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…

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.

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.

Bonus Ulta Haul

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For the past few years, I’ve had a ritual. As soon as I find out what my yearly bonus will be, I go online and buy the makeup that’s been on my mind. I only spend around $50 – nothing huge – it’s just a fun, immediate way to celebrate.

This time, I immediately went to Ulta’s site and started adding.

First was another Makeup Revolution Palette and another Salvation Lip Lacquer in “Nothing Like Anything”.

In addition to 3 more NYX Lip Lingerie and another Lip Ombre Duo in “Rags & Riches”, I also decided to try NYX HD Finishing Powder in “Banana”. Yup, I’m gonna try Banana Powder…the Kardashian Holy Grail for contouring. I’m not going to contour, per se…I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it.

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There was also a Skincare Beauty Break – it was free, so why not? It came with a Clarisonic brush head (I don’t have a Clarisonic…yet); Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel; Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser; Exuviance Purifying Clay Mask; and Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt. My freebies were Benefit Air Patrol and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (I think I have enough of this to paint my house now).

I promise – these NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks are NOT all the same color. From top to bottom, they are “Push-up”, “Corset” and “Bedtime Flirt”. The formula is creamy, although a bit drying, and last almost all day

I wore “Push-up” today – it looked great with a dramatic matte eye. It did feel dry after a few hours, so I did a bit of lip balm over it to replenish my lips. It didn’t melt away and didn’t leave any weird residue on my lips.

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I couldn’t resist swatching the Makeup Revolution Salvation “New-trals vs. Neutrals” palette. It’s a bit frustrating that all the Salvation palettes come in identical plastic cases…although this palette is matte black plastic and “Girls on Film” is shiny plastic. Other than that, the only way to tell them apart is to look at the stick on the back. This palette also comes with the shadow names printed on the plastic liner – I love that! It also came with a good quality, dual-ended brush – instead of the sponge applicator in “Girls on Film”.

The quality also feels better than “Girls on Film”. I wore it this morning, sticking to the lightest matte and the orangey matte for my crease. It went on flawlessly with the brush and blended beautifully. I’m looking forward to trying the shimmers tomorrow – they look very similar to the UD Gwen Stefnai palette. I’m in HEAVEN…at least until my monster order for the Makeup Revolution site makes it across the pond…

Never Too Early to Start Xmas Shopping

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I couldn’t pass up the chance to combine a 20% off coupon with an already smokin’ deal. I’ve been watching the Urban Decay Naked on the Run palette drop in price on various sites over the past month and it finally popped up at Ulta for $32. It was overpriced at $54, but $25.60 was just the right price. I tried the palette immediately and LOVED the shadow colors. Just the color “Dive” alone is worth it – metallic rose w/golden micro-shimmer. The Naked Lip Gloss “Sesso” is also nice.

I also picked up an Xmas present for Lily – the NYX Mega Glam Nail Polish Set. These little mini polish bottles are perfect for her tiny hands. I’m fairly certain she doesn’t read this site, so I think I’m safe in posting it.

I’ve finally figured out that the best day to order online from Ulta is Beauty Break Wednesdays – when they always have a free gift going. This time, I got a 4 piece sampler from bliss, with Fabulous Makeup Melt gel-to-oil cleanser, Fabulous Foaming Face Wash, Triple Oxygen Radiant Protection Energizing Serum and Instant Energizing Foaming Mask. I also got samples of L de L Cosmetics Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Facial Oil, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub.

I can’t wait to use my Sephora VIB 20% off next week!