The Sickness; Sephora and Ulta Haul Chatter

I seem to have a reasonably solid immune system and tend to only be taken down by the sick once or twice a year. Alas, this past week was one of those times. There’s been a lot of hot tea and chicken soup in this house in the last two weeks There wasn’t a whole lot (read: none) in the way of writing in the last week-and-a-half. The time I didn’t spend down and out (and re-watching Cowboy Bebop for the umpteenth time) I spent at work because I have a problem am a sucker didn’t want to leave things unfinished before my vacation (all are true).

Before The Sickness struck, though, I managed to get through my Ulta and Sephora purchases without going overboard.

Sephora Haul

Sephora still had Drunk Elephant’s Come C about Me set in stock, so I went for it. I haven’t gotten into any of the product yet; tragically the skin near my nose has been more reptilian than human since I received it. I’m excited to check out B-Hydra to see about the hype.

They also had had Adora marked as in stock so I jumped on it; at $12 it is scarcely more than a drugstore lipstick. I’ve never loved a lipstick shade as much as I love this one, so I figured it was worth it even though it was unplanned. I haven’t worn it yet, as it came right as I was getting sick. I imagine I’ll struggle with it and my Invisalign trays but.. man, it is gorgeous and the holidays are nigh.

That’s it! I really wanted an Hourglass blush, but ultimately decided to leave it out for now.

Ulta Haul

I bought a ton of stuff at Ulta. Some are presents I can’t share here because the recipients read this thrice-weekly drivel I publish. Some of it is a blog surprise. But here’s what I will share for now:

Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil – I’ve wanted to try this for a while but wouldn’t buy it off my no-buy. Uncharacteristically of me, I bought two without having tried it. You know when you have a good feeling about a product? This was one of those times. We’ll see.

Real Techniques Single Pocket Expert Organizer – I ended up using this somewhere other than my makeshift vanity. It lives on my fridge holding dry erase markers the neighboring board. It’s really sturdy! It would definitely hold brushes or pencils well. I like it a lot – so much nicer than markers perched haphazardly atop my ‘fridge.

OPI Avojuice in Ginger Lily – The manicure I received before my trip finished with this and it was really nice. Normally I hate scented hand lotions (seriously, hate) but I think this would my nice to mix with my usual unscented Skinfix or to finish off a pedicure. I even bought a bottle for my desk at work!

Ulta Haul ChatterMiss Spa Glitter Gel Eye Mask

This mask gets its own heading because it ended up being the MVP of the order. The purchase was frivolous to boot. My husband was helping me unbox this order and pulls this from the box. Incredulous, he looks at me, then it, then back at me. “What is this?! Did you seriously buy something like this?” I had visions of DIY spa-like treatments dancing in my head. He thought I was a dork.

Then, overnight a couple days later his round with The Sickness worsened. We’re talking fever, sweats, all that jazz. Meds weren’t quite breaking it, and we didn’t want to bring wet (cool) washcloths into bed. My 2AM brain had a, “Eureka!” moment and grabbed this. To our surprise, it helped. Immediately. Entirely unprompted, he apologized for teasing me about buying it.

I ended up catching The Sickness and needed it for the same purpose a few days later. This isn’t marketed as a medical device; it’s just a fun gel eye mask that you can heat or cool before wearing. I am so thankful we had it on hand because it helped us get control of a climbing fever.

The Bottom Line

In short, last week was a wash for me. I got some fun stuff that I haven’t really played with yet due to the mini-plague that has overtaken my home. I can’t wait to play with some of this more and to reveal some of the surprises I have in store.

For my fellow Americans, I hope you have a delightfully gluttonous Thanksgiving tomorrow. If you plan on shopping on Friday, please be safe because people are crazy.

October 2017 Favorites

October 2017 Favorites

October 2017 Favorites
1. e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Blending Brush, $6 / 2. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $80
3. Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes, $8 / 4. L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, 8

Details on my October 2017 Favorites after the jump. Before that, though, can you believe it is November? The day after Halloween, all the stores around me were in full Christmas-preparedness-swing. It instantly annoyed me…and then I realized I have my holiday shopping all but complete already (only one person left). Hello Pot, I am Kettle. Just kidding – I get my holiday shopping done early so I don’t have to deal with the insanity from here through the end of the year!

