Sephora Play! March 2018 – Festival of Beauty

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Is it me, or is “Festival” the most over-used campaign buzzword in the Beauty World right now? It’s getting to be ridiculous, kind of like “Unicorn”. Don’t get me wrong, I was deep into Festivals and outside concert  in my youth. I religiously attended Lollapalooza 1992 through 1995, and various other outside concerts…but back then, the only makeup I needed back then was black eyeliner…

What I SHOULD have worn was sunscreen. I never did and I always got a sunburn every damn time. So it was nice of Sephora to include Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++. The package says invisible SPF, primer and anti-aging treatment in one – I’m sold!

Also in the Festival box: Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Crayon in “Hush Hush”; Sephora Matte Perfection Powder Foundation in “14 Neutral Linen” (close to the shade I’ve been using – “16 Cool Linen”); Verb Ghost Oil; Lancome Miel-en-Mousse Foaming Cleanser and Makeup Remover; and a tiny foilpack of OUAI Anti-Frizz. Oh, and a snazzy tie-dye pouch that says “Beauty is my Spirit Animal”.

If you don’t get Sephora Play, join us for Festival Fun. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Sephora Play January 2018 – Happy You Year!

 

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It’s January 31st, I had major surgery and I am still managing to cover all my January boxes in January. High Five!

This month’s “Happy You Year” bag is filled with products to revitalize. The first thing I squealed over is the GlamGlow SuperCleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser – I LOVE GlamGlow!

Also in this month’s bag: Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (just a foil pack, boo); Lancome Cils Booster Super-Enhancing Mascara Booster (don’t care); Smashbox Photo FInish Primerizer  (primer AND moisturizer – genius!); Ole Henriksen Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask (I love me some masks); and Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream.

No fragrance though – boo!

If you don’t get Sephora Play, sign up TODAY. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Saint or Sinner?

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Fragrance is a very personal thing. What smells wonderful on one person, may well smell like a corpse flower once it hits your own skin. The only way to know…is to try it out. I get SO many samples from my boxes, that I have a good chance to try out lots and lots of different fragrances. (Collecting perfume samples is something I’ve been up to since I worked up enough courage to start asking for samples at the Foley’s Makeup Counter while shopping with my mom.)

Sometimes though, you just buy a fragrance – whether based on the brand, the name or even the bottle. Even though I was in the middle of my vacation, I couldn’t pass up the $15 off $50 email…I went ahead and ordered travel sizes of Kat Von D Saint and Sinner at $22 each. I crossed my fingers as I opened Saint to smell it…and promptly spilled it all over my arm. Luckily, I’m a fan of the light vanilla jasmine scent. Sinner is a spicier scent, with cinnamon and patchouli. For some reason, it just doesn’t last on me – I cannot catch a whiff even 10 minutes after putting it on. For me, Saint is the clear winner and I could see buying a larger bottle.

I also ordered Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in “Rose Luster” ($7, down from $16) to get to $50. It’s a nice matte color, but I didn’t feel like it was very long lasting.

For samples, I ended up with Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Silkening Blow Out Creme (weird), philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser (love this stuff); and Lancome Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Powder & Foundation in One All Day Wear.

Only $432 left til Rouge!

Magical Bag

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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).

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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.

Sephora Play! August 2016 – The Eye Openers

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Except for the perfume sample, this month’s box is entirely focused on eye products, hence “The Eye Openers”. The first thing I noticed was the adorable muslin bag with winking eyes – “Wink outside the box.” What can I store in this bag?

Inside this month’s box: Urban Decay Cosmetics Perversion Mascara (I love getting more of this); Caudalie Resveratrol [Lift] Eye Lifting Balm; Lancome Energie De Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer; Sephora Contour eye pencil 12HR wear in “Flirting game” (taupe shimmer); Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 (iridescent pink granite); and CLEAN Reserve Blonde Rose (I love a rose scent, but I prefer a greener rose – this one is heavy on the musk…also, within 3 minute, it gave me a massive headache – UGH).

I am loving every single thing in this box AGAIN. If I had to pick one subscription box to keep and get rid of the rest – it would be Sephora’s.

