What to Buy at Sephora’s Holiday Sale

What to Buy At Sephora's Spring Sale

Sephora is the only retailer I prefer to shop in person. I love their in-store experience.

Give me a few hours, and I can get lost, walking up and down the aisles. And don’t get me started on the pure joy that is their checkout line that snakes around, wrapping you in sample sizes of everything you never knew you needed.

When I leave, with my glossy black bag filled with goodies, I’m convinced for a brief moment that when I use these new products, I will emerge as a better, more beautiful version of myself. Lol.

But 2020 is the worst, so even Sephora is different. Space is limited, areas blocked off, and you can’t use the testers. So online shopping is our only option.

And since we’re all emotionally hungover from the past week (and year), it might be time to revamp our beauty/skincare/self-care routine.

Right now is the Sephora Holiday Sale, marketed specifically for their “Insiders.” 

What does that mean? 

Nothing special, you just have to sign up for their rewards program. If you’re not a Sephora Insider, sign up on their site before you start shopping. It’s easy, it’s free and they don’t bug you about anything. 

This sale is different in that the discounts vary based off  your Insider level, and your Insider level is determined by your annual spend. 

If you’re just getting started you’re called an Insider and get 10% off, if you’re VIP  you get 15% off, and if you’re what they call Rouge you get 20% off. The more you spend annually, the greater the discount you’ll receive. 

Regardless of which level you are, use the code HOLIDAYFUN at check out. 

My Favorites 

For today’s post, I literally stood in my bathroom and looked up all of my favorite products to see if you can grab them on sale. Most of these you’ve heard me talk about countless times, others I started using a few months ago and am happy to recommend. 

Please note, unlike all of my other posts, I am not including the price of these because the sale price will vary based on your discount and part of our regulation as bloggers is that if I post the price, it has to be as accurate as possible. 

Also, I hope this goes without saying, while I do spend on better beauty products, I don’t buy all of these at once. Some products I have to replenish every month, most require only once or twice a year.

Below, I broke this down into Skincare, and then Makeup, Fragrance and Tools.

Skincare

What to Buy At Sephora's Spring Sale

If you’ve been following for any amount of time, you know I spend a lot of time focusing on keeping my skin healthy. I’m 40 years old, with sensitive skin, and dealt with terrible cystic acne – as an adult – for many years.

Skin issues profoundly impacted my self-confidence. It wasn’t until I got my skin issues under control that I felt confident enough to put my face on the blog, so I am more than happy to spend here and save in other areas.

Now, my skin has never looked better. (Another reason why I’m so loyal to these products.)

Sephora’s Spring Savings: Skincare 

I’ve recently become a big fan of the double cleanse, which means you wash your face twice, first with an oil-based cleanser, and then follow up with a gentle gel-based one. For this, I use:

Tatcha Oil Cleanser – By far, my favorite gentle cleanser. It quickly removes makeup and cleanses skin without stripping it of moisture. For sensitive skin, it’s a dream. I’ve been using this for years. 

Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser – I’ve been using this for six months, and it’s fantastic. You get a deep clean, again, without stripping your skin. 

Other Skincare:

Drunk Elephant Waterfacial Mask – I discovered this “Waterfacial Mask” while researching night creams. It’s not a mask at all. Instead, it’s a thick (but not too thick) ultra-hydrating cream you put on right before bed. It’s not sticky, and it doesn’t clog pores. It just leaves my skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. 

Drunk Elephant Night Serum – When I ordered the above cream, it came with a sample size of this “Night Serum.” Not one to ever let a product go untested, I followed the directions and applied it to my skin before bed, layered right under the “mask.” It has helped even out my skin tone and softens some acne scarring. My skin looked noticeably brighter the very first morning after I used it.

Drunk Elephant Sunscreen – Using sunscreen on your face separate from your moisturizer is more effective. I use this simple SPF 30 every day, no matter what. It’s effective and fast-absorbing.  

Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream – The upfront price of this is steep, BUT it lasts almost a year, which is just about when it would expire. This is another long time favorite of mine. After consistent use, the lines around my eyes are minimal, and what is there has softened. 

Goop Morning Skin Super Powder – I put two of these packets in my water every single morning. It’s filled with vitamin C and E, CoQ10, and many other ingredients that are good for your skin and general health. I actually buy them from the Goop website and have them on auto-delivery. I know, I feel you rolling your eyes; it’s okay, I know. 

