The Surf Was Up at Sephora This Week With Beachy Keen Products From NARS, Hourglass, Dolce & Gabbana and More

Published in: Dolce & Gabbana, Hourglass, Makeup, NARS

nars beach lover box

I wonder if the airlines have done studies on how much the temperature on the mainland affects demand for flights to the tropics, because it sure seems like there’s a relationship to me. The colder it gets, the more I long for the tropics.


And wouldn’t ya know it? We went from upper-80s here two weeks ago to a week of 60-something-degree days, with a very chilly breeze, and so, of course, I can’t stop thinking about warm beaches…

You know that old saying about missing the beach, right? — “A trip to Sephora heals all wounds.”

Okay, so maybe that’s not a real saying…but it should be! πŸ™‚

Can’t you see it across the front of a Roxy rash guard? Or cross-stitched on a big beach towel hanging on the wall of a surf shop?

Because not even Tabs can change the weather (lord knows he’s tried), I headed to Sephora yesterday looking for beach-themed beauty…

And I started at NARS! — with the new $49 limited edition Beach Lover Set.

It comes with a Medium Laguna Illuminator, a Mini Orgasm Blush/Hungry Heart Highlighter Duo, a Skorpios Mini Soft Touch Shadow Pencil and a Medium Laguna Lip Gloss.

nars beach lover in hand
From the left: Laguna Illuminator, Skorpios Shadow Pencil, Laguna Lip Gloss and the Orgasm/Hungry Heart Highlighter Duo

I’ve been meaning to swatch Laguna Lip Gloss for a while (every time I hear the name, I think Laguna Beach and say “Stephen!”). It’s a bronzed brown with golden shimmer.

nars beach lover swatches
Swatches from the left: Hungry Heart Blush, Orgasm Blush, Skorpios Shadow Pencil, Laguna Lip Gloss, Laguna Illuminator unblended and blended

It’s pretty, isn’t it? Kind of a less disco version of MAC Oh Baby Lipglass?

I hope NARS releases a full-size tube…

On the topic of glosses, a couple others also caught my eye — the two new shades of the Larger Than Life Lip Glosses in Gold Digger (a sparkling peach shimmer) and Born This Way (a light lavender pink).

nars gold digger
Gold Digger (top) and Born This Way (bottom)

nars gold digger swatch
Gold Digger on the left and Born This Way on the right

Holy wow! Just look at that limited edition Laguna Illuminator. It’s $45, but that’s a TON of Laguna.

I was actually marveling at it when I ran into a reader named Mary at the Novato store! She was right next to me checking out the NARS blushes.

Mary, if you’re reading this, hi, girl! I hope you love your new pan of Amour blush! πŸ™‚

nars laguna body illuminator

After NARS, I felt a little warmer, but not quite warm enough, so I surfed over to Hourglass…

hourlass visionaire eye shadow duo

Yup, I’m still crushing hard on their eyeshadow duos (remember Dune?). They have one called Lagoon ($38) that totally reminds me of tropical waters…

hourlass visionaire eye shadow duo swatches
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duos from the left: Gypsy, Suede and Dune

hourlass visionaire eye shadow duo swatches
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duos from the left: Lagoon, Prism and Exhibition

See that crazy pigmented glittery black up there? It’s half of the Prism duo, which also includes a shimmery slate blue.

Yeah, I think I need to spend some “meow time” with that one, too.

Oh — and if you’re looking for a good primer/serum, next time you’re at Sephora, ask them to make you a sample of the new No.28 Primer Serum ($65).

It’s designed to do the job of a makeup primer while hydrating and shielding your skin again “environmental aggressors,” and it contains a bunch of helpful ingredients (28 of them, to be precise), like vitamins and essential oils.

hourglass no28 primer serum

Compared to my regular Hourglass primer, Veil, No. 28 feels a little slicker, more slippery.

I like both, but I think I prefer No. 28 for flash photography (or evening events), since it doesn’t contain sunscreen, so there’s no chance of a white cast coming through in pics.

After exploring the Hourglass area, I sauntered over to the nearby fragrance section to sniff some scents…

Since I lurves my Italian perfumes, I started with a big whiff of Giorgio Armani’s Aqua di Gioia ($62).

It’s been out for a while, but I hadn’t gotten around to seriously sniffing it until now.

acqua di gioia

The name, Aqua di Gioia, means “water of joy” in Italian. Sephora describes it as a “fresh aquatic fragrance,” and the official fragrance notes include mint, brown sugar, Italian lemon (better than other lemons, I suppose?), jasmine, peony, pink pepper and cedar.

Very refreshing…like taking a dip in a cool body of water on a blazing hot day.

