August 2019 Allure Beauty Box – Summer Brights
Well this is a rather random assortment of summer-y products. Weird flex, but okay, Allure…
Inside this month’s neon yellow pouch: Benefit They’re Real Mascara (a solid mascara, but not as good as Rollerlash); Erno Lazlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask; Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream; Nuria Defend Triple Action Eye Cream; Cargo Cosmetics Essential Lip Color in “Bordeaux”; Laritzy Cosmetics Liquid Beam in “Topaz” (ugh, wet finish eye shadow – ewww); and Makeup Eraser The Mini in “Black” (I keep meaning to try one of these).
Confession…I haven’t sampled any of this month’s products – they just are not that interesting. Bummer of a box this month!
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. Sign up via my referral link.
Sephora Play! May 2019 – Beauty BFFs
I am INTRIGUED by the name of May’s fragrance sample – Viktor & Rolf Salty Flower. I know, I know – I need to grow up. I usually like citrus scents, but I haven’t decided how I feel about this one. It’s got a hint of orange, but it’s buried underneath a powdery, old lady smell. I’ll have to wear it a few times to really decide.
Also included in this month’s “Beauty BFFs” box: Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! Mascara (a decent mascara); Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Stepping Out” (reminds me of NYX Soft Matte Metallic in “Cannes”); Sol de Janeiro Copa Cabana Cream (smells so good that I want to drink it); It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream (bahhhh); and Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-in Heat Protectant Spray.
A good box, with a wide variety of useful products.
Sephora Play is one of the better subscription boxes with consistently high-end products. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Lock-it, New & Improved
I was a bit surprised when I saw that Kat Von D was releasing a “new & improved” version of her Lock-It Powder Foundation ($36). I had tried the old Lock-It Foundation a few years ago, but it didn’t work well for me – I picked the wrong shade, plus it seemed to oxidize quickly and just sit on my face. I crossed my fingers and ordered a lighter shade (120 – Fair Linen)…
The new Lock-It formula is now my holy grail powder foundation. I LOVE this formula. It buffs out to a matte finish and my pores almost disappear. It lasts ALL day. The compact is also supposed to be refillable, although I haven’t seen the refills for sale yet. It was well worth the $36…but I still have at least 4 powder foundations I need to use up – an It Cosmetics, a BareMinerals, a Sephora and a Laura Geller Baked. Argh.
I also used this order to pick out my Sephora Birthday Gift. There was a Kat Von D option, but it was foil-pack lipstick samples – um, no thanks. I picked the Drunk Elephant Gift, which includes Protini Polypeptide Cream and Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser.
I also used a promo code to get a vial of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – it smells so good! Sephora is still only giving out two samples right now – I feel personally betrayed. For samples, I picked Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm & Agave Sugar Lip Scrub and Benefit The POREfessional Matte Rescue (I’m excited to try this version of the product).
Just $906 until Rouge in 2020.
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.
Sephora Play! October 2018 – Scary Good Beauty
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Scary good beauty? Count me in!
I am always happy to get products from First Aid Beauty. This box has First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream. I love smelling like a coconut.
Also in this month’s box: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (I keep getting this and I never use it – I need to stop being so lazy); Benefit Gimme Brow Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel (I’m too far gone for this); Anastasia Beverly Hills Banana Stick Contour (interesting – I might give it a spin); Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum; and Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Eau de Parfums (two fragrances is a good deal, even though I already have them).
I guess the switch to ziploc baggies is a permanent one. That’s OK – I have at least 2 dozen fabric pouches that I don’t know what to do with.
Goshdarnit! I went to Sephora today and I forgot to use my Play! card. You’d think I’d be better than this by now.
Sephora Play is THE bestest box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Sephora Play! August 2018 – Beauty Schooled
Just so you know…I canceled my Birchbox. August’s box was the last one that I will review…I finally put my money where my mouth is – back in my wallet.
I don’t know why I always end up procrastinating on the Sephora Play! box – or why I always end up leaving it to be reviewed last. I know I didn’t receive it last. It’s usually the best box I receive each month, too. I must crave delayed gratification?
I snatched up the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay. I love clay masks…but add rose into the mix…the mask is rose colored AND has a light rose scent. I am not sure what it retexturized, but it made my skin soft and smooth.
Also in this month’s Beauty Schooled box/bag: Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in “C211” (ugh, what’s up with the goddamn number – it’s a dusty rose nude); Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (skip); Living proof. T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler (their products are always good); Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer (I already have one of these open); and OUAI VOLUME Shampoo and Conditioner.
Give up 2 pumpkin spice lattes and you’ve paid for it! 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.
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…