Sephora Play! July 2018 – More of the Good Stuff
Lucky Sephora box – you arrived first this month, so you get reviewed first!
I was surprised to see such a tarte heavy box this month – Sephora doesn’t usually focus on a single brand. This month’s box has tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “paaarty” (boo, I got this shade in LAST year’s birthday bonus – it will be gifted); tarte Color Splash Lipstick – Rainforest of the Sea Collection in “Salt Lyfe”; and tarte Deep Dive Cleansing Gel.
Also in this month’s box: Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter; Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence (I am starting to get really excited about Caudalie products – the viney smell is nice); and Rahua Color Full Hair Mask.
No new fragrances again this month.
I promise, this will be the best $10 you’ll spend each month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
July 2018 Birchbox – How to Hack Your Summer
You got me another month Birchbox!
I was holding out to cancel until I saw the month’s sample choice. I don’t remember what was in the sample choice, but a product in the Curated Box caught my eye…the Makeupdrop The Original Silicone Makeup Applicator. Yeah, it’s tiny…but once I have a chance to try it, I’ll know whether I should use those instead of Beautyblenders. Too bad it’s so fucking hot outside that I cannot even contemplate wearing liquid foundation. Maybe when I got to Vegas in a few weeks?
Also in this month’s Summer Hack box: Bumble and bumble. Don’t Blow It (H)air Styler; Benefit The POREfessional (I have so much of this shit); Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (love this stuff); and W3ll People Expressionist Mascara.
I ain’t even mad though – if Birchbox can guarantee me at least one desirable sample a month, I don’t mind keeping it. The first month my options are nothing but shit…I will probably cancel.
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.
Rainbow Ulta Haul
So I just got an Ulta order with some fun hair colors for the kids. They really liked the bright colors and I was surprised at how well the colors stayed…well, in my daughter’s hair at least. I am definitely “the cool mom” – I was trying to dye my hair with Black Cherry Kool-Aid when I was my son’s age.
I was checking the price for a friend…and noticed that L’Oreal Colorista for Brown Hair (usually $10.99) was on sale for BOGO Half Off. That’s an even better deal then when I bought it for $8.99. I picked up 4 colors – another Midnight Blue (this one was amazing in my daughter’s hair), Burgundy, Green and Red. I was less than impressed with the Teal I got last time, so I did not reorder. Since I spent $20+ on L’Oreal, I got a free makeup bag. Why not, right?
Ulta Collection was also having a Buy 2, Get 1 Free offer, so I stocked up on brow stuff. I am paranoid of running out of brow pencil while traveling – I’m going to Vegas in about 3 weeks and need to have eyebrows. I was right to order now – I used up 2 old brow pencils this week and gave a third to my daughter! I picked up two Ultra Slim Brow Pencils ($10), one in “Dark Brown” and one in “Brunette”, which is a new shade for me – it’s warmer that “Dark Brown” and I like it for summer. I also tried Brow Pomade in “Dark Brown” ($10). I finally got to try ABH Dip Brow and I LOVE it for a sophisticated brow – I’m just a cheap girl at heart though.
For samples, I got a card with Benefit The POREfessional and Moonlight by Ariana Grande. This perfume smelled SO BAD that my 10 year old daughter wouldn’t even take it…and she wears Cotton Candy scented perfume.
$699.45 to reach Diamond Status. Bwaaaaaaaaaa….
Sephora Play! Smarts – Glitter Eyes for Real Life
Every once in while, Sephora Play! puts out a supplemental box that can be purchased outside of the Play! subscription. I’ve passed the last few, due to either duplicative or lackluster products. I did not pass on THIS one.
The “Glitter Eyes for Real Life” box was $20 and the real reason I added the box to my cart was the rose gold mermaid pouch! My daughter is crazy for sequined mermaid fabric – she has a bunch of the pillows and she fusses with them constantly. When I get tired of playing with it, it’s hers.
Also in the “Glitter Eyes” box: Benefit Bad Girl Bang Volumizing Mascara (I just cracked it open today – this is my new go-to mascara); Grande Lash MD Lash Enhancing Serum (if I paint this on my upper lip every night, will it help me grow a John Waters mustache?); Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12HR wear Waterproof in “Black Lace”; stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in “Kitten Karma” (I just started using the sample I already had and this stuff is the SHIT); Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme; and Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Multistick in “Rose Pearl”. The kit also came with a set of cards for each product with application tips and eye shadow looks. There’s also a free webcast on July 15th. The box is still available – CLICK HERE.
OH! and I also added a $5 Sephora Watermelon after-sun mask to my cart – I have avoided sunburn so far this summer, but I still feel like my skin is taking a beating. My $25 purchase (and a promo code) granted me an extra sample – Benefit The POREfessional Pearl Primer (interested to try it). My other chosen samples were it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser, IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner, and Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum.
If you’re interested in finding out about the monthly box, join up now. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Sephora Play! June 2018 – Summer Nights
Summer fling don’t mean a thing…But, uh oh, those summer nights…
June’s theme for Sephora Play is “Summer Nights” and features products meant to last well into the night. Oh, look at the that deluxe sample of Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream! I’ve gotten this few times and never tried it – but I’m committed now. I’ve even secured my husband’s service to apply to my bum bum!
Also in this (or last) month’s box: Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Longwear Lipstick in “Queen B” (I’ve been wanting to try this formula, even though I’ve been annoyed at the brand for a bit); Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder; Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover; Marajo Nourishing Cleansing Creme and Deep Treatment Butter (um, you mean shampoo and conditioner?); and Living proof.
frizz styling cream.
No fragrance again – boo! Still a good box, though!
Don’t be a prude, join up now. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
May 2018 Allure Beauty Box – In the Fast Lane
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.
Influenster Vox Box – Pantene Foam at Walgreens
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten an Influenster Vox Box – over a year!
I qualified for the Pantene Foam at Walgreens Vox Box. Influenster sent me a full size bottle of Pantene Foam Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner, complimentary for testing purposes. I am happy to test a conditioner, since I have far more samples of shampoo than conditioner stacked in my shower.
When I first started using it, it was very, VERY hard to get past the initial impression – which is rubbing shaving cream in your hair. Once you start working it in though, it feels nothing like shaving cream. As it melts into your hair, it feels more like a regular conditioner. I really like how it makes my hair feel, moisturized, but not weighed down. Some conditioners make my soft, but limp, but there was still a bunch of bounce in my hair with the Pantene. This is a really nice product.
It remains to be seen as to whether I will permanently add this product into the rotation, but it is a distinct possibility.
All June at Walgreens, you can BUY 1, Get 1 50% Off Pantene Products. Plus, get a $5 Off digital coupon (available on the Walgreens app or Walgreens.com) when you EITHER Buy 2 Pantene Foam Products OR Buy Any 3 Pantene Hair Products. If you REALLY want to stack the deal, you also get $3 in Walgreens Reward Points when you buy any 3 Pantene Products.
June 2018 Birchbox – Warm Weather Pleasures
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
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.
The Mother of All Sample Bags
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…