Beauty Wednesday: 20% off Sale is On!

OK — I know we just talked about this, but since the Friends & Family sale is an official thing (now through 11/9), I thought we’d talk about some of our favorite picks.  (Apparently you have to click through a special link (like this one) to get the discount to work.)  In my cart:

– tarte’s Maracuja Blush & Glow Brightening Luminizer and Cheek Tint (I think I’ll try in Moonlight)
– Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette
– Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, Natural Mint and Shea Butter (one of the best lip balms with SPF, according to this EWG report)
– butter LONDON The Tops and Tails Set (I need some new basics and may as well splurge on some good stuff)

Note that if you’re a Clarisonic fan, both Clarisonics as well as Clarisonic parts (from replacement heads to special cleansers) are part of the 20% off discount, as are other heavy hitters like the popular T3 styling wand.  They also have lots of tights, shaping products like Spanx, and other various dressing room must-haves like fashion tape and Gal Pal sponges (for when you get deodorant on your clothes).

For those of you who use Clarisonics — what are your thoughts?  (My beauty blogger friends who were affected by the hurricane seemed thrilled to return to their Clarisonics (and apartments).)  What is the best blowdryer, curling iron, or other major product that you guys use?


  1. des-pairing :

    immediate TJ
    I have a b r a question: What kinds (brand, shape, materials) are truly invisible and seamless? Many of mine show a line (along the cups) when worn underneath thinner fabrics, such as silk. I am tired of having to wear a cami with everything, especially since I’m not well endowed either

    • I think you need to go and get fitted and then try a bunch on. This sort of thing has to do with breast shape and making sure you have full enough coverage. Good luck!

    • I like the warner bras without underwires – i believe gap has something similar – so you don’t show that line.

    • When I was an A cup I swore by Natori feathers, but after getting a little bigger I need bras with big, full cups or I get that line.

      It’s probably easiest to go to Nordstrom’s and ask the sales lady. You have to be careful with them, though – they’re very into telling you that you’re wearing the wrong size bra and that you’re actually a smaller band/bigger cup. About half of their bras are sized to fit like that, half are not. The last time I went they kept trying to stuff me into a too-tight band even though it didn’t fit with that manufacturer’s sizing guides and it created all of these weird bulges of back fat.

      • des-pairing :

        I’ll give Nordstrom a try- though I doubt anyone can tell me I’m a bigger cup

    • Are you wearing “demi” styles? I finally switched to “full coverage” which are much better under clothes. With demi bras the edge is at the fullest point of your chest – almost impossible to hide that line under clothes.

  2. TO Lawyer :

    This is timely because I just got an email from Sephora about the VIB 20% off this weekend. I’m contemplating getting a Clarisonic so I’m seconding Kat’s question!

    • I like my Mia. I’m crediting use of the Mia (plus an uptick in water drinking) for my much clear-er skin. Like almost as good as it was when I was on BCPs.

      I did a progression (accidentally) on brush heads, from sensitive to normal to the acne/deep clean brush and each had a bit of a break out cycle. I varied between using it every day and am now more like once every other day. I use Cetaphil as the cleanser, and then follow up with Neutrogena’s Anti Acne Lotion (2% salicylic acid).

      • Amen!

      • Does anyone else have a Clarisonic that gets dirty (almost mildewy) inside — as in when you pop off the brush head to replace it, there is a mildewy film inside? If so, how do you clean it? I don’t want to mess it up, but I don’t want to use it if it’s gross, either. Thank you!

    • hellskitchen :

      I love my Mia too. I have combination, acne-prone and blackhead-prone skin and the Mia has made a huge difference. I have less breakouts and fewer blackheads. I use it once a day with whatever cleanser I have on hand.

      • How do y’all clean it?

        • Hot water and handsoap, and then dry it with a clean hand towel (the one I use for drying my face, not the one that I use to dry my hands – I have separate towels), and then place it so it can air dry the rest of the way.

        • hellskitchen :

          Same as MPLS. Caphillstyle recommended using vinegar to clean the brush head but haven’t tried it yet

        • Baby shampoo and hot water. (I also use baby shampoo on my make up brushes).

