Like many millennials with jobs, my beauty look is pretty consistent day-to-day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have 82 tinted moisturizers, 41 mascaras, and about a million different facial mists. I like to mix it up, what can I say? If you, too, are an out-and-proud beauty junkie, welcome. It is my personal belief that the best time to buy beauty products is around Thanksgiving, because not only is everything cheap af, but everything is sold in sets. Yes. Please. Give me a million eyeshadows that have just slightly different undertones. Honestly, I love this holiday so much because we spend the whole day being grateful for all of the sh*t we have, but only until midnight when we’ll fight each other to the f*cking death at Target to get that 30% off KitchenAid mixer. #America, right? So if you fully embrace this holiday as a day of gluttony, scoop up these beauty deals before your friends do.
Obviously, I have to start with the DSW of beauty because it just has so much stuff to basically give away this holiday season. Because they have about a thousand different sales going on during Thanksgiving weekend, I’m just going to name the few brands I’d personally recommend. Let’s start with 25% off Macadamia Professional hair masques. If you’ve ever been in a drugstore, you’ve seen this brand’s hair products. I have been using the Deep Repair Masque since high school, and it’s never disappointed me. It’s meant for people with damaged hair, but as a bitch with proudly virgin hair (hold applause), I love it because it takes my hair to the next level in softness. If you think delayed gratification is stupid, you’ll love this masque because you’ll feel its effects immediately.
Next is the BECCA Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette, which is 40% off, aka it’s $27, aka it’s free. Honestly, I don’t really wear eyeshadow because I don’t know how to put it on without looking like a toddler in drag, but the colors in this palette are pretty wearable. So if you stan an eyeshadow moment, this palette is for you.
And lastly, Ulta is offering 25% off a Chi 1-inch Ceramic Hairstyling Iron. I don’t have the time or the skills to give myself Serena-van-der-Woodsen-circa-season-one waves, so I don’t even try. However, every now and then after sleeping on wet hair for no reason at all, I wake up with a really unfortunate situation on my head, and this little hero can fix it within 10 minutes. I don’t usually curl my whole head, but a few chunks of hair throughout gives me that tousled look that I’m really feeling these days. I know what you’re thinking: wtf are you talking about, this is a hair straightener? To you, I say the most natural-looking waves come from flat irons! Twist your hair around the iron and gently pull the iron down the twist. I’m telling you, it’s never failed me.
Not going to lie, I discovered Glow Recipe at Urban Outfitters, and have been obsessed ever since. The relatively new brand is offering 20% off every single product on their website, so if you haven’t already added a slew of skin care to your cart, you’re behind, girl. Anyway, if you are the kind of person who can be seduced into buying something simply because the packaging is irresistible, get ready to purchase literally every damn Glow Recipe product. I have the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and am truly obsessed—mostly because it serves as a skin savior and decor on my dresser. Cute appearance aside, the mask itself is actually really good. It’s really moisturizing, but has a gel-like quality to it, so it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy and oily when you wake up. That ain’t cute.
This Japanese skin care brand is in pretty much every natural or ethical beauty store in the world and from November 28 through December, you can “play for a chance to get either 20% off your $100 purchase, 15% off your $75 purchase, or two free gifts with orders of $50 or more.” All of their products are cute and purple, but one of their products is truly better than the rest. I’m talking about the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Before you judge me for spending more than I’d like to admit on what you’d call water, hear me out. It’s made with botanical oils and humectants, which are responsible for the dew, and tbh it smells so damn good that I literally smile when I spray it, and I don’t even smile at puppies walking by.
Also, I recently learned that your moisturizer absorbs way better when your skin is moist (get over it) than when it’s bone dry. Think about it this way: your skin is like a sponge, and sponges don’t work until they’re damp, right? Another cult favorite from this brand is the Dewy Skin Cream, which I haven’t had the pleasure of trying because I am low on funds, but maybe I’ll hit the jackpot on their annoying Thanksgiving game and be able to afford it!
Get ready for the most niche Black Friday sale literally ever: Get 25% off your order and receive a free Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss in “Galaxy” when you spend $75 on November 29. Like, really? Only on November 29? Honestly, I’m sure I’ll get an email on November 30 that says, “We’re so nice and extending our sale!” The only reason I’m down for this annoyingly specific sale is because I’m so in love with my Neo Blush and feel like she needs friends. I’ve been dying to try the Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer because it’s a really thick cream (as opposed to a solid, like most concealers are) and comes in a cute little pot. Also, I feel like if I have this, I could just dab it where I need it (because it’s thicc af and does its job) and not have to wear foundation or tinted moisturizer.
Stila is offering 35% off site-wide plus free shipping on all orders of $50 or more from November 29 through December 1 with the promo code BF35. I own one product from Stila that has truly defined my going out look to a T, and it is the Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Executing the perfect cat eye is hard, but Stila’s liner is actually really easy to use because it’s just a long tapered pen. So all you have to do is angle it as you draw, so the line gets thinner, and that’s pretty much it. Easy peazy. Anyway, Stila also has a pretty legit price point for a mid-level brand, so I fully support this sale. Another product I had and loved until I broke it by accident was the Aqua Glow Serum Foundation, because it was pretty full coverage but had the consistency of water, so it didn’t feel heavy or caked.
