Neutrogena Ulta Haul
I usually have enough free samples of sunscreen to keep me going, but with my son’s Summer Band practice and my upcoming vacation trips, I took advantage of a Neutrogena B2G1 Free deal. I got Neutrogena Clear Face Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 50 ($15.99) for him, while I picked Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 ($15.99) and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ ($14.99, but FREE with offer). On top of the sale, I also got a free Cherry Cooler Bag with a $25 brand purchase – I’ll bring that on vacation, too!
I’ve been obsessed with Lilac lately, and wanted a lilac heavy perfume. Instead of trial and error, I went with straight lilac in Pacifica Beauty French Lilac Spray Perfume ($22). It’s very nice, although a bit powdery smelling.
Rounding out my order, I added a few EcoTools bath poofs (Bath & Body Works had been out, so I’ll settle for EcoTools) and Exfoliating Cotton Pads.
My $65 order netted me a very nice 13 piece sample bag with basd Refreshing Body Lotion in “Citrus Grapefruit”; Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator; Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel; Keys Soulcare Skin Transformation Cream (ohh, this is Alicia Keys’ new brand); oSea Undaria Algae Body Oil (um, what?); dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream; Rusk Puremix Native Fig Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner; Cetaphil Sheer Hydration Replenishing Body Lotion; CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (yasssss – good stuff); COOLA Refreshing Water Cream Sunscreen SPF 50; and Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream. Is it me, or are “transformation” and “replenishing” getting totally over-used now?
I love that Ulta still gives you the gift with purchase, even if you use a coupon. My original total was $65.94, but I still got my goodies after using that $3.50 off $15 coupon.
Naked Wild West
When a new Naked palette launches, you know I’ll be there.
Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Wild West ($49) launched in stores last Sunday, after launching online at urbandecay.com a few weeks ago. I had my husband drop me off while running errands – the store didn’t even have the display set up yet! I had to ask someone and they grabbed one out of the storeroom.
The palette is coppery neutrals with a few blues thrown in, reminiscent of a southwestern color scheme. I’ve only gotten to use it once, but so far so good. The turquoise was a nice compliment to the coppers – I have high hopes for this palette.
It was also the last day of my birthday month – the birthday gift this year was lame…a tiny vial of Dermalogica Daily Exfoliator. Meh. I didn’t even bother getting my Sephora gift. I’m burnt out, I guess.
Because the palette was $49, the salesgirl only let me redeem $36 – she kept looking at a chart and I think it was her first day, because she wouldn’t let me apply $50, even though I’ve done it online several times. I didn’t want to go all “Karen”, so I just paid my $14 or so and left…I am still annoyed though. I should just stick to online.
$1,052 to Diamond status in 2022.
Sephora Favorites POP – Beauty Cred
Well how about that…just a few weeks after Sephora releases a Hello! box, they release a POP box. I feel like they are playing around with price points and configurations to see what performs the best. I am not helpful at all – I’ll buy anything.
The “Beauty Cred” box contains “the next big thing in beauty”…hmm, okay. By far, the best sample in the box is the creamier than creamy Natasha Denona Eyeshadow in “Moonstone”. No wonder she charges $129 for a palette – this is some of the highest quality eyeshadow I’ve ever used. It pairs well with the Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara. The brush is super fluffy, but somehow doesn;t leave my lashes clumpy.
Also in this box: Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion in “Fragrance Free”; Fresh Rose Petal-Soft Deep Hydration Lip Balm (yasssssss, more lip balm); Amika Flash Instant Shine Hair Mask; and Maison Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk fragrance (I swear, I’ve gotten this sample 50 times from Sephora – get over this scent, it’s boring).
The set was a slighty higher price point, at $15, which is still pretty cheap. Oh, and it also came with a bunch of beauty-themed stickers.
