Pre-Vacay Haul!

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Good Morning and greetings from Chicago! I’m currently sitting in the airport terminal waiting for boarding to begin for my layover to Las Vegas, Nevada- and I. Am. So. Tired. I know once I’m in Sin City I’ll have a boost of energy that should keep me going all night and well into tomorrow- but right now I just want to curl up with my coffee and take a long and much-needed nap. If only these seats weren’t so uncomfortable!

Anyway, after a long night of packing and being way too excited to get a proper amount of sleep (every. single. time. I. travel)– I think I remembered to bring everything I need- including some new additions to my wardrobe and makeup bag courtesy of Sephora and Primark.

I warned y’all there was going to be a haul post- and here it is!

I have been down to the bare minimum of makeup lately- having traded in elaborate cat-eyes for a more natural look so I could sleep a little later in the mornings before work during the week- so I thought I’d treat myself by picking up replacement foundation, concealer, and powder- but also throwing in some new waterproof mascara, a lipstick (“Stark Naked” by Urban Decay- a lovely nude matte!) and some spa-level face and eye masks to get myself looking alive and awake before I hit the Vegas strip tonight.

I’m a young, single gal on vacation, after all- and I gotta’ look like one!

In terms of clothing- I just wanted to pick up a few things I know I’d get plenty of use out of instead of just wearing it once and forgetting about it for months at a time. First things first- I needed light, cool pajamas to sleep in while I’m resting in the desert since all I currently own are thermals from this past Winter.

I snagged these two pajama sets- one with cute little lemons printed all over them and one with bright fringe/tassels- at $6 per set!

Once I laid eyes on these holographic sneakers- I knew I had to have them for long walks through the airport or from casino to casino on the strip. They’re cushy and comfortable- and definitely eye-catching.

The silver flip flops, for when I finally head poolside or want to dig my toes in the sand when I finally hit California- may not be as attention-grabbing as the sneakers- but they’re sparkly and don’t hurt my feet the way other sandals can- so I love them, too!

I have accepted my pale-ness and no longer attempt to cover it up in embarrassment. I’m as white as a ghost. That’s who I am- and it’s too hot to not be wearing shorts or trying to hide my legs- so I made sure to stock up on a bunch of these low-priced denim and/or crochet style shorts to keep cool and chic wherever I go- as well as a couple of loose-fitting cotton shirts to mix and match them with.

I’m all about going casual for this trip. It’s long overdue!

Of course, there are going to be one or two instances where I may need to dress up a little while I’m away- so I made sure to grab this metallic pleated skirt (one of my favorite trends right now!) to give me a little sparkle if I’m wining and dining anywhere on the West Coast.

A nice top and a little jewelry and I can go from dressed-down to glamour girl in a few minutes. It’s all in the details!

I also don’t intend to walk around with a big purse the entire time I’m on vacation- so I grabbed this little zip-up faux-leather pouch to hold the essentials like my I.D., my hotel room key and some lipstick while simultaneously displaying some hometown love. Cutest $3.50 I’ve ever spent!

And for one last dressy item- I was absolutely smitten with this thin, bell-sleeved floral dress that fit me perfectly when I tried it on. I bought this not only for my trip, but for when I come home and head back to work- too! It’s completely office-appropriate! How lovely is that design?

Overall- I spent just over $200. The Sephora stuff was actually what cost the most (no surprise there) but I think I made out pretty good considering all of the things that I got!

And with that being said- my flight is boarding in a few minutes. Time to try and get some last minute shut-eye on the plane!

For updates from my trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a LOT, I’m sure.

See you all when I get back!


Mini Sephora Fall Haul!

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Now that Fall is in full swing and I am leaving for the West Coast in a couple of days- I took the time to completely clean out my makeup collection and downsize my necessities considerably. So much stuff got tossed- expired mascara, shadow palettes that were used down to the bare tins, and lipsticks I was scraping at with Q-Tips to get the very last bit of color I could.

Needless to say, I was long overdue for a restock and replenish trip to Sephora– but I also didn’t want to break the bank by purchasing a bunch of products that would either expire before I got a chance to finish them up or be considered out-of-season or style by the time I got around to using them.

So I did the responsible thing: I made a list of what I needed versus what I wanted, I set a budget, and after browsing the store for a good hour- I got some really nice, new stuff- and only went over my budget by a little.

I swear, it was only by a little bit.

So here’s my mini “Fall Haul” post to showcase what I’m loving and what I’ll be wearing through the remainder of the Autumn and into the Winter!


For my face, I only needed a re-stock of my favorite medium-to-full coverage foundation from Tarte ($39). I love this stuff. It gives me SPF15 protection and is hypoallergenic (and vegan!) while still being efficient enough at hiding my pores and giving me a flawless finish.

