PSA: Sephora Flash Shipping

I just signed up for Amazon Prime last month because I, like many people these days, prefer to shop online. It allows me to make better use of my time. I’m not here to shill Prime to you. If you’re here (…on the internet?), reading, you know what it is, you’ve heard about it, and you know a lot of the benefits.

I had a completely different post scheduled for today (something else new, fun an intriguing), but this is too good, friends.

To my delight, I happened upon this glorious page on Sephora’s site – Sephora Flash Shipping.

Sephora Flash Shipping

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Worth it? Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Urban Decay Naked Skin ConcealerUrban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Urban Decay recently released a new concealer to flesh-out (ha) their Naked Skin line of products. Keeping with the line’s aesthetic, Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer is packaged very similarly to the Naked Skin Foundation – a simple, cylindrical tube with a clear body and chrome-colored cap. It has launched in eight shades – fewer shades than I’d hoped for, because it still means women of color and the ghostly pale are kind of screwed for now.

I recently had the opportunity to try it at during a Naked Skin event at my local Sephora, and wanted to share my experience with it.

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Sephora’s ColorIQ is Drunk, Sometimes

ColorIQColorIQ by Sephora & Pantone

‘Tis winter and hence I am pale. I’m not using my Million Dollar Tan because a faux-glow in February doesn’t mean much to me. Ponds Luminous Finish BB+ is the only thing that has matched me for a while, so on a recent trip to Sephora, I had them bust out the old (okay, it isn’t old at all) ColorIQ to match me.

I really love to see technology intermixing with makeup. In fact, I’ve probably talked about how much I love the idea of ColorIQ, and how innovative it is.

I was able to have the SA assisting me bypass my cheek area because I have non-rosacea redness on my cheeks sometimes that throws off the match by thinking I have pink undertones. Instead, he matched my forehead, jawline, and chin. We did get a yellow-toned match this time, but it assigned me 3Y04. Before even seeing the matches, I knew it would be too dark.

Even though it didn’t match me to an Urban Decay shade, the SA wanted to take a shot at it and grabbed 3.0 (which I’ve tried before and will in no universe match me), and 2.0 – which is actually rated for 3Y03 – which surprisingly turned out to match. But this was luck, not ColorIQ knocking it out of the park.

In what I was looking for, Sephora’s new serum foundation (I spotted it in the new and noteworthy stuff!), it matched me to shade 16 – Linen. Based on what I read online I figured I’d be that or 12 – Ecru. I swatched Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation in 16, based on my ColorIQ assignment and it was hilariously dark for me. I didn’t even put it on my face – just swatching it on the back of my hand I could tell it was too much. I tried again with 12 – Ecru, and found my match but this was my own guess.

I want to love the device, I do – but it either needs further refinement, or there’s been enough user error every single time I’ve used it to not get a one-hit-one-kill match. I still think it is worth using because it gets you in the ballpark if you’re otherwise lost, but Sephora’s ColorIQ is drunk, sometimes. I’m looking forward to future versions of the device that can give us closer approximations to what we need, but I still applaud Sephora and Pantone for trying.

Ulta Salon Visit

We interrupt this Wednesday’s regularly scheduled programming in favor of a review of my recent Ulta Salon visit experience. Monthly Favorites will run next Wednesday.


A couple years ago, a stylist did a shoddy job with some layering work – they were way too short in comparison to my overall length, placed awkwardly, and not at all the cut I sought despite showing pictures. I spent two years growing them out, ending up with hair past my waist for my wedding, getting trims here and there (surely not the recommended 6-8 weeks) to even it up. Shortly after the wedding, I hacked about four inches off (it was heavy and more hassle than I cared to deal with) but it was still veeeeeeeery long (middle of my ribcage). Although I like my hair long, I still found myself at odds with it at this length – drying took forever, styling was a joke, etc.

I had been wanting another cut for a while and decided to take advantage of a 30% off offer from the nearby Ulta Salon – I set an appointment for after work and scurried  right over over. I was greeted by an Ulta employee who let my stylist know I was there; the same woman offered to take my coat and get me a coffee. While I waited, I checked out the Spa Ritual polish display that sat in front of the salon area.

Ulta Salon Visit - Haircut Inspiration

My stylist led me back to a chair and asked what I was looking for. I presented her with the above photo and explained that I was looking to:

  • Stay long
  • Reduce some weight
  • Add some movement via LONG layers
  • Taper into a slight V shape (like the picture shows).

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Consider Beauty Students

I got married last week! Yay! Thank you for bearing with me through my dearth of posts as I’m slowly returning to, “real life,” post-madness.

Early on, I knew I didn’t want an elaborate updo. I have a ton of hair (which you can see in my shine treatment post) and an updo would take too long, require approximately 3.46 cans of hairspray and roughly 27,483 bobby pins. I opted for a curled style with the sides pulled back slightly into a waterfall braid across the back. Woo! I cannot do this myself, however, so I knew I needed help. Here’s what I was going for, originally:

Consider Beauty StudentsConsider Beauty Students

A friend of the family was a stylist, and there was pressure to ask her if she would be able to do it. I did, she said she would do it free BUT she couldn’t do the braid. Well…okay. The braid wasn’t that important. We settled the day and all that stuff, all was well. Two weeks later she called back saying oh, no, I didn’t realize the date, sorry, can’t do it.

…cool.

I then start looking into other options. On-site hair wasn’t a requirement for me, and frankly I was happy to save the money by going, “to them.” My now-husband actually found a Paul Mitchell partner school in our area and suggested I look into it and consider beauty students. At first I thought, “Do I really want to trust my hair to students? I know everyone has to learn somehow, but I take pride in my hair and would hate to have it messed up due to a novice’s mistake.”

Then I thought, “Well, you haven’t having it cut, colored, or otherwise chemically processed, so why not?” I found that their rates were substantially cheaper than those of regular salons (whose eyes, I’m afraid, seem to light up with dollar signs when they learn it is for a wedding – even though they might do the same style for any other occasion…or no occasion at all), and it wasn’t terribly far away. They were willing to do a trial (not included, but the price + stylist tip it was still FAR cheaper than what it would’ve been for juts the day-of bridal style at a regular salon, let alone for a trial and day-of, let alone on-site).

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