Beauty Wednesday: What’s On Your Wishlist?

A Rainbow of Eye Shadows, originally uploaded to Flickr by cybertoad.So: last year, around this time (before official Christmas season), there were some killer Friends & Family sales at most of the major beauty stores — Sephora,, even Ricky’s.  So I’ve been trying to get my wish list ready at the different places, and thought we could talk about it — what beauty items do you stock up when they’re on sale?  What new things have you wanted to try this season?  Where do you do you research? (Pictured.)

For me, the things I stock up on are:

Caudalie Lip Conditioner
Clinique Black Honey
Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream

I also highly recommend Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes (1 and 2), YSL’s Touche Eclat (my longer review here), bareMinerals Original Foundation, and Nars the Multiple.

My wish list (thus far) includes:
Clinique Black Honey Shimmering Tones Powder
Yves Saint-Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain
Tarte Maracuja Blush & Glow

…and clearly I haven’t hit or Ricky’s yet.  I’m in the market for a new eye cream and some new nail products — a great base and topcoat for those rare occasions I paint my nails.

And for research: I’m addicted to swatch sites like Karla Sugar’s — I find it hard to buy lipstick online without ’em.  The reviews at Makeup Alley can be helpful too, although it’s a bit to wade through. Ditto for the Allure annual list for “Best of Beauty” — so I was happy to see that Sephora and Allure teamed up to have a whole section on it.

Alright, ladies, share: what beauty items do you stock up when they’re on sale?  What new things have you wanted to try this season?  Where do you do you research? Do you have a favorite store to buy beauty products at?


  1. Almost There :

    Right now mine is Living Proof Full Root-Lifting Spray. The Full Thickening Cream seems to work pretty well for my fine, thin hair, but it only thickens – hoping the root lifter works just as well for some volume.

  2. I have 2 birchbox items that I tried and are now on my wishlist:

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Love the orofluido. It’s the only hair product I use on a daily basis.
      I actually have been thinking about getting some hot rollers (big) to tame my hair a little without the hand-eye coordination of a hairdryer/round brush. Any advice on that front would be appreciated.

    • I LOVE birchbox- can’t wait to see my goody box every month. Once my current eye cream runs out, I’d like to pick up the VMV Hypoallergenics eye cream they sent me a few months ago.

  3. Sydney Bristow :

    Oh geez, I’m in the market for all of it. I rarely wear makeup, but I’ve been feeling like I should polish up my look a bit lately. On top of that, my face has been regularly breaking out for the first time in my life. I need an easy skin care system as well as basic makeup. I have mascara and lip stain that I like, but nothing else. It’s a little overwhelming to try and figure out.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Oh, for what it’s worth the mascara is DiorShow and the lip stain is Maybeline’s Super Stay 24-Hour Color. I have it in a couple of colors, red and a lighter color, and both are great.

    • Why not try a small skincare pack? Most of the major brands usually have packages where you can buy a smaller size of their entire collection for $40 or so. That way you can try it out without such a major commitment.

      I just picked up the Peter Thomas Roth face wash to deal with an uptick in breakouts and it’s been working great.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That’s a good idea. It’s going to be weird to get in the habit though. I’ve always had pretty clear skin and don’t actually wash my face aside from just with water in the shower.

        I don’t really notice any difference in oiliness or dryness. I’ve always been slightly oily on my forehead and slightly dry near the sides of my nose. It’s just never caused other than a minor red bump that isn’t really noticeable. Is your skin similar? I might try that brand.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Paula’s Choice!

      • I second the recc for Paula’s Choice. Her BHA toner works miracles on my blackheads.

        She sells samples of everything, including a complete trial kit of her acne system:

        Also check out Paula’s research on acne:

      • Another vote for Paula! Most of her products I’ve tried have worked really well – and her recommendations and reviews on all beauty products on are invaluable!

  4. locomotive :

    Naked 2 palette – love it. It is the only eyeshadow palette I’ve needed or used in the last few months.

    Dr. Jart’s BB cream – never really bought into the bb cream craze until I got a sample of this from Sephora and I LOVE it. It’s light but gives more coverage than my Laura mercier tinted moisturizer, and I just apply it with fingers like moisturizer and cover with some setting powder. Easy and looks amazing.

