Ulta is luring me in with their Friendsgiving sales and coupons and gifts with purchase…it’s not even Black Friday yet and they’ve got me placing three orders within a week or so!
After the purple shampoo sample I picked up for my son in my last order, he asked me for more. I decided to get him a full size bottle, but I chose a cheaper brand – Clairol Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo for Blonde & Silver Hair ($9.99). I don’t feel like it worked as well as the Joico – his hair almost seemed to have a pinkish tint – I accused him of using my Overtone Conditioner, but he said it was the Shimmer Lights. I’ll continue to monitor his hair situation.
Sally Hansen products were 40% off! I grabbed a few Hard as Nails Xtreme nail polishes for $1.79 – “Heart of Sass” and “Rockstar Pink”. I also got one of the Jelly Belly x Insta Dri polishes – “Hot Buttered Popcorn” – for $2.99. My daughter actually BROKE her last nail clippers with here thick ass nails, so I got her another nail clipper ($1.79). Almost out of habit, I added a Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover ($10).
I cannot pass up a 50% off lippie – I limited it to one – NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream in “Rome” ($3.50, down from $7).
So Ulta was giving a gift with purchase for a $17.50 purchase, so I looked around to see what I could find…I immediately put a Lash Separator in my cart ($9). I hate the tarantula mascara look and this little gadget is great at separating the clumps. I cannot believe that I’ve gone 30+ years of using mascara without it. I grabbed a Matte Metallic Liquid Lipstick in “Golden Age”, rose bronze with pearl shimmer, ($4, down from $9). I also got Juice Infused Lip Oil in “Sweet Rose” ($9) – this stuff is GREAT for removing liquid lipstick. The oil does NOT smell like roses though – it smells more like olive oil – why?
The gift with purchase came in a very nice black patent vinyl bag and included these Ulta products: Luxe Lipstick in “Mischevious”; Pack of 5 Pre-Moistened Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes; Hydrating Face Primer; Jelly Gloss Lip Gel; Tinted Eye Primer in “Champagne”; Bold Ambition Mascara in “Jet Black”; an eyeshadow brush and a cheek brush. The bag didn’t come with an Ulta coupon!
Oh hey, I don’t even really like MAC products, but this Beauty Break was super cute because of the HUGE lipstick-shaped carrying case. It also came with 3 minis – Matte Lipstick in “Sin” and two lipglasses in “Wildchild” and “Oyster Girl”.
No special coupons, but I was able to use old faithful – $3.50 off $15.
$376 to Diamond status…
Deja Ulta Haul
I am getting serious deja vu from this Ulta Haul – oh yeah, I did a haul like this almost exactly a year ago.
I decided to use my 20% code to stock up on L’Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color for the kids ($10.99 each) in “Red”, “Maroon”, and “Burgundy”. I also picked up a L’Oreal Colorista Highlights Kit (also $10.99). Will I ruin my hair? Maybe…but maybe it will look amazing? The color isn’t important – I just need to process it to pick up the pink dye I’ll add to it later…
In addition to the hair dye, I grabbed one of the cute little I Heart Revolution Donut Palette ($7) – of course, I got the “Chocolate Dipped”. I also grabbed some sale NYX lippies – Liquid Suede Metallic Creme Lipstick in “Acme” ($2.09, down from $2.99) and Lip Lingerie Glitter in “Eurotrash” ($5.25, down from $7.50). I am a bit disappointed in the Lip Lingerie Glitter – it is more like a glossy paste than a long lasting liquid lipstick – but I am IN LOVE with the Liquid Suede in “Acme” – it is perfect!
I also continued my experimentation with hair dissolving chemicals by picking up Nair Glides Away Sensitive Formula Hair Remover with Coconut Oil for Bikini, Arms & Underarms ($8.99). I haven’t tried it yet, but hopeful.
