How to Hack Sephora to Get Free Samples

I was, and still am, a Sephora addict. For those who don’t know what Sephora is, google it. It’s a skincare and makeup heaven. If you become VIB Rouge, which you have to spend $1000 a year to get there and maintain, you get a load of benefits. Not only do you get free custom makeovers whenever you want, but you also get Free 2-Day shipping on online orders, first access to new items, and special gifts on your birthday. If you’re seriously into makeup and skincare, it’s a perfect place.

But buying good makeup and skincare products is expensive. And spending $1000 a year on those products sounds insane – believe me, I know. Although, I love it. I love trying out new products and taking care of my skin as much as I can. With having psoriasis and acne-prone skin, I am definitely willing to pay more for quality products that keep my skin healthy. For me, it’s all worth it.

After being a VIB Rouge member for some time, I began to realize some tricks into the online Sephora system. Any online order is qualified for 3 free samples. Somewhere hidden on the Sephora website is a page called “Weekly Specials” which shows all these other samples you can choose from after spending ~$25. Now if you know Sephora, it’s highly doubtful you’re purchasing an item for less than $25, which means that for almost every item, you can do a separate order and get 4 free samples if you are VIB Rouge (because of the free shipping). So, I began to do just that. I’d have 4 or 5 products to buy, so I’d place 4 or 5 separate orders, and they’d send me everything in one box. It’s a brilliant way to try new products and decide if you like them enough to purchase it on its own. Or you can save up the samples for travelling or to keep in your handbag when you’re out and about.

After doing this for a year, I had built up an insane amount of free samples. Before I moved to the UK, I had to go through them all. And then I got this brilliant idea: that I would try these samples out and write reviews on them. Yay – I love being inspired by a new post idea! Within the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing my feelings on all these skincare and beauty products to let you know which ones I think are worth purchasing.

Oh! And as an added bonus, my CapitalOne card gives me an option to use my miles to get gift cards. Sadly, there are no Sephora locations in the UK, however, they can do international shipping. It may not be as convenient as it was back in the States, but I can still feed my Sephora addiction from time to time.

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated as I carry on with everything. Make sure you follow my Instagram account and keep a look out for my stories as I’ll make sure to show you all what I’m trying out!

 

Much Love

xxx

 

The Moment I Fell in Love With AmorePacific

Well the moment is here. I found my favorite skincare moisturizer.

Unfortunately it costs as much as my grocery bill for a month, so I’ll never actually get to use it.

You guys, this stuff was amazing. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Let me explain…

I have found a very clever way to hack Sephora and get free shit. So in one of those Sephora hacks, I was able to choose a free sample. I tend to choose moisturizers or face washes so that I can take them with me when I’m travelling. I saw the AMOREPACIFIC gel moisturizer and picked it. It got to my apartment just in time for my weekend trip to NYC. I was staying with some girls and when I pulled it out, they freaked out and told me that this is an amazing brand and it’s really expensive. And I’m just over here in my ignorant cocoon like “la da da da da” having absolutely no idea.

I went to wash my face and put the moisturizer on. And I kid you not, I woke up in the morning and my face had transformed. It looked amazing and felt amazing. A lot of my acne had settled down and my face looked healthy. So I’ve been using teensy tiny bits of this moisturizer since then so I could get as much out of it as possible. My acne has almost completely gone away. My face looks the best it has looked in MONTHS. And I feel like I have to attribute it to this moisturizer. I looked it up on Sephora and it was $100-200. So I’ll never be able to afford it and this makes me very sad.

But, if you get the chance for a free sample or any kind of opportunity to use this, DO IT. It is amazing. And now I can understand how models and celebrities have flawless skin – because they have access to magical products that are priced much too high for the peasants! Argh!!

Anyway, go look at their website here. Even the design of the site looks like it cost a billion dollars.

😦

Have any of you used AMOREPACIFIC’s products before? Comment below!

Much Love

xxx

What’s in my Makeup Bag?

Day 30 – 31 Day Blog Challenge

Ok so we’re nearing the end of the blog challenge here. And for today I am supposed to write about what’s in my makeup bag, which is hilarious because I have fit a billion different products in there. As I don’t feel like naming each and every one, I have taken pictures of some of my favorite items and have listed and included links to everything else.

My makeup bag is a mess. It’s relatively large, so I have been able to fit a lot of stuff in it. It’s also dirty, but honestly, who’s isnt?