Read moreOctober 2017 Favorites

No Buy Pause

No Buy

Before long it will be time to give my No Buy pause and make some calculated beauty purchases. Soon, the infrequent (and therefore precious) sales shall be upon us. I am not unrealistic – I’ll want to shop.

No Buy Pause Plan

The Bottom Line

There will be more purchased as I hope to maintain my Sephora VIB and Ulta Platinum statuses for 2018. If I plan and am deliberate, I am confident I can meet those thresholds without buying random stuff I don’t feel strongly about.

Fortunately, I continue to be underwhelmed by holiday collections. so there’s little temptation there. The only thing I have been stricken by so far are Urban Decay’s new Heavy Metal glitter liner shades. I love the one I own, but definitely don’t need to add more to my collection – so it is easy to get over.

Worth it? Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day SerumDrunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $80

I mentioned in my June favorites that buying Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. I adore this damn serum. A colleague and paled at the cost when I sang its praises; I understand. I love it, plan to repurchase, and still recoil from the price tag.

Gun Shy

Short of tools like my Luna Mini or Clarisonic Mia2, I don’t tend to spend much on individual products. With a few exceptions, I’m generally of the opinion that beauty need not break the bank.

Being young (enough – and only for now, don’t worry, this isn’t a cocky statement) and skeptical of products promising miracles, I pass on a lot of prestige and luxury skincare. Aside from my tools, none of my skincare routine is prestige at this point!

Too Young?

Never. As far as I’m concerned, mid-twenties is a perfectly reasonable time to reconsider your approach to skincare even if you aren’t suffering a skin mutiny as I was.

Once my acne was under control, I decided my skin could use a boost in the liveliness department. Although I find makeup fun, I much prefer to have healthy, radiant skin than to need to slap on product to fake it.

Mid-twenties is not too young to start anti-aging products – and with a demanding career, my skin was looking a bit tired. I don’t want or need anything hardcore. No retinol here (at this stage in my life). But I do have under-eye circles, some dullness and uneven tone, etc. I decided that Vitamin C was the place to be for my needs right now.

Influences on my Purchase Decision

A blog I’ve followed for years and implicitly rely on touted Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum but when I got into reviews and other comparisons, many sources seemed to suggest the Drunk Elephant product to be superior. Part of this is packaging, part is the concentration and type of Vitamin C itself, and the other part of are the other ingredients. I was leery about spending that much on a type of product I’d never tried before, so I kept searching.

Interestingly, although Stefanie Nicole (check out her channel here) has a YouTube channel, she works in the beauty industry on the manufacturing and distribution side of things. She also has a no-nonsense attitude that resonates with me. I appreciate her willingness to say, “I didn’t care for this,” or, “This product didn’t perform well for the price.” We need more of that! In this case, Drunk Elephant C-Firma does, in her opinion, perform well for the price.

Upon hearing her ringing endorsement of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, I decided to splurge during the Spring BI/VIB Sale. My skin was consistent at that point (not as stable as it is now, but better!), and I felt comfortable adding a variable.

Read moreWorth it? Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma, $80 / 2. Lotion Saver Bottle Couplers, $4
3. Takeya Cold Brew Pitcher, $20 / 4. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion, $19 / 5. Sonicare FlexCare Whitening Edition, varies

Year is half over. I just celebrated a birthday. ‘Murica just celebrated its own. I will have my first set of Invisalign trays before the end of the month. Hallelujah.

Btw, is anyone else like, “Get off my lawn and stay out of my damn hydrangeas,” when it comes to fireworks? No one was physically on my lawn, and I don’t have hydrangeas – but I am exhausted today because don’t you know it is ‘Murica’s birthday until (at least) 2AM on July 5? Sigh.

Read moreJune 2017 Favorites