Here we go, here’s the haul that made me Ulta Diamond for 2022.
I’m sure it’s not shocking that finally bought the Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Cyber Eyeshadow Palette ($49), but it might be shocking that I paid full price. (I am still saving my Ulta points for a Dyson Airwrap – I’m up to $312!) It’s a very versatile palette, although I am concerned about the quality. The shadows are not as buttery as the first several Naked palettes – a few of the shimmers are downright CHALKY. Ugh. Use a primer and you’ll be fine, but it’s an annoying extra step. Also, watch out for fallout – the glitters get everywhere. I do wish there was at least one more dark, saturated shade besides the burnt orange, but I can mix and match with another palette.
I recently got new bleached streaks in my hair (another Ulta trip) and decided to dye them turquoise when I get sick of blond. I decided to try Arctic Fox in “Aquamarine” ($17) – my kids SWEAR by it. I feel like I’m cheating on Overtone, but their turquoise didn’t take well on my hair. Holding out hope for Arctic Fox.
I had seen the Kitsch Leopard Print Towel Scrunchies ($10.50, on sale from $14) at full price in the store, but was thrilled to find them for 25% online. I also splurged on Kitsch Moisturizing Spa Socks ($12, on sale from $16). I feel like the open toe design will be more comfortable to sleep in – it’s hard for me sleep in regular socks. I also threw in some Ulta Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($2.09), because why not?
I DID use the $20 off $100 coupon code that was out before the holiday sales, and I still qualified for the Hello Holidays 23 piece More Glow Beauty Bag. Inside the bag: Clarins Re-Boost Refreshing Hydrating Cream; Megababe Antibacterial Wipes in “Squeaky Clean” (note to self: do NOT confuse with makeup remover wipes); Good Molecules Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer; Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Intense; Ellis Brooklyn Sweet; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum Intense (What are all these “intense” perfumes?); Lancome La Vie est Belle (2 samples of this one); Not Your Mother’s Naturals Activated Bamboo Charcoal & Purple Moonstone Shampoo and Conditioner (I’ve been wanting to try this one; Joico Defy Damage Protective Shampoo, Conditioner, Masque & Shield (4 packettes!); MAC Lipstick Samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” and “Cockney”; Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream; The Body Shop Body Butter in “British Rose” (I think this sample is why I chose this particular bag); Living proof. Restore Repair Mask; Jack Black Performance Remedy Turbo Wash (will go to the husband or the son); Kate Somerville +Retinol Vita C Power Serum; tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer; Dear, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream (I’m scared that the package says “For Nighttime Only” – will I burst into flames if I use it in the daytime?); Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream; Biosilk Silk Therapy Leave-In Treatment; Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer in “Light Cool”; and NYX The Marshmallow Primer (made with marshmallow root – weird). The bag is super cushy, made out of ski-suit material.
(There were also a few gifts (not shown) from this haul – shhhhh…)
Triple Freebie Haul
Not 10 minutes after I placed that last Sephora order, I placed this Ulta order…I had kept adding things to my shopping cart over the past month and when the freebies were just right…I made my move.
The biggest part of my haul was Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner (regularly $20 each, on sale 2/$24). I’d samples this duo a few months ago at my sister’s house – it made my hair feel amazing! The price has held me back – even on sale, this is the most expensive shampoo/conditioner I’ve purchased yet. I’m going to give it a trial before switching for good…
I had sworn off Nair when I was 15 – I tried it once and it made me look like I had leg measles and didn’t melt the hair off. I was swayed by a new product – Nair Charcoal Brighten & Smooth Leg Mask ($11.99). I tested a large patch on my shin and it actually worked this time. I left it on for the 10 minutes recommended and it actually worked on me – I was shocked. It still smells like burning diapers, but it didn’t give me a rash. I am trying my entire leg in a few days – fingers crossed.
