High Brow Haul
During this past year of working from home bliss, makeup is minimal during the week…except for my brows. I MUST put on my brows before turning on the camera.
I decided to branch out from my usual Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) and also order an Ulta Sculpting Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10). It’s got a thicker, angled tip and seems maybe a tick darker than the Ultra Slim. It was more difficult to use and the first time I used it, I looked like an angry Brooke Shields. I did get a nice 6 piece gift with purchase though – a spiffy blue bag with Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, Poreless Face Primer, Clear Brow Gel, Automatic Eye Liner in “Matte Black”, and Jelly Gloss Lip Gel.
I spent $2.49 on this really bizarre lip balm in a pouch – Freeman Feeling Beautiful Lip Dip Tinted Balm in “Raspberry”. I love doe foot applicators, but I feel like there is not enough of this super moisturizing lip balm in the little pouch…
My $60 purchase also qualified for a It Cosmetics Beauty Break, with Confidence in a Cleanser (I wish it wasn’t so expensive!); Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara, Hello Results Wrinkle Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-a-Cream (this is going straight onto my counter); Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil in “Universal Taupe” (I am guessing this will be a bit light for me); Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep (another great cream); and Confidence in a Gel Lotion.
Wondering where the rest of my $60 purchase is? Shhhh…it’s on it’s way across the ocean.
Just $859 til Diamond.
Perfect Shine Splurge
Back in November, I think when Sephora was offering 15% off, Ulta sent out a $10 off $40 coupon, so why not restock on a few things. Sometimes, there’s nothing like splurging on fancy shampoo & conditioner!
I’d gotten to try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($14 each) in an Allure Beauty Box last year. I really liked it, but it wasn’t widely available. Fast forward a year and now Ulta carries it – score! The secret ingredient is grape stem cells. I don’t know what those are. I also picked up some a single use conditioners – PURA D’OR Single Use Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque ($1.79), HASK Shea Butter & Hibiscus Oil Anti-Frizz Deep Conditioner Packette ($2.99) and HASK Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask Packette ($2.99).
Freeman Masks were on super sale, so I bought a replacement Cucumber & Pink Salt Clay Mask. I also grabbed a clearance China Glaze “Rainbow” for $2.62 and a new Flowery nail buffer.
I definitely did NOT buy that Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kit in “Bare” – it was a gift with $25 makeup purchase. I now know the secret of the Kylie Lip Kits! The lip liner is one tick darker than the lipstick, so it creates an optical illusion of a fuller lip. The more you know…I tried it out and the color was WAY too light for me. Hypothetically, my lips did look bigger though.
My $70 purchase qualified me for a Hello Holidays Sample Bag – it’s so fancy! Inside the bag: Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer; Awake Pore Down Tightening Concentrate; Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Towelette (WEIRD); Lake & Skye 11 11 (I could not smell this); MAC Lipstick samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” & “Cockney”; Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara; Pravana Color Protect Cleanse and Condition (HUGE samples tubes – will try these out after my next dye session); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel; Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion; Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream; Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Burberry Her; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris; NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (foilpacks for travel!); Tonymoly Golden Pig Collagen Bounce Mask; Gucci Guilty; AG Haircare Glow Shine Infuse Serum; Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Sample Card (none of these will match me); Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum; John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-up Creme; Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strip (a caffeine strip that melts on your tongue – is drinking a cup of coffee so hard?); and VDL Velvet Blur Primer.
Oh, and if the order looks a little light, it’s because there were a few gifts in my order…
Back to Back Ulta Hauls
I know I just ordered, but June 1st was Diamond Day, with a whole load of Diamond Exclusive Offers…
I shopped so long that I missed a Special Diamond Gift Bag and Nail Purchase Bag – they were both sold out by the time I placed my order – well, shit. I did still get the Makeup Revolution “Fierce Mind” Eyeshadow Palette for free with $25 makeup purchase. It’s got 4 huge pans of neutral shimmer shades that can easily be used as blush, too. The makeup I picked to get it was a mix of new products. I wanted to try Colourpop Ultra Blotted Liquid Lip ($7) in “Cypress Chill”, a bricky red. It is a matte liquid lipstick, but with a muted finish – it does appear to be blotted down and soft focus. I want more shades! I also tried the new NYX Dip Shape Go Longwear Brow Pomade in “Dark Brown” (usually $11, but all NYX was 40% off, so it was $6.60). This is similar to Julep’s Don’t Leave Your Brows at Home, but in a pomade form. If I’m gonna use a pomade, I’d prefer this all in one form, instead of the brush and pot being separate. That being said, this product did give me fuller brows, but I did have to finish them off with a slim pencil for definition. This product is not one and done.
Coincidentally, I did buy a back-up of my favorite brow pencil – the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it counted as makeup towards the free eyeshadow AND towards an Ulta 4 piece gift, with $19.50 purchase. The gift contained a HUGE clear tote bag, a small palm tree patterned makeup bag, Ulta Watermelon Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, and Ulta Watermelon Waves Juicy Gloss. Oh, the other purchase was Ulta Brush Cleaning Solid Soap ($10). I am devastated that Ulta no longer carries the Japonesque Solid Soap, but I’m holding in my tears and trying another brand.
