First Ulta Haul of 2021
Remember how excited I was about NatureLabs.Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner? Turns out that it was the wrong product. I had sampled Perfect SMOOTH Shampoo & Conditioner. Oops. I bought a bottle of the NatureLabs.Tokyo Perfect Smooth Conditioner ($14) and I like it much better than the Perfect Smooth. Ugh. I’ll buy more Shampoo, I guess…
I am a sucker for Urban Decay foundation. Every time they release a new one, I’m all over it. Their newest is Urban Decay Hydromaniac Glowy Tinted Hydrator Foundation ($29). I was expected something like a tinted moisturizer, but it was a medium to full coverage foundation. I just put on on my face with my fingers and was like…oh NO. I grabbed my Beauty Blender and buffed it out. It gave nice, smooth coverage. If I left my house more than once a week, I’d use the hello out of it.
I also added a pack of Kitsch Face Masks ($12.99). My kids like these masks best, so I keep on buying them.
A few nice Platinum/Diamond freebies came with this order. I got a Too Faced Damn That’s Sexy Mascara set with my $25 makeup purchase and a deluxe sample of BareMinerals Original Liquid Foundation in “Fairly Light 03”. I haven’t tried either yet.
$1,145 to Diamond for 2022!
Sephora Favorites Hello! Greatest Beauty Hits (and more)
Ooooh! Sephora Sale on Sale! An extra 20% off sale items…so tempting.
I’d been eyeing the newest Sephora Favorites Hello! Greatest Beauty Hits set. $8 on sale is better than $10…but $6.40 is even better. I was most interested in Sol de Janeiro Cheirosa ’62 Eau de Parfum – it was so summery. Also in the set: It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Volumizing Mascara; Tarte SEA Jelly Glaze Anytime Lip Mask in “Strawberry Jelly”; BareMinerals Gen Nude Powder Blush in “Call My Blush”; First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask; and Sephora Collection Ultra Glow Serum: Glow + Strengthen Vitamin C Serum. As usual, the set comes with 15% off vouchers for each product – I might actual used the Cheirosa ’62 one.
While browsing the sale section, I found a few other smokin’ deals. I splurged on a Fresh Rose Hydration Skincare Essentials Set ($55, down from $63 – $44 after discount). I also picked up the tarte SEA Yours & Mine Quench Lip Rescue Duo ($17, down from $19 – $13.60 after discount). I really like the Lip Rescue I got in the Give Me Some Balm Set – all the mask wearing has dried out my lips! The Milk Makeup KUSH Triple Brow Pen ($11, down from $22 – $8.80 after discount) was a bad purchase. The first time I used it, it was GREAT. The color “Dutch” was a perfect match to my brows and each stroke was like a little hair. The second time I used it though, it did not work at all. It’s like all the color went out of the pen after one use! Ugh, if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d take it back.
For my samples, I got Kiehl’s Calendula Water Cream and amika Flash Instant Shine Mask.
I made this purchase in 2020, but it wasn’t enough to put me into VIB status – I still needed like $65, but I didn’t want to buy something dumb. I feel like such a peasant.
Perfect Shine Splurge
Back in November, I think when Sephora was offering 15% off, Ulta sent out a $10 off $40 coupon, so why not restock on a few things. Sometimes, there’s nothing like splurging on fancy shampoo & conditioner!
I’d gotten to try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($14 each) in an Allure Beauty Box last year. I really liked it, but it wasn’t widely available. Fast forward a year and now Ulta carries it – score! The secret ingredient is grape stem cells. I don’t know what those are. I also picked up some a single use conditioners – PURA D’OR Single Use Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque ($1.79), HASK Shea Butter & Hibiscus Oil Anti-Frizz Deep Conditioner Packette ($2.99) and HASK Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask Packette ($2.99).
Freeman Masks were on super sale, so I bought a replacement Cucumber & Pink Salt Clay Mask. I also grabbed a clearance China Glaze “Rainbow” for $2.62 and a new Flowery nail buffer.
