Posts Tagged 'Sephora'

My grown-up Christmas list

I listened to so many GD christmas songs this year I only think in christmas lyrics, hence the blog title. If you’ve read the blog you will know that I had a lot of products on my list this year. I ended up with two things – one of my tried & true’s and a newbie – my Bliss Fabulous foaming face wash AND Philosophy Eye Hope – YIPPEEEE! My husband was “smaaaht” (Boston-speak for smart) enough to get me the industrial sized face wash. I am also SOO very excited for my Eye Hope. I only started using it Christmas morning so the jury is still out BUT I am going to do it twice a day and see what’s what in a few weeks.

I also had Philosophy Hope in A Jar on my list, but I didn’t get it. I am A-OK with that though, because as a Sephora Beauty Insider, I just got a fatty sample of Clarins Extra Firming Day Creme

Shopping for others at is the gift that keeps on giving if you are a Beauty Insider.  For example, the Clarins sample I got was little over an ounce of day creme. 1.7 Oz. retails for $78… so do the math. That’s about $40 bucks worth of high-end face creme for all my hard work shopping for me and my lovely lady friends!

So far, I really like the Clarins face creme.  It’s technically for women over 40 – which I am about a decade away from.  I don’t see the harm in using it at this stage. I will have to ask my esthetician next time I go. If it reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, and its free – it’s for me!

So back to my christmas scores – my sister got me Benefit Sugar Bomb. It’s a really pretty blush that combines four different colors.  My skin is quite pale right now and it gives me just a little hint of peachy-rosiness.  Note to gals who are looking for a very aggressive blush/bronzer – this isn’t it. It’s very sheer – so I do a bit of bronzer on cheek bones, forehead, chin, under chin for contour and forehead and then dust this on the apples of my cheeks and along my cheekbones. Perfection! My love for Benefit is a well established fact at this point.

AND THEN – it only gets better! One of the gals on my team got me Arbonne’s Awaken Sea Salt Scrub.

I automatically liked it because it smells like sugary-citrus. That is my favorite bath/shower scent because its sweet and fresh.  I have used the scrub twice so far and my face feels great afterward. I figure a few times a week will be plenty, and it will make the product last longer! I am so smart.

Finally – I also scored a $50 Sephora gift card, which I obviously ALREADY used. It was burning a hole in my pocket! I was tempted to grab Philosophy Hope in a Jar but I was all out of my most favorite product, Benefit That Gal. I am also running low on my YSL mascara so I decided to use it to stock up on my staples.

All in all – a VERY successful holiday as it relates to furthering my beautification.   My skin better look hottsie tottsie after all these products and treatments! There is one little leftover product I have been pining away for since October that I am going to have to pick up in the next few days – Trish McEvoy Blackberry & Vanilla fragrance. Luckily I have a little bit of Pink Sugar left to carry me through. Even though its my signature scent I am going to go off the grid and rock some Trish for a bit and see how I like it!

If I had three things…

I woke up Friday morning with some serious hangover face and a french fry stuck to my fore head. Just kidding about the french fry. I did find one in my car though.  I was slower than Ryan on a Sunday morning and I was running late to catch my train. I could not leave the house looking the way I did so I got crafty and prioritized my makeup. This got me to thinking…if I only had three products I could use, what would they be?


I sincerely believe that no gorgeous gal should leave the house without mascara. There are some women who have amazing lashes. My husband will kill me for writing this – but he has the best eyelashes ever. It’s not even fair. At least if we have a daughter some day there is a chance she will get those. Not many people are blessed with perfect lashes. Adding a bit of mascara in the morning takes all of 30 seconds and it’s just enough to make your eyes look bigger and brighter.  My pick? YSL VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS Luxurious Mascara. Thats a mouthful! It’s the best though. I am a mascara SNOB. My snobbery hits fever pitch with mascara. I was hooked on Diorshow for YEARS until I came across this.  If you need volume, this is a much better choice.  Diorshow is a close second but this baby takes the cake.

Find it at Sephora (photo courtesy of

2. ) Tinted Moisturizer

This serves three purposes. It moisturizes your face and evens out your skin tone without it being obvious you are wearing anything on your skin. And the most important – it has an SPF in it.  All gals should make sure their daily moisturizer carries an SPF. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my favorite tinted moisturizer is Paula Dorf. It’s super lightweight and semi-sheer. It lasts forever too.  I usually just do about a nickel-sized squeeze of it. If you want a slightly heavier coverage apply it with a foundation brush.  This is my go to product in the summertime when I don’t typically wear anything else but a bit of bronzer over it. If I had 1 minute to do my makeup in the morning, this would definitely make the roster.