I am more in love with my six-year-old Buttercup hair dryer than I am with the guy I’m seeing. Seriously. I have a lot of thick hair, so making sure it dries without going rogue is very important to me, and that’s why I have the Drybar one, the famous Josh Harry one, and, don’t judge me, the Dyson Supersonic. Drybar is shining down on thee and giving you 20% off all products, tools, and kits from November 21 through December 1. The Buttercup was the cheapest and oldest of the three I have, but it’s my OG and I use it every damn day. It weighs like, a pound, is pretty quiet, and does an excellent job. Generally, expensive hair dryers are better than drugstore ones because they use more power than they do heat, so they are less damaging to your hair. Cheaper hairdryers work in the opposite way, using more heat than watts, so you’re essentially frying your hair for longer. I also have the Drybar heat protectant, which smells so good that I leave it on my hands for as long as I can before the New York City subway system forces me to wash them. Luckily, the smell lingers in my hair for the entire day. By the way, Harry Josh is also having a Dermstore sale for 30% all of his products with the promo code DSGIFT from November 28 through December 2. His hair dryer is def cuter than the Buttercup, so if that matters to you, you can get it for a little less this holiday season!
L’Occitane (pronounced “lox- ee- tahn”—you’re welcome) is giving us 20% off all full-size items with promo code CYBER from December 1 through 4, because they know no one is dragging their hungover asses to a store to buy their favorite hand cream. Speaking of which, I didn’t realize this brand sold anything besides hand cream until my grandmother gave me a beautifully packaged perfume (technically an eau de toilette) that smells so good that I spray it on my pillow before I go to sleep. It’s the Verbena scent, which is generally pretty clean with a hint of green tea. No complaints.
Images: Ulta; Glow Recipe; Tatcha; Kevyn Acoin; Stila; Drybar’ L’Occitane; Eco Warrior Princess / Unsplash
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As someone who reads and writes about skincare on a daily basis, I find myself hitting something I call “skincare fatigue.” Just when I’d mastered toner (kind of), I start hearing about serums, retinol creams, and whatever the f*ck an “essence” is. Thankfully, the concept of day cream vs. night cream isn’t new to me—but actually using a different moisturizer for morning and evening is. I’d always kind of figured that “needing” two different moisturizers was just a way for companies to sell you more products. But three weeks in to my new regime, I’m sold. Here’s why.
Night Cream Needs Time To Sink In
The purchase that kicked off this whole venture is Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream, a moisturizer I feel confident in calling pure magic. From the moment I got my hands on all that silky lavender goodness, I loved it so much I wanted to take a bath in it. This moisturizer has brought my skin back to life after a night out, scared burgeoning pimples back into hiding, and—praise be—NOT activated my rosacea, which just about every other celeb-approved moisturizer does. (Looking at you, La Mer. I wanted so badly to love you.)
Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
Now that my shameless Tatcha evangelizing is out of the way, on to the real point. Because I was so excited about this moisturizer, I was using it morning and night—and quickly realized my mistake. I have a four-step routine I stick to: cleanser, toner, treatment, moisturizer. Because the sun exists, and because my skin is so dry that sunscreen alone does not moisturize it, I have to follow up that four-step routine with an SPF cream in the morning—all before adding any makeup.
Now, anyone who’s tried to quickly apply five different face products and then add foundation on top will immediately see the problem here. My beloved Tatcha moisturizer is on the thicker side, which is perfect for my dry skin—but it takes a solid 15-20 minutes to be completely absorbed. That would be fine if it were my only morning skincare step, but I also have to give my toner and treatment steps 5-10 minutes each to sink in. That gets us up to 30 minutes on pre-make-up skincare, minimum. In my week of trying to use the Dewy Skin Cream as a day cream, I don’t think I managed to put foundation on once. Since I never had enough time to let the moisturizer sink in all the way, even my sunscreen was barely getting absorbed—which means I was going out looking like a greasy, white-tinged mess.
Note: Dewy Skin Cream isn’t advertised specifically as a night cream—there’s a different night cream from that product line—but that’s how it works best for me. As a rule, night creams will be thicker than day creams, and are formulated to moisturize while you sleep.
Me, waking up post-Tatcha moisturizer:
Day Cream Protects; Night Cream Repairs
Day cream, I learned, has one major job: to protect your face from the sun, so basically to contain as much SPF as you can stand. (For reference, I use SPF 46—do not come at me with your SPF 15 liquid foundation). Like I said before, I have a special breed of lizard skin that requires me to pair said SPF 46 lotion with a second day cream—but if you have the option of combining these steps, I strongly recommend you do. I love this one from Origins (so brightening), or this SPF 50 IT Cosmetics CC cream. (No, I don’t know what a CC cream is, and my head will explode if I research further.) I own this cream, and would refer to it as somewhere between light coverage foundation and tinted moisturizer.
Scott Disick knows what’s up, a sentence I never thought I’d utter.
If you are like me, and SPF products aren’t moisturizing enough on their own, I recommend a super lightweight cream that sinks in quickly. My personal fave for this is Cerave, which makes both a day cream and a night cream.
While day cream bears the brunt of sun protection, your night cream can and should have active ingredients too. We’ve already discussed the benefit of adding retinol to your daily routine, and 2019 is heading toward being the year of glycolic acid. These ingredients are both great, because they help speed up cell turnover, AKA get rid of the dead skin and bring in the new, better skin. Very scientific, I know. However, both of these ingredients also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I can personally attest to this—this past December, I used a retinol oil and then went out for a day of skiing. Within 24 hours, I developed dark, rough patches of sunburn on my face like I’d never seen before, and they lasted well through New Year’s Eve. Happy 2019 to me!
So, while retinol and AHAs are a good addition to night creams, they should absolutely be avoided in your day creams. On the flip side, you’re welcome to put on SPF at night—but unless you’re sleeping at a campsite, I’m not sure why you would.
Ultimately, you could just say f*ck it and use the same lightweight moisturizer with zero active ingredients for both day and night (plus sunscreen, obv). But if you have skin that’s on the dryer side, I highly recommend investing in a thicker night cream—and not making the mistake I did of piling it on in the morning, too.
Images: Tatcha; Giphy (2)