    • Socksberg :

      I have a Mia and love it. I have very troubled skin, and it significantly helped get rid of my acne. I’m using a strong prescription face cream now, so I can’t actually use my Mia at the moment, but the minute I’m able to I’ll be back to using it again. I actually bought my through last year around black friday, and was able to combine the 20% F&F sale they had running with a clarisonic-specific sale, and got the Mia for about $80.

    • anon in-house :

      I can’t imagine a Clarisonic helping my very dry, sensitive skin. But so jealous of those who benefit from it!

      • Divaliscious11 :

        My skin is combo, but my dry parts are very dry and my Clarisonic is awesome – tips –
        – sensitive brush and a light touch, ie let the sonic do the work, not pressure
        – use at night, with your heavy moisturizer
        – a tip an aesthetician gave me – apply pure aloe vera gel to face after cleansing, then moisturizer (I do this daily now and my skin seems less sensitive. I think the aloe helps heal minor irritations and prevents them from becoming worse)
        – I use every 3-4 days, not nightly

  3. Any chrome gold nail polish recs? I need to spiff up my talons.

    • In the Pink :

      There was an ad for O P I recently. Touting James Bond Nails. Dark red/maroon on the tops and a sparkly gold (seriously so) on the underneath sides. With the glitter it would be clear you’re a girl ‘zilla.

      … It must have been in a fashion mag – surprisingly recent one at a doctor’s office. Why don’t doctor’s respect OUR time? We charge for our time, they charge for theirs…do we overbook? RAWRRRRR pardon the rant.

    • hellskitchen :

      Godzilla, I see you in this cool flame-y manicure… they recommend Topshop in Heart of Gold:

    • Try the Essie “Penny Talk.” It’s sort of bronze-y and delightful.

      • I love Penny Talk — it’s a little tricky to apply but I love the chrome-y finish! There’s a gold in the Mirror Metallics collection too.

    • Diana Barry :

      I have an awesome gold color from Butter London, called “The Full Monty”. :)

  4. I use the clarisonic mia and love it. I really feel like it exfoliates well and gets way more makeup off my face than when I just wash. That being said, you might be able to get most of the effects of it using a cheap wash cloth, if you can’t pull the trigger on it based on price.

  5. Any flat iron suggestions? I have very thick, coarse hair. Thanks!

    • TO Lawyer :

      I have the T3 (I think it’s called the SinglePass). I have thick and curly hair and it gets it really straight and smooth. Also has four heat settings… I use the highest one for coarse hair and I really like it. Used a CHI previously, and it worked well but I think the T3 is better

      • Maddie Ross :

        How do you use the T3? I have a Chi now and love it, but am intrigued by something that would work better. Do I have to be coordinated to use it? (I’m not.) Or know how to use a curling iron? (I can’t.)

        • TO Lawyer :

          You do not have to be coordinated to use it – it works the exact same way as the Chi. (unless you’re trying to curl your hair with it.. apparently you can do it but I am incompetent when it comes to my hair unless i’m straightening it or putting it in a ponytail)

      • Thanks!

    • attiredattorney :

      Sedu 1.5 inch from Folica. It’s amazing. Sign up for their emails and you’ll be able to get it for about a hundred bucks.

  6. Love the Clarisonic Mia. If I skip a few days, I can tell a big difference in how my skin looks and feels. It’s redder, bumpier and more prone to clogged pores. I don’t have great skin to begin with, and I feel like the Clarisonic has made a bigger difference than any topical product I’ve tried. If you have good skin to begin with, I doubt the difference is as dramatic. My sister, for example, doesn’t think the Clarisonic is that great but she didn’t have any skin problems to begin with.

    • I’m with you – I use my clarisonic mia 2 every night, and if I go w/o it for just a day or two I can definitely see a difference. I have convinced at least three friends to buy a “Clara”, if not more! Thanks for the hint re the discount – it’s about time for me to buy a new brush. Does anyone use the” acne” brush? I use the “normal” one and am considering an upgrade.

