Ulta is luring me in with their Friendsgiving sales and coupons and gifts with purchase…it’s not even Black Friday yet and they’ve got me placing three orders within a week or so!
After the purple shampoo sample I picked up for my son in my last order, he asked me for more. I decided to get him a full size bottle, but I chose a cheaper brand – Clairol Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo for Blonde & Silver Hair ($9.99). I don’t feel like it worked as well as the Joico – his hair almost seemed to have a pinkish tint – I accused him of using my Overtone Conditioner, but he said it was the Shimmer Lights. I’ll continue to monitor his hair situation.
Sally Hansen products were 40% off! I grabbed a few Hard as Nails Xtreme nail polishes for $1.79 – “Heart of Sass” and “Rockstar Pink”. I also got one of the Jelly Belly x Insta Dri polishes – “Hot Buttered Popcorn” – for $2.99. My daughter actually BROKE her last nail clippers with here thick ass nails, so I got her another nail clipper ($1.79). Almost out of habit, I added a Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover ($10).
I cannot pass up a 50% off lippie – I limited it to one – NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream in “Rome” ($3.50, down from $7).
So Ulta was giving a gift with purchase for a $17.50 purchase, so I looked around to see what I could find…I immediately put a Lash Separator in my cart ($9). I hate the tarantula mascara look and this little gadget is great at separating the clumps. I cannot believe that I’ve gone 30+ years of using mascara without it. I grabbed a Matte Metallic Liquid Lipstick in “Golden Age”, rose bronze with pearl shimmer, ($4, down from $9). I also got Juice Infused Lip Oil in “Sweet Rose” ($9) – this stuff is GREAT for removing liquid lipstick. The oil does NOT smell like roses though – it smells more like olive oil – why?
The gift with purchase came in a very nice black patent vinyl bag and included these Ulta products: Luxe Lipstick in “Mischevious”; Pack of 5 Pre-Moistened Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes; Hydrating Face Primer; Jelly Gloss Lip Gel; Tinted Eye Primer in “Champagne”; Bold Ambition Mascara in “Jet Black”; an eyeshadow brush and a cheek brush. The bag didn’t come with an Ulta coupon!
Oh hey, I don’t even really like MAC products, but this Beauty Break was super cute because of the HUGE lipstick-shaped carrying case. It also came with 3 minis – Matte Lipstick in “Sin” and two lipglasses in “Wildchild” and “Oyster Girl”.
No special coupons, but I was able to use old faithful – $3.50 off $15.
$376 to Diamond status…
Ulta had been sending me emails with a 20% off code for at least two weeks – sometimes two a day. They knew I would break down eventually…
I’d been pining for Black Moon Cosmetics “DeVille” ($18) since it launched, but I’d been waiting for Ulta to carry it, so I could get the points. It is the perfect, metallic red. I might as well throw all of my other red lipsticks in the bin – this one is PERFECT. Who am I kidding, you can never have too many red lipsticks. I also picked up Black Moon “Haunting” ($18), a deep purplish brown. Ulta, please pick up the rest of the Black Moon line!
I also decided to try out Mandelic Acid 10% from The Ordinary ($6.80). I’ve been reading about fungal acne and wondering if that might be a factor in the breakouts on my chest. Several articles indicated that the antibacterial properties of Mandelic Acid are a miracle cure, so why not try it. I’ve only been using it for a few days, so it’s too soon to tell…
We put highlights in my son’s hair again, so I picked up a Travel Size of Joico Colors Balance Purple Shampoo ($4.99) to tone down some of the brassiness. I also wanted to try an Eyeshadow Stamp ($4.20, down from $6). I forgot that I ordered it and haven’t tried it yet.
When I ordered, the Beauty Break gift with purchase was a 9 piece bath sampler, which included Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter; Iroha Nature Hand Mask Repair Gloves (I am excited to try these – we are barely a week into cold weather and my hands are already dry and cracked); YUNI Shower Sheets (a huge wet wipe?); bliss That’s Incredi-peel; The Body Shop Drops of Youth (I’ve been wanting to try this!); Megababe Deodorant Wipes (so does Ulta think I am stanky?); Ahava Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask; Start Happy Geranium & Peppermint Body Wash; and a NEST Fragrances Body Mist Collection (4 fragrances: Bamboo & Jasmine, Ocean Mist & Coconut Water, Ginger & Neroli, and Grapefruit & Verbena).
