Recent Repurchases – Fall/Winter 2016

Us beauty bloggers talk a LOT about new things we’ve tried, or NEW(ish in my case!) favorites, but I think we collectively do a poor job of talking about what we loved enough to repurchase. I might really enjoy a product for a few months, but by the time I get to the end of the bottle or hit pan, things may have changed.

Here’s are my recent repurchases as of last week.


Recent Repuchases - Million Dollar Tan Cabana TanMillion Dollar Tan Cabana Tan

Some of my hunt for a more cost-effective sunless tanner has been chronicled. I’m not unhappy with Million Dollar Tan in the slightest, but accessibility and cost are key items that factor in my buying choices. St Tropez is more accessible didn’t blow my mind. Vita Liberata is more accessible, but also more costly. Many drugstore options are hit-or-miss. On Thanksgiving, Million Dollar Tan featured a 40% off discount – so I snagged the already-discounted 2-pack of Cabana Tan for only $30 TOTAL with the 40% code and free shipping. Normally $32 EACH (I’ve never paid full price, but still) this is a solid deal. With my usage, it takes me forever to get through the product, so it will be about two years before I need to replenish.

For those who would prefer to order through a retailer, Nordstrom carries it now too.


2016 Holiday Gift Guide - Big Sexy Hair Volumizing SetBig Sexy Hair Root Pump

I’m utterly helpless when it comes to hair, but I’ve figured out how to be presentable for work. One of the consequences of insisting on having long hair is that long locks tend to weigh down roots, so I need help in that department. I’ve bought a few travel-sized bottles of Big Sexy Hair Root Pump before, too gun-shy to shell out for the a full-sized can. This gift set from JcPenney (fluctuates between $22-25) finally got me to bite the bullet with some promo code and rewards cash for ultra-cheap.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki

Sigma F80

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500th Post Giveaway

Today marks my 500th post to Beauty Skeptic. What an exciting milestone – and what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway to give back? Give back to you who, incredibly, give me enough time to day to read my drivel? What started as the result of an off-handed remark between a friend and I has grown into a blog that gets:

  • roughly 400 unique visitors per day (more when I remember to cross-post my content in relevant areas)
  • recognition elsewhere on the internet for not being an idiot
  • social media followers
  • enough annual ad revenue from Adsense to cover my hosting costs

…and so forth. That’s amazing – especially since I do not have much of an Instagram presence, and will not ever have a Snapchat presence.

Thank you!

Anyway, what to give away…

500th Post Giveaway - Sensationail Starter Kit

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What I NEVER Buy at Sephora

What I NEVER buy at SephoraI’m generally comfortable with investing in quality products, and there are some things I am glad to splurge on. In spite of just locking in VIB for another year, though, there are some things I NEVER buy at Sephora. This is just a list of things I won’t buy for myself; I may buy them as gifts if I know the recipient would love it. This is also not a list intended to criticize people’s shopping choices (except maybe the Louboutin nail polish), just to point out what I choose not to buy.

Manicure Products

Sephora just isn’t the place to go for manicure offerings. I know some people love Deborah Lippmann, but I just haven’t been ensorceled by her products. I’ve shared my thoughts on freaking Louboutin making lacquer, on not liking FormulaX, and how unbelievably ridiculous Nails Inc is with their NAILKALE. If I’m shelling out $15-30 dollars on polish, you can bet it’s going to be UV/LED cured and a massive, pro-sized bottle, at that.

There are more brands, but the best bang for your buck when it comes to manicure supplies is simply NOT there at Sephora.


Although my favorite mascara to date is prestige, I never buy at Sephora and pay prestige prices for mascara. This drugstore option gets me results nearly the same – and for the $12/tube savings, I’m fine with a potential and slight drop in quality.

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Polished Professional? Switch to Gel Polish!

By 2012, I was well-immersed in my polish obsession. I did my own nail art and was changing colors every 2-3 days for a quite a while. I had all the fun goodies, – art stripers, dotting tools, the whole nine yards. That spring, though, my career picked and I had less free time; by necessity, those pursuits fell by the wayside. My nails were still polished, but art was reserved for special occasions. Even using Seche Vite top coat, I was only getting 4-5 days out of a manicure, tops. I hadn’t the time. That Christmas, my now-husband got me a Sensationail LED-cured gel polish kit. I haven’t looked back.


Switch to Gel Polish!

Does the following statement hit home?

I do not have time in the middle of my average week to do touchups, let alone a full manicure in its entirety.

That’s definitely my reality, and I’m not even a parent! In my case, going to work with obvious, chipped, untidy polish would be akin to going in with unbrushed hair. In that case, it would be better to go in without polish. Personally though, having a tidy manicure makes me feel put-together.

Whether you visit a salon or prefer to do your own manicures (more posts about manicures here, here, and here), properly applied gel polish is a no brainer for busy women. How long does the average manicure take (DIY or salon)? 45 minutes, minimum. Longer depending on the dry time required for the polishes you choose. When your time is at a premium, can you afford that twice or more a week? I can’t.

If you prefer to go polished, like I do, and you could paint your nails once a week or less often, wouldn’t you? Gel polish makes that a reality!

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New Sensationail LED Lamp

new Sensationail LED lampMonths ago, when I went shopping for the Sensationail Polish to Gel, I was faced with two options: just the Polish to Gel, $7.99, or a Starter Kit with the new Sensationail LED Lamp, $23.99. I was like, “Wait, NEW lamp?!”

I bought the starter kit. Yes, I already have a lamp – but I wanted to see what was so, “new and improved,” (or if it was indeed, ‘improved’) about the new lamp.


The new lamp is powered via an included micro-USB cable, and comes with an AC adapter. My desk is also where I do my nails, so it being USB-powered is perfect for me. It’s also way better for travel, should you need to bring it with you – it (generally) means you can travel with fewer cables. Less competition for AC outlets, too.

Physical Features

Instead of an annoying switch-and-button combo, the new Sensationail LED lamp has a motion sensor. The lamp detects when something is placed within and automatically comes on, as well as powers off when nothing is inside. This is awesome for flash-curing any colors that may be fussy about shrinkage.

Additionally, the new Sensationail LED Lamp’s base is magnetic and pops off to support easier use for pedicures. Some professional lamps are bottomless for this precise reason; it’s really nice to see this in a small, home-use lamp.

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