I went all in on stocking up on skincare to get ANOTHER Skincare gift with purchase. My son has been breaking out lately, so I got him Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub ($8.49) and Biore T-Zone Targeted Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($9.99). I was all excited when I showed him, but he said he felt personally attacked. Rude!
For myself, I got Sagely Naturals Relief & Recovery CBD Cream ($9, but I swear it was $28 when I looked at it a few weeks ago). I’d gotten this sample a few times, and although CBD seems to be a bullshit ingredient, the tingly menthol in this moisturizer is not bullshit – it feels AMAZING on my face. I also got Freeman CBD Balance Jelly Mask + Scrub ($9.99) and Dr. Organic Rose Restoring Face Scrub ($15.99). Both are bit more pricey than I usually get, but I am a sucker for scrubs and roses.
The “Be Your Own Sunshine” Sample Bag includes Ulta Beauty Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof; Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (more eye cream!); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash; it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream; Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate; Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum; and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. That’s a lot of skincare!
The only coupon available was $3.50 off – but hey, better than nothing. I’m now $784 to Diamond Status and I have accrued $50 in points!
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…
My sweet Sally sent me an Ulta giftcard for my birthday last month. At first, I wasn’t intentionally saving it – I almost used it on a haircut a few weeks ago – but I’m glad I did save it. The new Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette ($44) was released at Ulta on March 4th – I ordered it that day in order to get the gift with purchase.
Sure, I have the first six Naked palettes (OG, Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, Naked Cherry), plus a dozen other Urban Decay palettes – but I need THIS one, too. There are a few interesting tweaks to the Naked “formula” – first off, there’s no brush – I guess that’s why it’s $5 cheaper than the rest of the Naked palettes. They also changed up the pan sizes – the lighter base shades have large pans and the dark and glitter shades have smaller pans – brilliant! That’s exactly how it should be! I’ve used it three times so far, and other than having to decide which brushes to use, the experiences have been great. I haven’t used it with primer yet, because it doesn’t need it. The shades are neutral enough for any skin tone, although they seem to lean olive, strangely enough. It’s the perfect neutral starter for someone just getting into prestige brands of makeup. I’ll be reaching for this palette often.
The gift with purchase was an Urban Decay Makeup Bag, in signature black, white and lilac. The bag included a deluxe sample of Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging and a full size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”. For some reason, I expected there to be a lipstick – nope. Free is free though.
For shits and giggles, I added two new Feeling Beautiful Freeman Masks ($4.29) to my cart: Deep Clearing Seaweed + Sea Salt Mud Mask + Scrub (I really liked the scent and how exfoliating this mask was) and Soothing Watermelon + Aloe Cooling Gel Mask (not especially cooling, but I did feel like it calmed my skin before my shower).
I also qualified for another freebie bag, which had a really strange assortment of products. The standout sample in the bag is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in (what I believe to be) “Crimson Chrome” – it’s not labelled, so I’m making an educated guess. I love the color and how it looks on me, but it gets on EVERYTHING – my poor hamburger ended up wearing most of it today. Also in the bag: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant/Anti-Antiperspirant (why?); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; and Clarins Multi-Active Jour SPF 20. See what I mean? Odd.
$193 to Platinum…
Another Ulta order? So soon?
I’ve started doing this thing where, if I run out of something or if I see something I want to try, I stash it in my Ulta account and wait for a gift with purchase to hit (usually the Wednesday Beauty Break). Wouldn’t you know it, my basket got full and there was a NARS Beauty Break the week before last!
This Ulta Haul is pretty boring, to be honest. Just like almost every order, I got a Zoya Remove + ($10). I ended up buying 2 Japonesque Solid Brush Cleaners ($20), because they were BOGO Half. Freeman Masks ($4.29) were also BOGO Half, so I got Anti-Stress Dead Sea Minerals Clay Mask (I’ve had this one before and it’s very refreshing) and Brightening Green Tea + Orange Blossom Peel-Off Gel Mask (this one is new to me). The fun item that I picked up was the Memebox Black Cat Headband ($6). Do I really need a fuzzy headband with cat ears? Yes, if only because my daughter wants to steal it.
The NARS Beauty Break included 4 lip products – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Dolce Vita” (I already have the lipstick); Powermatte Lip Pigment in “Starwoman”; Velvet Lip Glide in “Bound”; and Lipstick in “Orgasm” (which I just got, so I’ll give it away).
No other samples – boo, Ulta! Oh, but this order made me Platinum for 2019.
Been So Long Ulta
It’s been so long Ulta…I’ve missed you.
As you can tell, I’ve drastically cut back on purchasing the past few months, with the move and unpacking and having less space in the new place…but I couldn’t break this ritual…I buy a UD palette every time I hit a milestone at work – you know, raises, bonuses, etc. I hit an unexpected milestone, so I decided on a little “treat yo self”.
