Category: Face

 
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Sephora Favorites Hello! Holy-Grail Greats

As soon as I start complaining about missing subscription boxes, Sephora releases another Hello! set. Even if it’s not all that great a set, I went ahead and ordered it – just to get some mail.

I didn’t think I’d like the Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya, but it feels really nice on my skin. It’s similar to belif Aqua Bomb in silkiness.

I wore Valentino Donna Born in Roma today and I was surprised at how much I liked it – I don’t usually like woody oriental scents. I didn’t get an Italian vibe from this scent, it was very Far Eastern.

Also in the Holy-Grail Greats set: Tarte Lights, Camera, Action 4-in-1 Mascara (meh); Moroccanoil Treatment Light (meh); Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow (interested to try it); and Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 (meh).

The set was $10 and I used FREESHIP to get free shipping. The set also came with coupons for 15% off a full size purchase of each of the included products.

I’ve been saving up Beauty Insider points for several years and decided to use 500 points to get the Fresh Rose Hydration Heaven Set, which includes one of my favorite moisturizers – Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, as well as Soy Face Cleanser, Rose Face Mask, and Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (my favorite balm).

I received two fragrance samples with my order. Leila Lou by Rosie Jane is a heavy jasmine scent – it didn’t smell bad, but it was too much jasmine for me. I’ll be giving this one away. Viktor & Rolf Magic Salty Flower is more my speed. There’s a touch of jasmine in this scent, but there are more blossomy and salty accords. I’ll be keeping this one.

$133 to VIB status in 2021.

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Influenster Vox Box – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten a beauty product Vox Box – the last few have been food…but I just received the newly formulated Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex.

I’ll be honest, I use a wide variety of skin products and my skin tolerates a wide variety of products, but my skin REALLY likes Advanced Night Repair. It’s a lightly scented, light-weight serum. It disappears into my skin within seconds. It doesn’t break me out and when I wake up, my skin is glowing. I feel like my skintone is more even and not as dull as it was a week ago. I’ve gotten samples of the original formula Advanced Night Repair with several different Ulta orders and it was fine, but I don’t feel that it was as nice to my skin as this new formula. I’ll be super sad when my sample runs out.

Literally the only negative about this product is the price. The smallest size – 0.67 ounces – is $50 and a full ounce is $75. I would be hard pressed to spend that kind of money on a serum at 44 years old. Ask me again at 54 years old though…

As always, product was received complimentary, for reviewing purposes.

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July 2020 Ipsy Bag – Take a Break

Take a break and get away…Run away with us for the summer…

I know, I know – I STILL have Hamilton on the brain. This month’s ipsy bag includes products for a beauty staycation. Jokes on ipsy – we’re ALL on a staycation right now. Summer is CANCELED.

This month’s product choice was Mudmasky Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask. I will be trying it before my shower tomorrow…

Also in this month’s totally 80s “Escape” bag: Firma Beauty 201 Tall Blender Brush (Okay, I am gonna start painting shit with all these brushes); TheBalm Cosmetics Will Power Blush in “Perseverance”; BASD Body Lotion in “Seductive Sandalwood” (I do not care for sandalwood, so I gave it to my daughter); and Space Case Cosmetics Eye Shadow in “Karma is a Beach”.

A good assortment of products this month!

I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link. I am starting to get tempted to subscribe to the yearly plan…

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July 2020 Allure Beauty Box – The Little Things

Allure is back on the skincare kick again, giving us an all skincare box for July.

The star of this month’s box is a full size – 40ml – Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum. I’ve gotten a few samples of this before with Ulta GWPs and even used up one of them. It’s a nice, light serum full of hyaluronic acid. The only downside is that it doesn’t smell like peach…or lily, for that matter. I’ve been using it every morning before work.

I’ve also been using the Osea Ocean Cleanser. It has a really odd, slimy texture and smells very…green? It smells like seaweed or something? It’s okay, but I wouldn’t buy it for myself.

