Costco Beauty Finds – May 2017

I’ve been a Costco member for a few years now and have shared some beauty finds in the past. Costco Beauty is a veritable treasure trove of desirable products at even-more-desirable prices. Arguably, if you have a makeup/skincare/haircare habit, the savings on some of these finds alone more than pays for the membership if you were planning to buy them anyway.

Here are some neat things I came across recently. I haven’t purchased most of these items, but either want to at some point or think they’re probably interesting enough to some people to share.

Costco Beauty Finds - May 2017 - Amope Pedi Perfect Wet & DryAmope Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry

The standard Amope Pedi Perfect is the recipient of several consumer awards as well as overwhelmingly positive reviews. Between 4.5 and 5 stars virtually everywhere, the Pedi Perfect typically retails for $30-36 for the device itself with only one head. Costco regularly carries the Wet & Dry variety, which is waterproof and therefore safe to use in the shower, for $40; the Wet & Dry variety typically goes for $50+ elsewhere. Costco’s package includes FIVE replacement rollers heads, which retail for $20 for a pack of two, plus a storage bag. Bonus: You DON’T have to be a member to order this from Costco.com, but there is a non-member surcharge of a couple dollars. This is the best value I’ve found via Costco Beauty to date.

Costco Beauty Finds - May 2017 - Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening SerumMurad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum

This popular Murad serum goes for $65 at Sephora and Ulta in the same quantity. Even with a 20% off Platinum Perk or the November VIB sale, it drops to $52…so the $43 price tag Costco has it for is a steal. People have luck fading acne scars, sun spots, and age spots with this.

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Two Cents: Instagram Makeup for Everyday Wear

Instagram MakeupI was watching this video about using Tarte Shape tape from Stephanie Marie on YouTube and laughed at the, “if you’re NOT A YOUTUBER,” part of the title. (Btw: She’s spot-on with the recommendations on how to use Shape Tape, but more on that from me in another post).

Makeup needed to look, “good,” on camera or film is not the same as what one would wear in real life. Certainly there are occasional intersections, but think about it: such makeup is by necessity stronger, heavier, more dramatic.

Instagram Makeup & Influence

We’ve reached a point where Instagram makeup is so pervasive that people think that those looks are it. Everyone is going hard with concealer-driven under-eye highlights, two tablespoons of highlighting powder, matte liquid lips, and very serious eyebrows.

  • It’s one thing if a a full-face of Instagram or YouTube-ready makeup is what you like. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s definitely a ton of artistry to appreciate. I see incredible, mind-blowing makeup on Instagram and YouTube all.the.time.
  • …it’s another if you don’t care for heavily done makeup but feel compelled to wear it because that’s what’s trendy.

Multiple Routes

There’s more than one, “right,” way to wear makeup. In my opinion, artistry like Lisa Eldridge’s is woefully underrated. Alone, Lisa has taught me more than a dozen gurus with the same IKEA vanity setup (only a little shade because tbh I kind of want one too, Alex drawers and all) have combined. Recently, I read a comment on one of her videos that said something along the lines of:

I believe that in twenty years all those Kardashian-inspired looks trending on social media will be a butt of a joke as much as eighties New Romantic look is now.

Struck a chord with me, really. I enjoy a bit of everything for the most part, but have a realistic approach to, well, real life.

The Bottom Line

What do you think of Instagram makeup for everyday wear? Are you on-trend, or do you prefer more timeless looks?

April 2017 Favorites

April 2017 Favorites
GVP Compare to Clairol Shimmer Lights
, $10 / Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream, $5 /
Tarte Shape Tape, $25 / L’Oreal Sublime Glow, $9 / Febreze One, $6

I made a typo when I was writing out the title of this post – I accidentally wrote, “April 2015 Favorites.” Yeah, right.

I’ve moved on from Blond Brilliance. Priced similarly for way more product, Sally Beauty’s GVP line has what is apparently an excellent dupe of Clairol Shimmer Lights. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried Shimmer Lights, but what I do know is that this stuff is glorious for preservation of blonde.

It’s back! My cuticles are a mess since the manicure that blew my no buy. They did a fairly shoddy job, and now my fingers are worse off than before. This is the universe’s way of getting me back, ha. To help protect them, I’ve been slathering the Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage cream into them a couple times a day. I’m almost all fixed up.

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. Shape Tape is a really great concealer. It isn’t some godly ambrosia perfect for every situation as the masses on YouTube would have you believe, but it is pretty solid.

I’m using Cabana Tan on my legs, but my arms (which take color at a comically rapid rate and do not suffer aggressive exfoliation from shaving) are getting a gradual sunless tanner for now. I’ve used Jergens with success but wanted to try L’Oreal Sublime Glow for fun and bought it over the winter – I like how it smells a bit more than the Jergens, and it seems as effective. Bonus? This has a small bit of fun, non-distracting, non-tacky shimmer – just enough to highlight the skin ever-so-faintly and give it a bit more life. I use medium. Note: This isn’t Sublime BRONZE, which is their more aggressive sunless tanner. This is the gradual one!

