Perfect Smooth Haul
It wasn’t on sale, but I was almost out of shampoo! I cannot risk a single day with dirty hair, so instead of waiting for a sale, I just ordered refills of my favorite (right now) – NatureLab.Tokyo Perfect Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner ($23 each). My hair is also feeling sad and dry, so I added a SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein-Strong Treatment (30% off, so only $2.44).
Nail stuff was also 30% off, so I got some new Flowery buffers and a new Ulta toenail clipper. OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner ($10.40) was FINALLY back in stock, so I bought a bottle to try to revive some of my old crusty polishes.
My order was pretty boring, but even with the $3.50 off $15 coupon, it qualified me for a free 10 piece gift with my $60 order. The star of the gift is another tube of NYX Lip Lingerie XXL in “Turn-On”. THIS is the color I’ve been looking for! It goes on a boring brown, but as it dries, it becomes a near dupe for KVD “Lolita” – I love this shade! Also in the gift: Formula 10.0.6 Draw It All Out Skin-Detoxifying Mask; Covergirl Clean Fresh Brow Gel; Kristin Ess Reconstructive Moisture Mask (yassss, my hair needs help); Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt in “Eucalyptus” (offering to my son); Urban Skin RX Retinol Rapid Repair & Dark Spot Treatment; L’Oreal Infallible Matte-Lock Primer; Peach Slices Snail Rescue; Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.
$622 to Diamond in 2023.
November 2021 Glam Bag X – Huda
Okay, write this down – this quarter’s Glam Bag X is SO good that I’ve tried every single product in the box…that’s right, every single one!
First off, this quarter’s box was curated by Huda Kattan. Her beauty empire has grown significantly since the Allure Beauty Box she curated a few years ago, although not without a few controversies and product labelling mishaps…
The star of the box is the PMD Beauty Clean Smart Cleansing Device in “Warmth”. I’ll admit, when my husband saw it, he thought it was a totally different type of toy. (I’ll let you know if that pans out – so far, I’ve only used it on my FACE.) I was happy to get this device, if only as a replacement for my Clarisonic. RIP Clarisonic. I loved my Clarisonic, but I am on my last brush head, so I guess my love affair will end when it gets too nasty to use. The PMD device is entirely silicone – no replacement brushes to buy – AND runs on batteries. At ~$60, it’s also a much more affordable solution than the Clarisonic.
The other products that Huda curated for me were: Cela Masque De Glacier Clay Mask (a little goes a long way with this one; there’s a slight tingle as it dries, but nothing serious); Wishful Thirst Trap Juice HA3 Peptide Serum (Wishful is Huda’s skincare brand – this serum feels nice and has a slight tightening effect); Huda Beauty Legit Lashes in “Vanta Black” (this is a double ended mascara – one brush for volume and one brush for length – but spoiler alert – I cannot see any difference between either brush); and Rare Beauty With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm in “Honor” (I was underwhelmed to receive another clear lip balm…until I tried it – how does this smell like a literal cloud? I LOVE it!)
I got to choose THREE products. I chose Huda Beauty Haze Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in “Purple” (I wish I would have had this back in October, when I was wearing my purple “BAND MOM” T-shirt every weekend; quality is middling and not very blendable – hard pass on buying more of these); Ahava Dermud Intensive Foot Cream (my feet LOVE this); and First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (remind my of the Stridex pads of my youth).
At a total value of $323, I am absolutely and totally happy with this quarter’s bag. Wait, since I did not get a bag this month, I guess it is just a box. Whatever.
I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month and Glam Bag X for an extra $43/quarterly. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link.
A Makeup Revolution (or is it Revolution Makeup) collaboration with Fruity Pebbles AND Cocoa Pebbles? You son of a bitch, I’m in!
The I ❤ Revolution x Fruity Pebbles Palette ($22) is a bright palette, a Fruity Pebbles rainbow of colors. I’ve only used it once, but looking forward to figuring out how to make the colors work together. The I ❤ Revolution x Cocoa Pebbles Palette ($22) is a lot more versatile – I’ve used the warm shades several times now. The shadow quality is so smooth and blendable – I love them.
I picked the I ❤ Revolution x Fruity Pebbles Lip Oil in “Fred” ($8) – this stuff is great for removing liquid lipstick. I also picked up both the Fruity Pebbles AND the Cocoa Pebbles Body Butter ($10 each). My husband’s FAVORITE cereal is Fruity Pebbles, so I thought slathering the body butter all over myself before bed would drive him wild. Eh, not so much – The Fruity Pebbles scent is very vague. The Cocoa Pebbles Body Butter, on the other hand, is VERY heavily scented. According to my husband, it smells like chocolate ass. This may be my “not tonight, honey” body butter.
I didn’t buy the WHOLE collection, but close…There were also headbands (the Pebbles one with a bone sold out before I could grab it) and makeup bags, but I controlled myself a little…The only bummer is that I paid FULL PRICE when I ordered a few weeks ago, and now they’re half off…run – don’t walk to get this collection!
The rest of my order was a bunch of odds and ends. The wet n wild Coloricon Zodiac Lip Gloss in “Pisces” ($2.09) was for my daughter. The Punky Color Bleach ($9.99) – one of my kids will buy it off me. The Freeman Oil Absorbing Mint & Lemon Facial Clay Mask ($3, on sale from $4.29) and Ulta Pink Grapefruit Scented Foaming Hand Wash ($3.50, on sale from $7) are for me.
My purchase qualified me for TWO gifts with purchase. The free 15 piece gift with $65 purchase included Skinkick Daily Exfoliant Cleanser (new brand to me); L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base (I keep getting samples of this and NOT using it); Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum (1 oz – full sizer!); eva nyc Therapy Session Hair (I got this in a VOX BOX years ago – looking forward to using it again); The Body Shop Avocado Body Butter; Covergirl Creamy Eye Shadow Stick in “Dreamy Haze”; Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara in “Very Black”; Soap & Glory Fruit Force Refreshing Body Wash; Milani Make It Last Dewy Setting Spray; NYX Bare With Me Hydrating Jelly Primer; Love Wellness Call Me Collagen Dietary Supplement (EW); Hempz CBD Moisture Hit Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo (but no matching conditioner!); Derma E Thickening Shampoo (again, no matching conditioner – RUDE); and EcoTools Makeup Brush + Sponge Shampoo (looking forward to trying this out for sponges). I also got a free Step Up 5 piece gift with my $85 purchase: Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt in Dream Away (giving to the kids); Revlon Colorstay Satin Ink (it’s in red cellophane – I’m afraid to open it); Pyt Beauty Upcycle Eyeshadow in “Warm Lit Nude Mini”; Beast Gold Roll-On Oil (this .35oz bottle is $39 at Ulta! I think it’s for dudes); and noyah Organic Vanilla Lip Balm. I have so many samples now!
I am just $240 away from Diamond in 2022.
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.