Tag: Gift with Purchase

 
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Sephora Play! SMARTS – Skincare by Age: 40s

 

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I’m not ashamed to admit it – I’m in my 40s – and my skin needs help!

Sephora Play! launched three extra boxes this month – Skincare by Age for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. All of the boxes have great products, so I decided not to be a glutton and order all of them. I just ordered the 40s box.

The first thing I tried out of the box was the Volition Detoxifying Silt Gelee Mask. I’ve never heard of this brand before – but I’ve never met a mask I didn’t like. It was much thinner than a traditional mud mask, hence the silt? It kind of smelled like dirt, too…but it made my skin as soft as my 10 year old daughter’s.

I’ve also been using the Tatcha The Water Cream. It’s got an unusual slippery texture, but it sure does make my makeup stay on seamlessly, almost like it floats on my skin.

Also in the box: Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream (I really need to start using eye creams); Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator; Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Oil; and Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment (great brand).

And can we talk about the amazing plastic case it all came in? It’s a hard-side case, perfect for travel!

I did NOT get the samples I chose. Instead, I got Rita Hazan True Color Shampoo & Conditioner, Becca Ultimate Coverage 24-Hour Foundation, and Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence. I wanted NONE of that. I did get something I wanted very much – a Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment for 100 points.

Just $211 to Rouge…

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Rose Gold Haul

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Sometimes, it is more satisfying to go shopping in person than placing an online order. Especially when it’s Friday, and work is pissing you off…off to Ulta for stress shopping!

The main product I’d been coveting is the new Ulta Beauty 24k Magic Metallic Peel Off Mask ($14). Of course I picked the rose gold version, instead of the regular gold. I tried it out that night and the mask was really nice – results similar to the GlamGlow GravityMud ($59), at a much cheaper price!

Since Ulta was offering a loaded makeup bag as a gift with $19.50 purchase, I rounded up my purchase with 2 additional single use $3 Ulta Beauty Masks (also on promo for Buy 2, Get 1 free) – “Detoxifying Charcoal” Deep Cleansing Clay Mask and “Strawberries & Champagne” Hydrating Glitter Peel Off Mask. I also added a pack of Exfoliating Cotton Pads and a 6-way Nail Buffer. I even got to use a $3.50 off coupon and still get the freebie.

Of course, I picked the Rose Gold version of the Makeup Bag. Inside this suspiciously familiar bag (which looks to be the same one as a gift with purchase I got in June 2017): On-the-Go Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes; a 6 shade eyeshadow palette; a bronzer/illuminator palette; Limitless Lashes Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara; Gel Eye Liner in “Black Out”; Lipstick in “Stay Fierce”; Brow Tint in “Medium”; Tinted Eye Primer in “Satin Blush”; Matte Metallic Liquid Lipstick (no shade name, but I LOVE the color on me); Matte Makeup Setting Spray; a blush brush, an eye shadow brush and a $5 off $15 Ulta Beauty Coupon. The colors in the shadow and lippies are sunset-y fall colors – I am SO ready for fall colors!

All this…for about $23 – not bad. Just $532.50 to Diamond Status…not likely!

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Rainbow Ulta Haul

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So I just got an Ulta order with some fun hair colors for the kids. They really liked the bright colors and I was surprised at how well the colors stayed…well, in my daughter’s hair at least. I am definitely “the cool mom” – I was trying to dye my hair with Black Cherry Kool-Aid when I was my son’s age.

I was checking the price for a friend…and noticed that L’Oreal Colorista for Brown Hair (usually $10.99) was on sale for BOGO Half Off. That’s an even better deal then when I bought it for $8.99. I picked up 4 colors – another Midnight Blue (this one was amazing in my daughter’s hair), Burgundy, Green and Red. I was less than impressed with the Teal I got last time, so I did not reorder. Since I spent $20+ on L’Oreal, I got a free makeup bag. Why not, right?

Ulta Collection was also having a Buy 2, Get 1 Free offer, so I stocked up on brow stuff. I am paranoid of running out of brow pencil while traveling – I’m going to Vegas in about 3 weeks and need to have eyebrows. I was right to order now – I used up 2 old brow pencils this week and gave a third to my daughter! I picked up two Ultra Slim Brow Pencils ($10), one in “Dark Brown” and one in “Brunette”, which is a new shade for me – it’s warmer that “Dark Brown” and I like it for summer. I also tried Brow Pomade in “Dark Brown” ($10). I finally got to try ABH Dip Brow and I LOVE it for a sophisticated brow – I’m just a cheap girl at heart though.

