How did humanity even survive without some of the things we now regularly buy at Sephora? Yes, I am kidding. Today our Sephora Spy, Jasmine, is back, and, with the help of commenter LoMorale, she tackles your questions about some of the most common things you didn't know you needed before Sephora started selling them. Lip venom: is there anything to the pain? Mineral makeup: can you really sleep in it? Won't you break out? Oil cleansers: won't those also make you break out? "High-definition" makeup for making television appearances: crap, that's asking for a breakout. All that, a rigorous discussion of high colonics and what you won't hear from Jasmine while she's on the clock, after the jump. Not satisfied? Drop a line yourself to

Do lip plumpers work for anything other than keeping you entertained while you're on drugs?

They sort of work. Basically with a lip plumper like <a href= Venom or Lip Injection, you're putting an irritant on your lips. Put an irritant anywhere on your skin and that part of you is going to sting, puff up, and get red. The lips are a really delicate, sensitive area, too, so something that might not irritate the rest of you will probably irritate that area. If you are not looking for entertainment while on drugs or in the middle of a photo shoot, I really don't see why you'd subject yourself to this. They don't sting that badly, although sometimes when I show people the Too Faced Lip Injection, they start freaking out and moaning and writhing in pain. These people being ridiculous. If that is what they think pain feels like, I'm glad I'm not their doctor. But the real question to ask yourself when it comes to lip plumpers is, "would I put this on my inner labia?" If the answer is no, it probably shouldn't go on your face lips either. Even so, as far as I know, there are no known cases of anyone not surviving a lip plumper. It's not really doing anything permanent or profound, don't let the nine layers of fancy packaging fool you. It just kind of tingles.


Bare Escentuals: miracle product or a gimmick?

Bare Minerals is Bare Escentual's star product. It's basically a foundation in powder form that claims to be so good for your skin that you can sleep in it. The thing I do like about it is that there are only five totally straightforward ingredients. It's mostly titanium dioxide, which is an ingredient you find in a lot of sunscreens. This is good because it provides some sun coverage, but the bad news is that lots of people are allergic to this ingredient. If you have an allergy, you'll break out in hives either right away or after prolonged use. Titanium dioxide is all well and good as far as I'm concerned, but Bare Minerals also has something called bismuth oxycloride which can trigger serious cystic acne in people who are allergic to it. Not so cool. Also not so cool is the fact that between the bismuth oxychloride and the mica, it is some disco shit. Which is awesome if you are eighteen, but for everyone else, the shimmer will accentuate large pores, wrinkles, acne, dry patches... whatever is wrong with your face, Bare Minerals will somehow manage to highlight. This stuff gets all up in my crow's feet and makes them look worse. Also embarrassing is that this was originally a QVC product. They also have really corny mall stores. I hear it works wonders for some people, but between the infomercials and the mall stores, I have to wonder if the lights in Applebee's are not maybe sort of forgiving. We sell a ton of this at Sephora. The starter kit is a really good deal and everyone usually buys that. You get two different shades of foundation, concealer, mineral veil which is basically powder even though all of it is powder, a priming lotion, and all of the brushes you need. Can you sleep in it? Why would you sleep in it when they make Rare Minerals is ridiculous. I mean, it's sort of awesome in that it is makeup that is also a night treatment. It's supposed to make you pretty while you sleep. I can see this being a lifesaver for girls who haven't gotten laid since the year 2000 because their skin is so bad that they don't want the guy to see them without their makeup on, yet are equally unwilling to go to bed without washing their face. It has decent coverage, too. It's makeup. I don't know if it works, I'm kind of scared of it. Every fiber in my being says that sleeping in makeup is wrong, and that it is even more wrong to put makeup on specifically for sleeping in.

Can Little Rock, Arkansas please have a Sephora store?

Well, way back right after they hired me, there was this big meeting when they asked all of the $11 an hour sales assistants (but not the lowly $9 an hour sales assistants) what we, personally, thought about the terrible conundrum of Little Rock. I tried to fight for you guys, really I did, but eventually the president told us that he felt that Little Rock was "beyond our services" in the beauty department. I had a free panini in one hand and the spigot on a box of Franzia pushed down with two of my other fingers. Who was I to make an issue?