Also in this month’s box: Beautaniq Beauty Butter Lip & Cheek Balm; Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream (a different product than the Correcting Cream I got in April, but I did get this gel in a Sephora Play! box in 2017); Lapcos Daily Skin Mask in Charcoal; and Avarelle Acne Cover Patches.

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. Sign up via my referral link.

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Ultraviolet Gryffindor

The new Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Ultraviolet Palette ($49) launched at Ulta on July 5th, several weeks after the launch at Sephora, but I wanted to wait to buy it at Ulta so that I could use points to get it. Patience is a virtue…

I’m glad that I used points to get the Ultraviolet Palette – it’s somewhat underwhelming. The color story is…odd. I never would’ve put peach and purple together, but it is doable. The shadows are not as “buttery” and soft as the first several Naked Palettes – I had a harder time blending them on my bare skin. The brushes included with the palette is very nice though. I’m still experimenting with this palette, but I feel like it will be easily forgotten, kind of like Naked Smoky.

Ohhhhh, Ulta just launched a Harry Potter Collaboration. Several items were already sold out – include all of the lip pencils and the Vault with all of the House Shadow Palettes. I did get the Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Gryffindor Eye Shadow Palette ($16) for myself. The color story is reminiscent of the rosy chestnut tones that I love. The quality was very good, similar to last summer’s Frida Kahlo collaboration. I knew that my daughter would be Slytherin GREEN with envy, so I picked her up 2 of the Harry Potter Lip Glosses: “Hedwig” (a clear glitter topper) and “9¾” (a peachy topper). Normally $10, they were BOGO Half.

I cannot say no to inflatable Flamingos, to I snagged the Ulta Meet Me Poolside Kit ($10, down from $20). The inflatable Flamingo Drink floatie looks like the perfect size for Barbie. The kit also includes the Meet Me Poolside Eye Shadow Palette, You’re Golden Matte Bronzer, Dive-In Bouncy Blush, Summertime Shine Lip Jelly, all in a cute Cosmetic Bag.

Another reason that I’m glad I waited to order from Ulta is all the gifts with purchase I was able to rack up on my order. I got ANOTHER Palm Tree Tote 4 piece gift like the one I got last month with $25 in Ulta products purchase – I gave it to Lily. I also got a Platinum/Diamond Exclusive Gift with a $30 Makeup purchase…turns out it was the Fall 2019 gift with purchase that I got in November. The Zebra Beauty Bag (free with an $85 purchase) was NOT a dupe though. Inside the rainbow zebra bag: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Profundo; Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti-Frizz Dry Oil Mist; Kenra Prime Conditioner Style Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner (deluxe sizes!); Kate Somerville ExfoliKate (yes!); Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream; Bumble and bumble. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil; MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance; Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream; Becca Ignite Highlighter; Tan Towel Plus (NOPE); PÜR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer; Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; Mamonde Rose Water Toner (good, I’ve almost used up my last sample); touch in SOL No Poreblem Primer (Ooooh, I’ve been wanting to try this one); Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask; and philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Peeling Mousse (intrigued). Yeah, this bag is packed with cool new products I’ve never tried before and few ones I really love.

So I managed to use $50 in points and a $3.50 off coupon, ultimately only spending $39.51 for the whole box…$682 to Diamond.

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Yes to Ulta

That Ulta, they keep getting me with their “gift with purchase” offers. My $60 purchase brought me a 10 piece “Patio Prep” Sampler. The sampler includes: My Amazing Replenish Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner (This brand is new to me and I am excited to try it); L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base (I’ve gotten 3-4 samples of this and still have never tried it); Cover FX Mattifying Primer + Acne Treatment (Intrigued by this product – looking forward to trying this as well); Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum; Milani Bold Matte Lipstick in “I am Worthy” (I have not tried it yet, but it looks like my favorite shade, KvD “Lolita”); belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (YES – I will never run out!); Hey Honey! 24Seven! Honey Day & Night Cream; and skyn Iceland The Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion. No lie – this is the best sample bag I’ve received in a good long while!

