I went into work without makeup the other night and I received so many compliments about my skin. Typically, compliments like this make me immediately hide behind thanks but it’s actually blah blah blah. God forbid I simply accept a compliment.

But not this time.

My entire life I’ve struggled with my skin. Like most teenagers, acne was my norm and now I’m plagued by constant stress acne on my chin. Not too mention pores you could drown in. Since starting at Sephora, I’ve learned more about how to actually take care of my skin. Most importantly, I’ve realized my skin can get better.

For the past two months, I’ve tried extra hard to maintain a consistent routine with my skin. Even when I’m tired and don’t feel like going through the whole process, I do, and it shows. With the exception of my lack of eyebrows, I’m confident not wearing makeup.

What does any of this have to do with Philosophy? Nothing, but I really wanted to share something that is making me pretty happy. People tell me my skin looks great, and I say thank you, because it does.

My last adventure in trying a skincare brand was Ren and it was such an unknown line to me. This one, however, is basically an old friend. Philosophy was born from leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons who wanted to change skincare treatments.

The result is the top selling facial cleanser sold at Sephora (and maybe it’s reputation is bigger than that, I don’t know. The Purity Made Simple Cleanser is sold in like 20 sizes and is a favorite for its cleansing and makeup removing abilities.

Maybe you’ve also tried the Amazing Grace or Pure Grace fragrance lines? Both SO BEAUTIFUL. They even come in dry shampoos and they’re just lovely. The formula actually works AND your  hair smells great all day.

Now let’s get into it.


Purity Made Simple Cleanser

Now this is a favorite and that always makes me skeptical (even though Better Than Sex is my favorite mascara ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). At first I thought this would be a disappointment. I was massaging it into my skin and not seeing my makeup moving at all.

And then I rinsed it off.

As soon as the water touched my face, it was like everything melted off, including my extremely water resistant eyeliner. So I get it.

The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash

A lot of people love this as their primary cleanser because the granules are gentle enough to use everyday if desired. It felt gentle but effective; it didn’t irritate my face and after my skin felt very smooth. Personally, I don’t prefer exfoliating cleansers but this one wasn’t bad.

Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask

This is a recently launched product with a lot of buzz. It’s an exfoliating mask that you apply by massaging into your skin, leaving on for 5-10 minutes and then massaging it off again. Both of these steps are important to make sure your most stubborn pores are properly cleaned out.

When I was done, I massaged it off in my worst pore zones for about two minutes and felt as if I had completely scrubbed my skin off. Not because it hurt, but because it felt like I exfoliated way too much.

Coworkers told me it was what they considered the best mask for pores in store. People swear by this. After two uses, your pores should be cleaner and smaller. But did mine?

Honestly, it’s hard to tell. They seemed less clogged, especially on the sides of my nose, but it’s hard to be sure if it’s just because I wanted to see results. I had a sample made to try it a second time and I’ll try to pay better attention.

Time In A Bottle 100% In-Control

Full disclosure I’ve used this before and I love the way it makes my skin feel a lot. It’s intended for texture, anti-aging and all the good things you like from a good serum. It’s great.

Ultimate Miracle Worker Night

This hybrid serum cream also targets all of those and more. It helps with pores and radiance. It was a little heavy, but I don’t mind night creams/moisturizers being a little bit more weighty as they work overnight. At first I felt greasy, but when I woke up, my skin looked radiant and I think my pores are definitely getting better.

All in all Philosophy was a success, not that I’m surprised. These products are all great and Philosophy is a great brand. Two thumbs up.

Yves Saint Laurent

Few things in life are more satisfying than learning how to pronounce something that has perplexed you all your life. Yves Saint Laurent was one of those things for me (Yves is pronounced Eeves which isn’t actually that complicated at all). Also as a wee lass I believed Yves Saint Laurent was the same brand as St. Ives (you know that skincare brand with the granules that basically cut your face apart).

Today is a momentous occasion because I have made it through all the color brands in my store. Actually I never gave NARS a full day so I guess this is a farce. Too late we’re rolling with it. Unfortunately, I didn’t start this until I’d been through a few so you guys missed Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, NARS (but did you), Make Up For Ever and Kat Von D. My next step is compiling the best and worst of what I used so some of those will sneak into those lists. Is any of this relevant? Probably not.

