Friday, October 28, 2011

Sephora Friends and Family Sale–My Beauty Purchase Plunge

Despite being on a pseudo beauty buying ban, the Sephora F&F Sale is the one event with the power to make me take a temporary break. I swear I had no choice!

I behaved myself pretty well and held back from purchasing any new cosmetics. We can chalk that up to part self restraint and part that I know Sephora will probably come out with some excellent sets for the holidays that I know I won’t be able to hold back from.

But there was one item that I finally had to get. I think part of me has always known that I would eventually give in and buy one, and that day has finally come.

This is what I got.

Clarisonic Mia™ Skin Cleansing System with Boscia, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Dennis Gross & Peter Thomas Roth - White ($199 Value)

*image from*

(I tried to take a photo of my actual box, but it’s so big that I couldn’t make it look right. Finally I thought ‘Don’t be a hero, just take the photo from Sephora’ : P)

That’s right. I am now part of the legion of Clarisonic owners – granted I got the Mia.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I spent longer than probably necessary trying to decide which  color to get (there are about 10 different colors available on the Sephora site right now), but this one came with the most stuff so it seemed the best deal. And even though the other colors are pretty, I figured the novelty of them would probably wear off for me pretty quickly. At least white will always look clean and sleek, right?

This particular set comes with:

- Clarisonic Mia™ One Speed Brush
- International pLink™ charger for worldwide use
- Deep Pore Brush Head
- 5 Dr. Dennis Gross Step 1 & Step 2 Extra Strength Alpha Beta® Peel Treatments
- 0.25 oz Dr. Brandt pores no more® pore refiner
- 1 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 30
- 5 oz Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

It just arrived yesterday so it’s still in the ‘let this fully charge before using it’ stage, but I have to say – I’m pretty freaking excited about it. One of my only skin qualms is that the pores on my nose never look as refined as I’d like them to, so maybe this baby can give them a run for their money.

I’ll be sure to share updates on it after it’s gotten a few weeks of hard use!

If you’re interested in getting this particular set, I would look at it soon as it is marked as limited edition on the site.

Have any of you made any exciting beauty purchases lately?

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Self Induced Makeup Rut

Ok, so obviously I still haven’t found the school-online balance that I whined about not having in my last post.  Sorry.  Slap on the wrist for me.  And on we go -

In my last post I also mentioned that I was making a serious attempt to work through some of the excessive amount of stuff I’ve somehow managed to accumulate, so I thought I’d share the products that will hopefully soon be worked out of my stash – and I’m actually making progress!

For the better part of the last two months (since I moved in August), these products have made up the large part of my everyday makeup routine -

smashbox photofinish

1. Smashbox Photo Finish with UVA/UVB SPF 15

This mini came in the Sephora Sun Safety kit that I got a few months ago (no longer available), so I thought I should finally use it up.  The reasons that it’s been ignored for so long is that the SPF is lower than I usually go for (I prefer 30+) and I don’t wear foundation (this is a foundation primer after all). But still, I’m incapable of just throwing something away. This little tube lasted me around 2 weeks, so a tiny bit goes a long way. I noticed that my cream blushes did blend out more easily with it and my skin looked slightly smoother, but certainly not enough for me to start using it regularly. And it’s officially empty! Stash reduced.

2. Bare Escentuals Feather Light Mineral Veil (now called Illuminating Mineral Veil)

mineral veil feather light

This mini came in the same kit as the Smashbox primer. Now I’m all for a good setting powder, in fact I don’t consider my makeup done until I’ve used one, but I’m still a bit on the fence about this.

I’ve heard a few people say that they use this as an all-over setting powder; but, as you can tell from the new product name, it’s “illuminating” i.e. it’s got shimmer. Granted it is extremely fine shimmer, but it’s still shimmer. I’m always a bit wary of getting too much shimmer in a look, so the idea of using a shimmer product all over your face freaks me out a bit. It might look gorgeous in the particular light you apply your makeup in, but then make you look like a disco ball when you get outside in bright sun. I’ve been using it like a typical highlighter on top of my cheekbones to use it up, and it does work as a pretty, subtle highlight; but I’ll just return to using an actual highlighter once I work through this.

3. Paula Dorf eye shadow palette

Paula Dorf palette

I can’t definitively remember where I got this, which probably means that I found it for ridiculously cheap at T.J.Maxx or the like [although I did find it for sale on (in the link) if you just fell in love with the photo and have to have it; though I wouldn’t pay that $35 for it  - just sayin’].

I’m not sure what made me pick this one up two months ago and decide it was the palette that I’d work through first – maybe because I think the packaging is unnecessarily bulky for the amount of shadow in it – but I did, and I am making definite progress on this baby. This went from being almost pristine two months ago to three hit pans and the two on the left are being worked down.

But I will say, I’ve been surprised at how long this has lasted.  I honestly thought I’d be able to work through this relatively quickly since the shadows are small, but I have consistently used this every day I’ve done makeup since the beginning of this project and none of them are gone yet. Note to self – reevaluate how long I think the eye shadow I own will last me before justifying buying more.

The shadows are nice quality and the packaging is cute and very travel friendly. If I ever stumble across the brand on a good deal again, I’ll definitely give it a look, but I’m not so in love with it that I’ll go out of my way to chase it down.

4. Revlon shadow in White Whisper

Don’t let being in a pan fool you; this is a Revlon shadow. I went through a phase where I wanted all of my shadows to be in uniform pans, so I went through a mad re-pressing project over a few weekends Never again!

I can’t seem to find this online anywhere which makes me think it may have been discontinued. However, it does make a lovely under-brow highlighter. It’s not shimmery, but it’s not a bland matte. So if you think you’ve got it stashed down somewhere your collection, it’s worth digging out and giving a look.

5. Stila Convertible Color in Peony

Stila Peony annd Urban Decay Rockstar

I’ve written about this before (and a drugstore dupe). It’s one of my favorite blushes ever. It blends out beautifully, the color just seems to work on my skin, and a little goes a long way so this product lasts forever. If you want to see more of my rambling about this, go check out that post.

6. Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Rockstar

Urban Decay Rockstar swatch

I wish I could say that I’d worked this down from a full-sized pencil, but this actually came from a set of minis so I’m not quite so impressive. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned these pencils somewhere before as well. They’re beautiful and smooth enough not to pull the eyelid when being applied. Despite being a purple, this shade is so dark that I think it’s acceptable to be worn as a neutral so I’ve used this almost every day.

Though there seems to be a good bit left, this thing has been getting progressively more difficult to sharpen so I think it’s nearing the end of its life. Yay!


Phew! For being a relatively short list of products, it took me long enough to talk about them all.

Although I do slightly miss the variety of using different products every day, there has been something very nice about not having to put much thought into what I was going to use on busy mornings where I’m still half asleep (most mornings). Sometimes when a makeup collection gets so big, having to make these decisions every day gets to be a bit much (I’m sure some of you can relate). Perhaps once I finish up with these I’ll start choosing products to focus on for the week or something similar to get back some of that variety while still taking out some of that daily decision process.

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