Here she is: my ultimate Sephora buying guide, Part III: Hair, Body, and Fragrance! I have personally tried and loved every single thing on this list; they are tried and true! I’m sharing new loves and long time favorites. And, the sale is upon us!
Rouge 20% off - 10/30-11/9
VIB 15% off - 11/3-11/9
Insider 10% off - 11/5-11/9
A note on my hair type and preferences. I currently have short, color-treated hair, but until recently I had very long hair. My hair is naturally thick, straight, and coarse. I have an oily scalp. I've also had very bleached hair dyed many different colors, so I know what it takes to treat chemically-treated hair. I moisturize every day, so body and hand creams are a must! My fragrance preferences are fresh, citrus fragrances in the summer and warm, sexy woodsy musks in the winter. I love burning candles, which you'll see below.
Lastly, I encourage you all to shop intentionally and responsibly. While I love to indulge in beauty, I never want the consumerism to take over on any of my pages. You do not need to go into debt for beauty products. Also, 10-20% off does not include added tax. This is a precarious time in the world, so take extra good care of yourselves and your finances.
Table of Contents:
Hair Wash Products
Hair Treatments & Leave-In Products
Hair Tools & Accessories
Body Wash & Bath Products
Body Care, Hand Care, and Self-Tanners
*press samples (many of which I've also purchased or repurchased myself)
Disclosures - This page does use affiliate links.
Hair Wash Products
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo* — This is a really unique product. The Scalp Revival line is aimed at people with oily, itchy, or irritated scalps. This is sort of a hybrid product unlike others I’ve tried. It’s a fine scrub in a creamy shampoo base. It takes a bit of time to work into the scalp; it won’t foam up or dissolve right away. It’s a product I use as a treatment when I have dry shampoo buildup or itchy scalp. The peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oil feel cooling on the scalp and it gives me a really nice cleanse. I can go longer between washes when I use this stuff.
Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask* — I love the smell of this mask. It’s a creamy treatment that helps with shine and silkiness, especially for color-treated or damaged hair. I especially love this for long hair; it’s like a drink of moisture for the hair. It’s also a slightly lighter hair mask that doesn’t leave my hair too heavy or weighed down.
Olaplex 4 and 5 — 4 and 5 are Olaplex’s shampoo and conditioner. These two have actually changed the way my hair feels and looks while I’ve used them. The shine and softness I get from this duo is unreal. They are super concentrated and thick. Because of that, they take some to work it in, but it’s the only sulfate/SLS-free shampooconditioner I’ve used that actually lathers up to be creamy and bubbly the way I like. The shine and luster this imparts on my hair is so beautiful. Because of how rich these are, my scalp gets oilier a bit faster than with other products, but it never weighs my hair down so it’s worth it to me. Available in the Holiday Fix Kit (which is a fantastic value) and the Bond Repair Trial Kit.
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner — These are widely beloved for a reason. They leave my hair super silky, soft, and shiny. The kind of hair you want to run your fingers through. They also smell incredible; I wish this came in a perfume! I also love that these come in jumbo sizes.
Amika Soulfood Hair Mask* — This is thicker than the Briogeo, but equally potent and lush. It’s rich without being heavy. Super hydrating, and leaves my skin moisturized without weighing it down. A super creamy treatment for damaged hair. In all transparency, I am an Amika Affiliate. But, Soulfood is one product I purchased myself many times before I became an affiliate with the brand. It also smells like the signature Amika scent — warm vanilla, citrus, with a touch of spice.
Amika Bust Your Brass Blonde Purple Shampoo* and Conditioner* — This is Amika’s purple shampoo designed to counteract brassiness in blonde or dyed hair. It’s not the most potent shampoo I’ve ever used in terms of toning the hair and purple pigment, but it is the most pleasant. It maintains blonde highlights without going overboard and without stripping or drying out the hair. It’s also the only purple shampoo I’ve ever tried that that actually hydrates the hair while it works. Also one of the few sulfate free shampoos that actually foams up!
The conditioner is a great supplement to the shampoo. It also includes purple pigments in a rich, creamy base. It’s not the thickest conditioner, but that does make it easier to distribute through the hair. If I had to pick one, I’d go for the shampoo, but the duo works really well together! They’re both available in the Bust Your Brass Set.
Treatments and Leave-In Products
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Serum* — This is a scalp serum that has a cooling effect on the scalp. Apply to wet hair after washing. This uses the same active ingredients as the scalp scrub: peppermint, spearmint, charcoal, and tea tree oil. I’ve heard from people with dry scalps that this can be a bit drying. For me, however, it really soothes my oily scalp and helps me go longer between washes. It’s also available in the Scalp Revival Scalp Therapy Essentials Value Set.
