Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Epic Sephora Gratis Haul

I feel like every time I intro a blog post, it starts off by saying, " Ooooeeee it's been a hot minute", but it really has. So here is another installment in the Epic Sephora Gratis Haul series, this time I have included insightful and thoughtful reviews on each of the products I had the opportunity to try. 

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Peter Thomas Roth24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream
Beyonce in a Bottle

When Bruno Mars sang about 24K gold, he was singing about this stuff! I really love the aspects of skincare and cosmetics crossing worlds in this product. I'm not sure if it claims to lift and firm but it definitely gives you that dewy gold glow from within and that to me is worth it's weight in gold!

FarmacyHoney Drop Lightweight Moisturizer with Echinacea GreenEnvy™
Super light-weight but very hydrating with Hyaluronic Acid...

My perception of Farmacy has drastically changed with this new innovation. In the past, I thought Farmacy products were over hyped and over priced. I have used their products before with no visible difference but this moisturizer breaks the mold. It has a very unique texture, think lightweight like Dr. Jart's Waterdrop but even lighter. It has hyaluronic acid in it so it's going to be very hydrating with no tackiness and almost has a blurring like effect on the skin without the dimethicone. Highly recommend for any skin type especially combo/oily.

BB Curl Conditioner

I have fine wavy hair and although I am aware this product is intended for those with curly hair, I love how it defines my waves. The shampoo is very drying so I definitely recommend using this conditioner as a follow up. The best results are achieved when used in combination. I also love it's scent and the fact that its sulfate and paraben free!

Bumble and bumble Bb. Curl (Care) Sulfate Free Shampoo

I have fine wavy hair and although I am aware this product is intended for those with curly hair, I love how it defines my waves. The shampoo is very drying so I definitely recommend using the conditioner to follow up. The best results are achieved when used in combination. Plus, this stuff smells divine!

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation
There are 9,000 reviews on this product so I'm not sure I can offer any new perspective other than this foundation is matte, full coverage and accentuates texture on the face especially dry spots.

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette

This is a solid palette. This came as blanket gratis for all cast members of Sephora straight from Kendo so I think the brand is really pushing for this to be the #1 selling eyeshadow palette, currently it is the Too Faced Peach Palette (according to a Too Faced rep). It's currently sold out online. For the sake of review, I should probably go more into the whats and whys of the palette but I'm scared to use it. It's so pretty. I have the face contour palette and never use it because I feel it's too dark for my pale skin.

Algenist ELEVATE Advanced Lift Contouring Cream

The reason why I gave this an average rating is because personally, I can't get over the fact that it's heavily fragranced and contains several dimethicone and dimethicone cross polymers. I had this notion that algenist was a natural brand but upon further inspection it's far from. If you look passed these two factors and you go further down the ingredient list, you'll see there are a tonne of beneficial hydration and anti-aging ingredients like polysaccharides, plankton extract (I assume to aid in firming?), peptides, sodium hyaluronate (promotes hydration), squalane (a more stable form of squalene) and a slew of other beneficial ingredients. If you can get over fragrance, this is a great anti-aging product with instant and long term results.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

A definite contender to the fresh Advanced Therapy lip serum and the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask that’s always out of stock however this product is all-natural and made of food grade ingredients so it’s safe to consume. I think the choice is obvious.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Cleansing & Exfoliating Cleansing Cream Pomegranate

I think cleansing creams are a great alternative to other cleanser formulas. I am surprised to see these go on sale so soon after launching. Maybe they are reformulating or repackaging. Unfortunately the turnaround for Sephora Collection skincare is really quick, I hope Sephora considers expanding the line in the future because it’s a really great alternative for those on smaller budgets and clients are always in store asking about past Sephora collection skincare items. Anyhow, on with the review… I personally would not be able to use this product because it is far from “clean”, it contains fragrance, a slew of unknown ingredients and red dyes

Atelier Cologne Clementine California Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume

A gorgeous fragrance but overpriced with no staying power

This is a fragrance which is fresh, light, and youthful; appropriate for summer. Like a lot of other colognes in the Atelier franchise, it is top note heavy so it volatilizes quickly on the skin. The juice is anchored with heart and base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, and cypress but are virtually undetectable. Other than the citrus notes, you get a hint of pepper. I recommend the travel spray as a top up because this fragrance won’t take you beyond the first twenty minutes of the sillage, a shame because it is a beautiful fragrance. If you are looking for a fragrance in the fresh category, that is similar but want better staying power, I recommend D&G light blue. Light blue will last you 4-6 hours with some fragrance still lingering at day’s end. An even longer lasting alternative is the new D&G Light Blue intense.

