What’s a girl to do on Easter Sunday when she doesn’t celebrate Easter? Why, she goes to Sephora, of course!

This Sunday, i decided to celebrate my OWN little personal holiday by treating myself to a trip to my favourite Michigan Ave location. Much like Holly Golightly and her feelings about Tiffany’s, i love going to this huge Sephora when my spirits need a bit of a lift. It never fails to cheer me up – even if my wallet is a little less than happy afterwards!

I was primarily there looking for makeup – but as usual, i found myself spending most of my visit in Skincare. So, when the lovely BA Kari told me about their new Fresh Start Facial while she’s was making me up a sample, well – i couldn’t pass it up.  The Fresh Start procedure is like no other skincare service i’ve ever received!  It’s a two-phase treatment, using a pen-like device which suctions out all the gross stuff from your pores, while delivering a gentle but definitely effective lactic-acid formula directly to the skin. In phase 2, the pen delivers a massive dose of hyaluronic acid and skin plumpers to rehydrate after the acid. This might look a bit frightening, but i assure you, it was painless – just a little normal tingling sensation you get from any application of an acid to the skin. The hyaluronic acid phase felt really amazing, as if moisture were being delivered directly into my skin’s top layers!


My face pre-treatment, right after a gentle yet thorough double-cleanse


The first thing Kari did was prep my skin by giving me a gentle double-cleanse, using the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, then Dr Brant’s Xtend Your Youth A3 Power Foaming Cleanser – both of which i really liked.  I’ve been looking for a less exorbitantly priced alternative to my beloved Eve Lom Cleansing Balm – and I ended up purchasing the Farmacy cleanser. It felt SO great on my dry, stressed out skin, and completely removed my indelible Pat Mcgrath lipstick with no effort (a momentous feat, I assure you). It melts into an oil as you massage it in, which is super cool, like butter on the skin. And, it smells vaguely of key lime…yum!  I also loved the Dr Brant foaming cleanser – which was surprisingly emollient, and left my skin feeling hydrated and soft. Once I run out of my current 2nd step cleanser, I will definitely be purchasing it.


Kari at Sephora, beginning my Fresh Start Facial!


Then, the fun part begins!  A rep from Philosophy happened to be there with a neat little camera device that took a sort of infrared series of photos of my skin, which showed any hyperpigmentation and redness/sensitive areas underneath the surface.  Let me tell you, it was bizarre to see my autoimmune butterfly rash showing up in the photo, because it’s pretty much not visible to the naked eye at the moment! This camera thing is super cool, but not for the faint of heart! I did learn, however, that I don’t really have any deep wrinkles forming, so how great is that?


It’s Spawn! Run! Actually it’s an infrared of my butterfly rash lol


Next, this crazy looking pen thing directly delivered the treatments to my skin, while removing impurities at a deep level.  It felt like cool spritzes of water were being put into my skin, which was kind of cool.  Kari informed me that my face might feel a slight tingling, and if I got too red, she’d stop the lactic acid trearment and move on to the hyaluronic acid phase; but my sensitive skin tolerated it surprisingly well.  I was quite red in patches afterwards, but that’s to be expected and my face felt good.  She also recommended that I not wear any foundation or powder, etc, for a couple days after the treatment, and be sure to slather on the sunscreen.  This is of course standard procedure for after receiving any deep treatment with acids!


The Aftermath, lol


Next, Kari layered my skin with targeted treatments – all geared towards hydrating and brightening my sensitive AF face.  We used products by Tatcha, Philosophy, Dior, Caudelie, and AmorePacific.  I was excited to be able to try out one of the new Dior serums – the Capture Youth Plump Age Delay Plumping Filler one was what we went with – and I have to say it felt really soothing and hydrating. When I looked in the mirror after she applied it, my skin did indeed look immediately plumped and healthy.  I also tried out the new Philosphy C-Serum, which was recommended by the funny skin camera dude.



It had been a REALLY long time since i had an actual professional skin treatment, so i was quite amazed by the difference it made, and how healthy my skin looked, particularly after about an hour or so, when i arrived home:


No foundation!

I whole-heartedly recommend heading to your Sephora and trying out this amazing service! If you’re in the market for skincare, why not take advantage of their cool new toy?? My skin absolutely loved it, and i’m pretty sensitive.  I got to try out some new products, and the entire thing was just so much fun, and relaxing.


My little haul


I only ended up buying three skincare products, however I got samples of the Dior serum, and Philosophy Time in a Bottle 100% in-control vitamin-c Serum, which she used in my facial service.  So far, neither has caused irritation – specifically the C-serum, which can cause reactions in my skin.  Of course, it’s impossible to speak to their long-term efficacy at this point, but they both felt really nice. The Philosophy vitamin-c doesn’t feel sticky or smell weird, so…so far so good.  As always, I recommend testing out any skincare product before buying – and Sephora is always willing to give samples!

Though the service required a $75 skincare purchase, that’s super easy to accomplish, and I was going to spend money anyway. I didn’t end up purchasing all the things Kari used, of course, but she sent me an email of all the products we tried, so I can go back and get things later, if I so wish.

What i purchased:

Kari was a joy to hang out with – she’s a total sweetheart and didn’t try to push products on me that I wasn’t interested in. In fact, I got some things she didn’t even use because I was there to mainly get cleansing balm and sheet masks.  I am definitely enjoying the samples she gave me – I suspect I’ll end up buying the Dior serum, much to the dismay of my wallet, ha!  I’m hoping the Philosophy vitamin-C Serum works out, as I’d like to step up my game from the Klairs one I’m using now.

Much later in the evening, my skin was shedding dead skin layers like a snake (which is normal after an intensive treatment), so keep that in mind if you go for this service and don’t freak out!  The next morning, my skin looked so nice that I didn’t even mind not being able to wear my Le Peau Vierge or B.B cream!


My skin looks so fresh, i let it go out naked!

All i needed to do this morning, after my skincare routine, was put on sunscreen and my Tatcha Silk Canvas to protect my skin, as it’s still going to be sensitive from my service yesterday – and that’s it! I want my skin to look this amazing ALL THE TIME…

Kari recommended the service every month or so to follow up – If I were to get it done in a dermatology office, it would go for around $200 a session, so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of Sephora having it!  And if you’re downtown Chicago, stop in the Michigan Ave store and say hi to Kari!  She’ll make you feel like you’re getting a facial from your favourite sister.

Sigh  – I ❤ You, Sephora!

Let me know if you have gotten this service, or plan to, in the comments! As always, stay gorgeous, Kumquats!

XO – Monday