May 2018 Allure Beauty Box – In the Fast Lane

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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

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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

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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.

Jeffree

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Two summers ago, Kat Von D publicly ended her 10 year friendship with Jeffree Star. No need to rehash the messy drama – anyone can google it. The bigger question – who will think of the makeup???

Kat Von D discontinued the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick “Jeffree” in the midst of the feud. But guess what popped up on Sephora’s site on sale for $12? That’s right, and ADD TO CART. Nevermind that the tube is AT LEAST two years old, if not three or four. Oh well.

Although the brand describes the color as “hot pink”, it’s really more of a plastic flamingo pink. It’s super streaky, too. I liked like a weirdo when I wore it. That’s what I get for being attracted to a product just because it’s discontinued.

Sephora also skimped and only gave me two samples in my box: tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen (4 shades to try) and Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser (pretty sure that’s not how you spell ‘yogurt’).

$507 to Rouge…

The Mother of All Sample Bags

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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…

Sephora Play! May 2018 – Beauty Goals

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May’s Sephora Play! box marks the 2nd anniversary of the service and they’ve “compiled the beauty products that have stood the test of time with their incredible formulas and cult following.” (Yes, I snatched that quote directly from the box insert.)

Even though I’m not much of a highlighter girl, I’ll add a bit to my cheeks and browbone when I want to look fancy. I’ve been wanting to try Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in “Champagne Pop” – it really is a cult favorite, at least on Instagram.

I’m not quite as excited about the rest of the box – only because I already have loads of these very same products, not because they products are bad. I have at least 7 or 8 Kat Von D Tattoo Liners in “Trooper” and probably 700 samples of Benefit The POREfessional. I use these products – but just not as much as I receive them. I have never tried Bumble and bumble. Thickening Volume Hairspray – but I use hairspray maybe twice a year?

I am looking forward to trying Sephora Collection Mud Mask Purifying & Clarifying – I love me some mud masks.

My lil sis is getting the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb – it’s one of her favorite scents.

The denim pouch is also cute. Someone help me figure out what to do with all these pouches I’ve been getting – I’ve used them for panties when I travel, but I could use help figuring out to do with the rest of them.

If you don’t get Sephora Play, join up now. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Freebies

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Soooo…I ordered a birthday gift for my sister from Sephora, but I’m really excited about some of the freebies I got.

I used a promo code to get a deluxe sample of Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle. I don’t have much experience with Aerin fragrances, but this one is AMAZING. My husband smelled it and actually said, “Now that smells YUMMY.” That is high praise from a man that gags from most fragrances. I wore it on Monday and spent some time outside in the grass and I felt like I was being attacked by bugs. It’s an ultra-realistic honeysuckle scent.

I also used 100 points to get a deluxe sample of Boscia Pore Pudding – I love that shit!

My usual three samples were Chloe Fleur de Parfum (not as good as Roses de Chloe, but I like it); Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil; and Sephora Collection 10HR wear perfection foundation ( 3 shades – ivory 10, beige 25 and walnut 33).

Just $529 until…

 

May 2018 Ipsy Bag – Go There

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Go there? Go where?

There is wherever the summer takes you and this month’s ipsy picks are designed to go with you. I thought the bag was covered with cute passport stamps, but upon closer inspection, I realized they are postmarks – Par Avion, etc.

The first product that caught my eye were the face masks – Fresh Garden Açai Berry Calming Mask and Pomegranate Firming Mask – they were too big to fit into the ipsy bag. Also in this month’s bag: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “London” (Ooooooh, I don’t have this one); SLMISSGLAM Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge; Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder (Another good one); and Sugar Cosmetics Arch Arrival Brow Definer in “Taupe Tom”.

Not a bad little bag this month – almost a full face’s worth.

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

Target Beauty Box – May 2018

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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.

Kat Von D – 10th Year Anniversary Collection

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I’ve been waiting months and months for this…and on Cinco de Mayo, Kat Von D released her 10 year Anniversary Collection. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.

The 10th Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette ($52) was the first thing into my cart. I am blown away by the quality of the shadows. I tried it yesterday, without primer and it was ultra, mega, SO pigmented. Although Kat excels at matte eyeshadows, I’m really drawn to the transformer shades in this collection. I did a look centered around “Alexandra” (rose gold glimmer) and it matched my rose gold hair perfectly. When my husband got home from work last night, he actually said my makeup looks cute…and he NEVER says that. Literally, the best I can hope for it, “You look nice,” but usually I get “What is wrong with your face?”

So, this palette gets the husband stamp of approval – that’s even higher praise than “Jeffree Approved”!

I also picked up the 10th Anniversary Lipsticks – Everlasting Glimmer Veil in “Gold Skool” ($22) and Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Santa Sangre” ($19). I wore “Gold Skool” with “Lolita II” Everlasting Lip Liner yesterday and it KILLED. Now, the $64,000 question – how does it compare to Jeffree Star “First Class”? The two aren’t even really similar – “First Class is a black-leaning metallic, while “Gold Skool” has more of a glittery gold dust finish. Not dupes at all!

I dropped $93, but I didn’t even get the whole collection. There’s also a brush set ($125), a highlighter ($30), an eyeliner ($20) and a traincase ($150). I wanted them all…but I also wanted my family to eat this month. I am VERY happy with my purchase and I am confident when I say that Kat Von D has overtaken Urban Decay as my favorite cosmetics brand.

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Since I have Sephora Flash, I broke my order up into two orders, so that I could get double samples and use two promo codes. I got my doubles AND Sephora still sent it all to me in one box. Winning!

I used a promo code to get an Amore Pacific Set, which includes Vintage Single Extract Essence, Botanical Radiance Oil and The Essential Creme Fluid. I also used a code to get a fragrance sample bag with Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Stella Peony (the one I wanted to try – need to buy it); Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose (another love); Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia, Chloe Fleur de Parfum, Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh AND Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara. Nice!

For my sample picks, I got 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (each sample card had 4 colors AND a tiny brush – been wanting to try this so bad!); Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Top Coat (includes 4 colors – “Fever”, “Reverb”, “Ritual” and “White Lie”); and Clinique Moisture Syrge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator. Wait! That’s only 4 samples! They screwed me!

But…only $568 until Rouge…I might do it!