Everyone in the family was needing a little hair care, so another Ulta haul was in order…
For myself, I ordered a NatureLab.Tokyo Perfect Smooth Shampoo Refill ($22) to match the Conditioner. I also got a back-up Colorista Bleach Highlights Kit ($10.99).
My son needed shampoo & conditioner for his bleached hair, so I grabbed Pacifica Sunshine Highs Shampoo & Conditioner ($10 each) while they were BOGO 40% off.
I decided to treat my daughter with Colorista Semi-Permanent Color in “Purple” ($10.99).
All this hair stuff qualified me for a free 12 piece Hair Color Sampler. The sampler included Madison Reed Color Protecting Shampoo & Conditioner (I’ve been curious about this brand for a long time); Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner; Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo & Conditioner (I don’t know what citric acid will do for my hair, but looking forward to trying it); Kenra Color Maintenance Shampoo & Conditioner; Fekkai Technician Color Shampoo (no conditioner?); AG Hair Care Ultradynamics Extra-Firm Finishing Spray; Pureology Color Fanatic Multitasking Leave-In Spray (giving to my son); and DevaCurl Noo-Poo Blue Anti-Brass Zero Lather Curl Cleanser (also giving to my son).
On the non-hair front, I picked up St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist ($15, down from $30) for my kids, because they LOVED the previous sample I got…for myself, I got Ulta Coffee & Chocolate Energizing Superfood Mud Mask ($4, down from $8) – it smells good enough to eat! It sucked all the gunk out of my pores and made my skin super soft.
I qualified for a second gift with purchase – a Best Seller 7 Piece Gift, with my $65 purchase. This gift included Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Bumble and bumble. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex (I love this stuff); Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (I also love THIS stuff); MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in “Werk, Werk, Werk” (it’s red…meh); and Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Hydrator. That was only 6 pieces!!! What a rip-off…
Just $784 to Diamond!
What’s YOUR Hogwarts House?
You want to cause chaos in your household? Pick up a couple of Hogwarts House Bath Bombs for your kids and watch them freak out when their bath bomb tells them they are in the wrong house. No joke, my little Hufflepuff daughter was scandalized when her bath bomb told her she should be in Slytherin. My Slytherin son wanted to get into HER bath and kick her out, and even a week later, he is too scared to use his own bath bomb. The Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Mystery Hogwarts House Bath Bombs are $8 each – purchase at your own risk.
The Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Hogwarts House Lotion ($12 each) is a much safer bet. I got one for each member of the family: Gryffindor (berry vanilla), Hufflepuff (wildflowers), Ravenclaw (cucumber), and Slytherin (raindrops). They all smell very good.
I added a few odds and ends to my order – a China Glaze Striper in “Paint it Black” ($1.05, down from $1.50) and a Marc Anthony Deep Repair Aloe Vera & Jasmine Oil Deep Conditioning Packet ($1.79, down from $2.99).
I got a Clinique Beauty Break with my order, with Clinique High Impact Mascara, Lipstick in “Bare Pop”, and Take the Day Off Makeup Remover. I also used my trusty $3.50 0ff $15 coupon.
Just $418 to Diamond in 2021.
Back to Back Ulta Hauls
I know I just ordered, but June 1st was Diamond Day, with a whole load of Diamond Exclusive Offers…
I shopped so long that I missed a Special Diamond Gift Bag and Nail Purchase Bag – they were both sold out by the time I placed my order – well, shit. I did still get the Makeup Revolution “Fierce Mind” Eyeshadow Palette for free with $25 makeup purchase. It’s got 4 huge pans of neutral shimmer shades that can easily be used as blush, too. The makeup I picked to get it was a mix of new products. I wanted to try Colourpop Ultra Blotted Liquid Lip ($7) in “Cypress Chill”, a bricky red. It is a matte liquid lipstick, but with a muted finish – it does appear to be blotted down and soft focus. I want more shades! I also tried the new NYX Dip Shape Go Longwear Brow Pomade in “Dark Brown” (usually $11, but all NYX was 40% off, so it was $6.60). This is similar to Julep’s Don’t Leave Your Brows at Home, but in a pomade form. If I’m gonna use a pomade, I’d prefer this all in one form, instead of the brush and pot being separate. That being said, this product did give me fuller brows, but I did have to finish them off with a slim pencil for definition. This product is not one and done.
