Sephora

WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Fourteen

Photos and logo as seen on Sephora.com

Photos and logo as seen on Sephora.com

This value set is almost too good to be true.  Filled with 12 of Sephora’s best sellers, this “Sephora Favorites: Superstars” set retails for $90.00 CDN, and comes with 7 full-size products and 5 deluxe samples: a $270.00 value!  What’s great about this set, is that you can either gift it as-is, or separate the items and give to multiple people.  I’ve personally tried (and love) many of the items in this set including: the blush, eye shadow, eyebrow pencil, liquid liner, primer, mascara, and lip treatment.  Check out the full product list, below!

Full-Size Products: 

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown

-Chloè by Chloè Rollerball

-Formula X Nail Color in Ignite

-Nars Cosmetics Blush in Orgasm

-Smashbox Cosmetics Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Light

-Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner In Intense Black

-Urban Decay Eye shadow in Sin

Deluxe Samples/Minis:

-Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional

-Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara In Jet Black

-Fresh Sugar Rosè Tinted Lip Treatment

-Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

-Bumble And Bumble Surf Spray

Previous Days:

Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day Eight, Day Nine, Day Ten, Day Eleven, Day Twelve, Day Thirteen

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WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day One

 

Photo Credit: Urbandecay.com

Photo Credit: Urbandecay.com 

Selfishly, I chose this product for day one of my gift guide because I’m just that excited about it.  Naked On The Run is the brand new (released today), limited-edition kit from Urban Decay, meant for the “Naked” lover on the go.  For those of you not already familiar with the highly-coveted Naked pallets, you can check out my previous post here.  This set comes with 6 eye shadows (all brand new shades), blush, bronzer, lip gloss (full size), eyeliner, and mascara.  Perfect for travelling or touch ups on the go, this set retails for $54.00 US and can be purchased as of today (November 20th) on the Urban Decay website, or at Sephora on December 1st.

 

 

September/October Favourites

September October Favourites

While I much prefer the heat of Summer over the brisk Fall we’ve been having, September and October did at least mark the discovery of a few new holy-grail beauty and fashion items.  Let’s get started!

1. The Body Shop Colour Crush Nail Polish in “Almond Kiss”

The Body Shop’s newly released nail polishes can definitely play in the big-leagues.  Their polish applies easily and evenly, dries fast, and has impressive wear-time.  I especially love the colour “Almond Kiss”, which is the perfect neutral for pairing with your every day work-and-play attire.  Other favourites?  The colour “The Body Shop Green”, (an ode to the colour of their logo), and “Crazy for Blue”, a gorgeous, glossy navy.

2. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in “Cleary Quick”

I always find waiting for nail polish to dry so inconvenient; there are a million other things I’d rather be doing.  That’s way this product has become a staple in my nail polish routine.  Paired with The Body Shop polish above, my nails were fully dry in about 10 minutes, and lasted upwards of 8 days with little to no chips (which speaks to the quality of both this top coat, and the nail polish above). It’s also extremely affordable, and can be purchased for around $4.00 a bottle at Wal-Mart.

3. American Eagle AEO Denim Vested Hoodie

This jacket has been a part of American Eagle’s line for the past few seasons (and has come in other colours as well).  I toyed with buying it in the Spring, but finally purchased it at the end of Summer.  I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d get the wear out of it that I’d like to, but I was wrong.  This jacket is extremely versatile (not to mention super comfortable).  I’ve most recently paired it with a black t-shirt dress, and also with leggings (which you can see in this post, and on Instagram here).  American Eagle offers great sales fairly often (usually around 40% off with free shipping), so be sure to sign up for email notifications!

4. Urban Decay Naked2 Basics

If you invest in one pallet, this should be it.  The eyeshadows are perfection: thick, creamy application, and beautiful tone and pigmentation.  All you need to create a subtle day-look, or evening smokey-eye drama is in this 6-eye shadow pallet.  My favourite colours are “Stark” and “Cover”, which give eyes a “no-makeup” makeup look.  All you need to do is add a little bit of “Undone” to the outer corners of your eye, and your ready for after-work cocktails or a night on the town!

5. NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Audrey”

Newly released by NARS, these lipsticks are flying off the shelves, and all with good reason.  Beautiful pigmentation and smooth application, one swipe is all it takes to obtain long-lasting lips that are sure to make a statement.  The luxe packaging also includes a magnetic-closure lid.  The colour I’ve been loving? Audrey: described on the Sephora website as “red currant”.  In the tube, this colour looks like a darker-toned red, but on the lips, it’s much more like a rich berry or wine tone.  I wore this to a recent event (where food and drink were involved), and never needed to reapply throughout the night.  You can check out a picture of me wearing this on Instagram, here.

