Every November, I look forward to the chance to shop Sephora for 20% off.
That’s when Sephora’s annual Rouge/VIB/BI sale takes place, so I spend September and October carefully building my cart. In this post, I let the cat out of the (shopping) bag and share my recommendations–a mix of splurges, staples, and smart gifts. And don’t forget that Sephora has a whole K-beauty section featuring Belif, AmorePacific, Caolion, Primary Raw, Dr. Jart+, Erborian, and more and also sells Korean makeup brands such as Chosungah 22, Touch in Sol, and Too Cool for School.
What are *you* picking up at the sale?
Dior Lip Glow ($33) (reviewed here): After many years, 10+ tubes, and endless trials of dupes, this is still a daily staple (actually multiple-times-a-daily staple). This is even better than the History of Whoo version. There are now Lilac and Coral versions, but the original pink still works best for my pale skin.
Chosungah 22 Dual Lip Tint & Gloss ($19) (shown in Chiffon): The lip tint is high quality: applies smoothly, evenly, and with a POW of color. A marked difference from TonyMoly quality ::side eye:: Unfortunately, the lip gloss flakes off. Still worth trying.
I’ve been in a long-term relationship for more than 5 years…with Dior Lip Glow. I love it so much that my review of Dior Lip Glow was one of my first blog posts. But I like to keep my options open, so I was delighted to receive the NoTS Lip Shimmer Gloss for review from Q-Depot. The NoTS is just one of many “customized pink” lippies (i.e., uses that fancy mood-ring technology) knocking off the Dior–and just one of many that I personally own.
So how does this Korean lip balm compare to the beauty that started it all? Read on, and for good measure, I also compare it to the e.l.f. Studio Gotta Glow Lip Tint, a recent budget entrant.
Double rainbow all the way across the sky! Oh my God…Oh my God…Oh, God! What does this mean? Ohhh…Oh my God… -Unknown wise man
The Diorsnow Rainbow Powder (officially Les Neiges de Diorsnow Colour Correcting Radiance Powder in 001) is an Asia exclusive that Renee brought back from Taipei at my request. I thought this might be of interest because (1) it’s so crazy beautiful (serious makeup p0rn ahead!), (2) many of you live in Asia, and (3) sometimes Asia exclusives pop up in the U.S., such as during Nordstrom’s summertime Anniversary Sale (although that’s starting July 17th and I haven’t heard anything yet…). Update: The beauty specials for the Anniversary Sale are now up and they definitely don’t include Rainbow Powder. Update #2 (Feb. 2016): An almost exact dupe–in appearance at least–can be found in the Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Exceptional Compacted Pearls of Powder ($179 with the case or $59 for the refill pan). I updated this post with a comparison below.
Dior Nail Glow? More like Dior Nail Whoa, am I right?!
Dior Nail Glow ($25 for 0.33 oz.) is one of those products that I second-guessed myself on all the time in the beginning. $25 for clear nail polish? Psssshh. But pretty soon, I noticed that the bottle was half-full and realized that it had become my go-to polish for lazy days (i.e., most days). It does exactly what it says: the pinks of your nails look pinker and the whites (or yellows as it may be) look whiter.
Let’s be real, no one will think you have a French manicure. But it does make your nails look naturally healthy and shiny. They just look polished in all senses of the word.
The formula is tinted bright, cool pink. You can see the cool bluish tones on the brush in the photos below; the blue counteracts any yellowness in your nails. The polish is as easy to apply and quick to dry as clear nail polish. I also like the wide paddle brush, which is curved on the sides to fit the contours of your nail. I usually apply two coats (no basecoat or topcoat necessary).
The nearest competitor I can think of is Perfect Formula’s Pink Gel Coat. It’s much cheaper at $30 for almost twice the amount of polish and also promises to strengthen and harden nails. In comparison, Dior Nail Glow promises nothing beyond improving the cosmetic appearance. I tried Pink Gel Coat long before Dior Nail Glow came out and ended up returning it because the color was too blue-toned. As in my nails looked like they belonged to an ice zombie with its circulation cut off in certain lights (especially on cloudy days).
Enjoy innovative beauty products? Vote for Sun Pearls, my idea for a moisturizer+sunscreen in travel-ready capsules.
Leave it to Dior to make a polish with just the right amount of blue and which only ever makes my nails look healthy and alive. So I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would totally pay $25 again for clear nail polish.
Pros: Really brightens the appearance of nails. Dries quickly. Brush design makes for easy application. Polish hasn’t thickened after over a year.
Cons: Wears out quickly (3-4 days). Can’t counteract extreme yellowness.