Splurges that Spark Joy
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© 2018 by SarahLouWho

  • Sarah Bryant

Splurges that Spark Joy


I'll be the first to admit when I walk into a Sephora it's as if I've entered another realm. A "YES" realm. I say yes to new makeup as easily as I do when the donut shop asks if I want sprinkles (I mean seriously, who says no to sprinkles?). After what I like to call a "Makeup Binge", when I spend between 2-10 times what I was expecting to, I tear into all of it when I get home. Some products end up being completely drool-worthy, while others.... well, not so much. And this is the point when I enter the Makeup Binge Hangover- I realize that I didn't need that eye shadow palette because I have 3 others that are nearly identical, or I shouldn't have bought that 50 dollar foundation because I haven't even gotten half way through my other bottles.

I imagine this happens to a lot of people, in different ways depending on what your flavor is (I'm just glad I don't have a thing for Chanel- can you imagine how intense that hangover must be?!). Whether you buy shoes, purses, nail polishes, hair accessories, etc... we all have those products that make us happy to buy more, but here is the real question- which of these items have you bought and had zero remorse for splurging? That's what this post is all about, the items that I splurged on in beauty and can say hands down they were 100% worth it. Without further ado, here are my splurges that definitely spark joy...

1. Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo $68

There are a few brands that I would say have a cult-like following, and I would consider Charlotte Tilbury to be one of them. I wasn't sure what all of the hype was about until I dropped the coin for this duo. I went for the Fair/Medium duo (they also have a Medium/Deep duo) and couldn't believe how natural the bronzer looked and how stunning this highlight is! The duo retails for just under $70, but I've found a little goes a long way with these and they honestly are just that good which is why I'm labeling them a #splurgethatsparksjoy.

2. Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask $26

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be spending over $20 on my lip balm I would have called you crazy. I was a hardcore carmex fan and didn't think that bond could be broken... until I was introduced to Bite's Agave Lip Mask. The best way for me to tell you how amazing this is is to just tell you to try it. It's thick, but not sticky and can be used as an everyday balm, or a restoring treatment. My favorite time to use it is before bed so that I can wake up with a smooth, moisturized pout but I also don't leave home without this stuff! It comes in various sheer shades, my favorite being champagne. A recent shoot that I did for a cosmetic campaign (meaning the photos were real up close and personal) had a fantastic team of celebrity makeup artists and sure enough, they prepped all of the model's lips with the Agave Lip Mask. So if I needed any more convincing about just how much of a holy-grail product this is, I had my proof right then and there.

3. Korres' Wild Rose 15% Vitamin C Spotless Serum $75

Alright so if you know me, you know that I pretty much LIVE for serums. Granted, I'm pretty much obsessed with skincare in general, but serums hold a special place in my heart- and this serum could be defined as my one true love. I was introduced to this product in November last year, when I was on the hunt in Sephora. The consultant had me place a drop on the back of my hand to feel the texture of it and I immediately knew this was different. The texture felt like a thin serum and a face oil had a baby; it absorbs quickly yet leaves you feeling mega-hydrated. Boasting Wild Rose Oil, Super Vitamin C, Sand Lily Extract and Sea Fern Extract, all ingredients that help fight and fade skin discoloration, this is your answer if you're looking to fade those summer sun spots in the most pampered way. On the other hand, if your skin is just fighting to win the battle against these cold winter months, I would also highly recommend picking up a bottle of this to give your everyday moisturizing routine a boost.

4. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer $52

I don't often splurge on designer cosmetics, but my first one was YSL's Touche Éclat Lumiere Divine Highlighting powder (which they've since stopped selling). It was my gateway drug that opened me up to the world of Touche Éclat, YSL's most popular cosmetic line. I've tried multiple products from this line, and was satisfied with them all. Not satisfied enough, however, to deem them splurge-worthy until I was given the Blur Primer as a gift from my friend Alineh (@alineh_a on instagram if you want to give her a follow). She handed it to me and told me I HAD to try it, that it was the best primer and basically did everything short of establishing World peace. Well folks, she wasn't lying. I want you to imagine a lightweight veil that essentially turns your skin to silk, because that's what this stuff does. That, and of course all the things a primer is supposed to do, like blur imperfections, create a smooth canvas for foundation, hide fine lines and help your makeup stay fresh linger. Like my obsession with face serums, I know there are some folks out there that can't live without primer- if you're one of this people, run, don't walk, to Sephora to pick up this baby.

