Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adrien: A Bunch of Stuff I Bought at Sephora.

The day after Christmas I got to hang out with one of my oldest friends who I only get to see once or twice a year. As part of our day out we hit up Sephora because she needed foundation. I had a little windfall money burning a hole in my pocket so I blew it all on stuff that I'd been wanting but hadn't let myself buy. I also got a bunch of samples, because why wouldn't I do that?

Here's the entire haul, in throw-it-on-the-bed form:

And a breakdown:

I'm a sponge.

1. I bought a Beautyblender Sponge because I'd been curious about it and reading Alison's review a few days later further intrigued me. I've been using it daily and I'm not quite sold yet. It's useful and my makeup looks good but I'm not all, I LOOK AIRBRUSHED OMG. I'm following the directions but I still feel like too much of my foundation stays in the the sponge, so maybe I just need to work on my technique. The jury is still out on this one.

I'm so tiny!

2. I finally bought Benefit Gimme Brow (in the lighter color) and I've been using it pretty much every day. I like it, but I maintain that it's an advanced product and requires a bit of practice to get it right. It's definitely a more natural look than my brow powder and it seems to stay put all day, which I love. But, it tends to be a little clumpy if you're not careful. And the tube is SO F'ING TINY. It's the tiniest tiny that ever tinied. I do like it, but I'm not finding it life-changing, especially for the price.

my preciousssss

3. After holding out way too long I repurchased my super-favorite Benefit Dandelion blush. Why did I ever think I could live without it? Punch me the next time I try (again) to find a dupe. There is no dupe, there is only Dandelion. This is my third box and I'm so relieved to have it back in my life because if you have pale skin there is nothing else quite like this for subtly brightening up your whole face without looking like you have a WHOLE LOTTA blush going on. It's just right and I love the packaging and I even dig the weird little brush. It's expensive but it lasts a really long time. Highly recommend.

Don't drop me. 
4. Another repurchase, a Sephora glass nail file. I dropped my old one on the bathroom floor and, you know, it's glass. Busted. It went up in price but I was pleased to discover that it now comes in a hard case and is double-sided! Whee. I love this thing.

5. I remember loving Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Rockstar but mine went missing a year or so ago. I repurchased and...huh. It's a dark eggplanty purple and very soft, so it requires a lot of precision. I'm not good at precision and ended up with an eyeball full of purple eyeliner. I need to try again because when done right this color is great with brown eyes (but not in brown eyes.)

The rest of the pile is samples! I got a tiny bottle of Murad Lightening Serum as a 100 point perk, and also managed to make friends with a very nice (and possibly stoned) SA at Sephora who gave me generous samples of the Living Proof Restore shampoo, conditioner and mask which so far have all failed to transform my hair. I don't know about you, Living Proof.

So, what have you bought lately that's been delightful or horribly disappointing? Do tell. 


  1. For me, living proof did not live up the hype AT ALL.

  2. Rockstar is my daily eyeliner -- It's a beautiful brown-eye color for sure, once you get good with it! It's sooo smooth and soft! I always put it on quick and do a finger smudge to fix what precision missed.

  3. Rockstar is the BEST for brown eyes. I actually don't try to get it precise... it's too soft for that. Instead, I do a thin (but messy) swipe across with the liner, then dip a small blending brush in a dark purple shadow and smudge, smudge, smudge the whole thing. It's a subtle smokey eye that is really pretty, and lasts all day. Magic!

  4. I think the sponge works better when it does get full of foundation, and it took me almost two weeks until I adored it.

    And Dandelion, do you use the brush each time? Lately I am hating all my blushes and think they're giving me a dated look, this one has always interested me.

    And Rockstar... that's one of the upcoming Best of Beauty buys from a fellow blogger!

    1. I am definitely going to keep working with the sponge and see what happens. So many people swear by it! As for Dandelion, I do always use the little brush and I generally layer it over BeneTint (which stays all day). D is pretty sheer but it's such a good complexion brightener.

      ALSO, because of you I've already bought the DHC cleansing oil and the NARS powder. I am weak.