      • I have the acne brush. I love it – but I also have acne prone, oily skin. I’ve only ever used the acne brush.

      • Socksberg :

        I was using the acne brush for a few weeks. I thought it was supposed to be more gentle, but it didn’t seem that way.

      • I have tried the sensitive, normal, and deep clean brushes and to be honest I can’t say I noticed any appreciable difference. I did start with the sensitive brush at the outset because I thought it might be the best way to avoid any transitional breakouts.

        What makes the biggest difference is charging the clarisonic regularly. I often forget to do this and power seems good for at least a month so it doesn’t seem necessary, but then I always notice a dramatic difference when the brush is actually fully charged.

        • The biggest difference I’ve noticed between the 3 brushes is the stiffness of the bristle, but even then, it’s not really that big of a difference.

  7. Any recommendations for the best under eye concealer?

    • Always a NYer :

      Cle de Peau is the best I’ve found. It goes on creamy and dries to a powder so there’s no need to apply powder on top to set it. While pricy at $70, it really is the best concealer, IMO. Before trying that, I did have a liked Benefit’s Erase Paste (around $25). You have to set that with powder though.

    • Socksberg :

      I like Urban Decay’s 24/7 concealer, but you don’t get a lot of product.

  8. I bought a hair dryer with a “pick” accessory that fits on the nozzle. Does anyone know what it does?

    • The pick accessory is an alternative to holding both a comb/brush and a hair dryer. I have tightly coiled African hair, and some salons use this accessory as part of the blow drying and straightening processs before using a flat iron.

  9. Will you be sharing when the Sephora friends and family sale is? I’ve been holding out for it to stock back up on facewash and whatnot…

    • Sephora isn’t have a friends and family this season. :(

    • TO Lawyer :

      I think the Sephora F&F is just for VIBs… (I’m in Canada and I just got the email this morning… I spend an obscene amount of money at Sephora unfortunately).

    • You have to be a Sephora VIB in order to use it. I’m assuming the website will not accept the code unless you’re VIB.

    • lucy stone :

      VIBs have a link in their email to share the discount with one person, so if you have a friend who hoards makeup, maybe they can share!

  10. I’m 50 and have had trouble with my skin forever. I went to my dermatologist to have milia removed from my eyelid (tiny white bumps, almost like whiteheads). I asked her what she thought of the Clarisonic Mia and she said it’s ok for 2x a week, but wouldn’t recommend using it every day. She also said it can cause milia.

    • How do you have that removed?? I am noticing super tiny white bumps under my eyes – maybe it’s the same thing – and it’s driving me batty.

      • My dermatologist used a needle to drain them. Ew – but it worked.

      • She “sliced” them open with what looked like a super sharp plastic credit card. There’s this small seed like thing in there. She told me if you don’t pierce them they’ll never go away. After, I just put warm washcloths on my eyelids for a few nights, now it’s like they were never there.

  11. Paralegal :

    Beauty-related TJ – can we talk about permanent/semi-permanent procedures that people have gotten to make their grooming routine easier?

    I have done laser hair removal on my legs, underarms and bikini area, and a few electrolysis sessions for my eyebrows. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to eyebrow maintenance, so this has been fabulous. I still do some maintenance tweezing for stray hairs every few weeks (I should probably just book another appointment), but if I forget it is much, much less noticeable. Between Groupon, Lifebooker and Living Social I haven’t paid full price for anything.

    Does anyone else have experience with other treatments or procedures, or any recommendations (such as chemical hair straightening, tattooed eyeliner, etc)?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have done Japanese hair straightening and I love it. I can shower and get out, let my hair air dry and it looks great.

      However, it doesn’t work on color treated hair and can be damaging if your hair is weak. That hasn’t happened to me but YMMV.

      • I’ve done Japanese hair straightening yearly since 2003. It’s a miracle for my hair and an incredible time saver.

        You can use it on color-treated hair (I do) but it’s not advisable if you bleach/lighten. I’ve not had much damage and the process is certainly less damaging than trying to beat my hair straight with a hot blowdryer and tension every day.