As you can see, there’s two sections. The top section has a zipper pocket where I keep my mascara, eyebrow pencils, and eyeliners. Then you have the area for all of my brushes, which there are many. And many more I don’t keep in there.

And then there’s the bottom part which has foundations, CC creams, eyelid primer, face primer, eyelash curler, mirror, eye shadow palettes, contouring palettes, etc. Just to name a few.

I just bought the Tarte Double Take Eyeliner (left) which has the pencil on one end and a defining waterproof liquid on the other. It’s perfect and I seriously love it.

I do layer my mascara. I have worked with LOADS of mascara since I started wearing makeup at age 12. Obviously I started with cheap drug store brands and now I just get my mascara at Sephora. My three favorites are Lancome Hypnose Drama to start, then Too Faced Better Than Sex , and end with Urban Decay Perversion (not pictured). I have also used a sample of the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara and loved that as well.

I have been buying more Tarte products lately as I love their brand and the positive effects it has had on my skin. I never breakout using their products and feel like my skin reacts very well to their creams and moisturizers.

As for eye stuff, I just bought this BB eye cream from Smashbox (top left) and I absolutely love it. I hate under eye concealers that look cakey and crease all over so when I went in to Sephora, I had a sales associate help me and as soon as I tried this on, I realized it was perfect!

For eye shadow, I tend to work mostly with palettes as it’s been my lazy way of accruing lots of different colors. As I have dark eyes and hair, I gravitate towards the Urban Decay Naked palettes since they generally have brown and natural looking tones. I have the Naked2, the Naked Smoky (shown below) and Naked2 Basics, which is actually my favorite one.

Lately, I have been using the Smashbox Matte Exposure palette (shown below) using most of the colors on the left. I tend to just mix colors and throw a dark shade on my crease and call it a day, which is why it looks as messy as it does. Usually when I’m doing my makeup, I’m going to work with a bunch of middle-aged men so I tend to be very lazy and simple with my makeup.

I started contouring my face a while back and have used all Smashbox products. I started with the Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio, which was great for beginners. Then I got the Step-by-Step Contour Palette, which is a powder. After awhile, I wanted something more advanced. So I did some research and found the Anastasia Contour Kit. I bought it and have been using it ever since. I really like the fact that you can buy refills for the powders and don’t have to purchase a whole new palette or kit like I had to do with the Smashbox ones. It saves me a lot more money.

Photo May 30, 7 02 33 PM

Weirdly enough, I don’t keep any lipsticks in my main makeup bag. I keep them in a smaller bag in my purse since I tend to carry my lipsticks with me everywhere. I’ve listed my favorite brands below. I tend to navigate towards bright reds, matte, and long lasting wear.

Some other products that I love and use daily are below:

From this post, you may gather I am obsessed with makeup and products. And I kind of am. I find it so much fun to shop for makeup and try out new products or even go to Sephora and get my makeup done. I have been VIB Rouge for two years now and going on my third, and probably fourth. For those who don’t know, you have to spend a certain amount of money a year to become VIB Rouge and maintain status. The benefits are Free 2-Day Shipping, and free 60-minute makeovers in the store among other things. However, with my impending move to UK, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to deal since there aren’t any Sephora locations in the UK. I do know they have international shipping although I’m sure it’s not “Free 2-day.” Sad face.

I would eventually like to have a vanity where I could sit and seriously organize all of my makeup and products, which I do hope to accomplish when we get our new flat. Crossing my fingers for that one.

Please let me know if you have any questions on any of the products I listed. This has recently become a passion of mine so I love talking about it. Do any of you share the same love for any of these items? Comment below and let me know!

 

Much Love

xxx

I Tried the Essie Gel Couture Polish and This Is What Happened

I started getting my nails done at the salon on a regular basis when I could finally afford it. I would do a gel manicure every two weeks, and a regular pedicure every four weeks. I did the math and if you add that up (including tip) for an entire year, that is $1,270. Just for nails! Now I realize how crazy this sounds, because that is an insane amount of money to spend on fingernails and toenails. But as a woman interested in fashion and beauty, it was worth it at the time.

If I had all the money in the world, I probably wouldn’t feel bad about it. Unfortunately, I decided to be a lot more considerate of how I am spending my money in 2017. I unsubscribed from all my favorite retail stores, I barely eat out, I buy only what I’m going to eat during the week, and I stopped getting my nails and eyelashes done, except for special occasions.

I came across the new Essie Gel Couture polish that was recently launched and decided to give it a try. The main reason I don’t like regular polish is that it never stays on my fingers as long as advertised without chipping, and I have zero patience to watch it dry. This Essie gel polish was advertising a quick UV free dry, 2 week wear, and a gel-like finish. So I bought two different colors and tried it out.