I'm getting married soon and I'm so not a "makeup" chick. What kind of foundation looks the best in pictures taken outside?

Cargo cosmetics carries a product called Blu-Ray High Definition that is specifically meant for people whose pictures are being taken. I think the clever concept behind that name it is that it'll make you look good enough for high definition TV, which obviously magnifies every little imperfection and flaw and can sometimes be less than pretty for that reason. This product is a little kit for $59 that includes powder, blush/highlighter stuff, lip gloss, a mattifying primer, and mascara. Now, how mascara can be considered "high definition" in a sense beyond it separating your eyelashes is beyond me, but yeah, it's in there. The lip gloss is whatever. But the face products make a little more sense to me. They come in one color that supposedly works on everyone. The idea is that you use your own foundation between the primer and powder, and the blush is something that works for everyone. The fact that it's a whole kit is good for non-makeup-people, and also people who are buying makeup for a specific event during which they'll be photographed. As far as foundation goes, if you use this stuff along with your usual foundation, it should be fine. This stuff is pretty heavy-duty.


I'm Black, and I have what I guess is considered "typical" skin for Black people: oily, with blackheads and large pores. What should I use? How often should I wash my skin? Should I use moisturizer?

If you walked into Sephora, I'd try to sell you on the Shu Uemura Skin Purifier High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil. Five ounces for $28. Basically the idea is that oil repels oil, so if you're oily and wash your face with more oil, it encourages your skin to find a balance. A lot of oily skinned people try to dry their skin out, which kind of makes their face think that it needs to produce more oil to compensate. Using an oil cleanser is one of way of making sure that doesn't happen. This alone could have a really dramatically good effect. Also, cleansing oils are good because they require you to massage it in, something that's really good for your face. Of course, since I'm not on the clock at the moment, I can tell you that you can do the same thing on the cheap with products you can find in the drugstore. Check out this website for the Oil Cleansing Method. The site recommends that you only do it once, at night, and since it involves oils anyway, there's no need for a moisturizer. Bare Minerals actually has an SPF 15, and it's great for oilier skin, so if you wear makeup during the day, that's a good way of killing two birds with one stone.


What other techniques have you thought about trying in your quest to achieve perfect skin?

I'm really interested in high colonics right now. I spent a whole day last week calling places up and asking them questions until they were about to hang up on me. A high colonic is when they pump your ass full of water, or water mixed with other substances, in order to clean your colon out. Apparently sometimes they find things you swallowed as a child, like pennies, rings, buttons, things like that. So what I wanted to know was, if you find a ring, can I keep it? Can I just keep my old poop if I feel like it? Cause you don't have to go digging through it if you don't want to, I'll do that part, but if I swallowed a ring as a child I probably want that back. Also I asked what I should eat first, and they said no meat or dairy for 24 hours beforehand. And I wanted to know if it hurts. Like fifty times, I asked that, and every single place assured me that it didn't. The one place said that all the poopy stuff goes through this tube and you can watch it come out, like poop TV. I asked them if I could do it every week, or if I should wait for something to build up, because, you know, they like to do a series of them. I'm not sure if that's a rip-off tactic or not but that's what all of them tell you. Anyway, it's supposed to be really good for detoxing your skin. If you are suddenly able to digest better, your liver isn't working so hard and your epithelial system isn't bearing the brunt of your bad habits. I can see how that works. Mostly, though, it's just something to do and I want to see what happens. A technician stands there and massages your stomach and whispers sweet nothings in your ear as your colon is irrigated. Do you think they get tipped? If anyone knows a precedent for that, please tell me. I would seriously hate to stiff a colon irrigation technician for a tip. It's poop. If they generally get tipped, I want to tip well.


Earlier: How I Conquered My Cystic Acne In Just 17 Painful Steps

I Work Here To Feed My Sick Fancy Product Addiction, The Least I Can Do Is Help You

Meet Jasmine, Our Undercover Sephora Agent