Paula Dorf Tinted Moisturizer – $38 at 

3.) Tinted lip balm/gloss

You can’t seriously think I would ever recommend leaving the house without perking up the lips? I am a card-carrying lip gloss WHORE. I am not exaggerating when I say I have 7 in my purse right now. I like to layer different looks and colors and textures and it all depends on how I do my eyes or what my mood is that day. I like options, ok?

I do think a little hint of color goes a very long way and if I had to pick one product – it would be Tarte’s 24/7 Lip Sheer with SPF. It is made with all natural ingredients, its extremely moisturizing, its got sunscreen built-in AND it has a really pretty rosy tint that gives your lips a natural looking enhancement.  Sephora carries it in about 10 shades. I am fair with blue eyes and blonde hair so I go with the Sheer Red and the Sheer Coral Peach. It also lasts forever b/c you don’t really need to apply that much.

Tarte 24/7 Sheer at Sephora ~ $14 (what a bargain!)

 TO SUMMARIZE – if I had only three choices of what I could use, its mascara, tinted moisturizer, and tinted balm/gloss.  Even if you are girl who isnt into the makeup thing, I guarantee you would feel like a bazillion bucks if you took 1 minute to throw these on each day – it doesn’t sound like a lot but it does make quite the difference!

I smell like a cupcake

I do. Well, most of the time. It’s because on most days I am wearing Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. Sephora describes the style of this perfume as “playful, mischievous, romantic” which I would agree with.  The dominant notes are vanilla and caramel but not in the Victoria’s secret neighborhood. Much less obvious. It’s definitely one of my favorite scents. I’ve been wearing it for the better part of four years, although in the summer I sometimes switch to something a bit more citrus-y. The bottle I am currently using must be extra potent because people have been commenting a lot on how good it smells. It has staying power but doesn’t gag you while you are wearing it like a lot of perfumes do.  I have some breathing issues and it’s never made my asthma act up.

Where do I get it? Well I was getting it at Sephora – but they also normally carry it at Nordstrom Rack which saves a couple of bucks.  They have a little purse sized roll-on version too which would be a great little stocking stuffer for a friend, sister, girlfriend/wifey who has a fun, flirty and girly personality. I am hoping to find one in my stocking too!

My new hope

So, I am on the wrong end of 25 if you catch my drift and I was told by a wise friend when I was 23 that beautiful skin is all about maintenance and prevention. I was a lucky gal.  Now I have an obsession with finding the “PERFECT” moisturizer and I preach the importance of a good moisturizer every opportunity I get.

I did find my “best” moisturizer about three years ago. The problem is, I am no Kardashian/celebutant/trust fund baby. I am a regular gal getting by just doing my thing. The moisturizer that I will never ever forget and will hold in my mind as a miracle worker is La Praire cellular moisturizer. Don’t be fooled, I am not so much of a baller as to have tried the platinum collection, but I’ve dabbled with a few of their products in the past (moisturizer, eye cream and masks).

The price point is a bit tough for me to justify. I am not quite to the big 3-0 yet but it’s not far off. I will seriously consider investing in this caliber of moisturizer in the next few years but I am going to stick to my more affordable quest for now and see if I can find anything that comes close to my dream products.

Right now I have two moisturizers that I tend to go back to every time I try something new and it doesn’t stand up to my expectations. The first is Mario Badescu.  I was introduced to Mario by a woman who owns a local cosmetics store where I live. She used to be a buyer for Neimans (I believe) and opened up a precious store with all of her favorite products from her buying days. It is such a great spot and those gals knows their stuff.

Like anything you will need to consult with an esthetician on the right product for your skin. I usually roll with the Buttermilk moisturizer which is for combination skin. Given my new crazy lady tendencies I may move onto the Cellufirm anti-aging moisturizer – will let you know how it goes!

My other old faithful – I have gotten some grief from people over time – is Oil of Olay. Yes, it’s acquired the moniker “Oil of Old Lady” but it is seriously a really good moisturizer! I tend to use the Regenerist product. This is definitely a really accessable, affordable quality moisturizer for all us recessionistas out there. Both the cream and serum are really good. I like a cream for the Northeast winters but summertime I’m all about a serum, tinted moisturizer & out the door.

Right now – I have my sights set on Philosophy’s Hope line.  I’ve heard amazing things from a lot of people and I have Hope in a Jar and Eye Hope on my holiday wish list. Hopefully Santa will be good and I will have lots more to share on this topic in the upcoming months!