Tag: Living Proof

 
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Birthday Splurge

But is it really splurging if it’s on the sale page?

I hadn’t used my $10 off birthday code at Ulta yet, so I filled my cart on the sale page. Actually, let me back up. I was scrolling the Sephora Presidents Day sale and saw that the Jackie Aina and Carli Bybel palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills were 30% off, so I decided to redirect that purchase over to Ulta – not only because I have a coupon, but also because I feel like I get more value from being top tier at Ulta than being top tier at Sephora. Also, Ulta has BOMB GWPs.

Ulta didn’t have the Jackie Aina palette, but the DID have the Anastasia Beverly Hills Carly Bybel Palette ($31.50, down from $45). That’s fine, because the Jackie Aina palette looks a little cray. (I was hoping that the Alyssa Edwards palette would be back, but nope.) I only know Carli from the Allure Beauty Box she did last year. I was thinking that the palette would end up being pretty basic, but it’s got a nice selection of colors, with lots of shimmer and glitter. I’m enjoying using it, except that the glitter shades have the fallout from hell. It sprays all over my whole damn face. Primer helps a little bit, but it still gets everywhere. I’m gonna have to work on it.

I also decided to go out on a limb and try the Lime Crime Venus XS Vixen Palette ($10, down from $20). I’ve stayed away from Lime Crime for the most part because the owner was a shitbag, but since selling out in 2018, it appears they’ve turned their reputation around. The XS Vixen is a small red-themed palette. The quality is just OK – it doesn’t blend very well at all and the coverage is splotchy. Looks like I can continue to ignore this brand.

One more sale purchase – an Urban Decay Cosmetics Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush in “Dark” ($10, down from $20). I’m guessing that it’s on clearance because they are discontinuing it…which is fine. The quality is fine, similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but still not as good (for me) as the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil.

I picked up the new Pacifica Sunshine Highs Toning Shampoo & Conditioner ($10 each) for my son’s bleached locks. I got it in preparation for another round of highlights, so probably next week or so.

There was also a free 28 piece beauty bag with a $70 purchase. You know I cannot get enough of those GWPs. Inside this HUGE red bag: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum; LORAC Pro Plus Fiber Mascara (eek, those fiber mascaras scare me); PUR Fully Charged Mascara; Boots No7 Dark Circle Corrector; Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam (I have 3 sample bottles of this now – thanks, Ulta); Living proof. restore perfecting spray; Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” (I really like this shade – I wonder if my old one is dried up?); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash (I used proactive back when it first came out; it worked for a while, but then ate all my skin off); Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector; Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; It’s a 10 Miracle Finishing Spray; Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask; Patchology Flashpatch Illuminating Eye Gels (so many damn eye patches – I feel like a fucking pirate); TonyMoly Vital Vita 12 Ampoules Mix & Match Serums; Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Glow Powder; DevaCurl Supercream (no curls here, go will give away); Viktor & Rolf Bon Bon; Zitsticka (intrigued); Botanics Simply Calm; Ulta Beauty Matte Black Eyeliner; Biolage Airdry Glotion (what?); Pureology Colour Fanatic; Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control; Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio; e.l.f. Poreless Primer Putty (oh, this is some GOOD stuff – I like it); Cover FX High Performance Setting Spray and Florence by Mills Clean Magic Face Wash (what does that girl from Stranger Things know about beauty products?) A dang good bag!

$1,088 to Diamond. I better step it up!

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Naked Honey Diamond

I did it!

What did I do?

Well…I did several things. I bought the Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette ($49), even though I said I wasn’t going to buy it yet. But I had a good reason! I got my hair cut at Ulta the day after Xmas and it put me SO close to Diamond status – only $52 away…so…

Admittedly, the colors are somewhat similar to the Naked 2 palette, but with a bunch of gold shades added. Even so, it’s a good palette. The colors are creamy and blendable, even more blendable that usual! I also like the brush that came with the palette – it’s great for packing color.

Ulta was having a deal offering any it Brushes for Ulta for $5 (regularly $14) with a palette purchase. I got the Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105. Since it comes with a cap, I’ll through it in my travel bag for Vegas.

I also threw in a few stock-up items – a L’Oreal Colorista Bleach Highlights Kit ($10.99) and a few packs of Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Even though I used a $3.50 off $15 coupon, I qualified for the FREE 23 Piece Sparkler Beauty Bag with $70 purchase.