If you haven’t signed up yet – get off your ass and DO IT! This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Lock-It

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That feeling when you come home from vacation to a Sephora box…

I just used up my pressed compact of Urban Decay Ultra Definition Finishing Powder and went to order another one from Sephora…and they don’t stock it anymore. What the fuck? It’s not discontinued, because Ulta and Nordstrom still have it…but I was already on the site and committed to ordering something…so I decided to take a chance with Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation in Medium 52 (there wasn’t an exact match to my Color IQ, so I just took a wild guess). I’d been wearing my MAC Studio Fix lately and decided I needed a slightly darker shade to match my very slight tan…

I tried it out today with just a moisturizer underneath and was impressed at the coverage – very good coverage, but it didn’t cake up on me like the MAC Studio Fix. I think I may have found a new best friend for summer skin. I’m looking forward to trying it with a primer for even better coverage.

I used a code to get a free tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drench Lip Splash in “Cabana Boy” – it’s a beautiful matte mauve, but NOT drying. It felt like chapstick, but stayed almost all day! I did have to reapply after my Whopperito, but that goes without saying.

I used 100 points to try a Milk Makeup Gel Brow Pencil in “Pilsner”. A little of this baby goes a long way – it glides on and stays put. “Pilsner” is the perfect color for me – I got lucky. The full size comes with a spooly end, so I might be switching from Anastasia…if I ever use up all the brow pencils I already have…

I almost forgot my other free samples – Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil FreeLancôme Energie de Vie Daily Aqua-Gel, and Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (my scent of the day – it wears wonderfully over B&BW Peony).

Only $41 to Rouge in 2017…

Rouge Note

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Last week was the hotly anticipated Spring discount code for Sephora. 15% off anything and everything. Sephora isn’t like Ulta, throwing coupons around left and right – this is a BIG deal.

The first thing I ordered (on Friday) was the Atelier Cologne Nécessaire Nomade set ($45). It’s a cute little tin with 8 .14 oz travel sprays. The included scents are Bergamote SoleilCédrat Enivrant (my absolute favorite Atelier scent – my original travel spray is almost empty), Orange SanguinePomélo Paradis (I’ve been coveting this one since smelling it in-store), Mandarine Glaciale (I already have one of these, too – but so what?), Sud MagnoliaFiguier Ardent, and Cédre Atlas. I just wish I wasn’t suffering from the worst ever sinus cold, so I could enjoy the scents…fuck it, I’ll spray them all over me so everyone else can enjoy them.

For samples, I got Lancome Advanced Genifique (not what I picked), NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30, and Benefit The POREfessional.

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I actually got the thing I ordered Sunday first – on Wednesday. Funny how that works.

I never thought I’d buy a Clarisonic. But ever since I started this site, with all the subscription boxes and samples, I’ve been taking better and better care of my skin and I can really tell the difference. Then I got an extra Clarisonic brush head with an Ultra freebie. So I took the plunge…and picked the Clarisonic Mia 2 Faded Rose Floral Favorites Set ($149), which includes Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel and L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Perfecting Cream. (Both Sephora and Ulta carry many different Clarisonic sets, with different colors and different products. Unfortunately, Ulta excludes the Mia 2 from coupons, or I would have used my 20% off coupon to buy one there.) I used it for the first time last night and it was a bit weird, but my skin felt soooo soft afterwards. Only time will tell if it makes a long-term difference in my skin and I keep using it…or get bored and shove it in a drawer.

For samples, I got Atelier Figuier Ardent, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment (Again, not what I picked – but I’ll take it). I also used points to get the Estee Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover + Cleanser.

I made a pretty good dent in my spend…only $197 to Rouge status for 2017!

Sephora Play! 06 – February 2016

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February’s Sephora Play! theme is “Now & Later” – beauty essentials for all day and all night.

As soon as I opened the box, I knew I would be giving the Tom Ford “Black Orchid” to my big sis – Tom Ford is her favorite. She also bought a few Tom Ford rollerballs when we went to Sephora over the weekend. Also inside this month’s box: bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm in “Plumberry Pop”; Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear eyeliner in “Noir Intense”; Bumble and bumble. Pret-A-Powder (I am intrigued to try this different take on dry shampoo); Make Up for Ever Rouge Artist Natural in “N9 Copper Pink” (this color looks BANGIN’); and tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara.

Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

First Ulta Haul of 2016

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I didn’t think it would be so soon…but here it is – my first Ulta haul of the year.

