Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sephora haul!

This is going to be a long one. Let me start by saying that I did not get all of this in one trip. It was over the course of a month-ish and I had a gift card and also that $20 off coupon and also I'm a very bad person. Let's continue.

Here's a quick rundown of what I bought and my first impressions of it:

(I swear, I'm working on my photo-taking skills.)

NARS Crystal Translucent Pressed Powder
Best powder I have ever used, bar none (though keep in mind I haven't used that many). Like those Guerlain pearls -- something I have to remind myself to use -- but BETTER. And cheaper. My only question is: what do you do with the sponge? I've just been using a brush to apply it since my weird OCD tendencies can't imagine getting that pretty white sponge all stained with makeup.

Origins Charcoal Mask
Repurchase. I love this as an end or beginning of the week reboot for my face. Clears my pores from all of their gunk without drying or purging my skin. Potential HG for me.

NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc
Such an impulse purchase! I have read so many good reviews about it, and I was in Sephora in the NARS section and asked for a quick color match and boom, it was in my basket. I thought I was going to be matched to Deauville, but there's one more color right above it that Sephora doesn't have on their website called Mont Blanc. It's PERFECT. As for the formula itself -- I really like it but I need more time to play around with it.

Armani Acqua di Gioia perfume
I've smelled this so many times at a Sephora store and really liked it, so I ordered a bottle. A full spray on me really sticks around, but not in an offensive way? I don't know, I'm a little 'eh' about it. Time will tell but I'll probably return it (and put that money toward a Jo Malone, oops).

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise
I've never used a cream blush. Go ahead and throw the tomatoes. (I kid.) With oily skin, I've always preferred the matte finish my favorite powder blushes bring to the table. But now I'm more combination leaning toward dry, especially in my cheeks. These have fascinated me since they popped up in everyone's blogs last summer (p.s. Ashley's review is so good). And? Amazing! Cooling and sheer but buildable with the best bright fruity color options. I'm definitely going back for another color in the summer, but this one is making my dry winter face feel so much more hydrated and I couldn't be happier.

Beauty Blender
Why did I wait so long to spring for one of these hot pink babies? They remind me of those dinosaur sponges I used to play with in the bath as a kid: small, and then they hit water and EXPLODE into big dinosaurs! Yeah! This one is (unfortunately) not dinosaur shaped but I love it just as much. Get it damp and it triples in size before applying your makeup like a champ. I've also used it to apply that Josie Maran cheek gelee with promising results.

Kat Von D Palette in Ladybird
I almost got the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette instead but LOOK AT THESE WARM COLORS. The brown/taupe neutrals will look amazing with the orange! The purple! The navy! I swoon. I can wear the UD Naked Basics all summer, but the time for these KvD colors is NOW. (Once I wear them and swatch them I'll put up a post. Maybe with multiple looks?)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer & deluxe sample of Tarte Flawless Brightening Primer
I wimped out and only got the small size of the Hourglass. It was still $18, but that's a lot easier to swallow than the fifty-dollar-and-change bigger size. Sigh. If only it wasn't so dreamy. As for the Tarte, I haven't tried it yet because when it arrived it was frozen completely solid and has only recently defrosted. Good ol' Wisconsin.

VIB Rouge Welcome Packet + Bite Lipstick in VIB Rouge
Yeah, yeah, here's a cardboard envelope to celebrate your spending gobs of money at Sephora! Yeah! (Honestly, the best perk is the free shipping on any order. I'm going to get so many free samples they're going to need their own closet.) But I do really appreciate the special mini lip shade from Bite, a brand I've been chomping at the bit (ha....see....chomping....Bite....never mind) to try. It's pretty small, but a creamy rich perfect neutral red. Thanks Sephora!

Now someone, anyone, please put handcuffs on the door of my local Sephora so I can't go there anymore. I'll give you some samples!

How to Survive an Arctic Blast (Skincare Edition)

As you might have heard, the entire country was recently visited by Mother Nature's sick joke: cold COLD weather. My little corner of the world was -40 degrees Fahrenheit for two days, which cancelled work (score) but wreaked havoc on my skin. Dry, flaky, red, the whole nine yards. But thanks to these wonder products, I've finally gotten a handle on the bitter cold.

