Chloe Fleur.

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This is a little bit of a fluff piece on my part.  It’s currently three in the morning.  I got home from work and really just couldn’t sleep, so I decided to give typing a shot.

This is another sample I used up.  Most of my Sephora samples go to use after I get off.  I pretty much just spritz something on so I’m not that stinky kid on the subway at odd hours.  Samples are easy to toss in my purse, and they don’t take up a lot of space.  I like to travel light.  This makes me grateful for the endless supply of perfume samples that seem to find their way into my apartment.

Chloe Fleur is a really nice floral scent.  It’s got a rose scent at first (which I don’t really care for), but as soon as it starts to dry, I notice lighter, more summery scents like freesia and verbena.  The finish is a little woody–almost cedar-like.  It’s a bit of an inoffensive fresh, floral fragrance, and if you’re into other scents from this line, you can’t go wrong with this one.  I do like the original and have a bottle of it around here somewhere.  It’s not something I often find myself reaching for, but it does smell lovely.  This one is no exception.

This is $105.00 for 1.7 ounces.  I’m not going to buy it–or any perfume for that matter–until I get rid of some of the ones I have around here.  There are so many bottles and samples, I’m not entirely sure I could use them all in my lifetime.

Chloe Fleur.  You smell nice, but I don’t need you.

–Jackie

GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment. I Forgot How I Loved You.

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I have gone through two full-sized containers of this over the last three years.  It’s been awhile since I had used it, though, and I had forgotten how much I really do love this.

This is one of the OG products from GlamGlow.  It’s also one of the only products I tried and immediately saw a result from.  It’s one of three products I’ve taken the time to actually review over on sephora.com.  I was hardcore in love with this for ages.  Needless to say, I was happy to get this little tube, and I am kind of thinking of getting a full size one again.

This stuff is great at reducing oil through my T-zone and immediately knocks back any redness I have on my face.  It’s kind of cool to use, too.  You look a little weird at first because you have tea leaves stuck to your face, but as it dries, it begins to pull oil out of your pores, so you end up with something that looks like a dot matrix across your face by the time it is dry.  I guess that makes you look even stranger, but, hey, it works.

I used this the night before my wedding.  That’s how much I trust it to make my skin look great.  Twice a week for twenty minutes is good for what ails your skin.  When I was using this religiously, I made time to use it.  It’s not a permanent fix for the redness, and it would start to creep back in after about three days, but would immediately go away when I would use it again.

Less is more with this, too, which is also good because it used to be $69.00 for an ounce.  They’ve somehow managed to now sell it for the same price for 1.7 ounces.  This makes my heart–and wallet should I buy it again–happy.  You don’t need to cake it on.  Just apply a thin layer, and wait for it to dry.  Rinse, and you’re good to go.

I have no real reason to buy this right now, so I’m not going to.  I have some other masks around here I’m testing out, and I’m trying to reduce my makeup and skin care collection that is just sitting around the apartment.  I’m filing it away for when I’m looking to splurge on a good mask, though.

GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment:  I LOVE this.  I may need to get a new jar.

–Jackie

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask. Uhhh, is this a Joke?

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Ok, I wanted to love this.  It smells so good–like orange marmalade.  It even looks like orange marmalade.  It sort of feels like marmalade.  It’s pretty sticky, and it does leave your face a little sticky when you use it.  I was obsessed with this when I got it in my play box.

Unfortunately, it didn’t do much.  I got ten uses out of the jar and used it twice a week for five weeks.  I’m going to copy and paste the claims Fresh makes about this stuff below because they made me laugh when I read them.  Here they are for your amusement as well:

“Get glowing skin instantly with Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask. This powerhouse treatment improves the skin’s radiance and glow by 31 percent after one use, and by 49 percent after four weeks of use. The revolutionary formula is powered by 50 percent real crushed citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and clementines, naturally containing AHA fruit acids that work to gently refine and smooth the skin. This fruit blend comes in the form of a paste, which is made from lemons cultivated in the Mediterranean region—providing double exfoliation by offering a pleasant scrub, while the AHA fruit acid content offers a chemical peeling effect. A proprietary vitamin fruit complex is a potent blend of vitamins, citrus fruit extracts, and minerals that help revitalize dull skin for a vibrant, healthy-looking glow and soft, smooth texture.”

I used this twice a week for five weeks, so I was well within the time frame they give for seeing results.  You know what I saw?  Nothing.  The only thing I may go so far as to say was that it ever so slightly reduced the redness in my face immediately after I took it off.  That result was gone by the next morning.