Beautyblender -Beautyblenders are expensive (usually $20 for a little sponge), so if you use them regularly, pick them up here. 

Caudalie Detox Mask – This is the one mask I go back to time and time again. It’s affordable, gentle, and effective. I use it a few times a week because it only takes 5 minutes to do, so you feel like you indulged, but you didn’t waste any time. 

Makeup, Fragrance and Brushes

What to Buy At Sephora's Spring Sale

One of the many benefits of focusing on skin health is you don’t require much in terms of make up. You’ll never see me “baking” or conturing to an inch of my life. I like to see my skin come through, freckles and all.

You have seen all of these on here before. These are my everyday, go-to, 5 minute face essentials. 

Sephora’s Holiday Sale: Makeup, Fragrance and Tools 

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick – I use this foundation stick every day. What’s great about it is that it isn’t heavy or cakey. You can build for the kind of coverage you want (use a BeautyBlender for easy application). The best thing about Bobbi Brown is the array of skin tones. You can be pale as a ghost (like me) or have deep and dark skin. It’s truly inclusive.

Sephora Collection Brush Set – They call this the “uncomplicated brush set.” How perfect is that? It’s under $50 and has everything you need to get the most out of your application. 

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer – I have been using this bronzer since I was in my twenties. For my skin tone, it looks natural. If you want a healthy glow, you seriously don’t need any other product. And it lasts forever. 

RMS Beauty Signature Set – I have two of these compacts, one lives in my bag, and one lives in my bathroom. It has everything you need for a quick, natural face and is ideal for touch-ups on the go. 

Jo Malone Peony and Suede Blush – This has been my signature scent for several years. It’s just lovely, and I am forever complimented on it. 

Benefit ka-Brow – Brows are EVERYTHING. They shape your face and make you look youthful, happy, and healthy. As I’ve aged, my eyebrows have disappeared. This product helps you quickly define them in a very natural way. I use it every single day. 

Wander Beauty Mascara – Get super natural-looking, long lashes that don’t smudge or look ridiculous. 

Bobbi Brown Face Primer Moisturizer – I don’t use a primer every day, especially right now, but when you need your makeup to go on and stay in place, a layer of primer first will help.

Kosas Lipstick – I adore this non-toxic, high pigment lipstick from Kosas. “Electra” is my go-to red, and “Rosewater” is a feminine pink-based neutral I like for every day. 

Other posts you may like: I broke down my nighttime skincare routine a while ago; you’ll see many of these products featured. However, the point was to discuss the best order to apply your products – so use whatever works best for you. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


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Beauty Review: Essie Expressie Quick Dry Nail Polish

expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish on three different skin tones

Need a hack to save time and look “polished”? 

Paint your nails on-the-go. 

Manicured nails are one simple yet impactful element of being well dressed, but we don’t always have time to sit and wait for them to dry. That’s where Essie Expressie comes in. Simply swipe some color on your nails and they dry in seconds

As always, this review is in no way sponsored. 

Essie Expressie Review 

expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish on three different skin tones

 

Essie Expressie, $8.99 

A few months back, I shared my simple steps to get a salon-quality manicure at home. With the right tools, you can keep your nails perfectly groomed while saving time and money. Especially right now, with salons, either closed or at limited capacity, finding some at-home, self-care solutions help us feel like ourselves in these strange times. 

Surprisingly, my fall has been rather hectic. Happily, school and kid’s sports are back in full swing in our community, and work is busier than ever. So I, once again, have little time to primp and fuss, but still, really love to look pulled together. 

Pre-Covid days of work travel and even busier schedules, I would keep nail polish in my car. The idea being I would quickly add some color to my nails, drive, and by the time I arrived at my destination, they would be dry. I thought I was a genius for coming up with this strategy until I realized that every one of my friends did the same thing. 

I viewed it as a positive step back to normalcy when Bri and I headed to dinner last Saturday night to celebrate our anniversary and as we were leaving, realized my nails were bare and decided to paint them on our drive. Only this time, I grabbed Essie Expressie in Seize the Minute, a classic, blue-based red. 

I had picked it up a Target earlier that day and thought it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. 

Our restaurant was about 15 minutes from our house, so I quickly applied two coats while sitting in the passenger seat, and in less than a minute, they were dry. Bone dry. I rubbed my thumb over my nails and nothing. It’s amazing. 