I also tried a new deodorant – Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick ($14). I know, I know – I’ve scoffed at fancy hippy deodorants for years…but I’d noticed periodic rashes from regular antiperspirants over the last few years, and since my surgery, I’d stopped using them almost altogether. I live in Texas though – I probably should use something. I’ve been using the Meow Meow Tweet and I feel like is working at repelling odor – but it doesn’t stop my pits from getting moist. I may have to start alternating with an antiperspirant to see if that helps.
I’ve been eyeing the Sally Hansen x Jelly Belly collaboration for a while and finally decided to pick up the Sally Hansen Insta Dri x Jelly Belly Nail Color Duo Pack with “Berry Blue” and “Tutti Fruiti” ($7.99).
Ulta was offering a free 3 piece gift with $19.50 purchase – a huge Beach Bag, a Matte Bronzer, and Lip Plumping Transforming Top Coat. I am paranoid about going without eyebrows, so I got a back-up Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10). I also snagged the Mercury in Retrograde 5 Piece Rose Quartz Look Book ($16). I got the set solely based on a lyric from the song “Wasted Youth” by Jenny Lewis – the line about “Mercury in Retrograde” has been in my head for weeks. (The whole album “On the Line” is amazing – you should check it out.) The kit includes Confidence Boost Facial Mist, Be-You-Tiful Cream Eyeshadow (light pink shadow with shimmer), Self Love Lip Crayon (creamy, rosy pink), Crystal Blush (rosy-toned pearl blush), and Rose Quartz Face Gems (54 count). The blush is my favorite part, but I was pleasantly surprised by the cream eyeshadow.
And the freebies…I got a Glow All Day 5 Piece Sampler with my $65 purchase: Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel; Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer; Derma e Vitamin C Concentrated Serum; Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask; and Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum. I got a Step Up 7 Piece Sampler with my $75 purchase: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Botanics Hydration Burst Sheet Mask; Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Creme; Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair; I Dew Care Cake My Day Hydrating Sprinkle Wash-Off Mask; and First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser. My skin is going to feel FANTASTIC!
Looks like this haul made me Platinum for 2020 – just $733 to Diamond status. I also am up to $53 in points…hmmmm, what do I want to buy???
My sweet Sally sent me an Ulta giftcard for my birthday last month. At first, I wasn’t intentionally saving it – I almost used it on a haircut a few weeks ago – but I’m glad I did save it. The new Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette ($44) was released at Ulta on March 4th – I ordered it that day in order to get the gift with purchase.
Sure, I have the first six Naked palettes (OG, Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, Naked Cherry), plus a dozen other Urban Decay palettes – but I need THIS one, too. There are a few interesting tweaks to the Naked “formula” – first off, there’s no brush – I guess that’s why it’s $5 cheaper than the rest of the Naked palettes. They also changed up the pan sizes – the lighter base shades have large pans and the dark and glitter shades have smaller pans – brilliant! That’s exactly how it should be! I’ve used it three times so far, and other than having to decide which brushes to use, the experiences have been great. I haven’t used it with primer yet, because it doesn’t need it. The shades are neutral enough for any skin tone, although they seem to lean olive, strangely enough. It’s the perfect neutral starter for someone just getting into prestige brands of makeup. I’ll be reaching for this palette often.
The gift with purchase was an Urban Decay Makeup Bag, in signature black, white and lilac. The bag included a deluxe sample of Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging and a full size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”. For some reason, I expected there to be a lipstick – nope. Free is free though.
For shits and giggles, I added two new Feeling Beautiful Freeman Masks ($4.29) to my cart: Deep Clearing Seaweed + Sea Salt Mud Mask + Scrub (I really liked the scent and how exfoliating this mask was) and Soothing Watermelon + Aloe Cooling Gel Mask (not especially cooling, but I did feel like it calmed my skin before my shower).
