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.
September 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Opening Up
That’s a bold move Allure, curating a box around the world opening up from COVID-19. Let’s see what Allure thinks I need to get back into the world of the living…
I’ll be honest, I’m far from the world of the living, so the only product I’ve sampled so far is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. The lavender component is so strong that it made me eyes water when I used it. It did rinse clean though – IO feel like many cleansing balms do not. It’s ok, if you like cleansing balms.
The rest of the products in the box seem like a hodgepodge. I don’t use dry shampoos, so I won’t be likely to use Waterl<ss Dry Conditioner. I *might* try the Wander Beauty Unlashed Mascara and the Cleo Noir Twist Up Eyeliner in “Purple”, as well as the e.l.f. Highlighting Brush. I don’t go outside if I can help it, so it will be a while before I break out the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. Oh, I also got a sheet mask – Glam Up Revitalizing Japanese Sake Sheet Mask.
This is the last $15 box – I’ll see what next month’s $23 box brings…
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.
While taking my daughter to Ulta for a back-to-school haircut, I had a moment to go shopping for myself…
Urban Decay Cosmetics just launched the “Stoned Vibes” Eyeshadow Palette ($54) and I had been on the fence about it, but seeing it in person lured me in…well, that AND a $10 off a $40 purchase coupon. I’ve had a chance to sample several of the “stoned” shades and they are very different than what you’d expect. They’re very sheer, but buildable. Be warned, they leave a lot of fallout all over your face. The colors are a nice range of colors, too. I’ve seen a few negative reviews, but it’s kind of nice to see Urban Decay branching out and releasing something different than another Naked palette.
I also scooped up some clearance goodies: a few 75% off Frida Kahlo x Ulta Beauty items – a back-up Blurring Primer and the Beso de Amor Cheek & Bronzer Duo. There were also a bunch of Jelly Belly x Sally Hansen polishes at 50% off – “French Vanilla”, “Jewel Very Cherry”, and the “Hop Into Spring” Duo with “Birthday Cake” and “Jewel Bubble Gum”.
I also bought 3 tiny Conair Quick Smooth Hair Brushes, because they have velcro in them to make your hair smooth. I couldn’t tell a difference, honestly. And, they were $6…and I expected them to be $3 because they were so tiny.
The cashier let me break my purchase into two transactions, so I could use the $10 off coupon on the eyeshadow and another $3.50 off coupon on everything else. Just $299 to Diamond status in 2021.
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.
What’s YOUR Hogwarts House?
You want to cause chaos in your household? Pick up a couple of Hogwarts House Bath Bombs for your kids and watch them freak out when their bath bomb tells them they are in the wrong house. No joke, my little Hufflepuff daughter was scandalized when her bath bomb told her she should be in Slytherin. My Slytherin son wanted to get into HER bath and kick her out, and even a week later, he is too scared to use his own bath bomb. The Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Mystery Hogwarts House Bath Bombs are $8 each – purchase at your own risk.
The Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Hogwarts House Lotion ($12 each) is a much safer bet. I got one for each member of the family: Gryffindor (berry vanilla), Hufflepuff (wildflowers), Ravenclaw (cucumber), and Slytherin (raindrops). They all smell very good.
I added a few odds and ends to my order – a China Glaze Striper in “Paint it Black” ($1.05, down from $1.50) and a Marc Anthony Deep Repair Aloe Vera & Jasmine Oil Deep Conditioning Packet ($1.79, down from $2.99).
I got a Clinique Beauty Break with my order, with Clinique High Impact Mascara, Lipstick in “Bare Pop”, and Take the Day Off Makeup Remover. I also used my trusty $3.50 0ff $15 coupon.
Just $418 to Diamond in 2021.
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.
When I got my last Ulta order, I thought my daughter was going to have a seizure from how excited she was about my Gryffindor palette, so as soon as the Hufflepuff version was back in stock, I had to get it for her.
