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!
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…
Saint AND Sinner
When Kat Von D’s new Saint & Sinner Eyeshadow Palette ($62) dropped last Wednesday, I debated for about 30 seconds before I went ahead and ordered it. I wasn’t about to risk it selling out like I did with the Mi Vida Loca Palette…that I bought for my ex-BFF, but she did not buy for me.
ANYWAY, this palette has been a long time coming and it’s absolutely GORGEOUS. It has 24 new colors, modeled after stained glass windows. The Saint side has more muted, natural colors…while the Sinner side has bolder, darker colors. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and have been able to pull from both sides. So far, my favorite is “Rapture”, a transforming pink shimmer from the Sinner side. (I just had to wear it on Saturday, but The Rapture never came – boo.)
So I noticed that there are shades called “Sanctuary” and “Crucifix” on the Saint side…my next task will be to see how they match up with the “Sanctuary” and “Crucifix” Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. My eyeballs tell me that they match up to the colors, but I have to test them to be sure.
The somewhat random colors remind me of the Urban Decay Vice palettes. I get all excited about them when I get them, but they’re all stuck in a drawer, barely used. I’m feeling like the colors here are more usable together and I won’t set it aside, but only time will tell.
For my regular three samples, I got Caudalie VineActiv Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum, Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer and black Up Perfecting Mattifying Primer. I’m going all out on skincare these days.
In my quest to never have to buy shampoo again, I used a promo code to get a sample bag of hair samples: Alterna Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Leave-In Hair Perfector; Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Hydra-Gelee Nourishing Hair Perfector (why does Alterna have such long product names?); amika Nourishing Mask; Klorane Nourishing Leave-in Cream with Mango Butter; IGK Hydrating Hair Balm; DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask (will be setting aside for a curly-headed friend); rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask; Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask; Verb Ghost Shampoo & Conditioner (I have a mental block against this Austin-based brand, but maybe I’ll try it); OUAI Repair Shampoo & Conditioner; and Living Proof. Perfect Hair Day Shampoo & Conditioner (if I ever win the lottery, maybe I can afford to exclusively use this brand…until then – samples it is).
Oh, and I just saw today that Kat Von D has a DIVINE palette coming out. I told the husband and he is LEGIT scared…he should be.
And only $221 until ROUGE. I can do it!
Did I need more liquid lipstick? No, but I wanted it. Same thing.
I’ve been jonesing to try the Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick ($17) since it dropped at Ulta a few weeks ago. I’d been admiring “Emerald City” – not a duochrome, but a trichrome – for quite some time. I also picked up “Versailles”, because I need more rose gold in my life. “Versailles” is very close to Jeffree Star “Pussy Whipped”, but not quite as peachy. “Versailles” looks better on me, TBH. I haven’t tried “Emerald City” yet. The Ofra formula is nice and smooth and not drying.
I also decided to try Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation in “Fair”, which is very affordable at $14. I’m pleased with the performance. it’s light coerage, but a good match for my skin. I also picked up the new Ulta New Hue Shadow Switching Pan. I know I just paid $9 for a sponge in a tin, but this damn thing works like a champ. I don’t know that I could’ve made my own at home for cheaper. I spent just enough on Ulta products to get a FREE Deluxe palette, one of those ones with ALL the products – 24 shadows and blush and lip stuff. I might never use it, but free is free. I used a code for $5 off $15 in Ulta products, so I got all those goodies for a steal.
I also threw in a Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles. My free sample pack had Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer and Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer (for my man).
The real star of my order was the FREE 24 product beauty bag that I got with a $60 purchase. It was packed so full, I can barely get all the stuff back in it!
Inside this magical bag: philosophy time in a bottle repair serum (love this stuff, but too pricey); DevaCurl Buildup Buster Gentle Deep Cleansing Serum; it Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer (I’ve heard good things about this stuff); Sexy Hair Long Sexy Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler (I don’t have long hair anymore, so I must be patient); NYX Total Control Drop Foundation (4 shades, surely the lightest will work); Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream; Clinique BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops (very interesting concept); Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Finally! I’ve been wanting to try this); Ulta Mattifying Balm (another one I’ve wanted to try); Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil (another genius idea); Jimmy Choo L’eau; Tory Burch Love Relentlessly; Benefit Hoola Quickie Contour Stick; Julep love your bare face Hydrating Cleansing Oil; Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner; First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel (another WOW product I want to try); Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea (I stuck it in the fridge for a hot nasty day); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Butter Scotch”; Vitabath Spa Day Body Wash in “Lavender Chamomile”; COOLA Classic Sunscreen White Tea Moisturizer; StriVectin Hair Deep Repair Mask; and Smashbox Cover Shot Golden Hour Eye Shadow Duo. Phew, finger cramps. Oh, and another $5 off $15 Ulta coupon.
Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 14
So proud…I made it all the way to Day 14 of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty before placing an order!
I had to pull the trigger on trying It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF50+ in “Light” for half price ($17.50 instead of $35). I’m always on the hunt for the perfect powder foundation. Trying it for the first time this morning, I wasn’t disappointed. This stuff is THICK. I used the included sponge for the first application, over only moisturizer – no primer – and it is THICK. Thick, but not as cakey as MAC Studio Fix. It covers almost as much as a liquid foundation, so I switched to my usual kabuki to buff it out evenly. I’m going to try over a few different primers next – it tended to settle into my nose pores, so I’m thinking that’s the only place I’ll really need it. A good buy!
I also took advantage of an NYX BOGO half sale – I got the Cosmic Metals and Lid Lingerie Shadow palettes (normally $9.99 each). They are like matte/shimmer twins. I wore Lid Lingerie today without primer. Note to self: NYX shadows ALWAYS needs primer. The colors are nice though.
I also grabbed another Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it is my new go to. Also, it put me over the threshold to get $5 off my order. For free samples, I got an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (I have like 6 of these) and Smashbox Photo finish Foundation Primer (I have like 16 of these). They also threw in a huge sample pouch of DevaCurl Buildup Buster…but I don’t have curls or use a lot of product in my hair.
Free shipping since I got a Beauty Steal, so I didn’t have to hit the $50 threshold!
Flawless Ulta Haul
So…sometimes you just wanna buy something,
After perusing the Memorial Day sales…I was just about to place another overseas Makeup Revolution order (since they were giving away £25 Mystery Bags again), but I had a hard time getting my order up to £30. The only palette I really wanted badly was the Flawless Matte…
…and Ulta has it! On Memorial Day, they were giving away a free mystery sampler with a $50 purchase…no brainer.
So, in addition to the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte Palette ($15), I also picked up a Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher in “Loved Me the Best” ($5) – these seem to be Laura Geller dupes – LOVE.
I also picked up one of the new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks – “Clubhopper” ($6.99) and one of the new NYX Plush Gel Lipsticks – “Breakup” ($6.99). I tried “Breakup” today – so smooth and moisturizing, but doesn’t last long on the lips.
How else can I get to $50? 2 bottles of Zoya Remove+ ($10 each) and a pack of Ulta Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Done!
That Mystery Bag had some cool stuff: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”; Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6; NKD Skin Tinted Tan Mousse (NOPE); bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in “Get Ready” (my third one – I sent the last one to Sally); and Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum (like that shit in Vegas?).
I also got a free sample of DevaCurl Waves Ahead Loo-Poo Delight – I don’t have curls, but why not try it for free? The free Butter London lippie was sold out. Sad face.
For my regular samples, I got Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner and Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer.
Free shipping for an order over $50, plus got to use a $3.50 off coupon.
So look at that palette…all those warm matte colors…I tore a chunk out of my thumb nail whilst peeling the plastic off – but it was totally worth it.
Sick of looking at my fingernails? Let me tell you about the Ulta mail that was in my mailbox today after I went shopping at Ulta…
I’m not sharing all of the items in my box yet – more gifts – but in addition to the gifts, I picked up my first essie polish – essie luxeffects “Set in Stones”. I also got Sparitual Luminary Top Effect “Opaline”. I saw it in the store over Spring Break and I’ve been thinking about it non-stop, so why not?
My gift with purchase was samples from it Cosmetics by Jamie Kern (never heard of them before) – Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Lip Gloss Stain in “Naturally Flushed”, Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer and a tiny packet of Medium CC+ Cream – bummed that it will be WAY too dark for me.
My free samples were Biolage Exquisite Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel and Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I need to stop getting hair shit samples…