Beauty

How to save money at Sephora. This is not a drill.

I’ve never met a Sephora that I didn’t want to at least browse in. But browsing always turns to sampling and sampling turns to purchasing and—bibbidi-bobbidi-boo —I just accidentally blew my paycheck on beauty nice-to-haves versus need-to-haves. Oops. Since I tend to learn things the hard way – I’ve done the ground work for you on this topic and I’ve come up with a few little tips and hacks to save you money when the call comes of Sephora.

Become a Beauty VIB.

That $50 moisturizer and $28 mascara you replace five times a year really add up quickly—that’s good news…wait for it, I am not kidding… see, if you spend $350 annually at Sephora, you automatically assume VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) status. And since you have to spend money to save money, this grants you access to a number of Sephora perks—like 10-percent-off coupons, monthly gifts and free beauty classes (like how to perfect your blowout, huzzah!).

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Shop on Saturdays for Special Offers.

Yep, Saturday tends to be the day when individual brands host events and various activities, which means there are often special promotions, samples and free gifts with purchase involved. As for the weekend crowds? Get there early and the lines shouldn’t be too long…yet.

…Or Hold Out Until April and November.

Twice a year, Sephora goes big with a flash sale—to the tune of 10 to 20 percent off. Proof holding out to upgrade your hair iron really does pay off.

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Get Free Two-Day Shipping with Sephora Flash.

So you do the bulk of your beauty shopping on Sephora.com. I get it and I’m right there with you – who needs those aforementioned crowds? For just $10 a year, you can get all the beauty products you want delivered to your door within two days, free of charge (and no minimum purchase required). Even more helpful, if you need something overnight, Sephora Flash members can get it shipped for just $5.95.

And Don’t Forget to Take a Peek at Sephora’s Weekly Deals.

Speaking of shopping online, it never hurts to hop over to the Weekly Wow—a smattering of discounted items that week. Don’t be surprised to see major brands in the mix (everything from Fresh to Urban Decay) for as much as 50 percent off.

Never Ever Forget About the Free Samples.

The unofficial Sephora rule is that you’re actually allowed up to three free samples from every single beauty category at Sephora. This means that you can walk out the door with three different foundations, moisturizers, shampoos, even lip glosses all in one trip. Sure, the samples will only last you a couple of days (at most), but it’s an easy way to pinch pennies every now and again. Plus you can test out products before committing to a large purchase.

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Be sure to thank me later in the comment section 🙂

The April sale date hasn’t been posted yet but I am on standby to clear my calendar. See you at the sale, will likely be the middle of April. What is on your list to pick up there this year?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Food & Drink

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli.

When it comes to dinner time in our house, I always try and have 2 vegetable options available – 1 is usually a salad and the other, a side dish.

Some version of roasted vegetables can be expected if I am already making something that involves using the oven. It is being used anyways so why not slip a baking sheet filled with veggies in there at the same time?

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Parmesan roasted broccoli is often requested by my boyfriend on a weekly basis. It is so simple to make and is extremely flavorful, there is never any waste or leftovers and because of its simplicity it can be modified so many ways depending on what you’re feeling.

I have made this recipe with asparagus and brussel sprouts also and they both turned out fantastically! You literally cannot use this recipe incorrectly.

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Here is what you will need:

1/3 cup of olive oil

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh of store bought will work)

1 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

2 broccoli heads cut into medium florets (the broccoli will shrink as it cooks so don’ be alarmed by using 2 heads)

1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

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Here is what you will need to do:

Preheat the oven to 425F

Either spray the baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Combine olive oil and garlic in a small microwavable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Strain the oil to discard large garlic pieces.

Whisk in the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Toss the broccoli in the mixture and spread evenly onto the baking sheep. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 20-22 minutes while tossing the broccoli at the halfway point.

My boyfriend does prefer them slightly more crispy but not burnt so I usually leave them in for between 22-25 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on them because they can and will burn fast.

Where is your go to for a quick veggie side?

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Beauty

10 Nail Sins to Avoid.

Fingernails almost never fail to play a role in the first impression you make on others. Ill-maintained or unhealthy nails can speak volumes before you even open your mouth. It’s sad but it’s true. Fortunately, taking care of your nails isn’t terribly difficult—it’s fun, even! All it takes is a bit of know how and a little self-love. Avoid the following nail sins for healthy, beautiful nails with every manicure.

Improper Filing.

Sawing back and forth with a nail file weakens the edge of the nail and can worsen nail peeling. Instead, file in one direction only. It takes more time, but your nails will be stronger and thank you for it. While you’re at it, toss those metal nail files and opt for a flexible, fine-grit emery board or a glass file (my favorite). Reserve coarse-grit files for acrylic nails only. (Sephoramakes a really great glass file and they sell for $12.50!)

Stop picking off your gel polish.

Resist the temptation to peel off your gel manicure! The gel polish adheres so well to the natural nail and peeling off the layer of gel will almost always peel off a layer of your natural nail! This leaves your nail thinner, weaker, and nearly ruined. When you’re ready to move on from your gel manicure, visit the salon for proper removal or soak your nails in pure acetone for about 15 minutes, until the gel polish easily lifts from your nail.

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Leave your cuticles alone.

We have cuticles to protect the base of the nail from unfriendly bacteria. Removing them puts new nail growth at risk for infection. To groom your cuticles without removing them, use an orange stick to neaten them, and keep them well moisturized.

Use protection.

Most conventional cleaning products contain aggressive disinfecting chemicals like alcohol and bleach. While these may be much needed for your toilet bowl, don’t let them near your hands! These chemicals will dry out your nails and eat away at your polish. Get into the habit of wearing gloves, even when using gentler cleaning substances like dish soap.

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Sporting chipped nail polish isn’t cute. Ever.

Chipped is the opposite of polished! Raggedy polish defeats the purpose of having your nails painted. Better to go natural with bare nails than rock that week old manicure.

Stop picking.

Like peeling off a gel manicure, attacking regular polish is more damaging to nails than simply removing the polish with nail polish remover. When you pick at your nail polish, not only does it look unsightly, you can also tear off parts of the nail in the process leaving you with an uneven, damaged surface.

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Base coat is not optional.

We’ve probably all experienced the frustration of pink stained nails after removing a dark red polish. This stain is hard to completely get rid of in one go. Rather, it takes several days to really fade away—such a drag! When wearing dark colors, always wear a base coat to minimize staining.

Stay clear of formaldehyde.

Because natural cosmetics are becoming more mainstream, the beauty industry has started paying better attention to the dangerous chemicals lurking in some conventional products. Formaldehyde is one of these ingredients. The International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Fortunately, independent and mega brands alike (including OPI) have made efforts to avoid formaldehyde in their products. Look for polishes that are labeled “3-free,” or even better, “5-free”.

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Moisturize.

Dry nails are brittle nails. To keep your nails healthy, moisturize your cuticles every day using cuticle oil or rich hand cream. Spend a few minutes massaging the moisturizer into the skin around the nail bed (and onto the nail itself if your nails are bare). Take a day or two off between manicures to give your nails a break and a deep conditioning moisturizing treatment.

Have fun with your nail polish!

Let’s not forget to enjoy our nails in the process! Nail polish is an expression of your sense of style, charm, and even your mood so don’t hold back when it comes to color or nail design. Nothing is permanent when it comes to nail polish, so have some fun and take a few risks! The same goes for your length and shape, try new things!

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Are you guilty of any of these sins? What type of polish do you use on your nails? I am a diehard shellac girl personally!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.