Clarins Body Fit Anti-Cellulite Contouring Expert
Best used in conjunction with the massage techniques

This product works best in conjunction with the massage techniques included with the product. You won't see results with just a sample of the product. The massage techniques promote lymphatic drainage, increased blood circulation and some toning.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Toilette Purse Spray

A pleasant sweet-floral scent

I always like to smell the scent straight on skin before reading what notes are contained in the fragrance as a means of discovery, seeing if I can discern notes from one another. After the dry down, you lose a bit of the fruity-sweetness and get more of a bouquet of floral scents. I imagine there are numerous florals but the ones that I can pick out are gardenia and rose. There is a bit of powderiness and a bit of a musky floral like a carnation or a marigold (I was way off)...hmmm... let's read further. So the top note is orange blossom which quickly volatilizes. You can pick out a bit of the black currant. The musk comes from the white amber and white musk. It contains some of your quintessential florals like rose and jasmine which must be at higher concentrations because those are the only two true florals listed. Et Voila! I prefer purse sized sprays vs. roller balls. I wish every fragrance house would offer this as an option when launching a new fragrance, historically perfuming was more about finding your signature scent which you wouldn't really deviate from and you were more likely to replenish the same scent. Now with consumerism, everyone wants the next newest scent.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette

I'll admit, the packaging got me. I have been lusting after these palettes since they first launched in Sephora but I could never afford them, now I own 2! There are alot of consumer complaints about the old formulation of these eyeshadows but they aren't as bad as people made it out to be. MAC eyeshadows are way worse! They aren't buttery or as pigmented as let's say ABH eyeshadows that are made with Mica but they still work! I also like the versatility of these palettes, it takes the guess work out of executing a look and the streamlined packaging makes it perfect for travel or just overall storage; MJ doesn't do clunky cardboard boxes. If you are reading this and didn't know, the inspiration for the packaging comes the rear-view mirror of an automobile. I also learned the formula is paraben free which makes me happy.

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

I am pasty as pasty gets and before I discovered Body Blur, I would cover up my legs in shame because they were literally blindingly white. They just never tan, even when I lay in the sun. My theory is the light just refracts off my skin because it's so white! Body Blur is great even if you have a base tan. It's a cool-toned brown so it looks really natural. It makes my skin look healthy and glowy with little fragments of shimmer. The packaging labels also claim to help hide the appearance of varicose veins and cellulite. You don't need a mitt to apply, it goes on really smooth – just use long circular motions. Start with a small dot to avoid patchiness. Use on dry skin. If you use it on top of lotion or on wet skin, it will pill. It's formulated with organic ingredients and is safe for the face and can even be mixed into foundation, how innovative is that?! There is no gradual tanner in it but I feel like the more I use it the darker I look. It's also water resistant to a certain degree. It won't come off entirely if you go swimming but will come off as soon as you lather with soap. I could literally go on forever about the benefits. As for the scent: it smells like SPF but the labeling claims not to contain SPF although there are oxides of tin, iron and titanium. My only qualm with this product is that it comes off on your sheets, so make sure you shower before bed.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment
This is an amazing spot treatment that is effective in reducing inflammation with camphor sulfur and help treat it with 2% salycilic acid. Dip a cute tip in the separation and apply straight to cleansed skin in target areas. The redness will be reduced overnight.

Boscia Sake Bright White Mask
A good alternative to the charcoal mask...

This is a good alternative to the boscia luminizing black mask. I am perplexed at why that one is called luminizing when the effects are quite mattifying but I digress... let's talk more about this one. Whatever you do don't read the ingredient list, it's filled with crap, the second ingredient is alcohol. If you can move beyond the ingredient list, it's an effective mask.

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