Sephora Flash: Amazon Prime for Beauty

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Sephora inviting me to try their new shipping program called Sephora Flash. It sounds exactly like Amazon Prime for beauty. Pay a little bit up front in an annual fee ($25), then get free, fast shipping for the year. I’m not going to lie, more than once I’ve ordered a new product, be it a lipstick or otherwise, that I’ve wanted immediately and I’ve paid an exorbitant fee to have it shipped two-day service.

So, I think I’m going to pull the $25 trigger and buy it. Plus, in the past, you have had to spend $50 on Sephora.com to get their free standard shipping and Sephora Flash has no minimum.

If you did not get the invite e-mail, for being an Everyday Lipstick reader, click here and request your invite from Sephora.

REN Day Moisturizer Switch

I am getting ready to finish my second bottle of REN Vita Mineral Day Cream. I’d used it just over a year and it’s great, it’s a very well-balanced day cream with just enough moisture for the winter but never too much for the summer. It goes well under makeup and has never left my face shiney. Overall, it’s everything you want (except it doesn’t have SPF) from a day cream.

Despite really liking the product, I decided to switch it up. My face has had some dryer places lately and I think trying a new moisturizer might even it out and offer a new round of moisturizers to my face. No, I didn’t splurge on the La Mer cream I lusted after in this post.  I decided to stick with REN and try their Hydra- Calm Global Protection Day Cream. It’s supposed to be for sensitive skin and protects from pollution, smoke and city air. Sounds great, since I live and work in downtown Denver.

I’ll start using it by early next week when the last drops of my Vita Mineral bottle run dry. Stay tuned for a future review!

How long does it take for your toenail to grow out?

Okay, so I promise this post will not contain a picture and it will not contain TMI about my toes. However, I have happy news to share! After 7 months, 11 days and an undetermined number of hours, my toenail grew completely out. Why does this matter you might ask? Well, on October 19 before the rehearsal dinner for our wedding, I dropped my blow dryer on my toe. I think I was trying to save my blow dryer and in retrospect, probably should have saved my toe instead.

The dryer landed right at the base of the nail and created a half-dime size bruise under the nail that was black and red and gross. Luckily I didn’t have to puncture the nail (GROSS) or anything of that nature, but it took quite literally forever to grow out. While we think we have to trim our toenails or get pedicures so often, it takes much, much longer than I ever would have thought to grow all the way out.

I could not possibly be more excited about light-colored summer polishes and getting pedicures without explaining what happened! So, if you’ve ever wanted to know, it takes more than 6 months for your toenail to grow completely out.

The end.

Happy Friday!

Summer shoe shopping

Hello lovely ladies and sorry for the delayed posting! I don’t know what it has been with this beautiful weather but it has given

me the shopping bug and I’ve been shoe shopping instead of beauty shopping! But, since ’tis the season for fun summer footwear and a chance to bare your latest pedi colors (mine is OPI Green, similar to the one shown at right) I thought I’d share some of my fun shoe finds.

I actually walk to work each day and walk home for lunch so I HAVE to have a pair of shoes that will be comfy for about a mile a day. No heels here. I just can’t stand orthopedic sandals (not until I’m 75 at least) so when I saw these on Nordstrom and the reviews raved about the comfort, I had to try them. They are almost as comfortable as slippers! Couldn’t be happier with them.

Sam Edelman Trina Sandal, comes in about a dozen colors, $99

I also have my eye on these Tory Burch wedges. I love the color and the heel and think they’d also be a good walking to work shoe, although I haven’t made the purchase yet. I need to decide soon because they are on sale from $190 down to $130!

And finally, with the Coach sale going on, I have my eye on a few great deals from Coach. Granted, it doesn’t look like any good daily wear shoes, but could you really say no to these when they are marked down to $150 from $225?

I also totally love these from Coach but wonder if they would slip off too easily. What do you think?

Well, there you have it. My latest shoe shopping picks. What are you wearing this summer? What polish do you have on your toes? Leave it in the comments! And next time, promise, I’ll be back to beauty. 😉

Dior Sunlight: Staple product

Out with the old, in with the new. As you can see, it was time to replace my Dior Sunlight bronzer. But instead of replacing it with a new product, I replaced it with a new compact.
New Dior Sunlight

 

I’ve featured Dior Sunlight many times before, it was on my list of products to help you get a great fake glow, it’s on my list of Everyday Products, and I’ve reviewed it and answered questions about it on Sephora.com.

Since I love my lovely Everyday Lipstick readers, I put together a little Q&A, FAQ about Dior Sunlight below. Hopefully this helps you decide if it’s the bronzer you’d like to try!

Q: How much is Dior Sunlight?

