March 2021 Allure Beauty Box – Full Refresh
March’s Allure Beauty Box is…interesting.
So, this month, Allure sent me another pricey serum – 111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster ($155) – but I haven’t used it, because I’m still using the pricey serum from February’s box. So is that what this box is gonna be now?
Also in this month’s box: Eyeko Double Act Shadow Stick (it’s hard for me to get excited about black and brown eyeliner pencils, but it DID come with a super cute sharpener); b.glen Clay Wash Mild Facial Cleanser (it works well, but smells weird – kind of vinegary); pixi by petra LipGlow Tinted Lip Balm in “Ruby” (I’m all about balms right now); Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; and Mudmasky Serum-infused eye mask (nope, have not tried yet).
Not a bad box, but a very odd mix of products.
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.
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…
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.
April 2020 Ipsy Bag – Full Bloom
April’s ipsy bag is super bitchin’! I love the big wooden ring on the zipper and the soft lavender flowers.
For this month’s product choice, I selected Oryza Beauty Foiler Alert – Metallic Eye Shadow in “Rosé”. I have not tried it yet – maybe for my next video conference? I also haven’t tried the Araceli Beauty Ojos Perfectos Gel Pencil Eyeliner in “Black/Negro”.
I have been able to try the rest of the products in this month’s bag. I used the Ahava 24K Gold Mineral Mus Mask over the weekend. Even though it didn’t clear my pores as well as traditional mud masks, it made my skin so soft and glowing.
I’ve also been using the MURAD Nutrient-Charged Water Gel as my go-to moisturizer – it smells WONDERFUL. I’d actually pay for this one.
Stay tuned to see Context Skin Nail Lacquer in “Slow Down”.
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.
Ulta Cyber Monday 2019
Ulta offered a HUGE Wintry Wonders 24 piece Beauty Bag with $80 purchase on Cyber Monday. Of course, I still had some gift shopping left to do…
Obviously, I’m not going to ruin Xmas by showing all the gifts I bought – but I can show the few things I picked up for myself. I’d been wanting to try It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer for a bit, but the price ($48) was putting me off. 30% off though – you have my attention. I’ve been using it for nearly a week and it’s too soon to tell if there’s a dramatic change in the tone of my skin – but the texture of my skin is amazing right now. It’s dewy and clear – no breakouts, which is a good sign. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it again at full price.
I also picked up a sale Makeup Revolution Good Vibes Lip Balm with Cannabis Sativa ($4.90, down from $7). There’s no tint, no fragrance and no taste to this lip balm – I mean, it works as a lip balm, but I think slapping Cannabis on the label is just a selling ploy – there’s nothing a special about this lip balm – disappointing.
So, inside the Wintry Wonders bag: MAC Lipstick Sample Card, with “Velvet Teddy”, “Mocha”, and “Hug Me”; Becca Sample Card with First Light Prioming Filter and Backlight Priming Filter; Tom Ford Metallique (why do all Tom Ford scents smell so old lady?); Rusk Pro Restore01 Leave-In Conditioner; Ralph Lauren Romance; NARS Climax Mascara; Ahava Extreme Minerals Extreme Firming Eye Cream; Sagely Naturals CBD Cream; 18.21 Man-Made Wash in “Sweet Tobacco” (GROSS); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear Sample Card; Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation Sample Card (I’ll put it on my Jade Egg); Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion; Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer; Marc Jacobs Daisy; Unwined by Hask Red Wine Inspired Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner (very interested in trying this – even though I’m allergic to red wine – it should be okay, as long as I don’t drink it); Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste; Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub; Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack; Hempz Blushing Grapefruit & Raspberry Creme Daily Herbal Color Preserving Conditioner (but no shampoo???); Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” (Yasssss…cannot wait to try it); Giorgio Armani Light di Gioia (surprisingly, it’s not horrible – reminds me of sunflowers); and Living proof. restore Perfecting Spray. This is a really nice bag, full of brand new products for the most part.
In addition to the gift with purchase, I was able to use a $10 off coupon on my order. $157 to Diamond…so close!
