Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 19

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I think it was Day 19…whatever, the 21 Days of Beauty were September 3rd to 23rd and on the 21st, I found something to order.

I have a hard time passing up the chance to try new foundations for 50% off. I decided to try Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation in “Medium” for $16.50. It’s a swirly dome, with streak of gold. I feel like this foundation makes my face matte, but luminous at the same time. It’s really nice, actually.

I also picked up a full size China Glaze “Let Your Twilight Sparkle” ($7.50) for my daughter – she actually used up the entire mini bottle already! Oh, and a Zoya Remove+ ($10).

For freebies, I got Ulta Beauty Radiant Skin Collection Warming Charcoal Cleanser and Sleeping Cream, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in “St. Mortiz/Medium 1”, and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

I got free shipping with the day’s deal. I used $23.50 in Ulta points (I still have $50 left) and a $3.50 off coupon, so my order was only $7.58!

April Birchbox – Effortlessly Elegant

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Yet again, I chose the curated box option this month. “Effortlessly Elegant” is a collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. and includes products to get you ready for Spring.

I chose this box primarily for the Laura Geller Naked Blush -N- Brighten in “Tropic Hues”. For the last three decades, I haven’t really paid attention to blush – but for some reason, 2016 is the year I started freaking out about blush. Weird. Also in this month’s box: Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellular Solution (What the fuck is the deal with Micellular Water?); Dr. Jart+ Liftra Contour Cream; PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray (I think a I have a full set now); and Tocca Crema de Mano in “Guilietta” (green apple and tulip – not bad).

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Beauty in Bloom

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The last few Limited Edition boxes from Birchbox haven’t been that exciting…but I was enticed by the “Beauty in Bloom” box. I can’t pass up flowery products.

Inside this flower-filled box: Darphin Intral Toner; Davines Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion; Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist; Laura Geller Beauty Baked True Color Blush in “Maui” (so red – I can’t wait to try it); Lollia Relax Shea Butter Handcreme (Lavender and Vanilla, but I can’t smell anything through this blasted cold); Mally Eye-Amplifying Shadow Liner in “Stone” (taupe-ish); NEST Fragrances Grapefruit Classic Candle (even my husband said this smells “yummy”); NEST Fragrances Indigo Eau de Parfum (I’d been curious about NEST for a while – this one is very exotic smelling, almost like nag champa…but without the weedy undertones); Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in “Hi-Speed Sonnet” (so glittery); stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara; and an Umbra Prisma Tray (I’m not big on gold, but I really like the geometric styling of this jewelry tray). A GREAT deal!

Although the box was $64, I found a 20% code and used $10 in points, so the total was just $41.20.

Oh…in my free sample pack: Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in “Silver” (my third one) and Cargo Swimmables Shadow Stick in “Dory” (like Finding Nemo!)

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

On Wednesdays, We Order from Ulta

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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 AGAINBenefit 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!

HUGE Ulta Haul

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Those “gift with purchase” deals get me every time. Last week, Ulta was offering a pink plastic Beauty Bag, filled with samples – free to Platinum Members with a $60 purchase. There just happened to be $60 of stuff I needed…a back-up Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Finishing Powder in “Medium Light”…2 more Freeman Beauty Masks that were BOGH (I’m a total mask addict now) – Avocado & Oatmeal Clay and Golden Grain Brightening…5 Ulta Brilliant Color Lip Glosses on sale for $3 each – “Rich Plum”, “Toast” (a back-up), “Spice”, “Guava”, and “Cupcake”…and I broke down and tried Poo-Pourri in “Rosy Cheeks” (I tried it earlier today – although I didn’t smell poo-poo, it seemed to be a mostly non-offensive load – more research is needed).

