Category Archives: Dr Dennis Gross

Core Collection Spring 2018 Deal Discoveries

Welcome to the place where I like to discuss my favorites from each season that I did not finish. Anything I’ve finished this season made it into my Empties article. Items I am still in love with as I empty them become FabuFinds. While I cannot promise I will ever finish these (some products expire before I can empty them) and I cannot promise I will still love them enough to label them as FabuFinds upon completion, I loved them throughout this season. These are items I reached for many times even though I have plenty of similar items in my stash collecting dust. Many of these items are serious contenders for my Top 10 of the Year. There were six items I reached for constantly this spring.

Like my FabuFinds, these are items I consider great deals. The deal discoveries do not need a discount to earn their value (although I will always try to find one if I can). Most of the time they are new to my collection. That is mostly due to the large amount of new products I try each year. Sometimes, they are items I’ve tried in the past but love more upon rediscovery. While I try to edit mini reviews into any article I mentioned these items in, I like to dedicate more time and attention to items I feel are worth the extra effort. They are core items to my collection.

Continue reading

FabuFinds: Product Spotlight Spring 2018

After I review my Empty Products, I like to take a little extra time to go over the standouts. These FabuFinds are products I love so much they seem like they’re made for me. They are items I would repurchase, even without a deal. Items I am loving but cannot finish any time soon make it into Deal Discoveries. To eventually spotlight all of my FabuFinds, I will never repeat items already mentioned in a past article. That does not mean they lost their magic. It is also possible an item not spotlighted in a past Empties article may get promoted as I try it more and fall deeper in love. Over time, past FabuFinds may get demoted as I find things I love even more. There are 6 products I consider FabuFinds in my Spring 2018 Empties that I have not discussed yet.

Continue reading

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 Review

See the 2019 Sephora Sun Safety Kit, and all 2019 Sephora Promotions, Sales, GWP, Deals, Promo Codes, and Events.


I’m here to bring you my Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 review. Sephora usually tempts me when it puts out a new Favorites Set. These sets retail for a lot less than the value of the items inside. As long as the items you plan on keeping exceed the value of the price you pay for the set, it is a good deal. This is one of my favorite ways to sample new items, and I like the sets even more when they have some full-sized items inside. While paying for samples is something I do often with subscription boxes, I limit how often I pay for samples in sets. The mystery of subscription boxes and desire to get things I would never purchase prevails in that case. When a set only has samples and costs over $20, I am less likely to purchase it. Paying for samples is not always a bad thing, especially when sets have items you really want to try, and you have not been able to get them for free or as a GWP.

Continue reading

Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016 Review

The Sun Safety Kit for 2016 is available now. No one puts Favorites Kits together the way Sephora does. This review goes over the 2016 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit I purchased at the VIB Rouge Event on 06/05/16. It is my favorite set of the year, because I love sunscreen. I love that Sephora donates $20 of the $32 price tag to the Skin Cancer Foundation. My Dad has skin cancer, so I appreciate a cause that furthers cancer research and helps protect me from the sun at the same time. There are 15 deluxe sun protection items in the set making each item a bargain at $2.13.  Continue reading

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015

2016 Sun Safety Kit

Every year in mid to late May, Sephora releases the Sun Safety Kit. It retails for $32, and $20 of that is donated to the Skin Cancer Foundation. My Dad has skin cancer, so I like the idea of buying something I want while supporting the cause at the same time. My insane stockpile told me I was pretty stocked on sunscreen, so I was ready to pass. I still have a few stragglers from the 2013 kit and half or more from 2014. Luckily, most sunscreens print the expiration date, so I use sunscreen in the order it expires and not when it arrives.

Everyone was waiting impatiently for this release, which was a bit later than 2014. It usually sells out in a few days, but it lasted about a week on and off online. It released and my inner hoarder/deal seeker told me to buy it. And, here we are.

Continue reading

Beautytalk Chat with Murad and Dr. Dennis Gross Yields Free Gifts

Sephora hosts a variety of chats via Beautytalk with beauty professionals who represent the brands we know and love. I’ve participated in a lot of them for over a year. Who better to ask your brand specific question to than the brand creator or a top executive. Murad and Dr. Dennis Gross are two brands I love, so it was nice to see that Dr. Murad and Dr. Gross themselves were going to chat with us for an hour each. The topic of the chat was summer skin care, which was specifically set up to discuss sun safety.

If you’re like me, you begrudgingly love the sun. It is wonderful to spend a day playing in the sun, but the rays are so damaging to our skin. Sunburns, sun spots, and the long-term wrinkle damage can prematurely age us. On 06/02/15, I was happy to take part in this chat. Although you may have missed the chat, someone could have asked a question similar to one you may have had, so it never hurts to refer back to it. There were a couple of insightful questions that both Dr. Murad and Dr. Gross answered much to my delight as much as the poster of the questions.

Continue reading

Beautytalk and How It Pays to be a Member

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).

Sephora Dr Gross Haul Sephora Dr Gross Haul 2

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.

Before                                                     After

DDG Before week 5DDG After week 5

Dr Gross peel week 1 Before Dr Gross peel Week 1 after

DDG Before 100214 DDG After 100214

DDG Before 091814 DDG After 091814

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).

Beauty Deals 2.0

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.

Disclosure: Affiliate Links