I also wanted a pressed powder that I could use for the days I didn’t feel like wearing a liquid foundation or to keep in my bag for quick touch-ups (which I’m sure I’ll need while I’m in the desert!) I turned to Sephora’s own brand of cosmetics and tried their Matte Perfection Powder Foundation ($20)- which feels lightweight on my skin and is perfect for evening out and balancing my more troublesome and oily areas.

I rarely wear bronzer in the Fall/Winter- instead embracing my porcelain complexion- and I already have a brand new blush courtesy of Cargo Cosmetics and my recent POPSUGAR Must-Have Box, so I saved a little money there!


I also stuck to Sephora’s own makeup line when it came to selecting a couple of new eye shadow singles. I wanted two fairly neutral shades that I could gradually build upon to make into a dramatic smokey eye- or keep subtle and play up with a bold lip color, instead. I didn’t want any blues or deep purples this time around- and instead opted for a shimmery rose gold tone (“What Happens in Vegas”, a fitting name- and $10) to highlight my eyes, and a slightly darker mauve tone for my lids (“Free Hugs”- also $10!)

Both of these colors really bring out the blue in my eyes and are sparkly and noticeable without being overwhelming. They’re tame enough to wear to work and can be accentuated with liners and mascara (that’s next!) to create a more “night-friendly” look, too.


For eyeliners, I had some difficulty making up my mind between two different shades and types (both from Sephora’s collection)– and I just decided to splurge a bit and get both so I could mix and match. The first shade, “Cappuccino”, is a shimmery brown that glides on easy and stays in place all day. It’s from the Contour Eye Pencil 12-hr Wear Waterproof line and is only $10.

The second, a $14 liner from the Contour Brushed Metal Gel Eyeliner Waterproof line- is a coppery/reddish shimmer shade called “Moscow Mule”. This is another long-lasting formula that really makes my eyes pop. Out of the two liners I picked up, I think this one might be my favorite- but it’s a close call!

Finally, to wrap up my eye looks- I wanted to get a re-fill of one of my favorite mascaras to date- the waterproof “Lights, Camera, Splashes” formula from Tarte ($21). I LOVE the shape of the brush on this mascara, and it really does last forever and a day! It’s wonderful.


Finally, I wanted to get a couple of new lipsticks for the Fall/Winter- and I went with my trusted and true company- Urban Decay. Both shades are from UD’s Vice line ($17 each)- and both are a creamy texture (but with a matte finish!)

The first shade, “Safe Word”, is a light and neutral nude-pink that I typically wear every day for a more natural look. The second- reserved for those special nights out- is called “Hex”, and is a deep cherry/red wine hue that gives me that vampy look I covet so much this time of year.

After taxes, my total purchase came to $167 and some change. Not bad considering these products are going to carry me through the next few months until my next trip to Sephora. I’m in love with everything I picked out- and I’m sure you’ll all be seeing it make appearances in any upcoming photos I post on here or my social media accounts.

Did any of you splurge on any makeup for the Fall season? Are there any must-have Autumn beauty items you’re getting ready to break out?

Feel free to share!


Mini Sephora Haul!

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Over the course of the holidays and my birthday back in January, some of my friends and family were generous and thoughtful enough to pass along a few Sephora gift cards since I am an admitted and shameless addict when it comes to that store. If I go in to buy a moisturizer- I come out with several other products I may not have even needed. If I go in to pick out a new shade of lipstick, I’m leaving with a blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow palette that compliments the aforementioned lipstick color. If there is a Sephora Addicts Anonymous group out there somewhere, I need to know so that I can attend any and all meetings in the future (where I will proceed to ask other attendees what eyeliner or mascara they’re wearing and then promptly go out and purchase it.)

I digress- this past weekend, having run out of a bottle of backup Cover Girl foundation I had picked out at the drug store a while back and desperately scraping along the bottom of my usual tube of under eye concealer- I swung by my local Sephora to replenish some of my products…

… And pick up a couple of other non-necessity things, too…

It’s been a while since I’ve done any type of haul post- so I thought I’d share this mini one!


1. TARTE Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 15: I love Tarte. They are, hands down, one of my all-time favorite brands. When it comes to foundation, only two things matter to me: the coverage and the longevity. In the hotter months, I tend to lean more towards tinted moisturizers and BB creams- but I like something with a little more staying power in the Winter/Early Spring and Fall since my skin tends to get a little patchy and dry in certain areas and I like to be able to cover it up without having to worry about it. I’m really loving this full coverage foundation so far (which doesn’t feel heavy on my skin at all!) since it covers my dry patches and any other imperfections, matches my fair skin tone perfectly- and stays in place all day long and well into the evening.