The way I’ve been shopping at Ulta lately, is filling my shopping cart with things I want, waiting for a good promo or deal. Yes to… products were BOGO Half, so I picked up a few items for my son: Yes to Tomatoes Triple Threat Acne Treatment Kit ($12.99 and includes a sulfur solution like Kate Somerville – I might have to switch myself) and Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser ($5, down from $9.99). He acted offended, but I’ve noticed a real improvement in his complexion since he’s started using them.

I added to my conditioner hoard with John Frieda Wonder Drops – Frizz Smoothing Wonder Mask ($1.47 each and also BOGO Half). I got two and used one so far. It felt like a normal conditioner to me – nothing special. The packettes are smaller than I’m used to – only one application. I also ordered a Diane Hanging Shower Comb ($3.50) to evenly distribute my conditioning packs.

I liked the ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip in my last order, so I ordered another one – “Cherry on Top”, a blackened cherry ($7).

EVERYWHERE is selling face masks now. I bought a pack of 3 from Kitsch for $12.99. They are good quality and breathable, so I’ll definitely buy more now that Texas has a Face Mask Order across the whole state.

I found a few 75% off clearance goodies: Ulta Transforming Clay Cleanser ($3.12, down from $12.50 ), which is supposed to change colors after 30 seconds, but changes color immediately – so weird. Also, Beauty by Popsugar Liquid Velvet Lip in “Be Racy” ($6, down from $24), which was way pinker than I expected and kind of tacky, as in made my lips stick together.

The last few things I threw in my cart were random – a Rebels Refinery Skull Lip Balm in “Mint”, because it reminded me of a lighter that I used to have, and a back-up Zoya Remove+ ($10). Oh, and don’t forget about that $3.50 off coupon!

After this purchase, I’m 40% to Diamond in 2021 ($719 to go)…but I have $61 in points. The new Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet Palette drops in a few days and I’ve got my eye on it…

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June 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Brighter Days

Now this is what I’m talking ’bout Allure!

The last few boxes have been duds, but this month’s box is an improvement. The star of the box is the FULL SIZE pūrlisse Watermelon + Charcoal Purifying Cleanser. It smells SO good and makes my skin feel so clean it squeaks.

The other big winner in this month’s box is belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb Aloe Vera. I’ve loved the original Aqua Bomb for years and this new formula with aloe vera takes hydration to a whole other level. I’d actually BUY this product.

Also in this month’s box: Starskin 100% Camellia Nourishing & Brightening 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask; Yensa Super 8 Lip Oil in “Pink Shine”; Dashing Diva Gloss Ultra Shine Gel Palette; and La Roche-Posay Active C10.

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. Sign up via my referral link.

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June 2020 Ipsy Bag – Make Waves

Ooooh, now this is a nice ipsy bag.

For this month’s product choice, I decided to go out of character and pick Sugar Cosmetics Matte as Hell Lip Crayon in “Scarlett O’Hara”. I admit that I was drawn to the name, not because I like Gone with Wind – I don’t care for it – but because my son’s name would’ve been Scarlett Uhura if he was a girl. Not only is is a pretty, neutral toned red…but it has staying power! I was shocked that it last all day and didn’t transfer much. It was a really good pick.

Also in this month’s bag: Color Club “Catwalk” (I love trampy red nail polish); Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Cleanser (I got this in a Birchbox 5 years ago – I love the scent); Eddie Funkhouser Domed Blending Brush (who is Eddie Funkhouser?); and Pureheals Ginseng Berry 80 Overnight Mask (it’s not really a mask, just a light moisturizer).

I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link. I am starting to get tempted to subscribe to the yearly plan…

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Sephora Favorites Hello! Beauty Icons Set

Just a month after Sephora unceremoniously killed their $10 monthly Beauty Box subscription, they release a $10 sample set. OhhhhhhKAY, I’ll bite.