5. Ibiza Hair Tools B3 $47

Oh Ibiza, another product line that has spoiled me for life. Once I became comfortable with the grip and feel using Ibiza's blonde-bristled brush, I couldn't go back. Important characteristics of this brush that make it well worth the splurge: the weight- it's so light I can blow dry my hair even after arm day, the finish- never have I been able to get my hair as smooth in a blow out as I can with an Ibiza blonde-bristled brush. And I specify the blonde bristles because I do feel like it makes a difference; you see, I have several Ibiza brushes- all of which are amazing, however round blonde bristles are what I feel like really are worth the splurge. It may take you a month or so to get used to the grip of boar bristles, especially if you are converting from a ceramic brush, but once you get the hang of it I promise you will feel like a blow-out ninja.

6. Eve Lom TLC Cream $80

I purchased this TLC cream kind of by accident. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but hear me out. I walked into Bergdorf Goodman on a mission. I had a complete list of all the products I knew I wanted to purchase and on that list was Bobbi Brown's cult favorite face cream that retails for $100. I sat down with my consultant and showed her my shopping list, but when it came time to check out the face cream, I couldn't bring myself to buy it because of the smell (it has a bit of a minty aroma which I knew would probably have my eyes watering for hours). And then, the skincare Gods smiled down upon me; my consultant walked me over to the Eve Lom case and pulled the TLC cream out for me to try. It wasn't scented which was a definite plus, but it also made the back of my hand feel like a baby's bottom. I kid you not, it felt like the back of my hand drank from the fountain of youth in the middle of January in NYC. Needless to say, I bought the TLC cream and have been using it daily for the past month (in conjunction with my army of serums of course) and I could not be happier with the way my skin looks and feels. If you have normal, sensitive or dry skin I highly recommend this. If you have oily or combination skin you may want to avoid using this on your t-zone as it is incredibly rich.

7. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer $48

My very first Kevin Aucoin purchase happened the same day I walked into Bergdorf's with my laundry list of cosmetics. Kevyn’s Sensual Skin Enhancer was at the top of the list after reading blog after blog of how versatile of a product it was. I would categorize this more as a concealer than a foundation, at least that's how I use it most of the time. Buffing it into any discolorations I have with a fluffy brush, or simply spot concealing with a flat brush, the coverage on this baby is astounding and a little goes a very long way. I've used this product able 20 times or so and you can't even tell I've touched it simply because it is so potent. Which brings us to why I feel like it is so splurge-worthy- beyond the fabulously creamy formula, this stuff will last you forever!

8. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $46

Oribe, the one that I never meant to love, but ended up falling for anyway. My first introduction to Oribe was through my hair stylist Michele who was working at an Oribe salon at the time. Each time I went in for a cut or color, I would leave with that heavenly Oribe scent all around me (it's so good they made it into a fragrance. Seriously.) So it wasn't long before I had to leave with a shampoo and conditioner of my own so that I could get my scent fix in at home too. Yes, I was high on scent but boy oh boy did I sober up when I saw the total at the register. My scent addiction had cost me almost $100 for a shampoo and conditioner that I went through in 2 months. Luckily for me, I was introduced to the Dry Texture spray on my next trip into the salon which boasted the same heavenly scent and I could use it more sparingly! The Dry Texture spray is user-friendly if it's your first time at the texturizing rodeo- not too gritty and won't weigh you down. The large can should last you a few months and it will make your hair smell like angel's breathe. Final verdict? Definitely splurge-worthy.

9. Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum $80

I have good news for anyone reading this that is looking at the $80 price tag above and cringing- Drunk Elephant makes most of their products in travel sizes as well! So if you want to give this trial-run before going for the gold with the full size, you can find a travel set of the C Firma Day Serum and the B Hydra Serum here for just $23. But be warned, this is how my Drunk Elephant addiction started and I now own the entire line. Even though I own all of it, I had to give the C Firma the recognition I feel it deserves on the Splurge-Worthy list because waking up and putting this on feels a lot like waking up and having a cup of coffee, but for my face. I feel like a look more awake and have a glow-from-within aura around me on the days I use this.

10. Caudalie Beauty Elixir $49

We all remember our first. Our first big beauty purchase that is ;) And I remember purchasing my first bottle of Beauty Elixir like it was yesterday. I had just graduated college, so had a 'real job' and therefore could afford 'real makeup' (everyone failed to mention that I also live in San Francisco at this time which meant that I could actually afford anything). When I lived in San Fran, I loved to walk everywhere, but my favorite place was to walk to the Sephora in the Embarcadero. One Saturday I was in a particularly 'treat yo self' mood, or as we call it today- I was enjoying a 'Self Care Saturday' when I decided I was going to splurge on Caudalie's Beauty Elixir. All it took was one spritz and I was sold! There is something magical about this spray, it makes me feel like a Goddess who can take over the World whenever I please- and that is why it is last, but certainly not least on the list of Splurges that spark joy.