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…

May 2018 Ipsy Bag – Go There

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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.

Lippie Love

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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…

 

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!

The Disappointment is Real

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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).

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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…

SAT Shopping

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What do you do, when you’re stuck waiting for you kid to take the SAT? If it had been close to the house, I would have gone home and taken a nap, but of course, none of the schools were less than thirty minutes away. Time for a little SAT Shopping…

I managed to kill over two full hours at Target, but didn’t come home with anything cool – just boring stuff like garbage bags and birthday cards and office supplies. I even tried on a few swimsuits, which wasn’t quite as horrifying as I expected, although it definitely wasn’t fun.

I also swung by Bath & Body Works, but not to buy. One of the new summer fragrances was Sea Salt Mango and I was dying to know how salt smells. I can’t say that smelling it answered my question – it smelled beachy, maybe a bit spicy? I also smelled Rose Quartz, which is a smoky rose + patchouli that I might have to add to my collection soon.

My real kryptonite was Five Below. I was all excited about the little skull rose garden I found, neglecting to notice that I had grabbed one with no seeds in it. (I went and bought another one yesterday to get some seeds – $3.) I have never been able to get anything to grow from these Buzzy sets, but maybe this is the one that will grow? I also couldn’t resist three new glittery polishes: Funky Fingers “Betcha I’m a Unicorn“, “Unicorn Dust”, and “Supernova”.

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…and just a few steps away from Five Below is Ulta. I spent at least another hour roaming the aisles at Ulta.

I immediately grabbed essence cosmetics “space glam” ($2.99) – I liked “outta space is the place” so much, that I wanted to try more from the collection.

While browsing clearance stuff, I found Pacifica Cocoa Rush Anti-Fatigue Mask for 75% off – just $3.75. It’s like rubbing chocolate pudding all over your face. It’s a hydrating mask – it doesn’t dry and pull out the pores like I prefer, but it made my skin very, very soft.

I took advantage of BOGO 40% off on NYX lippies. I picked NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream in “Cannes” immediately. I already have the regular Soft Matte in Cannes and want to compare the two. I wore it yesterday and it is so comfortable to wear. It has a soft, whipped consistency like the Julep it’s whipped, but is long lasting. I need ALL of them. I also tried Unicorn Blood Lip Gloss in “Black Hole” – I wasn’t sure how it would turn out – it’s blue glitter. I do NOT need all of them.

I was able to use a $5 off $10 coupon from my email – score! Only $309.39 to Platinum.

Ulta Birthday Trip

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I had an afternoon Doctor Appointment last week and I decided not to be a lazy shit and leave the house before noon. I thought I’d hit Ulta to pick up my Birthday Gift and see what else I can pick up.

I’ve started this new habit of keeping a list of stuff I want from Ulta in my basket in the app, so I don’t forget and can compare prices. I had at least half a dozen random items and this store did not have a single one of them in stock. Really? I had a $10 off coupon burning a hole in my pocket!

I decided to finally try the NYX Liquid Suede Metallics, since they were Buy One, Get One 50% Off. I picked up “Buzzkill” (hot pink) and “Go Rogue” (black). Warning, the pink STAINS bad, as I found out today. I also grabbed a few different nail buffers. The biggest part of my purchase was a set of Hot Tools Soft Pillow Rollers for my daughter’s birthday next week – don’t worry, she doesn’t even know what Instagram is.

This quarter’s birthday gift is kind of lame – Just an Ulta Cranberry & Pomegranate Lip Oil and Mask. The rest of the year gets NARS, it Cosmetics and Lancome! I got the shaft.

Disappointed, I hit a second Ulta on the way to my appointment and again – disappointment. I actually ended up placing an online order a few days ago…I’m excited!

Target Beauty Boxes – June 2017

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Two Target Beauty Boxes this month – one for him and one for me.

The “Hello Sunshine” box for her includes Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen (always appreciated); John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Salt Spray (I have so. much. seal salt spray.); Sinful Colors Nail Polish in “Island Coral” (must be a new shade – I don’t have it); Masque Bar Soothing Sheet Mask; Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Treatment (this is what my son uses on his luscious locks, but I haven’t used it since high school – I’ll give it a whirl); Schick Hydro Silk Women’s Razor; and NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer.

The “Hello Dapper Dude” box for him includes Nivea Men Creme (What the fuck is “Men Creme”?); Olivina Men All-in-One Body Wash in “Bourbon Cedar” (Mmmm…); Schick Hydro 5 Men’s Razor; Dove Men+Care Elements Deodorant; Colgate Optic White Radiant Toothpaste (always appreciated); Yes to Natural Man Cleansing Wipes (Man Cleansing Wipes?); and Axe Adrenaline Cool Charge Body Wash.

We’re leaving for vacation in a few weeks, and all these travel size products will be used!

Each box was $7 this month, plus free shipping and 5% off with my Red Card. Each one also came with a $3 off $15 coupon. The boxes were well, well worth it this month.

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.

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 14

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So proud…I made it all the way to Day 14 of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty before placing an order!

I had to pull the trigger on trying It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF50+ in “Light” for half price ($17.50 instead of $35). I’m always on the hunt for the perfect powder foundation. Trying it for the first time this morning, I wasn’t disappointed. This stuff is THICK. I used the included sponge for the first application, over only moisturizer – no primer – and it is THICK. Thick, but not as cakey as MAC Studio Fix. It covers almost as much as a liquid foundation, so I switched to my usual kabuki to buff it out evenly. I’m going to try over a few different primers next – it tended to settle into my nose pores, so I’m thinking that’s the only place I’ll really need it. A good buy!

I also took advantage of an NYX BOGO half sale – I got the Cosmic Metals and Lid Lingerie Shadow palettes (normally $9.99 each). They are like matte/shimmer twins. I wore Lid Lingerie today without primer. Note to self: NYX shadows ALWAYS needs primer. The colors are  nice though.

I also grabbed another Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it is my new go to. Also, it put me over the threshold to get $5 off my order. For free samples, I got an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (I have like 6 of these) and Smashbox Photo finish Foundation Primer (I have like 16 of these). They also threw in a huge sample pouch of DevaCurl Buildup Buster…but I don’t have curls or use a lot of product in my hair.

Free shipping since I got a Beauty Steal, so I didn’t have to hit the $50 threshold!