I was over the moon to try the other samples I picked for my box. I love the scent of Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and now they have shampoo/conditioner. I IMMEDIATELY used the samples of Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Joia Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner – it smells AMAZING! Ugh, they are $25 each. I also got a sample of Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, which I have not tried yet.
$148 to VIB in 2021.
Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon
View this post on Instagram
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!
The Mother of All Sample Bags
Ulta might be stingy when it comes with its regular samples, but they are more than generous when it comes to their gift with purchase sample bags. To kick off the Memorial Day weekend, Ulta offered the Mother of All Sample Bags with a $65 purchase…but first, my purchases.
When I get the emails with a sample bag or gift with purchase, I’ll check the sales and fill up my bag. Sometimes I’ll complete the transaction, but oftentimes I don’t. I’ll usually just leave stuff in my bag for next time. Unfortunately, my bag was empty, so I had to start this shopping trip from scratch. I started by checking the Ulta Sale page. I noticed that Edge/Skintimate Shave Gel was BOGO 50% off. Unfortunately, they were out of Edge, so my husband will get to shave his head with Skintimate. Then I noticed that L’Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent for Brunette Hair was $8.99, down from $10.99. Since it doesn’t work all that well, I figured it would be perfect to use on the kids. I got 3 – Teal, Midnight Blue and Maroon. I also found Ofra Limited Edition Metallic Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “Fantasia” (it reflects in blue, red and purple – it’s almost holographic) for $10.20, down from $17.
Another deal I was able to take advantage of was a Makeup Revolution Mystery Bag Offer with $25 purchase. This one was hard to do, since Sally just sent me ALL the newest palettes. I decided on the SophX Ultra 24 Eyeshadow Palette, $15 and the Pro HD Brighter Than My Future Palette, $20, but $16 after my 20% off any one item coupon. I had never heard of @SophieDoesNails until this palette, but apparently, she’s a famous Influencer in the UK. I tried out the eye shadows today (without primer) and they do seem to be slightly higher quality than the normal eyeshadows. They blended seamlessly and lasted decently well. Most of the colors are shimmery and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the dark greens, but looking forward to playing with it. It may – or may not – be a dupe for the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette. It looks somewhat similar, but infinitely more wearable. The Pro HD palette is a blush/highlighter palette. The shimmers are INTENSE. I tried one of the striped ones and had to pat half of it off – I looked like an alien. Good stuff, man. Inside the Mystery Bag: the Unicorns Unite Salvation Palette (I actually don’t have this one!), The One Sculpt Contour Stick, Ultra Strobe Stick in “Peach Lightening”, and Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in “The One for All”. Not bad.
And now. what was in the 29 piece Mother of All Sample Bags? In no particular order: tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (4 shades); DevaCurl Melt into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask; Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara; Sexy Hair Sexy Suds Shampoo & Conditioner; Ulta Beauty Poreless Face Primer (nice); Benefit Roller Lash (one of my fave mascaras); Hempz Herbal Healthy Hair Herbal Fortifying Shampoo; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads; Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Prada Candy; Maybelline Great Lash (that iconic pink and green tube); Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser; NYX Worth the Hype Volume & Lengthening Mascara; Eyeko London eye do liquid eye liner in “carbon black”; Woman by Ralph Lauren; dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream; Julep Love Your Bare Face Cleansing Oil; living proof. No Frizz Nourishing Style Cream; Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner (this opened inside the bag and got everything a bit MOIST); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “Bunny” (there’s no way this peachy shade would ever work in my hair – or anyone’s hair for that matter); philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “St. Tropez”; Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in “Lit” (even though I think Lime Crime is a shit brand, I’m looking forward to trying this one out); Kenra Platinum Luxe One Leave-In All-in-One Miracle Spray; COOLA Dawn Patrol Classic Primer; Garnier Skin Active Micellular Foaming Gel Cleanser; and Becca Ultimate Coverage 24-Hour Foundation (3 foil swatches). That’s a lot of stuff, right? That’s at least $50-60 worth of samples! AND it came in a huge, high quality woven canvas makeup bag. Oh, and did I forget the $5 off $15 Ulta Collection coupon?
