2018 Holiday Beauty Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on November 17, 2018

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

2018 has flown by (and yet also dragged somehow), and the holiday season is upon us. I was recently asked to provide some gift ideas, and of course, it triggered the idea to get on my own holiday wishlist posts for the blog.

First up, beauty items! (All of the links are in the widget at the bottom.)

I’ve got some products in here that are tried and true.

  • The Peter Thomas Roth retinol serum is a favorite, it goes on under moisturizer before bed.
  • Alien by Thierry Mugler is a top 5 fragrance for me, one that I don’t wear nearly enough as my husband is not the biggest fan. It smells delicious though.
  • MAC Haute and Naughty mascara is one that I haven’t used in a while, and actually miss—the two options for applicators is genius!
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium is another top 5 fragrance, and no one in my household objects to it, so it’s a winner all around.
  • Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, a classic choice. It’s effective, the scent is mild and unmistakably Kiehl’s, and I will continue to restock it.
The rest of the products are things I haven’t tried yet but would love to.
  • Lancome Advanced Genifique serum. I actually did try a sample of this and it was wonderful. It’s quite expensive though, which has always stopped me from being able to press the purchase button.
  • Dior Beauty Lip Balm. Just look at that pink color! I can feel my hydrated lips already.
  • Dior Forever foundation. Just another foundation to try with high expectations that will hopefully deliver.
  • Tom Ford Creme Color for Eye. (The color Spice is my favorite.) I’ve seen YouTubers put one of these and nothing else on their eyelids and look amazing, so I expect that paying $46 for a single cream eyeshadow will do the same. Seriously though, I haven’t purchased one of these because I can generally buy a whole eyeshadow palette for around the same price.
  • La Mer Body Cream and Lip Balm. I only found out recently that Sephora won’t give you a La Mer sample. I think they used to, so I’m guessing that they were giving out too many? I really wish that La Mer would invest in creating tiny samples for purchase, because I would love to try their products, but the price of admission is so high that it isn’t likely. If I put the cream on and it changes my life, I might be more willing to splurge in the future.  The Lip Balm is $60, and I am curious as to what is in there that makes it worth $60.
  • Charlotte Tilbury, The Rock Chick Look Set. A tiny bit of savings from buying the items individually, you get all of the pieces for $230. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Charlotte Tilbury products, and there’s no way I am not going to choose the one that will give me black eyeliner and dark shadow for a smoky eye, paired with a nude lip option. I’m into it.

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Spotify Election Playlist | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 31, 2018

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I’m back today with another quick post – an excellent promotion of our upcoming election by Spotify.

Here’s a link to the playlist on Spotify.

I really enjoy this idea. I appreciate any and all efforts to encourage people to vote, and this mention by Spotify that I received on my phone isn’t at all telling me which way to vote, but encouraging me to do so nonetheless, with a playlist of songs that are “uniquely popular” in New Jersey.

I would like to know more about how this information is determined (how much more popular are these songs in NJ than they are in other states?), but this might be expecting too much. The bottom line is that I still think this effort by Spotify hit the correct tone and timing.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

It’s been a while!

I had to acknowledge this effort from a brand I know and love, Excedrin. Excedrin was the go-to choice for headaches in my household growing up, and so there is always a giant bottle of it in my home now.

I saw this Instagram post today and was intrigued. It’s Tan and Antoni from Queer Eye!

This is a brilliant idea. It makes complete sense to associate headaches with common triggers, and this particular choice of spokespeople is relevant and far-reaching. We all get headaches!

Here’s a look at the packaging on the Excedrin website:

Unfortunately handled was the page where you could sign up to receive a free sample of Excedrin Extra Strength with the limited-edition packaging. I filled out too many fields before finding out that they were apparently out of the free options.


The Excedrin team should have been ready to edit this page to alert visitors that they had run out of the giveaway items. It’s a miss in a day full of fun branding wins.

Which package would you pick if you had to choose the one that best fits you?

Here’s a news article covering the variety of content associated with this promotion.

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Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

Product Review: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

It’s been months now since the introduction of the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. I saw a number of YouTubers that I watch review the foundation, and it was mostly positive with a few negative comments about how the foundation skewed a bit on the dry side. I ended up with a big sample of it in a Sephora order, and luckily, I managed a color match on the first go! I tried color 150, which is in the image below.

While I ended up with the same conclusion about the foundation’s behavior when interacting with dry skin, I absolutely LOVE it.

The first wear day for the foundation was an odd choice, as I then spent 5 hours cleaning out a storage unit with my husband. A true endurance test! By the end of the day, it looked a bit rough in my t-zone, but my cheeks that don’t have sweat glands looked good.

The next day, I tried again, as it was a normal day of going to the office and enjoying a climate-controlled environment. I noticed almost immediately that some small patches of my skin looked pretty flaky. I do not have dry skin in general, and certainly didn’t notice any of the tiny bits of my skin that were dry until after I put this foundation on. I had used primer, and I’m not sure if I just missed these spots or if they were already experiencing dryness. Either way, I wasn’t happy about this, as I was continuing to enjoy the excellent full coverage and the finish of the product.

The next day, I was very deliberate and thorough in my moisturizing and priming, and it definitely improved my experience. I didn’t notice any standout dry patches on my skin, and the finish continued to be amazing!

The biggest downer about the Fenty foundation is that I am suddenly disappointed with my ride-or-die Covergirl 3-in-1 Foundation. I have been back on my regular foundation in the past few days and it is not holding a candle to the Fenty Pro Filt’r.

I can buy 4 bottles of the Covergirl 3-in-1 for nearly the same price as 1 bottle of the Fenty Pro Filt’r, so I might buy a full-size bottle of the Fenty foundation and use it on days when I want to look extra flawless and amazing.

If you like a full-coverage foundation with a matte finish, I cannot recommend enough that you try the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. It is available exclusively at Sephora and on Sephora.com, for $34.

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Link Tank #51

by Jamie Sanford on July 13, 2018

Click here for all of the link posts on JamieSanford.com.

This video about mixing face powder is mesmerizing.

Interesting look at habits that are keeping you from being a great communicator.

I am pretty interested in this master class on photography by Annie Leibowitz. At $100, I expected it to be much more expensive.

I need a house so I can get a Frank Lloyd Wright bird feeder.

Why you need a Roth IRA. I enjoy reading Two Cents pieces.

This is certainly one take on Trent Reznor’s 50 Greatest Songs. I don’t necessarily agree with this list, but I would put many of these into my own top 50.

At a very different place in the musical spectrum, Dave Matthews performed a short acoustic set at NPR.

After 10 years on Twitter, it took a negative tweet regarding Tonya Harding and her appearance on Dancing with the Stars for me to get trolled! All thanks to Yahoo Entertainment for including my tweet in their story.


Throwback to the Gary Numan show from last December. I need to see another one soon.

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