I immediately snatched up Urban Decay XX Vice Ltd Reloaded Palette for $34, down from $56. I already have the previous 3 Vice palettes, and have most of these colors in my original UD palettes, but so what? I’ve used it for the last three days in a row – I love it! It’s actually my favorite of the Vice palettes. The palette didn’t come with any free samples inside though…rude!
Since the “Beautiful Hair” event was going on last week, I grabbed the daily special – John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Shampoo & Conditioner at 40% off – $5.99 instead of $9.99. I’m a bit disappointed – I’ve been using it for a week and I don’t notice a lick of difference in the tone of my hair. I mean, the shampoo is as nice as any other John Frieda, but I don’t expect to rebuy.
I also took advantage of “Buy One, Get One Half Off” on Freeman Beauty Masks – I got Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask and Pear Pore Clean Mask. They both smell fantastic, but Pear is the best…
For freebies, I got a free Deluxe Size Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipstick in “Centerfold”. The texture is luxurious, but it doesn’t dry matte like I expected – it gets on everything. I also got L’Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Moisturizer with Sunscreen and Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum (this is for dudes, wonder if I can get my husband to try it?)
You know I used a $3.50 coupon and got free shipping…oh yes I did.
Ulta Stars Aligned
The stars aligned to give me a 20% off anything coupon for Ulta at the same time I had enough points on MyPoints (referral link if you’re interested in joining – I’ve been a member for 18 years and have gotten $100s of gift cards) for a $25 Ulta gift card. And on the very same weekend that I was scheduled for a haircut. Did you know that you can use those coupons on salon services? You sure can! (I had set this appointment up three months ago and I couldn’t have planned it better.)
I got there a bit early, so I decided to take advantage of the NYX BOGOHalf sale. For myself, I picked up another NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Chocolate” (I had been using “Ash Brown”); NYX Sculpt & Highlight Brow Contour in “Medium Beige/Ash Brown” (I used it today – the brow pencil was a little fatter than I like, but I really liked the built in highlighter); another NYX Ombre Lip Duo in “Cookies & Cream” (also used this today – dark brown and nude combo is a bit much for summer, but it looked good on me); and NYX Blotting Powder in “Light/Medium” (I used this over sunscreen moisturizer for oil control – it gave sheer matte coverage with no caking). I also picked up 4 NYX Retractable Eyeliners for my big sis. It is impossible to get makeup in Ketchikan and she liked the one she picked up on her visit a few months ago.
I also grabbed a Freeman Mint & Lemon Clay Mask at 15% off. They are like Pokemon – gotta catch em all.
I ended up saving well over $50 between gift cards, sales and coupons. Go me!
Ulta gives out unique coupon codes for their spring 20% off, so I didn’t have a cute name for this post…Instead of one or two big things, I bought a lot of little stuff. I also bought some gifts for another upcoming birthday, so those items are not shown, of course.
I can’t pass up 97 cent polishes, so the first thing I added to my cart were essie “Strut Your Stuff” and China Glaze “Long Kiss”. I then added two Freeman Beauty Masks – “Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask” and “Apple Cider Vinegar 4-in-1 Foaming Clay”. I wanted to try another shade of Makeup Revolution Lip Euphoria, so I got “Aura”. I added another Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles.
There were so many gifts with purchase last week! I got free Redken pack with Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo & Conditioner, Beach Envy Wave Aid and 25 Benefits One United Multi-Benefit Treatment (I have a full size of this that I use all the time). I also got a free Ahava pack with Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter Facial Serum (the fuck?), Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask, Time to Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer, Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion, and a free tote bag. By far, the best samples were in the free Smashbox bag, which came with all this: Ahava Beauty Before Age Uplift Day and Uplift Night Cream, Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips (I don’t have eyebrows, but I have a mustache – wonder if it will work?), pür Correcting Primer, Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel (NO), Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge (me likey), Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (me no likey), MyChelle Dermaceuticals Refining Sugar Cleanser, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (for real), StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer, It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer and Benefit Benetint.
Oh ya, also samples of Benefit Dew the Hoola Bronzer and Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation.
Phew…my fingers are TIRED.
On Wednesdays, We Order from Ulta
Ulta knows what they are doing, offering their Wednesday Beauty Breaks…I’ll be pondering on whether to order something, I’ll get that email, and I’ve clicked “Complete Order” before I know what hit me…
Since my main purchase was a gift, I’ll show you the stuff for ME that I got. I ordered BOGHalf Freeman Beauty Masks – both new – Banana-Oat Instant Smoothing Mask and Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask. There’s a new Apple Cider Vinegar Mask that I wanted, but it was sold out.
This weeks Beauty Break (free with $50 purchase) was from Laura Geller. It was Baked Marble Eyeshadow Duo in “Pink Icing/Devil’s Food”; Color Drenched Lip Gloss in “Pink Lemonade”; i-care Waterproof Eyeliner in “Charcoal”; and double-ended makeup brush (I wanted this the most!) – all in a cute gold wristlet.
I got nearly the same skincare samples AGAIN – Benefit The POREfessional and smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Both are good products – but I have so much! Oh…and I used a $3.50 off coupon to get my total to $50.94 – I’m getting good at this!