6.  Minicci (Payless Shoe Source) Ultra Low No-Show Socks

Time for some real-talk: the truth is, that every time you wear your favourite heels without socks or pantyhose, the dead skin and bacteria left behind (gross, I know) is there permanently.  Shoe cleaners and sprays will help mask any build-up or scent, but the bacteria will always remain.  An easy way to prevent this is by wearing these no-show socks from Payless.  A pair will run you around $3.00 (they come in nude and black), and will help ensure your new shoes stay fresh for many walks and dances to come!

 

What have you been loving? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Products I Regret Buying (and What You Should Buy Instead)

Products I Regret Buying

It’s happened to the best of us: we hop on the “hype” train when a new product comes out, only to discover it really wasn’t worth the trip in the first place. Bummer.  For drugstore products, you usually have to bite the bullet and pass them on to a friend (or a garbage can), and, so long as you’ve purchased those higher-priced items at Sephora, you’re in the good hands of a solid customer return policy.  The following are items I regret buying, as well as those I recommend you spend your hard-earned dollars on instead.

1. First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream $50.00

When purchasing this product, I’d already become a big fan of First Aid Beauty’s “Facial Radiance Polish” and “Daily Face Cream“, so I was disappointed to discover that this eye cream did nothing for me (especially at such a high price point).  It didn’t moisturize or calm my skin, (in fact, I actually had a reaction to it).  In it’s place, I’d recommend Jurlique’s “Herbal Recovery Eye Cream”, that gently hydrates and smells amazing.

2. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Remover $22.00

They’re Real Mascara is my an all-time favourite of mine (I posted about it previously here), and I was thrilled to discover that Benefit had come up with a solution to the sometimes-hard-to-remove holy-grail mascara.  I wanted so badly to love this product as much as I love the mascara, but sadly, all it did was burn and sting my eyes, and barely removed the mascara at all.  There are two products I’d recommend in this remover’s place: 1. Clinique’s “Wash-Away Gel Cleanser”, and 2. The Body Shop’s “Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover”.  Both of these remove makeup like a pro, and have been longtime favourites of mine.

3. Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush $15.99

To be fair, the idea behind this blush is adorable: “Infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress. The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply!” (Well.ca).  The packaging is cute, the colours in the mix are pretty, and the payoff is good, I just can’t say this blush made me any “happier” than others I own.  For drugstore makeup, it’s also on the higher-priced side, and I think there are others you can buy that will make you just as…happy.  For example, the Hard Candy boxed blushes I talked about here for a fraction of the price.

4. Essie Sleek Sticks Nail Appliques $12.99

It’s no secret that Essie is a front-runner in the nail polish industry, so I assumed their nail stickers would be equally as impressive.  Wrong.  The application was fast and easy, but within less than 24 hours of wear there were chips on almost all of my nails.  As I have many times before, I highly recommend purchasing the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.  These are the only strips I’ve found that live up to the “long-wear” claims (mine really do last upwards of 10 days).

What products do you regret buying?  Let me know in the comments below!    

Colour Love: Cobalt Blue

Royal Blue

I’ve likely mentioned this in previous posts, but hey, what’s one more time?  Cobalt (or “royal”) blue is my absolute favourite colour.  It’s universal, complimenting nearly every skin tone or hair colour, and can be worn year-round.  Looking for some inspiration? Just Google Kate Middleton.  And, while I may never be royal (pun intended),  it’s kind of fun to dress like one, right?!  Here are some of my current cobalt favourites, from jewelry, to clothing, to makeup.

1. K-Mart: Attention Women’s Button-Front Blouse in “Sparkling Ocean” $12.00

I’d been eyeing this shirt for a while, and was excited to find it on sale during a recent cross-border shopping trip!

2. Sephora Collection Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner 24 HR Wear in “Pool Party” $15.00

Use this to add pizazz to a smoky eye, or wear alone with mascara.  Vibrant, pigmented colour that lasts all day!

3. Whet Nail Polish in “Facetious” $15.00

Paired with a glossy top-coat, 2 coats goes on smoothly and gives you rich, intense colour.

4. Pier 1 Beaded Cuff Bracelet $12.00

I love this cuff bracelet; gold pairs so beautifully with royal blue.  Wear it lower on your wrist, or closer to your elbow for an even more “Grecian” feel.

