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…
Sephora Favorites Hello! Haul-Star Heroes
So Sephora discontinues their monthly Play! sample subscription box, only to release a non-subscription sample bag every month? I figured the Hello! set wouldn’t be every month, but they’re coming out pretty regularly.
The samples in this month’s “Haul-Star Heroes” aren’t very exciting, but since Sephora is still offering free shipping, I went ahead and bit. The best sample in the set is Caudalie Vinopure Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser. It smells so good! I mean, it cleans my face just fine, but I really like the scent.
Versace Bright Crystal is one of my sister’s favorite scents – I’ve gotten it for her several times. Instead of sending her this sample, I’ve been wearing it – I kinda like it! I won’t start wearing it regularly though – I’d be annoyed if someone poached my signature scent.
Also in the set: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder; Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum (I wonder what this will do to my BODY?); and Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Meh. The set came with 15% off coupons for each of the products included, but I don’t see myself buying any of them.
My son has been bleaching the hell out of his hair, so I picked Kerastase Blond Absolu Shampoo & Conditioner for him – I’ve got him using a purple shampoo/conditioner once a week for brassiness. I also got a sample card of Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation – all the colors look too dark for me.
Just $138 to Beauty Insider for 2021.
November 2019 Sephora Play! – Beauty for Self-Care
Self-Care? Let me tell you, I self-cared the fuck out of myself last week. I laid my ass on the couch every day…and enjoyed every minute of it. I think I put a mask on my face every single day, except one. I’m paying for it now, though – I went back to work today and ended up staying until 6:30….and to top it off, I think I’m coming down with a cold. FRACK.
November’s Play! box is a six heavenly samples to help me with my self-care. I was most excited to sample the Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey”. My lips have been feeling dried out and it was a nice change from my drying liquid lipsticks. The color didn’t last very long though, not even until lunch.
Also in this month’s box: NARS Lipstick in Tolede (haven’t tried yet); Glamglow GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in “Nude Glow” (I LOVE this stuff); Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Mascara; Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 (I got this a few Decembers ago – it’s decent); and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium (too strong for me).
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Sephora SUMMER SAVE
It’s that time of year again…Sephora’s end-of-summer sale event – 20% off!
I had been keeping Rosebud Perfume Co. Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm ($8) in my cart for my next order, so I finally got it! It’s subtle scented and very slick – I’ve been using it before bedtime.
The email with my promo code showed me the new Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, so I ordered two Minis ($7) – “Aquamarine” and “Hibiscus” – I’ll have to wait another few weeks until my hair fades more, but I am excited to try them.
Not impressed by her latest launches, I did order one of the new Kat Von D Kitten Minis – Crush on Blush – Highlighter + Blush Duo ($22). The blush shade is “Nova” which matches my fave lipstick “Lolita” perfectly – it’s a better match than my actual “Lolita” blush. I’ve been using the highlighter, “Gammaray” for eyeshadow – I LOVE it.
I wasn’t planning on getting a new foundation, but I was poking around on the site and came across bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation for Acne Prone Skin in “2N” ($29). When I opened it up, my first thought was FUCK, it’s too dark. That’s what I get for letting the site choose for me – I had them match the last foundation that I felt was a really good match for me, Fenty Beauty in “150”. Once I got it on my face, it wasn’t really too dark – darker than my usual, but not too dark. This is a full coverage powder – more full coverage than I am used to, so I may save it for special occasions and not wear it to work every day. It wears okay, but I feel like it oxidizes by the end of day – maybe not the best for summer sweating.
Again, I got neither of the two samples I picked. Instead of REPLICA Whispers in the Library, I got Lancome La vie est Belle. Instead of Glamglow Waterburst, I got Clinique iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. Boo.
I know if probably doesn’t seem like it, but I’ve really reduced my spending this year. This order doesn’t quite get me to VIB status for 2020 – my total spend year-to-date has been $338, believe it or not. Another $662 just isn’t in the cards this year, unless I win the lottery!
Ulta Birthday to Me
I needed a haircut, my kids had been bugging me for a haircut, I had a birthday gift waiting on me…time for an in-person Ulta trip.
Let me just say – my haircut was fine. My daughter’s haircut was fine. My son’t haircut was…NOT fine. I didn’t realize how much he hated it until we got home. It was so bad that he had my husband buzz his head with clippers. I felt HORRIBLE. I bought him a bottle of my hair & nail vitamins and promised to take him to Sport Clips next time. Oh well, at least I got 2x points on all the haircuts.
So the coupon in my email said I would be getting a Full Size NYX Lip Lingerie as a birthday gift, but in-store, they gave me a totally different gift – a mini Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Google says that it was the December gift – I guess they give em away until they’re gone.
Oh, I also picked up a few generic Diamond buffers for my nay-nays.
Just like that, $241 to Platinum!
Sephora Play! November 2018 – Merry and Bright
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This is an…interesting…box.
First off, Commodity Gold straight up smells like donkey ass. Unwashed donkey ass. Someone come take this shit out of my house.
Everything else is less controversial. I’m a big fan of Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser. I’m also happy to get Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in “Pink Tea”, and Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Face Cream. I was, however, really confused when I looked at the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts. At first, I assumed it was another mud mask…great! Then I read the directions – this shit is for your hair. What? I’ll let you know.
Sephora Play is THE best beauty box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
Sephora Play! March 2018 – Festival of Beauty
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!
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?
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!
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.