2. TARTE Cosmetics Maracuja Creaseless Concealer: For as long as I can remember, I have used the lightest shade possible in Clinique’s ‘Line Smoothing’ Concealer- even though fine lines and/or wrinkles were not and are not a concern for me right now. I’m not even sure why I started using it in the first place, except that maybe it was one of the few affordable concealers available and it actually matched my skin tone pretty closely. Well, for whatever reason- be it my getting older and my skin changing or Clinique being the one to do the changing (to their formula)– the concealer has been appearing more and more orange under my eyes and has NOT been lasting long at all lately. I knew it was time for a change- and I turned to this creamy formula for those nights I don’t get enough sleep and need to look bright eyed for work. This product blends really well, covers pretty much anything and everything, and does not budge at all throughout the day. I think this is is the perfect partner to my new foundation. I’ve been using them both religiously!

3. TARTE Cosmetics ‘Smooth Operator’ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder: Finally (and my last TARTE product- I promise!), I picked up this invisible sealing powder to set my makeup for the day.  This powder brightens my face, keeps my makeup in place, and prevents shine and excess oil buildup in more oily or problematic areas like my T-Zone. I like that the formula is non-drying and doesn’t accentuate any dry skin or blemishes, too. It makes everything look very natural!


4. Dr. Jart+ Clearing Solution Sheet Mask: Way back when, I used to use a Dr. Jart+ BB cream that I had really liked very much. Overall, the brand continues to churn out some quality products- and given my love for sheet masks- I thought I’d pick up one of these acne-fighting ones for those pre-PMS days when my skin goes absolutely crazy and I need a little extra help dealing with the blemishes that spring up seemingly out of nowhere. I’m about ready for one of those breakouts to show itself in the coming days- so at least I’ll have a head start!


5. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion: One product I will never stray away from or switch (as long as UD never changes the formula, anyway!) is this Primer Potion for eyes. I’m down to my last couple of drops in my current bottle and desperately needed a new one. I swear by this stuff. It’s lightweight, not sticky/greasy- and it holds my shadow in place without creasing, crumbling, or flaking off- for HOURS. I’m talking long-term, like “all night party followed by a late brunch the next day” sort of longevity. I can only ever remove any shadow/liner from my lids after using this stuff with a pretty strong makeup remover. Other than that? This doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t budge!



6. Sephora’s Formula X Nail Polish in ‘Lucky Starrr’ and ‘Sci-Fi’: Finally, the two products I didn’t need but just happened to pick up anyway because I loved their colors were these two long-lasting and ultra sparkly nail polishes in Sephora’s wildly popular Formula X brand. The first (and the one I’m currently wearing now), ‘Lucky Starrr’- is a super glittery and glitzy hot pink/reddish shade created/curated by Vlogger Patrick Starrr, and the second- ‘Sci-Fi’- is a pretty unique looking and also very glittery mint shade that I think will be making it’s debut on my digits this coming St. Patrick’s Day! I think these two polishes are going to be enough to carry me into the Summer, where I will undoubtedly be looking for more colors to add to my collection.

So with a face of fresh makeup and new colors on my nails- that wraps up my mini-haul from Sephora! I’m quite pleased each of the products I selected so far, and I am still so appreciative of everyone who gave me gift cards that I used towards this purchase! You all saved me a ton of cash and I love you for it!

If you have any suggestions for my next trip- probably sometime in the early Summer- feel free to share ’em! I always love hearing about new products/colors/collections!


Drug Store Finds

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When I pack for a vacation, or even just for a quick weekend getaway- I try to be as thorough as possible when it comes to keeping my bag light and manageable while simultaneously not forgetting the important stuff. Toothbrush? Check. Contact lens solution? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Mascara? Check. Where did I put my deodorant? Where’s my hair brush?

Occasionally, however- I can forget or overlook a few necessities- never realizing it until it’s too late. Sure, I can drive around wherever I’m visiting to try and locate the closest Sephora or department store to re-purchase the products I left behind, but that cuts into time that should be spent enjoying myself and relaxing- not scrambling to find things- and it can also get expensive. I consider myself savvy when it comes to budgeting, which is why I carefully plan my Sephora hauls and splurging sprees so that I don’t spend too much or buy things I don’t necessarily need at the time.

So what do I do when I forget a product(s) at home or need a substitute when I run out and can’t get to Sephora or the makeup counter in a timely manner?

I head to the drug store.

There used to be a bit of a stigma attached when it came to purchasing the more affordable cosmetics that can be found in most drug stores and pharmacies- like Cover Girl, Maybelline, Rimmel, etc. I remember hearing the words “cheap” and “amateur” being used freely and often by representatives for name brand cosmetics companies when they were comparing their products to their less expensive competition at one of my last jobs in the world of retail. Buying foundation at a pharmacy was something teenage girls did- not grown women. At least that’s what I was told as I tried to find an actual difference between a $12 bottle of Cover Girl makeup and a $42 bottle of a high end one (spoiler alert: the only difference was the products’ names.)

