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The Stuff You Need from the Sephora Sale

8 Nov


So, I’m not going to pretend I’m some prolific beauty blogger (or, heck, even a regular blogger), but lately I’ve been going hard at Sephora, and ever since the dates were posted for the VIB sale, I’ve been carefully refining my cart.  (If you’re a VIB, you’ll use code 20VIB at checkout from November 11-14.)


Here is all the stuff you need.

Want lashes that look so good people will ask if they are fake?

Then, first, you need to buy the DiorShow Primer. (The real name is like seventeen words long. Who needs to name something that long?)  It’s $30, which is insane, but one tube lasts me for like six months, and I swear it’s made the most amazing difference in my lashes.  Honestly, if you get this primer, then you could even go cheap on the actual mascara, and the only person who will really be able to tell is your mother.

The next thing you need is Too Faced Better than Sex mascara. Throw like two layers of that over your primer, and your lashes will look amazing. (I will admit here…I don’t LOVE the brush, but it’s great for making your lashes really thick and long. I sometimes will finish off with a cheaper mascara that has one of those rubber brushes to make sure everything is combed out.)

Want to figure out how to get perfect skin while struggling with both acne and aging?

I feel like having acne while you’re in your late 20’s is the most unfair thing in the world.  (Okay, that’s exaggerating.)  What worked when we were teens–super harsh drying toners and creams–is no longer great for our aging skin, and if any of you are using those rough, St. Ives scrubs, then see me after class because those are terrible for your skin.

I’m all about acids now. Lactic. Glycolic. Even fruit enzymes.  Basically, using acids to exfoliate your face is a win all around because you’re avoiding scraping it up with scrubs, battling acne, and combating signs of aging.

I am on my third bottle of Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. It’s a quick mask that combines all my favorite acids into one, and promises to brighten your skin while combating damage (lines, sun, old scars).  It smells…not great, and it feels like you’re smearing smushed up gummi bears on your face, but holy cow, it works.

I also liked Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Lactic Acid treatment…but I ended up never rebuying it after it ran out. So, this is an AHA, which is geared more towards aging skin. (BHAs, by comparison, is more for acne-prone skin, although both kinds of skin can benefit from both types. For a great break down of chemical exfoliants, read this post.)  I liked how it made my skin feel, but ever since I started using Curology (OMG MY HOLY GRAIL, my skin has never been better), I just stick to that and moisturize at night.

I’d also recommend Drunk Elephant’s Glycolic Night serum, but the beauty junkies have bought it all up and it’s currently sold out.  Oops.  Full disclosure: I haven’t tried this myself, but my fellow skincare addicts swear by it, and I trust their opinion.

The last acid you’ll want to consider is a hyaluronic acid, which is for moisturizing. (Scientific story short, it’s basically super small molecules that penetrate your skin better than lotions or creams.) If you’re all about the Sephora points, you could pick up Skin Inc’s version (which I tried and liked) BUT because we’re friends, I’m going to point you over to Deciem and their $6 version. (You read that right. $6.  You’re welcome.)

Do you low-key want Kylie Jenner lips even though you’re publicly on a Kardashian Kleanse?

Girl, I know. I “can’t stand” them either. (Wink.)  But if you want the best nude of your entire life, you have to buy Kat Von D’s Everlasting Lipstick in Lolita II. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s the perfect pinky-nude, and I wear it all the time.

Do you want to look like you’re using the Snapchat Pretty filter in real life?

Then grab the Ambient Lighting Powder from Hourglass. I used my Dim Light to the bottom of the pan, but I think I want to try the Mood Light next.  It makes your skin look all glowy without being greasy.

Do you want to be known as the best Christmas gift giver ever?

My best go-to gift is Sephora’s perfume sampler. I have made so many girlfriends/wives happy by telling all the guys I work with this tip.  You basically are giving them a giftcard to buy perfume, but it feels more meaningful since they’re also getting to sample all the perfumes and pick their favorite. If it’s a girl you like a lot, give her the big sampler.  If it’s a girl you like a little bit, give her the small sampler. If your man smells like the gym ALL the time, then give him the cologne sampler.  (Or just buy that for yourself and pick your favorite and then buy him that one.)