For samples, I got a card with Benefit The POREfessional and Moonlight by Ariana Grande. This perfume smelled SO BAD that my 10 year old daughter wouldn’t even take it…and she wears Cotton Candy scented perfume.

$699.45 to reach Diamond Status. Bwaaaaaaaaaa….

 

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Sephora Play! Smarts – Glitter Eyes for Real Life

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Every once in while, Sephora Play! puts out a supplemental box that can be purchased outside of the Play! subscription. I’ve passed the last few, due to either duplicative or lackluster products. I did not pass on THIS one.

The “Glitter Eyes for Real Life” box was $20 and the real reason I added the box to my cart was the rose gold mermaid pouch! My daughter is crazy for sequined mermaid fabric – she has a bunch of the pillows and she fusses with them constantly. When I get tired of playing with it, it’s hers.

Also in the “Glitter Eyes” box: Benefit Bad Girl Bang Volumizing Mascara (I just cracked it open today – this is my new go-to mascara); Grande Lash MD Lash Enhancing Serum (if I paint this on my upper lip every night, will it help me grow a John Waters mustache?); Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12HR wear Waterproof in “Black Lace”; stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in “Kitten Karma” (I just started using the sample I already had and this stuff is the SHIT); Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme; and Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Multistick in “Rose Pearl”. The kit also came with a set of cards for each product with application tips and eye shadow looks. There’s also a free webcast on July 15th. The box is still available – CLICK HERE.

OH! and I also added a $5 Sephora Watermelon after-sun mask to my cart – I have avoided sunburn so far this summer, but I still feel like my skin is taking a beating. My $25 purchase (and a promo code) granted me an extra sample – Benefit The POREfessional Pearl Primer (interested to try it). My other chosen samples were it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser, IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner, and Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum.

If you’re interested in finding out about the monthly box, join up now. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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Platinum Order

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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.

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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…

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Freebies

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Soooo…I ordered a birthday gift for my sister from Sephora, but I’m really excited about some of the freebies I got.

I used a promo code to get a deluxe sample of Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle. I don’t have much experience with Aerin fragrances, but this one is AMAZING. My husband smelled it and actually said, “Now that smells YUMMY.” That is high praise from a man that gags from most fragrances. I wore it on Monday and spent some time outside in the grass and I felt like I was being attacked by bugs. It’s an ultra-realistic honeysuckle scent.

I also used 100 points to get a deluxe sample of Boscia Pore Pudding – I love that shit!

My usual three samples were Chloe Fleur de Parfum (not as good as Roses de Chloe, but I like it); Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil; and Sephora Collection 10HR wear perfection foundation ( 3 shades – ivory 10, beige 25 and walnut 33).

Just $529 until…

 

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Kat Von D – 10th Year Anniversary Collection

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I’ve been waiting months and months for this…and on Cinco de Mayo, Kat Von D released her 10 year Anniversary Collection. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.

The 10th Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette ($52) was the first thing into my cart. I am blown away by the quality of the shadows. I tried it yesterday, without primer and it was ultra, mega, SO pigmented. Although Kat excels at matte eyeshadows, I’m really drawn to the transformer shades in this collection. I did a look centered around “Alexandra” (rose gold glimmer) and it matched my rose gold hair perfectly. When my husband got home from work last night, he actually said my makeup looks cute…and he NEVER says that. Literally, the best I can hope for it, “You look nice,” but usually I get “What is wrong with your face?”

So, this palette gets the husband stamp of approval – that’s even higher praise than “Jeffree Approved”!

I also picked up the 10th Anniversary Lipsticks – Everlasting Glimmer Veil in “Gold Skool” ($22) and Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Santa Sangre” ($19). I wore “Gold Skool” with “Lolita II” Everlasting Lip Liner yesterday and it KILLED. Now, the $64,000 question – how does it compare to Jeffree Star “First Class”? The two aren’t even really similar – “First Class is a black-leaning metallic, while “Gold Skool” has more of a glittery gold dust finish. Not dupes at all!

I dropped $93, but I didn’t even get the whole collection. There’s also a brush set ($125), a highlighter ($30), an eyeliner ($20) and a traincase ($150). I wanted them all…but I also wanted my family to eat this month. I am VERY happy with my purchase and I am confident when I say that Kat Von D has overtaken Urban Decay as my favorite cosmetics brand.

