Hot-diggity… it’s almost Friday, friends!! And while we still don’t have hot water to the kitchen and laundry room, we do have cold running water throughout the house… so I call that progress! Unfortunately our hot water heater (among other things) needs significant repairs, and parts aren’t easy to come by these days.
So we aren’t sure how long until things can be repaired, but considering the position so many of my fellow Texans are in, I can’t complain! I’m actually headed out in a few days to shoot our next Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection (!!!), and the timing couldn’t be better! Mr. Sugarplum may not agree though, ha!
Today we’re talking beauty, and it’s a post I’ve been thinking about for a while. You know I love a good drugstore beauty find (find some of my faves HERE), but sometimes there’s just no duplicating the premium products. So what’s the worth the splurge? Obviously that’s different for everyone, but I have a handful of things…
T3 1″ Curling Iron | ghd Curve Classic 1″ Curl Iron | Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads | Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector | Le Labo Santal 33 Parfum | Neulash Eyelash Serum | BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Tool | Dyson Hair Dryer
I’ve been a fan of this curling iron for years… it delivers a beautiful curl that lasts for several days. It has adjustable heat settings from 260-410 degrees and a long swivel cord. The other selling point is the T3 has a detachable base, so you can create different curl patterns and sizes simply by changing the attachment (rather than buying another curling iron).
It’s important for a curling iron to have a strong clasp, so it holds the hair in place for a consistent curl, but I’ve found that the clasp is a little too strong on the T3. If I’m not careful, I’ll even get a little crimp from it… so more often than not, I use it as a wand. The cooling tip is also a little hard to grasp, so I sometimes fumble a little using it.
However, it delivers a beautiful curl that truly lasts all day (usually two or three!), so I continued to reach for it every time.
Pros: Long lasting curls, detachable barrels, adjustable heat settings. Cons: Tight clamp. Small cooling tip.
That is, until I discovered the ghd Curve! I’d been hearing about this iron for ages (it’s known in the industry as the gold standard), and finally bit the bullet last year. Honestly, I was hoping I could just try it to squash my curiosity, then return it! (Because who needs two pricey curling irons?!)
But dang it if I don’t absolutely love this iron!! The first thing I noticed is how lightweight it is… not that curling irons are heavy, but this one is noticeably lighter. It also heats up in mere seconds (which is great for me since I always forget to turn on my iron until I’m ready to actually curl).
The second thing I noticed was how easily my hair glides through the clamp, so I’m able to roll it tight, then pull it out smoothly all the way to the ends, without tugging or breaking my hair. (This method gives the long curls with straighter ends.) The curved tip is also easy to hold, and it has an extra-long swivel cord.
But what sets the ghd Curve apart from other curling irons is the tri-zone technology that ensures the optimum temperature constantly and evenly all along the barrel of the iron (i.e. there are no heat settings, but rather the iron maintains the optimum temp for no damage). It takes mere seconds for me to get the perfect curl and they literally last until I wash my hair again! Seriously, my second and third day curls look just as good as the day I curled them. Which means less heat curling, and no heat to re-curl!
If you have hair that’s resistant to curls, this is your iron!
Pros: Long lasting curls. Curls even the most resistant hair. Smooth barrel and clamp. Cons: No heat settings (in case you prefer turning it low). Shorter barrel not great for super-long hair.
Obviously the price point is a con for both irons, as well, but none of the budget curling irons I’ve tried hold a curl all day, so the splurge irons allow me to curl my hair less frequently, which is better for the long-term health of my hair.
Continuing on with hair tools, the Dyson Hair Dryer is definitely another splurge! But I can safely say it’s worth every penny in not only the time savings, but the health and texture of my hair. (Just check out the reviews!!) I usually allow my hair to air-dry as long as possible, and just finish it off with the dryer. Even then, the Dyson delivers a smooth, frizz-free finish.
On the rare occasion I dry it straight from the shower, it takes only a few minutes to go from soaking wet to smooth and dry! It has multiple heat and air settings, so I’m able to control the styling and temperature. Plus, it weighs half of any other dryer I’ve tried, and you can actually hold a conversation when it’s on!
It has a professional-length long cord, and comes with several attachments for styling options. Plus, I’ve had mine for over three years, and it’s still running like the day I bought it! (See my original review HERE.)