But a lot has changed in terms of drug store cosmetics brands, their formulas, their packaging- and thankfully- the aforementioned stigma is pretty much gone. Through the years I’ve found that much of the makeup products I’ve purchased at my local CVS or Walgreens actually surpassed more expensive name brands in terms of quality, longevity, results, etc.

Best of all? I’ve saved a ton of cash.

That being said, I’d like to introduce a new installment here at Legally Redhead, called “Drug Store Finds,” where every so often I will share my recent purchases from the pharmacy in the hopes that other thrifty ladies or forgetful travelers on the road will have some options to check out when they’re in a pinch.



I remember that the only product any of my friends and I ever owned from Burt’s Bees back when we were teenagers were tubes of their tinted lip balm. At the time, that seemed to be the only thing the company ever made- and they were always available at nearly every register at the grocery store, gas stations, etc. Since then, Burt’s Bees have taken on other endeavors- including all-natural hair care and skincare.

I have sensitive skin that reacts poorly to artificial fragrances and harsh chemicals- so I’ve been loving these gentle makeup remover wipes (and the snap on the pouch keeps them from getting dried out between uses, unlike other makeup remover wipes that can’t seem to stay sealed no matter what I do) to remove the makeup from the surface of my skin before I follow them up with the matching facial cleanser to get any excess makeup, dirt, and oil out of my pores without drying my face out. Both products, purchased together, are under $20.



I’ve been trying to incorporate more corals and gold tones into my color palette since it seems New England has completely bypassed Spring and is diving headfirst into Summer (it’s currently teetering on 80 degrees outside,) and those are the colors that best compliment my skin tone this time of year. After carefully cleaning out my makeup collection- tossing empties and expired products- I picked up one of Maybelline’s new Color Sensational Rebel Bloom lipsticks in “Peach Poppy,” a non-drying and pretty bright peachy/pink that pairs well with a NYX Butter Gloss I own in a similar shade. It lasts a long time on my lips before it fades, too- so numerous reapplications throughout the day aren’t really a concern. The lipstick is priced at just under $8.

I also snatched up a matching coral-toned nail lacquer from essie in the color “Tart Deco.” I’ve found that pairing any brand of nail polish with Sephora’s Formula X base coat pretty much guarantees it’s going to last longer than it would have all by itself, so I’ve been sporting this shade the past few days (with no chipping or peeling just yet!) It makes me feel very beachy- like I’m back at OB in San Diego and just chilling out by the water….

… I think I need another West Coast vacation.

Anyway, the nail polish is marked at $8.50.

Lastly, I picked up this quad, also from Maybelline. Part of their Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow collection, the color(s) is called “Copper Chic” and included a highlighter with three buttery smooth and very pigmented gold/rose tones that really make my blue eyes pop without causing me to look tired or overly made up. I’ve been wearing these shades to work lately since they’re pretty tame- but there’s a couple of other available quads with bolder colors that I’m really eager to try soon. They’re priced at $9.99.


All of these products, with a couple of other essentials (toothpaste and the like) plus tax- put my total bill at just over $50. Not bad, considering the damage I usually take at Sephora can exceed $200+ sometimes.

Do you have any drug store brands/products that you swear by? Is there something you want to try? Let me know and the next time I stop at my local pharmacy- I might check it out for my next “Drug Store Finds” post!


New Year’s Sephora Haul!

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ANOTHER makeup/cosmetics post? I know, everyone. Please just bear with me. We’ve reached dangerously low temperatures here in New England (and are currently dipping into the negatives with the wind chill,) which has left me mostly bundled up indoors over the past few days. I’m hoping to brave outside this coming weekend to venture out of the city and take some photos without getting frost bite- and maybe do a little baking in-between- but right now I am all about staying in close proximity to heaters at all times.

When I haven’t been sprinting between my place, my car, and my office in a desperate attempt to avoid the frigid chill- I took a little time to stop at Sephora the other day to pick up some face wash, moisturizer, and eye shadow primer I had recently run out of. I had a little extra cash put aside for splurging purposes, and with it being a new year- I thought I’d treat myself and pick up a couple of extra things, too. It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper haul post- so here’s what I got to start me off for 2015!


Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap (Extra Mild Formula): My skin tends to get a little more dry in the colder months, and I’ve found that my usual facial soaps- which contain blemish and blackhead fighting ingredients- can often leave my face feeling uncomfortably tight and looking patchy or flaky. I’ve switched over to this extra mild, milky cleanser- which gently melts away makeup and dirt from my pores and leaves my skin feeling comfortable and soft.

Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion # 2: After I use my soap, I go in with this mild toner on a cotton ball to remove any excess oil or bacteria I may have missed during cleansing and gently exfoliate and polish my skin- evening out my overall tone and texture while ridding the surface of my face of any dry patches.