Inside the Sparkler Beauty Bag: Joico Defy Damage Foilpacks with Shampoo, Conditioner, Protective Masque and Protective Shield; NARS Climax Mascara (I’m using it right now – I like it, it’s not clumpy); Rituals The Rituals of Sakura Sensational Foaming Shower Gel; NEST Fragrances Bamboo & Jasmine; Urban Decay Subversion Volumizing Lash Primer; Giorgio Armani Si Passione; Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” (so tiny!); Too Cool for School Rules of Mastic IX Enhancer (you cannot tell by the name, but this is a skin serum); Vichy Mineral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster; Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask in “Plum Blossom”; Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Serum; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; StriVectin anti-wrinkle SD advanced plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate; boscia Luminizing Black Mask; Kenneth Cole Mankind Legacy; Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair Day Cream; Living proof. Perfect hair Day 5-in-1 styling treatment; Phyto Detox Clarifying Detox Shampoo (no matching conditioner – boo); it cosmetics Confidence in a Cream; NYX Retractable Eye Liner in “White”; Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in “Out Loud”; and Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil in 4.5 (another so tiny!). The bag it came in was a glittery blue velvet one, and quite roomy. It might be coming to Vegas with me, too.

So yeah, I’m Ulta Diamond for 2020 – that will give me x1.5 Ulta points and free shipping (over $25)…I’m excited to see what kind of points I can rack up.

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December Sephora Play! – Award Worthy Beauty

The last Sephora box of the year contains “Award Worthy” beauty products. These products haven’t actually won awards…but are worthy of an award? Sure, ok…

I just tried that new Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” last week – I’d gotten a sample in the Ulta Cyber Monday Bag. It’s…different. The product is a lot like mascara – it sticks to the little invisible baby hairs on your face and turns them into eyebrow hairs, so you have to be very careful and precise in application. I was not precise and ended up looking like Brooks Shields. It was very odd, but fairly realistic, at least compared to the current gradient brow trend, which I HATE. With a little practice, I think I could become good at applying the Dip Brow Gel. Or maybe a lot of practice?

Other “Award Worthy” products in December’s box: Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray; Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in “Golden Pink”; Tarte Rainforest of the Sea – Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer; Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (I love this stuff, it smells good enough to eat); and Living proof. No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream.

Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play. I just noticed that this month’s box did not include a 50 point Play! Pass – rude.

I did NOT hit Sephora Rouge status this year, the first time in…5 years! My total spend was $525, so at least I made VIB status. All of my discounts in 2020 will be 15% instead of 20% and with my first order, I’ll order Sephora Flash, which is now $15 (up from $10).

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Ulta Cyber Monday 2019

Ulta offered a HUGE Wintry Wonders 24 piece Beauty Bag with $80 purchase on Cyber Monday. Of course, I still had some gift shopping left to do…

Obviously, I’m not going to ruin Xmas by showing all the gifts I bought – but I can show the few things I picked up for myself. I’d been wanting to try It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer for a bit, but the price ($48) was putting me off. 30% off though – you have my attention. I’ve been using it for nearly a week and it’s too soon to tell if there’s a dramatic change in the tone of my skin – but the texture of my skin is amazing right now. It’s dewy and clear – no breakouts, which is a good sign. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it again at full price.

I also picked up a sale Makeup Revolution Good Vibes Lip Balm with Cannabis Sativa ($4.90, down from $7). There’s no tint, no fragrance and no taste to this lip balm – I mean, it works as a lip balm, but I think slapping Cannabis on the label is just a selling ploy – there’s nothing a special about this lip balm – disappointing.

So, inside the Wintry Wonders bag: MAC Lipstick Sample Card, with “Velvet Teddy”, “Mocha”, and “Hug Me”; Becca Sample Card with First Light Prioming Filter and Backlight Priming Filter; Tom Ford Metallique (why do all Tom Ford scents smell so old lady?); Rusk Pro Restore01 Leave-In Conditioner; Ralph Lauren Romance; NARS Climax Mascara; Ahava Extreme Minerals Extreme Firming Eye Cream; Sagely Naturals CBD Cream; 18.21 Man-Made Wash in “Sweet Tobacco” (GROSS); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear Sample Card; Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation Sample Card (I’ll put it on my Jade Egg); Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion; Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer; Marc Jacobs Daisy; Unwined by Hask Red Wine Inspired Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner (very interested in trying this – even though I’m allergic to red wine – it should be okay, as long as I don’t drink it); Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste; Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub; Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack; Hempz Blushing Grapefruit & Raspberry Creme Daily Herbal Color Preserving Conditioner (but no shampoo???); Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” (Yasssss…cannot wait to try it); Giorgio Armani Light di Gioia (surprisingly, it’s not horrible – reminds me of sunflowers); and Living proof. restore Perfecting Spray. This is a really nice bag, full of brand new products for the most part.