$419 to Diamond status.
Mostly Purple Haul
The fact that most of the products in this order were purple was entirely coincidental!
The intentional part of the order is the purple hair dye – I’m sampling a few different semi-permanent dyes to see if I can get my hair purple enough to claim the title of MEGA-MOM. I mean, dying my hair school colors would make me the MEGA-MOM of the year, right? I picked up a sample packet of Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “Pony” for $2.50 (I have reservations about Lime Crime, but since they’ve sold out, I’m less concerned about supporting the questionable creator) and Keracolor Travel Size Color + Clenditioner in “Purple” for $8.99. I’ve only tried the Keracolor, but it did NOTHING to my hair. I only left it in 5 minutes in the shower, so I am going to try it again for 30 minutes before making a final verdict…but I’m not optimistic. I may have to break down and try Manic Panic – but I’m hesitant to stain every single thing I own.
The other purple products I picked up: Zoya Remove + (always needing this) and Nexxus Frizz Defy Active Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve had a bad case of the frizzies lately, so decided to try these while they were 40% off. What I don’t understand is why the Conditioner is so much more than the Shampoo, $19.99 ($11.99 on sale) for the Conditioner, versus $13.99 ($8.39 on sale) for the Shampoo. Fingers crossed for smooth hair soon.
I also picked up some other 50% off products – my holy grail eyebrow pencil, Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($5, down from $10) and a wet n wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in “Life’s No Pink-Nic” ($2.49, down from $4.99). The lipstick looks reddish in the tube, but is a dusty rose/copper – neither of which are pink, as the name implies. So confuse.
I got two different sample bag with my order, a hair sample bag and a brow sample bag. Inside the hair sample bag: HASK Cactus Water Shampoo & Conditioner (excited to try this); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream; Wella Professional Invigo Volume Boost Crystal Mask; Seed Phytonutrients Scalp & Roots Oat Mask (WEIRD); System Professional Smoothen Shampoo Hair Structure Softener (WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? This product scares me); Curlsmith Scalp Stimulating Booster; and Macadamia Professional Essential Repair Daily Deep Conditioner. Inside the brow sample bag: Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Volumizer in “Brown Betty”; Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil in “3.5 Neutral Medium Brown”; Tweezerman Micro Mini Tweezer (OMG, it’s miniscule); Covergirl Clear Brow Setting Gel; Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel; and essence lash & brow gel mascara style & comb. What am I going to do with all this clear brow gel???
No good coupons when I ordered, just the usual $3.50 off $15 coupon. $460 to Diamond status.
Exes & Oh’s
Okay, this was a total impulse buy – there was a huge Colour Pop display on the endcap where I was waiting in line to check out…so I didn’t hesitate to drop the ColourPop Cosmetics “Exes & Oh’s” Palette ($16) into my bag. I’d been wanting to try their eyeshadow for the longest time. Their palettes are super affordable for a lot of colors! My only complaint is that the lighter shimmer shades all turn into the same copper color on me. I find this problem a lot with budget beauty brands, like Wet n Wild or Makeup Revolution – very little color differentiation on the skin. Even so, the colors stay vibrant all day. The biggest issue I have is the name of the palette. I guess it’s not the name itself – I love the song “Exes & Ohs” – it’s that extraneous apostrophe! That apostrophe indicates that “Oh’s” is either possessive or a contraction…bullshit! I took a DNA Test and it turns out I am 100% that grammar nazi bitch.
The rest of the bag is stuff I picked up, while waiting for Lily’s haircut. I picked up a Headband/Shower Cap Set ($9.99) from The Vintage Cosmetic Company, because PINK FLAMINGOS. I also picked up a new mask from Freeman Beauty – Canadian Hemp Seed Clay Clay Mask ($4.29). The clay was weirdly plastic feeling, but I really do feel like it worked well on my skin. I also grabbed a few clearance hairbrushes for my kids.
