FROM THE FRONT | Sephora Collection Skincare

SEPHORA IS the Shangri-la of beauty in most of its markets. The Champs-Élysées boutique is a subterranean wonder. Union Square, though diminutive in floor plan, is expansive in its offering.

The brand is also pretty good at duping all sorts of amazing cosmetics and beauty tools, with a solid following for said tools, many of its color cosmetics and, recently, its more foundational items (primer, makeup fixant, wrinkle filler et al) in the gun metal gray containers in the end-of-aisle displays.

I've heard not just a few of the smaller brands stocked by Sephora grumble that once they're actually in the door and on the shelf, there is a lurking fear that their products' doppelgangers will one day end up on Sephora's own brand display. That said, I think they do a good job of differentiating their own brand stuff, in look at least, from the brands they currently stock. [If any brands disagree, EMAIL ME and let me know!]


Sephora's new skincare offering reminds me of a mash-up, in appearance, of a few other beauty brands but I can't think of them off the top of my head. Ole Henriksen? Murad? The collection, named hydrosenn+ after the trademarked hero ingredient HydroSenn+™ (apparently 'a breakthrough plant-derived hydrator') has fourteen SKUs.

The micro anti-ageing range has 4 SKUs within that 14, including a serum -- the must-have beauty product category of the year (and possibly next few years as I don't see anything to rival it on the horizon).

I give the brand credit, though.

These new products -- like the serum -- are free from ingredients that regular feature on big-box beauty labels, including parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan. That said, many things still crop up that aren't entirely savory. That said, I'm not expecting raw, organic, hand-picked blah blah blah beauty here. Nor should you. It's minimum input for maximum profit. That's how most of beauty works. Lots of cheap fillers, a few actives (whether or not they're in active amounts or states in said product) to highlight on the label and on the market they go.

[If you're curious about what goes into your beauty products and don't understand what something is when reading the ingredient list, don't just sit there! Be proactive. Copy the word and Google it. There are heaps of independent, reputable sites that will tell you what it is, why it's used in personal care products and if there are studies backing up the claims that it's safe/unsafe, etc.]

The products come in innovative packaging -- airless pumps, face wipes, roller ball applicators, pads -- as well as the usual jars and tubes.

Prices range from $7 to $32, so on the affordable end of the spectrum.

Check out the whole collection below.


Supreme Cleansing Foam $15
A foam that removes makeup and cleanses the complexion in one simple step.

Instant Moisturizer $20
An intensive moisturizer, radiance booster, and wrinkle fighter.

Flawless Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15 $22
An exceptional daytime moisturizing lotion.

Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 $30
A complete antiaging treatment and day cream.

Instant Depuffing Roll-On Gel $15
A de-puffing eye gel that instantly leaves eyes looking fresher and brighter.

Age Defy Eye Cream $24
A complete eye cream that fights puffiness, dark circles, and crow's feet.

Super Loaded Age Defy Serum  $32
An ultra-moisturizing serum to firm skin and fight wrinkles.

Smart Dual Action Exfoliator $24
A facial exfoliator with two textured creams in one jar.

Express Cleansing Wipes $9
A packet of biodegradable, pre-moistened wipes for cleansing the face, eyes, and lips.

10. Instant Eye Makeup Remover $8.50
A refreshing eye makeup remover gentle enough for contact wearers and those with sensitive eyes.

Eye Makeup Removing Pads $9
Pre-moistened pads that remove makeup while strengthening and moisturizing lashes.

Instant Refreshing Toner $12
A hydrating mist that refreshes and tones skin after makeup removal.

Nourishing Hand Cream $7
A three-in-one cream for hands, nails, and cuticles.

Super Supreme Body Butter  $25
An ultra-rich body cream that provides intensive hydration.