Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 14

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So proud…I made it all the way to Day 14 of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty before placing an order!

I had to pull the trigger on trying It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF50+ in “Light” for half price ($17.50 instead of $35). I’m always on the hunt for the perfect powder foundation. Trying it for the first time this morning, I wasn’t disappointed. This stuff is THICK. I used the included sponge for the first application, over only moisturizer – no primer – and it is THICK. Thick, but not as cakey as MAC Studio Fix. It covers almost as much as a liquid foundation, so I switched to my usual kabuki to buff it out evenly. I’m going to try over a few different primers next – it tended to settle into my nose pores, so I’m thinking that’s the only place I’ll really need it. A good buy!

I also took advantage of an NYX BOGO half sale – I got the Cosmic Metals and Lid Lingerie Shadow palettes (normally $9.99 each). They are like matte/shimmer twins. I wore Lid Lingerie today without primer. Note to self: NYX shadows ALWAYS needs primer. The colors are  nice though.

I also grabbed another Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it is my new go to. Also, it put me over the threshold to get $5 off my order. For free samples, I got an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (I have like 6 of these) and Smashbox Photo finish Foundation Primer (I have like 16 of these). They also threw in a huge sample pouch of DevaCurl Buildup Buster…but I don’t have curls or use a lot of product in my hair.

Free shipping since I got a Beauty Steal, so I didn’t have to hit the $50 threshold!

Ciao Renaissance

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I may have made a grave mistake. Ulta sent me a 20% off coupon and I used it to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($42)…and it’s one of the most beautiful palettes I own. The quality is outstanding – I’ve never had shadows that blend so well, and WITHOUT primer. The colors meld together seamlessly and they complement each other perfectly. I don’t want to use any other eye shadow ever again.

Okay, I may have exaggerated on that last bit…but it seriously might be one of the very best formulas out there. Luckily, none of the previous ABH palettes are available to buy retail – or I’d be buying them all right now. That was my mistake – another brand to be in love with. I should’ve known there’s a reason all the Social Media Influencers (Manny, Jeffree, Skelotim, NikkieTutorials) keep coming back to this palette.

I’m done gushing…about eye shadow. I’m also in love with the new scent I discovered in the Ulta flyer this month. I also smell the scented flaps, gag, and then forget about the scents…but not with Vince Camuto Ciao. It smells so good, that I kept the scent card in my purse, so I could re-smell it. I don’t usually like sickkly sweet scents, but there is something about Ciao. As soon as I got the coupon, I went ahead and ordered the rollerball ($22) . My only complaint is that the scent doesn’t seem to last on me past a few hours. Sigh.

In my sample pack, I got Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer in “White” and “Smoke” (Ooooh, I’ve never tried dark primer), and ogx Bamboo Fiber-full Shampoo & Conditioner. I also got a few extra free samples – Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

This order made me so, so happy!

Sephora Play! September 2016 – The Unbasic Basics

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Finally…on the last day of the month, I get to the last subscription box of the month…just a matter of days before I start getting a new batch of boxes.

“The Unbasic Basics” is this month’s theme – no basic bitches with this month’s picks. I am most excited about Living proof. Perfect hair Day night cap overnight perfector. I’m absolutely in love with the Living proof. 5-in-1 Styling Treatment from this month’s ipsy bag. Can I please continue to get Living proof. products in every box?

I also received Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” (number 4 or 5); Sephora CollectionRouge Brilliance Rouge Shine Lipstick in “Love Spell” (so pink); Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (I don’t know that I have enough brows for a gel); Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer; and Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte (smells so green – love it).

If you haven’t signed up yet – you are missing out! This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Another Sephora Makeover

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Back in Vegas this past week – a sort of early 40th birthday celebration. I don’t know if I’ll ever hit Rouge status again, so I’m going to take advantage of the free makeup services while I can. If nothing else, I figured it would be 90 minutes that I wasn’t stuffing my face or losing money in a slot machine.

I scheduled a 90 minute Beauty Consultation with 2 goals – to get better at applying bright eye shadows (unless it’s natural colors, I tend to feel a bit like MiMi from The Drew Carey Show) and to find another BB Cream (since Urban Decay Naked Light has been discontinued).

Tasha started with Too Faced Eye Shadow Primer and a neutral base from the Too Faced Natural Matte Palette. She taught me to start with a matte before adding the color – I had no idea. She then used a combination of Make Up For Ever and Buxom shadows to create this shimmery turquoise look – I felt like a mermaid.