I bought the GloPRO Microneedling Tool during the Anniversary Sale a few years ago, and was impressed with its powerful microneedles! Microneedling is the process of puncturing the skin with tiny microscopic holes to trigger skin regeneration by creating more collagen, and restoring skin’s volume. Plus, when used immediately before applying skincare, it creates channels for the product to sink to the deepest layers of your skin.
In short, it causes your skin to rejuvenate itself, while helping skincare products work more effectively. You know how you aerate your yard to help the grass grow better? Microneedling is kind of like that for your skin.
The BeautyBio contains 540 surgical stainless steel microneedles, LED red light therapy function, and Vibrotactile Stimulation, so you get the most effective treatment outside of an aesthetician’s office. There are more affordable options, but I can tell you I’ve had my BeautyBio for over two years, and the tips are just as sharp today as the day I bought it.
I use it 1-2 evenings a week, in conjunction with my nighttime skincare routine.
This kookie thing is no stranger around here… it’s been on every Sugarplum Favorite Thing list I’ve ever shared!! At $16, it’s not exactly a splurge… but compared to the typical drugstore shower caps, it’s a pricey option.
But the difference is in the lining! The Drybar Shower Cap is lined with thick terrycloth that actually absorbs all the moisture from the air, keeping humidity from ever touching your hair! Which means your ‘do comes out of the shower as fresh as when you got in. If that’s not worth a splurge, I don’t know what is!?
I try not to submerge the cap in water, and hang it to dry outside my shower (the moisture of your shower can sometimes cause mold around the edge). I’ve never tried washing it, but instead just replace it annually.
I discovered these peel pads about a year ago, and they are hands-down the most powerful over-the-counter skincare product I’ve tried! The two-step process battles fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and uneven skin texture. They are also really effective for brightening, and getting rid of dark spots and scars. (Check out the before and after results with acne, it’s unbelievable!)
Step 1 contains high concentrations of alpha and beta hydroxyl acids to remove top layers of dead skin cells, and step 2 immediately nourishes the newly revealed layer of skin with soothing, anti-aging ingredients. They definitely have a strong bite to them, but my fairly sensitive skin responds well. Plus, the second step immediately calms the sting.
I find them too strong for daily use (plus, they’re pricey!), so I use them once a week immediately after dermaplaning (you really feel how powerful they are then!!).
I can’t compare the Neulash Eyelash Serum to any other product, because this worked so well for me, I’ve never felt the need to switch! It takes a little patience, but after about 3-4 weeks of nightly use, you’ll have incredible lashes!
It’s kind of funny because you won’t realize it’s doing anything, until one day you’re applying mascara and BANG! Major lashes. Simply swipe it along the base of your top lash line nightly until you achieve desired results, then you can reduce to a few times a week. A single tube lasts me 6-8 months, so while it’s still a splurge, it’s a fraction of the price of last extensions (which is what everyone will assume you have!).
I’m so impressed, I recently started using the Neubrow Brow Serum, and will report back!
What else can I possibly say about the Olaplex No. 3?!? I’ve been raving about it for over a year, and everyone who tries it can attest to its magical powers! It will repair and transform your hair after one use. Period.
Applied to damp hair before shampooing, it works to heal and strengthen hair from within, reducing breakage and giving hair a smoother, sleeker texture. I use it weekly, and leave on several hours to overnight, then follow with shampoo and conditioner. (It’s not a conditioning treatment, so read about my hair routine HERE.)
My final splurge is definitely subjective, since we all have different preferences when it comes to scents… but there’s no question that the pricier perfumes have longer staying-power and potency than their affordable counterparts.
I’ve never been much of a perfume person, and would only wear it from time to time. (My mom, on the other hand, has worn a fragrance every day I can remember!) But from the moment I smelled Le Labo Santal 33, I literally hunted down the source and demanded to know what it was! It was intoxicating, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Funny enough, it was on one of our Princess Cruise trips (remember those? #sigh), and the source was my friend’s husband!
I don’t even know how to describe this unisex scent… except to say it’s not light or floral, and it’s not sweet. It’s musky without being patchouli. It smells like an expensive hotel in winter. How’s that for a descriptor, ha! All I know is I’m obsessed with the scent… both on me and Mr. SP, and even sprayed around the house.
So what beauty faves do you have that are worth the splurge? Any on my list make your top picks?
*Photos by the darling and talented Audrie Dollins. This post is created in collaboration with Nordstrom and ShopStyle, but all product selections, styling, and selective spending are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*