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…

Makeup Recovery

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I am SO spoiled.

I got a surprise in the mail on Thursday – a box from my bestie, Sally, filled to the brim with all the newest Makeup Revolution products! Over the past few months, Makeup Revolution has put out several new variations of their Chocolate Palettes, originally based on Too Faced’s “Chocolate Bar” palette. “Chocolate Rose Gold”, “Mint Chocolate”, “Chocolate Orange”, and “Chocolate Elixir” are the newest.

I’ve only cracked into the “Chocolate Rose Gold” and “Chocolate Orange” so far. The shadows are good quality, but really do need a primer underneath. Both are heavy on gold/bronze, which I am really liking for this season.

Not only did I get four new eyeshadow palettes, but I got three new highlighters: “Mermaid’s Heart”, with shades ranging from blue & green to gold; “Dragon’s Heart”, with shades ranging from gold to pink & red; and “Bleeding Heart”, a shimmery blush and wine, with bronze veins running throughout. “Bleeding Heart” is my favorite.

In addition to the makeup, I got a huge Flamingo Lolli AND a Flamingo Face Mask – Holler & Glow “Babes of Paradise” Hydrating Pink Peel Off Face Mask. You KNOW I tried that face mask the same day I opened the box! It was smoothing and nearly pulled off in a single sheet – that NEVER happens. It was very similar to the GlamGlow GravityMud Mask – the silver one.

I should have surgery more often…don’t worry, I made a trip to the post office today to send a “thank you” box.

Find True Love

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Mostly, I use Sinful Colors and Julep nail polishes…except when I don’t.

I decided to dig deeper into my box of untried polishes…and settled on a simple red – Makeup Revolution “Find True Love”. It’s a creamy, sweet chili pepper red – no VNL!

I tried out my new Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. It seems very similar to the Sinful Colors Base Coat – it’s a milky white liquid that dries mostly clear. It does make the nails quite smooth. The Base Coat seemed to work well with the polish – no bubbles or streaks. This is two coats of “Find True Love”, topped with Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

I’m happy with this base coat, but the real test will be how it works with Julep…

Shamrock Shake

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Is there anything MORE St.  Patrick’s Day than a Shamrock Shake? I mean, besides Guiness. Or green beer. Or an Irish Car Bomb. Or just getting drunk, in general. Revised…is there anything that I can drink with my CHILDREN that’s more St. Patrick’s Day than a Shamrock Shake? No?

I decided I wanted to give my fingernails a Shamrock Shake. I started with Sinful Colors Base Coat and two streaky coats of Makeup Revolution “Cool Days”. Even with two coats, this polish is so streaky that it’s unwearable without something else on top of it. Seriously BAD streaking. Good thing I already had glitter on my mind when I started.

I couldn’t decide on one green glitter, so I just went ahead and used all of them. Starting with my thumb, I used a single coat on each finger: Deborah Lippmann “One Short Day” (I forgot how opaque it is), Sinful Colors “Feeling Lucky?”, Nanacoco “Emerald”, Sinful Colors “Shamrockin'” and Sinful Colors “Green Ocean”. My personal favorite is “Green Ocean”, but Lily likes “Shamrockin'” the best. I topped them with “HK Girl”.

I know, I know – three fingernail posts in a row. I’ll get to the other stuff next…I promise.

Mystery Revolution 2: Electric Boogaloo

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Damn you, Makeup Revolution Mystery Bags! There was actually a bunch of stuff I’ve been wanting, so it was fairly easy to find £30 (~$42 USD) to get the free Mystery Bag.

The site was sold out of the thing I wanted most – that Unicorn Rainbow Highlighter, but I was thrilled to get the new Golden Bar Palette (which they now carry at Ulta!), the My Sign Complete Eye Base in “Aquarius” (aqua isn’t exactly my color, but I wore it yesterday and I looked like a mermaid – except for the brow powder, which was a complete shitshow) and two of the new Retro Luxe Lip Kits in “Echelon” and “Noble” (also at Ulta) , which are dupes for the Kylie Lip Kits. Having never tried the Kylie Kits, I was impressed with the quality. I haven’t been impressed with Makeup Revolution Lip Products, but these aren’t bad, if a bit sticky. The lip pencils are delicate though – I snapped the tip off “Echelon” the first time it touched my lips. They last well, unless you eat chicken wings.

