My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check ‘em out, and then tell me about yours!)

woman shopping

Hi, I’m Elizabeth. And I’m a beauty junkie. Guys, what is it about beauty products and services that makes me forget about budgets, savings accounts and credit card bills? Really! I recently returned from a heavenly week-long vacation in Palm Springs and L.A., and (sigh) I did some mayjah damage to said savings account.

I’ve always loved trips across the border to scope out all the prodz we don’t get in Canada, and this time was no different. With temps reaching 43°C in Palm Springs most days, I had a lot of time to shop—trust me, you don’t want to be sitting out in the sun at 12 o’clock in the desert. (Though I did still manage to achieve a golden tan. Don’t tell Michelle, but I’ve never been big on sunscreen. Gasp! I didn’t even have an antioxidant serum! But that’s next on my Splurge list, I promise!)

Back to my spending problems, though. We started our trip off in Palm Springs, and if you’ve never been, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: outlet malls. The one on the way to Palm Springs is pretty much every girl’s shop-til-you-drop dream. Not only did I score a pair of $850 boots for $300 at the Barney’s outlet (NBD!), I also got my hands on loads of amaze beauty buys—both at the outlets and elsewhere.  After Palm Springs, we headed to L.A,. where I checked out all the best beauty stores and spent my last penny on a perfume worth being broke for.

If you wanna live vicariously and share in the joy of my beauty buys (minus having to deal with my bills), clickety click right here!

My South-of-the-Border Beauty Buys

1. Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Perfume

indian coconut nectar spray perfume1 199x300 My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

I love me some coconut, and after reading the reviews of this perfume, I knew I had to have it. Because I couldn’t find it anywhere in Vancouver, I hit up the Sephora in Palm Desert to finally get my hands on the elusive scent. I love it—I just wish it had more staying power. (Bummer.) Pacifica perfumes are all-natural though, and I found these tips from the company’s co-founder about how to make your natural scent last longer. (They also have handy little solid perfumes that Michelle talked about here—the Tahitian Gardenia is beautiful.)

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Maddy for pointing out that Well.ca carries Pacifica. (Free shipping in Canada and no minimum order!)

2. Clarisonic Mia

clarisonic My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

Exciting news! I’m now a proud new owner of this genius little gadget. After reading your rave reviews, I knew I had to get one, so I searched out a  rock-bottom deal on Amazon.com and had it sent to Palm Springs. Easy peasy. But can someone tell me why the U.S. version of Amazon is so much better than Canada’s?!

3. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

My Clarisonic is amaze, but even more spectacular (if you can believe it) is this ultra-fab clay mask I found. The reviews for it online are insane, and while I love whipping up my own face masks, this one is truly to die for and perfect for when you’re short on time­—trust me when I say it’s an extremely thorough deep-pore cleanse. I haven’t been able to find it in Vancouver either, but you can purchase it at select Whole Foods stores in the States.

4. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream(s)

LOccitane Shea Butter Hand Cream My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

The L’Occitane store is among hundreds of other fabulously discounted boutiques at the outlet mall in Palm Springs, and when I visited, it was rammed with people (total claustrophobia). My thrifty ways won out though, and I pushed my way through the crowds to load up on this ultra-moisturizing hand cream for myself, and to use as stocking stuffers and thank you gifts.

5. A Mani/Pedi (or two)

Mani Pedi 300x225 My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

I tweeted about this while I was there, but WHY must Vancouver salons charge upwards of $50 for this service, yet in Palm Springs and L.A., you can get a mani/pedi for between $18 and $30? I went straight to the salon when I arrived to get some fun, bright colours painted on my digits, and went again on our way to the airport leaving L.A. Totally justified, right?

6. Dr. Lancer Body Smooth Lotion

Dr. Lancer Body Smooth lotion 300x300 My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

I saw Dr. Lancer once when I lived in L.A. for a skin issue I was having, but kind of forgot about him until I saw an Oprah show about looking and feeling 20 years younger. When I visited my cousin’s house on this trip (she lives in L.A. and sees him, too), I used some of her body lotion and liked it so much that I had to get some for myself. It contains 15% glycolic acid, which helps give you glowy skin. And who doesn’t want that?