Olaplex 3 — This is a treatment that is made for dry, damaged, dehydrated, chemically processed hair. It utilizes some science-y technology to help smooth broken hair bonds. The hair shaft at least appears and feels to be repaired: smoother, silkier, shinier. I highly recommend using this when you can leave it in for long periods of time, at least 45 mins! Just so your hair can soak up all the goodness. Available in the Holiday Fix Kit (which is a fantastic value) and the Bond Repair Trial Kit.
Amika The Wizard* — This is a multi-use hair primer and heat protector. I find that it’s a pretty rich formula, so it only takes 2-3 pumps for me with my shorter hair right now. I use this right after I wash my hair for detangling, and before heat-styling for protection. It also adds some shine and luster to the hair, thanks to the oils in the formula. I really enjoy the spray bottle this comes in, and I will probably reuse it for other hair products because it creates such a nice mist.
Kerastasse Discipline Anti Frizz Smoothing Spray — A smoothing spray designed to prevent frizz and protect hair from humidity, while adding heat protection. I don't live in a humid environment, so I can speak to this aspect directly, but I use this when I straighten my now shoulder-length bob to prevent frizz around the tips of my hair. I notice it adds shine and an overall flexibility to my hair, without adding weight.
Verb Ghost Oil — The most lightweight oil I’ve ever used in my hair. For a long time I was using a pure argan oil, which I do still love, but I found it a bit heavy with daily use. Verb’s ghost oil is truly invisible. It’s an argan oil/moringa oil blend, which maybe helps lighten the formula. It adds shine and hydrates the ends of my hair, and somehow also seems to straighten it. You only need a couple of drops. The bottle lasts forever! Also available in the Verb Weightless Shine Essentials Ghost Set.
Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil* — It's big news that Gisou is now available at Sephora. I'm a sucker for honey-infused anything, so I was really excited to have a chance to try this cult-favorite hair oil. I use this on wet or dry hair, just on the ends, to add some shine and smoothness. It is definitely an indulgence and not a necessity, but if you're looking to have a luxury hair moment, turn to this. The standard size is a 3.4 oz. bottle, which is actually a decent price per ounce, especially when you consider how little product you need to run through your hair.
It smells like a dream, which is why I've been lusting after their Hair Perfume! The oil is available in the Gisou Honey-Infused Haircare Set, which is a nice way to try a variety of products from the line. I've also really been enjoying the Gisou Propolis Infused Heat Protecting Spray*!
Living Proof Dry Shampoo — This has been my favorite dry shampoo for at least 7 years. I am never without it. Other dry shampoos work for a little while, or even decently well, but the Living Proof dry shampoo feels like it cleans my hair. It actually looks and feels cleaner after I use it. I have an oily scalp so I need something that will really soak that up, and I turn to this. I can also use this multiple days in a row with minimal buildup, which I really appreciate. I do use a clarifying shampoo every couple of weeks to address product buildup, anyways. I always buy the jumbo size because I use this a couple of times a week, and nothing else works quite like this. Also available in a set with a mini, and in the Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo & Full Volume Blast Set.
IGK First Class Dry Shampoo* — Hear me out. This is a desperate times dry shampoo. For those days when you can't possibly be bothered to wash your hair, but you know you need something hardcore. It is a dry shampoo that will make your hair look like first or second day hair: clean,full, voluminous. But, the tradeoff is that I absolutely need to wash my hair after I use this for a day, otherwise I feel the product in my hair and it can be tough to brush through. Also available in the Detox Dry Shampoo Set.
Hair Tools & Accessories
Amika High Tide Deep Waver* — The waved hair look is very in right now, and the Amika High Tide Deep Waver is such an easy way to achieve that look! I really enjoy the size of the waves in this tool. They’re not so small that the hair looks crimped, but they’re also large enough to give you a beauty wavy look. You can also adjust the style of the wave depending on how you use the tool. On low heat, it will give you a very loose wave. On higher heat, it will give you a more defined wavy look. It’s a larger tool in terms of width, so I’d only recommend this for shoulder length hair or longer.
Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush* — The Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush has come along to solve some of those problems for me. It’s a lightweight, round barrel blow dryer brush that has 3 settings: cool, low, and high. There are a few design elements here I really appreciate. The most important thing to me is that it is lightweight. My arms didn’t get tired using this at all. I also love that the barrel is oval-shaped in circumference. It helps build tension as you are rolling out your hair from root to tip. Sometimes I find that with round brushes, my naturally straight, slippy Korean hair just slides right off. I prefer to air dry my hair about halfway before styling with the Hair Blow Dryer Brush. It’s available now in the New York Minute Blow Dryer Brush Set with a full size of Perk Up dry shampoo and full size The Shield anti-humidity spray — a $150 value for the price of the blow dryer brush alone, $99.
