Beauty Favorites from The Sephora Sale

sephora beauty sale

Happy Friday, friends! In case you haven't heard, Sephora is having a major sale, their Spring Bonus Event, that starts today! What does that mean? It means this weekend, Sephora Beauty Insiders and VIB's have access to sitewide shopping at a discount. 

The Details:

VIB Members: 15% off sitewide

Beauty Insiders: 10% off sitewide

Use Code: YAYROUGE, YAYINSIDER, YAYVIB

beauty review

I'm sure you all have your favorites to stock up on but I wanted to share a few of mine in case you're interested in trying a few new things. I know I somehow always end up needing to replenish all my beauty items at the same time, which can be crazy expensive, so I wouldn't hesitate to get a head start on savings by grabbing all your go-to's!

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My Sephora Beauty Favorites

Starting with Skincare:

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: You may have seen this in sponsored posts around Instagram and doubted it's efficacy but I am here to tell you (as someone who has bought this expensive af bottle several times with her hard-earned, own money)—this is magic. It may seem like a super simple addition to your routine but it really has a large impact. For me, it's that "can't explain" thing. When you're using it, you just have more of a glow about you. It's like water that you pat into the skin for brightening, anti-aging abilities. For me, it's a very simple step that makes a huge difference. 

Sunday Riley Good Genes: You can see more of a product review in my Beauty Favorites post but this product is incredible. I've never been one to feel super confident without makeup (mostly from some redness and leftover spots) but this has been a game-changer for my skin. If I were to recommend something that can truly transform your skin, this would be it. I have never been able to get rid of leftover hyperpigmentation from even the tiniest blemish and this has helped. In like 10 days. It doesn't smell amazing but it also doesn't bother me. I apply this after my SK-II and notice a reduced appearance of pores, smoother, more even skin and hyperpigmentation spots fading. You can use this every night or as a flash facial. 

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil: Speaking of game changers, if you're not using a facial oil, stop what you're (not) doing and start right now! This is one of those things that can make an instant impact on your skin and I love the natural abilities of the Drunk Elephant line and how their products don't contain essential oils or fragrances. This oil hydrates, smoothes, soothes, tones and does all the things. My skin tends to get very dry, dehydrated and blah and adding an oil into my routine has helped tremendously. You can pat it into the skin at night or mix it with your go-to moisturizer for added glow and hydration. I usually only apply this at night and wake up to 

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide CreamI use this on top of my Marula Oil and love how my skin drinks it right up. It's simple, non-irritating and filled with protein, peptides, growth factors and amino acids that help even tone and texture. It's very lightweight yet moisturizing and feels silky smooth without a silicone-y slip on the skin. It's not greasy at all and I also love that it's pH-balanced and cruelty-free. It's just a great seeminlgly simple yet powerful product. 

Moving on to Makeup:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation: There's a reason this is a holy grail foundation for so many. It's that flawless finish that truly stays in place all day long while offering completely full coverage. Yet it's also buildable. Sometimes I mix this in with my moisturizer and it works great as a tinted moisturizer. I'm also very breakout-prone and have zero issues with this foundation causing spots, clogging pores or getting cakey. To keep the finish even, I find applying it with a damp Beauty Blender (if you don't have one, how even do you live?) is best to give it some slip, as the foundation dries fairly quickly on its own. I wear shade 2N1 Desert Beige. 

Nars Sheer Glow: This is my, "I don't want to wear a full coverage foundation but I want coverage without looking like I'm wearing makeup" foundation. It's perfect for "no makeup" days and I find it applies with a bit more slip/ease than the Double Wear making it easier to glide on with your fingers in an instant. Don't let the name fool you. It's not sheer and definitely does have coverage. It just doesn't have quite as much staying power as DW but it does have more of a radiant, slightly glowy finish that's a bit more skin-like in my opinion. I wear shade Punjab. 

