Urban Decay 500 Point Sephora Reward

I had quite a few points to spend at Sephora during a recent online purchase. I purchased a re-up on my Dior Lip Glow lipstick and then cashed in 500 points for the Urban Decay reward and also used the code “Blitz” to get a deluxe sample kit of a variety of products. Basically, 10 large samples and one lipstick later, I was really pumped to get my Sephora Box!

The Urban Decay reward had a few products in particular I was interested in trying. First, it had the anti-aging eye primer. As you know, I love their classic eye primer. I thought if it was possible to combine elements of an eye cream with my eye primer, it was something I had to try. Well, unfortunately, the new take on this old classic just isn’t the same. Can you say…creases? I tried three shadows with it, including an Urban Decay shadow, and all creased by the end of the day. Something that never happens with the classic primer.

As you can see in the picture, Urban Decay classic primer has a slight tint and blends easily with skin.

Eye Primer

Click this image of the bottle to go to Sephora.com for a mini-size of the classic primer for only $12!

Next up in the Urban Decay package was their All-Nighter spray and B6 Complexion Prepping Viamin Spray. I absolutely love the fact that these came in “trail-size” or deluxe sample size bottles. The All-Nighter spray typically comes in a huge bottle that I feel would take months and months to go through. The smaller size is absolutely perfect. Click here to try it in only 1 oz for $14!

While I need to give the primer a few more tries before forming a definitive opinion, I do like the All-Nighter spray and feel it does a perfect job of setting your makeup for the long haul. The primer has some really interesting statistics and studies around it, click here to read more.

Last in the box was a pot of  Urban Decay eyeshadow in Mushroom, a wonderful grey smokey eye color that is extremely versatile and applies smoothly. You can find that exact shade here at Sephora.com.

Overall, if you have 500 Sephora points, I’d highly recommend cashing them in. The makeup prep spray and the All-nighter sprays are worth it alone. But hurry! Those rewards tend to go fast and this one might not be around for much longer! Happy shopping!

Advertisements

Updates and Photos on Emily’s Everyday Beauty

Morning glowing gals!

Check out the huge list of updates to Emily’s Everyday Beauty page! Changes include a new hand cream on my desk at work, a new eye primer, a fabulous new leave-in conditioner that I highly recommend you try and more!

Plus, I uploaded a new photo of my slightly-messy makeup drawer. It’s loaded with some of the samples I’ve been trying lately and will be writing about later this week!

Drawer

Other eyecreams continue to fall short

I feel strongly about eye creams and if you’ve been reading Everyday Lipstick for a while, you know all about this. I believe that you get what you pay for, you only have one set of eyes so you should take care of them and that eye cream is an important part of your daily beauty routine.

Despite finding some great eye creams, I’m always on the lookout for something even better. Here are a few I’ve tried in the past two years(eye creams last a long time!):

 

1. REN Active 7 Eye Gel for $30

2. Clinique All About Eyes De-puffing Serum for $28

3. Philosophy Eye Hope Cream for $49

4.  Shiseido ‘Bio-Performance’ Super Corrective Eye Cream for $60

Of those 4, there’s only one I would buy again: Shiseido Bio Performance. In fact, I just ran out of the REN Active 7 eye gel, which I had been using for 21 days. Instead of going straight back to the Shiseido Super Corrective, I’m going to try the Super Contour to see if I can tell any difference. I love Shiseido products and feel you get a lot of bang for your buck. My last Shiseido eye cream lasted me about 5 months.

How to make your pedicure last longer

We ladies dish out anywhere between $30 and $60 (or more) for a pedicure and with our toes showing so much in the summer, we tend to get them much more often than in the winter. But how do you make them last longer? How do you keep the polish from chipping and your feet soft and smooth? Even just an extra week or two per pedicure can add up to significant savings.

I did some research and came up with a guide to get the most out of your pedicure and make it last a little longer! For more information about caring for your footsies, check out this great article from Real Simple magazine.

Socks: Your new best friend

Obviously, you don’t want to wear socks when you go out because it covers up your pretty toes! But the second you walk in the door, switch from flip flops to socks. Even better, rub some of your favorite lotion on your feet before putting the socks on.  Pedicure Saver: Prevents dry feet.

