Category: Fragrance

 
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Second Chance at Black Friday

 

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Last Friday, I was off work, out and about and I happened to notice an email for $2.95 Hand Soap Sale. So after Big Lots, I skipped on over to Bath & Body Works…

I filled a bag with 6 bottles…what? That is a damn empty bag, but I just filled up on soap a few weeks ago. I was hoping to use the coupons I forgot to bring to Candle Day the week before. [$8.95 3 wick candles – it was INSANE. There were bare shelves everywhere and I managed to get 2 of the last 3-4 “Twisted Peppermint” candles. I was lucky I didn’t get shanked in the parking lot.] Unfortunately, I couldn’t stack coupons with the soaps…but they would let me do two transactions…

I was about to give up and just leave with my soap, when I noticed that they had two racks of sexy black bags by the front door. They had a shitload of the VIP Black Friday Bags left! I verified with an employee – they were selling them for $35 each and I could use all my coupons. Not only did I get $10 off, but I got a free “Winter Candy Apple” Shower Gel for Lily and a free “White Citrus” Shower Gel for myself.

Inside the gorgeous fake leather VIP bag: a Fine Fragrance Mist in “Into the Stars” (it smells nice, but I wasn’t ready to start a new scent, so I gave it to Lily); a “Winter Candy Apple” 3 wick candle, a “Twisted Peppermint” Foaming Hand Soap, a Men’s Collection 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash in “Ocean” (my husband shall enjoy it); “Vanilla Bean Noel” Shea Butter Hand Cream; “Champagne Toast” Antibacterial Hand Gel; and a “Lump of Coal” Charcoal Sheet Mask with Purifying Charcoal.

Just a few weeks more weeks until the Semi-Annual Sale! I better make room!

 

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Cyber Fundays 2018

 

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This Xmas, I did my Ulta shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving, during the “Cyber Fundays” event. They had some smoking deals that I couldn’t pass up! There were also some decent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but mostly on stuff I already had, like half price Modern Renaissance and Naked Heat. Boo!

If you’re thinking that this order looks skimpy…it’s because I pulled out the gifts I ordered for my daughter. She doesn’t come here, but her brother does – and I trust him about as far as I can throw him with one hand.

I was excited to snatch the NYX Lip Snacks Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream Set ($15, down from $25) for myself. It’s a set of 12 minis of my favorite lip formula from NYX, specially scented like buttercream. I’ve onlhy sampled 2 so far, but they are the BEST. I also got a half-price Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in “Demolition” ($11, down from $22) – I think a shiny brown cat eye will look good on me.

The biggest bummer was a broken bottle in the China Glaze The Grinch Grinchworthy Nail Art Duo ($10). It wasn’t the “Grinchworthy” polish itself, but the “For Rhinestones Only” adhesive – the stem of the bottle broke inside the cap and it leaked everywhere. I called Ulta Customer Service and they sent me out another one immediately, no questions asked – so now I have 2 bottles of “Grinchworthy” and 2 pots of green felt. I cannot wait to make my nails look like Astroturf! Oh, and I got another tidbit from Customer Service – they won’t be including samples in orders again until January. Cheap bastards.

I added a bottle of Zoya Remove+ to get me over the $65 mark, to get the glittery pink 18-piece Cyber Fundays sample bag. The sample bag was STUFFED – it had: Too Faced Glitter Glue (saving for a special occasion); Cover FX Blurring Primer; Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels (this is the third set I’ve gotten – I guess I should use them); philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar; Clinique Happy; 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in “Vintage” (2!!!); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “bunny” (ugh, another one); bliss lemon & sage body butter; Biolage Hydra Source Shampoo & Conditioner; L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer/Base for Mascara; philosophy Amazing Grace; Armani Code Cashmere; Skin Laundry Hydrating Cream Face Wash; L’Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (this black one is my fave); MAC False Lashes Mascara in “Extreme Black”; and Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate. There were also 2 hot coupons – $15 off $75 (only good in December) and another $5 off $15 Ulta Beauty Collection (good until 2/1/19).

I was also able to use a $10 off coupon, bringing my order down to $64.49 before tax – but I still got the bag. I was sweating for a hot minute! Just $301 to Diamond…I do predict another order before the end of the year, but not that much!

