Posted on July 07 2020
by Jasmine Ong

We can never get tired of talking about skincare, an essential obviously, and more so, giving space to good skincare brands that are worth the hype. You might have heard of some of them. Drunk Elephant’s Instagram-friendly appeal for one, or the clean, botanical formulas of Herbivore Botanicals and Farmacy, Tatcha’s Japanese-inspired beauty secrets, and the k-beauty sensation of Dr. Jart+. All great brands with great buys — especially when we’ve got news that the next Sephora Beauty Pass Sale is here.

From 8 – 12 July, the upcoming online sale will be held on or their mobile app, where all items will be going for 20% off!


Our recommendations of cult skincare items from Sephora.


There will be different access dates and tiers of discounts, depending on whether you’re a Gold, Black, or White Beauty Pass Member. Details here:



New this season, are also the limited edition gifts. Gold Beauty Pass Members will be able to receive a Sephora Lunch Box with no minimum spend, while both Gold and Black members who spend at least $250 in one transaction can enjoy a Sephora Face Roller + Pouch, all while stocks last.

So, where do you even start, and which beauty items are worth the splurge? We know the dilemma. If you’re up for trying some very raved-about items from these cult skincare brands, read on for our thoughts on what deserves a shot, and your money, this season.


1. DRUNK ELEPHANT — F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Hydrating Mask



These days, skincare brand Drunk Elephant needs no introduction. Originally started as an indie label by Tiffany Masterson, the brand has gone global, and no doubt, flying off Sephora shelves since it first launched here less than 2 years ago. Gotta say, that combination of bright Instagram-friendly packaging and clean formulas has proven very appealing to the millennial crowd. For us, it’s about efficacy and skincare actives that work — Drunk Elephant does all that while making sure their biocompatible, skin-friendly formulas are free of silicones, SLS chemical screens and fragrances.


That tall order is definitely fulfilled here. On nights my skin feels dehydrated and tighter than normal, a dose of this hydrating overnight mask does the trick. It’s not just water-based hydration here — ingredients such as niacinamide, sodium PCA, plant squalane, and five forms of ceramides effectively do their work, and I swear, my skin still feels soft and supple in the morning, despite being exposed to my nighttime habit of drying air-conditioned air. The gel-like cream goes on smooth, with the added textural element of tiny beads filled with vitamin F, almost indistinguishable since they burst onto contact. I’m a big believer of hydration being the first step of solving skin issues, so I was pleased to find some small spots (and potential ones) disappearing overnight. You can use it on its own, but I would recommend layering this over serums or face oils for the most satisfying results.

$74, available at Sephora.

2. FARMACY — Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm


Here’s our hope for the future of beauty: that clean beauty becomes less of a trend, and more of a given, especially their environmentally-friendly practices. Take Farmacy, for instance. The farm-to-face skincare brand has a sustainable ethos we can get behind — their products are made with natural ingredients sourced from organic local farms around the world, then put together by science to ensure the best potency. They also prioritise safe, skin-nourishing ingredients while banning a whole host of skin-irritating ones.


Cleansing balms seem to be the new cleansing oils these days. Granted, the latter still has wide appeal, but the solid, no-mess formula and how the soft, just-as-smooth texture melts onto your skin does make a difference. It’s like ice-cream (or, well, sorbet) on your skin! For me, that’s definitely the case for Farmacy’s award-winning Green Clean cleansing balm, especially if you’re looking for something that feels lightweight after cleansing. I can also vouch for how effective the balm is in removing makeup and impurities, even heavy foundation and eyeshadow. A little goes a long way — the amount you see in the picture above can cleanse my (makeup-free) face, so if you’re talking about value-for-money, this makes sense. My skin always feels fresh after, not overly stripped.

$50, available at Sephora.

3. DR. JART+ — Dermask Vital Hydra Solution Facial Mask



This South Korean skincare brand is going places. As a successful k-beauty brand that’s loved all over the world— across 36 markets globally — it has gained our trust for delivering dermatological science that’s effective, especially fun when combined with original, innovative packaging. In fact, the young brand was founded online in 2005 by dermatologist Dr. Sung Jae Jung and architect Chin Wook Lee, which explains that intersection of science and art. What got us hooked was the unique packaging — see their Shake & Shot and their Cryo Rubber sheet masks — but what made us really stay has to be top-notch skincare. I especially love the Cicapair series for calming sensitive skin.


I have so much love for the Cicapair range, so I was hoping this Dr. Jart+ hydrating sheet mask, one of their bestsellers, wouldn’t disappoint. Not at all. While their rubber masks garner more attention on social media, a good old sheet mask such as the Vital Hydra Solution Mask is more than enough if your skin’s craving for that mid-week surge of emergency hydration. The fine cellulose fibre sits very well on my face without slipping, feels soft and thin, and manages to hold the serum in place for a long time so it penetrates deeply into the skin. The consistency of the serum is thick but not quite jelly-like, and of course, generous enough to slather on your neck too. For the science, know that aquaxyl and xylitol ensure our skin’s ability to retain moisture, while oligo-hyaluronic acid and algae extract support long-lasting moisturisation and natural collagen synthesis. What I observed was very plump, hydrated and might I say, glowing, skin that lasts most of the day after. Honestly, the only con has to be the price, which basically works out to about $7 a sheet… still, I can justify this for the occasional days when my skin needs the extra, emergency help.

$33, available at Sephora.

4. HERBIVORE BOTANICALS — Mini Facial Oil Trio


Natural ingredients, a certified organic label, and plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils. If that’s a skincare philosophy you believe in, then you’ll love Herbivore Botanicals. It’s right in their name — the brand, founded in a Seattle kitchen, looks to botanicals for its skincare actives, making sure that these are present in their formulas as pure, highly concentrated, and effective as they can be. These ingredients, from French pink clay to Brazilian gemstones, are ethically sourced, while the brand also pays attention to luxurious textures and scents for the most sensorial self-care experiences. That their packaging’s sleek, with oils in clear bottles that showcase them in translucent, light-filled glory, makes them that more visible in a crowded beauty market.


For a brand that’s known for their face oils, I had to try this. A trio of their famous blends is also a good place to start if you’re wary of face oils and their skin-transforming claims. Herbivore’s trio set includes their Lapis, Phoenix and Orchid natural oils, meant to soothe irritation and balance skin, revitalise dry skin, and give a radiant glow, respectively. They’re suitable for all skin types, though you might see more results for the Lapis if you’ve got a more oily complexion. As the condition of our skin may sometimes fluctuate across seasons, even within the month, I found having these small vials that serve a specific skin need each very handy to keep around. All of them are lightweight and sink into the skin immediately, though you might have to get used to the strong botanical scent at first. If you’re talking overnight change though, I got that. My first use of the Orchid oil, when combined with Tatcha’s The Water Cream (coming up!) gave me glowing, hydrated skin overnight, which is why I love face oils; that small added step to my routine often leads to amazing results that can’t be achieved with just moisturiser alone. Can I just say that the mini trio is currently sold out on their main site too? Time to get yours asap.

$48, available at Sephora.

5. TATCHA — The Water Cream


I first heard of Tatcha when i was exploring a Sephora store in the US, and bought their bestselling The Rice Polish foaming enzyme powder on the spot — well, after some research of course. It was quite pricey for a cleanser, but I was very taken by the brand’s East-meets-West skincare philosophy. Founder Victoria Tsai looked to Kyoto for her brand’s less-is-more approach, finding and researching on Japanese beauty secrets written in an ancient text, and combining that with modern science to suit our fast-paced lifestyle. Key here is also the Hadasei-3™, an anti-ageing trinity of green tea, rice and algae, inspired by geisha beauty rituals, and now in most of Tatcha’s well-loved products so we can enjoy healthy, youthful radiance.


How cute is that little spatula that sits on top of the jade-coloured jar like an ornamental handle? It’s that attention to detail, right down to elegant packaging, that makes Tatcha such a wonderful brand to embrace. The Water Cream goes on cool, and incredibly smooth. It’s an oil-free formula with a unique water-burst formula that breaks upon application, so the nutrients are delivered fresh without that heavy, sticky feel. What that means, from my experience, is that it feels like a cream, but transforms into a softer, lighter water-like consistency that was easily absorbed into my skin. On top of the signature Hadasei-3™, Japanese botanicals at work too — Japanese Wild Rose visibly tightens pores, while Japanese Leopard Lily helps control excess oil and clarifies skin by encouraging natural skin turnover. It worked very well on my combination-dry skin, especially when layered with a face oil at night. I also use it on its own in the day, though I haven’t yet tried it under makeup. In both situations, the hydrating effect of the cream lasts very long after, so I’m very pleased. If you’re worried about the price though, know that a little product goes a long way here as well.

$101, available at Sephora.



The Sephora Beauty Pass Sale is held from 8 July ( 12AM) to 12 July (11.59PM), with early access given to Gold Beauty Pass Members on 8 July. For Black and White Beauty Pass Members, the sale will start from 9 July.

Everything on the site is applicable for the 15 – 20%  discount except sale items and Dyson products. Beauty Pass Members cannot stack other discounts (e.g. sale markdowns) on top of the 15 – 20% discount.

Not a member yet? Sign up to Beauty Pass now for free.