I got a HUGE Beauty Break with my $65 order – a 14 piece Fresh by Day Summer Sampler. Inside the sampler: NEST Grapefruit & Verbena Fragranced Body Wipes (weird); Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish (oh, it’s for your legs); Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Cleanser for Sensitive Skin (a positively huge 3.3 oz tube); Bed Head by TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray (another full size product); Clean Rain; eyeko Yoga Waterproof Mascara (nope); Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream; MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Setting Spray; PUR Lit Mist; Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter; Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with Diamond Dust (a shimmery suntan lotion – crazy); Poo-Pourri “Lavender Vanilla”; Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam (I LOVE the way this smells); and CoTZ Face Moisture Mineral Sunscreen. A great set of summer samples!
I got a second 20% off code after this order, but it expired yesterday. Oh well…$522 to Diamond status.
Fanny Pack Haul
I never thought I’d see the day that my children would be fighting over a fanny pack!
I really try NOT to buy things just for the “gift with purchase”, but there was a little bit of that in this purchase. A $20 NYX purchase gets you a Coachella hot pink NYX Fanny Pack with NYX Pore Filler and NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray. I was gonna use it myself, so I could be like my bestie Sally…but Lily is BEGGING to use it for Frightmare next weekend. My son says he wants it too, but I think he is just being annoying – I’ll probably let Lily “borrow” it. Good thing I am IN LOVE with all four lippies that I picked up – no guilt. The NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Creams were on sale for $5, down from $7. They are my absolute favorite NYX formula – I picked up “Rome” and “Budapest”. I’ve been alternating them the past few days. I also tried out two of the new lippies. NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Lipstick in “Cherry Quartz” was a bit pricey at $9, but worth it. It starts out matte, but turns to glitter with friction and wear. It lasts well. NYX Line & Load All-in-One Lippie in “Ride or Die” was $8 and a genius product. It’s a super thin doe-foot applicator that alllows you to line your lips with precision and it DOES NOT BLEED. I need this in red – ALL red lipstick bleed on me.
So…last week, I found out that my son was scrubbing his face with a toothbrush (not the one he uses in his mouth – ew). I freaked out and ordered him an Ulta Advanced Cleansing Rotating Facial Cleansing Brush ($12.50, on sale from $25) and replacement heads ($4, on sales from $8). I mean, if I was rich, I would’ve bought him a Clarisonic like mine – but he can rough it with the Ulta version. Lily was bugging me for some bobbie pins the other day, so I added some of those, too. All Ulta Skin was on sale, so I added a few Single Use Face Masks to my cart ($1.50 each, down from $3) – a Calming Rose Sheet Mask and a Soothing Calamine Mud Mask. I used the Calamine Mask yesterday and it was wonderful. It applied like a regular mud mask, but it didn’t dry down like a normal mud mask – it stayed flexible and felt almost hydrating.
Did I forget to mention a few bottles of Zoya Remove+? My Holy Grail…
No order is complete without a freebie bag. The coolest thing in the bag is the Real Techniques Travel Sponge Case – I’ve just been throwing my Beauty Blender into my makeup bag like a savage! Also in the freebie bag: Sun Bum Revitalizing Dry Shampoo; Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk; OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Dry Shampoo; Vichy Liftactiv Supreme Anti-wrinkle and Firming Correcting Cream; Wunder2 Wunderkiss Essential Lip Scrub; Tweezerman Browmousse (weird); Maybelline MasterPrecise All Day Liquid Liner; L’Oreal Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (m y favorite one); and wet n wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Royal Calyx” (interesting – a blue highlighter).
On top of all the freebies and gifts with purchase, there was that 20% off coupon. I’ve just one or two more orders to get to Platinum status – $64. I’ve also managed to accrue another $33 in points. Diamond Status isn’t out of the question this year…
December 2018 Allure Beauty Box – By Popular Demand
As soon as spoilers began popping up, I was pumped. Partially because of NikkieTutorials – gotta support the tall girls – but mostly because her product choices are on point.