Photo Apr 06, 6 24 27 AM

It is true about the quick dry. The online instructions say to wait 60 seconds in between each coat, and then a half hour after the top coat for the entire nail to dry. And I found that it’s pretty accurate. I tend to wait a full hour just to be on the safe side, but it does come out looking like gel polish, all shiny. I was very pleased with that.

The only downfall is that the polish lasted only about a week for me before the tips start chipping. Now I work at a desk, typing at work all day. I am not into much manual labor, but I always have an issue with chipping – which is why I always did the gel polish at the salon. A friend of mine said that hers lasts the full two weeks so I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, if anything. I’ve tried it three separate times and it’ll last between 5-7 days before it starts to chip.

Photo Jan 25, 9 49 03 AM

I tried the other color and the picture below shows it two days after I applied it.

Photo Mar 27, 11 57 25 AM

Take it or leave it. I don’t like putting in the time or effort of the at-home manicures and pedicures myself. It’s too time consuming. So I decided to just go bald for awhile. I feel a lot less put together that way, but it is what it is. I’ll leave the nail salon visits for special occasions.

Have any of you had better luck with other polishes lasting? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!

 

Much love

xxx

My Favorite Handbags and Obvious Kate Spade Obsession

I have always been interested in fashion. Since I was a kid, shopping was and will always be one of my favorite activities. When I was finally able to afford quality clothes and handbags, I treated myself. And as I look back, a little part of me wishes I had saved a lot more of my money. But, I have no regrets because I have a very large supply of designer handbags now.

And as you will soon see, the majority of them are Kate Spade. She just gets me.

Now I didn’t buy these all at once. It was more of a seasonal thing. And I have definitely gotten good use out of all of them. I haven’t bought a new bag in ages, with the exception of the Marc Jacobs I bought in December in preparation for my London trip. And I actually used a gift card to cover that purchase! So no harm done, and one BIG smile.

Anyway, below are all of my favorite handbags.

#thanksKate

This beautiful blueish purple tote gives me this feeling inside that I cannot describe. I love how large it is because it fits EVERYTHING inside. And I love how unique the color is. I use this one as go-to my Fall handbag as I feel it’s such a Fall color.

Photo Mar 14, 1 16 22 PM

I call this next one my Christmas purse because of this insanely amazing red. I rarely ever see anyone with a red bag, and I get so many compliments on the color. This is generally my Winter purse because of that reason. Imagine this bag with an oversized emerald green sweater and liquid leggings. Or even a cream colored sweater and green corduroy pants. Yes, I know you’re drooling. Me too. It’s my bag and you can’t have it! *Currently carrying this one now.

Photo Mar 14, 1 26 42 PM

My all seasons bag. I really loved the Michael Kors’ handbag that came out a couple of years back that had the studs all over (link here). I was mesmerized by the white one and I really almost purchased it. At that point, I was too poor to afford anything that expensive so I held back. And I’m glad I did because then I wouldn’t have had a reason to buy this one below. I wanted a lighter color purse that could be multi-seasonal and this one fits the bill. It’s very large so not an easy purse to take on a night out or do a lot of walking as it doesn’t have a shoulder strap, but the straps are big enough to put over your shoulder to go to and from work or on a plane. It fits everything, plus, it actually fits everything. I’m actually just about to switch over to this one, if Spring would ever get here!

Photo Mar 14, 1 19 19 PM

Yay for backpacks! So I should tell you that I got this bag half off. Kate Spade does a lot of sales and you can find some good items for half the price if you catch it at the right time. I had the intentions of using this bag in NYC and other touristy destinations. I love the idea of throwing a bag on your back and having both hands at your disposal. The only problem with this one is there’s no guarantee your stuff will stay inside. There’s a little snap inside at the top and then a drawstring, but the flap just rests over the opening, you have you be VERY careful with this bag. But it is perfect for airports as it fits just fine under a seat and can carry quite a bit of stuff inside of it. No ragrets here.

This bright blue beauty was bought on sale. I wanted to get a pretty colored satchel for Summer as all of my other satchels tend to be very basic. Unfortunately, that means I don’t get to use this one as much since the color can clash with certain Summer outfits. Although, I have gotten many compliments on this one so there’s that. But limited exposure means it’s still brand new so there’s the bright side!

