Sephora Holiday Bonus Sale: Makeup Recommendations For 35+ Beauties

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Sephora has yet another sale for members of the Beauty Insider rewards program starting as early as tomorrow for top tier Rouge clients. This time I'm sharing my makeup recommendations for women over 35 like me: tried and true makeup products that won't emphasize anything you'd rather forget and will give you a youthful look. Keep reading to see the face, eyes and lips products I recommend, including some holiday sets!


- Rouge clients get 20% off on two consecutive weekends: October 26 to 29 and November 2 to 5. Online use code ROUGEBONUS, in stores show the coupon you received by mail or email.
- I don't have the details for VIB and BI members yet, except that they will have access to the sale on the second weekend only, November 2-5.
UPDATE: it appears that VIB and BI members will be able to shop on different weeks later: November 9 through 12 with the code VIBBONUS (20% off) for VIBs and November 16 through 19 with code BIBONUS (15% off) for BIs.


All tested and approved by my 39-year old self (gasp, I just said my real age!)! I've experienced changes in my skin for a few years, and some of the makeup I used to love just doesn't work so great for me anymore. Some foundations age me because they sink into my fine lines and make me look dry and lifeless, some powders don't blend as well, some eyeshadows make my lids look crepe-y... Life is too short to keep using products that do me no favor, so I've been focusing on formulas that play well with my skin! Here are 14 products that look great on my late thirties face - they're not even all from French brands ;) :


Foundations that don't emphasize fine lines or dry patches are key to a flattering, youthful look. I've tested a lot over the last year to find my new go-to and SO many didn't want to sit well on my skin. Here are the two that work best: the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear and the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream. Both make my skin look very smooth and provide a medium to high coverage with a natural finish. The Lancôme has a much (much!) better shade range so it's the one I would most recommend. Another foundation that looks great on my skin is the Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh, but its coverage is much lighter.

Creasing, dry looking concealer is another major issue I started experiencing in the past few years. I find that a lot of the most popular ones don't work well at all on aging skin! One that I discovered by accident and absolutely love is the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage. Its texture is very thin so it blends into the skin under my eyes without feeling thick or sticky, and it provides great coverage despite the weightlessness. I find it best dabbed on with fingertips. If you prefer creamier textures, the new It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Full Coverage Concealer doesn't crease on me, but it's available at Ulta (in 48 shades!), not Sephora. Another 35+ friendly product is the Clarins Instant Concealer, sadly not at Sephora either (my review).

To powder or not to powder? Powder helps makeup last longer and look matter and smoother, but some of them can make skin look dry and cakey. That's never going to happen with the Guerlain Météorites Pearls Of Powder. It's incredibly finely milled and imperceptible on the skin, but it gives a hint of healthy radiance and luminosity. The Météorites have been a favorite of mine for a very long time, but I love them even more now that my skin isn't so young anymore! To clear any confusion, they're a finishing powder, not a highlighter, so they're not overly shimmery. I use the lightest shade, Clair, which has some pastel pearls in green, yellow, peach and lilac shades to correct redness and dullness. Some people have told me that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders have the same effect, but I personally found those a lot less refined: I could see the powder on my skin leaving a chalky veil.


I don't think that strong contouring, glittery highlighters and very opaque cheek colors look very good on me at this point in life. What I'm looking for when it comes to bronzer and blush is buildable, blendable formulas that don't look powdery and can be easily diffused for a soft enhancing effect.

The Terracotta Light by Guerlain is my absolute favorite bronzer: it has the beautiful scent of the original Terracotta and its finely milled, blendable texture, but it's a little less pigmented so you can go for a very light dusting to create a natural tan or build on the cheeks for a classic sunkissed look. It looks incredibly natural and flattering on me! It also comes in 6 shades of varying depth in cool and warm undertones. Review is here.

For blush, here's a palette I just got a week ago and can't stop using: the Nars Hot Tryst holiday palette. It contains 4 blushes in shades from pale pink to vibrant plum, and two highlighters, a pale champagne and a muted gold. The blushes look absolutely gorgeous on the skin! They're sheer and buildable, so you can get exactly the amount you want for the perfect natural flush. That makes wearing the two darker shades very easy! They also have a beautiful soft sheen that makes my skin look healthy and radiant - they're not glittery or sparkly, they just have perfect luminous finish that attracts the light. The pale highlighter is subtle and creates a nice glow as well. I will be reviewing this palette in the next couple of weeks!


Things nobody tells you when you're a teen: one day, the skin on your eyelids may become dryer and less firm, making eyeshadow harder to use. Lots of shimmery shadows make my lids look textured and crepe-y, and poor quality mattes can get stuck in fine lines... There are a few brands that make eyeshadow formulas I can rely on, because they always look smooth on my eyes.

One of them is Dior. Their 5-Couleurs eyeshadow quints used to be hit and miss, but they've really improved them with the latest reformulation. I reviewed Dream and Provoke recently if you want to read more details (Sephora only has the former). The mattes are soft and blend easily, the shimmers glow and don't emphasize texture.

The same is true for the small Cover Shot eyeshadow palettes by Smashbox. I love the quality of these shadows, and they have a lot of color combinations (including some cool toned ones!). I also love the Lorac Unzipped shadow formula, but they're at Ulta only.


I've always had a lot of vertical lines in my lips, and they're getting dryer every passing year and don't look particularly full. I have to avoid drying lipstick formulas and make sure I nourish them really well! Some of my favorite lippies come in holiday sets so there's a lot of exciting offers to choose from.

One of the best lip balms I've ever tried is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. It's one of those few balms that actually repair my chapped lips instead of just protecting them from more damage. That lip mask is quite expensive though, at $26 for 15 g (ouch). But this year the brand has created a holiday set with 3 mini lip masks that are 5 g each for $18, so you get the same amount for less and you can try two colors besides the clear balm. Definitely a great deal with the 20% off discount on top of that!

Still from Bite Beauty, I recommend the set of their Amuse Bouche Lipsticks. It's a great formula that feels creamy and comfortable, in four shades from light nude to red.

One of my long-time favorite lipstick is the Rouge Dior. So many great colors, and the formula feels great on my lips, both lightweight and hydrating. The set this year comes with 4 minis in some of their most popular shades. I reviewed one of them, St Germain, a while back.

Did you know that I collect the Givenchy Le Rouge lipsticks? It's such a luxurious formula! They have a set with four minis this year, plus a mini Rouge Perfecto rosy balm (similar to the Dior Lip Glow).

Last holiday lip set that I recommend: the YSL Tatouage Couture mini collection, with 3 shades of this amazing liquid lipstick. It's by far my favorite matte liquid lipstick, you can read all my thoughts about it here. Basically, while it doesn't fully dry down and set, it's incredibly comfortable to wear and lasts forever.

And of course, I had to include my beloved Matte Shaker from Lancôme in this list. It's the easy-going, fun and friendly version of the liquid matte lipstick: it's very pigmented and vibrant, but comes in a cute little shaker and doesn't feel drying in the least. I reviewed the formula here.

See any favorites in my list? What are you going to get at the Sephora sale, if you plan on shopping?

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