T3 Lucea ID 1” Smart Flat Iron with Touch Interface* — Holy technology. This is a very high tech straightener, a great option if you’re looking to invest in a high quality straightener. It has a smart-touch interface with nine settings. When you first use the straightener, you can customize your HeatID personalized settings depending on your hair type, coarseness, and color treatment history. It basically guarantees you won’t overheat or over damage your hair. The tool will remember these settings, or you can easily switch back to manual. There are 9 settings in total. It also heats up SO quickly. With my new short haircut, I can straighten my hair in well under 10 minutes from the time I plug in the iron to the time I unplug. As expected with a T3 tool, it delivers shiny, soft hair and an elegant experience. It’s also available for a lower price without the touch screen interface.
Aquis Hair Turban — I cannot be without my Aquis hair turban, so much so that I bring it with me when I travel! The concept is simple: it’s an air-wicking hair turban that wraps around your head and buttons so it stays securely on your head. But the effects are so good: it cuts down drying time significantly; it prevents breakage; it leads to smoother hair overall. I now own two: one in the rapid dry version and one in the waffle luxe version*, and I love both! The rapid dry hair turban soaks up a bit more water, I think, but the waffle luxe is softer and a bit larger.
Body Wash & Bath Products
Nécessaire Body Wash* — I’m a recent Necessaire affiliate and I’ve been enjoying their products a lot. Everything about the brand speaks to me: the clean aesthetic, the elevated fragrance, and the streamlined packaging. To me, they’re more of a treat than an everyday use sort of product, but they really hit the mark when you’re in the mood for an indulgence. They offer two fragrances, Eucalyptus and Sandalwood, and also Fragrance Free options in their bath products. I’m using the body wash in Sandalwood right now, which is a sexy, unisex, musky scent. It’s pH balanced to keep the skin hydrated, which I really appreciate.
Nécessaire Body Exfoliator* — This is a once a week exfoliant that will last you forever, because a little really goes a long way. I squeeze a bit of this into a silicone loofah and a small amount will cover both of my legs and then some. It includes both physical and chemical exfoliators, which I appreciate for keeping my legs and feet soft and supple. It’s also the perfect texture. Unlike salt or sugar scrubs that can just dissolve on contact with water, the bamboo charcoal exfoliators take a while before they melt away into the skin. You can actually see the charcoal dissolving bit by bit, but it sticks to your skin and has time to work. It won’t fall off your legs until you rinse it off. Also available in Eucalyptus and Fragrance Free.
L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil — A cleansing oil for the body in the signature Almond scent! This is like a little shower treat. It emulsifies on the skin and rinses clean, but the shower oil moisturizes and hydrates the body even after it rinses away. If you hate moisturizing your body but you want to hydrate your skin, this might be a nice option. I always moisturize my body, but this is still a little indulgence that I enjoy wholeheartedly. It’s a warm, creamy, comforting scent.
Body Care, Hand Care, Self-Tanners
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps — A body moisturizer for people who really don’t want to deal with the fuss, mess, or stickiness of body moisturizers. It is rich and creamy, yet totally non-greasy and doesn’t leave any sort of tackiness or residue behind. Also a fragrance-free option! For me, it’s a higher-end recommendation for an everyday body lotion. Everything about it makes it a crowd-please.
Nécessaire Body Lotion* — The body lotion only comes in Fragrance Free, which I appreciate! It’s a yummy, lightweight lotion that absorbs quickly and is also pH balanced. The formula includes Niacinamide to brighten the skin, and lots of oils and lipids to fortify the skin barrier. I also love that the Necessaire packaging is fully recyclable!
Tan Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops* — These are self-tanning drops that are adjustable in color depending on how much you use. You add 2-6 drops to your regular body moisturizer to apply to the body. The more drops you use, the deeper the tan. The tan drops are tan in the bottle, but they don’t have a guide color so you do have to be careful to blend well on the body. It’s a gradual tan, which is why I like it. There are also two shades options: light/medium and medium/dark. The most fool-proof and the most gradual.
Tan Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Gradual Tan Lotion* — If you don’t want to mix your own tanning mix, you can pick up the Gradual Tan lotion, which is a straightforward tanning lotion. It’s a lighter, runnier lotion consistency that is very hydrating and spreadable. It’s a white lotion that doesn’t contain a guide color, so you will want to take some extra time to blend this in evenly and be careful around hands, feet, elbows, and knees.
