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!
Sephora Play! July 2019 – Isle of Beauty
Sooooo…it’s August 8th and I am just now finishing up my July boxes. I guess a 10 day vacation put me more behind schedule than I thought.
July’s Sephora Play! box is “Isle of Beauty” or products to take with you to a desert island. Hmmmm, I may disagree with a few of these choices, but overall, they are not bad picks.
The Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask is definitely giving me island vibes – I cannot wait to try it. Also in this month’s box: Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips (good stuff); Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in “Glace”; Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Serum (I am not so sure that I will care about how big my pores are on a desert island, but ya never know); Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser with Bamboo Booster; and Marc Jacobs Daisy Love (musky raspberryish).
Hand lotion – if I was stranded on a desert island, I’d want hand lotion…and some fucking SPF!
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 high quality samples a month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Frida Kahlo x Ulta Beauty
It’s here – the collaboration of the year! Ulta Beauty just released a collaboration with the estate of Frida Kahlo. While Frida herself may have rolled her eyes at the commercialism aspect of her image and artwork being used to sell makeup, she LOVED beauty and I think would appreciate the celebration of her legacy.
The cornerstone of the collection is the Signature Box, which includes a 12 shade eye shadow palette and a New Hue Shadow Switching Pan in a Keepsake Box ($30). This is now my FAVORITE eye shadow palette – sorry KvD. I already have a New Hue Pan, but I don’t mind having another one. (Or Lily might get lucky…)
I also picked up the Face Primer ($15) – and it smells AMAZING. The scent is lightly floral, but not gagging. It’s a clear gel primer and it immediately blurs all my imperfections. It doesn’t break me out (so far) and it also works great as an eye shadow primer.
I splurged on all 4 of the Matte Liquid Lipsticks ($10 each). My favorite is “Pasion”, a universally flattering orangey red. “Surreal” is a dark mauve. I didn’t care for “Vida” – it is too light on me and was streaky. I’ll be trying the chestnut brown “Sensual” tomorrow. All the the lipsticks are super long-lasting – more so than other Ulta brand Liquid Lipsticks I’ve tried. They’re also not drying, which is crucial.
The last piece of the collection that I purchased was the Floral Headband ($18). My husband HATES it, but I LOVE it. He says it makes me look like an old lady, but I don’t care. I struggled a little bit with it – is it cultural appropriation? Ultimately, I decided it’s not different than when I wear floral headbands at the Ren Fest. It’s not necessarily work-appropriate, but fun for costumes.
I didn’t get the WHOLE collection – there is also the Artist Brush Set ($30), Liquid Illuminator ($10), Blush & Bronzer Duo ($12), a Brow Master Palette ($15 – and brows ARE what you think of when you think about Frida), and a Cosmetic Bag ($20). I really agonized over the Cosmetic Bag, but I couldn’t rationalize it with all the bags I already have. If any of it goes clearance, I might pick it up – as well as a back-up of the Primer.
I postponed my order until I could get a REALLY good gift with purchase – and not just one, but two of them. The Clinique gift was small, with deluxe samples of High Impact Mascara and Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. The Ulta gift (free with $60 purchase) was really nice. It was a big comfy Cosmetic bag with an eye shadow & cheek palette; Face Highlighting & Color Stick in “Pixie Dust”; Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes; Lip Crayon in “Festival”; Patent Shine Liquid Lipstick in “Verona”; Matte Eye Primer in “Nude”; Hydrating Face Primer; Ultamate Lashes Mascara in “Jet Black”; Cheek Brush; Mini Blending Sponge (OMG, the tiniest one I have ever seen – it looks like a hummingbird egg); 3 hair ties; and a $5 off $15 Ulta coupon
Not only did I use a $10 off coupon, but also $59 in Ulta points that I had accumulated. My whole order was just $34 + tax!
Oh…and this order made me platinum for 2020…will I get to Diamond? Maaaaaaybe.
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???
Sephora Play! April 2019 – Winning Beauty
April is spilling into May, BIG TIME. Oops.
April’s Sephora Play! theme is “Winning Beauty” – and I tend to agree, based on Urban Decay Perversion Mascara in “Black”, which is one of my favorite mascaras and happens to be the one I am using currently.
Also in “Winning Beauty”: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator (I feel like the product is over-named); Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream (it’s made of fungus, hrmmmm…); It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil in “Universal Taupe” (I feel like it is too light for me, but have not had a chance to try it); and Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water.
Instead of a fragrance, this month’s bonus is a card sample of Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. Ugh, I don’t feel like cleansing balms work on my skin – but I’ll give Clinique a chance.
