Category: Fragrance

 
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November 2020 Ipsy Bag – Be Present

November’s product choice hit it OUT OF THE PARK. I chose Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick Mini in “Dead Roses” and this is now my signature color! I swore that I would never go back to regular lipsticks after experiencing liquid lipsticks…but this lipstick applied like a dream and stayed put all day – even under a mask! It did get all over the inside of the mask, but that’s kind of unavoidable.

I sprayed on Commodity Gold and it was a very musky vanilla fragrance. It was alright, but I feel like I got a major headache after wearing it. I knew I had received a sample of it a few years ago…and it turns out that I HATED it. Ha.

Also in this month’s “Be Present” bag: Context Skin Nail Lacquer in “The Morning After”; Item Beauty Lid Glaze in “Desert Weekend”; and Lasting Smiles Vanilla Bean Blended Beverage Organic Lip Balm.

This month’s bag was a great selection of products – keep it up, ipsy!

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.

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Sephora Favorites Hello! Haul-Star Heroes

So Sephora discontinues their monthly Play! sample subscription box, only to release a non-subscription sample bag every month? I figured the Hello! set wouldn’t be every month, but they’re coming out pretty regularly.

The samples in this month’s “Haul-Star Heroes” aren’t very exciting, but since Sephora is still offering free shipping, I went ahead and bit. The best sample in the set is Caudalie Vinopure Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser. It smells so good! I mean, it cleans my face just fine, but I really like the scent.

Versace Bright Crystal is one of my sister’s favorite scents – I’ve gotten it for her several times. Instead of sending her this sample, I’ve been wearing it – I kinda like it! I won’t start wearing it regularly though – I’d be annoyed if someone poached my signature scent.

Also in the set: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder; Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum (I wonder what this will do to my BODY?); and Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Meh. The set came with 15% off coupons for each of the products included, but I don’t see myself buying any of them.

My son has been bleaching the hell out of his hair, so I picked Kerastase Blond Absolu Shampoo & Conditioner for him – I’ve got him using a purple shampoo/conditioner once a week for brassiness. I also got a sample card of Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation – all the colors look too dark for me.

Just $138 to Beauty Insider for 2021.

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OUTLET B&BW

I always forget that the Bath & Body Works in Katy Mills Mall is an OUTLET.

I guess the outlet stores get all the stuff that regular stores didn’t sell during the Semi Annual Sale, because this store had a mountain of 75% off stuff!

I’ve had my eye on “Rose Water Meringue” for a while. 50% wasn’t good enough, but 75% was just right. The scent is VERY sweet and eggy, almost like cotton candy. It’s not an every day soap – it is for special occasions only. I got two shower gels, a fine fragrance mist and a body cream.

I also picked up a back-up “Rose Water & Ivy” Body Cream, as well as a “Pink Watermelon” Shower Gel for Lily, a “Strawberry Pound Cake” Hand Cream and Raspberry Lip Gloss for me. I also got two “Ballerina Rose” Three Wick Candles – I’d never even seen that scent before! Again, all this stuff was 75%.

A few tables worth of hand soaps were $3 each, so I picked up five. The stand out was “Lavender Rose”. Again, another headache-less lavender – it smells amazing.

I did buy a few things at full price: a few bath poofs and some Hand Sanitizer for Logan.

According to my receipt, I spent around $53 and I saved $145.50, thanks to 75% off outlet pricing and my 20% off + free product mailer.

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Sephora Favorites POP – Beauty Cred

Well how about that…just a few weeks after Sephora releases a Hello! box, they release a POP box. I feel like they are playing around with price points and configurations to see what performs the best. I am not helpful at all – I’ll buy anything.

The “Beauty Cred” box contains “the next big thing in beauty”…hmm, okay. By far, the best sample in the box is the creamier than creamy Natasha Denona Eyeshadow in “Moonstone”. No wonder she charges $129 for a palette – this is some of the highest quality eyeshadow I’ve ever used. It pairs well with the Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara. The brush is super fluffy, but somehow doesn;t leave my lashes clumpy.

Also in this box: Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion in “Fragrance Free”; Fresh Rose Petal-Soft Deep Hydration Lip Balm (yasssssss, more lip balm); Amika Flash Instant Shine Hair Mask; and Maison Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk fragrance (I swear, I’ve gotten this sample 50 times from Sephora – get over this scent, it’s boring).

The set was a slighty higher price point, at $15, which is still pretty cheap. Oh, and it also came with a bunch of beauty-themed stickers.

I was over the moon to try the other samples I picked for my box. I love the scent of Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and now they have shampoo/conditioner. I IMMEDIATELY used the samples of Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Joia Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner – it smells AMAZING! Ugh, they are $25 each. I also got a sample of Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, which I have not tried yet.

$148 to VIB in 2021.

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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.

$163 to VIB status in 2021.

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Target Queen

I went to Target a month or so ago, and it was WEIRD. The dressing rooms are still closed, but it didn’t really matter, since there were no good sales. COVID-19 has sucked all the fun out of Target.

I used up my “Queen Bee” Rollerball, so I decided to switch to the Good Chemistry “Queen Bee” Body Spray with essential oils ($9.99). Now I can DROWN myself in it, instead of just hitting my pulse points. I wish they sold lotion and shower gel – I would buy the hell out of it.

I went ahead and stocked up on my Target stuff – Laundry Detergent, Contact Solution, Rewetting Drops, Polish Remover and Exfoliating Cotton Pads. Even though I got reusable polish remover pads, I still need Cotton Rounds for my skincare regimen.

I was able to use a $3.50 off $15 coupon from my Target Beauty Box…I better use them while I can, because Target Beauty Box is another victim of COVID-19 – they’ve been discontinued, too!

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Semi Annual Soap

So…as disappointed as I was about how underwhelming this summer’s Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale is…I can get a little bit excited about a free shipping offer.

To be honest, I could take or leave 50% off select Hand Soaps – $3.75 isn’t that great a deal…BUT it is better than 4/$20/$5 each or 6/$26/$4.33 each. I would’ve passed the free shipping offer on by…but I was excited to find “Rose Water & Ivy” for 50% off. I never thought I’d see it again! I didn’t go crazy – I just picked up a single Shower Gel ($6.25, down from $13.50).

I went ahead and got 11 of the Summer Soaps to refill my under-sink stock. I also added a half price Wallflowers Refill in “Orange Sunset” ($3.75).

Did you know that you can now use your Victoria’s Secret Credit Card to shop at Bath & Body Works? I didn’t know until I checked out – that’s a nice perk.

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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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Semi-Annual Lame

I’ve been watching the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale online and it was slim pickings, so I figured I’d have better luck in person. I masked up…and was very disappointed.

There was just no good deals on body care. The 75% off section was a single table with a handful of ugly Easter Bunny candle holders. I was interested in picking up a set of “Strawberry Poundcake”, which I would’ve considered for 50% off, but there was no shower gel left.

I did end up picking up 5 Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizers at 5/$8, which is a so-so deal – they are usually about $1 each. I also replenished my Wallflower Refills at a non-sale price – 5/$26. I was excited to get a new Flamingo Wallflower Nightlight Plug for 50% off ($7.25, down from $14.50).

I feel like Bath & Body Works is taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation and not offering good sales on hand soaps and hand sanitizer, due to the current demand. Supply and demand – that makes sense to me, but not sure why there are not good deals on other stuff, like body care. I guess I’ll hang tight until better deals come along.

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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.