Do you want to know one weird trick for making your eyes pop?

Ignore the click-bait-ish title for a second, and come with me to the world of nude eyeliner.  It will change your life forever.  If you use a little shadow underneath your lower lash line and then rim the waterline of your lower eye with nude, it makes your eyes look HUGE and clear.  A lot of girls do this with white eyeliner–which also technically works, but is really noticeable.  With nude liner, you’ll just look better without anyone realizing what you are doing.

I’ve been using Nars Larger than Life liner in Rue Bonaparte, but I’ve heard other girls swear by Urban Decay’s 24/7 waterline liner in Walk of Shame.  Urban Decay is a few bucks cheaper, so I might try it to compare.

Do you have a $300 Sephora gift card burning a hole in your pocket and also enjoy blow drying your hair?

Sooo the Drybar blow dryer is definitely worth the hype.  This little gift package combines products, the dryer, a curling iron, and a brush.  I didn’t get this exact package, but I got the dryer last year and I love love it.  My hair drys so fast now, and the dryer itself is pretty light.  I’ve never actually used the curling iron (other than someone using it ON me the one time I went to DryBar), so I can’t vouch for its awesomeness.  BUT the Hot Toddy Heat Protectant smells AMAZING and makes my hair really soft, and you get that with this little set which is nice.

If you guys have holy grail products that I missed, please let me know mostly so I can obsess over them too.



BeautyBar’s Sample Society March Box!

8 Mar
Sample Society is like Birchbox, only five more dollars a month.
Instead of four samples and a little gift, Sample Society gives you five deluxe sized samples and a $15 coupon.
Look at all my goodies!  Yay!

Estee Lauder Launches a Mad Men Collection

23 Feb
 Since most of my makeup and fashion choices are retro-inspired, I was excited to hear about Estee Lauder’s upcoming collaboration with the 1960’s inspired television show.
I love this gorgeous red lipstick, and the gold case is so pretty.
There’s also a beautifully packaged rouge.
Estee Lauder’s website also has a cute little tutorial to achieve that iconic ’60’s face.
Pre-order the collection now, or wait until March when it launches!

Birchbox February 2012 Video

10 Feb

If you’re obsessed with those deluxe samples that come with your Sephora purchases, then you’ll love Birchbox.

For $10, Birchbox members receive a box every month that contains 4-5 deluxe beauty samples.  Some of the products are old favorites, while others are emerging brands that have garnered lots of industry buzz.   What’s even more fun is that you can try the products in your box, and then go online to the Birchbox website and order the full size–usually with a discount.

Here’s what I received this month!

If you’re interested, you can try it out for a month or two, and then cancel whenever you want.  Or, you can order speciality boxes (like for men, brides, etc).

polka dots and makeup

26 Apr
You might recognize this little number from my Etsy post last week.  Super vintage–super cute.  It’s totally sheer, so you have to navigate around that (or just be really free with the world), and I wonder if it’s a little too long.  Maybe I can hem it.

I can’t believe I’m not wearing red lipstick–this dress just begs for it, but I’m actually running out, and have been rationing it.  I need to get my butt to the mall and restock a lot of my makeup that I’ve just been doing without.
I ran out of my Make Up Forever HD Foundation and because I was being cheap, I just bought a random bottle from Harris Teeter.
Maybelline’s FIT ME foundation
Due to the amazing weather and impending vacation, I’m slowly getting more tan.  One of my biggest problems is matching my skin tone with foundation–so I figured something like this would work great.
Okay.  So, the claims on the website are:
It’s makeup that fits you.
  • No oils, no waxes, no nonsense
  • Natural coverage that leaves skin the way it was meant to be…fresh, breathing, natural  
  • Exclusive translucent base and lightweight pigments allow skin’s natural highs and lows to show through
  • Non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested
    Okay.  Those are all good things, but the foundation just feels weird on my skin.  And, I’m running into the same problems I did with my foundation before MUFE–it wears off like halfway through the day, even with a primer on.  
Also, I should have paid attention the claims before I bought it, as I don’t like to show my “Natural Lows” when it comes to my skin.  
But, yes, true to claims, the color does match nicely, but I think I’m going to have to bite the financial bullet and buy the expensive stuff again.