Photo Mar 14, 1 16 49 PM

This was my first Marc Jacobs! Mentioned above in the introduction. I got a bunch of gift cards from Bloomingdale’s and saw this purse on sale and bought it immediately as I have always wanted a black leather Marc Jacobs. I thought it would go really well in rainy London as I’m walking around being all annoying and touristy. It’s actually a good sized satchel so I could fit both my boyfriend’s and my sunglasses with my money and phone. This was a smart decision and practically free. Holla.

Photo Mar 14, 1 18 49 PM

And here’s the only non-designer purse featured here. I got this one quite a few years back as a Summer/Fall/Spring satchel. And I got it from Nordstrom’s for $40. I think. I really cant be 100% sure on this as it was such a long time ago. But I still use it and I still love the look of it. It goes well with anything and any time, except Winter. I personally think the black leather Marc Jacobs looks better with snow than this one. But this proves you do not need to spend a lot of money for quality items! You just need to know where to shop. And that is Nordstrom’s. #NordstromForever

Photo Mar 14, 1 17 52 PM

Lastly, I thought I’d include how I hang up all my purses in a such a little amount of space that I have in my apartment for storage. I love this idea and it’s worked really well! I believe I got the “coat” rack online from Wayfair!

Photo Mar 14, 1 19 38 PM

 

What are your favorite handbags? Post a picture on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #knackeredhandbags so I can see!

 

Much Love

xxx

Managing Your Psoriasis Like a Badass

I should start this post out by claiming that I am not a dermatologist, nor have I ever pretended to know more than one. I want you to be cautious that every person’s case is different and you may need to seek medical treatment. I am not saying, in any way, following these routines below will cure your psoriasis. Psoriasis is not a curable condition. 

I first found out I had shitty skin when I was in 3rd grade, age 9. I went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with eczema. We tried to treat my eczema for 3 or 4 years, not noticing any changes except that it was getting worse. I was teased at school as it would dry out my scalp and looked like I had severe dandruff. I would never wear short sleeves and hated wearing anything that showed much skin, especially during the winter months. It wasn’t until around 6th or 7th grade when my mom took me to a different dermatologist to get a biopsy done. When we got the results back, we found out that I actually had psoriasis and had been treating it with eczema meds. *Insert eye roll here* I was given a steroid cream as a topical treatment, which cost over 100 USD to fill the prescription, and a topical solution for my scalp.

Psoriasis can be genetic and a lot of members of my family members actually have it as well. It’s known that tanning, or sun exposure, can help immensely. It wasn’t until I was in college when I started learning and investigating other ways to help my skin without harsh chemicals or steroids. Finally, I came up with a routine that enabled me to eliminate almost all prescription medication, with the exception of the topical solution I use on my scalp from time to time – mainly in winter.

Tanning. Yes, I know it can cause cancer and can be terribly dangerous. I have read up on this enough and there are certain people who are more prone to skin cancer – those who are fairer skinned, people who have moles, certain genetics, etc. When I tan, it’s not because I want my skin darker, I tan because my skin looks and feels so much healthier when I do. I only go when I need to. During the winter months, it’s much worse as the air is drier and humidity is gone. I understand the implications and the horrible effects it has on your skin and aging, so I try not to over do it.

Body oil. If you read my post on all the hair products I use, you’ll remember how obsessed I am with oils and the OGX brand. This dry body oil is my one true love. If they ever discontinued this, my skin’s health would be in jeopardy. I tell everyone about this as I swear by it.

You hear me OGX?? Never stop making this!!

You put it on in the shower like you would lotion – massage it into your skin – after you’ve washed and shaved. You, then, rinse it off, pat yourself dry with the towel when you get out and voilà, you’re done. If I ever run out and don’t get to use this stuff in the shower, I notice a significant difference. I could not get by without it.

Body lotion – Les Couvent des Minimes. I swear by this lotion brand as well. It actually originated in France, but I began using their hand lotion first, then their foot lotion, and then tried their body lotion. I haven’t used anything else since. Ulta used to carry it but stopped, so I now order it directly from their website. It’s pricey but I make an exception because it works wonders on my skin. I even get complimented on how soft my skin is now. Me! I never thought that would be a possibility when I was being bullied in school as a kid.

Lush Massage Bar. This is my favorite one. This isn’t a daily product I use, but I get spoiled with it every once in a while. And afterwards, my body feels amazing. It’s almost the same as how you feel after being insanely dehydrated and then drinking a whole bottle of water, but for your skin. I would highly suggest this to anyone looking for good ways to moisturize their body, or even if you have severe dry skin. Go to Lush and pick a massage bar. Take a bath and then rub the massage bar on your skin after you’ve dried off. You won’t regret it.

