April Birchbox – Magic Inside

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Just one item led me to pick this month’s curated box. It was that new lipstick – Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Double the Lip in “Lusty Rose”. Mostly because I was skeptical – it’s just a two tone lipstick. It took some maneuvering to get it on my lips, while keeping the dark portion to the lip line. I repeatedly kept asking my husband if my lips looked bigger, fuller, plumper. Apparently, they looked the same. The lipstick is just plain old lipstick and didn’t make them look any different – just pink. I was correct to be skeptical. Boo.

Also in this month’s “Magic Inside” curated box: TOCCA Emelia Eau de Parfum (strong geranium scent, but not geriatric); Vasanti BrightenUp! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer; Bumble and bumble. Don’t Blow It (gives volume to air dried hair – genius!); and derma e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask (I love me some charcoal masks).

Great box this month, even if the lipstick doesn’t live up to the hype.

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.

Sephora Play! March 2017 – The Gleam Team

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Strangely enough, I received my Sephora Play before my ipsy and Birchbox this month…so I won’t be lagging a month behind for once.

We’re back to a white cotton bag this month. I still haven’t figured out what to do with all these pouches. Maybe use them for panties and socks when I travel?

I was drawn to try Chloe Fleur de Parfum immediately – I love Rose de Chloe so much. It’s not bad – there are rose notes, but they’re buried under the lemon verbena. Unfortunately, it gave me a headache within 90 seconds of a light spray on my arm. Boo!

Also in this month’s “The Gleam Team” box: GlamGlow GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer (I can’t get enough GlamGlow); Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in “Golden Pink” (weird product); Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter (another weird one); Living proof Full Dry Volume Blast (I think I’ve gotten every single Living Proof product available over the past several months); and Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm (another confusing product – instructions say it can be used as a primer or a finishing balm – wot?).

Very weird products this month – and NO lip products. Boo!

If you haven’t signed up yet, JUST DO IT. 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.

Got Any More of Them Free Gifts with Purchase?

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Been a while since I got one of these Ulta Bags – I’ve passed on the last one or two that Ulta offered. But this one looked fairly good…so when I was FINALLY getting my hair cut on Saturday, I decided to indulge.

The 12 products inside the snaky aqua bag: Amped Mascara in “Jet Black”, Full Size Matte Lipstick in “Petal” (limited edition), Full Size Brow Tint in “Medium”, Eye shadow Palette shades in “Lace”, “Charm”, “Nostalgia”, “Vintage”, “Delicate”, and “Seaside” (these shadows are the thing that drew me to the bag), Cheek Palette shades in “Fresh Glow Highlighter” and “Nude Pink Blush”, Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Full size Nude Matte Eye Shadow Primer, Lip Gloss Stain in “Treason”, Dual Eye Liner in “Majesty” and “Smoke”, Blush Brush, and a Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener. The bag also had a coupon for $5 off any $15 Ulta Beauty cosmetics or brush purchase.

So I had to spend $21.50 on Ulta products to get my free little bag – and it was easier than I thought it would be. I’d been wanting to try Ulta’s new Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – a dupe of ABH Brow Wiz, I’m hoping. I grabbed a nail clipper for Lily, since she was using one of mine; an Ergonomic 3 Way Nail Buffer; some eyeshadow applicators and a couple of packs of Exfoliating Cotton Pads – I can always use more cotton pads.

PLUS, I had a $10 off coupon for my birthday AND a code for a deluxe sample of Benefit The POREfessional AND double points for my birthday month. All in all, I spent about $13 for all these goodies – SCORE!

December Ipsy Bag – carpe p.m.

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So does “carpe p.m.” mean “Seize the Night”? Wouldn’t it have been simpler for ipsy to just theme the bag as “Seize the Night”?

This month’s bag is full of juicy finds:a MintPear Beauty Blending Sponge (I am getting quite a collection of these); Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer; mPrincess Mineral Eyeshadow in “Melting Maple”; tarte Cosmetics tartist Glossy Lip Paint in “wcw” (I tried this immediately – I am not used to the glossy look, but the deep vampy shade looked great on me…although it did NOT last through a meal like the lip liquids I’ve been using lately); and Cake Beauty Heavy Cream Intensive Hand Repair Balm.

Oh – and that hot pink crushed velvet bag – CRUSHING it.

If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my link.

Sephora Play! June 2016 – The Minimalists

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What am I gonna do with all of these white canvas bags Sephora is now sending out in their play boxes? Ideas, anyone?

