Sephora, Ulta and Bluemercury have all added coveted new brands to their stores that bring a bit of luxury to T-town. Before the luxe new additions, the product-obsessed had to travel to Phoenix, California, or any other state or city that actually had a Nordstrom, etc. But NOW, you can find Charlotte Tilbury, Patrick Ta and Huda Beauty at Sephora. Bluemercury has added Chantecaille to its high-end offerings and Ulta has stocked the millennial fave Loving Tan that my teens used to have to order from Australia. This is progress people!
One of the few highlights of shopping at Tucson Mall during the back-to-school rush was finding this today! Jo Malone London has a huge new display at Dillard’s, right at the top of the escalators. No more having to order her elegant perfumes and candles online! But, Jo Malone is only at the Tucson Mall Dillard’s, not Park Place. (I called that location and when the operator said “Who?” Yeah, I confirmed it’s not there…)
I consider myself product-obsessed to be sure, so seeing a glistening silver tube by a brand I had never seen before on a recent trip, you can bet I tried it.
Goe Oil, by Jao Brand, is a semi-solid oil, made from 28 plant-derived oils and butters. It melts as you rub it in your hands, which I didn’t realize, and took too much and got it all over me. So, long story short, I left the boutique, but found myself enveloped with the most amazing scent all day long. I literally smelled like Hawaiian flowers and my skin felt amazing.
The creator of Jao Brand, Gale Mayron, developed her skin care line with her chemist father. “I formulated this with my father saying, ‘Dad I want a semi-solid oil I can travel with that will melt when I rub it together,’ she writes on her website, jaobrand.com. “My father always said this was one of the most difficult projects he’d ever worked on. Intricate formulation indeed. Nobody would be crazy enough to combine 28 different oils, waxes, and butters!”
I ordered it from Amazon when I got home and use it on the days when lotion just doesn’t cut it.
With all the Sephoras and Ultas of the world, there is still something special about shopping at a boutique makeup store. In Tucson, Bluemercury remains that special place. Not only did the Macy’s-owned chain outlast Beauty Brands, but the La Encantada store has many exclusive lines, such as Chantecaille and Lune + Aster. A little bonus for the amazing Tucson moms right now–when you spend $100 or more, you get a free bag of luxury samples, until supplies last!
Sometimes, you need only visit your corner CVS store to find a satisfying beauty haul.
“Haul” is a word that comes from YouTube and is when young influencers are sent hundreds of products to try, earn millions of dollars in endorsements and enjoy over-the-top Coachella accommodations while not earning a college degree.
So, when I’m killing time and musing over why my journalism degree doesn’t garner such luxuries, I find myself wandering the aisles of this drugstore, searching for happiness in a cheap beauty product. Some recent finds:
Differin Gel – my dermatologist recently told me about this retinoid acne gel, which used to only be available by prescription. It’s pretty awesome and works! ($15/$30)
Violet Flower Hand Mask – not sure about the “intense moisture” it provides but the gloves are cool and the violet scent is so luxurious, totally worth the $4.99 price tag. Korean beauty products – they know their stuff.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay – my youngest teen and her product-knowledgeable best friend love this stuff! ($9)
ARDEN Magnetic Lashes – can’t WAIT to try these! ($13.99)
Beauty 360 Rose & Pearl Brightening Mask Pods – I really hope these work well. They are really pink and pretty. They also come in a pack of 2 and include a cover so you can re-use them! I like a product that leaves me prepared. ($4.39)