Ulta had been sending me emails with a 20% off code for at least two weeks – sometimes two a day. They knew I would break down eventually…
I’d been pining for Black Moon Cosmetics “DeVille” ($18) since it launched, but I’d been waiting for Ulta to carry it, so I could get the points. It is the perfect, metallic red. I might as well throw all of my other red lipsticks in the bin – this one is PERFECT. Who am I kidding, you can never have too many red lipsticks. I also picked up Black Moon “Haunting” ($18), a deep purplish brown. Ulta, please pick up the rest of the Black Moon line!
I also decided to try out Mandelic Acid 10% from The Ordinary ($6.80). I’ve been reading about fungal acne and wondering if that might be a factor in the breakouts on my chest. Several articles indicated that the antibacterial properties of Mandelic Acid are a miracle cure, so why not try it. I’ve only been using it for a few days, so it’s too soon to tell…
We put highlights in my son’s hair again, so I picked up a Travel Size of Joico Colors Balance Purple Shampoo ($4.99) to tone down some of the brassiness. I also wanted to try an Eyeshadow Stamp ($4.20, down from $6). I forgot that I ordered it and haven’t tried it yet.
When I ordered, the Beauty Break gift with purchase was a 9 piece bath sampler, which included Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter; Iroha Nature Hand Mask Repair Gloves (I am excited to try these – we are barely a week into cold weather and my hands are already dry and cracked); YUNI Shower Sheets (a huge wet wipe?); bliss That’s Incredi-peel; The Body Shop Drops of Youth (I’ve been wanting to try this!); Megababe Deodorant Wipes (so does Ulta think I am stanky?); Ahava Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask; Start Happy Geranium & Peppermint Body Wash; and a NEST Fragrances Body Mist Collection (4 fragrances: Bamboo & Jasmine, Ocean Mist & Coconut Water, Ginger & Neroli, and Grapefruit & Verbena).
$419 to Diamond status.
First Ulta Haul of 2019
I follow enough drag queens on Instagram to know that Sugarpill is one of THE makeup brands to use – besides Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills, of course. Ulta just started carrying their lipsticks, so I loaded a bunch in my cart and waited to see what else I needed. Originally, I had Sugarpill “Trinket” in my cart, but it sold out. I also had some other ones, but I decided to try just one and scope out the quality before buying more. I settled on “Pillow Fight” ($18), a dusty mauve with gold sparkle. It smells like a dreamsicle! The formula wasn’t super drying, but more drying than I’m used to. It lasts about as long as my other liquid lips…I’ve got a new brand to stan!
I also needed to stock up on face washes. Pacifica was BOGO 40% off, so I got Crystal Beam Foaming Crystal Face Scrub ($16) and Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash ($6, down from $10). I am VERY disappointed in the Crystal Beam – it is NOT a scrub. There is NO grit to the exfoliant – a total waste. Boo.
I also got two of my favorite eye brow pencil at BOGO 50% off – Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” (one at $10 and one at $5). Until I can afford microblading, I’ll keep buying these.
I got a 19 piece Beauty Bag with my $25 purchase. Inside the bag: Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments (and there’s actually a picture of the GOOPtress on the sample – ugh); L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (nope); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (HUGE Deluxe Sample); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Shampoo & Conditioner; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara; Ahava Mineral Mud Clearing Facial Treatment (yes!); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Caroline Herrera Good Girl; Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (yasss); Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream; Living proof. T.B.D. multi-tasking styler; Clarins Extra-firming Nuit Night Cream; Chloe Chloe; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Boots No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum; Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser; Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser; Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy; and PUR Get a Grip Endurance Eyeshadow Primer. Oh, and a $5 off Ulta Beauty Collection Coupon. This is the best sample bag in a bit!
Ulta is STILL not including samples with their orders. Jerks. I used a $3.50 off coupon on this order.
$399 to Platinum for 2020.