I actually love to mix the two foundations for the perfect finish. 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: I use this under my eyes and I love how it truly is creamy and radiant. A little goes a long way and it blends in perfectly with my ring finger. I wear shade Custard for a slight brightening effect.

laura mercier candleglow review

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder: I recently swapped out my beloved bronzer for this perfecting powder and I am hooked. You can use it all over as a glowy-finish setting powder or apply it as you would a contour/traditional bronzer. I do a combination of both, with a bit of a heavier hand using that 3/E method (forehead, cheek and down to chin) using a stippling brush and it's such a gorgeous finish. It adds the perfect glow without shine or sparkle. I also love how it almost diffuses the skin creating more of a flawless finish. This has become my eyeshadow, too! I wear shade 3 which I bought for Mexico with a tan. It will work well into summer but would probably err on the lighter side if you plan to use it more as an allover setting powder.

Dior Brow Styler: I love that this comes in a Universal brown taking color selection out of the equation. I usually tint my brows but this works well filling in any gaps and it's very precise. You can easily fill in and define and it brushes out well for a natural look.

benefit benetint lip & cheek stain review

Benefit Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain: This is one of my favorite finishing steps in my routine. I use this as my only blush in shade "Rose" and it adds the perfect natural, rosy glow to the skin without actually looking like you're wearing anything. It truly is that barely there flush. I dab the brush on my ring finger and pat into my cheeks before finishing with any extra on my lips.

Tart Inner Rim Liner: This is another final step I love. I've never liked an inner rim liner until I tried this one. (Thank you, Jenn!) It really does brighten up your eyes and make you look more awake. It's one of my no-makeup must-haves and I don't skip it. If you have always tired, allergy eyes like me—try it!

dior lip glow review

Dior Addict Lip Glow: Besides Chapstick, this is the only thing I use on my lips. I use shade 001 Pink Glow and it's supposed to adjust to your own chemistry giving you the perfect hint of pink. For me, it's a sheer pink that's easily buildable yet looks natural. It's also very moisturizing. I have very sensitive lips and have zero issues. This is a holy grail lip product for me.

And that's pretty much it! My holy grail, everyday beauty favorites from Sephora. I hope you found this helpful but please let me know if you have any additional questions or if you love any of these products (or any others!) yourself. Hope you can snag a few of your favorites on sale this weekend!

As always, thank you for reading!

x, Tyler

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Current Beauty Favorites

Beauty is not something I normally talk a ton about on my blog and Instagram but I shared this photo of my current favorites (both new and old) on Instagram recently and a few of you reached out requesting a review, so I wanted to get something up for you. 

Before I start, I thought I'd share that I am by no means a beauty expert but (at almost 30 years old—ack!), I've definitely had my years of trials and can say I have always done my research on products. I have crazy sensitive, reactive skin, so I am not going to put something new on my face without knowing what it is and when I find something that works, I am LOYAL.

For reference, I've always thought I had combination skin but I am noticing more dryness (especially seasonally) in the recent years and (sadly) fine lines. I do notice hydration is key for me and I will get shiny if I am not hydrated. Which makes sense because oily skin is usually producing excess oil to compensate for being dehydrated/dry.

Here are the things I want my skincare to address: dryness/hydration, dullness, fine lines, lack of radiance, plumpness, and (my most stubborn skin problem), hyperpigmentation, aka, acne scarring. Even if I have the tiniest spot—it leaves a mark behind. Womp womp. Finding products that can do all of these things without breaking me out is a true miracle. While I do prefer using more natural products, it's still something I am working towards for my entire regime so you will find a mix of several brands and lines. 

Without further ado, here are a few of my current beauty favorites. 

skincare favorites

1. Sunday Riley Good Genes: This is one of the newer additions to my collection and it's something I was very excited to try. This little lactic acid treatment has some major hype/holy-grail/miracle status surrounding it and was even sold out in-store at Sephora. After reading countless reviews, it's something people are saying has significantly changed the appearance of their skin. Like, made scarring fade within weeks. Can now more confidently be makeup-free. All that jazz. Naturally, I had to get my hands on it. So what is it? 

"A treatment formulated with high-potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells to reveal smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin."

This claims to do all the things from plumping to brightening to addressing hyperpigmentation and even claims to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes. I started with a free sample from Sephora and while I can't say I noticed a huge effect on fine lines in 3 minutes, it performed well enough to warrant shelling out $105 on 1-ounce. I know it's a lot but this product truly is incredible. For me, the biggest difference has been on stubborn hyperpigmentation on my cheeks. I'm talking those tiny red marks that take months (even more than months!) to fade have been fading in as little as 3 weeks of use. It smells AWFUL but it's really a small price to pay (besides the $100) for such amazing results. I can confidently say it is helping to even out my skin, address dry patches, it seems to be plumping and I am noticing the most drastic effect on redness and those pesky, never-seem-to-fade spots.

