College Beauty Awards: The Best of Sephora

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A trip to Sephora — whether online or IRL — is every college student’s highlight of the semester (or month, if you shop as often as I do). It means walking away with trusted go-to’s or stepping outside your comfort zone and swatching a colorful new launch. There’s also no better time to give your cart a refresh than now, at the start of a new school year.

We’ve scoped out the best of the best so you can order your next haul with confidence, including holy-grail makeup, hair care and nail essentials to upgrade your beauty game. Without further ado, meet the beauty products that Sephora stans currently can’t get enough of.

1. Better Than Sex Mascara

Too Faced, toofaced.com, $26; shop now

This mascara is a cult-favorite, and for good reason. The prestige brush and formula work together to volumize, lift and lock your lashes into place — no slipping or smearing here. Every coat helps you achieve a more intense look, making it perfect for everyday wear or falsie-like lashes, depending on your mood. Better Than Sex really did that for us, tysm.

2. Lip Injection Extreme — Plumper, Gloss & Lipstick

Too Faced, toofaced.com

Say hello to the trinity of plush, pigmented lips. The Lip Plumper ($29) delivers breakthrough lip volume, while the Lip Gloss ($23) achieves the same plumping power — with bonus juicy shades. For an additional pop of color, start your look with the Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Lipstick ($22), and you’re ready to play.

3. Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer

Too Faced, toofaced.com, $30; shop now

Ever had a concealer that works as highlight, contour, and looks hydrating on your under-eyes? No? Well, now you do. This concealer covers everything flawlessly, from breakouts to dark circles — frankly, it gives new meaning to the word “multitasking.” I am on my third bottle and I can’t get enough of this natural-looking finish. 

4. Hangover Primer

 

Too Faced, toofaced.com, $30; shop now

For college students, hangover-themed products hit in a way that other beauty staples just can’t compete with. It helps, too, that this primer happens to be an instant cure when skin feels “blah.” Smooth it on before your foundation to add hydration, or wear it on its own when your complexion looks dull. Cheers to looking like you bagged that beauty sleep.

5. Born This Way Eyeshadow Palette

Too Faced, toofaced.com, $48; shop now

Seasoned Sephora shoppers know that this palette deserves all the hype. (It honestly should have been on your radar, like, yesterday.) With 16 highly pigmented shades that range from metallic to matte to sparkle, these nudes have a little somethin’ for everyone. If I only had this palette for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. 

6. Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Root Powder & Dry Shampoo

Briogeo, sephora.com, $24; shop now

Is it really a best of Sephora haul without dropping in the dry shampoo of the year? This powder smells fresh and feels lightweight, but the main act is when it lifts your hair from the root for some serious volume. You need to see the results for yourself, trust me.

7. Honey Infused Hair Oil

Gisou, sephora.com, $87; shop now

This hair oil is a fairly new drop at Sephora, but it’s already a staple among shoppers for a reason — namely that there’s nothing as yummy-smelling on the market. While this oil effectively works to restore and hydrate for all hair types, the highlight is the subtle honey scent that wafts around your shoulders all day.

8. Silk Pillowcase

Slip, sephora.com, $89; shop now

It’s 2020 and pillowcases are part of beauty routines now, in case you missed the news. While a pillowcase might not feel traditional like slathering on some moisturizer or gliding on mascara, it is essential to keeping your overall look intact. Slip silk is ultra-gentle on your hair and skin, so you don’t wake up with bedhead and sleep creases in the a.m.

9. Nail Glow

Dior, sephora.com, $28; shop now

I’ve been trying to master that natural nail shine for years, but this product helps me achieve it easily in one swipe. It’s designed to make the pinks and whites of nails become more vibrant, so that hands can have a healthy glow — without the expensive salon price tag.