Yves Saint Laurent was a man and with his partner he created his fashion house in 1961, quickly rising in popularity. Many fashion houses follow the cycle of clothes – fragrance – cosmetics, but YSL went straight to cosmetics in 1978, following up with fragrance in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, the iconic brand went through some trouble and different creative directors, causing closures the temporary end of the couture line.

My favorite thing I learned about YSL is he said ‘Chanel freed women, and I empowered them.’ Coco Chanel challenged many norms and created silhouettes that were comfortable and not trapped in corsets and YSL sought to make women feel strong in comfortable, especially in his creation of the iconic Le Smoking suit.

I’ve watched a few YSL brand videos since working at Sephora and I love them all. It’s definitely a house with personality, but let’s find out if the products held up.

(They did)

Product List

The Look

Today I did my makeup while sitting on a pile of stools using a cart as a table with a portable mirror. Our backstage area has been leaking and some very hand men were fixing it while I lunched. It was not the best of environments, yet I persevered.

This was another unique entry because every product, no matter how iconic, was a first use for me. I’ve never tried YSL before today and did my best to experience the brand as fully as possible, even though it was missing some crucial items, like eyebrows.
I started with the basic primer, Instant Moisture Glow (we didn’t have a tester for the Blur Touche Eclat primer, she added bitterly). It’s supposed to make you hydrated and glow (obviously), but it also helps smooth you out. I can’t speak to any of that, but it felt really nice on my skin. I wanted to swim in it.

Next, I went with the favorite Touche Eclat foundation. I’m always ready to skeptical, but today I had no reason. This foundation is worth the hype. I used a 47 foundation brush from Sephora Collection to spread it all over my face and man, was it beautiful. It matched really well and covered without feeling heavy. It was also easy to build, so I could go over where my pores were the most problematic and receive the necessary amounts of coverage. I also used it as an eye primer because I couldn’t find one on the gondola.

To continue to perfect my complexion, I used two more Touche Eclat products, a concealer/highlighter and neutralizer. I’ll preface this by saying I think the Touche Eclat Radiance Pen is beautiful, but for me it just isn’t worth the hype. Neither was the neutralizer (if there is hype there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). My dark circles remained even after layering.

I’ve really been struggling to have good brows lately, which is a bummer, but without a YSL product I went to my ride or die Anastasia.

I tried a lot of different products on the eyes, and mostly I was pleased. Starting with the metal shadow, I quickly realized it wasn’t the pigmentation I wanted so I went on top with the Duo pen, placing the blush I used as a crease color. From there, I built up the look with the eyeshadow palette and was pretty pleased with the outcome.

Saying that, I will again complain about the tiny size of eyeshadow palettes for high end brands. Plus, this one for like six colors cost $60. That is more than almost every large palette and I don’t understand anything. Yes, they were nice, I liked the look, but not for that much money.

oh and the mascara was nice.OH! I almost forgot to talk about the eyeliner. It was the worst. Traditionally I used liquid liner in a felt tip but this tip dried out so quickly it barely made the line across my first eye. It felt like using a dried up Sharpie and it was the worst. As a point of reference, it was also a new tester and should not have felt that way.

To finish my face, I went back into my Marc Jacobs blush and bronzer uses from yesterday and still loved both products just the same. I’m also really into this bronzer brush from Sephora Collection I may need to buy.

My last step was, as always, lips. I chose the Vinyl Cream Lip Stain for its alleged wear time and comfortability. It applied beautifully and yes, it was comfortable. It wasn’t the most long lasting lip product I’ve used, but considering the cream, non-matte finish, I was impressed.

Everything stayed on fairly well, even after having to take a shower because my sister dyed my hair. I mostly emerged unscathed, complexion still fierce.

Not a bad day.

Probable Purchase

  • Ugh, the foundation. I want to be stronger. But I know.
  • The cream lip stain. It was nice.

Never Again

  • That eyeliner. I can’t even think about it.

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs is a man and brand that is wildly popular but honestly I don’t know why. I’m not saying that like some fashion snob. I literally don’t know what makes the brand so iconic because I don’t follow fashion houses. But he’s a big deal. Obviously.

Launched almost 15 years ago, Marc Jacobs Beauty came into being while Jacobs was a fashion darling with a successful fragrance line in his back pocket. His youth-meets-sophistication approach was perfect for the cosmetic industry, combing fun pops of color with quality products that will stay on. While the line didn’t officially launch until August, five products were released early and quickly sold out, marking a trend that would continue.