What I love about this new-to-me product is designed specifically to be used on-the-go. But there are some essential, common-sense tips to make it easy to apply. 

Simple Tips for Best Results

First, your nails should be clean, dry, and well maintained to get the best results, so make a habit of keeping them trimmed and filed. Use cuticle oil daily to stay in good shape as dry, cracked cuticles will make the polish bleed. 

I do not use a base coat, a tip I learned from the lovely woman who does my nails occasionally. And when I use this express polish, I skipped the topcoat. 

If you are looking for shine instead of color, pick up their clear polish called Always Transparent. It gives a subtle, healthy high gloss, and you don’t have to worry about being exact in your application. 

Without a top coat, the polish lasts about four days without chipping, and this is with me doing 3,000 dishes and changing dozens of diapers. 🙂 

Always TransparentSeize the Minute

 

The BEST Beauty Products on Amazon

Amazon Beauty Buys

Let’s talk about the best beauty products on Amazon.

I find myself reaching for my Amazon app an embarrassing amount of times during the day. With three kids and what feels like a dozen full-time jobs, it’s one of the few resources that make my life easier.

One of the elements of my job that I love most is trying different self care products and tools. Some are crazy, others silly, but over the years I have discovered some truly fabulous finds.

The kind that make you wonder, “how did I live without this?”

So today, I rounded up my all time favorites, the ones I use on a daily basis, and reorder constantly. 

The Best Beauty Products on Amazon


BEST Beauty Products on Amazon

 

BB Cream, $29  |  It’s a 10, $19.50 |  Self Tanner, $40  |  Ice Roller, $18  |  Derma Roller, $23  |  RMS Signature Set, $44  |  Eyebrow Razor, $4.50  |  Detangling Brush, $10  |  Body Blur, $39  |  Muslin Cloths, $10

 

BB Cream, $29

Back in my youth, I used to cover up my wrinkle-free baby skin with layers and layers of skin clogging foundation – all in an attempt to hide my freckles. Thankfully, as I’ve aged, I’ve embraced those freckles and wear much less makeup. A year ago, a sample of this BB Cream by Marcelle showed up in my Birchbox. Called “Golden Glow” It looked too dark for my (very) fair skin, so I almost threw it away.

But, I gave it a try one morning, and my skin looked beautiful. The pigment adjusts to your skin tone if it’s between fair and medium. You can still see your skin, freckles and all; it just evens it out without clogging your pores. I quickly ordered a full size from Amazon while standing at my bathroom skin

I use it in the summer, when I have a self tanner on. It’s become my go-to for a super fast, almost make-up free face that is Zoom call ready. 

Note: They are calling this a “Universal Color” which makes me a bit crazy. This will adjust to the pigment of your skin up to a deep medium. Any darker than that and I think this would be too light. The beauty industry, like the fashion industry, has a long way to go when it comes to inclusion. 

Self Tanner, $40

I featured this self-tanner back in May, and after a summer of use, it’s my all-time favorite.

As a fair-skinned girl with long limbs, who spends a ton of time at the shore in the summer, I feel more confident with a little natural-looking color. While love a spray tan, they take time I don’t currently have to spare. This two-hour tanner gives you the perfect glow without all the fuss. 

Apply it, let it sit for two hours (sometimes I keep it on longer), hop in the shower, and rinse it off. Over a few hours, you’ll see a lovely natural looking tan emerge, with no funny smell or stained clothes. 

Body Blur, $39

This “body blur” by Vita Liberata is like a combination of a BB Cream and a Self Tanner. It’s a make up artist go-to to create an all over glow to the body. You’ll see celebrities slather on something similar before press events to get that flawless look to their legs, arms and neck.

Unlike a self tanner, the color is immediate and will wash off in the shower. Use it for special occasions, or to extend the life and look of a tan. 

It’s a 10, $24

I should buy this in bulk. Doing my girl’s hair is bearable since I discovered It’s a 10 several years ago. It is a detangler, and leave-in conditioner spray that leaves soft hair, works through the worst of knots and makes hair easy to manage. I’ve tried countless less expensive brands, but keep coming back to this. 

Tangle Teezer Brush, $10

Speaking of detangling, this brush is a game-changer. I bought it as a stocking stuffer for my kids and it turned out to be a true Christmas miracle.