Out of all of these products, this is the one I'm most excited about as I feel it's making the biggest (and most immediate difference) in my skin. Really my goal of any skincare product is to help me feel more confident without makeup and this product is doing that. If you have been fed up with never-ending hyperpigmentation, I would recommend running out for a sample of this STAT! Do note, if you are worried about price, you can also find this in the Total Transformation Kit exclusive to Sephora for a slightly more digestible price. However, I did not go that route as it comes with the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil (which does have rave reviews!) but I am sensitive to essential oils and I only wanted to test out one at a time. 

How I use it: I have been using this 3-4 times a week and apply it as my first step after cleansing, at night only. You can also use it as a 10-minute "flash" facial and as a primer. Neither of which I have tried—yet!

2. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil: Another newer addition to my collection but I had been wanting to incorporate an oil into my everyday skincare regimen for some time and when I came across the Drunk Elephant line, it sounded like just what I had been searching for. I've tried others (like argan oil and a couple more fragranced oils) in the past but never had a great experience. Either they didn't seem to have a huge impact or a began noticing clogged pores, irritation and milia (those small white bumps). What it is: 

"A wonder-working luxury facial oil, high in critical antioxidants, to deeply moisturize, nourish, soothe, and rejuvenate your skin while restoring its youthful glow."

Oils can be the magic addition to your routine and provide deep hydration while delivering potent, skin-loving antioxidants. In my experience, oils often include essential oils (think lavender, rose, rosemary, lemon, peppermint, etc) and silicones for slip which are things I know my skin HATES. What really drew me to this oil (and this line!) is that they are free of silicones, sensitizing dyes, perfumes and those fragrant, potentially irritating essential oils.

This is another product I got a sample of first and I noticed an immediate difference in the overall texture and smoothness of my skin. It feels hydrating yet lightweight on the skin and really seems to help boost the radiance and glow factor both while it's on the skin and longterm. Note: it does claim it doesn't leave a residue behind but I didn't find this to be a "dry" oil which absorbs without leaving any shine. This definitely leaves some slip and shine on the skin. But maybe I just overapply! Either way, this is hydrating enough on my skin to use as my sole nighttime moisturizer but I still like to add a separate moisturizer on top.

How I use it: As of now, I use this at night only, after my Good Genes, after other water-based products or before any other heavy treatments. Personally, I don't use it during the day as I haven't found it makes the best base for my makeup. However, I will occasionally pat it on top of makeup to refresh/rehydrate later in the day. The best way to apply an oil? Warm it up in your hands and pat/press (don't rub) into the skin. 

3. Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream: I discovered this when I got it as a sample with my Marula Oil purchase and it is pretty perfect. What it is: 

"A breakthrough protein moisturizer that combines an unprecedented array and concentration of actives for improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness."

With sensitive skin, somehow a moisturizer is usually the scariest thing for me to try. Too heavy and I risk a breakout. The wrong ingredients and I risk irritation. I find too often that natural lines are also the ones that use plant oils and natural fragrances but these are often the ones that can have the most irritating effects. I love how the Drunk Elephant line uses clean ingredients and none of the potentially irritating, "bad" stuff. This cream is also formulated with a proper PH level to keep your skin healthy and strong. It's ultra soft and smooth and feels incredibly hydrating and I think plumping. Somehow it feels like it has the "smoothing" properties silicones give yet it DOESN'T have silicones which is incredible. Very hydrating and my skin drinks it right up.

How I use it: This is my last step in my nighttime routine. I apply it on top of my Marula Oil. 

4. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: Another pricey product a lot of people wonder if is worth the hype. Personally, this one is difficult to explain why I love it. But I really do. (Love it!) What it is: 

"An award-winning signature essence that moisturizes and brightens, revealing youthful-looking, radiant skin."