My skin didn’t feel like it had been exfoliated.  It didn’t look smoother.  It didn’t really look brighter.  It didn’t look like anything had happened.  I feel like I could achieve the same “results” by rubbing actual orange marmalade on my face.  Given that the first ingredients in this stuff are water, glucose, and citrus extract, my idea probably isn’t a bad one.  And I could get twice the amount of marmalade for a quarter of the price of this stuff.

You want to know how much this is?  $62.00! For 3.3 ounces!  This is a joke, right?  This goes back to my beef with Fresh.  When they make things that work, they work amazingly well.  The rest is utter crap, and it’s all comically expensive for what you’re getting.  I’m not opposed to using stuff from these guys.  I own things from the company.  However, always, always, ALWAYS go in a Sephora and get a sample before you drop serious cash for their products.  And save the receipts after you do splurge on them in case they don’t work.  I don’t generally return things, but I have no problems taking stuff from Fresh back.  If you think I’m going to be saddled with a perfectly average moisturizer that I spent ninety dollars on, you’re crazy.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask: This is garbage.  I’m not going to buy it.  You shouldn’t, either.

–Jackie

Sephora Play June 2017.

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I got this a few days ago and, for whatever reason, didn’t really feel like sitting down and typing out the box breakdown.  This blogging thing takes up a good bit of time on my days off, and sometimes I just don’t feel like sitting down and putting my mind to it.  I have to tell myself that there is actually a purpose to all of this, namely, breaking myself of the habit of buying random crap that I don’t really need.

The weather in New York is also kind of nice today, so I didn’t feel like sitting inside part of the day and typing on my computer.  I decided to grab my handy, dandy Bluetooth keyboard and tablet and head to my local coffee shop.  Copious quantities of iced lattes always lift my spirits.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t excited about this box when I opened it.  This, no doubt, contributed to my lapse in blogging, but it has given me a few days to play with some of the products and develop some first impressions, so let’s do this:

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer:  I have this on my face as I sit in the coffee shop, and I think I like it.  I thought it was going to be entirely too light for me to actually wear out in public when I first opened the package.  I mean, it looks LIGHT, and I’m a pale kid.  Really pale.  Much to my surprise it was a perfect match.  The blemish coverage is pretty much nil, but it evens out any redness I have quite well.  I’m new to the tinted moisturizer game.  Until just a few months ago, the number of blemishes on my face warranted at least a medium coverage foundation if I planned on leaving the house, so I’ve only really tried out this one and Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer.  I quite like that one, but I find that it starts to break down quickly even with a primer.  After just a few hours, I’m left with practically nothing on my face.  We shall see how this one goes.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad Gradual Glow:  I can almost guarantee that I won’t actually use these.  They’re a version of the Alpha Beta Peels that I enjoy, but they impart a gradual tan on your face.  You know what I don’t do?  Tan.  I don’t care to tan.  I don’t really go out in the sun, and when I do, I wear sunscreen like my life depended on it because it probably does.  I’m a red head with green eyes and skin that’s pale beyond pale.  I burn.  Roast.  Look like a boiled lobster.  Even when I was a teenager, I never had any real inclination to have a tan.  This has served me well as I’ve gone into my thirties.  My skin damage is minimal, and my wrinkles are virtually naught.  I’ve never even cared to use self-tanners.  I’m genuinely whatever about the whole experience.  I mean, sure, I’ve tried them out before, but it’s effort I’m not willing to take.  So I’m going to use this on my face while the rest of my body remains the same pale shade?  No.  They say the transition is gradual, but I’m really not interested.  My best friend is coming into town for a visit next week, and I’m passing these off to him.  Moving on.

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It:  Part of the reason why I wasn’t very excited about this box was because it came with two different hair care products.  I don’t do much with my hair.  I wear it in a ponytail at work, and can’t be bothered to actually dry it on most of my days off.  I keep the styling to a minimum.  This basically claims to tame the frizz of wavy tresses and give you that just left the beach look.  I have naturally wavy hair that tends to get really frizzy, and the best thing I’ve found to help it on days I don’t dry it but want to wear it down is Ouai’s Wave Spray.  I honestly expected this to do absolutely nothing when I put it in my hair after my shower this morning.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  This may be the answer to all of my prayers, but I’m going to use it a few more times before I commit to an entire tube of the stuff.  It was easy to use.  I just squirted some in my hand, raked it through my hair, twisted my hair in large sections, and scrunched each one toward my scalp.  Then I just sat around the house waiting for my hair to dry.  Once it had dried, all I did was rake my fingers through my hair to break apart the sections.  I was amazed.  My hair looks so good.  It’s got textured waves with zero frizz.  It’s not crispy and crunchy from some spray.  I can’t get over how much potential this has.  I’m going to keep using it, and I may commit to a tube.  For someone who hates dealing with her hair, this was a godsend today.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub:  I have nine of these liquid lipsticks.  I think Kat Von D makes the best liquid lipsticks on the market for my money, and I love the shade range.  Once you put them on, they don’t budge.  Period.  Well, they don’t budge unless you eat something really oily.  I’ve worn these for upwards of sixteen hours before, and they’ve still been on at the end of the day.  If my lips start to feel dry–let’s face it, liquid lipsticks are good at drying out your lips, and this one is no different–I just put lip balm over the top of whatever color I happen to have on.  It doesn’t move.  K-Dub is a really bright raspberry shady that is perfect for the summer, and I love a bright lip.  I can’t wait to play with this one.

Brigeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave in Defining Creme:  This is the second hair product in the June box.  It says that it will create defined natural-looking curls and is super hydrating.  I’ve given this one a try, too, and while it smells AMAZING, I think it’s just a little bit too much for my hair type.  You know the type: super oily that demands a daily washing.  It did define my waves really well, but it also made my hair stringy.  I’ve only used it once, but I’m going to keep trying with it.  I’m hoping that I just used too much even though I thought I was using the smallest amount.  There has to be a balance somewhere between defined and stringy and defined and beachy.  I’m still calling this one promising because anything that could potentially keep me from brushing my hair will be promising until clearly proven otherwise.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Blackout: I, like everyone else in America, was excited when these launched. I booked it to Sephora to try out all of them. There were a few I hated, a few I loved, and nothing I found memorable enough to commit to an entire bottle. And let’s talk about the bottles for a bit. Heaven help you if you ever want to travel with one. It would take up a sizeable portion of your suitcase, but if you’re looking to club a home intruder, these bottles would be a good thing to reach for.  They’re massive and bulky and contain a ton of wasted space. But anyway, back to the perfume. Blackout is described as a woody scent with notes of osmanthus and chai tea essence, two things I happen to enjoy but come together in this to evoke a “meh” reaction from me. It doesn’t smell bad, but it’s not something that’s memorable enough to buy.

So there’s the breakdown of this month’s box. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed typing it in the big, comfy chair in my favorite coffee shop. As always, I’ll keep you posted on how products work as I finish them. Now I’m off to finish my iced latte and plow through the fourth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.  I have to finish all of the books before the movie comes out, you know.

Total spent at Sephora this year: $488.40

–Jackie

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. Goodbye, Old Friend.

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This is getting retired about a month before it’s stated shelf life because when I opened it up the other day to use it, a weird smell came out.  I don’t play around with eye infections.  It’s time to toss this.

I love this mascara.  I mean, I LOVE this mascara.  I’ve heard people complain that the formula is too thin, but that is precisely why I love it.  You can cake this stuff on like crazy, and it won’t clump.  If it ever seems like it wants to make your lashes clump together, just clean the wand on a paper towel.  You can make your lashes look almost fake with this stuff, and they never clump together.  It’s one of the best mascaras ever even with a wand that isn’t particularly special.  It’s pretty much just a basic mascara wand, but the formula is out of this world.

This isn’t waterproof, so it ends up looking smudgy after eight or nine hours on me, and when allergy season is in full force, and my eyes randomly decide to water like crazy, this mascara all but disappears from my bottom lashes, but I don’t care.

The only thing keeping me from running out and getting a new tube of this is my newfound love of Blinc mascara.  That’s become my go-to recently, so I’m sticking with it.  I may pick up a new tube of this at some point, though.  I have a few other mascaras that Sephora sent my way, and I kind of want to try them out before they expire.  I really can’t imagine not having some of this around.  We’re like old friends.

A full size tube is $22.00, and a travel size is $10.00.  TEN BUCKS AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!  I generally opt for travel size mascaras due to the fact that mascara is a ticking time bomb once you open it, and I can actually come close to finishing a travel size before it’s time to toss it.  I feel like it’s easier to control the wand, too, since travel size mascara tubes are inevitably shorter than their full-size counterparts.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara:  I love it, but I’m not buying more…yet.

–Jackie

Bought Some Concealer. Got a Lot More Stuff.

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I finally broke down two days ago and ordered some concealer from my phone while I was lying in bed.  All of this went down at about 3:30 in the morning as I was coming off the end of a streak of working seventeen days with one day off.  I could blame it on exhaustion, but the fact that Sephora finally had a deluxe reward that I was willing to spend some of my points on certainly helped contribute to my decision.