All of my daughters have long, thick, curly hair. Brushing their hair at night or getting ready for school in the morning use to leave us all in tears. But the combination of It’s a 10 and the Tangle Teezer, we now have yelling-free (for the most part) mornings, and they can be left to do their hair on their own.

It has hundreds of 5 star reviews you can read here

Ice Roller Face Massager, $13

This ice roller may be the silliest beauty product I ordered  from Amazon in a long time, but it is surprisingly fantastic.
I keep it in my freezer drawer and use it first thing in the morning, while the house is quiet and I’m getting my coffee ready. Admittedly, I’m tired these days. Like many of us, I’m not getting a ton of sleep and wake up looking and feeling puffy. It helps reduce the puffiness and tightens pores and is especially lovely during allergy season when I feel like I can barely fully open my eyes.

Derma Roller Kit, $22

By now you know how much I love my derma roller and this set, in particular, is fantastic. You can’t beat the price or quality.

You can see my step by step break down of how to use a derma roller here.  If you’re already thinking of inexpensive holiday or birthday gifts for girlfriends, this is a wonderful, under $25 idea.

Makeup Palette, $40

My single best beauty find on Amazon in 2019 was  this RMS makeup palette. It’s seriously the perfect little on-the-go pallet. I have multiples and keep one in my bag and the other on my vanity. Use it to bring a little color to your lips and cheeks, swipe the highlight down your nose and in the corners of your eye to make them pop. So simple. 

It also feels very age appropriate to me for young girls, so I do let me 13 year old “steal” mine on occasion. 

Face Razors, $5

The secret to flawless makeup is smooth skin. To get that, I take one of these slim razors, and gently run it up my checks and along my jaw line to remove baby hair and peach fuzz.  Holy cow, does it make an incredible difference in how your products sit on your skin! I’m never without these. 

Muslin Cloths, $10

It’s so important to be as gentle as possible with your face. You want to minimize how much you tug and pull at it. These muslin cloths (marketed as organic baby wipes) are fabulous. I keep stacks of them in my bathroom and use them nightly. 

A great tip I’ve learned to remove clay masks or any product that leaves a residue is to soak a muslin cloth in warm water, wring it out, and place it on your face, covering the entire surface. Gently press it on your skin, let it sit for a second, and remove it. Do this a few times. The steam will help to breakdown anything on your skin, and you’ll avoid having to wipe it off aggressively. 

 

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

The Best Order to Apply Skincare Products at Night

The Best Order to Apply Your Skincare at Night

This post was published in February 2019. It has been updated with expanded content on August 18th, 2020, as part of our Beauty Week. All week, I’ll feature new and “best of articles” to help inspire you to practice extra self-care, find new and effective products, and start the Fall feeling like the best version of you. 

I’ve spent a ton of time researching the best order to apply skincare products at night, for purely selfish reasons. As my arsenal of products has grown, I started to wonder if I was using them correctly, and, as it turned out, I wasn’t.

There is more to skincare than just slapping on some cream. Each layer has a purpose. Some products work best on damp skin; others require skin to be dry. All should have a minute to absorb for maximum effectiveness.

I’m sharing what I found with you today because the correct process will ensure you are getting the most out of the investment you are making in your skin.

You’ll see below; I use a combination of high-end and inexpensive products. There is a $7 serum and a $200 serum. 

A few things to keep in mind: I use the products below every single day. They work for my skin, which is sensitive, dull, dry in areas, and acne-prone. I’ve dealt with cystic acne for years, and it killed my self-esteem.

One of the reasons I was so reluctant to put my picture on the blog was how terrible my skin looked. 

Since landing on this specific regimen over the last three or four years, my skin has never looked better, and I’ve had no breakouts, so I happily spend the money. 

Please remember that this post’s point is to share the order to apply your skincare and why.

Everyone’s skin and budgets are different.

Use the products that work best for you.

And, of course, you can eliminate any step that doesn’t serve you, just move to the next step. 

The Best Order to Apply Skincare Products at Night

The Best Order to Apply Your Skincare at Night

A good rule of thumb to follow is to layer your skincare according to the products weight, starting with the lightest and working your way to the thickest. 

The most important note to remember is to be as gentle with your skin through this process as possible. Avoid tugging and pulling. When you exfoliate, be sure it’s not too rough, and always lightly pat your skin dry.

My process seems like a lot but it only takes about 10 minutes at night, and after a long day, it’s a lovely way to mentally prepare to sleep and transition to bedtime.

