May 2018 Allure Beauty Box – In the Fast Lane

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Yup, I added yet another Beauty Box Subscription to the mix – the Allure Beauty Box. (This is different than the seasonal Allure Beauty Thrills boxes from a few years ago.) My sister used to get it a few years ago, but ended up canceling it. I was sucked in by an ad for the June box – a collab with Kat Von D. They were nice enough to start my subscription with the May box – “In the Fast Lane.”

Inside my first box: Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks (2 sets); Kenra Dry Oil Control Spray; First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer (LOVE this stuff); St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse (nope, nope, nope); and CLE Melting Lip Powder in “Desert Rose” (this is one of the most amazing products I’ve ever tried…this powder absolutely melted onto my lips without a mess and stays PUT – this is the next big thing in lip color).

There were also two new subscriber gifts – L’Oreal Ever Pure Hair Sheet Mask Steam Treatment (weird) and Grande Lips Hydrating Lip Plumper in “Lust Red” (my lips are plenty plump).

The products seem a bit higher end than my other boxes, but that might be because this is a more pricey box. I’ll give it a few months to see how it goes.

The Allure Beauty Box is $15/month, but they give you $5 off your first box. They also offer an option for $150/year – a savings of $30. You can sign up at https://beautybox.allure.com.

June 2018 Birchbox – Warm Weather Pleasures

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I am easily distracted by pretty, shiny things. I am seriously considering cutting Birchbox from the lineup…but then I got the email at the end of May with the product choices/curated box and I saw a new kind of beautyblender. Yup, they just reeled me in for another month.

So I selected the Curated Box – “Warm Weather Pleasures” – to get a closer look BeautyBlender Original Foam Sampler. It’s not a full size sponge, just a tiny sliver of one? It’s supposed to grow when you add water, as opposed to the original one that stayed the same size. Well, I am less than impressed – it’s just a sample of a different kind of foam? I was expecting a usable sample.

Also in this month’s box: Red Earth Deep Dive Water Cream (new brand to me); Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum; Davines SU Hair & Body Wash (I’ll use the shit out of this); and R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion (oh, this is for hair.)

Brand quality/recognition is taking a serious deep dive at Birchbox. The points program is now nearly worthless…just saying…

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Target Beauty Boxes – June 2018

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

My husband got lucky this month – a girly box AND a manly box.

The manly box – “Hello Dapper Dude” – has fancy men’s grooming products. Old Spice Hair Pomade (my husband shaves his head and my son has hair like Lady Godiva, so this will go to my brother-in-law); Cremo Blue Cedar and Cypress Body Wash (I’m not sure that there’s enough for a single shower in this little plastic bottle); Nivea Creme; Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Bar; Method Men’s Cedar + Cypress Body Wash (cedar and cypress again?); and Degree for Men Deodorant. Not a bad box.

The girly box – “Hello Fresh Face” – has product to help you give your skin a break from foundations by highlighting other features. This box has Eylure Accents (nope, nope, nope to fake eyelashes – feels like spiders on my face); Neutrogena Hydro Boost Mascara (interesting); Sleek MakeUP Major Matte Lip Cream in “Daydreamer”; Good Chemistry “Queen Bee” (OMFG, this smells good – it’s black currant, peony and amber and I must buy it immediately!); Garnier Micellular Water (good for cleaning up makeup mistakes); Colgate Optic White Express White Toothpaste; and Up & Up Premium Cotton Rounds. Except for those dumbass fake eyelashes, I’ll use everything in this box!

Two good value boxes!

Each box had the usual $3 off a Beauty/Personal Care purchase of $15 or more – but back to the regular kind of coupon with a bar code, not the one with a QR code like last month. Boo. Each box was $7, with free shipping and 5% off with my Red Card.

2 Sales, 2 Hauls

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Monday, June 4th was the first day of Bath & Body Works’ Semi-Annual Sale. You know I was there!

I am not particularly a fan of the location adjacent to my office – the dead/dying West Oaks Mall – but I managed to not get shanked while making my way through the parking lot and schlepping through Palais Royale to get there. (Have you ever noticed that Palais Royale ALWAYS smells like hot dog water and raw meat? Not just this one, but all of them. Why is that?)

First day of the sale, there’s plenty of stock and and it’s somewhat neat still. That doesn’t last long. Prices are the highest they’ll be, but that selection…

The first decision I made, was to add “Wild Rose & Apple” to my shower. I picked up 2 shower gels, a body lotion and a fine fragrance mist at 50% off. If I see it go to 75%, I’ll definitely buy more – this shit smells GOOD. My MiL even complimented it.

I considered adding “Rose Quartz” to my shower, but I decided to hold off – I had put some lotion on my hands when I first got to the store, but it started to annoy me. I did go ahead and add 4 Deep Cleansing Hand Soaps at $3 each, two $2 Astrology candles (one for me and one for my sis), a couple of 50% off bath poofs and 3 Wallflower Refills.