Coincidentally, I did buy a back-up of my favorite brow pencil – the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it counted as makeup towards the free eyeshadow AND towards an Ulta 4 piece gift, with $19.50 purchase. The gift contained a HUGE clear tote bag, a small palm tree patterned makeup bag, Ulta Watermelon Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, and Ulta Watermelon Waves Juicy Gloss. Oh, the other purchase was Ulta Brush Cleaning Solid Soap ($10). I am devastated that Ulta no longer carries the Japonesque Solid Soap, but I’m holding in my tears and trying another brand.
I went all in on stocking up on skincare to get ANOTHER Skincare gift with purchase. My son has been breaking out lately, so I got him Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub ($8.49) and Biore T-Zone Targeted Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($9.99). I was all excited when I showed him, but he said he felt personally attacked. Rude!
For myself, I got Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery CBD Cream ($9, but I swear it was $28 when I looked at it a few weeks ago). I’d gotten this sample a few times, and although CBD seems to be a bullshit ingredient, the tingly menthol in this moisturizer is not bullshit – it feels AMAZING on my face. I also got Freeman CBD Balance Jelly Mask + Scrub ($9.99) and Dr. Organic Rose Restoring Face Scrub ($15.99). Both are bit more pricey than I usually get, but I am a sucker for scrubs and roses.
The “Be Your Own Sunshine” Sample Bag includes Ulta Beauty Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof; Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (more eye cream!); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash; it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream; Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate; Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum; and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. That’s a lot of skincare!
The only coupon available was $3.50 off – but hey, better than nothing. I’m now $784 to Diamond Status and I have accrued $50 in points!
February 2020 Sephora Play! – Beauty Soul Mates
Hmmm…I’m getting a severe sense of deja vu with this month’s Sephora Play! box – I feel like I’ve seen all of these products before.
I received the Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey” just a few months, ago, in November’s box. The Clinique Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub is a new product to me, at least.
I got the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Setting Powder in a 500 point bonus, so at least it’s not a repeat. (I noticed that the insert still refers to Kat Von D Beauty, so this was all put together well in advance of the rebranding.)
I received Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer, which is slightly different than the Youth Preserve Mask I received in 2018.
I’m not going to complain about philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser – I love it…but I did receive it in a Play! box in 2018.
Last, but not least – Verb Ghost Oil. Yup, you guessed it – 2018.
Even though I’ve gotten almost all of these products before, it’s a good little box this month.
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
But is it really splurging if it’s on the sale page?
I hadn’t used my $10 off birthday code at Ulta yet, so I filled my cart on the sale page. Actually, let me back up. I was scrolling the Sephora Presidents Day sale and saw that the Jackie Aina and Carli Bybel palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills were 30% off, so I decided to redirect that purchase over to Ulta – not only because I have a coupon, but also because I feel like I get more value from being top tier at Ulta than being top tier at Sephora. Also, Ulta has BOMB GWPs.
Ulta didn’t have the Jackie Aina palette, but the DID have the Anastasia Beverly Hills Carly Bybel Palette ($31.50, down from $45). That’s fine, because the Jackie Aina palette looks a little cray. (I was hoping that the Alyssa Edwards palette would be back, but nope.) I only know Carli from the Allure Beauty Box she did last year. I was thinking that the palette would end up being pretty basic, but it’s got a nice selection of colors, with lots of shimmer and glitter. I’m enjoying using it, except that the glitter shades have the fallout from hell. It sprays all over my whole damn face. Primer helps a little bit, but it still gets everywhere. I’m gonna have to work on it.
I also decided to go out on a limb and try the Lime Crime Venus XS Vixen Palette ($10, down from $20). I’ve stayed away from Lime Crime for the most part because the owner was a shitbag, but since selling out in 2018, it appears they’ve turned their reputation around. The XS Vixen is a small red-themed palette. The quality is just OK – it doesn’t blend very well at all and the coverage is splotchy. Looks like I can continue to ignore this brand.
One more sale purchase – an Urban Decay Cosmetics Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush in “Dark” ($10, down from $20). I’m guessing that it’s on clearance because they are discontinuing it…which is fine. The quality is fine, similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but still not as good (for me) as the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil.
I picked up the new Pacifica Sunshine Highs Toning Shampoo & Conditioner ($10 each) for my son’s bleached locks. I got it in preparation for another round of highlights, so probably next week or so.
