Step One – sign up with Hop Shop Go. Hop Shop Go is my favourite parcel forwarding service. I know Australia Post offer something similar, but I’ve heard enough nightmare stories from people of their parcels going missing and Australia Post not doing much to help them out that I’m happy sticking with what I know. When you sign up with Hop Shop Go you’re issued a postal address, and you’ll need this for later. Please note: to use Hop Shop Go you will also need a PayPal account.
Step Two – sign up as a Sephora member. Sephora have a great rewards system, and you can accrue points to exchange for sample sized products and additional benefits (if you get enough points under your belt).
Step Three – get shopping! Hop Shop Go will not ship aerosols or nail polishes. So no perfumes, sprays, or the Sephora for OPI range for us. I’ve also found I have a much greater success rate with orders that fall under US $100, so I always stick to that. If you’re unsure what to buy from Sephora, see here. Please note: if your order gets cancelled, Sephora will hold onto your money for a few days. So if you’ve been squirreling away your pennies for a little splurge on makeup, you may have to wait a few days longer if your initial order is cancelled.
Step Four – time to order! As you progress to the checkout you’ll be asked for an address – this is where the Hop Shop Go personalized address comes in handy. When placing the order, I always use a VISA. Again, I’ve had more of a success rate with this so it’s what I stick to now. You should get a confirmation email regarding receipt of your order, and then a second email when your order has shipped. These usually come within two or three days.
Step Five – forward that parcel! You’ll receive an email notification when your order arrives at the Hop Shop Go facility. At that point you can log onto the site, click on ‘Ship + Track’ and go from there. My orders usually arrive within a week and are delivered by DHL.
To give you an idea of what a typical order will cost, I’ve broken it down for you. As I mentioned earlier in the post, the Australian dollar is performing terribly at the moment. This plays a big part in whether orders from the US are worthwhile.
Total cost of products at Sephora: $87 USD ($117 AUD)
+ Shipping (this is calculated on the weight of your package): $23.13 USD ($31 AUD)
Total = roughly $148 AUD
Total cost of products in Australia (with no shipping cost): $140.51
One of the big benefits of ordering from Sephora is the range of products available. The fact that I can order the only foundation I use from the site, but cannot find it anywhere in Australia is a big selling point for me.
And now for what I ordered! The main reason for my order was to pick up another tub of the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, but I thought I’d pop another couple of staples into the cart to make shipping worthwhile. So I also grabbed another tube of my holy grail mascara – Lancome Hypnose, and my favourite go-to lip shade – the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Conditioner in Rose. I was also gifted three free samples but I only picked two, the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, and the NUDE Skincare Progenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil. Using my Sephora reward points I also picked up a deluxe sample size of Dior’s ‘Diorshow’ Mascara, and Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Shadow. Now I just need to sit back and wait for them to arrive!
Kerastase Nectar Thermique: I recently discovered a nearly-finished tube of this in the bottom of my bathroom cupboard, and remembered just how much I LOVE it. I’ve been using it every day since then, and needed to purchase a back up for when I ran out. This is a staple in my hair care routine.
Skindinavia ‘The Makeup Finishing Spray’: Another staple in my beauty cupboard. I use this every day to set my makeup, and when I can feel the bottle running out, I immediately repurchase it.
Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Noir Hypnotic: By far my favourite mascara, and one that I’ve learned that I can’t live without. Apologies to all the other mascaras in my collection, but hypnose is number one. You can read my review of this wonder product (from back in 2011!) here.
As with every Adore Beauty order over $30, mine came with some free samples. I got the Alpha H Liquid Laser, the Alpha H Liquid Gold (which I’ve been dying to try out for years as I know so many beauty lovers who swear by it), and a $35 Hello Fresh gift card (which unfortunately I can’t use, as they don’t deliver to Perth). Oh, and a Tim Tam but that was snatched up pretty quickly by someone other than myself.
Lancome Hypnose Mascara – This is my daily mascara and I absolutely must have a back up tube ready to go for when the one I’m using runs out. I’ve been using Hypnose almost exclusively for about five years now. It’s one of the best mascaras on the market, and I can’t see myself straying from it anytime soon.
Hourglass Brow Arch – I’ve nearly reached the end of the Maybelline brow pencil I’ve been using lately, so I decided to pick this up on the recommendation of ViviannaDoesMakeup.
Beauty Blender Sponge Duo – Another daily makeup necessity. I decided to try out the black sponges this time around, although I’m not sure what the difference will be. Having said that, the pink sponges do tend to get some dark marks along the edges when it’s time to get rid of them, so not having that visible reminder on the black sponges might not be a good thing.
Givenchy Photo Perfexion – I go through a bottle of this foundation every few months. It’s the one I wear daily, so I like to make sure I have at least one back up bottle available to me at all times. The Givenchy foundations ARE available for purchase in Australia, but when I take into consideration the price different between here and the US plus the rate of shipping split over any other items I order, it ends up being cheaper for me to order replacements from Sephora every few months or so.
Tarte Power Pigment in Tipsy – This is the only thing from this particular order that I’m a little bit disappointed in. Which is probably my own fault, as I didn’t bother to read any reviews or look at any swatches before ordering it. Oops.
Boscia Blotting Papers – I tend to pick up a packet of these every time I place a Sephora order, as they’re the best blotting papers I’ve come across.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy – EssieButton mentioned this a few times earlier in the year, and the colour looked like something I would really like (and I do), so I decided to pick one up for myself. The Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are up there with the best, in my opionion. This one is no exception.
additional samples: Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, Phyto Specific Moisturizing Styling Cream, Lancome Definicils Mascara, and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.