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!
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???