So yes, I ordered her the Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Hufflepuff Eye Shadow Palette ($16). A few more products dropped, so I also got her a Hufflepuff Cosmetic Bag ($16) and the House Pride Hair Accessory Set ($18)…I admit, I stole the Gryffindor scrunchie and my son stole the Slytherin one.
I came across a new product that I found intriguing – The Sign Tribe Remove and Chill Reusable Nail Polish Remover Pads ($16). I spend a small fortune on cotton rounds, so I was curious if I could save some money using these pads. I’ve used them a few times and they seem to work just fine with regular polish remover. I still need to try them with Remove and Chill Nail Enamel Remover. Each pad is supposed to be able to be used 25 times, whereas I use between 2-6 cotton rounds each time. So…this pack should replace roughly 300 cotton pads, or 3 packs ($3 each or so). If I get 50 uses out of each pad, it might be worth it?
I have a hard time saying “no” to clearance nail polish. It’s rare to see Orly on sale, especially for a price as low as $2.38. I picked up 3 different shades – an iridescent pink pearl called “Beautifully Bizarre” (somehow I added 2 to my cart, so someone will get gifted); a rose gold shimmer called “Lucid Dream”, and a hot pink called “Top Down”. I also got a few cheap Sally Hansen Mega Strength polishes – a pinky gold glitter called “Mermaid Parade” for $2.68 and a matte fuchsia called “Like a Girl” for $1.50.
Oooooh! I qualified for a free pink tote with my $75 purchase. I do not know what I am going to tote with it, but I’ll think of something. I also used a $3.50 off $15 coupon – stacking deals.
$608 to Diamond – almost exactly halfway there!
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.
I’m the type of person that will spend $25 on a tiny tube of the best smelling hand cream ever made…only to discover that she had already used up her Deluxe Spray of the matching perfume.
I did literally jump to order Atelier Cologne Clementine California Hand Cream and it IS the best smelling hand cream on earth. Even though I used up the bigger spray I had, I was able to find another sample vial of it from a Play! box, so I can be matchy matchy.
I used a code to get a deluxe sample of NEST Wild Poppy – I’ve been wearing it and I like, although not as much as Clementine California. For my regular samples, I got Playa Everyday Shampoo and Supernatural Conditioner (I already used the foil pack – they are very beachy smelling), and Miu Miu Twist, which I REALLY like.
$173 to spend to keep my VIB status in 2021…it will be a struggle.
Target Beauty Box – June 2020
Just one Target Beauty Box in June? How rude!
June’s theme is “Beauty Trendsetters” and includes products promoted by celebrity makeup artists and Instagram influencers. The first thing I noticed was a heavily photoshopped Kardashian glaring at me from the box. Turns out Khloe is a spokesperson for Tanologist Drops Sunless Tanning Treatments. 100% fuck no on this product.
The rest of the products in the box are a mix of cool and questionable. I’ve gotten samples of Lumify Redness Reliever Drops before and they’re pretty good. I’ve been using the Honestly pHresh Prebiotic Deodorant in “Sea Mineral” and it works as well as my other natural deodorants. I haven’t had a chance to use the tenoverten Rose Polish Remover Wipes or the Yuni Travel Shower Sheet Wipes. Ditto on the Waterl<ss Instant Moisture Dry Conditioner.
I’m intrigued by the Rae DeStress Capsules – lord knows I need to destress right now. I Tried to figure out what was in them by reading the package – a “Proprietary Blend” with Ashwagandha Root Extract and Bacopa Monnniera Whole Aerial Extract. Uhhhhhhh…I guess it’s not the most questionable thing I’ve taken, so I might as well give it a spin – down the hatch!
This box was $7, with free shipping, plus 5% off with my Target Red Card. The box came with a $3 off $15 coupon, and the coupon has an extended expiration date of 10/1/20. I still have a coupon from last month left, so I’m glad Target is giving extra time to redeem.