Have a clear coat on hand

Depending on how your polish is looking, have a clear coat ready for touch up, especially for swipe around the tip of your toes to seal the polish and prevent cracking and chipping. The Sephora Mirror Shine Top Coat will help hide any small chips and prevent new ones. If you got shellac on your toes, check out this article on Shellac Manicure Maintenance and apply those tricks to your toes! Pedicure Saver: Chipped Polish

Invest in the best foot file around

There are foot files and then there are foot files. This foot file is the real deal. I tried all sorts of pumice stones from $2 to $20 but when I splurged on the Diamancel file at Sephora, I threw the rest away. The full size (shown below) is $49, but the smaller size is available for $29. Pedicure Saver: Calluses and dry heels

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!

My favorite softer-smoother hair mask

Sad day. Sniffle sniffle. I just ran out of the very last drop of my all-time favorite hair mask, Redken Nature’s Rescue Cooling conditioner. I bought it on a whim over a year ago and it has lasted all that time using it about once every two weeks. It’s fantastic.

It’s more affordable then other deep conditioners (this link will take you to buy it only for $22. And remember, it lasts about a year), it has a wonderful cooling sensation, it deep conditions, I think it speeds up blow drying time and it makes your hair smell amazing all day. The smell is really unique, it’s this fresh, clean and warm smell. Kind of like puppies. I’m not kidding. (Redken would probably not love that I said that, but who doesn’t love puppies?)

After washing your hair, spread a quarter-sized amount from root to tip, massage in with your finger tips and let absorb for 1-2 minutes while you wash your face or do other shower routine things. Rinse and go! Your hair will be noticeably smoother and softer all day.

I will definitely be replacing this container as part of my beauty routine.

Pore Clearing Mask from Origins

Last night I cozed up with my lavender neck wrap and my charcoal facial to watch TV with my husband on a chilly Sunday night. This was the second time I had tested the Origins Active Charcoal Pore Clearing Mask.

Said to to be good for all skin types, active charcoal, “acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers. White China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities.”

I really like it. It is a fabulous, detoxifying boost that seems to balance and soften your face without overdrying. It also doesn’t seem to bring impurities to the surface, which is one of my biggest concerns with masks like this. I put on a fairly thick but even layer after washing my face and using a light mist of Sanitas face mist. Your face will get so bizarrely tight as the mask dries that you will barely be able to talk! Super strange. After about 10 minutes, the mask is completely dry and you can rinse it off easily with warm water. I applied a quick coat of my night cream and that was it!

I love that Sephora currently has a special on a package of products, including the mask, in a smaller size. For $47, you get to try the Charcoal Mask, the frothy face wash, the mimosa and algae face moisturizer and the anti-aging serum. Click here to buy it from Sephora.com and if you have one other thing in your shopping cart, such as a refill of your favorite makeup sponges, you’ll get free shipping.

Back to Basics: Cleaning your tools

It’s Spring! And that means time for some Spring Cleaning. Your beauty drawer is no exception and while we always hear how important it is to clean your makeup brushes, there are a few tools that are easily overlooked and desperately need a good cleaning. When was the last time you cleaned your blow dryer? You will be amazed how much dust, hair and just grime builds up on your blow dryer. And if you were thinking about replacing it, clean it first! You can get so much more power out of a clean dryer. Here is a step-by-step guide to making it nearly-new again.

1. Dry your hair one morning and then start the cleaning process. It’s important to let everything thoroughly dry so give it a few hours before using it again.

2. Start by wiping down the handle and outside of the dryer with Clorox or other disinfectant cleaning clothes. All of the times you put the product in your hair and then grabbed your dryer with product-y hands will be easily wiped off! For any tough spots or tough build up in the handle, makeup remover on a cotton ball will do the trick.

3. Each dryer is different, but most have the screen on the back. This can be either popped off or twisted off. My Hot Tools dryer needs about a 1/4 inch turn.

blowdryer 1

 

4. Take the little mesh screen out and set it aside. The back of your dryer will be exposed. Do not turn it on!

blowdryer 2

 

5. Wash the back guard and screen (the black net on the right) with mild soap and water and set on a towel to dry. Make 100% sure it’s dry before assembling the dryer. Rinse out the guard as well and let dry.

browdryer 3

 

6. Take tweezers and remove all the hair and dust from each little groove in the back of your dryer. If you are like me the first time I did this, you’ll be amazed! Once you’ve removed all visible buildup, take a damp wash cloth and wipe out any excess.

blowdryer 4

 

Once everything is dry, reassemble and get ready to be wowed with a more powerful and efficient dryer!

