In November, historically, Sephora has its annual “Friends & Family” event. In recent years that’s meant a very few physical coupons for use in-store (“golden tickets”) and a widely published, infinitely reusable 20% off code online — the shot heard ’round the world. Hey, we’re all friends of Sephora.
That makes that week or two in November a great time to buy pricey skincare, treat yourself to some cosmetics, and, if you’re on the ball, secure a few gifts, too.
In preparation for the big event, I thought I’d share with you my wishlist — the stuff I really recommend — starting with the skin- and hair-care, the necessary but largely invisible backdrop to my makeup escapades.
1. Kinerase Cream (2.8 oz., $117)
Kinerase is pretty outrageously expensive, but it actually did erase the fine lines around my eyes and mouth, and I want to keep drinking the Kool-aid. (Read my original post about it.) If you’re weighing the face cream against one of the eye creams, consider this: the eye creams are cheaper in absolute terms ($59 for the Intensive Eye Cream, $75 for the Under Eye Rescue), but about twice as expensive per ounce. And you really don’t need a special eye cream for your under eye area — they contain the same active ingredient. Under Eye Rescue is supposed to have additional undereye-circle lightening properties. I found it no more effective than the Cream, but it did make my eyes water every time I used it.
2. Dior Hydraction Sorbet Creme (1 oz., $35)
Bar none, this is the most effective facial moisturizer I have ever used (that’s really saying something). I have “normal” (or normal/combo) skin, with a bit of dryness in my cheeks — Hydraction produces overnight results. The cream itself is light, cooling, and non-greasy, and it makes my skin feel awesome.
The scent of a product can be a deal-breaker, but I really like this one. The product is light blue… and if light blue were a smell, this would be it. This moisturizer comes in other versions: there’s a Sorbet Gel (which is lighter), there’s one with an SPF — I don’t like any of the others. The SPF in particular is greasy and heavy.
I feel like the price of this one is “not that bad,” particularly given that it comes from Dior. But I use it at night, and I would also use the Kinerase at night… does this mean I have to choose between them?
3. GHD Sea Spray for Matte Waves (5.1 oz., $24)
I discovered this stuff a few months ago on a stroll through Sephora. (Read the original review.) I’m still totally loving it. As I might have mentioned, I have fine, curly hair and I live in a really humid climate. This is the best product I’ve found for promoting curl and controlling frizz. I definitely need another bottle.
My application method has changed slightly, so I thought I’d share that with you: now I wash my hair, let it air dry most of the way, then flip upside down, spritz the underside 2-3 times, flip back up and spritz the top 2-3 times.
4. GHD Uplift Spray for Root Volume (5.1 oz., $24)
I love the Sea Spray so much, I also want to try the Root Lift. I think between these two products, all my hair woes will be solved. Then I will be “discovered” walking down the street, and will become the world’s shortest supermodel.
5. Laura Mercier Purifying Oil (6.7 oz., $40)
Okay, I smear a lot of makeup on myself. As a result, I’ve tried pretty much every makeup remover you can find in a department store (Lancome, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, MAC… you name it). This one is the best.
Other people make cleanse-off oils (most famously MAC and Shu), but in a head-to-head comparison, Laura’s just performs better. It takes off everything (YSL Rouge Volupte, Armani Lip Wax, indelible liquid eyeliner) and is totally gentle. Whatever I’ve got on my arm, I make my way over the LM counter, apply one pump of Purifying Oil, rub it in, spritz it with water (this step seems the most important), and then a wipe with a tissue leaving my arm completely clean.
Oil cleansers are supposedly good even for oily skin, and won’t clog pores.
So… what’s on your list?