Sephora Play is a reliable subscription box with high-end products. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Cyber Fundays 2018
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This Xmas, I did my Ulta shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving, during the “Cyber Fundays” event. They had some smoking deals that I couldn’t pass up! There were also some decent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but mostly on stuff I already had, like half price Modern Renaissance and Naked Heat. Boo!
If you’re thinking that this order looks skimpy…it’s because I pulled out the gifts I ordered for my daughter. She doesn’t come here, but her brother does – and I trust him about as far as I can throw him with one hand.
I was excited to snatch the NYX Lip Snacks Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream Set ($15, down from $25) for myself. It’s a set of 12 minis of my favorite lip formula from NYX, specially scented like buttercream. I’ve onlhy sampled 2 so far, but they are the BEST. I also got a half-price Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in “Demolition” ($11, down from $22) – I think a shiny brown cat eye will look good on me.
The biggest bummer was a broken bottle in the China Glaze The Grinch Grinchworthy Nail Art Duo ($10). It wasn’t the “Grinchworthy” polish itself, but the “For Rhinestones Only” adhesive – the stem of the bottle broke inside the cap and it leaked everywhere. I called Ulta Customer Service and they sent me out another one immediately, no questions asked – so now I have 2 bottles of “Grinchworthy” and 2 pots of green felt. I cannot wait to make my nails look like Astroturf! Oh, and I got another tidbit from Customer Service – they won’t be including samples in orders again until January. Cheap bastards.
I added a bottle of Zoya Remove+ to get me over the $65 mark, to get the glittery pink 18-piece Cyber Fundays sample bag. The sample bag was STUFFED – it had: Too Faced Glitter Glue (saving for a special occasion); Cover FX Blurring Primer; Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels (this is the third set I’ve gotten – I guess I should use them); philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar; Clinique Happy; 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in “Vintage” (2!!!); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “bunny” (ugh, another one); bliss lemon & sage body butter; Biolage Hydra Source Shampoo & Conditioner; L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer/Base for Mascara; philosophy Amazing Grace; Armani Code Cashmere; Skin Laundry Hydrating Cream Face Wash; L’Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (this black one is my fave); MAC False Lashes Mascara in “Extreme Black”; and Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate. There were also 2 hot coupons – $15 off $75 (only good in December) and another $5 off $15 Ulta Beauty Collection (good until 2/1/19).
I was also able to use a $10 off coupon, bringing my order down to $64.49 before tax – but I still got the bag. I was sweating for a hot minute! Just $301 to Diamond…I do predict another order before the end of the year, but not that much!
Sephora Play! Smarts – Complexion Your Way: Matte
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On the second weekend of Sephora’s ROUGE BONUS 20% off sale, they dropped new Sephora Play! Smarts boxes – Complexion Your Way ($20), with a choice between “Matte” and “Dewy”. Of course, I chose “Matte”.
The star of this box was the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Matte Longwear Foundation + Primer. The sample card came with Primer and three shades of foundation. Amazingly, the lightest shade, “150”, was the near-perfect shade for me. There was just enough in the pack for a thin full face application (with a Beautyblender). It was BEAUTIFUL, especially topped with the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder, also included in the box. This will definitely be the next foundation I buy.
Along with a nifty netted zipper bag, the “Matte” box had It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser Skin-Transforming Hydrating Cleansing Serum (love this cleanser); Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight; Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer; Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Moisturizer; and Sephora Collection Beauty Magnet Concealer Brush. I will use all of these, immediately.
I added another purchase to my order – the Ellis Brooklyn Bibliotheca Discovery Set ($20), a fragrance sampler that includes six of the brand’s set. Can you believe that the one I originally received was totally evaporated??? I was SO pissed. I called Sephora immediately and they sent me a new one, no questions asked. Luckily, it was fine…and I got two more samples. Oh yeah, did you hear that Sephora only gives two samples per order now? There will be riots in the street!
Back to the Ellis Brooklyn set…it was utterly disappointing. I really didn’t like any of the scents enough to buy a full size. I had especially high hopes for “Rrose” – I love a good rose, but it was bland. “Raven”, “Myth” and “Sci Fi” were the best of the bunch, but didn’t last long enough for me to get a feel for on me. “Rives” was straight up POISON that gave me a headache (probably the lavender). I wore “Fable” today and I cannot even remember what it smelled like. I am utterly disappointed in this set. I was hoping to find another high quality niche brand to love, like Atelier or Replica, but every formula was weak and was gone within 10 minutes. FAIL.
Oh samples! In the first shipment, I got foundations – Milk Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (3 shades on a card) and Giorgio Armani Face fabric Second Skin Makeup (4 shades foil packs). The second shipment gave me another sample of Ellis Brooklyn Myth and Dior Joy. Oh, joy.
Just $44 to Rouge!