How to Apply Skincare Products at Night

Wash your face

Oil Cleanser, $48

Start with a gentle cleanser. I love this oil cleanser from Tatcha. It’s light, odorless and melts off your makeup without being harsh or drying out your skin. I’ve been using it for a few years now and there’ is no going back.

Depending on the day, my mood and the time I have, I’ll do a double cleanse, which means just that.  Made popular in Korean skin care routines, you simple wash your face twice, once with an oil based cleanser, and follow up with a water based one. For that, I am so pleased with Drunk Elephant’s Gel Cleanser No. 9.

Exfoliate

Exfoliator, $125.

There are two products on this list that completely changed my skin. Goop’s exfoliating “mask” is incredible is the first. They call it a mask, but it’s more like a scrub.

After you cleanse, apply a small amount all over your face.

Let it sit for about three minutes, until it feels a little tingly, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth and warm water. Your skin will glow and feel like a baby’s bottom.

It’s a splurge, for sure, but the other day, I changed Vivi’s diaper and had poop on my forehead for an indeterminate amount of time, so I don’t care.

I use it maybe three times a week and am conscious of the other exfoliating I may be doing because the last thing you want to do is over-exfoliate your skin. 

I’ve been using it since it came out and will never go without it.

Face Mask – Optional

 Mask, $39.

I don’t do a mask every day, no one has time for that, but I will apply one once a week, before I do a photo shoot, or on a Sunday. I love to do one when my husband is traveling (remember those days?)  and I can have a big glass of wine and watch trash TV by myself.

My favorite and most frequently used is this Claudalie Detox Mask, great for cleaning out your pores and brightening skin. 

When I want something for fine lines and wrinkles I turn to Hanacure’s all in one facial kit. It’s wild, but it really does work. 

Tone

 Toner, $11 

Use a toner after you cleanse and before you moisturize. It helps to remove any excess dirt, makeup or left over product from a mask.

It also helps with acne and restores your skin’s Ph. Thayers Witch Hazel in Rose Petal is my favorite. It’s affordable, effective and there is something nostalgic about the scent. Every time I smell it I feel happy. 

Then Use a Serum

Vintner’s Daughter, $198

Listen, the price of this serum is bananas, I know.  I’m also on my maybe 10th bottle. It’s the single best product I’ve ever used on my skin.  You can read all about it’s complex goodness here

What I can tell you is since using it I don’t have any breakouts and my skin looks more youthful. I use it day and night. 

To apply, gently push the serum into your skin. 

Serums, in general, are essential because they have a higher concentration of ingredients. They absorb into the skin better, so a little goes a long way.  It’s important to remember to let them absorb for a minute or two before you move to the next step. 

Related: The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live Without

Add a Moisture Boost

Hyaluronic Acid, $7.

The term “acid” turned me off for a long time, until I learned that it’s not an acid at all.  Rather, it’s a gel like water substance that helps plump your skin and lock in moisture. 

It’s important to put this on damp skin so the gel has something to hold on to and is activated. 

So I apply my serum, let it sit, and then spritz my skin with this hydrating mist by Juice Beauty, then layer on the hyaluronic acid and let that sit for a minute or two. Also, I don’t spend here, at all. I use The  Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid for $7

Don’t Forget Eye Cream

I use eye cream day and night because I am 40, I have three kids and I barely little sleep.

For a long time I was devoted to this eye cream by Dr. Barbara Strum. It’s fantastic, but too expensive. I just started using Goopgenes eye cream that is SO MUCH LESS. So far I like it a lot. 

To apply, gently dab it around your eye area and, again, let it sit for a minute.It not only helps minimize wrinkles, it helps with tired, puffy eyes, something I know a little bit about these days.

For a fantastic drugstore option, Olay makes on that gets great reviews

Retinoid for the Over 40 Crowd

Retinoid, $10

If you are approaching  or are over 40 you need a retinoid or retinol. Retinoid is a stronger version of retinol and helps turn over your cells faster. While hyaluronic acid is activated by damp skin, you want to apply your retinoid product on totally dry skin

Start by using a tiny amount, a few times a week as it can be drying and even burn your skin (happened to me) if you don’t use it correctly.

Because my skin is so sensitive, I only apply it two times a week – at the most. I apply on problem areas like the wrinkles on my forehead and some age spots on my cheeks. Do not rub it all over your face. 

I use The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion. You could spend so much more, but after reading the reviews on Sephora I gave it a try and it does the trick!