If you're feeling a little chilly, bundle up and make an online order for these on the double:

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
Okay, I admit it -- I bite my lips. It's an awful habit I'm trying to break for the sake of my fabulous lip colors, but anxiety and restlessness often get the better of me. Last winter I splurged on this balm, knowing I would love it. But I didn't. It was too greasy, not long-lasting enough, and overpriced to boot ($28?!). But recently my lips have been too awful to mention and nothing has helped, not even my beloved Nuxe Reve de Miel or Jack Black. I dug this out again and poof! Miracles. The letters may be peeling off, but it's because it's never far from my coat pocket. Its creamy consistency plumps, moisturizes and softens, putting my lips in perfect pout position once again.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream
I got a sample of this from Sephora in early October and it was all love from there. First spotted on Caroline Hirons' blog (who else), this cream has become my skin savior. It's full of lactic acid via pure goat milk and all kinds of other good stuff like aloe, jojoba, and coconut oil (which I worried might break me out; a fear that was mercifully unfounded) that soothes and hydrates. When combined with the next two items, my skin is a happy camper.

The one, the only, the legend. Much hyped and raved about on every UK skincare blog ever made, this serum's 100% pure hyaluronic acid formula is everything and more. I pop it on before my oil/moisturizer and wake up to plump, beautiful skin. It can be hard to find in the States, but I got mine shipped from Canada -- on sale, too! Holy grail stuff here, folks. I will never ever be without this ever. (If you needed reminding of the weather: my tube sat in my mailbox for a few hours and froze completely solid. Luckily it's no worse for the wear.)

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil
I know I talk Fresh up a lot, but their products are just so, so lovely and they're one of my most favorite brands. Twice on this list alone! This face oil is stunning. Made with sea buckthorn (a traditional burn remedy), camellia seed, cranberry seed, grapeseed and sweet almond oils, this magic elixir transforms dry, red skin into smooth, soft skin OVERNIGHT. I saw a reduction in my acne scarring as well. It's a drier oil, so it doesn't make my face greasy. I mix a few drops in with my moisturizer day and night for amazing results. Try it, kids. You won't be sorry.

There you go -- a field guide to surviving the polar freeze. Buckle up, it's going to be a long winter.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nordstrom wishlist!

Another day, another wishlist....this time for all those special things only Nordstrom can provide.


Nars Satin Lip Pencils in Descanso and Torres del Paine
This is a Nordstrom exclusive limited edition collection, guys! Descanso is a dirty pink and Torres del Paine a sweet peach, just begging to be paired with a floral dress (SO groundbreaking) and soft blush.... I can't afford them right now so I'll just dream about them from afar -- until the day comes where they're sold out and I cry myself to sleep.

Chanel Le Blush Créme de Chanel in Presage
Holy smokes isn't this the most beautiful thing? It's cream-to-powder and so so luxurious. Anything that gets an A+ from Temptalia needs to be on my list. I've never owned a Chanel product (and how strange that of all things it would be blush?) but this I very much want. Plus it's so spring-like! (Are you sensing a pattern here?)

REN Clarifying Toner Lotion
I already have two exfoliating toners, why do I need another one? Well, since you asked: the two I have are glycolic, while this REN one is lactic based. Apparently one of mine, via the skincare oracle Caroline Hirons, shouldn't be used every day as well. I think a third would give me a good range to go off of and then I can write a nice little toner review for you guys. :)

MAC Lipsticks in Plumful and Dubonnet
These are both two MAC shades I had heard nothing about until a month or two ago, when suddenly every blogger sung their praises for Plumful as a way to play the berry trend in a more wearable way. And it looked amazing on everyone! Sold. As for Dubonnet, it's a deep brick red that is so perfect for the season: I can't let it get away!

NARS Foundation Pump (not pictured)
This is sold out at the moment but I still need it -- my Sheer Glow is in dire need of a better dispensing system. The pour-out method is just not cutting it. Any suggestions on where I can find one (with free shipping, preferably?)

Nordstrom, I am coming for you! Soon. Maybe. If I win the lottery.