Yeah, I picked up the $10 Sephora Favorites Hello! Beauty Icons Set. Honestly, I wouldn’t have bothered if I had to pay for shipping with it, but Sephora is still offering free shipping for COVID.

Why do I have so much Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb? I get samples from every service, month after month. It’s fine, I even wore it today. I’d never buy it, but it’s an okay scent if you have half a dozen samples of it.

I used the Living proof. Restore Repair Mask on my hair this morning – it smells so expensive, but didn’t make is noticeably softer.

Also in the kit: NARS Lipstick in “Toléde”; Youth to The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleaner (I’ve gotten this in a box previously – it’s good); Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze in “Sunkissed”; and Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream (love this stuff, going to put it on before bed tonight).

Oh, and the set included 15% off coupons for full sizes of the included products. Yeah, I will never use them.

I also got regular Sephora samples: Verb Ghost Shampoo & Conditioner and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. Just $198 to maintain my VIB status.

FYI, the set is currently still available on Sephora’s site, so go get it here.

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Back to Back Ulta Hauls

I know I just ordered, but June 1st was Diamond Day, with a whole load of Diamond Exclusive Offers…

I shopped so long that I missed a Special Diamond Gift Bag and Nail Purchase Bag – they were both sold out by the time I placed my order – well, shit. I did still get the Makeup Revolution “Fierce Mind” Eyeshadow Palette for free with $25 makeup purchase. It’s got 4 huge pans of neutral shimmer shades that can easily be used as blush, too. The makeup I picked to get it was a mix of new products. I wanted to try Colourpop Ultra Blotted Liquid Lip ($7) in “Cypress Chill”, a bricky red. It is a matte liquid lipstick, but with a muted finish – it does appear to be blotted down and soft focus. I want more shades! I also tried the new NYX Dip Shape Go Longwear Brow Pomade in “Dark Brown” (usually $11, but all NYX was 40% off, so it was $6.60). This is similar to Julep’s Don’t Leave Your Brows at Home, but in a pomade form. If I’m gonna use a pomade, I’d prefer this all in one form, instead of the brush and pot being separate. That being said, this product did give me fuller brows, but I did have to finish them off with a slim pencil for definition. This product is not one and done.

Coincidentally, I did buy a back-up of my favorite brow pencil – the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it counted as makeup towards the free eyeshadow AND towards an Ulta 4 piece gift, with $19.50 purchase. The gift contained a HUGE clear tote bag, a small palm tree patterned makeup bag, Ulta Watermelon Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, and Ulta Watermelon Waves Juicy Gloss. Oh, the other purchase was Ulta Brush Cleaning Solid Soap ($10). I am devastated that Ulta no longer carries the Japonesque Solid Soap, but I’m holding in my tears and trying another brand.

I went all in on stocking up on skincare to get ANOTHER Skincare gift with purchase. My son has been breaking out lately, so I got him Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub ($8.49) and Biore T-Zone Targeted Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($9.99). I was all excited when I showed him, but he said he felt personally attacked. Rude!

For myself, I got Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery CBD Cream ($9, but I swear it was $28 when I looked at it a few weeks ago). I’d gotten this sample a few times, and although CBD seems to be a bullshit ingredient, the tingly menthol in this moisturizer is not bullshit – it feels AMAZING on my face. I also got Freeman CBD Balance Jelly Mask + Scrub ($9.99) and Dr. Organic Rose Restoring Face Scrub ($15.99). Both are bit more pricey than I usually get, but I am a sucker for scrubs and roses.

The “Be Your Own Sunshine” Sample Bag includes Ulta Beauty Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof; Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (more eye cream!); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash; it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream; Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate; Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum; and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. That’s a lot of skincare!

The only coupon available was $3.50 off – but hey, better than nothing. I’m now $784 to Diamond Status and I have accrued $50 in points!