In addition to the gift with purchase, I was able to use a $10 off coupon on my order. $157 to Diamond…so close!

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First Ulta Haul of 2019

I follow enough drag queens on Instagram to know that Sugarpill is one of THE makeup brands to use – besides Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills, of course. Ulta just started carrying their lipsticks, so I loaded a bunch in my cart and waited to see what else I needed. Originally, I had Sugarpill “Trinket” in my cart, but it sold out. I also had some other ones, but I decided to try just one and scope out the quality before buying more. I settled on “Pillow Fight” ($18), a dusty mauve with gold sparkle. It smells like a dreamsicle! The formula wasn’t super drying, but more drying than I’m used to. It lasts about as long as my other liquid lips…I’ve got a new brand to stan!

I also needed to stock up on face washes. Pacifica was BOGO 40% off, so I got Crystal Beam Foaming Crystal Face Scrub ($16) and Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash ($6, down from $10). I am VERY disappointed in the Crystal Beam – it is NOT a scrub. There is NO grit to the exfoliant – a total waste. Boo.

I also got two of my favorite eye brow pencil at BOGO 50% off – Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” (one at $10 and one at $5). Until I can afford microblading, I’ll keep buying these.

I got a 19 piece Beauty Bag with my $25 purchase. Inside the bag: Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments (and there’s actually a picture of the GOOPtress on the sample – ugh); L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (nope); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (HUGE Deluxe Sample); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Shampoo & Conditioner; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara; Ahava Mineral Mud Clearing Facial Treatment (yes!); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Caroline Herrera Good Girl; Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (yasss); Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream; Living proof. T.B.D. multi-tasking styler; Clarins Extra-firming Nuit Night Cream; Chloe Chloe; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Boots No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum; Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser; Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser; Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy; and PUR Get a Grip Endurance Eyeshadow Primer. Oh, and a $5 off Ulta Beauty Collection Coupon. This is the best sample bag in a bit!

Ulta is STILL not including samples with their orders. Jerks. I used a $3.50 off coupon on this order.

$399 to Platinum for 2020.

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Sephora Play! August 2018 – Beauty Schooled

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Just so you know…I canceled my Birchbox. August’s box was the last one that I will review…I finally put my money where my mouth is – back in my wallet.

I don’t know why I always end up procrastinating on the Sephora Play! box – or why I always end up leaving it to be reviewed last. I know I didn’t receive it last. It’s usually the best box I receive each month, too. I must crave delayed gratification?

I snatched up the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay. I love clay masks…but add rose into the mix…the mask is rose colored AND has a light rose scent. I am not sure what it retexturized, but it made my skin soft and smooth.

Also in this month’s Beauty Schooled box/bag: Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in “C211” (ugh, what’s up with the goddamn number – it’s a dusty rose nude); Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (skip); Living proof. T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler (their products are always good); Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer (I already have one of these open); and OUAI VOLUME Shampoo and Conditioner.

I remembered to use my 50 point card this month – go me!

Give up 2 pumpkin spice lattes and you’ve paid for it! Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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Sephora Play! June 2018 – Summer Nights

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Summer fling don’t mean a thing…But, uh oh, those summer nights…

June’s theme for Sephora Play is “Summer Nights” and features products meant to last well into the night. Oh, look at the that deluxe sample of Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream! I’ve gotten this few times and never tried it – but I’m committed now. I’ve even secured my husband’s service to apply to my bum bum!

Also in this (or last) month’s box: Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Longwear Lipstick in “Queen B” (I’ve been wanting to try this formula, even though I’ve been annoyed at the brand for a bit); Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder; Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover; Marajo Nourishing Cleansing Creme and Deep Treatment Butter (um, you mean shampoo and conditioner?); and Living proof. frizz styling cream.

No fragrance again – boo! Still a good box, though!

Don’t be a prude, join up now. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

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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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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!

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November Birchbox – prep. set. party!

 

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Is it December already? Oops.

This month’s curated box is products meant to prep for a party. Apparently…a very orange party.

Included in this month’s box: JUARA Candlenut Body Creme (a repeat); Smashbox Cosmetics Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Driver’s Seat” (it’s SO orangey); Marcelle Hydra-C Eye Contour Gel-Cream; Living proof. STYLE|LAB T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler (interested in trying this out); and LAQA & Co. B’Lighter in “Peacher’s Daughter”.

More than any other box I get, my Birchbox samples just sit and gather dust. I need to nut up and decide if I should keep it or not.

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.