  5. This might help you with the sponge situation:


  6. I hated the sponge. I want my pricey, may-as-well-be-liquid-gold foundation on my face, not sucked up in a sponge.

  7. Tips for the Beauty Blender- wet it when you're taking a shower etc, squeeze it out (watch your nails if they're long) then squeeze a towel on it, let it sit while you're moisturizing or towel drying your hair or whatever...THEN- after you've done all your skin care and whatnot, don't let your face totally dry. Dot your nose, forehead, cheeks, chin- with your foundation and boing it with the Beauty Blender. Let sit. Dot where needed, boing again. Do your concealer, boing. Etc as needed.
    In other words, if you feel like you're losing your foundation in the sponge, the sponge is probably too wet. Figure out what degree of dryness you like for it, it will make all the difference.

    Tip for Gimme Brow: always wipe off the tip, product always gathers there and ruins application. Run it backwards through brows, from outer-to-inner, in other words, and keep it high- run along the topmost line of your brows. Then work on the outer tip- again, backwards. Then focus on the parts you want darkest. It's buildable, so just do go too fast. Also, I've used mine several times a time (fitness instructor=3 showers a day) and I've still got tons left.
    Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks for the tips! Very helpful. I tried both this morning with good results!

    2. Oh good, I'm glad. I also tried yet another method with the Gimme Brow yesterday and it works really well too- I brush all the eyebrow down, then up, then touch up the "point". It's just that little bit easier and neater because the "line" makes itself that way.

      I forgot to mention things I'm Loving: Aveda! SO late to this game. My hair has been like straw for months, and I was starting to seriously consider cutting it super short (it's long). I went to family for Christmas, and used my mother's shampoo and conditioner: Aveda Dry Remedy. I couldn't even believe the transformation, it was like different hair altogether. So I (promptly) went out and bought it while I was still traveling. Just with the shampoo and conditioner I'm a changed woman.
      Then, when I got home, I went straight to my local Aveda store- which I had never even stepped foot into for some reason- and this simply adorable salesgirl tried out various products on me and...my hair looks amaaaazing. I couldn't stop looking at it and touching it haha. And it looked amazing for hours. Then it ooked amazing AFTER I SLEPT ON IT which is basically a miracle. Looked amazing when I re-did it myself, so it wasn't a fluke.
      And it's not even like I have to do a lot- no blowdrying, no "forming" (I have curly hair), just a little of this, a spritz of that, let it airdry, and my hair looks good all day, even when I put it up and take it down again. And not only does it look good, it feels good. Silky, soft, and bonus: it smells great.
      So I feel like a kid again. So that's my total rave: Aveda Dry Remedy shampoo and conditioner, Damage Remedy balm, Be Curly Curl Controller and Be Curly Curl Enhancing Spray.

  8. I've been spending way too much money on makeup lately - I just picked up the Josie Maran Cheek Gelee - LOVE IT. Also really obsessed with Ponds Luminous BB cream; it's so much less expensive than my other favorite Dr. Jart BB (the black tube.) I've been using the benefit Moisture prep toner which always seems to get off the bits of last nights makeup that I didn't scrub off. I'm thinking about trying the tarte brow mousse, I read some good reviews.

  9. One more "love it" for the Josie Maran Cheek Gelee. The Living Proof line worked fine but I couldn't stand the scent, so back it went.

  10. The Dandelion blush is intriguing! I'm in love with the Pixi gel blush in Rosy and Flushed. Like you, I"m a super pale redhead and it's hard finding blushes that don't look painted on. This looks like I just had a brisk walk. Also, I got this Chella Highlighter Pencil in a Birchbox (or Ipsy?) and laughed at it - but it's AMAZING. It really does make me look super awake and fresh, plus it lasts for hours in spite of being soft and in spite of my oily skin. I'm sold, and kind of embarrassed about it.

    Do you guys do the monthly makeup boxes? It seems like you'd enjoy them. I've found Ipsy better for matching my actual profile/coloring, and every month when I say I'm going to cancel Birchbox, I get one great thing that is worth more than $10.

  11. I'm intrigued by Dandelion. It's looks cool toned to me, would it work for someone pale warm toned?

    1. I'm pretty warm-toned and I like it! But YMMV.

  12. You are so right about the Dandelion. I don't know why I haven't repurchased it since last time mine ran out. It really is the best.

    The Urban Decay liners are so pretty, but the tiny sparkles in them always get in my tear line (no matter what kind of primer I use) and make me get all red-eyed and haggard looking. I think it's just not meant to be for me.

    I got that Murad lightener sample recently, too! I hope it works because I got spots a-plenty.

  13. I'm loving your blog, just found you via Allie at wardrobe oxygen. You should try Paula Begoun's brow/hair tint. It's awesome and a lot more affordable. paulaschoice[dot]com