Night Cream

Night Cream, $56 

Your skin does all of its regeneration while you sleep, so layer on a rich night cream to help it along. I’ve used so many over the years. La Mer makes an incredible (and incredibly expensive) one, I used Estee Lauder NightWear for a few months and was happy with that too

Currently, I have two in my cabinet Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Overnight Cream and the new Goopgenes All in One Moisturizer.

I just started using Goop’s newest product and I have to say, it’s wonderful. I didn’t like their first attempt at a night cream at all but this new one is fantastic. You can wear  it at night and during the day, which is great because the cold Northeast winters take all the hydration out of my skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves you with a pretty glow. 

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

How to Use a Derma Roller

Well Dressed - How to use a Derma Roller

I have been a devotee of the derma roller for a few years. Of all the gizmo’s I use on my face, and there are many, it has the most significant impact.

Admittedly, I take my skincare seriously. I’d rather spend my time and money taking care of my skin than covering it up. You can see my nighttime routine here

How to Use a Drema Roller in Your Skincare Routine

How to use a Derma Roller

Derma Roller Micro Needle Kit, $22.00

What is It?

A derma roller is a small, handheld device with a titanium head covered in 600 tiny “needles.” By rolling these needles across your face, you slightly puncture your skin, and when followed up with your favorite serum, your skin absorbs more of the product at a deeper level.

It also helps stimulate collagen production, increases blood flow to the face, and helps eliminate acne scars.

In my early and mid-thirties, I started getting severe, often painful acne on my cheeks, and it threw me down a spiral. I never dealt with acne, even as a teenager, so I was shocked and embarrassed to have it as a grown woman.

 It’s one of the reasons it took me so long to put my face on this site. My self-esteem was in the toilet. 

Once we figured out what was going on, a combination of hormones and stress, it cleared up, but left just as frustrating scars. After using the derma roller for a month or so, they disappeared. 

Today, I seen an incredible improvement in the texture of my skin since I first started using it at least three times a week for over a year now.

At 40, my skin has never looked better, it’s noticeably smoother and plumper.

I use the  Love & Pebble Microneedle Kit, and I love it. The best part is that it is an excellent value at $25 and comes with three replacement heads.

How to Use a Derma Roller in Your Skincare Routine

The Technique

Start on clean, dry skin. Visualize your face divided in sections: cheeks, chin, forehead, and move one section at a time. Using light pressure roll horizontal, vertical and then diagonal strokes up and out within each section. 

Don’t skip your eye area, just use very light pressure around and under your eyes.

Work your way over each section until you’ve covered your entire face.

Does it hurt? A little at first but you get used to it. Your skin may be red for a few minutes afterward, but that will go away.

Follow with a serum and gently press the product into your skin.

If you like, you can also follow the same technique on your neck, to help minimize those horizontal lines that start to show up as we age. 

When to Use Your Roller

For the longest time, I included my derma roller into my nighttime skincare routine. But once we started more permanently working and staying at home, I moved it to the morning. 

You can use it wherever it makes sense for your day. Currently, I’m using it a few mornings a week, adding on my serum, and I give my skin a chance to breathe make up free. 

How to Clean Your Derma Roller

Keeping your derma roller clean is extremely important.

After each use, rinse it under warm water and then place it in a small bowl with isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for about an hour. Then rinse and let air dry.

Sounds like a lot of steps but it takes just a minute and is worth it. 

Replace with a new head as you feel the needle dulling. 

Favorite Follow Up Serums

Serums and derma rollers are the peanut butter and jelly of skincare. 

Once you finish all the steps, take a few drops of your go-to serum and gently press into your skin. Your skin will just soak it all in. 

My favorite is  Vintner’s Daughter. I worship it. It is ridiculously expensive but worth every penny. 

For something much more affordable, The Ordinary makes a variety of serums, my favorite is their Hyaluronic Acid that is under $10 at Sephora


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

What to Buy at the Nordstrom Sale: Accessories and Beauty

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

Continuing with the Nordstrom Sale, today, I’m highlighting the top Accessories and Beauty picks. Today’s post isn’t too involved, just the best of the best. 

Their inventory in these categories is hit or miss. To keep things simple and to save you time, I’m only featuring items I either personally use, know you are looking for and are in line with our Well Dressed Life style guidance. 

And speaking of inventory, this sale does always sells out, but I don’t remember a sale where things were selling out this quickly. 