    Two Faced felt tip liquid liner – the one with the 3 bristles. I really like how easy and steady it is to apply unlike most liquid liners

    • I bought the Naked 2 palette and brought it home, then felt incredibly frivolous for buying a $50 eyeshadow palette and took it back. I still really want it though…

      I also second the Dr. Jart’s BB cream recommendation. I’m using the kind in the gold tube and I’ve been really impressed by the coverage.

    • I have the original Naked Palette and it is amazing. But I’m quite tempted by the Vice palette Urban Decay is putting out this holiday season – good neutrals but some fun colors as well.

      Of course, my eyes are 100% Urban Decay now – their liquid liners are amazing, as are the pencils.

  5. I just want to know why I have to live in a world where Julep’s glycolic hand scrub has been on freakin’ backorder for more than a month now.

    We needs the precious!

    PS: It gives me warm fuzzies that Clinique’s black honey is still around.

  6. attiredattorney :

    Heard a rumor that Sephora is not going to be doing their big “friends and family” sale this year, or that they’ve changed the definition of “friends and family” so only a small group will qualify. Can anyone confirm/deny? I’m running low on a few products and was definitely waiting for my 20% off coupon…

    • Makeup Junkie :

      Confirmed – it’s not happening this year. If you know someone at Sephora, they can give you a discount code, but it’s not open to the public this year. You might google to see if there are any websites/forums that have people sharing their codes.

    • Yes, I can confirm that they’ve changed it. You need to know someone that works at Sephora. You give them your email address, and they will get a code sent to you.

    • just Karen :

      I heard that they are keeping the F&F sale to true friends and family of employees, but that if you are a VIB (their frequent purchaser program) there will still be a 20% off period in Mid-November. This is all from random blogs, so may not be the best authority, but it’s all I found…

      • attiredattorney :

        I’m a “Beauty Insider,” but not a VIB :( Looks like I’ll be scouring the beauty blogs for discount codes!

    • WHAT?!?! I have been waitinganxiously for F&F to order a whole bunch of stuff.* They better have something for VIBs** or I will be seriously angry.***

      * In particular Sephora retractable eyebrow pencils, which I would buy by the case if I could.

      **Yes, I have spent a truly embarassing amount of money at Sephora and now I’m a VIB. This is mostly due to a horrifically busy couple of months at work during which I dealt with my stress by ordering all the pretty, pretty things. Yes, I have A Problem.

      *** Not angry enough to stop shopping at Sephora. Obviously.

    • I’m a VIB; will post the code once I (hopefully) get it.

      *And VIB comes from purchasing the Clarisonic. Truly is a great investment.

  7. Makeup Junkie :

    What I really need is a sheer dark red glossy lipstick, something like Black Honey but raspberry-ish in tone. Any recommendations? I had one years ago but it was discontinued and I could never find a replacement.

    • Clinique expanded the Almost Lipstick line beyond Black Honey – there are now something like 8 different shades. Perhaps one of these will fit the bill?

    • Diana Barry :

      Try Tarte Enchanted, it is a sheer red. Or one of the Clinique chubby sticks.

    • Or try one of the Revlon lip stain pencils – they’re a bit like the Clinique Chubby Sticks, but they stain your lips and the color lasts amazingly long on me – like, end of the day even though I eat and drink (it’s less color by the end of the day, but still visible). The color range is a bit odd, but they do have some darker colors/reds. Sorry to forget the proper name, but you’ll know them when you see them.

  8. I am looking for brick-red lipstick that is not vampy, appropriate for the office, and not too dark. TIA!

  9. Anita (formerly S) :

    My wish list includes the NARS skincare line and Guerlain Rouge Automatique lipstick in Samsara.

  10. Diana Barry :

    SO, after much hullabaloo, we are going to try to remediate our current nanny instead of replacing her, and give her specific instructions of what to do and not do with the kids. This is bc the kids really do love her and she them, and the people we could find who are not flakes (!!) are all about $150 more *per week* than the nanny we currently have. Sigh.

    Now I am just mad that I have been spending all this time on the nanny search.

    • Diana Barry :

      And, ARGH. I still feel uncertain and I hate that.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I’m sorry you feel frustrated and uncertain. But at least you are certain about how much more it will cost.

        Here’s hoping she’ll develop into a nanny that you’re much more comfortable with. That she loves your kids is a huge plus, so there’s that at least.


