How the Sephora Skincare Challenge saved Christmas

We went to a party the night before Christmas Eve and I had one of those nights when you forget you’re old and drink like you’re still 22. Needless to say, I was sorry the next day. Actually, I got off lucky, because if I’d had any more to drink I probably would have gotten a migraine, and then my whole day would have been shot; instead, I was just headachy and hung over enough on Christmas Eve morning to worry that I’d spend the day on the couch. And I had things to do. Lesson: When you’ve started with champagne and moved on to good red wine, there is absolutely no reason to reach for an Alaskan Amber at the end of the evening. You’ll just end up crossing a line you didn’t even need to approach.

Another event I hadn’t anticipated: I didn’t plan to participate in the Sephora Skincare Challenge, but my fancy complicated (high maintenance) skin demands fancy complicated products, so I was halfway to my Skincare Challenge reward before I’d even realized what the program was. In short: Buy four qualifying skincare products at Sephora before the end of the year and receive a special gift (some small selection of items I hadn’t really looked at because, again, I was participating completely by accident). I actually bought my fourth product on my trip to Las Vegas, but I wasn’t interested in the only gift they had available in the store (some kind of mini eye kit? I don’t remember. It wasn’t exciting) so I took the certificate to redeem online later. Which I did, when I placed a mid-December birthday order for my sister-in-law. There were a couple of choices, but they looked kind of sample-sized and uninteresting — until I read the fine print and realized the Philosophy shower gel option was actually a full-sized 16 oz. bottle. I hadn’t smelled the scent, but free Philosophy is free Philosophy, you know? So this arrived:

and I gave it the sniff test (which it passed), tossed it in the shower and forgot about it.

Until the morning of Christmas Eve, when I stumbled into the shower in the hope that hot water would snap me out of my post-drink funk and reached for the closest bottle, which turned out to be that free Philosophy Bubbly.

And I kid you not: It turned my whole day around. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to smell like (Sephora describes it as “champagne inspired”), but it’s got kind of a light, fruity scent (not girly pink fruity, but clean fresh fruity) that cut through my gunky feeling and cleared my head. Seriously, it was like rays of sunshine beamed down into my shower and cleared away the hangover fog. Forget that skincare line; they should have called this product the Miracle Worker.

In short: Endorse, endorse, endorse. I am a Bubbly convert. And will be as long as I keep drinking the thing they named it after.

Philosophy Bubbly Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
Bottom Line: Cures the common (mild) hangover and smells like sunshine.
Price: $$
Tip: Also good for clearing the head on those early mornings after you’ve been up too late watching old episodes of “Project Runway” and playing Angry Birds.

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