Now he’s pretty much the authority on long-lasting eyeliners, among other notable products. The Highliner Gel Eye Cream is no joke. One morning I was like I can try the under smoke that MJ is currently promoting, but it went horribly wrong and I tried to wipe it off. Only I couldn’t get it off. When clients return it because it wouldn’t stay in my head I’m like, ‘likely story, but I’ve had tattoos fade faster.’

Let’s not forget Velvet Noir, the beloved mascara and recent best seller in the brand. This *might* be my second favorite mascara in store, behind Better Than Sex. I’m also OBSESSED with the coconut bronzer that was limited edition so now I have to cherish it forever.

Enough chit chat. Here we go.

Products Used


I wasn’t actually sure how today was going to go. A coworker suggested the eye palette I used and already I could tell it was going to make my face much more dramatic than I intended. After work I was going swimming and drama eyes don’t really mix, but I went for it anyway.

I love everything coconut, and the fact that Marc Jacobs has an entire line dedicated to fruitnut is incredible. I used the coconut primer for my face and eyes and really enjoyed the application for both. They spread easily and my only real complaint is I wish they smelled MORE like coconuts. Seriously I can’t get enough.

I used Anastasia Beverly Hills for my brows like always moving on.

Because I’ve used the Re(marc)able foundation in the past, I went with the Genius Gel which is medium coverage (compared to full) and helps brighten skin over time. I picked a color that was too light, but it was thin enough I could easily spread it and hide it with bronzer. Saying that, it felt like I had to use a lot of product to get my desired coverage. Like several pumps. It wasn’t like Kat Von D where I can use a drop and Beauty Blender and completely cover my whole face. I know it’s less coverage and buildable, but I like to think one pump should always be enough. The coverage itself was nice, but I wasn’t overly impressed.

The concealers are set up weird and not by palest to darkest, so I was short on time and at a lost. The color I picked wasn’t bad, but it was darker than the foundation. I actually have no opinion it was just there on my face.

To set and prepare for more powder, I used the Featherweight Finish Perfection Powder and this seemed like a real dud. Maybe my brush wasn’t ideal, but it didn’t seem like any of the pressed powder was actually helping to set everything on my face. I couldn’t even tell it was there and when it came time to apply the powders, my face felt sticky.
Strangely before I finished my face, I moved to eyes and dove right into the Edgitorial palette. I like Marc Jacobs shadows in general, but these were incredible. It was a nice mixture of sensible and pop so you could create a complete eye look and also have some fun. The biggest downside of the shadows is a seven-pan palette will set you back $49, about the average price of a palette containing double the amount of shadows. The pigment on these are GREAT, but you could really use your money more wisely and go to Make Up Geek.

Also the green/gold color in this is so good. I put it on and it was like BAM PIGMENT LOOK AT ME.

I debated doing eyeliner because it can really just ruin your whole morning, but by the time I finished the shadow I realized I needed a wing to balance the crazy. A lot of people love the Magic Marc’er and I can see why. Even though it was a little dry from being a tester, it was still really really easy to use. Probably one of my fastest wings in a long time. Plus, it held up swimming and that is saying something.

I love Velvet Noir and I used Velvet Noir because there wasn’t a tester for the other one and that’s all I have to say about that.

Strangely satisfied with the eyes, I moved back to my complexion and began bronzing to help my face match everything else. The contour powder was really nice and just blended out so beautifully, I could’ve cried. I used the yellow powder in the pan to brighten my under eyes a bit as well and noticed a difference.

The blush may have been my favorite product of the day. It went on with enough pigment I could see, but not too much that it was like WHOA BLUSH STOP NOW. It was soft and pretty and sadly didn’t really survive the pool, but I still love it anyway.

Another strange product in the is the glow stick highlighter. Don’t get me wrong – my glow is still going strong more than seven hours later, but the application is so weird. It basically looks like deodorant.

To finish everything I used a liquid lip as nude as I could to not overpower my eyes and set everything with the coconut mist.

All in all, today was a success. I like the way it looked + held up as the day progressed, which is good because for these prices it should.

Probable Purchase

  • the blush but you already knew that
  • Magic Marc’er
  • TBH I’d be happy with anything in this line (except that powder)