A: $55, it lasted me more than 6 months

Q: Does it have any shimmer?

A: Overall, I would say no, it doesn’t begin to come close to the level of shimmer of any of the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick bronzers or blushes, but it does have a healthy sheen to it. You certainly won’t see “sparkle” in the product or on your face.

Q: Is it a bronzer or a blush?

A: While it does have a slight pink hue to it, it’s much more of a bronzer than a blush. However, it is a great combo product if you want to cut a step out of your routine. You could use it as both!

Q: What’s the difference in color between Sunset and Sunlight?

A: A lot. Sunset is much darker. So dark that it is for extremely tan or ethic skin. Sunset is too dark for me even during the summer but Sunlight works for my medium beige skin all year. Also, Sunset has less pink it in than Sunlight.

What else do you want to know about Dior sunlight? Leave it in the comments!

 

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat

In a Sephora purchase about 3 weeks ago, I purchased YSL Touche Eclat, one of the highest rated concealers on Sephora.com. I planned to use it under my eyes to brighten and to cover any look of sleepiness. It works really well, it is absolutely a go-to product and something I’m really happy I have in my makeup drawer. But for the price, $40 for the tube, I expect rainbows and butterflies to fly out of the end of the tube every time I use it.

For my skin, I chose Luminous Vanilla, a bright, light color with beige and peach undertones. It’s the perfect color of concealer and highlighter for under eyes, around nose or anywhere you’d like to brighten and remove any signs of fatigue. It absolutely works, as an undereye concealer, it stays put all day, does not crease or smudge and doesn’t make my mascara bleed or smudge by adding too much moisture to that area.

As you can see, it is lighter and brighter than my skintone and looks great under the eyes.

YSL

Overall, if you want a luxe concealer that works, you will  not be disappointed, but as far as going “above and beyond”, which is what I expect for $40, it comes a little short.

Men and Beauty Routines

Teeth brushed. Check! The end. For about 90% of the guys I know, that is the beginning, middle and end of their nightly beauty routine. And don’t you feel so sorry for men? If they have a blemish, they can’t use concealer. If they have dark circles, they rarely turn to under eye cream. If they are feeling pale or needing a tan, bronzer isn’t for them. Poor men!

So yes, they don’t have near the upkeep that we women do, but they’re missing out on so many amazing products for men along the way. It’s high time we touted some men’s products, so here are my top beauty products for the guys. Ladies, click the link and upgrade your man’s routine with any of these products.

1. Sunscreen for men. Men have no time for daintily pouring out liquid-y lotions. Plus, the thought of rubbing in sunscreen on one of their bros probably makes them squirm. Philosophy Here Comes the Sun spray has built-in age defense so he is getting a double-whammy of protection.

If the frou-frou sayings on the Philosophy bottles are too much, Hampton Sun makes mists in SPF 35, 55 and 70 plus a spray aloe for after sun. What’s easier than that?

2. Shaving products. No company does shaving better for the refined man than The Art of Shaving. Come on guys, you’re a grown up. No more Neutrogena and Gillette. Plus, you get what you pay for. My husband switched to the full line of The Art of Shaving about a year and a half ago and will never go back. Mostly because guys don’t like to try new products, but also because it works.

Unscented shave cream, which also comes in Lavender, Sandalwood and Lemon, $25.

The full kit, with travel sizes of all products so he can use them for business trips or just test the brand to see if it’s his new perfect shave:

3. A quick zit fighter for men. Too often, men just pile on the Clean and Clear products to fight a zit, ending up drying it out and making it worse by irritating the skin. They also can be guilty (no offense guys) of leaving it be. This zit fighter can be dotted on the spot and will kill the bacteria without irritating the skin. Plus, since it’s clear, it doesn’t need any concealer over it. Kate Somerville, EradiKate acne treatment.

Wonderful summer perfumes

It finally feels like spring here in Denver! The air is warm but still crisp, we are getting rainy afternoons instead of snowy days and my flowers are blooming on our patio. And with the warmer weather, I always like to change it up a bit. I put away many of my more “formal”, structured and wintery perfumes in favor of lighter, sweeter and more floral scents.

When it comes to summer perfumes at an affordable price, no company does it better than Pacifica. I’ve used Pacifica perfumes for years now and because of the great price point (a nice-sized bottle is only $22 with little solid perfumes or roller balls being even less) I can swap them out or try a new one whenever the mood strikes. Plus, they carry them in most Whole Foods stores, so it’s easy to get your hands on a few.

 

The perfumes and colored lip balms (which I have yet to try) are 100% vegan and if you click the banner above, get free shipping on $50 orders from Pacificaperfumes.com.