So far, I’ve been pretty thrilled with the Makeup Revolution Mystery Bags – the 2 I’ve gotten so far have been pretty decent, but this one is fairly lame. I biggest miss is that there was no full-size eyeshadow palette. Inside: Cream Blush in “Rose Cream” (it looks a bit sweaty); Salvation Intense Lip Lacquer in “A Love Like That”; The One Blush Stick in “Matte Rush” (haven’t tried the last one I received yet); Radiant Lights Highlighter in “Glow” (the only duplicate I’ve gotten so far, gonna save for Sally); Baked Eyeshadow in “Electric Dream” (ugh, blue eyeshadow); I ♥ Makeup Lipstick in “Heart is Beating”; The One Foundation in “12” (So…is doing blackface still considered bad taste?); and Liquid Concealer in “Natural” (looks a bit dried up). So…blue eyeshadow and blackface foundation…alrighty then.

By far, the Golden Bar Palette has made me happiest – I find myself wanting to wear it every day. Since I’m a sucker for free – I might take the mystery bag plunge again…if those Horoscope Kits go sale, I’m gonna buy them ALL.

Boring Pink

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So…and be honest. Is Makeup Revolution “Love Etc.” a boring pink?

I guess it’s not boring exactly – yeah, it’s boring. It’s a perfectly serviceable medium pink. No sparkle – totally creamy. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the exciting Julep and Sinful Colors polishes I’ve been using lately.

I feel like the polish chipped exceptionally easily. I started with Orly Bonder, but it just didn’t seem to stick. (My Orly Bonder was almost empty and I had a hard time getting a full brush – so my application might have been lacking. I gave up and threw away the bottle when I was done.) I also finished with “HK Girl”, but I feel like the formulas did not mesh well. I got a few bubbles and it didn’t dry as quickly as it should have.

Even though I’m whining a bit, my nails still looked pretty fucking good. The girl working the pizza joint on Friday was shocked that I had done them myself – she was convinced they were salon nails.

FINALLY!

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FINALLY! Jumpin’ Jesus on a Pogo Stick, it took almost a month for this box to make it across the pond from Scotland. Mailed on October 28th, it finally arrived on Black Friday, November 25th. (The second box she sent was mailed a week later and arrived within 10 days!) Sally has been fighting with USPS for weeks, with USPS claiming that it never made it off the shipping container in Chicago. As a matter of fact, they still don’t know where it is – they are still telling her that they don’t know where it is. Thanks, USPS!

The box was a big beat up, but it was well packed and everything arrived safely and undamaged. I was only positive on one of the gifts – Makeup Revolution‘s new Halloween palette: “The Dead Are Alive” – its 16 beautiful graveyard colors. I’ve been using it for the last several days straight. I was pleasantly surprised with another Halloween palette – “Give Them Darkness” and Halloween lipstick – the “Beyond Vamp” Matte Lipstick Collection (I’ve only tried “Give Them Darkness” so far – I thought it was black, but it is dark blue on me). I was also treated to another Makeup Revolution Precision Brush – this time the cheek brush – and the Makeup Revolution Ultra Base Corrector Palette – every color corrector I could ever need!

In addition to all the best new Makeup Revolution products, there were a few pressed glitters from OPV Glitter“Hot Miss”, “Xpoze”, and “Charmed”. I have never used pressed glitter before, but it’s not nearly as scary as I thought. As long as you use a good shadow primer, it sticks right on.

Thank you Sally for sending me TWO amazing boxes of Makeup Revolution goodies…Rest assured, I will be returning the favor.

Are You Still Available?

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The reason I get so excited about trying new brands of nail polish is because I’ve pretty much tried every brand there is…but there are a few that have been beyond my grasp…

I hadn’t been able to try Makeup Revolution nail polish because Ulta doesn’t carry it here and they won’t ship it across the ocean…but I got a guy…I checked their site and it looks like they don’t even carry the polish online anymore – they must be liquidating their stock via mystery bags.