7. Le Labo Perfume

Le Labo Rose 300x300 My 7 latest beauty splurges that were SO worth it (come check em out, and then tell me about yours!)

The perfume that rendered me broke? This one. Our hotel was right across the street from the niche perfume brand’s L.A. boutique, so I got to learn all about the exclusive perfumes. Each one is built around a natural essence, and they’re made to order right in the shop and personalized with your name! They also come packaged in the most gorgeous, simplistic bottles. Love. My faves were Neroli and Rose, but I ended up deciding on Rose. It’s both sweet and spicy, and can be worn by males and females. You can also purchase Le Labo scents in Toronto at 6 by Gee Beauty. Yay!

Elizabeth Oborne is a Vancouver-based writer and holistic nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter: @elizabethedits.

 

Tell us:

What beauty purchases have you made lately?
Do you have any favourite prodz you can only buy in the States?
What’s next on your “Splurge” list?

31 Comments

Thomas
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 10:33 am

LA!!! God, you are living my life!!! I’d soo love to go there, is it amazing??? That clay looks interesting, I always found it weird how something as blocky as clay can actually HELP your skin… Still, I’ll have to give it a go!

Huge fan, hyper-hair-colour-aware Thomas xx

http://changingcoloursofahairdyeaddict.tumblr.com/

P.S. About the sunscreen – be very cautious. If Michelle finds out, she will eat you.

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Elizabeth
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:35 pm

HAHA, Thomas! You’re adorable. Yes, the clay really is amazing – it literally sucks all the impurities out of your skin (sounds gross, I know).

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 10/2011 at 5:08 pm

Bentonite clay mixed with water to make a paste is also amazing as a spot treatment for pimples – sucks everything right out. You can get it at the health food store, it’s not expensive.

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meghan
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 10:46 am

I only buy expensive things in the states now, Cdn retail is too high (what’s up with that) and the Cdn dollar is awesome. I got my Mia about a month ago and the texture of my skin has improved a lot! I also stalk outlets like L’Occitane (must have verbena soap) and any where designer shoes, handbags and jeans are sold :)

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LP
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 12:00 pm

convince me to get the clarisonic mia! what does it do for your skin??

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Elizabeth
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:37 pm

Well, I just started using it, but I’ve noticed that my skin feels super clean after use, and it’s supposed to be great for exfoliation and also for making your skin care products absorb better. Michelle wrote a great review of it which I totally forgot to link to: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/03/26/best-beauty-gadgets-clarisonic-silkn-chi-t3-and-more/

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LP
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:45 pm

cool, keep us posted!

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meghan
Wednesday, September 28/2011 at 11:43 am

I did all the right things before, facial scrub and 10% AHA exfoliant once a week. But my cheeks were still ruff with patchy dry spots that made my foundation and blush look cakey, now they’re gone.

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Elizabeth
Thursday, September 29/2011 at 2:37 pm

That’s so awesome! I love hearing success stories!

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meghan
Wednesday, September 28/2011 at 11:44 am

And they just lowered the retail price, look for it online at $119.

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Baillie
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 12:31 pm

Hey great post! you can actually get Pacifica perfumes at Whole Foods in West Van, but not sure if they have that specific one…

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Elizabeth
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:39 pm

Hey Baillie, thanks. I actually looked at (or called) all the Whole Foods stores, cause I know they carry Pacifica, but none of them had this scent! I think they mostly carry the best-sellers and not so much the new products.