      • Meg Murry :

        Sorry to hear you are still uncertain, but knowing your kids are with someone who loves them is more important that someone who spends a lot of time doing “educational” pursuits with them but doesn’t actually like them (or kids in general).
        When you originally posted about nanny troubles I wondered if this was just an adjustment period for the nanny getting used to juggling the older kids along with the new baby – I know when my younger son was born my older son spent more time watching tv/playing computer games than I am proud when I was home with the two of them.

        To give your nanny more direction – there is a newsletter & website called Macaroni Kid that lists family friendly activities in our area – might be worth checking out to see if its any good in your area. Do any of your friends or kids friends have nannies also that could get them together for a standing playdate at a nearby playground? Good luck in your nanny rehabbing project!

  11. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes. I have a day “pink” but I’d love to expand to coral or something a little bolder.

    The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars. I have a backlog of lip glosses, but these are something special.

    The perfect makeup case. I’m maxing out my Lori Greiner case and I haven’t found anything as smartly designed. I want something in a nicer, wipeable fabric, with less velcro.

    I have Naked 1 and Naked 2. Love them, but I definitely need to use a shadow primer for long-wear.

  12. I’m on a Don Quixote-grade quest to find an eyeliner and mascara that match my light brown eyelash color. I prefer tightlining my lids (lining below the lashes instead of above them). I usually use brown or black eyeliner and mascara, but sometimes it’s just too dramatic of an effect. Make Up For Ever has a couple that look promising. I also need more Na-PCA spray and a new conditioner (I use Sojourn by Elan Sassoon), but neither of those is stocked by anyone having a good sale.

    • Kara Starbuck :

      Do you need light brown or just something that looks softer? I have blonde-as-child coloring (I look like a rabbit without mascara), and I’m liking the Blinc/Kiss Me mascara in blue. It’s scarily bright in the tube, but it dries to flattering navy-ish color (blue’s supposed to make your eyes look brighter and whiter?). Applying to get curl and volume takes practice (read the MUA reviews), but it’s worth it for a gentle mascara that doesn’t smudge despite my oily skin, hooded eyes, and ineptitude in applying makeup.

  13. karenpadi :

    Sugar lip treatment.Its expensive but it’s a good thing to get as a gift.

  14. LOVES: Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour in Baby Lips and Bare Lips. Sheer but pigmented; reasonable staying power, but moisturizing.

    WANTS: A long-wearing eyeliner pencil just like Urban Decay 24/7, but in a dark espresso brown WITHOUT glitter.

    • Have you tried Bobbi Brown eye gel? You need a separate lip liner brush but it really is the best; I don’t use pencils anymore.

    • I assume the one you don’t like us Bourbon (which is actually one of my favorite eyeliners and drinks, coincidentally), but whiskey is a very similar color without the glitter. You might also check Makeup Forever. I was looking for a very specific UD liner and my sephora was sold out, but one of their employees suggested the Makeup Forever liner, and it’s really every bit as nice as the Urban decay.

      • I’ve tried Whiskey (too light, too golden), Bourbon (same, plus Glitter that irritates my eyes), AND Demolition (nice cool brown, but still too light). I’ve tried Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes, but it doesn’t smudge as easily and doesn’t last as long. AND they don’t make a truly dark brown (I checked the MUF website). I swear, isn’t plain, dark brown a staple eyeliner color?!?

        I’ve tried Bobbi Brown gel pots (gorgeous), but the brush thing is just too much for me to handle in the morning. I can’t ever get my eyes to match.

        Right now, I’m making do with Maybelling Unstoppable in Espresso — the color and darkness are right, and it lasts almost as long. But it doesn’t go on or smudge nearly as easily, so it takes longer to put on.

        In the words of the illustrious Ellen… FOOEY!!!

        • BTW, I don’t have a problem with a little shimmer (I wear UD Underground and Stray Dog), but the GLITTER in their other colors irritates my eyes like nobody’s biz. I looooooove Rockstar, but the glitter falls into my eyes and makes them so red I look like an ebola patient. Yeah, attractive.

  15. TO Lawyer :

    So disappointed about the Sephora F&F… I was going to buy a Clarisonic this year! Hopefully the VIB discount will actually come through and I can get one then!