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

A very nice haul, especially since I had a $10 off $40 coupon in my email…but I already had an online order en route. Deep Cleansing Hand Soap was on sale for $3 last week and I couldn’t resist.

I ordered 9 of them. I had to, in order to use the free shipping on $25 coupon. Two of the soaps I picked up Monday were dupes of what I’d already ordered – “Pink Grapefruit Pop” and “Strawberry Lemonade”, but the rest were new.

I’m fairly certain that these will not be my last hauls from the sale. Sorry, not sorry.

OH! And TODAY, Bath & Body Works’ Instagram account regrammed my haul picture. I can die happy.

The Mother of All Sample Bags

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Ulta might be stingy when it comes with its regular samples, but they are more than generous when it comes to their gift with purchase sample bags. To kick off the Memorial Day weekend, Ulta offered the Mother of All Sample Bags with a $65 purchase…but first, my purchases.

When I get the emails with a sample bag or gift with purchase, I’ll check the sales and fill up my bag. Sometimes I’ll complete the transaction, but oftentimes I don’t. I’ll usually just leave stuff in my bag for next time. Unfortunately, my bag was empty, so I had to start this shopping trip from scratch. I started by checking the Ulta Sale page. I noticed that Edge/Skintimate Shave Gel was BOGO 50% off. Unfortunately, they were out of Edge, so my husband will get to shave his head with Skintimate. Then I noticed that L’Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent for Brunette Hair was $8.99, down from $10.99. Since it doesn’t work all that well, I figured it would be perfect to use on the kids. I got 3 – Teal, Midnight Blue and Maroon. I also found Ofra Limited Edition Metallic Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “Fantasia” (it reflects in blue, red and purple – it’s almost holographic) for $10.20, down from $17.

Another deal I was able to take advantage of was a Makeup Revolution Mystery Bag Offer with $25 purchase. This one was hard to do, since Sally just sent me ALL the newest palettes. I decided on the SophX Ultra 24 Eyeshadow Palette, $15 and the Pro HD Brighter Than My Future Palette, $20, but $16 after my 20% off any one item coupon. I had never heard of @SophieDoesNails until this palette, but apparently, she’s a famous Influencer in the UK. I tried out the eye shadows today (without primer) and they do seem to be slightly higher quality than the normal eyeshadows. They blended seamlessly and lasted decently well. Most of the colors are shimmery and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the dark greens, but looking forward to playing with it. It may – or may not – be a dupe for the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette. It looks somewhat similar, but infinitely more wearable. The Pro HD palette is a blush/highlighter palette. The shimmers are INTENSE. I tried one of the striped ones and had to pat half of it off – I looked like an alien. Good stuff, man. Inside the Mystery Bag: the Unicorns Unite Salvation Palette (I actually don’t have this one!), The One Sculpt Contour Stick, Ultra Strobe Stick in “Peach Lightening”, and Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in “The One for All”. Not bad.

And now. what was in the 29 piece Mother of All Sample Bags? In no particular order: tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (4 shades); DevaCurl Melt into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask; Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara; Sexy Hair Sexy Suds Shampoo & Conditioner; Ulta Beauty Poreless Face Primer (nice); Benefit Roller Lash (one of my fave mascaras); Hempz Herbal Healthy Hair Herbal Fortifying Shampoo; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads; Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Prada Candy; Maybelline Great Lash (that iconic pink and green tube); Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser; NYX Worth the Hype Volume & Lengthening Mascara; Eyeko London eye do liquid eye liner in “carbon black”; Woman by Ralph Lauren; dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream; Julep Love Your Bare Face Cleansing Oil; living proof. No Frizz Nourishing Style Cream; Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner (this opened inside the bag and got everything a bit MOIST); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “Bunny” (there’s no way this peachy shade would ever work in my hair – or anyone’s hair for that matter); philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “St. Tropez”; Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in “Lit” (even though I think Lime Crime is a shit brand, I’m looking forward to trying this one out); Kenra Platinum Luxe One Leave-In All-in-One Miracle Spray; COOLA Dawn Patrol Classic Primer; Garnier Skin Active Micellular Foaming Gel Cleanser; and Becca Ultimate Coverage 24-Hour Foundation (3 foil swatches). That’s a lot of stuff, right? That’s at least $50-60 worth of samples! AND it came in a huge, high quality woven canvas makeup bag. Oh, and did I forget the $5 off $15 Ulta Collection coupon?

I also forgot my regular samples – Redken All Soft Shampoo & Conditioner and HASK Biotin Boost Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner. I checked my Ultimate Rewards Balance and I just need ~$50 more to hit Platinum. There’s a slight possibility that I could make Diamond if I get a few haircuts…

Target Beauty Box – May 2018

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Only one Target Beauty Box this month – I am so spoiled.

This month’s theme is “Hello Indulgence!” and includes a wide variety of pampering products. I am excited to try the St. Ives Cleansing Stick in “Cactus Water  & Hibiscus”. Julep’s groundbreaking idea is catching on!