 

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Sephora Play! November 2018 – Merry and Bright

 

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This is an…interesting…box.

First off, Commodity Gold straight up smells like donkey ass. Unwashed donkey ass. Someone come take this shit out of my house.

Everything else is less controversial. I’m a big fan of Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser. I’m also happy to get Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in “Pink Tea”, and Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Face Cream. I was, however, really confused when I looked at the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts. At first, I assumed it was another mud mask…great! Then I read the directions – this shit is for your hair. What? I’ll let you know.

Sephora Play is THE best beauty box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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Sephora Play! Smarts – Complexion Your Way: Matte

 

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On the second weekend of Sephora’s ROUGE BONUS 20% off sale, they dropped new Sephora Play! Smarts boxes – Complexion Your Way ($20), with a choice between “Matte” and “Dewy”. Of course, I chose “Matte”.

The star of this box was the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Matte Longwear Foundation + Primer. The sample card came with Primer and three shades of foundation. Amazingly, the lightest shade, “150”, was the near-perfect shade for me. There was just enough in the pack for a thin full face application (with a Beautyblender). It was BEAUTIFUL, especially topped with the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder, also included in the box. This will definitely be the next foundation I buy.

Along with a nifty netted zipper bag, the “Matte” box had It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser Skin-Transforming Hydrating Cleansing Serum (love this cleanser); Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight; Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer; Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Moisturizer; and Sephora Collection Beauty Magnet Concealer Brush. I will use all of these, immediately.

I added another purchase to my order – the Ellis Brooklyn Bibliotheca Discovery Set ($20), a fragrance sampler that includes six of the brand’s set. Can you believe that the one I originally received was totally evaporated??? I was SO pissed. I called Sephora immediately and they sent me a new one, no questions asked. Luckily, it was fine…and I got two more samples. Oh yeah, did you hear that Sephora only gives two samples per order now? There will be riots in the street!

Back to the Ellis Brooklyn set…it was utterly disappointing. I really didn’t like any of the scents enough to buy a full size. I had especially high hopes for “Rrose” – I love a good rose, but it was bland. “Raven”, “Myth” and “Sci Fi” were the best of the bunch, but didn’t last long enough for me to get a feel for on me. “Rives” was straight up POISON that gave me a headache (probably the lavender). I wore “Fable” today and I cannot even remember what it smelled like. I am utterly disappointed in this set. I was hoping to find another high quality niche brand to love, like Atelier or Replica, but every formula was weak and was gone within 10 minutes. FAIL.

Oh samples! In the first shipment, I got foundations – Milk Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (3 shades on a card) and Giorgio Armani Face fabric Second Skin Makeup (4 shades foil packs). The second shipment gave me another sample of Ellis Brooklyn Myth and Dior Joy. Oh, joy.

Just $44 to Rouge!

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ROUGE BONUS

 

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Oh, Sephora…you really do spoil me. This past weekend and now this weekend, Sephora is offering 20% for Rouge Members. You know I took advantage the very first day of last week’s sale – I had to get that sample bag!

I really wanted to smell some Ellis Brooklyn scents, but they didn’t carry them at my local store. Boo. I had a hard time coming up with something I needed/wanted – until I noticed how many shades of lippies that Kat Von D is discontinuing. I was vaguely aware, but not fully – they are getting rid of about a third of their shades of Studded Kiss, Everlasting Lip Liquids, Everlasting Glimmer Veils, and Everlasting Lip Liners. I decided to grab an Everlasting Lip Liquid in “Underage Red” ($13) – you know, because the name pisses so many people off. I also got an Everlasting Lip Liner in “Misfit” ($11) – a darker maroon. I’ve gotta say, the two of these colors together is stunning. I’m very happy with my purchase.

So…that sample bag…so packed full! It included Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color (in little weird plastic pots); Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (2 shades); NARS Power Matte Lip Pigment in “American Woman”; Tory Burch Eau de Parfum; Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment; Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream; Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask (excited to try this); and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.

Just $86 Until ROUGE for 2019. I will  do it!

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Naked Cherry

 

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Would you believe that this entire Ulta Haul cost me a mere $1.87? The magic of Ulta Platinum points, baby.