There was also a free 28 piece beauty bag with a $70 purchase. You know I cannot get enough of those GWPs. Inside this HUGE red bag: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum; LORAC Pro Plus Fiber Mascara (eek, those fiber mascaras scare me); PUR Fully Charged Mascara; Boots No7 Dark Circle Corrector; Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam (I have 3 sample bottles of this now – thanks, Ulta); Living proof. restore perfecting spray; Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” (I really like this shade – I wonder if my old one is dried up?); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash (I used proactive back when it first came out; it worked for a while, but then ate all my skin off); Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector; Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; It’s a 10 Miracle Finishing Spray; Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask; Patchology Flashpatch Illuminating Eye Gels (so many damn eye patches – I feel like a fucking pirate); TonyMoly Vital Vita 12 Ampoules Mix & Match Serums; Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Glow Powder; DevaCurl Supercream (no curls here, go will give away); Viktor & Rolf Bon Bon; Zitsticka (intrigued); Botanics Simply Calm; Ulta Beauty Matte Black Eyeliner; Biolage Airdry Glotion (what?); Pureology Colour Fanatic; Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control; Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio; e.l.f. Poreless Primer Putty (oh, this is some GOOD stuff – I like it); Cover FX High Performance Setting Spray and Florence by Mills Clean Magic Face Wash (what does that girl from Stranger Things know about beauty products?) A dang good bag!
$1,088 to Diamond. I better step it up!
Can you believe I got all this for fiddy cents? Actually, it was 46 cents plus 4 cents tax…how on earth did I get a deal like this?
I waited until the very last day to use my 20% off code to get the most bang for my buck. I’d been waiting until I got a code to get the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Prima 3000 Styling Iron ($179.95). Angie used it on my hair the last time I got it cut, and I fell in love with the idea of a tool that can straighten or wave my hair. It’s kind of hard to use and I’m still getting the hang of it, but it’s got adjustable temperatures and is difference than other irons I own. And I never, ever, ever would’ve paid full price for it.
I happened to notice several shelves of leftover Holiday Clearance and conservatively picked up a single nail polish – Sally Hansen x Jelly Belly in “Strawberry Cheesecake” ($2.49, down from $4.99).
In addition to the 20% off, I’d been saving my Ulta points for months and months…I’d saved up $144.50! I used them all on this purchase, which is how I got it down to 46 cents.
I also got a surprise packet of coupons for achieving Diamond Status. There was a coupon for ANY full size Clinique foundation, as well as a coupon for $25 off a Salon Visit. I used the Foundation coupon to try out Clinique Even Better Foundation in “Breeze” ($29.50). This is now my “holy grail” foundation. I’ve never had a foundation that blended this well. I applied over Make Up For Ever Step One Primer and topped with Make Up For Ever Setting Powder and my skin has never looked more poreless and perfect. The search is over!
My birthday gift from Ulta was a deluxe sample of Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara. I do not particularly like this formula – it makes my lashes bunch up together like Liza Minelli. I can make it look okay if I brush out my lashes, b ut that’s a pain in the ass, so I’ll probably just throw this tube away.
Since I bought this in my Birthday Month, I got double points…so, I guess I got one point. Just $1,149 to Diamond for 2021.
Ulta Cyber Monday 2019
Ulta offered a HUGE Wintry Wonders 24 piece Beauty Bag with $80 purchase on Cyber Monday. Of course, I still had some gift shopping left to do…
Obviously, I’m not going to ruin Xmas by showing all the gifts I bought – but I can show the few things I picked up for myself. I’d been wanting to try It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer for a bit, but the price ($48) was putting me off. 30% off though – you have my attention. I’ve been using it for nearly a week and it’s too soon to tell if there’s a dramatic change in the tone of my skin – but the texture of my skin is amazing right now. It’s dewy and clear – no breakouts, which is a good sign. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it again at full price.
I also picked up a sale Makeup Revolution Good Vibes Lip Balm with Cannabis Sativa ($4.90, down from $7). There’s no tint, no fragrance and no taste to this lip balm – I mean, it works as a lip balm, but I think slapping Cannabis on the label is just a selling ploy – there’s nothing a special about this lip balm – disappointing.