Flawless Ulta Haul
So…sometimes you just wanna buy something,
After perusing the Memorial Day sales…I was just about to place another overseas Makeup Revolution order (since they were giving away £25 Mystery Bags again), but I had a hard time getting my order up to £30. The only palette I really wanted badly was the Flawless Matte…
…and Ulta has it! On Memorial Day, they were giving away a free mystery sampler with a $50 purchase…no brainer.
So, in addition to the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte Palette ($15), I also picked up a Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher in “Loved Me the Best” ($5) – these seem to be Laura Geller dupes – LOVE.
I also picked up one of the new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks – “Clubhopper” ($6.99) and one of the new NYX Plush Gel Lipsticks – “Breakup” ($6.99). I tried “Breakup” today – so smooth and moisturizing, but doesn’t last long on the lips.
How else can I get to $50? 2 bottles of Zoya Remove+ ($10 each) and a pack of Ulta Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Done!
That Mystery Bag had some cool stuff: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”; Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6; NKD Skin Tinted Tan Mousse (NOPE); bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in “Get Ready” (my third one – I sent the last one to Sally); and Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum (like that shit in Vegas?).
I also got a free sample of DevaCurl Waves Ahead Loo-Poo Delight – I don’t have curls, but why not try it for free? The free Butter London lippie was sold out. Sad face.
For my regular samples, I got Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner and Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer.
Free shipping for an order over $50, plus got to use a $3.50 off coupon.
So look at that palette…all those warm matte colors…I tore a chunk out of my thumb nail whilst peeling the plastic off – but it was totally worth it.
Amazon Luxury Beauty – Spring 2016
So now Amazon is getting in on the beauty box game. They offered this luxury beauty box for FREE with a qualifying luxury purchase…or $8.99 by itself. I opted to just pay for the box.
I have never heard of most of these brands, but there are a few gems inside the box. Let’s see what I got…L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate Body Cream; Sabon Body Lotion in “Delicate Jasmine” (yummy); Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; Toppik Hair Fattener (odd); bliss Foot Patrol; La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid; Julep It Girl “Carla” ( I don’t have this one!); Juicy Couture Malibu; Nuxe Merveillance Regenerating Night Cream; Vichy Idealia Life Serum; Lierac Mesolift Serum; Vincent Longo Sweet Melody Trio Eyeshadow (I fail to see how these colors would look good on the eye – matte violet, baby pink and mint green…uh, NO.); Shaveworks The Cool Fix (for ingrowns and razor burn – yes please); Marvis Cinnamon Mint Toothpaste; Calvin Klein Euphoria; and Catherine Malandrino Romeance de Provence.
Something in the box smells like patchouli, but I haven’t figured out what it is yet…
There was also a coupon for $10 off a $50 luxury beauty purchase…I may have to browse…
Ulta gives out unique coupon codes for their spring 20% off, so I didn’t have a cute name for this post…Instead of one or two big things, I bought a lot of little stuff. I also bought some gifts for another upcoming birthday, so those items are not shown, of course.
I can’t pass up 97 cent polishes, so the first thing I added to my cart were essie “Strut Your Stuff” and China Glaze “Long Kiss”. I then added two Freeman Beauty Masks – “Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask” and “Apple Cider Vinegar 4-in-1 Foaming Clay”. I wanted to try another shade of Makeup Revolution Lip Euphoria, so I got “Aura”. I added another Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles.
There were so many gifts with purchase last week! I got free Redken pack with Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo & Conditioner, Beach Envy Wave Aid and 25 Benefits One United Multi-Benefit Treatment (I have a full size of this that I use all the time). I also got a free Ahava pack with Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter Facial Serum (the fuck?), Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask, Time to Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer, Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion, and a free tote bag. By far, the best samples were in the free Smashbox bag, which came with all this: Ahava Beauty Before Age Uplift Day and Uplift Night Cream, Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips (I don’t have eyebrows, but I have a mustache – wonder if it will work?), pür Correcting Primer, Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel (NO), Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge (me likey), Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (me no likey), MyChelle Dermaceuticals Refining Sugar Cleanser, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (for real), StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer, It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer and Benefit Benetint.
Oh ya, also samples of Benefit Dew the Hoola Bronzer and Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation.
Phew…my fingers are TIRED.