The Mother of All Sample Bags

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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

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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

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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.

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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…