So, inside the Wintry Wonders bag: MAC Lipstick Sample Card, with “Velvet Teddy”, “Mocha”, and “Hug Me”; Becca Sample Card with First Light Prioming Filter and Backlight Priming Filter; Tom Ford Metallique (why do all Tom Ford scents smell so old lady?); Rusk Pro Restore01 Leave-In Conditioner; Ralph Lauren Romance; NARS Climax Mascara; Ahava Extreme Minerals Extreme Firming Eye Cream; Sagely Naturals CBD Cream; 18.21 Man-Made Wash in “Sweet Tobacco” (GROSS); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear Sample Card; Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation Sample Card (I’ll put it on my Jade Egg); Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion; Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer; Marc Jacobs Daisy; Unwined by Hask Red Wine Inspired Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner (very interested in trying this – even though I’m allergic to red wine – it should be okay, as long as I don’t drink it); Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste; Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub; Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack; Hempz Blushing Grapefruit & Raspberry Creme Daily Herbal Color Preserving Conditioner (but no shampoo???); Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” (Yasssss…cannot wait to try it); Giorgio Armani Light di Gioia (surprisingly, it’s not horrible – reminds me of sunflowers); and Living proof. restore Perfecting Spray. This is a really nice bag, full of brand new products for the most part.
In addition to the gift with purchase, I was able to use a $10 off coupon on my order. $157 to Diamond…so close!
November 2019 Sephora Play! – Beauty for Self-Care
Self-Care? Let me tell you, I self-cared the fuck out of myself last week. I laid my ass on the couch every day…and enjoyed every minute of it. I think I put a mask on my face every single day, except one. I’m paying for it now, though – I went back to work today and ended up staying until 6:30….and to top it off, I think I’m coming down with a cold. FRACK.
November’s Play! box is a six heavenly samples to help me with my self-care. I was most excited to sample the Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey”. My lips have been feeling dried out and it was a nice change from my drying liquid lipsticks. The color didn’t last very long though, not even until lunch.
Also in this month’s box: NARS Lipstick in Tolede (haven’t tried yet); Glamglow GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in “Nude Glow” (I LOVE this stuff); Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Mascara; Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 (I got this a few Decembers ago – it’s decent); and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium (too strong for me).
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
August 2019 Sephora Play! – Your Beauty Sidekicks
This month’s Play! box is Superhero themed, full of killer sidekick products.
First off, I gotta point out that my REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream was busted – the tube was slashed somehow! It looks like the plastic cracked? I am lucky that the content congealed and didn’t leak into the box…into the trash it goes.
I am normally excited about Glamglow, but I am not sure how I feel about Glamglow Supertoner Exfoliating Acid Solution Toner. It’s a thick gray liquid – it’s charcoal. Hmmmm…
Also in this month’s box: Laura Mercier Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara; Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss in “Hot Toddy”; Clinique Moisture Surge 72-hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator; and Alterna Haircare CAVIAR Ant-Aging Smoothing Anti-Frizz Blowout Butter (TWO caviar products – suspicious?).
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Sephora SUMMER SAVE
It’s that time of year again…Sephora’s end-of-summer sale event – 20% off!
I had been keeping Rosebud Perfume Co. Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm ($8) in my cart for my next order, so I finally got it! It’s subtle scented and very slick – I’ve been using it before bedtime.
The email with my promo code showed me the new Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, so I ordered two Minis ($7) – “Aquamarine” and “Hibiscus” – I’ll have to wait another few weeks until my hair fades more, but I am excited to try them.
Not impressed by her latest launches, I did order one of the new Kat Von D Kitten Minis – Crush on Blush – Highlighter + Blush Duo ($22). The blush shade is “Nova” which matches my fave lipstick “Lolita” perfectly – it’s a better match than my actual “Lolita” blush. I’ve been using the highlighter, “Gammaray” for eyeshadow – I LOVE it.
I wasn’t planning on getting a new foundation, but I was poking around on the site and came across bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation for Acne Prone Skin in “2N” ($29). When I opened it up, my first thought was FUCK, it’s too dark. That’s what I get for letting the site choose for me – I had them match the last foundation that I felt was a really good match for me, Fenty Beauty in “150”. Once I got it on my face, it wasn’t really too dark – darker than my usual, but not too dark. This is a full coverage powder – more full coverage than I am used to, so I may save it for special occasions and not wear it to work every day. It wears okay, but I feel like it oxidizes by the end of day – maybe not the best for summer sweating.
Again, I got neither of the two samples I picked. Instead of REPLICA Whispers in the Library, I got Lancome La vie est Belle. Instead of Glamglow Waterburst, I got Clinique iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. Boo.
I know if probably doesn’t seem like it, but I’ve really reduced my spending this year. This order doesn’t quite get me to VIB status for 2020 – my total spend year-to-date has been $338, believe it or not. Another $662 just isn’t in the cards this year, unless I win the lottery!