Inside my beautiful pink bag (perfect for my upcoming Vegas trip): Lancôme Defincils Mascara in “Black”; Ulta Sweet Fantasy Vanilla and Caramel Silky Smooth Body Lotion; it Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in “Black-Brown”; Juice Organics Brightening Shampoo and Conditioner; Dolce & Gabbana “light blue – Sunset in Salina” (reminds me of my mom – smells a little bit like “Lauren”); it’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In for Blondes (I gave away the last one I got, but I’ll give this blonde version a try); Thierry Mugler “Angel” (I think a friend of mine wear this – so I never will); Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (I have SO many samples of this shit); Whish Body Butter in “Almond”; Biolage Matrix Exquisite Oil; dermalogica Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum; Laura Geller Baked Liquid Radiance Foundation in “Golden Medium”; Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum (good stuff – I used up my last sample); Kate Spade “Live Color Fully” (I might actually wear this one); Benefit It’s Potent eye Benefit cream; and a mini Ulta Brilliant Gloss in “Toast” (I guess I didn’t need that back-up I ordered?). Gee, I’ve got finger cramps from typing.

Two more samples came with my order – HASK Coconut Monoi Oil Shampoo and Conditioner and Cargo HD Picture Perfect CC Cream. I also used my $3.50 coupon. Excited to play with my new stuff!

Smoky Naked

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The new Urban Decay Smoky Naked Palette launched back on July 12th at Ulta, so I’ve been watching the mail every day since I ordered it that morning. Yesterday, it finally came! I guess I could have gone to the store that morning, but I didn’t want to risk having to go store hopping.

It’s everything I hoped it would be. A full range of 12 matte and shimmery shades – I used it for the first time this morning (“Combust” on my lid, “Whiskey” on my crease, with “High” as a highlight) and the result was perfection. The shades were slightly less buttery than my other Naked palettes, but nothing I couldn’t work with.

The best part? I had $53 worth of Ulta Points saved up – so it was only $1. I’d been saving since around Xmas – so worth it. For samples, I got Laura Geller spackle Supercharged fortified under make-up primer and HASK Mint Almond Oil Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.

On top of that, this was the purchase that put me over the top on Platinum Status for 2016. Mmmm…

March Birchbox – Beauty Solutions

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Yet again, I picked the curated box – based on one product I really, really wanted.

March’s curated box is called “Beauty Solutions.” I really wanted the Laura Geller Beauty Baked Blush-N-Brighten in “Pink Grapefruit. I love baked! Also inside: Dear Clark Volumizing Hair Tonic; derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Crème; Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream (SPF 37? Why 37? Is it a Clerks reference?); and Whish Three Wishes Body Butter in “Almond”.

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Product Review – They’re Real Push-up Liner

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The sole reason I picked The Everygirl box for this month’s Birchbox was so I could get my hands on a sample of Benefit “They’re Real” Push-up Liner. I have a love/hate relationship with eyeliner and I’m still searching for “The One”. I’ve tried all kinds of pencils, liquids, markers and gels and I haven’t found the perfect eyeliner yet.

During my teens and 20s, I wore a fair amount of liquid eyeliner, often giving Robert Smith and Siouxsie Sioux a run for their money. I usually used the cheap stuff – like wet ‘n wild – but it served its purpose. I think I still have a bottle of e.l.f. liquid eyeliner stashed somewhere. I’ve had occasional good results with Julep’s Gel eyeliner and Laura Geller Baked Shadows, but not consistently good results. I’m looking for something that doesn’t require a game of eyeliner chicken and Q-tip cleanup.

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How good are your plumbing skills? Are you skilled with a putty knife, able to spread a thin, straight line of caulk like a butt-crack-bearing pro? Or are you like me, smearing caulk everywhere, adding more layers to try to get a straight line and then suddenly…you realize that the tube is empty and the bathroom is only half done.

That’s how I felt the first time I used Benefit “They’re Real” Push-up Liner. The applicator is like a tiny putty knife and the gel eye liner squirts out of the tip. You smear it on your eyelid and attempt to smear it into a straight line. That being said, once I figured it out, it wasn’t hard to get a thin layer, but getting both eyes to match was – again – a game of eyeliner chicken. I ended up applying twice as thick a line as I wanted – I actually went to the grocery store like this – I looked like a Raccoon Hooker.

That being said, this is a pretty decent eyeliner. It lives up to the claims of being “lash-hugging” – which is the number one complaint I have with some eyeliners…visible skin around my eyelashes. I feel like I could master it with practice, although I feel more comfortable using a brush with gel eyeliner. I don’t feel like “They’re Real” Push-up Liner is worth $24, but I would be more likely to purchase a product like this if it was half the price. Come on, knock-offs!