I also qualified for another freebie bag, which had a really strange assortment of products. The standout sample in the bag is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in (what I believe to be) “Crimson Chrome” – it’s not labelled, so I’m making an educated guess. I love the color and how it looks on me, but it gets on EVERYTHING – my poor hamburger ended up wearing most of it today. Also in the bag: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant/Anti-Antiperspirant (why?); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; and Clarins Multi-Active Jour SPF 20. See what I mean? Odd.
$193 to Platinum…
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.
April 2018 Birchbox – Feed Your…
Back to the Curated Box option this month – any time I see Davines, I go for it!
Despite the disparity in sizes, I’m quite thrilled to get a deluxe sample of Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo and a single use foil-pack of Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner.
Also in this month’s “Feed Your…” Box: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in “Black”; jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in “Forever Pink”(I got “Forever” Peach a few years ago – it was OK, I guess); Acure Organics Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub (Acure is really good); and Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream SPF 20.
A so-so box…
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.
Bonus Ulta Haul
For the past few years, I’ve had a ritual. As soon as I find out what my yearly bonus will be, I go online and buy the makeup that’s been on my mind. I only spend around $50 – nothing huge – it’s just a fun, immediate way to celebrate.
This time, I immediately went to Ulta’s site and started adding.
First was another Makeup Revolution Palette and another Salvation Lip Lacquer in “Nothing Like Anything”.
In addition to 3 more NYX Lip Lingerie and another Lip Ombre Duo in “Rags & Riches”, I also decided to try NYX HD Finishing Powder in “Banana”. Yup, I’m gonna try Banana Powder…the Kardashian Holy Grail for contouring. I’m not going to contour, per se…I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it.
There was also a Skincare Beauty Break – it was free, so why not? It came with a Clarisonic brush head (I don’t have a Clarisonic…yet); Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel; Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser; Exuviance Purifying Clay Mask; and Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt. My freebies were Benefit Air Patrol and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (I think I have enough of this to paint my house now).
I promise – these NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks are NOT all the same color. From top to bottom, they are “Push-up”, “Corset” and “Bedtime Flirt”. The formula is creamy, although a bit drying, and last almost all day
I wore “Push-up” today – it looked great with a dramatic matte eye. It did feel dry after a few hours, so I did a bit of lip balm over it to replenish my lips. It didn’t melt away and didn’t leave any weird residue on my lips.
I couldn’t resist swatching the Makeup Revolution Salvation “New-trals vs. Neutrals” palette. It’s a bit frustrating that all the Salvation palettes come in identical plastic cases…although this palette is matte black plastic and “Girls on Film” is shiny plastic. Other than that, the only way to tell them apart is to look at the stick on the back. This palette also comes with the shadow names printed on the plastic liner – I love that! It also came with a good quality, dual-ended brush – instead of the sponge applicator in “Girls on Film”.
The quality also feels better than “Girls on Film”. I wore it this morning, sticking to the lightest matte and the orangey matte for my crease. It went on flawlessly with the brush and blended beautifully. I’m looking forward to trying the shimmers tomorrow – they look very similar to the UD Gwen Stefnai palette. I’m in HEAVEN…at least until my monster order for the Makeup Revolution site makes it across the pond…
First Ulta Haul of 2016
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I didn’t think it would be so soon…but here it is – my first Ulta haul of the year.
I had been using John Frieda Illuminating Shine and I REALLY like they way it makes my newly short hair feel. I noticed it was $3 each on Ulta’s site and went nuts, ordering 3 each of shampoo and conditioner. (I guess it is discontinued now – it’s no longer on Ulta’s site. FUCK.) Isn’t that the way it always goes? You find something you like and them BOOM – it’s gone. Ugh. I also got a John Frieda Gift with Purchase – travel sizes of John Frieda Beach Blonde Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo, Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner and Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. Of course, I just cut all the blonde off my hair, but these will be good for summer.