Clinique’s Dramatically Different Gel: When moisturizing my skin, even in the winter, I like to stick to oil-free gels (since I’m still prone to the occasional breakout.) This lightweight moisturizer has been my go-to for years now. It keeps my skin hydrated, smooth, and clear for hours.

Clinique’s ‘Moisture Surge’ Extended Thirst Relief Gel: To add a boost of hydration to my Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel- especially in these Arctic Tundra-like temperatures, I slather on a little of this pink, soothing, oil-free moisturizer on top. It sinks in so easily and quickly and makes my skin feel AMAZING. I swear by this stuff- and highly recommend it for all skin types!


NARS Sheer Glow Foundation: I like to have more of a full-coverage foundation in the Winter, but I’m switching things up a little in 2015 and that includes my usual makeup look. I picked up this NARS base, which has a buildable coverage- and I’ve been really liking it so far. It doesn’t have the matte finish I’ve grown used to, but my skin looks luminous and natural- and it feels like I’m not wearing anything at all- which is a big perk.

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder: Because I’ve switched up my foundation, I thought it was important to switch up my setting powder, too. It didn’t seem practical to continue using a loose, matte powder when my liquid base is now a more sheer finish. I like this Laura Mercier one- which holds my makeup in place all day long but lets my skin breathe and doesn’t make me look like I have a ton of product on my face.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original): This was one of the products I had initially gone into Sephora to replenish. I use this primer nearly every day. It’s the only thing that keeps my eye makeup (shadows, liners, etc.) from creasing, flaking, or fading. It’s another product I swear by!

Sephora Pantone Universe Marsala Metalshine Liquid Liner: 2015’s ‘Color of the Year’ is Marsala, a really lovely wine shade that looks good on everyone and can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. I am gradually working my way into the color, being careful not to overdo it since my hair is currently a very similar hue- and decided on this liquid liner to give my eyes a bold, metallic pop. The formula is easy to apply, stays in place, and color is lovely against my pale skin and blue eyes. It’s unlike any other eyeliner I’ve ever used. I love it!



Formula X for Sephora – Base Coat: I’ve heard so many good things about Sephora’s Formula X collections in recent weeks, and finally decided to try them for myself. When it comes to my manicures, chipping is a big concern for me (I do a lot of typing- both at work and when I’m blogging,) so I picked up a bottle of this “sticky” base coat, which is supposed to hold nail polish in place for longer than competitive brands and through the toughest of trials fingernails face throughout the day.

Formula X for Sephora – “Provocative”: I typically wear darker colors in the Winter on my lips, eyes, and nails- but, again- 2015 is all about change and trying new things. I’ve been feeling powder blue shades as of late, and fell in love with this pretty pastel as soon as I laid eyes on it. It just screams “icy Winter air” to me and I’m not quite sure why- but I had to have it.

Formula X for Sephora – “Pedal to the Metal”: Apart from light blues, I’ve also been incorporating touches of deep violets into my wardrobe and makeup here and there. This metallic purple, as eye-catching and as lovely as “Provocative,” was another must-have for me. I think I’ll be alternating between these two for the next couple of months.


*Birthday Bonus!* NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil & Satin Lip Pencil: My birthday is in January, and as an added bonus to my purchase- Sephora gave me these two free NARS lip pencils to celebrate! I like that one is a more subtle nude (perfect for work,) and the other is a bolder, deeper red (perfect for the weekends, of course-) and I can’t wait to try them both!

So now, with my skincare, makeup, and nail polish refreshed and stocked to get me through the rest of the Winter (hopefully,) I won’t need to splurge again for a few months…

… Although I probably will, and soon- since I was tempted by a lot of other stuff that caught my eye while I was shopping!

Sephora Mini-Haul: Spring 2014.

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There may still be some snow left on the ground (currently being washed away with rain as we speak,) and I might not be able to go outside without at least having a sweatshirt or a light jacket on- but Spring is definitely in the air here in New England. It’s only a matter of time before the flowers bloom, the boots and winter coats get tucked into the back of my closet until much later on this year, and I can wear skirts and heels without having to worry about busting my ass on ice or getting gross city-slush sprayed all over me from passing cars while I’m walking alongside snow banks.

It also means I have to lighten my makeup, in which I transition out of the dramatic wine-colored lip or the dark, bold eye I love so much in the colder months and replace them with something a bit more season-appropriate. Since this past Winter seemed as though it was neverending, I’ve been beyond eager to dive into pinks and nudes and light purples. Unfortunately, since my last makeup purge of empty and expired products- I didn’t have much to work with.

Earlier this afternoon, I had stopped by Sephora to replenish my eye shadow primer (the tube I currently have is on it’s death bed,) and while I was there- I figured I’d splurge (just a little bit!) and pick up some stuff to get me through Spring.