I am “influencer” level, which means I was able to shop yesterday, and a quarter of what was in my cart was sold out by the time I got around to ordering. Of course, this is the least of our worries these days, but it is annoying since they make such a big deal about the sale. 

I’m not telling you this to create some sense of urgency. Just if you’re wondering what is going on, you’re not wrong in thinking it’s odd. In years past, they did a much better job replenishing fast selling items at least through cardholder access.  

Anyway, back to business! As I publish this post, all of these items are currently in stock. I picked up a few for myself, as you’ll see below. 

Nordstrom Sale: Accessories and Beauty 

 

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

 

 

Accessories

 

 

 

 

Accessories

Tory Burch Crossbody, $150 – This chic Tory Crossbody is the only bag in the entire sale worth mentioning. I ordered it for myself, I think it’s gorgeous. 

Cubic Zirconia, $27 – Simple, everyday studs. 

Layered Chain Necklace, $59 – We talk a lot about long necklaces, this one, in silver or gold tone is perfect for over fall tops and sweaters.

Quay Australia Sunglasses, $36 – Oversized and glamorous sunnies for under $40, also in my cart 🙂 

Huggie Earrings, $23 – These are so pretty on, just a little sparkle but easy to wear all day long. Available in silver or gold tone.

Gold Hoops, $40 – Argento Vivo is a jewelry brand that offers modern yet classic styling at affordable prices. These hoops are gorgeous and a nice way to try the brand. 

Gorjana Collar Necklace, $42 – Perfect to layer or wear on its own, this Gorjana necklace as just the right amount of bling. 

Pearl Necklace, $40 – I also purchased this pretty pearl necklace, to sit under collared shirts or with a simple tee. 

 

Beauty

 

 

 

 

I use, love and personally recommend all of the products below. 

Beauty 

Personal Microderm, $133 – I featured this personal microderm tool just last month. You can read the full review here. I paid $200 for it on Amazon, so the savings is fantastic. 

T3 Curling Iron and T3 Hair Dryer, – These have been my go-tos for years. Using them together cuts my drying and styling time in half, and the heat from the iron really locks in the curls. To prevent damaging your hair, be sure to use a heat protecting product.  

Caviar Shampoo and Conditioner, $72 – An absolute splurge, but one I grab during every sale. 

Beauty Blender Set, $35  – These little guys make a huge difference in your make up application, and need to be replaced frequently. 

Bobbi Brown Lip Duo, $29 – I love a good lipstick and gloss combo and this color is the perfect pretty neutral for fall. 

Slip Pillowcase Set, $125 – I can’t sing the praises of these silk pillowcases enough. They stay cool at night, feel so indulgent, and have a ton of beauty benefits like reducing wrinkles and preventing hair breakage. I’m picking up a new set for myself because 2020 is the worst. 

What to Buy at The Nordstrom Sale: Reader Favs, Jeans, Coats and Shoes

Be sure to check out all our Reader Favorites, plus the best jeans, coats and shoes in the sale.


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

The BEST Sunscreen for Your Face

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

By now, we all know that wearing sunscreen every day is a must. And many of us (raises hand) wish we spent our younger years embracing SPF a little more.

While I was at the beach last week with my family, I saw my 13 years old attempting to sunbathe. She was convinced she needed a “base.” Don’t worry, we sprayed her down with SPF 70.

Bless her freckled-faced heart. I did the same thing when I was her age, like an idiot. I am just waiting for the day she discovers self-tanners.

But unlike her, I remember the days of sunscreen feeling like you were slathered with Elmers Glue. And back then, we only wore it in the summer, when we would be outside for long periods of time. 

Today, it’s should be an essential part of our daily beauty routine. 

The BEST Sunscreen for Your Face

Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Sunscreen, $34 

As someone who burns looking at the sun, I’ve tried so many sunscreens specifically for my face. Sometimes they were part of my foundation or a tinted moisturizer, but I find having a separate one especially helpful this time of year.

I discovered the Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense by Drunk Elephant a few months ago, and I will never try another one. It goes on easily, like a light moisturizer, and absorbs into your skin instantly, leaving no sticky film or residue and makeup layers on wonderfully. 

I keep my morning skincare routine simple, considering how involved it is before bed. All I do is lightly wash my face with this Tachta face oil, follow up with my favorite face oil, wait a minute, then put on this sunscreen.

 
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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.