Next up on your cleaning spree, your eyelash curler. When was the last time you cleaned that sucker?! Luckily, it will take less than three minutes and you’ll have a sparkling new curler.

1. Check out how dirty it is! Yuck. Even when curling bare lashes some leftover mascara and eye makeup always ends up on the pads of the curler.
eyelash curlereyelash curler2

 

2. Take a cotton ball with eye makeup remove and swipe all sides of the pad and the top and bottom pieces of the curler.

3. Once all buildup is removed, take a disinfectant wipe and wipe the whole thing down. Rise with water and let dry!

What beauty tools do you have to keep clean? Is there anything you’d like to know how to clean? Leave it in the comments and I’ll give it a try! 🙂

 

 

Back to basics: Eyelash Curlers

Do you use an eyelash curler daily? I do. But I only recently added this little gizmo to my beauty routine. And it makes such a difference. It lifts your eyelashes away from your eyes and keeps them in more of a solid line to make your eyes look larger and brighter. If you don’t use an eyelash curler, you’re missing out!

Here’s a quick back to basics how-to on the eyelash curler:

1. BEFORE applying mascara, slide your upper lashes between the two tongs of the curler

2. Gently but firmly press down and hold for 1-2 seconds

3. Release pressure and move the curler more toward the tips of your lashes and press down again for 1-2 seconds

4. Apply mascara!
Bonus points: for an extra boost, point your blow dryer at the curler for a second or two before using it on your lashes. Test on your hand to make sure it didn’t get too hot!

But do you need an expensive eyelash curler or will just any old one do?

Revlon eyelash curler from Target for $6, which is meant to provide a “steeper curl” (read: crease your lashes) since it doesn’t have an upper pad.

Lancome eyelash curler, $23 at Macy’s is a fantastic, basic and well-made curler.

Or something ultra sleek that very closely resembles a medical instrument, if medical instruments had a sweet retro vibe. Stainless steel eyelash curler made by Rubis Switzerland, $42.

Interested to see another post on beauty basics? Click here to check out last week’s post on face scrub!

Back to beauty basics: Face scrub

Last night we had a really bizarre but stressful event at our house. My husband was changing clothes and washing his face to go to a meeting and comes out of the bathroom blinking like crazy. He had been using face scrub, gotten one of the little beads too close to his eye and scratched the cornea. After a really painful night and a very red and runny eye, he’s getting better.

This incident, along with an article about Beauty Basics in Real Simple magazine, prompted me to start a post series on Back to the Basics. For the next few weeks, I’ll be throwing in a weekly post on beauty basics, from face scrub, to eyelash curlers, to shampoo and conditioner.

Let’s start today with the proper way to use a facial scrub.

First, choose the right scrub! I like something creamy with very round beads for polishing. It also has to wash away completely clean without any residue. Too many scrubs are for acne, in my opinion, which just leads you to scrub pimples until they are so dry and irritated they’ll never heal. A scrub should just get down another layer or two from your normal cleanser to remove dirt, and makeup and clear away any dead skin cells, it shouldn’t be used for resurfacing your acne.

My favorite scrub right now is another REN product. It’s gentle enough to use multiple times per week but tough enough to get the job done. REN Jojoba Micro Bead Facial Polish comes in a GIANT bottle that lasts forever for $35.

Once you have the right face scrub, you need the right technique. Never put dry scrub on a dry face and never even put dry scrub on a wet face. In other words: add water. Make sure your face is wet, squeeze about a nickle-sized amount onto your fingers and add a little more water. Rub it between your fingers to spread out the scrub and disperse the water. Always scrub gently in a circular motion all over your face, being sure you get the sides of your face and your jaw line.

But guess which area of your face you should avoid? YOUR EYES! Face scrub should never tough the entire area around your eye, including under your eyes and your eyelids. The skin is too sensitive to handle a scrub.

What face scrubs do you like? Is it part of your normal routine? Let me know in the comments!