This month’s products are intended to help you create an easy summer routine, with that lovely cliche…less is more. Maybe. we’ll see…

The first thing I noticed in the box was the bright fuchsia bottle of Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion. It’s not waterproof, so I’ll try to figure out a time to try it out. Also in this month’s box/bag: bareMinerals Bareskin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer (hmmm…maybe I can use for contouring); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (drowning in mascara right now, but this is a good one); Bumble and bumble. Don’t Blow It (H)air Styler; Becca Backlight Priming Filter (I probably have samples of this already, but haven’t tried it); and Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum (Bergamot and Violet – a bit too “mature” for me).

If you haven’t signed up yet – what are you waiting for? 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.

June Birchbox – Everyday Magic

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I’m ready to perform some “everyday magic” with this month’s Birchbox.

No curated box this month – I wanted the sample choice. I hadn’t yet gotten the Goof Proof Brow Pencil when I chose Benefit Gimme Brow Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel  in Shade 3 for my sample choice this month. To be honest, I’m scared of how it will look with fiber gel in my brows. My eyebrows are fairly sparse – they need volume, but…scared! I’ll report back when I try it.

Also in this month’s box: Balance Me Congested Skin Serum (hmmmm…); Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (I LOVE anything that promises to clean my crater pores); Oribe Dry Texturing Spray (?); and The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in “Raisin the Roof”.

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.

Platinum Perk – Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil

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Ulta Platinum has it’s benefits. Literally.

I was pleasantly surprised to get a surprise from Ulta in the mail yesterday. It was a product from Benefit’s new line of brow products, launching June 24th. Once I figured out how to get the box open, I found a Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in Shade 3. Cool!

I tried it this morning. The tip is an oblong diamond, similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer or Hourglass Arch Pencils that I have. Performance was similar and Shade 3 matched well enough, but it wasn’t a perfect match. At $24, it’s more expensive than the Anastasia, but cheaper than Hourglass. I lean towards the Anastasia Caramel as my favorite anyway.

I’ll definitely continue to use this pencil, but I don’t know that I’ll be buying it.

May Birchbox – Naturally Radiant

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Once again, I was drawn to this month’s curated box – “Naturally Radiant”. You’d think I’d like getting surprised every once in a while…but if the sample choice isn’t as good as at least one product in the curated box, I’ll pick the curated box every time.

These are the products that will make me naturally radiant: Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer (um, I don’t use bronzer, but let’s just pretend this is brown blush?); ModelCo Lip Lacquer in “Creme Brulee” (interesting color); COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray (I need to get on the setting spray bandwagon); Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner (a repeat from last September; a deluxe shampoo and a single use packet of conditioner KILLS me…especially when it is a spendy brand that I love – when I win the lottery, I’m switching to Davines); and CLEAN Blossom Eau de Parfum (not bad, but not my favorite).

All in all, an AWESOME box. I don’t ever see myself cancelling Birchbox…

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.

More Sephora Math

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Boys and girls, it’s time for another round of Sephora Math. Sephora Math is when you buy something in order to get something else cheaper.

In this case, the new Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler includes Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Rose, which I was pretty sure I wanted…even though I haven’t smelled it yet. But…rose! Even if I didn’t like it, there are a few other scents in the sampler that I love – Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale and Stella McCartney Stella. Also inside the sampler: Elizabeth and James Nirvana White (no), Gucci Guilty (no), Marc Jacobs Mod Noir (maybe), Tocca Stella (maybe). But it doesn’t matter – I love Jolie Fleur Rose. It reminds me a bit of Rosabotanica, but rosier. Here’s where the Sephora Math comes in…the sampler was $25, but Jolie Fleur Rose is $28…so again, saving $3!

I also got a gift with purchase…the Flower Child Perfume Sampler Bag, which includes Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk, Stella McCartney Stella, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Burberry My Burberry, Elizabeth and James Nirvana White, Chloe by Chloe and the Tory Burch trio: Jolie Fleur Rose, Jolie Fleur Bleue and Jolie Fleur Verte. I am gonna smell SO GOOD.

For samples, I got Benefit The POREfessional (I keep picking the new version, but they send the old one…suck!), Josie Maran Argan Oil Foundation Fluid (6 different shades!), and MD Solar Sciences Evening Facial Repair Serum (also not what I ordered). Only $177 to Rouge!

Ulta…Note?

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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.