I definitely did NOT buy that Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kit in “Bare” – it was a gift with $25 makeup purchase. I now know the secret of the Kylie Lip Kits! The lip liner is one tick darker than the lipstick, so it creates an optical illusion of a fuller lip. The more you know…I tried it out and the color was WAY too light for me. Hypothetically, my lips did look bigger though.
My $70 purchase qualified me for a Hello Holidays Sample Bag – it’s so fancy! Inside the bag: Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer; Awake Pore Down Tightening Concentrate; Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Towelette (WEIRD); Lake & Skye 11 11 (I could not smell this); MAC Lipstick samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” & “Cockney”; Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara; Pravana Color Protect Cleanse and Condition (HUGE samples tubes – will try these out after my next dye session); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel; Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion; Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream; Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Burberry Her; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris; NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (foilpacks for travel!); Tonymoly Golden Pig Collagen Bounce Mask; Gucci Guilty; AG Haircare Glow Shine Infuse Serum; Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Sample Card (none of these will match me); Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum; John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-up Creme; Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strip (a caffeine strip that melts on your tongue – is drinking a cup of coffee so hard?); and VDL Velvet Blur Primer.
Oh, and if the order looks a little light, it’s because there were a few gifts in my order…
Okay…I wouldn’t exactly call myself a blonde – but I did get some amazing chunky highlights last week, in preparation for another round of pink dye. I have been saving up Ulta points all year and I decided to get professional lightening done, instead of taking my chances with a home kit. I was able to put $128 in points towards hair services, and it was well worth it. I expected to go pink immediately, but I am liking the white blond streaks around my crown…even if I do resemble Tracy Turnblad.
I grabbed a few items by the checkout – Joico minis were 3/$10, so I got Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo, Conditioner and a K-PAK Hydrator. I also grabbed another 3 pack of Kitsch Masks ($12.99) because they are Lily’s favorite and they keep disappearing.
With this spend, plus the online order I’ll be detailing within the next post or so, I’ve got just $41 to hit Diamond status for 2022!
November 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Back in Full Force
I was prepared to cancel my subscription before I opened this month’s box, but it was *just* compelling enough for me to wait and see what next month brings…
I’ve been using Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum for the past week. It does sting a tiny bit when I apply it, but it absorbs very quickly. I have no idea which ingredient is doing that – maybe the salicylic acid?
Oooh…Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub! This will go great with the shampoo I just bought (but haven’t posted about yet).
Also in this month’s box: Josephine Cosmetics Eye/Dazzle The Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in “Leona” (haven’t tried yet, but intrigued); Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Moisturizing Lip Mask; Skinmedica Instant Bright Eye Mask; Neogen Dermalogy Real Ferment Micro Essence (it’s made of ferments yeast and rice – I’m scared); When The Last Choice Sheet Mask; and Acure Ultra Hydtrating 12 Hour Facial Moisturizer (excited to try this one – Acure is a great brand).
Is the quality of the boxes FINALLY starting to improve? Or is this a fluke? Stay tuned for next month’s decision…
The Allure Beauty Box recently increased their price from $15 to $23/month. They also offer an option for $250/year – a savings of $26. Sign up via my referral link.
October 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Screen Gab
$23 for this???
I was expecting at 4-5 full size products for $23, so imagine my surprise to get this box of tiny little random products.
The only product I’ve been using so far is the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – I’ve been putting it on my face before I go to bed. It is a very heavy moisturizer, so not suitable for daytime. I definitely WILL use the Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in “Irene”, but it is not spooky enough for the few weeks before Halloween.
Also in this month’s “Screen Gab” box: The Nue Co. Topical C (powdered vitamin C that I am supposed to mix into other face products – way too much work for me); Verso Super Eye Serum (ugh); Sigma Liquid Lipstick in “Venom” (not even full size – rude – and I haven’t been bothering with lipstick since I cannot leave the house without a mask); La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ (I literally just put this on my hands – it is kinda nice); Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads; and Rusk Native Fig Shampoo & Conditioner...just a single use foil pack! What a rip-off!
I’ll give Allure one more month to get their shit together or I am pulling the plug.
The Allure Beauty Box just increased their price from $15 to $23/month. They also offer an option for $250/year – a savings of $26. Sign up via my referral link.
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.