My purchase was just big enough to use a $10 OFF $40 coupon. $517 to Diamond…
Clip Clip, Squeeze Squeeze
So…my favorite Scunci Octopus Clip broke. One of the arms broke clean off! I’ve had it less than a year – I’m devastated. I was going to put together an online order, but I couldn’t wait – I had to go to Ulta during my lunch and get a new one.
My work Ulta didn’t have the same Scunci Octopus Clip I got online, but they had cheap Riviera Knock-off Octopus Clips – 2 for $8. I tried them out and they’re working so far. We’ll see how long they last…
Oh, and I also bought what my husband says are the stupidest thing – Tube Squeezers (2 for $6)! They are shaped like lips and you put them on your tubes to squeeze all the product out. I don’t care of they are stupid – my toothpaste NEEDED them,
Oh, and Ulta sent a 20% off coupon to coincide with Sephora’s – but it wouldn’t work on prestige brands. No PUR Barbie Palette for me.
$575 to Diamond!
Sephora SUMMER SAVE, Part II
So you know I had to slip another small order in, while my 20% off code was still active…and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty just happened to drop a new product – the Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler ($20). I know I should be more self conscious of the fact that I have to try nearly every brow product that hits the market…but I DO.
I ordered the MVP in “Dark Brown” – but I feel like it is lighter than the “Dark Brown” I use from Ulta. Even so, it looks shockingly natural – like little baby hairs. I am intrigued by the styling brush – it is NOT another spoolie, but more like an Artis eyeshadow brush – I like how it feels on my face, so soft. I’ve been using it for the past 3-4 days and am really liking it – but I do not know if it will replace my Ulta. I DO like it better than ABH Brow Wiz.
I also ordered a brand new lip product – Urban Decay Vice Lip Chemistry in “Stacked” ($22). It’s supposed to change color to match your own “unique chemistry”. It does have a nice staining effect – it doesn’t wear quite all day, but a good 6-8 hours. I like it, but not sure if I would pay full price for more shades.
Oooohhh…I actually received BOTH of the samples I chose at checkout! I chose a OUAI Treatment Mask (for my hair) and a trio of samples from Farsali – Rose Gold Elixir, Unicorn Essence and Skintune Blur. I wore the Skintune Blur yesterday and I noticed nothing different about my skin – just like I never noticed a difference with the Unicorn Essence. Bah.
$628 to Rouge…
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!
I know I said I’d use up what I had before I bought more…but $5!
Last Friday, I got that magical email from Bath & Body Works that “selected fragrances” were on sale for $5 – shower gel, body cream, even fine fragrance mist! When I got there, it was all the new scents! It was Friday – I had the beginnings of a migraine – so I treated myself to a full set of both “Midnight Peony” (the muskier sister to my old favorite “Peony”) and “Rose Water and Ivy” (maybe my new favorite – it’s very similar to the long discontinued “Delicate Petals” from Victoria’s Secret).
I also had a coupon for a free item up to $14, so I got a “Hello Beautiful” Shower Gel to fill up my travel size bottle. So that was 7 products for $30 – that’s a smoking deal!
I also sampled another new scent that I’m adding to my wishlist – “Kaleidoscope”. (It wasn’t on sale, or I would’ve gotten it.) The main note is pink pepper – I have no idea what that really is, but it’s spicy and I love it. I think Tory Burch also has Pink Pepper, because that’s what it reminds me of.
HEB is Sinful
NEWSFLASH! HEB has the best deal I’ve ever seen on Sinful Colors Nail Polish!
Courtesy of their little yellow coupons, HEB is offering Sinful Colors Nail Polish for 3/$5! That might not sound like an amazing deal, at $1.32 each. It is true, Walgreens used to have 3/$5 quite often, and even 5/$5 on Black Friday…but their sales never included Sinful Shine ($2.98 each, instead of $1.98).
That’s right, Sinful Shines worked with the coupon! I made sure and had the checker scan them last and them immediately scan the coupon – no issues at all! I was conservative and just picked up three: “Shimmarine”, “Magic Dragon”, and “Spice”.
There were no special collections or displays at my regular store…part of me wants to scope out a few nearby locations to see if there are any with the new Bebe Rexha Collection…
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.