But which one (or two!) of their wonderful scents should you try?!

A few of my favorites include…

Tahitian Gardenia has always been one of my favorites. It’s fresh but sexy and not too floral or sweet. This is one of Pacifica’s all-time most popular scents.

If you love ultra-floral scents that do not smell like an old lady, French Lilac is for you. It smells like a fresh cut bouquet of flowers. I absolutely love it on warm spring days. Toss the $12 roll on in your purse for a touch up of flowers throughout the day.

Waikiki Pikake literally smells like you are on vacation. Seriously. Maybe a beach vacation in Hawaii with the smell of tropical flowers, fruits and fresh air. It’s wonderful. A perfect summer perfume on the hottest days of the year. The smelling notes from Pacifica call out jasmine and a touch of sandalwood.

There are many others, including Spanish Amber and Orange Blossom that would carry you easily into fall and cooler weather, but the three above won’t steer you wrong as the weather warms. Which one is your favorite? Do you have a go-to summer fragrance? I’d love to know! Leave it on the comments.

Best products to not feel pasty

Is “pasty” officially a word? I think so. We women use it all the time to describe how we look when it is getting close to the season of summer sunshine but we have yet to really get a tan. I’ve heard this word (used interchangeably with “pale” or “ghostly”) at least a dozen times in the past few weeks so I know we’re all on the same schedule when it comes to getting rid of our winter white.

You’ve seen a few of my past posts on tanning products and spray tans, but it was high time a full post was dedicated to getting a little bit of a glow, including on your face. I’m going to the Denver Derby this weekend, a huge downtown Denver Kentucky Derby party, and I’m wearing a white dress. I don’t want my dress to look darker than my skin so I needed to get a little glow before Saturday!

Best face products for a glow:

Hands down, Dior Healthy Glow Sunlight is my favorite face bronzer. It never gives that orange-cheek or over-bronzed look and can be layered on for a darker look or just brushed on your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin for a quick addition of color. Sunset was too dark for me personally, but if you have naturally dark or ethnic skin, it would be a good option. Sunlight is perfect for anyone fair-medium.

If you like shimmer with your bronze or want a bronzer that also acts as a highlighter, look no farther than Bobbi Brown’s bronze shimmer brick. With a fantastic and not-too-crazy sheen and a gradient compact (so you can grab colors from the light end in winter, dark end in summer) it’s one of my top picks.

The Dior Healthy Glow is $55 and the Bobbi Brown is $42, so a nice price difference as well.

Best one-day-only tanning lotions:

My two favorites are Tantalizer Bronzer and St Tropez One Night Only lotion but they are still very different.

Tantalizer: More golden, more shimmer, easily washes off in one shower

St Tropez: More coffee/chocolate, easier to blend, lasts a little longer

Here they are side-by-side. Tantalizer is on the left, St Tropez is on the right. I did a blob and a quick streak test.

tanner 1

tanner 2

 

Best gradual glow:
This category has options in two price points.

SelfTANtalizer is the gradual bronzing option from Lorac. Find it here at the Beauty Bar for $32.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Graduall tanner for $7 is a classic. It’s been around for ages and is the best drugstore option for an easy, gradual tan. They have options for light/medium and medium/tan skin.

Massages with Arnica Gel

Last night, after a very stressful day at work, I treated myself to a massage at Elixir Massage in Denver. This was my third trip to Elixir and my first massage ever with Arnica Gel, a cooling and less medicinal-smelling version of Icy Hot that is spread over an area right after it is massaged. It was amazing! The massage itself was fantastic and the additional of the cooling, tingling gel was a huge plus. I could feel the circulation increasing as it cooled and refreshed my computer-worn muscles.

 

 

I’ve always loved going to Elixir massage in Denver because they really have it figured out. All they do is massage. No facials, nails, haircuts or laser hair. It is 100% massage. They know what they are doing and their therapists are some of the best around. For only another 3 days they are celebrating Spa Week and you can get some of the featured 60 minute services for a bargain price of $50. Amazing!

If you want to give arnica gel a try at home, click the photo above for a great price on a concentrated version. However, the drugstore versions do have some of the “icy hot” smell to them. While it isn’t strong it’s certainly there. Other brands I found that make similar products but with a more refined smell and other added benefits are these:

L’Occitane Revitalizing Leg Cream with cyprus and arnica for $25

 

Elemis Muscle Reviving Gel with camphor, arnica, cyprus and menthol. Spa-grade product available for $55

 

 

And a cellulite vanisher from the Neiman Marcus beauty counters!  Omorovicza gel includes caffeine, arnica and other potent ingredients to really boost circulation and moisturize to completely get rid of “dimples”. $85 for 5 ounces.