The Mother of All Sample Bags

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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…

Kat Von D – 10th Year Anniversary Collection

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I’ve been waiting months and months for this…and on Cinco de Mayo, Kat Von D released her 10 year Anniversary Collection. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.

The 10th Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette ($52) was the first thing into my cart. I am blown away by the quality of the shadows. I tried it yesterday, without primer and it was ultra, mega, SO pigmented. Although Kat excels at matte eyeshadows, I’m really drawn to the transformer shades in this collection. I did a look centered around “Alexandra” (rose gold glimmer) and it matched my rose gold hair perfectly. When my husband got home from work last night, he actually said my makeup looks cute…and he NEVER says that. Literally, the best I can hope for it, “You look nice,” but usually I get “What is wrong with your face?”

So, this palette gets the husband stamp of approval – that’s even higher praise than “Jeffree Approved”!

I also picked up the 10th Anniversary Lipsticks – Everlasting Glimmer Veil in “Gold Skool” ($22) and Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Santa Sangre” ($19). I wore “Gold Skool” with “Lolita II” Everlasting Lip Liner yesterday and it KILLED. Now, the $64,000 question – how does it compare to Jeffree Star “First Class”? The two aren’t even really similar – “First Class is a black-leaning metallic, while “Gold Skool” has more of a glittery gold dust finish. Not dupes at all!

I dropped $93, but I didn’t even get the whole collection. There’s also a brush set ($125), a highlighter ($30), an eyeliner ($20) and a traincase ($150). I wanted them all…but I also wanted my family to eat this month. I am VERY happy with my purchase and I am confident when I say that Kat Von D has overtaken Urban Decay as my favorite cosmetics brand.

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Since I have Sephora Flash, I broke my order up into two orders, so that I could get double samples and use two promo codes. I got my doubles AND Sephora still sent it all to me in one box. Winning!

I used a promo code to get an Amore Pacific Set, which includes Vintage Single Extract Essence, Botanical Radiance Oil and The Essential Creme Fluid. I also used a code to get a fragrance sample bag with Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Stella Peony (the one I wanted to try – need to buy it); Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose (another love); Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia, Chloe Fleur de Parfum, Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh AND Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara. Nice!

For my sample picks, I got 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (each sample card had 4 colors AND a tiny brush – been wanting to try this so bad!); Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Top Coat (includes 4 colors – “Fever”, “Reverb”, “Ritual” and “White Lie”); and Clinique Moisture Syrge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator. Wait! That’s only 4 samples! They screwed me!

But…only $568 until Rouge…I might do it!

Magical Bag

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Did I need more liquid lipstick? No, but I wanted it. Same thing.

I’ve been jonesing to try the Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick ($17) since it dropped at Ulta a few weeks ago. I’d been admiring “Emerald City” – not a duochrome, but a trichrome – for quite some time. I also picked up “Versailles”, because I need more rose gold in my life. “Versailles” is very close to Jeffree Star “Pussy Whipped”, but not quite as peachy. “Versailles” looks better on me, TBH. I haven’t tried “Emerald City” yet. The Ofra formula is nice and smooth and not drying.

I also decided to try Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation in “Fair”, which is very affordable at $14. I’m pleased with the performance. it’s light coerage, but a good match for my skin. I also picked up the new Ulta New Hue Shadow Switching Pan. I know I just paid $9 for a sponge in a tin, but this damn thing works like a champ. I don’t know that I could’ve made my own at home for cheaper. I spent just enough on Ulta products to get a FREE Deluxe palette, one of those ones with ALL the products – 24 shadows and blush and lip stuff. I might never use it, but free is free. I used a code for $5 off $15 in Ulta products, so I got all those goodies for a steal.

I also threw in a Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles. My free sample pack had Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer and Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer (for my man).

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The real star of my order was the FREE 24 product beauty bag that I got with a $60 purchase. It was packed so full, I can barely get all the stuff back in it!

Inside this magical bag: philosophy time in a bottle repair serum (love this stuff, but too pricey); DevaCurl Buildup Buster Gentle Deep Cleansing Serum; it Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer (I’ve heard good things about this stuff); Sexy Hair Long Sexy Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler (I don’t have long hair anymore, so I must be patient); NYX Total Control Drop Foundation (4 shades, surely the lightest will work); Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream; Clinique BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops (very interesting concept); Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Finally! I’ve been wanting to try this); Ulta Mattifying Balm (another one I’ve wanted to try); Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil (another genius idea); Jimmy Choo L’eau; Tory Burch Love Relentlessly; Benefit Hoola Quickie Contour Stick; Julep love your bare face Hydrating Cleansing Oil; Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner; First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel (another WOW product I want to try); Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea (I stuck it in the fridge for a hot nasty day); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Butter Scotch”; Vitabath Spa Day Body Wash in “Lavender Chamomile”; COOLA Classic Sunscreen White Tea Moisturizer; StriVectin Hair Deep Repair Mask; and Smashbox Cover Shot Golden Hour Eye Shadow Duo. Phew, finger cramps. Oh, and another $5 off $15 Ulta coupon.

Give Me Some Nude Lip – 3rd Edition

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Even though I was able to resist the 2nd Edition of Sephora’s “Give Me Some Nude Lip” – I wasn’t able to resist the 3rd. Really, the only reason I didn’t get the second was because I already had a full size of Urban Decay “1993”, but I had none of the ones included in this set.

Inside this 3rd “Give Me Some Nude Lip” ($28): Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Kristen” (very…MOIST); Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in “Sugar Sugar” (haven’t tried this one yet); NARS Cosmetics Velvet Lip Glide in “Bound” (Somewhere between a lip gloss and a matte liquid lip, it stayed put most of the day and was very hydrating); Tarte lippie lingerie matte tint in “Revealed” (I thought I hated chubby lip pencils, but this one is nice and long-lasting and a nice medium brown); Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in “Spice Girl” (I have regrets about wearing this to work today – my lips were stinging for a good hour and a half…and looked no plumper); and Urban Decay Vice Waterproof Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “Trivial” (Full size – and the best shade of the bunch). This was a good buy – I can see wearing all of these, except for the Lip Injection.

I also splurged on Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo Lip Balm ($10). Even though I hate using my finger to apply lip balm, I will make an exception for this cute little flamingo float.

I used a code to get a Deluxe Sample of Atelier Cologne Clémentine California. I love the smell – like fresh Cutie Clementines – but it doesn’t seem to last very long on me. I’ve worn it twice this week and it faded by the time I got home from work. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive the exact samples I picked: philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanserphilosophy Time In A Bottle 100% In-Control, and SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer.

How am I gonna get to Rouge Status by the end of the year? I have $674 left!

Buck that Fudget

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I am trying so, SO hard to stay on a budget. But I got that email with my 15% off code for the Sephora Spring Event…

I made it to the second to last day and then “splurged” on a single lipstick. I’ve been wanting to try Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Veronica” ($20), so since Sephora is carrying them now, I took the plunge. First off, the formula is GREAT. My lips didn’t get dry and cracked and formula did not budge all day. I picked the exact perfect color for me – a dupe for Jeffree Star “Androgyny”. I’m in love with these lipsticks. I wish I hd less resolve.

For samples, I actually got my picks this time. They were John Varvatos “Dark Rebel” (hoping it would be a good one for my husband, but it was nasty – smelled like some cheap old man shit, like Brut); philosophy purity made simple 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes; and Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer (their misspelling, not mine).

Maybe my budget will be more open when the next sale hits…

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!