More Stuff I Buy: Caudalìe, Marc Jacobs, Dr Jart, Living Proof, Anastasia, & A Fan Brush

A few weeks ago Sephora had their VIB event where insiders (just like a frequent flier) got 15% off of anything in the store. It’s not a huge amount but if you’re out of something anyway, it’s a good time to pick it up.

I bought two more things from Living Proof hair care, the mousse which works great for volume without being sticky and their PHD shampoo which I also love. The only thing I’ve bought so far from the line that I wouldn’t buy again is this volumizer which doesn’t actually volumize because you aren’t supposed to use it on your roots so I don’t get the point. Everything else is magic and makes my hair look better. Really, give it a try if you aren’t loving what you currently use. I can’t praise it enough.


My bronzer is now applied by this fan brush. Bronzer and blush brushes can apply color in a too-concentrated, streaky way but the fan dusts on powders like blush or highlighter really lightly so it’s hard to overdo it. Brushes make all the difference.

Fan brush

I bought another Caudalîe Beauty Elixir which I’m never without for my kit or my own bathroom. I also got another brow powder from the best around, Anastasia. My last one lasted me close to 3 years.

Not pictured: Living Proof PHD Shampoo and the Fan Brush

Now for the best and worst of it:

I really wanted to love Dr Jart’s SPF 45 BB Cream mostly because I love a good BB Cream and this formula is wildly popular and really well reviewed on But here’s the thing- see the color on my hand below? It’s like a weird clay color that looks really ashy and dull on the skin. It’s also really light so most women wouldn’t be able to wear it. I looked like I had a weird mask on and it never blended into my skin. It also broke me out which never happens these days. I hated it.


The best for last. Believe what you’ve read- Marc Jacobs’ color line is pretty amazing. This pencil combines the longevity and of a gel with the ease of a pencil and comes in a rainbow of shades. The black one I have is so rich and glides on with barely a swipe. I can even use it to tight line without it transferring or running down. When I returned my Dr. Jart BB Cream I picked up his shadow palette (the starlet) and couldn’t be happier.

Get the Cheaper Stuff: When to to Buy Discount Beauty

Now that you know where to spend a little extra money, let’s talk about where not to. The divide in quality between drugstore and department store brands isn’t so wide anymore (hello, Olay Pro-X!), so save where you can in these few key categories where I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast

I’ve always been a fan of drugstore mascara – it’s what you’d find both in my professional kit and in my bathroom. While the Maybelline pink and green might be a fav of some, I stick with CoverGirl for all things mascara. LashBlast’s fat tubes are all the rage for a reason – they’re great formulas that wear so well you don’t need to get those impossible-to-scrub-off waterproof formulas that should be a measure of last resort purchase. The one in the orange tube is fine, but I like the purple one – Fusion as it’s called – for a really long, defined look that I can layer on over and over without clumping. For around $9 or so, it’s a third of what some department stores mascaras are and every bit as good. If CoverGirl doesn’t light your fire, check out what Maybelline, Revlon, and others have to offer, you’ll find a $10 formula you love guaranteed.

Long Wear Lipstick: L’Oreal Infallible

Brides are always surprised when I tell them to grab a drugstore brand lipstick for touching-up on their big day. L’Oreal Infallible is one of the best long-wearing lip formulas out there. It stays put a crazy long time without fading, feathering, or getting all globby. It isn’t bulletproof, but I’d say only one touch-up during the day is all you need after your first morning application. Not bad for $12.

Eye Liner: NYX

Love M.A.C’s Liquidlast? Grab NYX Studio Liquid Liner for $4 – a big savings over M.A.C’s $17.50 especially because they both stay as long and have vast color selections. A powder shadow is perfect for those who can never seem to draw on a decent liner shape because it’s so simple to use, Smashbox has one for $22, as does NYX for $6. Same packaging, same applicator, and the same great result. NYX has a liner selection that I adore, most priced less than $10 and all stack up big time against higher priced counterparts.

Brow Powder: Any Line Will Do

Right now I’m using a light taupe mineral shadow for my brows just because I have it laying around. Before that it was this $4 Ardell Brow Defining Powder, but it really doesn’t matter. Yes, a brow-specific color is the best bet since color correctness is key, but as long as you get the shade right you can use any powder you have on hand to get the job done.

NYX Cosmetics Eyebrow Marker

NYX’s Eyebrow Marker is genus. This soft tipped pen allows you to mimic the effect of hair and fill in sparse patches easily with an all-day smudge resistant formula. It’s best suited for those with somewhat full brows already, and not to be used to draw on large areas of hairless skin unless you’re into that old lady exaggerated brow look. I found it to be surprisingly easy to use and the ‘Medium’ shade is so neutral in color that it suits most brows. Compare its $10 price tag to the $21 Anastasia’s Brow Pen and it makes an even sweeter deal.

Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum

I can’t directly vouch for Anastasia’s Brow Enhancing Serum because without a regular waxing, I look like this

Photo courtisy of the
..but harrier (and blonde.)
But just because I don’t need some extra lovin in the brow region doesn’t mean I don’t know what works for bald brows. I always recommend Anastasia’s Brow Enhancing Serum because of its solid reputation for growing in even the barest brows that have been sans hair for years. Just remember to be consistent and patient, it can take 6 weeks to notice new growth but it will happen.

Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum

Brow Grooming in Seconds; Ardell Trim and Shape Grooming Tool

I worked with a girl on a shoot recently who had some pretty unruly brows. They were so crazy that our introduction went something like this:

Me: Hi, I’m Carissa. Holy brows.

Her: Yeah, I know. I didn’t pluck them today.

Me:  Today? Those brows haven’t seen a tweezer since 2009.

Harsh, yes, but true and she forgave me. It’s all about the delivery I think.

Lucky for her I always carry my trusty Ardell Trim and Shape Grooming Tool, a brilliantly designed straight edge razor that delivers a precise mini-shave to small areas of hair like brows or your lip when tweezing would take too long. It isn’t too sharp either (in fact I thought it was dull at first) so it doesn’t give you razor burn by shaving too roughly.

They come in a pack of 3.

I told you she forgave me, she let me take this pic. Check out her right brow which I cleaned up in seconds versus the left side.

I like having these around not to replace tweezing, but for a quick fix when you’re heading out the door and you see a mysterious hair patch has sprouted up overnight.

Natural Looking Brows: MAKE UP FOR EVER Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector

Once you start adding color and shape to your brows, you won’t leave the house without doing it. Although I have full brows (technically ‘brow’ but it’s regularly shaped into two), adding color and definition to them ranks up there in importance equal to mascara. It polishes the face and anchors your eyes, but I’m not talking drawn-on old lady brows so ditch you can ditch the pencils.

MAKE UP FOR EVER has a genus little tube of waterproof brow cream that darkens the skin behind the brows as well as the hairs for a more natural, filled in look. You just need the tiniest amount and a few times using it under your belt to wonder how you ever lived without it.

You can check it out at Sephora online right HERE

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