This is made from Pitera which is rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that have really amazing anti-aging and hydrating properties. It's a watery formulation and while I can't completely explain what it does, including it in my routine definitely makes me feel more hydrated, even-toned and honestly, younger! For me, I guess it feels brightening yet not in a, "I put highlighter on my face" way, just in a naturally brighter and more youthful way. 

How I use it: I apply this both morning and night. It's the first thing I apply to clean skin in the AM and PM. I will use it on the nights I am not using the Good Genes. It's another one that is most effective when you warm it up in your hands and pat in an upwards motion on your face. 

5. Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Wake Up Balm: I actually discovered this Global line after receiving a sample of the Global Anti-Aging Mask Boost and adored the instantly radiant look it gave my skin. When I have the mask on, it literally gives me a glowy, radiant finish that seemed to instantly mask or "blur" any imperfections. Naturally, I wanted to emulate this on a daily basis and not just in mask form. This is when I discovered the Wake Up Balm. What it is: 

"A balm that firms and deeply nourishes your skin."

That is not very descriptive but all I can say is it's amazing. It doesn't give as strong of a "blurring" effect as the mask but it definitely helps instantly with luminance/radiance, fine lines and plumping. It is amazing for days when your skin feels especially blah and uneven and can really help instantly transform the look of the skin. Really great after a night out.

How I use it: I have found I love this as a primer! While it doesn't make my makeup last longer (in fact, it might be the opposite), I find that it helps keep my makeup from feeling cakey later in the day. I do alternate my everyday makeup routine but this has become my favorite go-to, especially for ease during the work week. I've discovered that mixing this with my foundation creates the most supple, easy-to-apply, tinted moisturizer. It just glides on and looks natural with minimal effort. 

6. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion: This is a new-to-Sephora line and, truth be told, I haven't had enough time to try it out yet! The prices of this brand are crazy low (I'm talking $8-$10) and this was the only product that wasn't sold out! So I snagged it. A retinoid is something that can make the biggest difference in the skin but typical retinol comes with very irritating effects when you first start using them. Apparently, this next-generation retinoid gives you the same amazing effects without the drying and flaking that is normally associated with retinol. What it is:

"A stable serum emulsion of a next-generation retinoid active that achieves better reduction in visible signs of aging than retinol—without irritation."

My Thoughts + How I use it: Stay Tuned!

skincare review

A few more things not included in this re-stock photo...I also use the Pevonia Propolis Soothing Concentrate daily which really helps soothe the skin and fight breakouts (don't buy this from Amazon/Walmart, I've heard it's not the same!) and always, always apply my Image Skincare Prevention+ 50 SPF in the morning. This is a holy grail sunscreen for me. It feels so hydrating on the skin yet isn't heavy and makes a great makeup base.

I have also recently been seeing an esthetician for (hopefully) more regular facials and it's something that makes such a drastic difference in the skin if you can find someone you love. Since my skin has been so dry, she recommended I do NOT wash my face in the AM and it's something I've been implementing for the last month and a half. I can honestly say it's making such a huge difference in my skin because I'm not washing off the natural, good-for-you oils my skin is producing at night. I've noticed my skin is less dry and feels less stripped, more supple and happy—ha! Note, I do rinse my face with cool water in the AM but do not cleanse.

Let me know if you have any additional questions. While I am no expert, I would be more than happy to help in any way I can! 

As always, thank you so much for reading!

x Tyler

ittsē Cosmetics

I think this might be my first official beauty post on the blog and I'm excited to be talking about a fun new cosmetics company, ittsē! They're a San Francisco based cosmetics brand and being from the Bay Area I was instantly excited to see their line. 

I'm a bit of a product snob and tend to have my go-to's that I swear by, but I'm also VERY swayed by cute packaging and will almost always want anything that looks pretty, cute, fun, etc.. And I can honestly say that ittsē has some of the most adorable packaging I've ever seen. It's fun and playful and their whole site features a cute little depiction of "ittsē," a chic and stylish girl with a chic and stylish customizable makeup palette to get her through the days events. Honestly, it's the most unique cosmetics site I've ever seen and it transfers over into the adorable packaging, as well. All of the pigments come packaged separately and I had so much fun opening them up and putting them in my palette. I chose the crisp white palette. This is a random thing to like, but it has a "dust shield" that's built in--as in it doesn't go flying on the floor when you open it up. Does that ever happen to anyone else??