  12. If you have wavy or curly hair and want it to be more manageable (i.e. dries faster, straightens easier), I recommend getting keratin treatments (but only if you can get a groupon- otherwise it can cost up to $400 for long hair).

    • Socksberg :

      I would also recommend Keratin treatments, but just make sure that you call the salon and check to see whether the treatment is to de-frizz or straighten. Some of them leave all the curl and take away the frizz, and some take away both curl and frizz.

  13. Since we’re talking beauty, I’ll throw out a recommendation. I have been on the hunt for a light weight but good coverage foundation for a while. I recently tried the new YSL touche eclat foundation and was very impressed: feels good, looks natural, smells like mimosas (the flowers, not the the drink) and it makes my skin look even and dewy.

    I also recently discovered Laura Mercier mascara and really like it – makes my lashes really full and lush looking.

    And for those of you that are fans of the black honey clinique lipstick, I recently saw 4 new shades.

  14. Beauty question :

    While we are on the subject of beauty, I’m wondering if other women remove hair from their arms and if so, the preferred removal method. I’m blond but feel like my arm hair is long and kind of unattractive, but have been hesitant to shave or wax because then I will have to do so consistently to avoid stubble.

    • lucy stone :

      I’ve been shaving them for YEARS (like since grade school) but don’t have to do it very often. I think I did it about 3x this year.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I wax my arms… I do it about once every 5-6 weeks but I don’t need to do it that often. I just get them done at the same place I get my eyebrows done so I just do everything at once. You don’t get stubble from waxing… so you can definitely wax it and if you don’t like it, just let it grow back in.

    • anon for this :

      OMG, yes. I recently got fed up with the constant upkeep and tried to let my arm hair grow back out, but I felt like a werewolf. Ugh. I have tried everything: waxing, shaving, depilatories, and the method I keep coming back to is an epilator (bought mine on Amazon). It hurts like a b-tch the first couple of times you do it, much like waxing, but I only have to do it once every week or two, and the hair grows back much finer and less visible in between sessions.

    • Kara Starbuck :

      I think that mens facial hair hair trimmers often have length guards to keep you from trimming hair too short — if your goal is to get the hair shorter but not gone, something like that might work.

  15. Hope I’m not too late to this thread – two questions!

    Does anyone have a hairdryer recommendation? My hair is just past my shoulders, very straight.

    Second, for those of you with Clarisonic, is it significantly better than the brush systems you can get at Target or CVS? My friend says they are basically the same, but people seem to rave much more about the Clarisonic…

    • Can’t speak to the former other than to say that a good (more expensive) hairdryer does make a difference – both in terms of time and outcome.

      For your second question, I tried to figure this out and it seems basically impossible because there was just no one out there who would use the olay one for, say, 2 months and then compare that with the clarisonic for 2 months. The people who tried both and blogged about it all seemed to have too many variables and most of it was along the lines of, “I tried my friend’s X and did/didn’t notice a difference” or “nothing will make me give up my clarisonic” … Anyway, after a lot of hand wringing, I decided to go with the clarisonic mia because the brush oscillates rather than just vibrates – that seems to be gentler and more effective and the reason it’s a more expensive brush, technology wise, but who knows. I also thought the clarisonic just looked more substantial and well made, and I didn’t want to have to buy a new olay one every other year, or whatever. You can also save money if you get it on sale and as part of a package promo. I think I ended up paying about $100 and got an extra brush head and some cleansers with it – which seems less drastically “more” than the $35 or whatever that the olay one costs. Part of my thinking was also that if I didn’t like the olay one, it would be really annoying to then have to get the “real deal” and in all the reviews I read, I hadn’t heard anyone say that they would trade the clarisonic for the olay. Anyway, hope that wasn’t too much stream of consciousness for you, but that was my thinking.

      • Thanks for the feedback, AIMS. I definitely need to replace my cheap hairdryer and plan to spend more money, just not sure what is *best* for my hair….ionic? ceramic? I need to ask my stylist next week when I get my hair cut, I think!

        Thanks also for the thoughts on the clarisonic. That is probably the way I will go!

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