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!
I’ve got a Fetish…or Two
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I found myself pleasantly surprised last week, when a friend in one of my fb groups added me to her list for Sephora’s Friends & Family Event – a day of 20% off shopping!
I may have splurged a little bit…not only did I order the Kat Von D Fetish Eyeshadow Palette ($63), but I also got the Kat Von D Fetish Blush + Highlighter Palette ($43). I thought there was supposed to be a lipstick set to, but it never launched…probably because people got their panties in a bunch over “Underage Red” again.
I’ve been using both palettes this week and let me just say…neither of them are subtle! The matte eyeshadows are VERY pigmented and the shimmer/glitters are pigmented AND super glimmery. I am struggling with how I would wear this palette to work. The lighter matte colors in the palette are deceptive – they are NOT light once they get on your face. I do feel that there is sort of a disconnect between the eye palette and the cheek palette. The cheek colors are almost neon, but the shadows are all dark and goth. The cheek colors are seem to lean cool, as well – no warm colors. I’m still experimenting with the blushes and and highlighters, but I’m not sold on the cheek palette yet.
I also splurged on a Bite Beauty Sweet Treats Agave Lip Care Set ($12). It’s a Xmas set that includes Agave Sugar Lip Scrub Packette, Agave Lip Balm and Agave Lip Mask – I am addicted to the Lip Mask that I picked up in Vegas.
I used 250 points A Rosy Duo by Fresh Beauty, which comes with a Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream and Sugar Lip Treatment in “Rose”. (I know I just got one of these – shut it.) The other samples I got are Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, Clinique Self-Heating Blackhead Extractor, and Klorane Soothing and Anti-Irritating Gel Shampoo & Conditioner with Peony (looking forward to trying this one – I love peony almost as much as rose).
Just $106 to Rouge Status for 2019…it will be a breeze!
Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon
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I never really cared about wet n wild makeup – not since Junior High anyway – until they started putting out these awesome collections. I am still peeved that I missed the Goth-o-Graphic Box, but it never hit Ulta as promised.
I did NOT miss the Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon Collection Box ($39.99). Inside the Limited Edition box are two set of products – a set of warm toned Fire Dragon products and a set of cool toned Ice Dragon products. I’ve only had a chance to play with the Fire Dragon side, so I might be a little bit biased towards that side. The Fire Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigment in “Gilded Crown” and “Fire Reign”; Coloricon Bronzer in “You’re Dragon Me Down” and “Queen’s Land”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Fit for a Queen”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in “Queen’s Blood” and “Redlings”. I am IN LOVE with using both shades of lipstick together. The Ice Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigments in “Ice, Ice, Lady” and “To-Knight’s Blue”; Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Winter Falls in LA” and “Halo Walkers”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Mythicool Creatures”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipsticks in “Icing on the Wall” and “Shall We Slay”. Lots of cool stuff I still need to play with!
I didn’t stop there. I had added a Pacifica Summer Kale Lip Balm ($1.25) from the sale page. Luckily, it does NOT smell or taste like Kale. I also added the e.l.f. Glow on the Go Selfie Light ($12) this thing is an absolute game changer – no more walking around the bedroom, looking for the perfect light – it makes every selfie perfect. This purchase also got me a gift with purchase – an e.l.f. makeup bag with foil samples of Poreless Face Primer and Hydrating Bubble Mask.
And then I found a BOGO 50% on L’Oreal products. I had been wanting to try their new chocolate lippies AKA L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick Les Chocolat ($9.99), so I ordered 4 out of the 6 shades – “70% Yum”, “Candy Man”, “Dose of Cocoa”, and “Box O Chocolate”. I’ve only had a chance to try out the first two and they have a really strong chocolate smell when you apply them, but the scent is gone as soon as it dries, which take a little minute. I kind of wanted the smell to stick around, but then I remembered how much my husband used to hate this chocolate lip gloss I used to wear to bed – he said it smelled like “chocolate ass”. Personally, I liked the way it smelled…but whatever. They also are very “infallible” – I had to use strong eye makeup remover to get them off my lips. They WILL last all day, whether you want them to or not. ANYWAY, this purchase also garnered me a gift with purchase – a L’Oreal makeup bag with samples of Pure Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (my favorite); Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream; and Voluminous Mascara Primer/Base.
On top of ALL that, I also got another gift with purchase for using my Ultamate Rewards Card – a reversible sequin makeup bag filled with samples. I am pretty sure my daughter is gonna fight me for this bag. Inside samples included: StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream; Lab Series Future Rescue; dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel (package says professional-grade, so does that mean I’ll lose 7 layers of skin?); Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom Aqua-Gel Conditioner (what? no shampoo???); Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser; Algenist Genius White Brightening Anti-Aging Cream; tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter in “exposed”; and an itty bitty sample of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” (my shade!). Pretty nice perk for just a $40 purchase. Oh and my regular samples were pretty lame – a card with 3 sample shades of Clinique 2-in-1 Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bonbon. I did remember use a $3.50 off coupon from an email, but this was still a big order for me – over $80. It will pay off in the long term, as there was a 5x points promo running when I ordered.
Just $453 until Diamond Status. Oh, and somehow, I have accrued $86 worth of Ulta Points (see above promo)…I’ve got my eye on that new Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette – it would match my hair!