5. Tassel Earrings $3.99

I love both the look and the price of these adorable earrings.  I paired mine with wavy hair, but they’d look great with an updo, too!  What’s even more fun? Shopping at the store they came from.  A unique concept of food and fashion, Tou Jours offers great prices, friendly staff, and ensures you’re never shopping on an empty stomach!

 

 

 

 

 

#Dealoftheday: Sephora VIB Rouge Freebies!

vibrouge

As a Sephora VIB Rouge member, (more info here), you receive invitations to special events, Rouge-only discounts, and private shopping parties.  The event I attended this weekend was a private shopping party in the morning before the mall opened.  VIB Rouge members (and a friend) received 15% off their purchases, free coffee and treats, beauty consultations, and much more.  I did purchase some items, but for today’s #Dealoftheday I wanted to share all the goodies I received for free (shown in the picture, above):

-Sephora makeup bag

– VIB Rouge water bottle (love this!)

-VIB Rouge compact mirror

-FULL SIZE bareMinerals Ready Blush in “The Tease” (Regular $28.00)

-bareMinerals foundation, brush, and eye brightener sample

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black perfume sample

Prada Luna Rossa perfume sample

-Assorted primer, body butter, and moisturizer samples

vibrouge2

Haul: Sephora

Sephora Haul

 

1. Clinique Wash-Away Gel Cleanser, $24.00

Clinique Gel Cleanser

This product is a re-purchase, and has been my go-to makeup remover for a few years now.  Though you can use it by itself as a cleanser before moisturizing, I use it to remove my makeup prior to washing my face with another (different brand) product.  I’ve yet to find a cleanser that removes makeup as well as this does (including waterproof makeup).  It is great for oily skin, and a little bit of product goes a long way, so one bottle will last you at least a few months.

2.  First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream, $25.00

First Aid

I’ve heard great things about this product, and since I’m in need of a new moisturizer, I decided to give it a try.  I’m typically hesitant about trying new brands and products when it comes to skincare as I have sensitive/acne prone skin. However the fact that this cream is oil-free, fragrance free, non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores), and is listed as “safe for sensitive skin”, eased my concern.  My only wish is that it contained some sort of sun protection.  I’ll be sure to provide a review in a future post!

3.  Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Custard”, $32.00

Nars Concealer

Nars products are quickly adding up on my “favourites” list.  I currently use their bronzer, blush, eyeshadow primer, eyeliner, and lipgloss (just to name a few), and so I thought I’d give their concealer a try as well.  I mostly wanted this concealer to use in my under-eye area, so it was important to find a perfect colour-match.  Luckily, this product comes in a variety of colours to match any skin tone.  Because my skin is more yellow-toned than pink, I find that some products oxidize on my face, and by the end of the day, I look orange (not flattering).  I have had the chance to try this concealer since purchasing, and am happy to report that the “Custard” shade matches my skin perfectly (this is also thanks to the great descriptions on Sephora’s website).  I have had no issues with creasing or smudging, and am happy with the medium-to-full coverage it provides.  Definitely another Nars product I intend on repurchasing when I run out.

4. bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolors in “Meteorite” and “Bronzed”, Set $12.00

Bare Minerals

This set is an incredible value for your money.  For just $12.00, you’re getting 2 full-sized High Shine Eyecolours (normally one on its own retails for $15.00!). The colours are beautiful neutrals that can be worn every day: “Meteorite” is a beautiful shimmery neutral-plum tone, and “bronzed” is a shimmery brown-gold tone (I guess the name “bronzed” sort of speaks for itself!).  The built-in applicator makes it perfect for travelling or keeping in your purse.  Interested in this set?  Grab it soon: it is limited edition!  I’m really excited to try these out, and will follow up regarding wear/creasing in a future post.

**5. Freebies!**

A. Sephora Earbuds

Sephora buds

I’m not going to lie, I was a little too excited when I realized I would get these free with my purchase.  Cute, compact, and contained within a velvet carrying case, these are one of the best gift-with-purchases I’ve ever received.   Interested in a pair of your own?  Check out my previous post, here.

B. Sample Trio: Hourglass, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs

Deluxe Samples

I’m a big fan of the deluxe samples that Sephora offers: 1. because they allow you to try a fair-sized amount of product before you decide to invest in the full-size, and 2. because who doesn’t like free stuff?!  I received this fun trio of products for free with my purchase (I made 2 separate orders, and was able to take advantage of free shipping).

 The trio included the following:

1. Marc Jacobs Beauty Lash Lifter-Gel Definition Mascara

2. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

3. Givenchy Le Rouge in “202 Rose Dressing”

I’ve heard great things about all 3 of these products, especially the primer.

Are you already a fan of any of these products? Let me know!