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Kat
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 12:43 pm

I think the reason why the U.S. version of Amazon is so much better than Canada’s is because they have a bigger market. More competition means they have to lower the prices, or come up with more/different products. In Canada, we have a smaller market, shipping costs are higher, and they can’t really afford to charge us less than 50$ for a mani/pedi, they’d go out of business. Basically, if you must put the blame somewhere, blame capitalism. :P

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Elizabeth
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:41 pm

Haha, you’re totally right, Kat. It’s such a bummer though! I guess I might just have to move back to the U.S.! ;)

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Nomadic D
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 12:53 pm

Congrats on your mia! I recently bought the clarisonic plus after much much much debating (I followed the posts here, and also posted on my own blog here:

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/2011/06/brush-your-face.html

and eventually decided it was totally worth a try, especially considering sephora’s amazing return policy) and I am SO happy with it. I definitely noticed a change in my skin even after just a week. Let us know if you love it too!

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Elizabeth
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 1:42 pm

That’s awesome! I’m looking forward to seeing what it does for me, long-term!

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Mandie
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 2:26 pm

Wait wait wait, let me open the necessary tabs so I can make my wishlists a little bit longer. What is it about prettily photographed products on a white background? From now on, take photos of your beauty buys on an unmade bed in a dark room so they won’t be as tempting!

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Janay
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 4:16 pm

Sounds like you had a great time in LA/Palm Springs. ‘

Coconut Pacifica sounds delicious, I’ve seen Pacifica in Whole Foods too but do they not carry this scent?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 10/2011 at 5:11 pm

Hey Janay – you can grab it from Well.ca here: http://well.ca/products/pacifica-spray-perfume_34795.html?affid=BEAUTY. They ship free in Canada and there’s no minimum order.

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Elizabeth
Thursday, October 20/2011 at 11:01 pm

What! They carry it now? I swear I looked everywhere and searched high and low for somewhere to purchase it in Canada! Good to know that Well has it!

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Kate
Tuesday, September 27/2011 at 9:57 pm

The Le Labo Rose 31 is my perfume of choice right now, so so obsessed. I got mine at Gee and can’t stop smelling myself! (Kinda weird?).

Neroli was also my choice so I’d say we were fragrance twins if it wasn’t for the coconut scent. I don’t like fruity and anything coconut reminds me of sunscreen, so a total no for me.

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Elizabeth
Thursday, September 29/2011 at 2:37 pm

We’re *almost* fragrance twins. I know what you mean about not liking fruity, but there’s something about the smell of sunscreen and coconuts… gets me every time :)

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catadelic
Thursday, September 29/2011 at 2:27 pm

Now I have to get Aztec secret)
Btw on iHerb it’s cheaper – http://bit.ly/oS2O3Z

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Elizabeth
Thursday, September 29/2011 at 2:39 pm

Ooh thanks for the tip! Looks like their shipping policy to Canada is pretty reasonable, too!

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meghan
Friday, December 9/2011 at 8:21 am

Exciting news, they just got Aztec secret back in stock at iHerb.com $5.99 USD and first time customers get $5 off with iHerb coupon code JOB270. Canadian shipping via airmail is $4. That means I’m paying $4.99! Happy Friday!

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Tracy
Friday, September 30/2011 at 11:44 am

I’m all about anything coconut, love my Mia and NEED that mask! Great post, lucky lucky girl.

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maddy
Saturday, October 1/2011 at 2:00 am

you can buy pacifica perfume/body wash/shampoo etc. on well.ca!
and also i found a tooon of pacifca products in whole foods (grocery store) in vancouver!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 10/2011 at 5:13 pm

Thanks Maddy, I updated the post re: Well.ca! And wow, Whole Foods is becoming amazing for beauty – I was in the recently revamped one in Toronto the other day and spent like an hour in there.

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Manon
Saturday, October 8/2011 at 9:29 am

I also love my Clarisonic Mia. I think every person should have one. I have normal /dry skin and it give a nice glow, leaving my skin really fresh. Check out my blog, I wrote about it on October 7th.

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Tara
Tuesday, October 18/2011 at 4:17 pm

You can get mani/pedi’s in Toronto for $30-$35. In case you pop into town in the next little while! :)

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Elizabeth
Thursday, October 20/2011 at 11:03 pm

Haha thanks Tara! I’ve actually never been to Toronto, but $30 mani/pedis is reason enough to come… Right?

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