On the BB Cream front, we tried Benefit first – that one was a big fat NOPE. It collected in my pores and made me like I had polka dots. It didn’t work with a layer of The POREfessional either. None of the Bobby Brown colors worked, so Tasha moved on to the Smashbox BB Cream. It was a bit better, but there were still a few odd orange flakes. I decided to wear it for the night before I decided to buy.

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I was also excited that Tasha wanted to try the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in “Caramel”. I usually use “Soft Brown”, but she suggested trying a lighter color – it looked great on me. She also used Sephora Color Corrector in “Peach” to correct the dark circles under my eyes. Genius.

My final purchases were rather moderate, if I do say so myself. I picked up the Brow Definer ($23) and Color Corrector ($14), but I also grabbed a Travel Brush ($15) since I forgot mine – DOH!. I also decided to purchase the Skin Inc Get Glam Holiday Set ($65), which includes a full-size Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel and half-size Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask. A Skin Consultant put both on my face before my the makeup and both felt amazing. I don’t usually spend much money on skin products, but I figured I’d give it a spin since I was using my 10% off VIB code.

I also got the Rouge Welcome Kit, which includes a new RED card and special Marc Jacobs “So Rouge” lipstick. Since my birthday is just around the corner, I also got to pick my birthday gift – I chose the Fresh Set with Soy Face Cleanser and Rose Mask. So, so happy with my purchases and gifts!

VIB Xmas Gift

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Oh Sephora…you really want me to get to Rouge by the end of the year, don’t you?

I got my $20 off $50 email, so I figured I would pick up some basics. I got another Anastasia Brow Wiz in “Soft Brown”, but they don’t carry Urban Decay Ultra HD Loose Powder online. DAMMIT. So I had no choice but to order the Kat Von D vs Formula X Studded X set (with mini lipsticks and matching polishes in “Lovecraft”, “Bauhaus” and “Homegirl”). I squealed when I opened it!

I also got the Cyber Weekend Mystery Bag with a Sephora Pearl Mask (now I have 2); Origins GinZing Eye Cream, Fresh Rose Mask; Sephora Colorful blush in “No5 Sweet on you” (now I have 2); Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil; Sephora The Mascara; Clinique Even Better spf 15 makeup; and Clean “Cashmere”.

For my other three free samples, I got Sephora Instant Moisturizer, Needles No More (Hmmmm…); and Clinique Moisture Surge Intense (I am using another sample of this right now – LOVE it). Just $81 until Rouge Status!

Ulta Cyber Fundays

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The weekend before Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Ulta ran a “Cyber Fundays” promotion with a bunch of stuff on sale, plus a gift with purchase sample bag on orders of $60+, plus $10 off. I decided to knock out some stocking stuffers, plus get a few things for myself. Imagine my surprise when Ulta decided to break my modest order into three different shipments.

The first box was rather piddly – just a travel size Joico K-PAK Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor (my BFF swears by K-PAKs, so I thought I’d give them a try while on sale) and a few stocking stuffers from the 5/$5 Promotion.

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The second box was also small – a single lotion stocking stuffer, my variety sampler – Lumene Time Freeze Instant Lift Serum and Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum – and my gift with purchase…Inside the Berry Glam Beauty Bag: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation with 3 different shades – “Vanilla”, “Light Beige” and “Sand”; Gucci “Bamboo” (not bad, smells like Crystals in Vegas); “Pink Sugar” (too hookery); Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo; Pureology Coulour Fanatic Instant Deep-Conditioning Mask; Benefit ThePOREfessional Pro Balm & License to Blot Set; Urban Decay Cosmetics Revolution Lipstick (Card with 4 sample colors); Giorgio Armani “Acqua Di Gio”; Whish Body Butter in “Winterberry” (the last one I got smelled like hot dog water, so I am scared to try this one); It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product (guaranteed in every Ulta sample bag); Ralph Lauren “Romance”; Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes; Ulta Legendary Lengths Lengthening Mascara; Clarins Super Restorative Day; Alterna Haircare Caviar CC Cream (for hair); Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (I have SO much of this shit); Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream; Nip+Fab Skin Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum (it couldn’t be worse than the snake venom that nut in Vegas smeared all over my face); and a BUNCH of Ulta coupons.

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FINALLY…the third box had the REAL stuff I ordered: John Frieda Liquid Shine Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.74 each!); Joico K-PAK Shampoo (to go with the conditioner); Ulta Rose Gold Palette (been lusting after this FOREVER); Poo-Pourri “Merry Spritzmas” (for my son – at 10, he is starting to get manly shits); eos Holiday Set (also for him), some other stocking stuffers and some nail buffers for ME.

