We’ve been in the information age for some time now. In this time, I have joined a number of different online communities. My favorite by far is Beautytalk. It is Sephora’s advice community. Yes, Sephora has an online place for discussion. People can ask questions, discuss beauty, get advice on products, start threads for a number of different reasons, and hang out. The vast majority of users are beauty enthusiasts who love it as much or more than I do. Their wealth of knowledge and helpfulness is impressive. Most are so incredibly friendly and will take as much time as you need to explain things in full detail.
There are many communities like this, and I like everything they stand for. For nearly two years, I’ve been hanging out on Beautytalk far more than any other site. For those familiar with BT, you may know me as notcreative. I try to help when I can, but I mostly like to share deals. Getting the best deal on my purchases is something I strive for. I created this thread to share my passion with other people. The result was that I found a lot of like minded people. It quickly became one of my favorite hangouts, and I have spent a lot (and saved a lot) thanks to everyone who contributes to the thread. After six months on that thread, I realized I loved it more every day. That inspired me to create this site.
The most obvious reason I love Beautytalk is because of all the real life and online friends I’ve met. If you’re reading this and we have a relationship thanks to Beautytalk, you know what I am referring to. It is so amazing to discuss beauty with friends who share the passion with me. I found I like helping people, too. Many people were kind enough to help me when I first got started, and I enjoy returning the favor. Plus, I still get occasional help from users, because no one person knows everything. We all lean on each other for advice.
It pays in a number of different ways to be a Beautytalk member as well. Active Beautytalk members usually have first access to point perks, promotions and advance notification of Sephora’s sales. There are fantastic regular threads for Sephora perks and promos that you need join BT and be a VIB to view. A special sale thread is created with each new one. Sephora staggers its emails, so I usually see the information on BT long before I receive my email. Sometimes, fantastic offers are gone before I get my email, so I have taken advantage of these offers thanks only to BT.
Beautytalk also runs occasional giveaways for members only. In the most recent giveaway, ten lucky members won the new Clarisonic Smart Profile systems. I love my Plus, so it was awesome that I had a chance to win that. Seven of the ladies who won are people I know, so I was very happy for them. Of course, I wanted one myself, so I was 1% jealous.
Beautytalk frequently asks users to trial full sized new products before they hit the market. The most recent batch of recipients tested the Sephora Pantone Color of the Year items. It seems like most were gifted the eyeshadow palette and lipstick. All Beautytalk members whether new or a long time member, a beauty insider or a VIB Rouge are eligible for these tests. Every product has a different selection criterion. Members who were selected for the CotY gifts have actively shared looks and reviews in one of the many threads where users upload pictures.
Most of the time, different people are selected to receive trial items, so there is a good chance you will be picked to try something at some point if you’re active. In August 2014, I got my turn. The Moderator sent a private message asking if I was interested in trying the Dr Dennis Gross Alpa Beta Medi-Spa Peel. The message said I was selected due to my contribution on the skincare boards. I just had to respond with my address, and Sephora shipped me the full size product to trial. This product retails for $110, so it was quite a gift. The only thing I like more than a deal is getting something for free. Sephora and Dr Dennis Gross only asked that I review the item on Beautytalk and the Sephora review page explaining that I got the product free of charge (in the interest of full discretion).
I started this thread on Beautytalk to document my journey. My journey ended yesterday as I used the final of 16 weekly treatments. It took me a little longer than 16 weeks to complete the product. Due to sickness and vacation, I took some weeks off. That proved to be a mistake. There are 16 individual peels inside the jar. They’re pre soaked circular pads that are extremely thick. Another user and I (as you can follow along on the thread I attached) noticed that the pads started drying out right when the jar was opened. She decided to transfer her pads to a more secure container. Although, I considered it, I ultimately decided to keep the item in the original container, because it was better for the review.
As my journey took closer to five months than four, the last 3 pads were pretty dry. After the third to last barley gave me any liquid, and I felt it was a wasted peel. With the last 2 pads, I decided to wet them slightly with water to re-activate the liquids. Although, I am sure it reduced the effectiveness slightly, I know it was better than the nearly dry pad. You can feel these pads working, especially if you have an open cut or acne on your face. The pads cause the area to sting a little. It is not a sting I cannot handle, but it is definitely noticeable. Despite having an open wound the day I used the almost dry pad, I felt nothing meaning the active ingredients were not as effective as they usually are. When I used the last two pads activated with additional water, I felt the usual burning. You will feel no burning at all if you have no cuts or acne, which I was fortunate enough to experience a few times.
Each package contains 16 peel pads (step 1), a 0.5oz firming peptide milk (step 2) and a headband. I only ever used the peptide milk and nothing else on my skin immediately following treatment. I have extremely dry skin, but I found it held enough moisture to hold me over until the next face wash. Nervous, my skin would feel dry, I used three pumps with every treatment. Surprisingly, I still have peptide milk left now that the peel pads are gone. Thus, I recommend 3 pumps with each pad. The combination of these two products can leave your face feeling sticky. Through trial and error, I discovered the stickiness was reduced when I waited five minutes between the finish of the peel pad to the application of the milk. That is two minutes over the recommendation of the product.
I want to share some before and after pictures here, because the improvement in skin just from right before to right after treatment is drastic. The product continues to work after application as well.
Even with the five minute technique, your skin will probably still feel slightly sticky. Thus, I suggest this treatment be applied at night before bed. Sticky skin when you’re going about your morning is not ideal. This product creates an incredible glow that seems to linger on average of about 4-5 days with the glow being the most beautiful immediately after application and fading over time. If you want a nice glow for your day, it may be worth enduring the slightly sticky skin. I did that a couple of times and found it worthwhile.
My skin improved greatly with this product. The ingredients definitely work hard. I love the glow, and that the glowing effects stay on your face after many washes. When your skin is normally dull, you will definitely notice the difference of glowing skin. The verdict is this is an excellent product if used within 16 weeks or transferred to more secure container. Skin will glow and improve in overall texture. I recommend it highly. It is expensive at $110, but a single treatment only costs $6.88. That is not too bad. For an even better deal, this can be purchased during chic week for 15% off or the fall sale for 20% off. My plan is to pick up my next one in the fall if I have made my way through most of my mask stash by then. If I have not, I will pick it up during chic week next year. I will definitely purchase this again (even if I must pay $110).
Sephora does not inform a single Beauty Insider of all deal details. Certain offers are targeted and others have different purchase minimums based on the code. Remember to check New Offers and/or Recycled Offers before placing an online order. If you’re spending over $25, you can add a promo code to any order. See all Beautytalk and Sephora articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Sephora. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.