I finally got around to picking up the coveted “Naked 3” palette from Urban Decay. I am so pasty I’m practically transparent, so I have to be careful when it comes to rose/pink eye shadows- but these shades, some of which have a subtle golden undertone to them- look AMAZING with my skin tone.  There are a variety of shimmery and matte tones to work with, so I can go from an everyday neutral look to a dramatic one in little to no time at all, which is awesome. “Naked 3” came with a double-ended brush and a sample of UD’s ‘Primer Potion’ (which I was unaware of until I opened the box- after purchasing a full-sized one,) and I’m really looking forward to playing around with this palette in the coming months. (Urban Decay “Naked 3” Palette: $52)


My current blush is a combination of a deep rose/brown-ish tone, which is great for the Winter- but for the Spring, I wanted to lean towards something a little more peachy/pink. I wanted something that wouldn’t look orange or fuchsia on my fair skin. To achieve the desired shade, I turned to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Luminous Flush,” which is described as being a champagne-rose color but looks more like a soft coral on my cheeks. This blush has just enough shimmer in it to make me look like I have a healthy, natural glow- not a radioactive one. (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush: $35)


Even though I have my phenomenal purple lipstick I created in BITE Beauty’s Lip Lab a couple of weeks ago, I also wanted an everyday, neutral lip gloss to wear (specifically for work) that wasn’t heavy or sticky. Enter Urban Decay’s “Naked” Lip Gloss in “Nooner,” a subtle nude shade that doesn’t wash my complexion out and isn’t tacky feeling. “Nooner” is a combination of a lip gloss and a lip balm, without any gross and unnecessary chemicals- so not only do I get a really great shine with this product- but my lips feel ultra-hydrated and smooth as well. Perfection. (Urban Decay’s “Naked” Nourishing Lip Gloss: $20)

And lastly, while I’m quite content with the shape and thickness of my eyebrows, I would like them to match my very, very red hair just a little more. I picked up a tube of Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in “Auburn,” a reddish-brown, to get my brow/hair color  as close as possible. This lightweight gel applies with a mascara wand and stays put all day without flaking or fading. It’s like I’m almost, ALMOST a convincing redhead! (Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel: $22)

And with that little haul over and done with- I am now officially ready for April showers, May flowers, and whatever is happening right now in March.


Sephora Holiday Haul.

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A few days after Halloween, I was driving to work and scanning through the radio stations since I’d failed to charge my iPod battery during the night, resulting in it dying shortly after I’d left my house. I’d flipped through some top 40, morning talk segments, and some sports analysis shows when I suddenly heard one of the verses to “Frosty The Snowman.” I waited for the song to finish, wondering what was going on the entire time, when it segued into Bing Crosby’s “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.” Turns out, I had unwittingly stumbled upon a New England station that had started to play non-stop Christmas music, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- until December 26th. A couple of days after that, I started getting e-mails from the different company/store mailing lists I’m on advertising holiday specials and/or gifts and gift sets for Christmas.

Not to sound like one of those crotchety “when I was your age, I had to walk twelve miles to and from school, barefoot in the snow,” people, but when I was a kid- the actual Christmas and holiday season didn’t kick off until the day after Thanksgiving- at least for my family, anyway- and it was perfect. It was just the right, appropriate amount of time to decorate, listen to lots of Christmas carols without getting sick of them, get whatever shopping, parties, and gatherings done and out of the way- and just enjoy the holiday with friends and loved ones before it was time to take the decorations down and prepare for New Years.

When I entered my teens, and started working retail (going from job to job for a good several years before I began working in law,) and the holiday season was pretty much thrust upon my co-workers and I earlier and earlier each year, I was miserable. Ungodly hours. Rude, shitty customers. Ruder, shittier managers and supervisors. Crummy pay. No time to actually spend with family or friends. Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” on a continuous loop. It was just the worst- and to this day I still have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who works retail because I know their suffering and struggle first-hand. When I started hearing the music and started receiving the holiday advertisements over the past few days- my heart went out to everyone I know, and even the people I’ve never met, who are working those insane “holiday hours” for the next two months. If anyone reading this works in retail- I’m so, so sorry. Please hang in there. If I ever come into the store where you work, I assure you I will not be an asshole to you or any of your co-workers.

My beloved Sephora was unfortunately one of the stores sucked into the way-too-early-for-Christmas whirlwind, having already put out their seasonal gift sets and started decorating the store to give it a more “festive” feel. I stopped by a location today while out buying groceries and purchasing a couple of new sweaters to take advantage of their V.I.B. sale and pick up some new eye shadow and lipstick in preparation for some pre-Thanksgiving events that are coming up, as well as Thanksgiving itself. I’m well stocked for my everyday skin care regime, but what’s left of my makeup, sans a few samples I’ve received via GlossyBox and Ipsy, is still leftover from my last Sephora Summer Haul in July (CLICK HERE TO VIEW.)

I left with a few more items, including a really cute black & white striped (with a pink hot pink lip mark) tote bag.