“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” ~Rosalind Russell

#Dealoftheday FREE Sephora Earbuds!

Sephora buds

Today’s deal of the day is one of my favourite kinds out there: the FREE kind!  I needed to place an order for a few products on Sephora’s website (haul coming soon), and came across a coupon code for this pair of adorable earbuds. Did I also mention I actually needed a new pair of  earbuds?  It was fate.  They come in a cute branded velvet bag, and are adorned with Sephora’s signature black and white stripes.  Interested in a pair?  All you need to do is spend $25.00, and use the coupon code “SEPHORAJAMS” at checkout!

My Picks: Stocking Stuffers and Girly Holiday Gifts!

Dear Santa

The holiday season has officially started, and while you’re shopping for those on your nice list,  you can’t forget to add things you love to that wish list of yours!  I’ve put together a few of my favourite items this year, some of which I already own, and others that I’m hoping Santa has in stock for me in his workshop.  Luckily, most of these items are small, and budget friendly, so not only will they fit easily in Santa’s bag, they’re also great ideas for your girlfriends or loved ones.   Let’s get to it!

1.  Julep “In a Pinch” $22.00

Personally, I think this set is brilliant.  Probably, because on numerous occasions I’ve found myself at work or at a special event with chipped nail polish and am forced to tediously, and quickly, pick it off my nails (am I alone on this one?).  This set is perfect for leaving at your desk, and is small enough to fit in your daily tote or purse.  It comes with 3 packages of nail polish remover wipes (1 is enough to remove the polish from both hands), hand cream, and Julep’s signature “Oxygen Nail Treatment”, which conditions nails while covering them in a universally-flattering pink-toned glaze.

2. Essie “On a Silver Platter” Nail Polish $8.00

A part of their new “Encrusted Treasures” holiday collection for 2013, this polish is stunning and is definitely a statement maker.  It’s flashy, holographic, yet surprisingly wearable.  I am aware of my addiction to nail polish, and the fact that I tend to buy more than I could possibly ever wear in a lifetime, yet I find myself needing this colour. You do too.

3. Tiffany & Co. Playing Cards $35.00

I don’t think there is anything quite like the elegance and simplicity of the Tiffany box.  The downside? The expensive price tags of the items that are usually inside. Not only is this set of playing cards a fun gift for a friend (who doesn’t like unwrapping a Tiffany’s box?), it solves the problem of “I can’t find the deck of cards in the junk drawer”, or the “I only have a 42 card deck because I didn’t use an elastic” dilemma.  Now, you can store them all together in a cute box on top of your dresser or coffee table, and no one ever has to know that it’s not a diamond necklace hiding inside.

4. Acrylic Monogram Keychain $19.95

It’s time to retire that old keychain you got at the zoo 3 years ago, and ask Santa for something a little more chic and grown up.  Plus, who doesn’t love receiving something personalized?  Not only are these key chains adorable, they are affordable enough to buy for each of your friends.  They come in wide range of colours, and if you order right now, Christmas delivery is guaranteed (and free!).  I’ve mentioned the company My Name Necklace in a previous post; check out their other items, they make great gift ideas too!

5. Clinique Black Honey Beauty Set $25.00

If you’ve read my previous posts, I think it’s already pretty clear that I’m obsessed with Clinique’s Black Honey line (I’ve talked about it here and here).  Universally flattering and beautifully formulized, this set allows you to try a few of the products in line, without the commitment or need to buy the full sizes (though you do get a full sized lipstick).  Ask for this set for yourself, or find comfort in knowing that whoever you buy it for, the colour will almost certainly work for them.  Note: though it is not currently on their website, this product is available in store at Sephora.

6.  Book Page Jewelry by The Unwritten Word $19.50-$45.53

I recently discovered this line at a outdoor holiday market, and the minute I saw it, I couldn’t get over how genius the idea was.  Almost everyone has a classic book that’s close to their heart, and now you can literally wear it around your neck (or wrist).  The artist uses pages from novels such as The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet, and turns them into beautiful earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  Well made, and extremely well priced, this is the perfect gift for the book lover in your family or circle of friends.

7.  Kate Spade New York All Occasion Card Set $35.00

How many times have you ripped your house or desk apart searching for a card for a last minute event, or a forgotten (oops!) birthday? This boxed set ensures you’ll always have one handy, as well as an organized system for storing and organizing the cards for various events…and did I mention that it’s by Kate Spade?! (If you can’t afford to give her a Kate Spade purse, these gorgeous cards are a close second!)  Also, much like the Tiffany box, you’ll get that “ohhh” factor when she opens this luxe designer set (followed by a huge bear hug, I’m sure). It’ll look great on your desk too!

