Last month when I was in Florida for the holidays I hit up the incredibly epic Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise (near Miami). If you’ve never been to Sawgrass Mills it’s an enormous super high end mall PLUS outlet mall with stores like Tory Burch, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, etc. etc. It’s always swamped with people from all over the world all brought together by the shared love of finding a great deal. I was at Sawgrass for HOURS in a trance-like zombie shopping state when all of a sudden I realized “holy shit…I’m in a CCO.”
So what the hell is a CCO anyway? CCO stands for Cosmetic Company Outlet or it’s also known as CCS which is The Cosmetics Company Store. A CCO is the one magical, mystical place that you can find MAC ON SALE. And not just MAC, but Origins, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Bumble & Bumble, and more. They have current and past/discontinued products, limited edition products, gift sets, and products that are in the older packaging and therefore are no longer sold at the store. The products are authentic and usually sold at 30% off retail price. The stores are open to the public so you don’t have to be a makeup artist or in the industry to go to one. How is this possible? Estée Lauder Companies owns all of these brands. So here’s what I bought:
The first thing that caught my eye was the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation which I have been wanting to try. This foundation is supposed to be great for full coverage, all day and night extreme (15 hrs.) long wear, and oily skin. There was an SA there that was able to help color match me and my friend. I picked up the shade 1N1 Ivory Nude which is probably my only foundation I own that’s as light as my skin. So far I do think this foundation is very long lasting and has great flawless coverage, but it keeps caking up on me and looking heavier than I want. It also kind of looks like it’s just sitting on top of my skin which is never great. I’m still experimenting with moisturizer/primer/application (brush vs. beauty blender)/setting powders to find a better way to have this foundation looking nice. Trying it has made me want to try the Double Wear Light foundation (which was also in stock) in hopes that it’s what I’m looking for. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup retails for $37 for 1oz. and I got mine at the CCO for $26. Here’s some foundation comparisons:
The next thing I looked for was Estée Lauder highlighter in Heat Wave which is loved by a lot of IG and YouTube girls and is very hard to find. It also sells on Ebay for $70-$100+ regularly, but they didn’t have it in stock. I just called the CCOs in Camarillo and Desert Hills which are the 2 closest to LA and neither have them and they haven’t been in stock for a while :(. So if you see it definitely pick one up!
The next thing I saw was the Origins display. I’ve heard great things about their skin care products, but had only tried the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream and I can tell you right now- you can go ahead and save your $30. You will see a difference if you only put it on one eye and compare, but that’s only because “optic brighteners” aka the shimmery glitter in it. What did catch my eye that day at the CCO, however, was the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which I have been using pretty much every night as a night cream and have been LOVING. This is a super thick moisturizer that really helps my thirsty, flaky skin. I even put some on my nose during the day where I’m extra dry. The 1.7oz. size retails for $17 and I got it at the CCO for $13.75.
The next skin care product came from a line that I haven’t taken a look at since high school- Clinique. I picked up a little value set that included 4 products. The Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula I’ve used a few times and has worked fine as a cleanser. It doesn’t dry me out too bad, but I also don’t notice a huge difference in how oily my skin gets throughout the day. The Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Extra Radiance Renewer is a brightening cream that is nice, but doesn’t give me “OMG WOW!” results by any means. I could take it or leave it and would not repurchase a full size of either of those. The Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief is an awesome gel-creme moisturizer which is nice and cooling and is absorbed quickly. I have been using it daily and it works very nicely under my makeup. It moisturizes, but isn’t so heavy that it makes me oily or effects how my makeup blends. I do wish it had sunscreen as well, but I have yet to see a nice moisturizing gel-like sunscreen. The Clinique All About Eyes is also a cooling cream-gel eye cream which again allows it to be absorbed quickly and doesn’t interfere with my concealer. I really like this as well. It hasn’t changed the puffiness or dark circles, but it definitely feels nice and works well for day-to-day. This set was $13.25 at the CCO and I wasn’t able to find it online, but there are many value sets that contain these products. I would probably buy another Clinique value set in the future that contained the Moisture Surge and All About Eyes.
After skin care I was sucked into the MAC display. The first thing I spotted was the MAC Face and Body foundation which is another one I have been wanting to try, but I had to resist since I didn’t need the first foundation I had picked up, let alone 2 new high-end foundations. What I did end up grabbing was the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle which is a highlighter that is popular with the YouTube beauty gurus. It’s described on the MAC website as a “gilded peach bronze” which is very strange and made me google to see if they had changed the color over time or something because that is not how I would describe it at all! It’s more of a beige-y glittery frost with warm undertones. When they say “Soft and Gentle” they definitely mean it- this highlighter is just a very soft, subtle, sheer wash of highlight that’s nice for daytime or someone who is looking for a barely-there highlighter. This is also going to look best on lighter skin tones as it could come off as ashy on girls with darker skin. This is nice and I have been throwing it into my highlighter rotation occasionally, but it’s definitely not holy grail for me and I would probably not repurchase. Luckily these highlighters generally last an entire lifetime and I am glad that I tried it. It retails for $32 and I got mine at the CCO for about $21.The other things I saw at the MAC display were LE products from the RiRi and Archie lines. Here’s some swatches:
The CCO at Sawgrass Mills is located inside of the Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth store.
You can find out what people have spotted recently at your local CCO on Spektra.
You can find your local Cosmetics Company Outlet Store/The Cosmetics Company Store on Outlet Table.