Here’s what I purchased (from left to right:)


1. Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath in “Spiced Gingerbread Cookie” and “Peppermint Stick” ($16.50 each): Just because I don’t like starting the holiday season too early doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy smelling like a gingerbread cookie or a candy cane, right? Right?! I love Philosophy’s three-in-one bottles year-round, although I never use them to cleanse my hair, because they smell amazing and nourish my skin whether used as a body wash or as a bubble bath. I saw these two seasonal scents (along with some Christmas sugar cookie-scented gift sets that admittedly caught my eye,) and couldn’t resist. I’ve indulged in “Spiced Gingerbread Cookie” during holidays past, so this bottle was a no-brainer for me, but the “Peppermint Stick” fragrance is so refreshing and invigorating. I can’t use it in the shower in the mornings before work to wake myself up.


2. Urban Decay Eye Shadow in “Baked,” “Psychedelic Sister,” and “Mildew” ($18 each): I had originally wanted to purchase a highly pigmented and shimmery bronze/copper/gold shade of eye shadow during this trip to Sephora, which I found in Urban Decay’s single shadow in “Baked,” but when I laid eyes on the equally pigmented “Psychedelic Sister,” a deep, shimmery amethyst, and “Mildew,” which despite the unfortunate name, is an absolutely gorgeous moss green with flecks of gold in it- I grabbed those, too. Golds, purples, and greens are my go-to colors for my eyes in the Autumn and Winter, because they compliment my red hair and blue eyes, and I think I hit the jackpot with these three shadows.


3. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Psychedelic Sister” and “Mildew” ($19 each): I know I’ve mostly dismissed pencil eyeliners in the past after more than one disappointing experience, but while I was in the Urban Decay section of Sephora, these creamy pencil eyeliners (that match the above eye shadows,) piqued my interest. These pencils are soft to the touch (so no sore eyelids,) are highly pigmented, and stay in place all day without budging or smudging. I swatched these with the shadows I purchased in a variety of color combinations and each one looked beautiful. I may have to reconsider my stance on pencil liners. Maybe. All I know is I’m a big fan of these.

4. Sephora Collection Skinny Brush Wrap in Emerald ($36): I’ve had the same makeup brushes for years, and they’re still in good condition- not only because of their quality, but because I clean and store them properly, too. My brushes are on the bulkier side, however, and since I have quite a few different ones- it makes traveling with them a little difficult. My brush pouch often doesn’t fit inside my makeup bag with my cosmetics- even when I take the time to pack everything neatly. I decided to grab this small, sleek brush collection in a pretty green case for when I’m on the go. The set includes:

– Powder brush
– Foundation brush
– Crease brush
– Shadow brush
– Angled liner brush

Those brushes, to me, are the essentials. I’ll be taking this wrap with me when I travel to save some space in my makeup bag.



5. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in “Liar” ($22): Back in August, I had received a sample of this lipstick in the shade “Anarchy” in my IPSY bag and fell in love with the formula. I had wanted to go with a more neutral shade in the Fall/Winter as an alternative for my usual wine-colored lip (which I’ve achieved to perfection with Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in the shade “Wine With Everything.”) It was a tough choice, but after swatching the nudes in the collection a few times, I decided to go with “Liar,” which looks like a pink-nude in the tube, but applies as more of a subtle beige without looking too brown on my lips. The formula is still as wonderful as ever, making this the perfect lipstick for work or the days where I want some color without wanting to go with a deep red.

And there it is. Another haul that should last me through the rest of November, the entirety of Winter, and into the Spring. I’m really excited to start playing around with the eye shadow and eyeliner colors, and have a nice long soak with my gingerbread cookie bubble bath, of course- even if it’s not quite Christmastime yet.

Sephora Haul.

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Earlier this week, after running so low on one of my favorite lipsticks that even frantically scraping at the bottom of the tube with a Q-tip didn’t work, I went rummaging through my makeup drawer to see if I had anything that looked similar. What I found was seven years worth of skin care and near-empty makeup containers that I hadn’t realized I’d been absent-mindedly collecting. As most women know, makeup is only considered “good”-meaning safe to use without the risk of causing a reaction or getting any kind of infection-for so long- and the majority of what I found was waaaaaay past it’s prime. I sat down, went through all of my blushes, eye shadows, mascaras, lipsticks, etc., and tossed what was either empty or expired- which, when I was done- left me with the bare minimum and not much else to choose from.

From there, I headed to the cosmetics Promised Land, Sephora, to do a major splurge to replenish and update my products. I shop at Sephora every couple of months, usually to buy more facial cleanser or moisturizer when I run out, but this trip was a full-blown haul. I went all out and really treated myself with products to get me through the end of the Summer and into the beginning of the Fall.