I’ve been wanting to try out Juvia’s Place eye shadows, so I was most excited about the custom palette created by Juvia’s Place, just for the Allure Beauty Box. The custom palette contains six out of the twelve shades in The Nubian Palette. Having been struck with the flu, I haven’t yet tried it – I am counting the minutes until I am germ free!
Also in Nikkie’s box: OFRA x NikkiTutorials Everglow Highlighter (oh, we’re still doing highlighters?); NYX Lip Lingerie in “Cabaret Show” (I don’t have this one – score!); Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm; LASplash Art-Ki-Tekt Waterproof Slim Eyeliner; and single foil packed Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipe (Isn’t this the product that gave eveyone rashes? Um, no thanks).
This box is nearly a full face – for just $15! The booklet is also full of discount codes for most of the brands included – 30% off OFRA, 10% off Juvia’s Place, 20% off Ren and 25% off LASplash.
The Allure Beauty Box is $15/month, but they give you $5 off your first box. They also offer an option for $150/year – a savings of $30. Sign up via my referral link..
Cyber Fundays 2018
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This Xmas, I did my Ulta shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving, during the “Cyber Fundays” event. They had some smoking deals that I couldn’t pass up! There were also some decent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but mostly on stuff I already had, like half price Modern Renaissance and Naked Heat. Boo!
If you’re thinking that this order looks skimpy…it’s because I pulled out the gifts I ordered for my daughter. She doesn’t come here, but her brother does – and I trust him about as far as I can throw him with one hand.
I was excited to snatch the NYX Lip Snacks Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream Set ($15, down from $25) for myself. It’s a set of 12 minis of my favorite lip formula from NYX, specially scented like buttercream. I’ve onlhy sampled 2 so far, but they are the BEST. I also got a half-price Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in “Demolition” ($11, down from $22) – I think a shiny brown cat eye will look good on me.
The biggest bummer was a broken bottle in the China Glaze The Grinch Grinchworthy Nail Art Duo ($10). It wasn’t the “Grinchworthy” polish itself, but the “For Rhinestones Only” adhesive – the stem of the bottle broke inside the cap and it leaked everywhere. I called Ulta Customer Service and they sent me out another one immediately, no questions asked – so now I have 2 bottles of “Grinchworthy” and 2 pots of green felt. I cannot wait to make my nails look like Astroturf! Oh, and I got another tidbit from Customer Service – they won’t be including samples in orders again until January. Cheap bastards.
I added a bottle of Zoya Remove+ to get me over the $65 mark, to get the glittery pink 18-piece Cyber Fundays sample bag. The sample bag was STUFFED – it had: Too Faced Glitter Glue (saving for a special occasion); Cover FX Blurring Primer; Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels (this is the third set I’ve gotten – I guess I should use them); philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar; Clinique Happy; 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in “Vintage” (2!!!); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “bunny” (ugh, another one); bliss lemon & sage body butter; Biolage Hydra Source Shampoo & Conditioner; L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer/Base for Mascara; philosophy Amazing Grace; Armani Code Cashmere; Skin Laundry Hydrating Cream Face Wash; L’Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (this black one is my fave); MAC False Lashes Mascara in “Extreme Black”; and Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate. There were also 2 hot coupons – $15 off $75 (only good in December) and another $5 off $15 Ulta Beauty Collection (good until 2/1/19).
I was also able to use a $10 off coupon, bringing my order down to $64.49 before tax – but I still got the bag. I was sweating for a hot minute! Just $301 to Diamond…I do predict another order before the end of the year, but not that much!
The Mother of All Sample Bags
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…
May 2018 Ipsy Bag – Go There
Go there? Go where?
There is wherever the summer takes you and this month’s ipsy picks are designed to go with you. I thought the bag was covered with cute passport stamps, but upon closer inspection, I realized they are postmarks – Par Avion, etc.
The first product that caught my eye were the face masks – Fresh Garden Açai Berry Calming Mask and Pomegranate Firming Mask – they were too big to fit into the ipsy bag. Also in this month’s bag: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “London” (Ooooooh, I don’t have this one); SLMISSGLAM Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge; Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder (Another good one); and Sugar Cosmetics Arch Arrival Brow Definer in “Taupe Tom”.