I monitored Ulta’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and it looks like the Cyber Fundays sale was actually the better deal (for me, anyway). They’re still sending different sale emails every day, though…I may not be done ordering yet!

On a Mission…

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When you’re on a mission and you still don’t find what you’re looking for…but still come home with several bags of goodies…

My mission – to find some dupes of Kat Von D “Lolita” (Sephora exclusive) and Anastasia Beverly Hills “Veronica” (Macy’s exclusive). As painful as it would be to spend $20 on a lipstick, it’s more annoying that both are very hard to come by – forever out of stock in stores and online. So I did some googling and found some cheaper alternatives. I hadn’t used my 20% off Ulta coupon, so I went in search of some NYX and Essence dupes. I saw online that NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Cannes” and NYX Intense Butter Gloss in “Chocolate Crepe” were close. Nope – no luck. I did, however, pick up another Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Soft Brown”, another Zoya Remove+ and Ulta Dual Tipped Foam Applicators (I can’t quit foam applicators). I also hit a Target and HEB looking for NYX, Essence and wet n wild dupes – but no luck.

That was Saturday. On Sunday, I scammed my husband into dropping me off at a different Ulta – I did manage to find NYX “Chocolate Crepe” – but no “Cannes”! I did grab NYX Butter Lipstick in “Pops” – it looks close, too. And then I saw the Fall Ulta Gift with Purchase (a leatherette bag with the usual – eye shadow quads, blush, mascara, polish, brushes, eye liner, lip gloss, etc.)…I picked Ulta Shiny Sheer Lip Gloss in “Smoky” (I thought it would be darker, but it just made my lips vaguely gray and glittery) and Ulta Liquid Liner in “Black Pearl” (Glittery black eye liner is good, but they were out of the Rose Gold I wanted). That was only $19 and I needed $19.50, so I grabbed Ulta Cotton Pads.

Last stop, HEB to grab some soda for my M-i-L…and I found wet n wild Megalast Lip Stick in “Spiked with Rum” ($1.93). Still no “Cannes”, I’ll keep searching, but look forward to some lipstick swatches coming soon…

Beauty Insider Love #1

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I got my first BILOVE 10% off order yesterday – I was so happy to get the Too Faced “Natural Matte” Palette in my hot little hands. I tried to get it at Ulta a few weeks ago, with my 20% off coupon, but the store had just done a rest and only had it online. I looked it up online and it was excluded from the coupon. DISAPPOINTMENT. At least I got it for 10% off…

I used it this morning and it was absolutely beautiful. I think “Sexpresso” is my second favorite eye shadow name ever. (“Sugar Walls” from Too Faced’s “Boudoir” Palette is #1.)

For samples, I picked Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder DuoGuerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil and belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (I have no idea what an aqua bomb is). I also got an envelope full of postcard scent samples.

Sephora Flash is gonna be expensive…

 

Birchbox Treats Me Right!

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When I use up one Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, I have to immediately order another one. I CANNOT risk running out and having to go without eyebrows. I don’t care that they’re $21 each, no other pencil matches my weird Asian/German eyebrows.

I also got a bottle of Benefit Benetint. I use the sample of Lollitint that I got in an ipsy bag ALL THE TIME.

I used a coupon code for 25% that I got for taking my 13th box. I also had $20 in Birchbox points. For my free samples, I got Whish Shaving Cream (hmmmm…might be good for travel or just bikini line) and Davines All in One Milk – oh, it’s for my hair. If you say so…

Birchbox really wants me to become a tea drinker…this is the 3rd or 4th time they’ve sent me tea. This time, it was Mighty Leaf Tea“Orange Dulce”, “White Orchard” and “Ginger Twist”. Those flavors sound so good, I might actually try them myself instead of giving them to my son.

I also got another $30 off code from Rent the Runway. No thanks…

Goodbye Crater Pores!

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Whoever packed my box did a great job color-coordinating the tissue paper!

Birchbox has the best loyalty points system, hands down! I had $30 in points just a few months ago and here I am with $30 in points again!

After trying a sample of Benefit’s The POREfessional in Ulta’s Cyber Monday Bag, I had to have a full size. (This stuff is like the most magic nose spackle ever!) Also needed a back-up Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. With a 20% off code, $30 in points and free Ace shipping, I only paid $11.60.

The free samples were so-so this time: Harvey Prince “Imperial Gardenia” (which I received in my June Box) and evologie Stay Clear Cleanser. Hit me up if you like Gardenia and you can have the perfume…