I would like to mention that I don’t take baths as I despise them. I can’t stand when my fingers get all wrinkly and the bath water turns cold. I figured I’d suggest it since it seems to be a huge cultural revolution these days.

I am very happy that I found a way to manage my psoriasis without using costly medications. My condition is relatively mild compared to what you see commercials for on TV, called “plaque psoriasis” which some people need pills or injections to maintain. I just tend to get dry red or white patches that will smooth out with the oils and lotions, and will blend in to my regular skin color with tanning.

 

For those of you who have severe dry skin or psoriasis, what kind of products or routines do you use to help manage your skin? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!

 

Much Love

xxx

All the Hair Products

Not to sound incredibly arrogant, but my hair is one of my favorite things about myself. Around puberty, my hair went from naturally stick straight to naturally curly. It was very odd, but I am so happy that it did! During summer and on beach days, I can just let my hair air dry and easily master the beach wave look without much effort. My hair is also incredibly easy to work with and style. It’s frizzy if I blow dry it but as soon as I use a ceramic styling iron, the frizz is gone. I can straighten it in less than 10 minutes, or curl my hair many different ways and it will hold for up to 4 days (if I don’t wash it) and that’s even sleeping with it in a bun – or an onion (as D likes to call it). I don’t mean to brag, but my hair is kick ass.

But it takes time, effort, and much TLC to keep it this way. As I previously stated, it’s one of my favorite things about myself so I take very good care of it.

Below is a list of products I use and highly recommend:

OGX Shampoo and Conditioner

I began using the OGX products years ago and haven’t stopped. Their shampoo and conditioner bottles are about $5-6 each, smell really good, and I can always notices a difference in my hair. There is one for each individual problem you are trying to tackle. I have gotten many of my friends into this brand as I swear by it. I’ve used the bamboo fiber-full, Brazilian keratin therapy, coconut milk, biotin & collagen, keratin oil, and the teatree mint ones. You can get these at any grocery store, Ulta, or even on Amazon, if you prefer to shop online.

Here are all the hair products.

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco

I wasn’t lying when I said I love this brand…

When I get out of the shower and have towel dried my hair, I immediately spray this on top. Not only is it adding more awesome oils to your hair, but it also acts as a detangler. Be careful not to spray too much otherwise you’ll look oily. You can find this at select grocery stores, Target, Ulta, or Amazon.

Bumble & Bumble Thickening Mouse

I began using this two years ago after I changed hair stylists and saw that every time she used this, my hair felt so much thicker. I bought myself one to use every day and haven’t missed a day since. You can get it at Sephora, for $30.

Big Sexy Hair Hairspray

I have been using this since I was a teenager. I went through so many different kinds of hairspray growing up and one day my mom bought me this one. Insanely thankful she did. You don’t have to use a lot of this for it to work. You can get the extreme hold or not. I don’t because like I said above, my hair holds really well to begin with. It’s about $17 at your local grocery store, Target, or Ulta.

Coconut Oil

Now I don’t use this every day, but when I was dying my hair vigorously, I would take a little bit and put it on my ends before I blow-dried my hair to help lock in the moisturizer after a shower. I have also done coconut oil masks when I know I won’t be in public for a couple days. Put some coconut oil in a boil and place it on top of a bowl of really hot water to melt the oil. Then spread the coconut oil all over your hair and leave in for 20-30 minutes. Rinse it all out and dry your hair. It feels amazing, but will look really oily until about two more washes.

Tangler Teezer Brush

I saw this at Sephora and asked for it for Christmas and was very pleased when I saw that my mom bought it for me. I’ve only had it for a month now, but I love it! You can use it when your hair is wet or dry and it works wonders, especially if you’re trying to be gentle with your hair. I wouldn’t suggest this if you have really thick hair as it would take a really long time to brush through everything, but I do feel that less hair comes out into my brush with this new one. And to add to that, it’s super easy to clean. You just grab the hair in one pull and you’re done. It’s not even expensive. Just go buy one. Do it.

I think from reading through all these, you can gather that I put a lot of oil in my hair. It’s slowly coming to light that oils are amazing for our bodies. Whether you’re putting it in your hair, on your face, your body, or ingesting it, oils are very beneficial and I have slowly realized that over the last few years.

 

What hair products do you use that you swear by? Any other brands that have different kinds of oil as their main ingredients that you like? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!

 

Much Love

xxx