I really hadn’t been saving up points for very long – I used up most of my points just six month ago on a Beachwaver. Through strategic use of points promotions and my Ultimate Mastercard, I’d managed to accrue over $100 in points in a short period of time! By stacking a 20% off code, I was able to conserve precious points – I only used $70.50 in points this time.

I exhibited extraordinary willpower in not purchasing the Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette ($49) at launch. I knew I had the points though, so I just bided my time until I got the code. I also splurged on matching Vice Lipstick in “Devilish” ($18). I’ve been using the palette for the past 3-4 days and it is the same buttery formula that I’ve grown to love through all the Naked palettes. There’s a variety of matte and shimmer shades that work very well together. I won’t be the first to point out that the palette seems a little bit like a rehash of the Backtalk palette – but so what? The Backtalk blushes work really well with this palette, so I call that a win. I heartily recommend the Naked Cherry palette, especially when it’s free.

I added a few other fun things to my order. I’d been wanting to try a bubble sheet mask, so I got an Ulta Revitalizing Bubbling Sheet Mask ($3.00) and since they were BOGO 40% off, I got an Ulta Age Defying Matcha Mud Mask ($1.80). Ulta also came out with Aromatherapy Fragrance Rollerballs ($12.50) – I got the “Uplift” Coconut Rose scent. I absolutely love the scent – it reminds me of the Renaissance Festival for some reason – but it doesn’t last very long at all. Kind of a bummer. I also got a Scunci No-Slip Octopus clip ($5.99) – this is hands down the best clip to hold your hair and not look like a lazy hot mess. I need like 5 more.

In addition to waiting until I got a 20% off code, I also waited until Beauty Break Wednesday. The Hempz Beauty Break included three full size products: Hempz Cinnamon Sugar & Vanilla Butter Creme Herbal Body Moisturizer, Hempz Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Foaming Body Wash, Hempz Original Herbal Body Butter and a travel size Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Moisturizer. Wow!

They didn’t give me any samples though…bummer.

Only $430 until Diamond status…

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Sephora Play! October 2018 – Scary Good Beauty

 

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Scary good beauty? Count me in!

I am always happy to get products from First Aid Beauty. This box has First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream. I love smelling like a coconut.

Also in this month’s box: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (I keep getting this and I never use it – I need to stop being so lazy); Benefit Gimme Brow Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel (I’m too far gone for this); Anastasia Beverly Hills Banana Stick Contour (interesting – I might give it a spin); Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum; and Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Eau de Parfums (two fragrances is a good deal, even though I already have them).

I guess the switch to ziploc baggies is a permanent one. That’s OK – I have at least 2 dozen fabric pouches that I don’t know what to do with.

Goshdarnit! I went to Sephora today and I forgot to use my Play! card. You’d think I’d be better than this by now.

Sephora Play is THE bestest box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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Sephora Play! September 2018 – Next-Gen Beauty

 

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As soon as I saw that this month’s products came in a fancy ziploc bag, I got suspicious…is Sephora starting to cut corners on their monthly box?

I was somewhat relieved when I poured this month’s products into my lap – plenty of products, nice brands, too.

Sephora is pushing Sunday Riley hardcore. Not only did I get two of their products in this month’s extra skincare box, but another one here – Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream. I think I have enough for a complete regime now!

Also in this month’s Next-Gen box: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer (I’m down on this brand after their messy Social Media drama, but I’ll try this product); Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Atomic Heat Mask (sounds fancy, yet scary at the same time); Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in “Kiss”; Sephora Collection LashCraft Big Volume Mascara in “Black”; and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Nectar.

Don’t worry, Sephora Play is still the BEST box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon

 

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I never really cared about wet n wild makeup – not since Junior High anyway – until they started putting out these awesome collections. I am still peeved that I missed the Goth-o-Graphic Box, but it never hit Ulta as promised.