Not a bad little bag this month – almost a full face’s worth.
If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my link.
I wasn’t in Ulta to buy something for myself. I was there to look for Sally Hansen Nail Art Markers for my friend, Starr (sometimes you gotta get punk on the subway). I found those easily, but I was lured in by the NYX gift with purchase…and one more 20% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.
With a $20 purchase of NYX products, you’d get a pleather lip-shaped bag, with three free products: NYX Matte Liquid Liner in “Black”; NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Copenhagen” (so goth!); and NYX Suede Lip Liner in “Copenhagen”. That’s a great gift with purchase. I decided to try a bunch of new products, for better or for worse. I got a NYX Precision Brow Pencil in “Soft Brown” ($9.99) – I’d previously used the Micro Brow Pencil and I thought this would be as good, but I don’t like it as much. It is hard to use and makes my brows look fuzzy. Then I grabbed NYX Slip Tease Full Color Lip Oil ($6.99), which felt great on my lips…but got on EVERYTHING. It did not last through a Freddy’s Steakburger. It also bled like a mofo. Lastly, I tried the NYX Powder Puff Lippie in “Moody” ($8.49). This one also went on soft as velvet. It transfered a little, but not too bad. It didn’t bleed, but didn’t apply with a crisp line either. It also lasted most of they day – super pigmented. This is the only product I’d buy again.
So, after this last shopping spree, only $132.01 to go until Platinum. Lily needs a haircut…
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!
The Disappointment is Real
One last round of online shopping before I go back to work this week – I’ve been out of the office over ten weeks! I haven’t had that long off work ever, not even after my kids. I wonder if I will remember how to do my “real” job?
I’m not going to worry about that right now…instead, I am going to focus on my intense disappointment over Winky Lux Flower Balm ($14). I was prepared for my lips to turn any color in a range of red to pink to purple, but I wasn’t expecting what I ended up with – which was absolutely nothing. I couldn’t perceive any noticeable change in the color of my lips at all. I just paid $14 for Chapstick.
I filled my baskets with basics (that I actually needed) just to justify that damn lip balm. 2 bottles of Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover ($10) – the best polish remover in the whole world, right Beth? I also noticed that SheaMoisture was Buy One, Get One Half Off, so I ordered back-ups of SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (normally $11.49).
Oh, I was also able to take advantage of last week’s bareMinerals Beauty Break. I was able to pick my shade of BarePro Foundation. I took a shot in the dark and chose “Cashmere 06”. Also included: bareMinerals Skinsorials Skin Longevity Vital Power Infusion (huh?); Gen Nude Patent Lip Lacquer (color isn’t noted on the vial, but I think it may be “dahling”); Prime Time Original Foundation Primer; and Original Mineral Veil. I tried out bareMineral original foundation when it first launched – ~13 years ago? It somehow made me look older than I was, but now I’m that age, so maybe I should try it again? I’m looking forward to trying these old and new products.
For my samples, I got OGX Orchid Oil Shampoo & Conditioner and St. Moritz Professional Wash Off Tan (nope, nope, nope).
I also decided to bop in to Ulta for a haircut yesterday. I am completely incapable of walking out of Ulta empty-handed.
NYX has really found their niche in liquid lipsticks – they have over a dozen different lines, each of which has a distinctly different formula and feel. Right now, my favorite line is definitely the Metallic version of the Soft Matte Lip Creams. I had to pick up two more, since NYX Cosmetics are Buy One, Get One Half Off. I chose “Monte Carlo” (a pink leaning red) and “Rome” (rosy mauve?). Normally $6.99, the sale made them $5.24 each.
I wish I had figured out about using the Ulta Salon sooner – only $197.67 to Ulta Platinum. I also have $67.50 in Ulta points – I see a splurge in my future…