The first one to catch my eye was Makeup Revolution “Are you still Available?”, a dusty medium purple. This is a full coverage creme. The quality was very good – not too thick and not too thin, although the brush itself was sub par. I got full coverage with two coats over Orly Bonder and under “HK Girl”.

I haven’t gotten my hands on Jeffree Star Cosmetics “Scorpio” yet, but Sally has it and I swear that “Are you still Available?” would be a perfect match. I might have to add it to my Cyber Monday order if it’s in stock…

Mystery Surprise!

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Sally sent me a mystery surprise! All the way from Scotland…OK, technically not a surprise, since I knew it was coming. And not a mystery, since Sally gave me a sneak preview of the bag…but a mystery surprise, nonetheless.

Makeup Revolution was having another Mystery Bag promotion and Sally graciously sent me one of the mystery bags she received…plus a little extra.

Inside of the mystery bag was a combination of Makeup Revolution, I ♥ Makeup and other TAM brands: Live Love London Body Mist in “Sensuous” (smells like pears); I ♥ Makeup No Shine Please! Totally Matte Foundation in NS05 (I thought it was a pore primer and just put on my nose today – it actually worked well for it though); Freedom Makeup “Future Bright” palette; Makeup Revolution Blush Bronze & Brighten in “Rave”I ♥ Makeup All Day & Night Eyeliner in “The Last Laugh” (looks bronze); Freedom Makeup Pro Melts Lipgloss in “Steal the Show”I ♥ Makeup Super Wow! High Color Lip Gloss Stick in “Atomic” (I have a few of these – they’re decent); and three Makeup Revolution nail polishes – “Cool Days”, “Love etc” and “Find True Love”. That’s a bunch of goodies and no duplicates with what I’ve already got!

The only new product that I really wanted to try was the I ♥ Makeup Liquid Lipstick in “Molten Chocolate”, so she sent me one. The applicator is lovely and color is out this world, but it’s like regular lipstick and doesn’t last all day. She also sent me one of the new Makeup Revolution Precision Brushes! I have been lusting over these and now I finally have one to try…she also sent me the polishes from her bag, since she cannot wear polish – “Are you still available”, “Adore” and “Never Enough”.

Thank you, my sweet friend – I truly appreciate the mystery surprise…and now I’m putting together a box of my own…just waiting for the weather to get a little cooler so everything won’t melt.

Flawless Ulta Haul

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So…sometimes you just wanna buy something,

After perusing the Memorial Day sales…I was just about to place another overseas Makeup Revolution order (since they were giving away £25 Mystery Bags again), but I had a hard time getting my order up to £30. The only palette I really wanted badly was the Flawless Matte…

…and Ulta has it! On Memorial Day, they were giving away a free mystery sampler with a $50 purchase…no brainer.

So, in addition to the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte Palette ($15), I also picked up a Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher in “Loved Me the Best” ($5) – these seem to be Laura Geller dupes – LOVE.

I also picked up one of the new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks – “Clubhopper” ($6.99) and one of the new NYX Plush Gel Lipsticks – “Breakup” ($6.99). I tried “Breakup” today – so smooth and moisturizing, but doesn’t last long on the lips.

How else can I get to $50? 2 bottles of Zoya Remove+ ($10 each) and a pack of Ulta Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Done!

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That Mystery Bag had some cool stuff: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”; Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6; NKD Skin Tinted Tan Mousse (NOPE); bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in “Get Ready” (my third one – I sent the last one to Sally); and Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum (like that shit in Vegas?).

I also got a free sample of DevaCurl Waves Ahead Loo-Poo Delight – I don’t have curls, but why not try it for free? The free Butter London lippie was sold out. Sad face.

For my regular samples, I got Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner and Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer.

Free shipping for an order over $50, plus got to use a $3.50 off coupon.

So look at that palette…all those warm matte colors…I tore a chunk out of my thumb nail whilst peeling the plastic off – but it was totally worth it.