I had been using John Frieda Illuminating Shine and I REALLY like they way it makes my newly short hair feel. I noticed it was $3 each on Ulta’s site and went nuts, ordering 3 each of shampoo and conditioner. (I guess it is discontinued now – it’s no longer on Ulta’s site. FUCK.) Isn’t that the way it always goes? You find something you like and them BOOM – it’s gone. Ugh. I also got a John Frieda Gift with Purchase – travel sizes of John Frieda Beach Blonde Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo, Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner and Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. Of course, I just cut all the blonde off my hair, but these will be good for summer.

I also picked up Urban Decay Loose Ultra Definition Finishing Powder – I’ve been using the Pressed, but wanted to try this. I also got Biore Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser (is baking soda the new charcoal?) – I tried it last night and it was nice. I had been lusting over Nicole by OPI “Pick of the Glitter” for about a month, after spying it in a Walgreen’s display. It was still on my mind, so I broke down and bought it. (It is every bit as good as I thought it would be.)

My purchase qualified me for the Platinum Skin Beauty Break Gift with $60 Purchase – a little plastic makeup bag with NOICE samples. Inside the bag: Dermablend Professional Setting Powder (Pricey); Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (going to Vegas with me); StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (Which one should I work on first?); Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (Leave it to Gwyneth Paltrow to make beauty products in the worst scent imaginable); Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate; Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifiting and Firming Moisturizer; Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Patchology FlashPath Eye Gels; and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil. This is the best sample bag I’ve gotten from Ulta, I think!

I didn’t get my Variety Sampler though…Bummer.

The Saga of “Give Me Some Nude Lip”

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I’m going to tell you a story…it’s a very scary story…but I can promise that it has a happy ending.

The Monday before last, Sephora released an all-nude version of their “Give Me Some Lip” Set – even though it was $28, I had to have it. Inside the all new “Give Me Some Nude Lip” Set: Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lipstick in “Milky Way”; NARS Lipstick in “Dolce Vita”Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini (P)Outliner Longwear Lip Pencil in “Prim(Rose) (cocoa spice)”NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Crayon in “Whisper”; and Tarte Deluxe Tarteist Lip Paint in “Namaste Nude”.

On Thursday…my box arrived. I gleefully opened the box, carefully peeled the sticker seals from the lip-shaped box…and the contents were FUCKED UP…Noooooooooooooo! There were two Marc Jacobs lip liners and no Tarte Lip Paint. A tragedy. I called Sephora Customer Service…and their computers were down and they couldn’t help me. I called an hour later…and the phone jockey hung up on me. I called right back…computers still down. Finally, a few hours after that – everything was back to normal and I got someone who could help me. She told me that she would send out another one immediately and I could just return this one to my closest store. YES.

So while I waited, at least I had other samples to play with. My order qualified for the free Beauty to Love Sample bag, which came with Becca Backlight Priming Filter (huh?); Atelier Cologne “Mandarine Glaciale” (I have so many samples of this, but I love it); Perricone MD Re:Firm Surface Recovery Treatment; Touch in Sol Feels Like Honey Moon Skin Base (I just tried the one I got in my last Allure Beauty Thrills – it’s ok, but not moisturizing enough for winter); BITE Beauty Agave Lip Masks (I tried the last sample I got a few days ago – feel nice at bedtime); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream; Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer; and Skin Inc Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask. I’m glad I got these good samples, because I didn’t get ANY of the ones I picked at checkout. Instead I got Thierry Mugler “Alien” (Smells so gross); Clinique Moisture Surge (I like this stuff); and Dr. brandt Do Not Age Beauty Sleep Serum.

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On Saturday, I dutifully delivered my fucked up lip set to Sephora. The return was quick, but then the “Cast Member” decided I need skin stuff and showed me a bunch of skin care stuff and smears some Kate Somerville stuff on my hand. I thanked her and got the hell out of there without buying a thing.

Days passed…On Tuesday, my new box arrived.

I was holding my breath as I opened it…YES! Everything in this box was perfect. I also got three more samples – Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick (I feel like I keep getting Lancome stuff and I should be more excited about it…but I’m not); Prada “Candy” and DKNY “Be Desired”.

I’m going to be taking all these nude beauties with me to Vegas in a few days – I can’t wait to try them all! Good thing I ordered it on the first day it was available…it’s already out of stock! Yay – happy ending!