I’ll be the first to admit I have a Febreze problem. I have since as long as I can remember. Back in the day, it was Meadows and Rain. Then, Thai Dragonfruit, Allergen Reducer (smells surprisingly nice and I still use it). Next (and also currently), the Tide scented one since that’s my husband’s laundry detergent preference. I’ve tried and liked many more. Then, Febreze came out with their refillable Febreze One product and I immediately purchased it. It’s a fabric refresher and air freshener in one. It’s non-aerosol, and you can buy refill cartridges rather than whole new bottles. The Bamboo scent reminds me of something between Tide and Meadows and Rain – it’s clean, but not nauseatingly so. There’s a distinct, crisp Ozone note that I can’t.get.enough.of (its what I love about Yankee’s Margaritaville Mother Ocean candles!) Anyway, then BzzAgent sent me the other two scents which are quite lovely as well. I love that they’re lower-waste and that it’s a multi-use product. Couch? Curtains? Bathroom? Office? Handled.

Melanoma Monday 2017 – For the Desk Jockeys

Protecting your skin is a recurring theme on this blog. Before my mom’s initial melanoma diagnosis my dumbass was a tanning salon client. That abruptly stopped, and I’ve been slathering on sunscreen ever since.

A sunscreen-related question I used to ask was raised in the comments recently that I think warrants its own post. What better a time than Melanoma Monday? In essence, it was:

If most sunscreens must be reapplied every two hours or so, how does one reconcile reapplication with makeup usage? Do you need to remove your makeup, reapply sunscreen, then reapply makeup? How does that work for people who, you know, work?

Sunscreen for Desk Jockeys

Rejoice! You don’t need to literally reapply every two hours unless perhaps you work next to a window (through which UVA rays can penetrate). For those of you with cubicles or windowless offices, this means you can apply in the morning, commute, work, and not need to reapply for a lunch our or your commute home.

Chemical sunscreens aren’t time-released; they don’t have an expiration timer that starts from when they get massaged into your skin. The two-hour estimate is based on the photostability of the chemical components that protect your skin; subject to sun exposure, they gradually break down and become ineffective.

So, the TWO HOUR sunscreen reapplication guideline is two hours of EXPOSURE, not on a stopwatch.

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Worth it? bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

This is a legacy post from the archives that has been given a facelift. Content remains the same but may have been edited for readability/clarity.

bareMinerals Lash Domination mascarabareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

Mineral makeup mogul bareMinerals happens to make my favorite-so-far mascara, the Flawless Definition Lengthening mascara. At some point in the last year or so, they added a new member to their lash line (ha), the (full name, deep breath) bareMinerals Lash Domination 10-in-1 Volumizing Mascara. I love edgy product names, except when I don’t.

Benefits

According to bareMinerals, it:

  • Volumizes
  • Lengthens
  • Thickens
  • Separates
  • Lifts
  • All-day wear
  • Mineral fortified
  • Resists clumps
  • Fights flakes
  • Smudge-resistant

Hrm. I don’t really count the last three as benefits, as any decent mascara should do that anyway, even one that costs me $3. Oh, but it has quinoa in it. I wonder if they’ll release a kale version?

GWP is Good Enough For Me (to try)

My sass aside, because I loved (and had not yet repurchased) the Flawless Definition mascara, I was very excited when I received this deluxe sample as GWP in a Sephora order I made months ago. I only opened it in late March (2014), however, because the drugstore product I was using was still good (and mascara shelf life rages me, so I try to avoid using multiples simultaneously); I did not want to set the clock ticking too soon.

Finally, the time came to crack ‘er open arrived. Because I decided to be edgy like the product and not look up reviews, demos, etc. My first impressions were:

1. Wow, why is the applicator portion of the wand so long?! My eyes are not that big.

2. Ooh! The short plastic bristles I like!

3. …oh they better not be arranged in a spiral. They’re arranged in a spiral. Fuuuu–

I told myself, “Okay, who knows, the spirals could be awesome. Let’s slap it on and find out.”

Application & Wear

I applied it – it went on easy enough, the consistency of the formula is very similar to the Flawless Definition. I was pretty happy to see that. My lashes looked pretty awesome in a single coat. The formula held up through the day, was non-irritating, and did not flake or smudge. By the end of the day, however, they lacked the oomph of the morning and I noticed it did not hold the curl I placed before applying. My lashes were black, but not curled up, so my eyes did not look as open as they had.

Thinking there may have been an adjustment period, I wore it every day for a week with similar results. I may or may not have poked myself in the eye once trying to maneuver the strange spiral applicator. The days I applied two coats held the curl a little better, but not substantially so. It was also surprisingly difficult to wash off for a non-waterproof formula, unlike the Flawless Definition line. I really had to scrub with my Ponds wipe to remove it, and had to go under my lower lash-line carefully (even when I did not coat those lashes) so I did not look like a raccoon. I do not have a separate eye makeup remover, but you may want one. Alternatively, you can use oil to remove – such as olive or almond – and you should have an easier time.

The Bottom Line

It is not really worth it. Though bareMinerals Lash Domination comes at you with a sassy name and flashy packaging there are drugstore mascaras (such as L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess) that outperform this $18 tube that generally receives under 4 (out of 5) star reviews, often between 3.6 and 3.8. While it doesn’t make sky-high claims, it also does not perform as well as its older sister, the Flawless Definition. It’s a fair bet during Ulta’s half-off sales, though.

At least three (more, really) of the ten, “features,” are things we all expect from our mascara, not new enhancements. On top of the so-so performance of the product, the awkward design of the wand – both the spiral bristles and the length of the bristle section makes it a little difficult to work with. If you want a bareMinerals mascara, go with one of the original Flawless Definition formulas – the original Lengthening is my personal favorite.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I’ll only tell you that something is awesome if I have verified it myself!