I haven’t done a beauty post in a while, but there’s a few good gift-with-purchase promos right now (might be ending soon) that all the women in my family took advantage of and wanted to share! It’s a good chance to get a bonus on favorites that otherwise don’t go on sale. I’m a slight GWP junkie…the mini cosmetic pouches for keeping the interior of handbags clean, the travel-friendly versions of favorite products, and of course getting to try out new products…what’s not to love? FYI, Macy’s offers free shipping & returns on beauty purchases with no minimum, Nordstrom offer that for all types of purchases, and Sephora has free 3-day ship on orders over $50.
Macy’s: Lancome 7pc GWP with a $35+ purchase – a nice little set with low purchase minimum! You get the choice of a mini moisturizer & eye cream, a mini blush & lipstick (out of 2 shades), plus makeup bag, travel-sized Définicils mascara and Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. Their eye makeup remover is my forever favorite (be sure to shake it up before each use) – gentle and conditioning on sensitive skin, yet one swipe takes off even waterproof products. The travel-sized bottle usually costs $15 by itself! And if you spend $75+, you get to choose one additional bonus gift out of these three 3pc sets. It looks so confusing on the webpage, but once you add qualifying product into your cart, the GWP choices will show up there automatically. Shop all qualifying items here.
– Estée Lauder 7pc GWP with a minimum $45 purchase: enter either code LIFT, GLAM, or REPAIR at checkout based on which set you’d like. I actually just bought their Pure Color Envy lipstick last month in Insatiable Ivory (which is $32 by itself) as my ‘creamy nude pink’ and am kicking myself because a full-sized tube of that color is included in the “GLAM” option!
– Lancôme 6pc GWP with a minimum $42.50 purchase: two choices, enter either code WARM or COOL at checkout.
I also wanted to share a few products I’ve been loving lately, some of which qualify for the above promos! For reference, I have dry, sensitive skin that’s especially redness and rash-prone, so I have to be careful about the products I use on it.
1. Stay all day fuller-coverage foundation: Lancome Teint Idole 24hr long wear foundation ($47) at Macy’s, Sephora or Nordstrom. The right foundation really depends on your own skin type…I ask for a sample at the store counters whenever possible to try back at home, and see how it wears throughout the day. I needed a fuller-coverage foundation for my unpredictable skin, and this one came highly recommended. I actually didn’t love how it looked on me when applied with a brush, but using a slightly damp Beauty Blender sponge made all the difference. It looks very natural on my skin, covers large pores / skin issues, and lasts throughout the day (I do set it with Laura Mercier powder). Here’s how shade 260 Bisque N looks on half my face with no primer nor powder, vs. my bare skin:
If you don’t need fuller coverage, one of my all-time favorites is still Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fluide (I use “Linen”). True to its name, it applies on so fluidly for light to medium coverage, and the finish is silky smooth and natural. Per the reviews it looks like it may be best for those with dry or combination skin, not oily skin.
2. Moisturizing lipcolor to pop against summer skin: Estée Lauder pure color envy lipstick ($32), at Macy’s. I have super dry lips despite frequent treatments, and it’s hard to find bright colors that don’t accentuate flakes. After trying no less than a dozen options (several nice contenders thanks to your recommendations!), this one was my favorite for the punchy orange color as well as a formula that glides on smoothly, doesn’t settle into lines/flakes, and keeps my lips feeling hydrated for a long time. I’m wearing Daring (orange-red) in this post and Insatiable Ivory (nude pink that’s included in the GWP set) in this post.
3. Mascara that actually holds a curl: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof ($27.50 or $13 for travel size) at Macy’s, Sephora or Nordstrom. The waterproof version of this doesn’t get much love in the mascara world, but I swear by it for one very important purpose: holding a high curl on otherwise stick-straight, downward-pointing lashes! It’s only the waterproof version, too – this was a tip from a makeup artist a while ago, and I have yet to find another mascara that will keep lashes up as high. It makes a huge difference in “opening up” small eyes, and I wish I had a photo but my tube is misplaced and I’m impatiently awaiting a replacement in the mail – hence also why my lashes are straight and downward in this post!
I start by clamping my curler at the very base of the lashes, then move upwards to the midpoint of they lashes and clamp again to get a fuller curl. Next, I lower my eyelids about halfway then use this wand to really press lashes upwards while applying the mascara (a q-tip dipped in Bi-Facil can quickly remove anything that gets on your lids). For added volume and length, I’ll layer Too Faced or Bobbi Brown mascara on top (which are each amazing, but when applied by themselves will make my lashes straight again in no time) then finish off with a Lancôme one to prevent smudging/running throughout the day.
4. A gentle, non-drying facial cleanser: Fresh soy face cleanser ($15+) at Sephora or Nordstrom. I initially got a sample as part of a Sephora bday gift and liked it enough to buy more. Most other cleansers leave my already dry skin feeling like a prune! This is actually a fragrance-free product for those who are sensitive, but the cucumber extract has a distinct, fresh, scent that I love. I use this on my Clarisonic brush sometimes for a more thorough cleaning, but it feels and smells the best to me when just lathered directly on the face. This was the start of a costly addiction as I’ve gone on to try so many other Fresh products which I love indulging in! p.s. Nordstrom has a Fresh value set and also Clarisonic brushes galore in their Anniversary sale, which ends this weekend!
5. Lastly, I’d love your recommendations on a good facial sunscreen! I wish I paid more attention to sun protection when I was younger, but better late than never, right? I currently still use Supergoop’s makeup-setting spray with SPF50, but it has room for improvement and sprays more in spurts than a fine mist. I’m looking for something safe for sensitive skin, with fairly high SPF, and I’m open to products that are applied either before or after makeup. I’m also hoping to avoid anything with a strong smell or casts a ghastly white sheen on the face (typical of regular sunscreens)!