Also in this month’s box: OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Dry Shampoo; La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm Intense Repair Moisturizing Cream; Free & Lovely by Bodycology Body Mist in “Lavender & Amber”; Scunci Spirals (a rip-off of the invisibobble); Soap & Glory The Scrub of Your Life Body Butter (but it’s really a body scrub); and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Lotion Sunscreen SPF 55 (Yasss, it’s waterproof – I’ll be using this at Schlitterbahn this summer).

Great box!

This box had the usual $3 off a Beauty purchase of $15 or more – but it was a different kind of coupon. It has a QR code to add to the Target app – I LOVE that! The box was $7, with free shipping and 5% off with my Red Card.

April 2018 Ipsy Bag – Social Butterfly

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

LOOK at this month’s ipsy bag – rose gold butterflies! I’m dead.

The Pretty Woman Nail Polish in “Girl Boss” was the first product that caught my eye – it’s a dusty rose that matches the bag. Also in this month’s bag: Firma Beauty Angled Blender Brush; Ciate London Starstruck Double-Ended Stamp Liquid Liner (well, if I want to look like Kat Von D); Bubble T Cosmetics Lemongrass & Green Tea Stimulating Hand Cream; and Hempz Herbal Lip Balm (tee hee – hemp).

A solid bag, if a bit on the hippy side.

If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my link.

Target Beauty Box – April 2018

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

…ANOTHER Target Beauty Box for April? Wut?

I was still reeling over the first four Target Beauty Boxes that I ordered this month when a fifth became available to order, this one focusing on natural beauty products – “Hello Natural Beauty”.

Inside the Natural Beauty box: Method Experiential Simply Nourish Body Wash (coconut, rice milk, and shea butter); Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water Shampoo & Conditioner (yassss); SheaMoisture African Black Soap Mud Mask (My beauty buddy, Angie, just suggested this mask to me TODAY); Schmidt’s Rose + Vanilla Deodorant (Looking forward to a rose deodorant, not to mention the SPIFFY name); Nourish Organic Face Lotion; and Weleda Skin Food (lotion, I guess).

I am psyched to try every product in this box – that’s rare!

This box went back to the usual $3 off a Beauty purchase of $15 or more. It was $7, with free shipping and 5% off with my Red Card.

Coconut and Coffee

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I don’t usually share every time I go to Target, but this trip actually contained some “share-worthy” products.

I get all kinds of excited every time St. Ives comes out with a new product. I was able to use my Target Beauty Box coupon on St. Ives Energizing Coconut & Coffee Scrub. So excited to try it! But I’m making myself use up the Shea Moisture scrub before I open it…

I also tried L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Cleanser – Exfoliate & Refine, which is a red clay as opposed to the black clay I have on my sink. Again, I’m forcing myself to use up the old one before I open the new one.

Everything else I bought was much less exciting – Axe Body Wash and Shampoo for the men, Cotton Balls, Toner, Contact Solution and a shit ton of nail polish remover.

I fucking love Target.

Beachwave Me

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I’m always looking for the next product/styling aid that will give me perfect hair…I try something new, get excited…then back comes the ponytail.

That being said, my current Revlon curling iron is probably older than my son (13!) and didn’t get very hot last time I tried to use it. I’ve been drooling over the Beachwaver Curling Iron, but at $129 – that’s a steep price for a curling iron! How can I rationalize spending that much money on a styler I’ll use just a few times a year? Well…I found a way.

First, you save up your Ulta Platinum Points for nearly 2 years – the last time I used my points was on the Alice Through the Looking Glass Palette! I had saved $67.50 in points. Then, wait for a 20% off coupon. Last week, the stars aligned and I snagged the Beachwaver S1 Curling Iron for just $35.70. Woo! I tried it out and it’s just as amazing as videos make it look. You literally just grab your hair and press the button and BAM – perfect waves. I haven’t done my whole head yet…but coming soon!

I also found a promo for a free 18 piece Beauty Bag with $30 purchase on RetailMeNot – check out the amazing contents: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” (already have one, but sure); Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer (have some, but I like it); Bosley Professional Strength Ultra Boost Styling Creme (Bosley, like the hair plug people?); Clairol Hair Food Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Infused with Honey Apricot Fragrance (Mmmmm); Jimmy Choo L’eau; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (huh?); Hempz Original Herbal Shampoo for Damaged and Color Treated Hair; Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium; Philosophy Amazing Grace; Living proof. restore mask treatment; goodol Wash Up Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay; Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil; Perricone MD Cold Plasma Face Serum; Rituals Hand Balm in “Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil”; Philosophy Purity Made Simple (love this stuff for when I travel); Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum; Estee Lauder The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer; Organic to Green Coco Oil; and a $5 off $15 Ulta Collection coupon! I have finger cramps now!

My usual samples were also good –  NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in “American Woman” and HASK Biotin Boost Shampoo & Conditioner.

I don’t plan on hitting the beach this summer, but my hair will be ready just in case!