Sunday Shopping

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Lily and I usually go shopping on Saturday, but since my husband and son went to see Guardians of the Galaxy this morning, I figured why not do some shopping that doesn’t involve school supplies.

I struck out at Ulta. They were out of Zoya Remove+. I was also thinking about getting Michael Kors “Glam Jasmine” now that it’s back…but then I smelled it and I didn’t like it as much as I thought I did. That’s ok – I placed an amazing order online on Friday, so I have that to look forward to.

I fared much better at Bath & Body Works. I had a 20% off coupon, plus a free travel size. I got 2 three wick candles at 2/$22 – “Wasabi Apple” & “Turquoise Waters”. I got 11 hand soaps – 6/$24, plus “Sweet Clementine” on special for $3. I’m not going to go through all the scents I got, but I am really excited about “Brown Sugar & Carrot” – that’s just WEIRD. My total was $49.36, so I went ahead and used the $50 debit card I got from Acuvue for a contacts rebate. I know I threw away 64 cents…sigh.

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HEB is becoming my favorite place to find beauty deals. They had $2 off Revlon coupons again AND $2 off Milani. Lily is a bad influence on me. I was trying to decide between 2 Revlon Quick Dry Top Coats“Hearts of Gold FX” and “Celestial FX” – she asked why I couldn’t I just get both? So I did. I also picked up “Balinese Bay” from Revlon’s Limited Edition Haute Rocks Collection of pebbled polish. I’ve been wanting to try one.

I’ve been eyeing Milani “Sugar High” for a while, so I grabbed it…the multicolored glitter will look great over “Glass Pink”. I also decided to try out one of the Milani Baked Marble Shadows I’ve been hearing about. If they’re anything like Laura Geller Baked Shadows, I’ll love it. I picked “Green Fortune”, which I’m not exactly sure how I’ll wear – it’s green, pink and copper!

My house smells great, my hands smell great, the kids start school tomorrow and I have new polish and makeup to play with. Life is good!

Late Ulta Post

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I was so caught up in my fingernails, I didn’t do my Ulta post last week. As you’re reading this…pretend it’s last Friday…

After visiting Bath & Body Works and Bed, Bath & Beyond, I slunk over to Ulta. I was ready to spend some money! The first thing I hit was the nail polish. I wanted to try Zoya Pixie Dust. No dice. This location didn’t have a Pixie Dust display.

My next stop was back to the front to test high end BB Creams. First I tried Benefit “Big Easy,” which claims to be “Better than BB” right on the tube. It was shit and settled into every pore and crack on my wrist. I moved on to Smashbox BB. It was even grosser. Why do all these high end cosmetics company call their products BB Cream, when they’re plain old foundation? I tried a few more brands, but it was too late – I was devastated…

Then I tried to buy a gift for someone and this location was out of stock of what I was looking for. Fuck.

After aimlessly wandering down every aisle, I finally realized that I couldn’t find a single thing to buy. I think I have a mental block and was unable to buy anything without my bestie there with me. (She had the same thing happen to her at Ulta earlier this week – I wasn’t there and she couldn’t find anything to buy either!) I was sad until I got home and checked the mail…and found my Lucky Mystery Box AND a box of stuff I ordered from Ulta.com last week!

I used a $3.50 off coupon to try Physician’s Formula BB Cream. I freaked out at first when I saw I received “Light/Medium,” until I realized that it’s the lightest color available. I tried it on my face and it is actually a good match, maybe one tick too dark for me. By summertime, it will be perfect. It’s a lighter texture than the L’Oreal and blends more smoothly. It’s not white out of the tube, but it feels more like a BB Cream than the other products I tried that day.

See that cute makeup bag? It was a gift with purchase from Laura Geller. It had Spackle Primer, lip pops Lush Waterproof Lip Gloss in “Sunrise Rose” and Eye Rimz Baked Wet/Dry Eye Accents in “Supernatural Smoke” with a matching brush. Obviously, I needed more primer!

Since I had such bad luck with fragrance sample, I chose mystery samples this time. I got Butter London Scrubbers, Hempz Body Wash and Biolage Shampoo and Conditioner. Interesting…but I probably won’t try them until I travel…