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Since I have Sephora Flash, I broke my order up into two orders, so that I could get double samples and use two promo codes. I got my doubles AND Sephora still sent it all to me in one box. Winning!

I used a promo code to get an Amore Pacific Set, which includes Vintage Single Extract Essence, Botanical Radiance Oil and The Essential Creme Fluid. I also used a code to get a fragrance sample bag with Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Stella Peony (the one I wanted to try – need to buy it); Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose (another love); Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia, Chloe Fleur de Parfum, Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh AND Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara. Nice!

For my sample picks, I got 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (each sample card had 4 colors AND a tiny brush – been wanting to try this so bad!); Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Top Coat (includes 4 colors – “Fever”, “Reverb”, “Ritual” and “White Lie”); and Clinique Moisture Syrge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator. Wait! That’s only 4 samples! They screwed me!

But…only $568 until Rouge…I might do it!

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Lippie Love

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I wasn’t in Ulta to buy something for myself. I was there to look for Sally Hansen Nail Art Markers for my friend, Starr (sometimes you gotta get punk on the subway). I found those easily, but I was lured in by the NYX gift with purchase…and one more 20% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.

With a $20 purchase of NYX products, you’d get a pleather lip-shaped bag, with three free products: NYX Matte Liquid Liner in “Black”; NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Copenhagen” (so goth!); and NYX Suede Lip Liner in “Copenhagen”. That’s a great gift with purchase. I decided to try a bunch of new products, for better or for worse. I got a NYX Precision Brow Pencil in “Soft Brown” ($9.99) – I’d previously used the Micro Brow Pencil and I thought this would be as good, but I don’t like it as much. It is hard to use and makes my brows look fuzzy. Then I grabbed NYX Slip Tease Full Color Lip Oil ($6.99), which felt great on my lips…but got on EVERYTHING. It did not last through a Freddy’s Steakburger. It also bled like a mofo. Lastly, I tried the NYX Powder Puff Lippie in “Moody” ($8.49). This one also went on soft as velvet. It transfered a little, but not too bad. It didn’t bleed, but didn’t apply with a crisp line either. It also lasted most of they day – super pigmented. This is the only product I’d buy again.

So, after this last shopping spree, only $132.01 to go until Platinum. Lily needs a haircut…

 

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Beachwave Me

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I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I’m always looking for the next product/styling aid that will give me perfect hair…I try something new, get excited…then back comes the ponytail.

That being said, my current Revlon curling iron is probably older than my son (13!) and didn’t get very hot last time I tried to use it. I’ve been drooling over the Beachwaver Curling Iron, but at $129 – that’s a steep price for a curling iron! How can I rationalize spending that much money on a styler I’ll use just a few times a year? Well…I found a way.

First, you save up your Ulta Platinum Points for nearly 2 years – the last time I used my points was on the Alice Through the Looking Glass Palette! I had saved $67.50 in points. Then, wait for a 20% off coupon. Last week, the stars aligned and I snagged the Beachwaver S1 Curling Iron for just $35.70. Woo! I tried it out and it’s just as amazing as videos make it look. You literally just grab your hair and press the button and BAM – perfect waves. I haven’t done my whole head yet…but coming soon!

I also found a promo for a free 18 piece Beauty Bag with $30 purchase on RetailMeNot – check out the amazing contents: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” (already have one, but sure); Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer (have some, but I like it); Bosley Professional Strength Ultra Boost Styling Creme (Bosley, like the hair plug people?); Clairol Hair Food Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Infused with Honey Apricot Fragrance (Mmmmm); Jimmy Choo L’eau; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (huh?); Hempz Original Herbal Shampoo for Damaged and Color Treated Hair; Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium; Philosophy Amazing Grace; Living proof. restore mask treatment; goodol Wash Up Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay; Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil; Perricone MD Cold Plasma Face Serum; Rituals Hand Balm in “Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil”; Philosophy Purity Made Simple (love this stuff for when I travel); Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum; Estee Lauder The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer; Organic to Green Coco Oil; and a $5 off $15 Ulta Collection coupon! I have finger cramps now!

My usual samples were also good –  NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in “American Woman” and HASK Biotin Boost Shampoo & Conditioner.

I don’t plan on hitting the beach this summer, but my hair will be ready just in case!