Ok, so I was automatically swayed by the packaging, but another thing I really love is that the whole line is fully customizable. You start with a palette to house all of your pretty products. Shadows, brow powder and complexion, ie: blush, bronzer, illuminator. Instead of picking and choosing my own, I ended up going with one of their Curated Collections. I got the Soft & Sultry Collection and it's such a gorgeous mix of...well--soft and sultry hues. It includes matte and pearl shades in pretty neutrals that I knew I would get the most wear out of. The colors are all highly pigmented, velvety soft, and oh-so-blendable. They're rich and vivid and even crease-resistant. My favorite might be "Tan Lines," which is a pearly, pinky bronze color that mimics a sun-kissed glow. The perfect summer color for sure. I haven't gotten a chance to try, but I know you can use them wet, as well, and it would look gorgeous with one of the matte colors smudged on the lash line. The cheek color is called "Premiere," and it's another one of those must-haves for summer. A bright and rosy coral that apparently compliments all skin tones and I can definitely see how it would. It's that perfect summer flush. I hope you can tell from my color swatches, but all of them really are gorgeous. 

So, here's how it works--straight from ittsē! If you're interested in starting your own palette you can use code "girlmeetsgold20" for 20% off! Woop! Let me know what you think if you do!

HOW ITTSĒ WORKS

Step 1 – The Palette:

This is where you hold your customized ittsē collections. The Palette is sold separately, with one magnetic compartment that will securely hold your ittsē refill products. The Palette comes in a variety of the season’s hottest colors so you can express your own unique style.

Step 2 – ittsē Refill Products:

Choose from over 100 velvety, vivid shadows, brow powder and complexion refill products to create your own customized collections. ittsē also offers Curated Collections: expertly designed, complete collections that take the guess-work out of filling your Palette with the perfect combination of ittsē products. You can also choose from a variety of Eye Shadow Quads, comprised of complementary mattes, pearls and sparkles that makes it easy to get that perfect ittsē look.

ittsē refill products are magnetic and are held securely in The Palette’s magnetic compartment.

They come to you individually packaged in a convenient, clear clamshell wrapped in an adorable cardboard sleeve.

Step 3 – Customize!

When assembling The Palette, play with different layouts and color combinations to get inspiration for new and unexpected looks.

The Palette can hold different combinations of products:
12 Shadows or Brow Powders
9 Shadows or Brow Powders + 2 Complexions
5 Shadows or Brow Powders + 4 Complexions
6 Complexions

Don't forget to use code "girlmeetsgold20" for 20% off! Thanks for reading!

xx

Tyler

Sole Serum

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True story. My favorite ankle boots hurt my feet, but I don't even care, because they're my favorite ankle boots. I might have bought them a half size too small, but I really *had* to have them. Don't even get me started on heels. I'm a major wimp. Those killer heels I also *had* to have are also a major pain in my...feet. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we've all got at least ONE pair of shoes (heels, boots, flats, or otherwise) that lead to some major foot pain by the end of the day. Typically, I'll start moaning and groaning, go to sleep with achey feet, wake up, and do it all over again, because yes, I love my boots THAT MUCH. And while I'm not an everyday heels kinda girl, I do love dressing up, but the idea of being in stilettos for a whole day is truly a scary thought.

Well NOW I have Sole Serum and it really is a lifesaver. Foot saver? It's a silky smooth serum that you massage into your feet when you feel pain, but you can also use it preemptively. It's super soft and soothing, smells amazing, and within minutes the pain and aches are gone. You can sit back and relax, or throw your shoes back on and go on with your day. Seriously, sometimes even just standing in these boots for half an hour hurts my feet and being able to slip them back on with no aches is an amazing feat. I can only imagine the power this would have in the hands (and on the feet) of an avid heel wearer. It gives me confidence that even this major heel-wimp can tackle a day in a killer pair. If you've ever complained about foot pain, or are one to steer clear of heels out of foot pain fear, give it a try! Your feet will thank you. 

Check out my picks below for my current lust-have shoes that I can safely say I can conquer with Sole Serum.

Thanks for reading!

xo, 

Tyler