What I Bought During the 2016 VIB Sale



Although I am not buying holiday palettes, that doesn’t mean I’m not shopping. I hit the 20% off VIB Sale at Sephora on Friday. Today is the last day.

Tartelette In Bloom

Look! I’m a cliche! I bought another palette of neutrals, this time on recommendation of Stefanie Nicole of YouTube. I love her no-bullshit approach to … everything, and I trust her judgment. Here’s hoping it works out for me in a way that Naked2 just didn’t. Review to come once I’ve had time with it.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

After almost a year with the travel size, I decided to invest in the full size. I have yet to hit pan, which I think says a lot about its longevity. I love the finish it gives with and without foundation, and at this rate it will last me forever. The travel sized compact is available for $22.

Colorswitch by Vera Mona

To me, this is definitely a splurge item. I can imagine that there are more cost-effective ways to do accomplish what this does. I decided to pay for convenience – and I will definitely report back on whether or not this is worth it.

VIB Sale Recap

I didn’t go crazy this year. In fact, I wouldn’t have even gotten the ColorSwitch if I hadn’t been a couple dollars shy of locking in VIB for 2017. I was going to buy a larger bottle of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil but decided against it in favor of trying another variety (gasp, I know – last time that didn’t go so well).

Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil

Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil

Ages ago and with much skepticism, I tried argan oil for the first time. I ultimately decided that I liked it. I tried a less expensive oil and it wasn’t even close. A few months ago, I decided to try some other oils. I tried a pure grapeseed that turned out to do alright as an OCM oil, but wasn’t so great for moisturizing.

On a trip to Target, I purchased a bottle of Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil ($8.99) to use as a moisturizer in place of the Josie Maran I’ve been using. At under $10 for 0.84 fl oz, it is a far more economical option than anything Sephora has for sale. Having enjoyed their Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, I approached it with optimism and curiosity.

Inside Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil

Rather than a single solitary oil, Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil is a blend of several. The first ingredient in the list is Sweet Almond (prunus amygdalus) oil, which explains some of my experiences (below). Thankfully, though this product does have a unique scent, there is no added fragrance. It claims to be rich in Omega-3s

Full ingredients are as follows:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Rosa Canina Seed Oil, Limonene, Citronellol, Pelargonium Graveolens Leaf Oil, Geraniol, Citrus Aurantium Sinensis Peel Extract, Linalool, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citral, Citrus Lemon Peel Oil

Although I have an affinity for citrus, I’m not loving a handful of those ingredients that originate from citrus fruit. Compounds Limonene, Citronellol, Citral, and Linalool all occur naturally in the essential oils of plants and each has been shown to cause irritation in some individuals. In spite of my reservations and knowing that my skin is not sensitive, I did use the product for several months.

Read moreBoots Botanics Organic Facial Oil

October 2016 Favorites

October 2016 FavoritesOctober 2016 Favorites

Details after the jump.

Read moreOctober 2016 Favorites

Long Week, Chit-Chat

It’s been an extraordinarily trying week for me. Wrapping up a big project at work, had a 17 hour day Wednesday, found out that a family member is having an unexpected medical situation, plus I’m running a weekend-long (starting today!) event at which I will be on my feet for at least 16 hours today, tomorrow, and 8 on Sunday.

Needless to say, I took Monday off. I’m going to give myself some grace here, too, and take Monday off from the blog.

Here’s a round-up of some stuff I wanted to chit-chat about but don’t have enough to warrant a full post.

Wizarding World of…Winged Liner?


You’ve probably already seen these Harry Potter-inspired brushes. Their wand-like handles are novel, but I question their functionality and quality. Custom design like this is generally expensive. Though they’re fun for those who have affinity for the wizarding world, they also don’t look very ergonomically-friendly; if you’re blending like a boss, your hands are going to be uncomfortable far faster.

Project Pan


I’m trying to Project Pan half of TFEN. I’ve been playing with it for the last couple weeks and even though my initial impressions were good, I’m not getting the performance I now crave. I still adore Totally Fetch and Live it Up, but I can’t wear those most of the time.

History Repeats Itself


There’s a big misconception that Benefit’s they’re Real! Big Sexy Eye Kit is innovative and fresh. Bzzt, wrong – this similar product from L’Oreal came out and was discontinued years ago. It was plagued with the same issues that this product is. I’m all for making beauty routines efficient (read: I am lazy), but some things are worth spending time/effort on. Unfortunately, the attempts at the eyeshadow version of Goober PB&J (which is legit) just aren’t great.

Easier Manicure Clean-Up


I just bought this liquid latex to use as a barrier when I’m doing my nails. I’m generally a tidy DIY manicurist but I’ve been experimenting with sponge-on application, and I’m trying to limit my messmaking. To use it, I’ll decant it into clean, empty nail polish bottles with an oral medicine syringe.

Banish Blemishes


I bit the curiosity bullet and bought these hydrocolloidal bandaids from Nexcare to help tackle any blemishes I might get. I’m interested in observing their performance, and will report back.

Why I Canceled Sephora Play

Several months ago, I signed up for my first beauty subscription box, Sephora Play. Optimistic that retail beauty giant Sephora would have the insight required to kick ass and take names in the sub box arena, I eagerly signed up.

After four boxes, I’ve canceled my subscription. I will receive and review October’s box, but that is the fifth and final Sephora Play box I will receive. Unfortunately, I found that Sephora Play is plagued by the same issues as any other beauty subscription box – for now, at least. My optimism, unfortunately, was unfounded.

Where I Take Issue

To date, it seems as though Sephora concocts two boxes based on the profile you create at sign up. The product selections are made for you; they spin this as a convenience. Personally, I’d rather take five minutes to pick from a pool of samples (like when you place a normal order) than have someone pick for me and make choices that don’t work for me.

They spin the fragrances as a bonus but they aren’t really. Let’s be honest, those vials are included in the $10 per month valuation.

There’s this big hoopla about the box being a surprise, even though manufactured leaks occur – there are several Sephora Play, “spoilers,” sites out there.

Instead of consistently getting exciting content in the boxes, they have people creating Spotify playlists. Seriously? Who is actually jumping at the chance to listen to this stuff? I’m a Sephora customer because I’m interested in beauty products, not because I’m seeking sweet hipster tunes.

Sephora Play List

To give you an idea of why I’m canceling, here are my hits, misses, and OKs.

Read moreWhy I Canceled Sephora Play