I did NOT miss the Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon Collection Box ($39.99). Inside the Limited Edition box are two set of products – a set of warm toned Fire Dragon products and a set of cool toned Ice Dragon products. I’ve only had a chance to play with the Fire Dragon side, so I might be a little bit biased towards that side. The Fire Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigment in “Gilded Crown” and “Fire Reign”; Coloricon Bronzer in “You’re Dragon Me Down” and “Queen’s Land”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Fit for a Queen”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in “Queen’s Blood” and “Redlings”. I am IN LOVE with using both shades of lipstick together. The Ice Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigments in “Ice, Ice, Lady” and “To-Knight’s Blue”; Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Winter Falls in LA” and “Halo Walkers”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Mythicool Creatures”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipsticks in “Icing on the Wall” and “Shall We Slay”. Lots of cool stuff I still need to play with!

I didn’t stop there. I had added a Pacifica Summer Kale Lip Balm ($1.25) from the sale page. Luckily, it does NOT smell or taste like Kale. I also added the e.l.f. Glow on the Go Selfie Light ($12) this thing is an absolute game changer – no more walking around the bedroom, looking for the perfect light – it makes every selfie perfect. This purchase also got me a gift with purchase – an e.l.f. makeup bag with foil samples of Poreless Face Primer and Hydrating Bubble Mask.

And then I found a BOGO 50% on L’Oreal products. I had been wanting to try their new chocolate lippies AKA L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick Les Chocolat ($9.99), so I ordered 4 out of the 6 shades – “70% Yum”, “Candy Man”, “Dose of Cocoa”, and “Box O Chocolate”. I’ve only had a chance to try out the first two and they have a really strong chocolate smell when you apply them, but the scent is gone as soon as it dries, which take a little minute. I kind of wanted the smell to stick around, but then I remembered how much my husband used to hate this chocolate lip gloss I used to wear to bed – he said it smelled like “chocolate ass”. Personally, I liked the way it smelled…but whatever. They also are very “infallible” – I had to use strong eye makeup remover to get them off my lips. They WILL last all day, whether you want them to or not. ANYWAY, this purchase also garnered me a gift with purchase – a L’Oreal makeup bag with samples of Pure Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (my favorite); Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream; and Voluminous Mascara Primer/Base.

On top of ALL that, I also got another gift with purchase for using my Ultamate Rewards Card – a reversible sequin makeup bag filled with samples. I am pretty sure my daughter is gonna fight me for this bag. Inside samples included: StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream; Lab Series Future Rescue; dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel (package says professional-grade, so does that mean I’ll lose 7 layers of skin?); Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom Aqua-Gel Conditioner (what? no shampoo???); Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser; Algenist Genius White Brightening Anti-Aging Cream; tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter in “exposed”; and an itty bitty sample of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” (my shade!). Pretty nice perk for just a $40 purchase. Oh and my regular samples were pretty lame – a card with 3 sample shades of Clinique 2-in-1 Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bonbon. I did remember use a $3.50 off coupon from an email, but this was still a big order for me – over $80. It will pay off in the long term, as there was a 5x points promo running when I ordered.

Just $453 until Diamond Status. Oh, and somehow, I have accrued $86 worth of Ulta Points (see above promo)…I’ve got my eye on that new Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette – it would match my hair!

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Sephora Play! SMARTS – Skincare by Age: 40s

 

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I’m not ashamed to admit it – I’m in my 40s – and my skin needs help!

Sephora Play! launched three extra boxes this month – Skincare by Age for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. All of the boxes have great products, so I decided not to be a glutton and order all of them. I just ordered the 40s box.

The first thing I tried out of the box was the Volition Detoxifying Silt Gelee Mask. I’ve never heard of this brand before – but I’ve never met a mask I didn’t like. It was much thinner than a traditional mud mask, hence the silt? It kind of smelled like dirt, too…but it made my skin as soft as my 10 year old daughter’s.

I’ve also been using the Tatcha The Water Cream. It’s got an unusual slippery texture, but it sure does make my makeup stay on seamlessly, almost like it floats on my skin.

Also in the box: Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream (I really need to start using eye creams); Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator; Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Oil; and Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment (great brand).

And can we talk about the amazing plastic case it all came in? It’s a hard-side case, perfect for travel!

I did NOT get the samples I chose. Instead, I got Rita Hazan True Color Shampoo & Conditioner, Becca Ultimate Coverage 24-Hour Foundation, and Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence. I wanted NONE of that. I did get something I wanted very much – a Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment for 100 points.

Just $211 to Rouge…