I also picked up Urban Decay Loose Ultra Definition Finishing Powder – I’ve been using the Pressed, but wanted to try this. I also got Biore Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser (is baking soda the new charcoal?) – I tried it last night and it was nice. I had been lusting over Nicole by OPI “Pick of the Glitter” for about a month, after spying it in a Walgreen’s display. It was still on my mind, so I broke down and bought it. (It is every bit as good as I thought it would be.)
My purchase qualified me for the Platinum Skin Beauty Break Gift with $60 Purchase – a little plastic makeup bag with NOICE samples. Inside the bag: Dermablend Professional Setting Powder (Pricey); Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (going to Vegas with me); StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (Which one should I work on first?); Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (Leave it to Gwyneth Paltrow to make beauty products in the worst scent imaginable); Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate; Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifiting and Firming Moisturizer; Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Patchology FlashPath Eye Gels; and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil. This is the best sample bag I’ve gotten from Ulta, I think!
I didn’t get my Variety Sampler though…Bummer.
Ulta Cyber Fundays
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.
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.
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!
Online Shopping Binge
I kind went nuts last week with the online shopping – between Thursday night and Saturday morning , I placed no less than 6 online orders…so many sales and coupons in my inbox…I couldn’t resist.
With the long holiday weekend and biblical flooding, almost all of the packages hit at once yesterday. Instead of half a dozen different posts, I figured I’d stuff most of them into one…
I am fairly shameless, so I’m not going to show the pile of underwear from Victoria’s Secret. Yup, I hoard panties, too.
I had been eyeing the Sephora Sun Safety Kit – I need to protect my easily scorched skin. Inside the kit are 16 different sun protection products in a cute travel bag: – AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30, Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light Medium, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Ole Henriksen total truth eye crème SPF 15, Origins VitaZing Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen, Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 30, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ WetForce Broad Spectrum Water Resistant (80 Minutes), St. Tropez One Night Only in Light-Medium, Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, and Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argan Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50. PHEW – that’s a lot of sunscreen!
For my 3 samples, I chose Viktor & Rolf “Flowerbomb” (spicy and flowery, reminds me of a Victoria’s Secret scent), Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA “Beach Walk” (this doesn’t smell like a perfume – it smells like a thing – LOVE), and dr. brandt Do Not Age. Sephora was also running a Jetsetter deal – pick 3 extra samples – so I got Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, and boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. My face is gonna be SMOOTH.
I can’t say no to Birchbox’s Limited Edition Boxes. As soon as I got the email got the “Under the Sun” ($55) box, I knew I would eventually order it…but not until I got that 25% coupon. 25% off and $10 in Birchbox points and ADD TO CART. Inside the box: Baggu Tote Bag (I had my fingers crossed for this elephant print!), Cynthia Rowley Beauty Beauty on the Go Multi Blush & Bronzer Duo (meh), Laura Mercier Bakes Eye Color in “Cameo” (yasss), Sugarpova Flirty Candy (why does Maria Sharapova sell candy?), Chloe + Isabel Birchbox Exclusive Medina Convertible Pendant Necklace (my favorite part of the box!), Knockaround Premium Sunglasses (silver!), ncLA Nail Lacquer in “Bikinis & Martinis” (it’s the color of bubble gum you’d find stuck under a picnic table), and Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Suncreen with Olive Polythenols SPF 40.
For samples, I got Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and Sumita Jumon Contrast Eye Pencil. I also finally got my Birchbox Anniversary Keyring (not pictured).
…and today, I got a big box of Deep Cleansing Hand Soap from Bath & Body Works. You know that I start to get the shakes if I have less than 30 bottles under the sink. They were all between $2.75 & $3.25, plus 20% off and free shipping. I threw in a handful of Scentportables for my car for good measure.
I also received my Dream Polish Gem Glam Topcoat in “Lily Flower” – yes, it’s scented! This another popular one on Instagram and it’s 5 free – I can’t wait to try it out.
I am still waiting on my sale order from Delush Polish – that’s the only one that hasn’t arrived. I think I have enough stuff to keep me busy…until next week when all my subscription boxes start rolling in!