, $66, and Beauty Blender BOUNCE Always on Radiant Skin Tint Foundation, $47 – which honestly kinda surprised me?!

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The very popular Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear and Glow Foundation, $69, and Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF10 Foundation, $74, also made the list, which was less surprising – these two are iconic formulas that makeup artists and beauty editors love for a reason.

The beauty brands that always sell out.

Rare Beauty, Laneige, Fenty beauty, Makeup Forever, Patrick Ta, Makeup by Mario. Credit: Sephora/Canva.

A whopping five out of five employees told us that the one brand that was the most requested and always sold out was Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty, which is exclusively sold in Sephora. No surprises here! Good products will do that...

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Following Rare Beauty, another three out of five Sephora employees told me that beauty brand Laneige is also always sold out. While it's known for the cult lip mask, the Korean beauty brand has also since expanded into skincare, anchored on hydration.

Also included on the 'always sold out' list are brands like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, Makeup Forever, Makeup by Mario, Patrick Ta and Huda Beauty. Yep, ALL of the good stuff!

Products that don't live up to the hype.

Credit: Sephora/eBay/iHerb/Canva.

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When it comes to the viral products that don't live up to the hype (yep, we're going there), two out of the five responses included Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, $59, in their responses – which hurts my soul because Rihanna can do no wrong!

However, if you're dropping nearly 60 bucks on a foundation, you're going to want to make sure it's right for you — so let this be a reminder to pop in-store and swatch before ordering it online. While it's a sheerer formula, I really rate Fenty Beauty Skint Tint, if you're looking for an alternative.

Also on the hit list? The cult Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $51. And honestly, same. Controversial! But this is one of those products that some people love and some people hate – and I think it really comes down to your skin type.

The popular Pixie and Milk Makeup were other brands that came up as over-hyped (eep!), with one employee saying that for them, Huda Beauty Easy Bake Pressed Powder, $56, doesn't really live up to the buzz on social media.

Another employee said Kayali Perfume (also by Huda Beauty) was similarly overrated. 

Interesting!

So, there you go friends. Just because you see something all over TikTok doesn't mean it's actually great. As one beauty advisor put it, "Invest in key quality products that will work for you over just buying the next fad."

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What a Sephora employee would spend their discount on.

Rare Beauty, Makeup Forever, Milk Makeup, Biossance, Goldfield & Banks, Glasshouse Fragrances. Credit: Sephora/Canva.

When asked what products the beauty advisors would actually spend their own money on, the majority of our Sephora wizards said they'd use their discount to buy – you guessed it – Rare Beauty products. Everything from the uber-popular blushes to the lip liner and foundation were all favourite picks.

Makeup Forever also topped the list, with three out of five responses including the makeup artist-loved brand. (PS. the primers are next level).

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Also on the list was Makeup By Mario (ICYMI, this brand is by Mario Dedivanovic – Kim Kardashian's makeup artist!), specifically including the contours and blushes (so much yes).

Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta's brand (Selena Gomez is one of his clients) was also up there as one Sephora beauty advisors would actually purchase and use themselves.

Milk Makeup, Fenty Beauty and Biossance also joined the employee wishlist (which explains why the super-popular Biossance Squalane + Retinol Night Serum is always out of stock!).

On the fragrance front, one beauty advisor said they'd spend on any of the Goldfield & Banks fragrances (my personal favourite is Blue Cypress!), along with anything from Glasshouse Fragrances (DROOL).

So juicy! 

As one Sephora employee reminded us, "There are a lot of unknown and underestimated brands. There's also a lot more online than in-store. It's easy to find hidden gems on the website!"

At Mamamia, we independently curate and write about products we rave about in our group chats and think you should know about too. If you purchase a product we have recommended, we may earn a small commission.

Have you tried any of the above beauty products before? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Sephora/Canva/Getty.

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