L’Occitane Hand Cream in Shea Butter — This is a year-round essential for me. I have mini size tubes in all of my bags and at my desk, and a large size in my bedroom. I love this hand cream because it is creamy and buttery, but it sinks in so quickly and doesn’t leave any weird residue or stickiness behind. I cannot stand hand creams that don’t absorb quickly. The Shea Butter version is the least scented hand cream of the L’Occitane offerings, and I like it for its simplicity. If you’re looking for a fragrance, I love the Amande/Almond scent. I also think the Shea Butter and Amande lines make great holiday gifts and hostess gifts because the fragrances are widely enjoyed and loved, and inoffensive in the strength of their fragrance. They also offer Cherry Blossom and Lavender.
Nécessaire Sex Gel — The only one I use. It’s water-based, safe for the body, and non-sticky. Smooth, silky, no irritation. Totally inoffensive and neutral, which is what I look for from a product like this!
Nest New York Candles* — I’ve loved Nest candles for years. The throw on their candles is unparalleled and the scents are sophisticated yet nostalgic at the same time. Even a single wick candle can fill very large, open spaces in our home. The wax is very soft and burns very evenly. I have quite a few favorite scents from them, and I continue to repurchase because the quality is exceptional.
Nest Candle in Grapefruit* is a crisp, juicy grapefruit scent and a year-round favorite. You’ll see in this list that I’m partial to citrus fragrances, but I just can’t get enough of them, okay? This is a slightly floral/green grapefruit fragrance, that also has some watery elements. Available in a votive, single wick, or 3 wick.
Nest Candle in Apple Blossom* is the most delicious, juicy apple scent. Like freshly picked, crisp apples, not baked apples. Imagine biting into the best apple you’ve ever tasted while standing in an apple grove, smelling the apple blossoms on the breeze. It’s balanced by white amber and cedarwood, elevating it from your everyday apple scent. It’s limited edition, so go get your hands on it! 10% of proceeds also go to the non-profit organization NEXT for AUTISM. At Sephora it’s only available as a 3-wick and a diffuser.
Nest Pumpkin Chai* is a delicious, elevated gourmand scent. It’s such a warm, cozy candle with notes of wild pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and spicy masala chai. It’s a perfect balance of sweet, warm, and spicy. Only available now as a diffuser.
Nest Holiday Candle* — Last but not least, this is my favorite holiday/winter candle of all time. It captures the crispness of pine, with a subtle blend of mandarin orange, pomegranate, vanilla, and amber. If you love pine/balsam scents, this is for you. It is exactly what I want my home to smell like from November to January. I have some great memories tied to this scent, so I always look forward to lighting it. Available in a votive, single wick, 3 wick, or jumbo 4 wick.
It’s available in lots of cute holiday sets, along with Nest’s other holiday candles: the Holiday Classic Candle & Reed Diffuser Set, the Holiday & Birchwood Pine Classic Candle Set, and an adorable Festive Votive Mini Set.
Overose Candles — The Sephora sale is the only time I could justify buying an Overose candle. I bought the candle in Valkyria during the last Sephora sale. Let me tell you, this baby is more than just looks — though the powder pink or holographic packaging is truly delightful. Valkyria is a warm, sexy complex fragrance composed of fig leaves, peaches, coco milk, and cedar wood. While it has many fruity notes, it’s actually more of a creamy warm scent to me. The cold throw alone on these is excellent, and they burn like a dream with a fantastic hot throw. I’ve also got my eye on Nudesse and Anamorphine in holographic packaging!
Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Candle — I first smelled this candle in a Poketo Store in Downtown LA and I’ve been hooked on the fragrance ever since. Warm, woodsy, sexy, amber, sandalwood - all things I love. People call it a dupe for Le Labo’s Santal 33, “without the pickle scent” (a frequent comment I hear). Best thing is, it’s much more affordable than that. It’s a truly warm, elevated, sophisticated fragrance. If you want your house to smell expensive, burn this. It’s also available in the No.04 Vois de Balincourt Luxury Perfume Gift Set, with perfume and candle! Keep scrolling for my review of the perfume oil.
Atelier Cologne Clementine California* — Citrus fragrances are a year round favorite for me, and Atelier Cologne’s Clementine California is one of the best. It’s a unisex fragrance, so it’s not too sweet. It has a subtle muskiness that comes from the vetiver and sandalwood. The woodsy notes balance this perfectly. It’s not the longest-lasting perfume, but I really don’t mind and I actually love how light these is on the skin. It’s also easy to reapply. There’s a really cute holiday set with Clementine California and Love Osmanthus, a slightly sweeter, juicier grapefruit scent, a Clementine California advent calendar, a Clementine California gift set, and in a Candle Set (which I would love!) — or candle only!
Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum — On the more affordable end of fragrances are the Fresh Eau de Parfum. They are $50 for 1 oz. ( $40 with the sale) or a generous 3.4 oz. for $90 ($72 with the sale). If you like citrus fragrances, this one’s for you — a juicy, slightly floral grapefruit fragrance. The notes also list orange, bergamot, lotus flower, jasmine, rhubarb, and musk. To me, it’s just a floral grapefruit. Nothing above and beyond in terms of complexity, but everything I want when I’m craving something juicy and bright. And, I don’t feel bad applying or reapplying because the price point is great. Also available as a rollerball.
Fresh Cannabis Santal Eau de Parfum — This is a more unisex blend of patchouli, vanilla musk, magnolia, and some underlying fruity notes like kumquat and plum. Consider it the fall/winter opposite of Hesperides Grapefruit!
Nest Sunkissed Hibiscus* — A warm, sexy floral. This is an amber fragrance that can be worn year-round. The orange blossom and hibiscus notes lift the amber to give it a nice, glowing luminosity. Yet, it still has the sexy creaminess of amber to feel cool weather appropriate. The packaging of the Nest bottles is a work of art, evoking floral paintings. Also available as a travel spray, in the Nest Eau de Parfum Travel Collection Set, in the Mini Rollerball Travel Trio, and in the Sunkissed Perfume & Glow Set.
Nest Wild Poppy* — A slightly fruity floral that is balanced by notes of jasmine and pear. It's light and refreshing. It's a floral for people who, like me, are picky about florals. It's probably a warm weather fragrance for me, but it could be worn year round because of how light and subtle it is. Also available as a rollerball, in the Mini Rollerball Travel Trio, and in the Nest Eau de Parfum Travel Collection Set.
Maison Louis Marie Perfume Oil in No.04 by Bois de Balincourt — This is probably my favorite fall fragrance for everyday. Warm, woodsy, sexy, amber, sandalwood - all things I love. I purchased it two years ago and have worn it every cold weather season since. People call it a dupe for Le Labo’s Santal 33, “without the pickle scent” (a frequent comment I hear). Best thing is, it’s much more affordable than that at $57 for .5 oz (and just over $45 with the sale!). Because it’s an oil, the perfume really extends over time and transforms and warms up with your body temperature. It also lasts a very long time since it’s a concentrated oil with a rollerball component. It’s available in the Maison Louis Marie Perfume Oil Discovery Set, the Perfume & Oil Mini Set, and the No.04 Bois de Balincourt Luxury Perfume Gift Set, along with the candle and the spray-on perfume.
Maison Louis Marie Perfume Oil in No.03 L’etang Noir Perfume Oil — This is a warm spicy vanilla musk. It’s similar to Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanilla, but slightly spicier I think and heavier on the clove note. This is a fantastic holiday or winter scent.
Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle — This was the perfume I was wearing the day Shawn and I got engaged, so I will forever have a sentimental tie to it. Aerin does florals like no one else, and I say this as someone who is very picky about florals. This is a fruity floral with Italian bergamot, honeysuckle, and grapefruit. It is citrusy and warm, but also sensual and fresh at the same time. It just makes me happy. I also enjoy Amber Musk (warm, cozy, creamy) and Hibiscus Palm (floral, warm, tropical). Also available in a travel spray and in an Aerin Discovery Set!
Aerin Amber Musk — This is the sexy, sultry opposite of Mediterranean Honeysuckle. It’s a warm, creamy, silky blend of amber, musk, and coconut water. It’s not the most complex amber fragrance, but it’s very wearable for everyday, in a good way! It’s not too heavy or cloying, and it wears in throughout the day to become even more soft and creamy. I also love the Aerin bottle packaging; it’s gorgeous.
Maison Margiela REPLICA By the Fireplace — This super smoky, woodsy gourmand is somewhat polarizing because of how strong the smoky wood note is in here. I think it’s beautifully balanced by the notes of cloves, chestnut, and vanilla. It’s a unisex fragrance that is perfect for winter, when it’s really cold and you’re craving the warmth of the fireplace. It’s also available in a travel spray, in the REPLICA Deluxe Mini Coffret Set, and in a candle, which I think is perfect for this fragrance!
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille — A classic unisex fragrance, and one that many fragrances try to rip off, for good reason. A full bodied, warm and spicy gourmand with tobacco, creamy tonic bean, cocoa, woods. It is rich and opulent but has a creamier, softer dry-down on me. Also available in a body spray, a travel spray, and a decanter.