  16. It seems like every different type of eyeliner I try ends up in the creases of my lids and/or under my eyes by the end of the day. I’ve tried different products like primers to get things to stay put, but to no avail. I’ve always avoided liquid liner because I just want a natural look (plus I’m not great at applying it), but I’m thinking it might be time to find a good one. Anyone have suggestions on a liquid liner they really like? Or have any tips for using it without it looking too dramatic?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner. Stays all day, and easier to apply than a true liquid. One pot lasts me at least seven months of daily wear.

      • Anonymous :

        Seconded – I’ve been using my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner for a year now, still have half the pot left, and it stays on all day.

    • L’oreal Lineur Intense. It’s the same as Lancome Artliner, and it really stays on all day. I get a natural look by applying it right on top of or even kind of *in* my top lashes, if that makes sense.

    • I use MAC fluidline which is a slightly less expensive version of Bobbi Brown gel liner.
      It’s a foolproof product because you can touch up it until satisfied with results
      Been using mine every single day for 5 months and only used about 35 % of the product.

    • I really like the Stila felt-tipped eyeliner pens – the benefits of liquid liner (because I too am someone whose non-liquid liner will migrate over the course of the day) but easier to apply. I like Alloy, which is a soft gray, and softer than black or navy. (Which I also like and wear, but not all the time.)

    • I have ridiculously oily hooded eyelids and like Bobbi Brown and MAC gel eyeliners (I need a bit of primer with Fluidline, otherwise it will smudge). But the best thing is the K-Palette liquid eyeliner pen (you can get it on Amazon) — easy-to-use fine brush applicator and it wears like iron. The only con is I find I have to replace mine every few months, whereas a pot of gel eyeliner will go for ages if stored properly.

  17. Makeup TJ:

    I am a redhead with pale skin. I am new to the whole makeup thing and it suddenly just occurred to me that maybe i should be wearing brown eyeliner/mascara instead of brown? How do I figure out what color I should be wearing? TY

    • Another redhead :

      I like Clinique’s True Khaki eyeliner, with brown mascara.

    • lucy stone :

      I’d go talk to Clinique, they are great with helping you find colors that work well. I’m a blonde with pale skin and I wear their mascara in dark brown.

  18. I try to stock up on the lip treatment from Caudalie as well. I also wait for sales to stockpile powder and foundation from Fresh (Umbrian Clay), 1 or 2 Sugar chap sticks and Clarisonic brushes. Since I’ve made the switch from drug store makeup to Sephora-grade makeup I’ve seen huge improvement in my skin and I actually don’t spend much more than in my drug store days. Usually the products have smaller dosage dispensers and last longer. Due to the possibilities to try the stuff in the store and return for 30 days, I also don’t was any money on colors that turn out don’t work after they’ve oxidized for a few days. And it saves time, because unlike drug store makeup lines colors and products aren’t just randomly discontinued after only a few months on the shelves.

  19. Ulta has many of the same brands as Sephora and they also have “20% off everything” events at least once a year. Their store brand products are pretty good for the price.

    • Anonymous :

      so does–got my clarisonic 20% off and can regularly get replacement brushes 20% off as well.

  20. Skippy pea :

    I am sadly one of thoseeople who cannot get away with wearing black eyeliner. It just looks too too on me. I think it is because the shape of my eyes- they are large and hazel, with long curled lashes.

    I am thankful that my eyes look great even without using lot of eyeliner or mascara, but they cannot really compete with mascara’ed eyelashes.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Try navy, brown, gray, or purple. I wear dark purple eyeliner a lot.

      • Or try Eyeko’s purple. It’s not too dark, and looks stunning with curled & mascara-ed lashes and a nude shimmer eyeshadow. I’m very fair with hazel eyes and reddish blond hair and a dusting of freckles.

  21. Buxum smoky eye liners are the best. They aren’t for a fine line, because they are broad, but they are blendable for a short period once you apply (buxum makes a blending brush that rocks, but you can use your finger) but once the window for smudging is closed (about 5-10 minutes) they wear ALL day. I’ve tried MUFA, Stila, UD, and a million drugstore brands and nothing else is like it. I have them in brown (a pure dark brown with no glitter), dark purple, gray, navy blue and black. I’m a redhead with fair skin and brown eyes, and they aren’t too intense on me. I don’t overly smoke my bottom lashline- I’m careful to draw a more precise line. But there is a built-in sharpener in the Buxom liners, so you can sharpen them up and get a pretty good line. Seriously, worth every penny. (I think they are a little under $20 each.)

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