I also stopped to sniff another Italian scent I’ve been loving lately, the new Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Dreaming in Portofino ($50).

dolce gabbana light blue dreaming of portofino

Like Aqua di Gioio, it whisks me away to a Mediterranean beach somewhere. With notes of citrus accord, pink pepper, geranium, amber and patchouli, I think it’s a little deeper, muskier and sensual than di Gioio, like if Aqua di Gioia was the beach by day, Dreaming in Portofino would be the beach by night.

I was mid-sniff when my iPhone rang…

It was El Hub calling to see if I was ever coming home again, LOL!

It’s scary how well that man knows me. πŸ™‚

spa ritual polishes

I’m stoked that the Sephora up here carries Spa Ritual now ($10 each), a 3-free vegan nail polish line.


spa ritual illamasqua polish

I spent a few minutes debating whether I should bring home Spa Ritual’s Off the Grid ($10) or Illamasqua’s Viridian ($14), two pretty beachy teals. Ultimately, I went Off the Grid because it seemed to sparkle a little brighter in the store.

Now, all I need is an actual tropical beach to wear it to! That would be perfect. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Trisha says:

    I feel you about the weather, Karen. Oh, I long for the tropics! As much as I like rain, it’s been far too gloomy and cold up here in Montana. Bummer!!!!
    Trisha recently posted … Want to Learn About Blogging?

  2. Looks like you had a killer time at Sephora! I bought Dune after reading about it here. Haven’t got to try it on my eyes but my swatching experience is pretty impressive. It’s weird but I really want Prism even though they don’t look like colors I can normally pull off. Soooo tempting…
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Meet the New Member of the Dior Addict Line: Dior Addict Eau Sensuelle, Thy Name is Mauve

  3. Agata says:

    I love this post and all the swatches. The Nars set looks super pretty. I wish I could run into you at Sephora πŸ™‚

  4. Nina says:

    I *think* I need the D&G Light Blue Dreaming in Portofino. I do. πŸ˜€

    Oh and my current primer love is the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer … I might check out the serum one when im done with my current bottle.

    Bit of trivia – the travel size bottle of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer comes out the teeniest bit cheaper than the full size. Weird but true. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hey, Nina!

      I love — LOVE — the original Light Blue (wore it on my wedding day), and this new version is just as beautiful. It’s deeper, more musky, and little less sweet compare to the original version. Please give it a sniff and let me know if you like it.

      Good to know about the travel size version. I’d stock up on them but there’s always MIA at the Sephora near my house.

      • Nina says:

        Ohh at more musky – I love that! πŸ™‚

        I just order them online. Each time im halfway done, I order a new one so I dont ever run out. I LOVE that stuff!

  5. Ruchita says:

    Thanks for helping me do some virtual browsing at Sephora. πŸ™‚ I don’t make it to the store very often (which is a good thing) so it’s nice to see what’s in stock. I think I know what I want to do during my lunch hour tomorrow. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome, Ruchita! I make it there, um, a little more than I care to admit, LOL! I live five minutes away from one. Yes, it’s dangerous!

      Please let me know if you run across anything interesting when you’re there. πŸ™‚

      Happy Thursday, btw…

  6. Vonvon says:

    Lovely stuffs and lovely haul!

    As for the weather, it’s the same over here across the pond! It was 80s and 70s at the end of May, and suddenly in a matter of one day, it dipped to 60s! And my daughter has been asking if Summer is so short, and the sun shines only for a few days??? And is it autumn now?? OMG! Usually she is not affected by the weather but these few days, she has been getting bored of the non-stop rain! πŸ™
    Vonvon recently posted … Dior Summer 2012 Croisette Collection – Some Words and Swatches

  7. NeenaJ says:

    A shopping trip with you is exactly what I needed this afternoon! Love these posts!

  8. How is it that the testers at your Sephora are so organized and clean and pretty?? My nearest Sephora is TERRIBLE at restocking, organizing, and cleaning their testers. I never want to touch anything!!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in #02 Brunettes Review

  9. Wenz says:

    OMG Karen I didn’t know about that new light blue!!! I am never without the original. I mean NEVER its my all time favorite! Damn I must stop by a dept store or sephora ASAP!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Wenz,

      I LOVE the original version too. I wore it on my wedding day! Please give the new scent a sniff and let me know what you think of it. πŸ™‚

  10. Kim says:

    The more I see your NARS beach swatches, the more I want the set. Well, honestly, just the highlighter duo. πŸ™‚

    Prometheus tonight! Are you going??? Psyched!!

  11. Linnea says:

    Karen! I’m a bit late on this post — what’s that nail polish on your toes on that gigantic laguna bronzer picture? NARS Kutki? Essie Bikini so Teeny? Such a great colour with your skin tone!!

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