Sephora and My Free Nars Gift Review

Nars birthday giftA friend and I went to the mall (not a common occurrence, despite what my blog suggests), and I couldn’t resist Sephora. I need some new basics, and got the Anastasia brow powder duo (I absolutely cannot leave the house without brow powder) and some Sephora mascara. At the register, I got my free birthday gift that I had totally forgotten about!

For anyone that doesn’t know, if you get the free Sephora card, you get a deluxe sample on your birthday, and it’s always something awesome. You also get random samples based on points, which happens pretty often since everything at Sephora is a trillion dollars. Anyway. I was super excited about my gift. It is a two pack of Nars lip pencils. It came with a deep red- Cruella velvet matte lip pencil, and a mauve of sorts- Rikugien satin lip pencil. I tried them on and have cheesy pictures for y’all to see 🙂

The velvet matte felt like a dry lipstick. If I am ever brave enough to wear this in public, which is unlikely to happen, I will put gloss over it. The satin lip was super moisturizing and felt soft and smooth. As for color, I think they both worked, but let me know what you think. My bare lips are first, then Rikugien (in my opinion, so similar to my natural color it’s not worth wearing), then Cruella (cute but OMG not my style and made me feel I needed to put on more makeup).

bare lipsRikugien lipscruella lipsI would never have bought this, but I think it is super fun to play with. The lip pencil is easier to apply than regular lip stick, which was helpful for the bold red.


You Can Host a Free Party at Lush

lush bacheloretteLush is one of the best beauty stores ever. I mentioned in this post how much I love their Big Shampoo. I am also a pretty big fan of their bath bombs and face masks. I don’t buy things there very often, because they are pretty spendy. However, the bath bombs and soaps smell so good that I put them in my drawers to make my clothes smell yummy.

I have also used Lush bars of soap to make liquid hand soap. Their products are great because they are natural, but they do use dyes. I am allergic to a few red dyes, so I have to be really careful.

popcorn lip scrubI recently got a gift card for Christmas from my friend K, and I bought a few fun things. One was the Popcorn Lip Scrub. Lip scrubs are definitely a frivolous thing, I’m pretty sure you can easily exfoliate with a washcloth. However, I am a frivolous, and my lips get chapped in the winter. You just rub a bit of this on your lips, and no more chapped lips! It also smells and tastes yummy. At some point I want to make some myself, and I will post the recipe. 

bachelorettepartySomething we found out about Lush when I got engaged was that many locations let you throw a party there after hours! My friend K and my sister planned a stop there for my bachelorette party. You reserve the store after hours, and they let you bring your own food and drinks. You need a minimum of 10 people, and each person has to purchase $25 worth of products (the rules probably change periodically). That’s it! Basically, it’s free, because you go home with the products that you choose. They did our colors with this color wheel, and gave us each a mini facial and hand exfoliation. We got to play around with the make-up and give each other makeovers. It was a super fun girl’s night- plus we were all made up when we went out afterward.

Does anyone know of other places that let you do cool private parties?


Sally Hanson Miracle Gel

IMG_6782I kept seeing Sally Hanson’s Miracle Gel in magazines, and decided to give it a try. It’s gel polish, but doesn’t need a heat lamp and comes off like regular polish. I didn’t realize this on my first try, but you need to buy the nail polish and the top coat (black bottle, says “step 2” on top).

I love the look of painted nails, but I am so lazy. I can’t stand polish when it’s chipped, which generally happens for me about three minutes after it dries. Gel polish is great, but I have no patience for the removal. I also don’t want to pay $30 plus tip, then go back to get it removed.

Here’s what I did for this manicure. I started with OPI’s base coat, which I love for the extra wide brush. Then I used Essie’s quick-e drying drops (and used them after every coat). These actually do help coats dry faster, which is great (again with my total lack of patience). I did two coats of Sally Hanson’s Miracle Gel Grayfitti, one coat of Wet n Wild Fergie Rock n’ Roll, and a coat of Sally Hanson’s Miracle Gel Top Coat. The drying drops made this go pretty quickly. They looked great and I didn’t see any wear until day five (when I was already starting to see growth, so I probably couldn’t have worn it much longer anyway). Here are the pictures after five days- I’m really impressed.

five daysIMG_6784

I will have to play around and see if it lasts longer if I don’t use a non Miracle Gel sparkle in between the polish and top coat. Note- I did try it with just the Miracle Gel polish before I got the top coat. It lasted about three days, so the top coat does make a different. I used regular OPI top coat the first time.

Traditional gel polish can last on me with no chips for about a week, but I see growth after five-seven days. I think this is a much better alternative!

I got these products at my local grocery store, but they are available on Amazon if you want more colors or just don’t want to go out (confession~ it’s a miracle I bought these in person. I buy almost everything on Amazon. It’s almost embarrassing.). These are all affiliate links (if you use them I get a small commission).

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel products

OPI base coat

Essie Quick-e Drying Drops

Wet n Wild Fergie Rock n’ Roll