Here’s what I purchased (from left to right):

1. Clinique Superbalanced Makeup in “Breeze” ($23): I love my BB cream. I really do, but lately I feel I need a bit more coverage. I have combination skin in the Summertime, and this foundation, the only one that truly matches my skin type perfectly, gives me the coverage I need without feeling heavy on my skin or clogging my pores. The long-lasting formula is designed to absorb excess oil in my t-zone, while supplying hydration to my drier areas along my cheeks.

2. Too Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara ($23): I was reaching for a tube of my usual Diorshow Black Out mascara when this sleek pink container with the provocative name caught my eye. One of the two sweetheart saleswomen who assisted me during my trip was wearing it, and her eyelashes looked amazing. I decided to be bold and try something new, and even though I’ve only been using this mascara for a couple of days- and I’m still getting the hang of the larger brush- I love the results so far.  It’s not clumpy, gives a good amount of volume, and is really, really dark- which is the look I love.


3. Laura Mercier Bronzing Powder in “Golden Bronze” ($32): This is one of the few bronzers I’ve tried over the years that doesn’t make me look orange! This pressed powder bronzer, which has a hint of pink in it, contours nicely with my cheekbones, and gives me a natural sun-kissed glow that doesn’t look overwhelming on my fair complexion.

4. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Lipstick in “Extreme Coral” ($34): I love the rich, creamy texture of this lipstick, which applies more like a balm. It hydrates and softens my lips while giving a gorgeous pop of color. All the shades of this particular line were lovely, but I decided to go with this coral, described as being on the reddish side- but looks more pink/peach on me- for the remainder of the Summer.



5. Benefit World Famous Neutrals – Most Glamorous Nudes Ever Eye Shadow Palette ($30): For the remainder of the Summer, I wanted to keep my makeup as light and natural as possible, and wait until the colder months to start using darker, more dramatic eye shadows and lip colors to better match my Fall/Winter wardrobe which tends to be on the deeper side of the color spectrum. I saw this nude palette, which includes four powders and two cream shadows, and snatched it up. I love the colors- which are light and can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways and still look great. This palette is perfect for the final weeks of the season.



6. Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($25): This product made my Summer essentials list this year. The more I use it, the more I love it. It just softens my curls and gives my hair those effortless, “just back from the beach” waves I covet so much.

7.  Philosophy’s “Hope in a Jar” Moisturizer ($40): When my daily moisturizer, an oil-free, shine-controlling gel, left my skin feeling a little parched, I turned to Philosophy to help give me a moisture boost without causing breakouts. This moisturizer, which feels so light and fluffy and absorbs into the skin quickly, left my skin hydrated, soft, and glowing. So far there hasn’t been any unexpected bumps or blemishes as a result of using it every day- so I think it’s safe to say it’s a keeper!

8. GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment Mask ($69): I’ve been in the market for a mask that would help clear out my pores of any deeply-settled makeup, dust, dirt, grime, etc. that my exfoliators and cleansers couldn’t reach, and my prayers were answered with this mud mask. Shortly after I applied this product for the very first time, I could actually see it sinking into my skin. I left it on for a long time, maybe forty minutes or so, and when I finally rinsed it off, small imperfections under my skin had been pulled to the surface where I was able to buff them away with my facial scrub. My face felt cleaner and more refreshed, and my pores looked visibly smaller.


9. NARS Illuminator Stick in “Orgasm” ($39): I swear by “Orgasm” (which sounds funnier than what I intended.) It’s one of NARS best-selling shades of blush, and for good reason- it’s beautiful. A shimmery peachy/pink color that compliments all skin tones, I love to put a little along my cheekbones and brow bone as a highlighter. This conveniently packaged stick applies like a dream and blends easily. It’s by far one of my favorite products.

10. NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($34): To seal in my makeup and give me a nice, polished, matte finish, I turn to this translucent powder from NARS. A little goes a long way, so a light dusting will keep your face looking flawless for hours.

11. COVER FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment ($38): After my moisturizer and before my foundation, I needed a primer that would protect my pores from getting clogged but that would also keep my makeup in place. One of the saleswomen who helped me recommended this product from COVER FX for my skin type and concerns. This primer feels sensationally silky, doesn’t leave any sort of greasy residue on my skin, keeps my makeup in place, and helps to both treat active breakouts while preventing future ones with it’s built in acne-fighting medication. It’s been working really well for me so far.

And there it is! Overall, I’m very happy with the products I selected and have been using- some familiar, and some new to me. I think if I hadn’t done the massive clean-out of my makeup drawer, this purchase probably would have seemed frivolous and unnecessary (even to me), but after going through all of my skin care and cosmetics, and assessing what I had and what I needed, I feel each product I picked up will not only be used (instead of stored and forgotten about,) but are also up-to-date with my current skin tone, type, and complexion- and won’t cause any kind of allergic reaction or infection that some of the older products I threw out could have possibly done.