We Heart Sephora

So, we both made some Sephora orders in the past month or so…

bijou indulged in another line of foreign prestige skincare, this time from Hungary:
omorovizca order
Breakdown of bijou’s order value (because we heart math, too)(actually, not really – only when it helps us justify Sephora purchases):

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free in Nude – 0.03 oz (Sample with order)
Full size = $55 for 1oz / Value = $1.65

Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream – 0.03 oz (Sample with order)
Full size = $158 for 1.7oz / Value = $2.78

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion Foundation SPF 20 in 02 Beige Clair – 0.05 oz (Sample with order)
Full size = $61 for 1oz /Value = $3.05

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask – 0.68 oz (Special VIB offer for deluxe skincare mask)
Full size = $88 for 3.4oz / Value = $17.60

Omorovicza Travel Set
– 1 oz Cleansing Foam – Value = $15
Full size = $75 for 5oz
– 1 oz Queen of Hungary Mist – Value = $25.29
Full size = $86 for 3.4oz
– 0.67 oz Balancing Moisturizer – Value = $53.21
Full size = $135 for 1.7oz
– 0.5 oz Thermal Cleansing Balm – Value = $30.88
Full size = $105 for 1.7oz
– 0.5 oz Deep Cleansing Mask – Value = $35.29
Full size = $120 for 1.7oz



And while birdie stocked up on brush heads for her new Clarisonic, she also took advantage of a stellar skincare sample pack offer:
July Sephora Order
Order overview (no math, sorry! I don’t have as guilty a conscience as bijou does, I guess…)
– Clarisonic brush heads – just an excuse to get the skincare sampler, really. But I’ll put these to good use, for sure!
– Sephora pearl mask – LOVE these masks!! The mattifying green tea one is fabulous, and I have high hopes for this one as well.
– Order Samples: BB Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (LOVE), Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation (ok, not as good as I’d hoped for), Becca Matte Primer (haven’t tried yet, but this oily-skinned girl has high hopes).

Skincare Sampler – huzzah!
Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask (love love LOVE LOVE)
Bliss “That’s Incredi-peel” (haven’t tried yet)
Bliss Micro Magic (haven’t tried yet)
Clinque Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (LOVE)
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate (have used before and love)
GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment (nice, I suppose – not sure it did much for me, but I don’t have undereye issues)
Lancome Visionnaire 1 Minute Blur (I like it, but not any more than other, much less expensive, blur products that I’ve tried)
Algenist Algae Mask (okay, wouldn’t buy a full sized version)
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel (haven’t tried yet)
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay (adore, bought the full sized version already!)

How about you? Any Sephora lovers out there? Tell us what you are buying so we can feel better about our Sephora habit, please!


Samples, samples, samples

This is an older pic, but can I just say that magazine samples are the best…

mag samples
I mean, come on, how can you not love it when your favorite magazine comes filled with little pouches of happiness? Whoever invented the pouch sample insert thingies should be knighted. I find that more and more of my magazine subscriptions are arriving with these kinds of samples, and I absolutely LOVE it!

Haven’t tried the Youth Code yet (poreless skin is a wonderful thing to aspire to, but I’m finding that most of these kind of products just make me break out?) but the Biore cleanser and the Lancome Genifique were fantastic, and I got at least two uses out of each!

Sampled anything great lately?


The Mascara Stash: Tube #3 (May-June) – Lancome Defincils

Tube by tube, I’m slowly making my way through my mascara stash this year…you can read my first two posts here and here.

For the months of May and June, I turned to Lancome Defincils. This one had been sitting in my stash for quite a while, part of a Lancome GWP from an order I made a long time ago. I had high hopes for this little tube, and I was not disappointed. This is an iconic product, often seen on “best of” lists, and with good reason. Lancome’s marketing has this to say: “For lavishly long, perfectly defined lashes, this iconic award-winning mascara provides the ultimate in separation.” And I have to say, I 100% agree with that statement.

A screen grab from Lancome’s website shows how long and defined the actual brush is:

screen grab_lancome defincilsAs you can imagine, that translates to very long, well defined lashes. It really is the perfect workday mascara – it made my lashes look long and well-defined, but in a subtle way – that perfect French girl (you know, gorgeous without trying too hard) type of look. Definitely not an over the top HELLO I’M WEARING MASCARA look by any means. And I found that for a bolder, nighttime look, Defincils is a good foundation layer when paired with a bolder or colored mascara.

How about you – any good mascara finds lately?

Next up: Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara from a recent Sephora GWP. I’ll be using this for the months of August and September, and reporting back in October.


How I Wash My Brushes

For me, a huge part of learning more about makeup was getting up to speed on brushes. I initially posted about my brush collection in October 2013 – slowly amassed, via GWP’s and research on the best brands to use that won’t break the bank (Real Techniques and Sonia Kashuk FTW here).

And part of *having* all these brushes is taking care of them. I’ve read a lot about brush care – some people wash them after every use, some go much longer. For me, the best way to go is a weekly washing. I do this on Sunday afternoons – a day when I typically don’t wear makeup – and that way, my brushes are clean, dry, and ready to be used for the week when I wake up on Monday morning.

You can use any kind of mild soap that you want. Again, after a lot of research (nerd alert), I decided to use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. I’m about 75% through this bottle – a 16 oz. bottle of the Rose scent – and I’ve had it well over a year. It was purchased from Walgreens, along with my first set of Real Techniques brushes. The Rose scent is great, but I’d like to try something else next – maybe Peppermint or Citrus? Variety is the spice of life, etc, etc.

First thing I do is put a little bit of soap in a large cup, put my brushes in, fill it up with water, and let them soak for a few hours.

soaking 1In my mind, this is akin to letting dirty silverware soak in soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher. I have no idea if this step really makes a difference, but it just makes sense to me. Therefore, I do it.

Another view:
soaking 2After the brushes soak – in this instance, I let them soak for about four hours – I head to the kitchen.

With room temp water running, I put a little bit of the liquid soap in the palm of my hand, take a brush, and swirl it in my palm. This creates bubbles and gets the majority of the makeup out of the bristles. Once that step is done, I run the brush under the water until it runs clean. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of soaping in my palm to really get them clean – especially the face brushes that I use regularly.

Once the brushes are all cleaned up, I lay them flat on a towel to dry.
They are typically dry by Sunday night, and I put them back in my vanity area in order to use them first thing Monday morning.

That’s pretty much it – fairly simple, but important to do on a regular basis. How do you wash your brushes? Tell me about it!