I bought the Kat Von D Lock-It concealer, and not a minute too soon.  I used  the last of my much-loved tube of the stuff this morning, so I’ll be dedicating an entire post to my adoration of it.  It is an unbelievably good concealer.  I’m a bit worried that it’s on it’s way out, though, as I have only been able to find it online, and Sephora seems to really be pushing the newer concealer creme from Kat Von D.

Now moving on to the freebies…

I requested a sample of Prada Candy Gloss and Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming.  I’ll throw them in with my mountain of perfume samples and eventually get around to using them.

I got a deluxe sample of Clean Sel Santal with this purchase.  I was given a few different options to choose from, and I got a sample of this in my last Sephora Play box and loved it.  This will give me a chance to get a little more familiar with the scent before I commit to a full bottle.

I used 100 beauty insider points on the sample of Bite Beauty lipstick in the shade Beet Root.  It’s a reddish berry color that looks nice on me.  I love all things Bite Beauty and never hesitate to use points on any samples of those that are available.  The best birthday present I’ve ever gotten was a trip to the Bite Beauty lab to make my own lipsticks.  So much fun!

Finally, I used 750 points on the  Wander Beauty gift.  It came with a slim fit make up bag that seems to fit perfectly in smaller purses, and a double-sided, lip stick.  One side is a lovely berry shade and the other is neutral.  I’ve been interested in Wander Beauty since it launched, but haven’t had the guts to buy anything from the brand.  Spending some points gives the the chance to see if they are legit or if they are just getting publicity because a Victoria’s Secret model helped found the brand.  As always, updates will be forthcoming.

Total spent at Sephora this year: $477.51.

–Jackie

Sunday Riley Good Genes. Yes, it’s that Good.

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I decided to break into the container just to make sure I got every last drop of this stuff out before I tossed it because it’s not cheap.  It’s not cheap at all.  It’s $105.00 for an ounce, but it works.

Good Genes contains lactic acid, which exfoliates the skin, so you are supposed to end up with plump, smooth skin.  It also helps reduce hyperpigmentation, which is mostly what I was interested in due to some acne scarring that I have around my face.

I got this as part of a gift set at the beginning of December, so I’ve had some time to really get to know it.  Here’s how it works on my normal skin that is prone to hormonal breakouts.

When I first started using it, I tried it on my entire face.  It stings slightly upon initial application, especially if you happen to have, say, a zit you just popped on your chin.  I kept thinking this sensation would go away the longer I used the product, but it never does.  I’ve been using it for six months.  It still stings.  To be sure, the sensation isn’t painful, but it is something to be aware of.

I don’t have very many fine lines on my face, but I do have the one that everyone gets on their forehead from raising their eyebrows.  Since my body runs on sarcasm, and I throw a lot of raised eyebrow looks at people, I have a line there.  It’s not very deep, and it’s not super noticeable to others, but I can see it.  That one sort of became the line to tell if this stuff worked or not.

I only used Good Genes at night.  I know the container says you can use this twice a day, but you would have to have the driest skin on the planet to be able to wear this outside during the day and not look like a greaseball.

When I used this every single night, I would wake up to smoother skin, and over time, the line across my forehead began to look smaller.  It has definitely evened out my skin tone, and is a tremendous help with the hyperpigmentation.  Once I decided that the effect had reached its apex about four months into use, I got a little lazy and started using it every other night.  Some nights I don’t get home until two in the morning, and when I am exhausted and just want to sleep, the last thing I want to deal with is a twenty minute skin care routine.  When I switched to every other night, I noticed no change in the speed with which it fights off the hyperpigmentation, nor did I notice any deepening in the line on my forehead.  I did notice a decline in the overall smoothness of my skin.  When I am no longer feeling lazy, I will probably return to nightly use, but to be honest, I am still perfectly happy with the results from every other night.

I have a new bottle that I got during the VIB Rouge sale, so I’m ready to go with a new one.  This is an expensive product that actually works well and does what it claims.  I love it, and can’t really imagine not using it, but if you asked me to choose only one product from Sunday Riley to use for the rest of eternity, I would give this up in favor of Luna.  Since I don’t have to choose, I use both of them.

Yes, a hundred bucks for an ounce is a bitter pill to swallow when it comes time to pony up for a new tube, but the way I see it is that I would rather spend the money on good skin care so I can get away with minimal makeup and not having to bury my face in layers of concealer.  I’ve dealt with acne my entire adult life.  If I find something that works in fending off the redness caused by scarring, I’ll pay the money for it.  Even with good makeup, it’s difficult to hide texture issues on my skin when I’m dealing with a breakout.  Now that I finally have my acne under control, I will cheerfully plunk down the money to keep it at bay.

Sunday Riley Good Genes:  I need you.

–Jackie