A couple folks asked me to let you know what came out of my LUSH + Sephora trip! I spent a little more than I intended to, but roughly close to budget. Your recs and advice were incredibly helpful, so first of all, thanks! A list of the takeaways, below —

LUSH: It was snowing quite a bit yesterday, so when my friend and I arrived, we were the only people at the store. Our fortitude was much praised, and the salesgirl was patient and very helpful. This probably contributed to the amount of time we spent there, and the very full basket.

  • Hair: Roots hair treatment. I was pretty into the H'Suan Wen Hua treatment, but concerned about it weighing my hair down. Roots seemed like a nice balance, plus it was cheaper.
  • Face: Angels On Bare Skin cleanser. I looked at Ultrabland too and will probably try it out at some point, but this one was the winner. I got a sample of Vanishing Cream moisturizer, too. It felt really nice, but I wanted to try it out before spending $$. I also grabbed the mint julep lip scrub, and the Lip Service balm.
  • Body: I cracked at the very last second and got the Ocean Salt scrub. I almost cracked and got the big size (FOR VALUE, YOU UNDERSTAND), but held strong. It feels and smells soooo good. I also grabbed a porridge bar (best soap ever) and a Buffy bar. How could I say no to a lotion bar specifically designed for butts? ETA: Totally forgot to mention — I got the T for Toes foot powder, for stinky-boot season.
  • Three bath bombs :)

Sephora: First thing's first — I didn't wind up getting lipstick. It was really busy and the salesgirl who was working with me was pretty unhelpful with lip stuff. She basically downsold me to Sephora brand and then I wound up not even buying the shade we found because...meh. I will probably use your excellent recs to do a little online shopping, or else try again next time I'm in my neighbor state. I did get a lip product though....

  • Benetint! I've used Smashbox's O Glow before, and found I like stain-type products a lot. Plus it's a great twofer — cheeks and lips. So there, New Year's resolution slightly done. We'll meet again, lipstick.
  • Stila smudge stick eyeliner, in lionfish — great recommendation!
  • Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Massage Stick. I think I adore this thing. Was it made for sleep-deprived grad students? It's pretty great.

Sephora was actually totally out of Naked palettes! But Ulta to the rescue — there was one on our way out of town, and I grabbed Naked2 there. So excited to play!

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Thanks again for all your recommendations. A huge percentage of my shopping time was guided by what folks had to say on here. I had a shopping list and everything! New year, new commitment to organization (and eye makeup).

(Is anyone else bothered by the upside down "Roots" lid I didn't notice when I took the photo? Just me? I'll play myself out.)