I also forgot my regular samples – Redken All Soft Shampoo & Conditioner and HASK Biotin Boost Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner. I checked my Ultimate Rewards Balance and I just need ~$50 more to hit Platinum. There’s a slight possibility that I could make Diamond if I get a few haircuts…
January Birchbox – New Year, New Perspective
I skipped the curated box and went for the sample choice this month. I chose R+Co. OBLIVION Clarifying Shampoo, which also came with a bonus foilpack of R+Co. Restorative Gel Conditioner. Ugh, my pet peeve – unequal amounts of shampoo and conditioner.
Also included n January’s “New Year, New Perspective” box: Arrow ENDURE Water-Resistant Mascara (nope – who are these people who use all this waterproof mascara?); Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant (yassss); Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in “Perk” (I was disappointed that this wasn’t the Blur Stick – I might break down and buy it); and NUXE Moisturizer Cream Creme Fraiche de Beaute.
If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.
HUGE Ulta Haul
Those “gift with purchase” deals get me every time. Last week, Ulta was offering a pink plastic Beauty Bag, filled with samples – free to Platinum Members with a $60 purchase. There just happened to be $60 of stuff I needed…a back-up Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Finishing Powder in “Medium Light”…2 more Freeman Beauty Masks that were BOGH (I’m a total mask addict now) – Avocado & Oatmeal Clay and Golden Grain Brightening…5 Ulta Brilliant Color Lip Glosses on sale for $3 each – “Rich Plum”, “Toast” (a back-up), “Spice”, “Guava”, and “Cupcake”…and I broke down and tried Poo-Pourri in “Rosy Cheeks” (I tried it earlier today – although I didn’t smell poo-poo, it seemed to be a mostly non-offensive load – more research is needed).
Inside my beautiful pink bag (perfect for my upcoming Vegas trip): Lancôme Defincils Mascara in “Black”; Ulta Sweet Fantasy Vanilla and Caramel Silky Smooth Body Lotion; it Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in “Black-Brown”; Juice Organics Brightening Shampoo and Conditioner; Dolce & Gabbana “light blue – Sunset in Salina” (reminds me of my mom – smells a little bit like “Lauren”); it’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In for Blondes (I gave away the last one I got, but I’ll give this blonde version a try); Thierry Mugler “Angel” (I think a friend of mine wear this – so I never will); Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (I have SO many samples of this shit); Whish Body Butter in “Almond”; Biolage Matrix Exquisite Oil; dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum; Laura Geller Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation in “Golden Medium”; Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum (good stuff – I used up my last sample); Kate Spade “Live Color Fully” (I might actually wear this one); Benefit It’s Potent eye Benefit cream; and a mini Ulta Brilliant Gloss in “Toast” (I guess I didn’t need that back-up I ordered?). Gee, I’ve got finger cramps from typing.
Two more samples came with my order – HASK Coconut Monoi Oil Shampoo and Conditioner and Cargo HD Picture Perfect CC Cream. I also used my $3.50 coupon. Excited to play with my new stuff!
Beauty Box 5 – S.O.S.
My poor little Beauty Box 5 has been sitting on the counter for almost a week – how could I forget?
May’s theme is “S.O.S.” – Super Outstanding Skin! Inside this month’s box; Bio Swiss Stainless Steel Mini Tweezer (perfect to add to my purse emergency kit – never know when you might have a brow emergency at work); Ahava 3 Sample Pack (fancy skin stuff); Styli-Style Blush/Highlighter Stick in “Bittersweet” (kinda orangey, but hey – it isn’t bronzer); Dermalogica AgeSmart Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment; and Coastal Scents Classic/Synthetic Brush (it appears to be an eyeliner brush – yasss).
OK, this is a better box than the last few – they’ve got me for a few more months…