8.  Mark “On the Dot” Neutral Eye Colour Compact $16.00

When you’re wrapping this up for a friend (or yourself), you’re giving them the gift of convenience (and gorgeousness, of course!).  This is the perfect eye shadow compact for travel or for your purse. It includes 9 neutral shades that can be worn every day, every where.  They are highly pigmented and come in a hard case to minimize the risk of shattering.  Not really a neutral tone kind of girl?  Check out the Smokey Eye or Bold Eye versions instead!

9. Truche Province/State/Country Necklaces $23.00-$60.00

When it comes to jewelry, we show the love for our initials, pictures, and favourite stones.  But what about showing some love to that amazing province or state of yours?!  These awesome necklaces come in a variety of materials and tones, and are sure to be a conversation starter.  If jewelry isn’t your thing, be sure to check out the artist’s ornaments as well!

   Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness ~ Richard Back

Falling for Autumn: Wearable Fall Makeup

Fall Makeup

As someone who’s always cold, I cringe when summer ends and I have to start wearing jackets, layering, and remotely starting my car (heat pre-set on high!). One thing I do love about the fall season though, is the colour pallet: burgundy, red, earthy brown, all colours that can flatter nearly every skin tone.  I wanted to share some of my favourite products for fall, some of which I use all year round, and others that I’ve just discovered.  Let’s get started!

1.    Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino-$9.00

This brand is becoming one of my favourites, and though harder to find in Canada, you can purchase their products online through Well.ca, or from the Milani website (or, if you’re planning a cross-border shopping trip, you can find it at Walgreens, CVS, or Target).  Their products are nicely packaged, highly pigmented, and affordable. This blush, in the colour “Red Vino”, is a beautiful shimmery-red tone, making it perfect for both fall and the holiday season.  One tip: a little bit of this product goes a long way, so be sure to apply it with a light hand and then blend, blend, blend!  Don’t be scared of a red-toned blush, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the glow it can give your skin.

2.  Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow– $26.00      

When the colder seasons are upon us,  makeup styles tend to become bolder and richer, and in order to balance the look, your brows should follow suit.  This is a new product that I decided to try out, and fell in love with.  Essentially, it is a fibre-gel brow product that applies with a mascara-type wand, and takes all the work out of using a pencil to fill in your brows.  For me, it lasted all day, and also kept my brows in shape, eliminating the need for a clear brow gel as well (two birds with one stone, so to speak).  This product comes in two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark (I naturally have medium brown hair, and use the Medium/Dark shade).  In an effort to look younger or more youthful, many professional makeup artists swear by the step of simply filling out your brows.  This product makes it quick (and even fun) to achieve this with very little effort.

3.  Clinique All About Shadow in Black Honey-$19.00 

I’ve expressed my love before for the highly-popular Black Honey collection that Clinique DSC_1249sells.  This time, I’m swooning over their eye shadow version of the rich, shimmery, plumy-brown colour.  When paired with a rose gold or champagne-toned base (I used Clinique’s shadow in Lucky Penny), this darker tone becomes surprisingly natural and wearable for every day.  Layer it with a heavier hand, and it becomes a beautiful, rich, smoky eye. As someone who used to suffer from frequent adverse reactions from my eye makeup, I also love that Clinique’s products are hypoallergenic and non-irritating.  Other fall-ready colours I recommend from Clinique? Daybreak, Olive in My Martini, and Deep Dive.  Check them all out, here.

4.  Nars Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte-$28.00

A product that I wear nearly every day, all year long, is this creamy, long lasting almond-tone eyeliner which I apply to my waterline (the smooth area just above your bottom lash line).  This little trick is a proven way to make your eyes look brighter and more awake, perfect for those fall days when you could have used a few extra hours of sleep!  (Tip: to prevent any eye irritations, be sure to frequently clean the eyeliner you use on your waterline.)  This product applies smoothly and even comes with it’s own hidden sharpener.  If you prefer an even bolder look, try using a white pencil instead.

5.  Revlon ColorBust Lip Gloss in Bordeaux$11.00

I feel as though a lip colour can completely change your entire look for the day.  Pair a neutral eye with a neutral lip for an easy work-ready look, then simply swap out the lip product for a rich red or burgundy, and you’re ready to hit the town.  For fall, I’m loving wine-coloured, bold tones, including this gloss by Revlon.  A tip to keep your bold lips looking great all day? Line the outside of your lips with a little concealer after applying lipstick or gloss, and watch how much more they stand out!

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald