Saint or Sinner?

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Fragrance is a very personal thing. What smells wonderful on one person, may well smell like a corpse flower once it hits your own skin. The only way to know…is to try it out. I get SO many samples from my boxes, that I have a good chance to try out lots and lots of different fragrances. (Collecting perfume samples is something I’ve been up to since I worked up enough courage to start asking for samples at the Foley’s Makeup Counter while shopping with my mom.)

Sometimes though, you just buy a fragrance – whether based on the brand, the name or even the bottle. Even though I was in the middle of my vacation, I couldn’t pass up the $15 off $50 email…I went ahead and ordered travel sizes of Kat Von D Saint and Sinner at $22 each. I crossed my fingers as I opened Saint to smell it…and promptly spilled it all over my arm. Luckily, I’m a fan of the light vanilla jasmine scent. Sinner is a spicier scent, with cinnamon and patchouli. For some reason, it just doesn’t last on me – I cannot catch a whiff even 10 minutes after putting it on. For me, Saint is the clear winner and I could see buying a larger bottle.

I also ordered Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in “Rose Luster” ($7, down from $16) to get to $50. It’s a nice matte color, but I didn’t feel like it was very long lasting.

For samples, I ended up with Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Silkening Blow Out Creme (weird), philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser (love this stuff); and Lancome Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Powder & Foundation in One All Day Wear.

Only $432 left til Rouge!

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.

Give Me Some Nude Lip – 3rd Edition

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Even though I was able to resist the 2nd Edition of Sephora’s “Give Me Some Nude Lip” – I wasn’t able to resist the 3rd. Really, the only reason I didn’t get the second was because I already had a full size of Urban Decay “1993”, but I had none of the ones included in this set.

Inside this 3rd “Give Me Some Nude Lip” ($28): Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Kristen” (very…MOIST); Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in “Sugar Sugar” (haven’t tried this one yet); NARS Cosmetics Velvet Lip Glide in “Bound” (Somewhere between a lip gloss and a matte liquid lip, it stayed put most of the day and was very hydrating); Tarte lippie lingerie matte tint in “Revealed” (I thought I hated chubby lip pencils, but this one is nice and long-lasting and a nice medium brown); Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in “Spice Girl” (I have regrets about wearing this to work today – my lips were stinging for a good hour and a half…and looked no plumper); and Urban Decay Vice Waterproof Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “Trivial” (Full size – and the best shade of the bunch). This was a good buy – I can see wearing all of these, except for the Lip Injection.

I also splurged on Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo Lip Balm ($10). Even though I hate using my finger to apply lip balm, I will make an exception for this cute little flamingo float.

I used a code to get a Deluxe Sample of Atelier Cologne Clémentine California. I love the smell – like fresh Cutie Clementines – but it doesn’t seem to last very long on me. I’ve worn it twice this week and it faded by the time I got home from work. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive the exact samples I picked: philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanserphilosophy Time In A Bottle 100% In-Control, and SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer.

How am I gonna get to Rouge Status by the end of the year? I have $674 left!

Buck that Fudget

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I am trying so, SO hard to stay on a budget. But I got that email with my 15% off code for the Sephora Spring Event…

I made it to the second to last day and then “splurged” on a single lipstick. I’ve been wanting to try Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Veronica” ($20), so since Sephora is carrying them now, I took the plunge. First off, the formula is GREAT. My lips didn’t get dry and cracked and formula did not budge all day. I picked the exact perfect color for me – a dupe for Jeffree Star “Androgyny”. I’m in love with these lipsticks. I wish I hd less resolve.

For samples, I actually got my picks this time. They were John Varvatos “Dark Rebel” (hoping it would be a good one for my husband, but it was nasty – smelled like some cheap old man shit, like Brut); philosophy purity made simple 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes; and Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer (their misspelling, not mine).

Maybe my budget will be more open when the next sale hits…

First Ulta Haul of 2016

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I didn’t think it would be so soon…but here it is – my first Ulta haul of the year.

I had been using John Frieda Illuminating Shine and I REALLY like they way it makes my newly short hair feel. I noticed it was $3 each on Ulta’s site and went nuts, ordering 3 each of shampoo and conditioner. (I guess it is discontinued now – it’s no longer on Ulta’s site. FUCK.) Isn’t that the way it always goes? You find something you like and them BOOM – it’s gone. Ugh. I also got a John Frieda Gift with Purchase – travel sizes of John Frieda Beach Blonde Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo, Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner and Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. Of course, I just cut all the blonde off my hair, but these will be good for summer.

I also picked up Urban Decay Loose Ultra Definition Finishing Powder – I’ve been using the Pressed, but wanted to try this. I also got Biore Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser (is baking soda the new charcoal?) – I tried it last night and it was nice. I had been lusting over Nicole by OPI “Pick of the Glitter” for about a month, after spying it in a Walgreen’s display. It was still on my mind, so I broke down and bought it. (It is every bit as good as I thought it would be.)

My purchase qualified me for the Platinum Skin Beauty Break Gift with $60 Purchase – a little plastic makeup bag with NOICE samples. Inside the bag: Dermablend Professional Setting Powder (Pricey); Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (going to Vegas with me); StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (Which one should I work on first?); Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (Leave it to Gwyneth Paltrow to make beauty products in the worst scent imaginable); Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate; Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifiting and Firming Moisturizer; Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Patchology FlashPath Eye Gels; and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil. This is the best sample bag I’ve gotten from Ulta, I think!

I didn’t get my Variety Sampler though…Bummer.

Ulta Cyber Fundays

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The weekend before Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Ulta ran a “Cyber Fundays” promotion with a bunch of stuff on sale, plus a gift with purchase sample bag on orders of $60+, plus $10 off. I decided to knock out some stocking stuffers, plus get a few things for myself. Imagine my surprise when Ulta decided to break my modest order into three different shipments.

The first box was rather piddly – just a travel size Joico K-PAK Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor (my BFF swears by K-PAKs, so I thought I’d give them a try while on sale) and a few stocking stuffers from the 5/$5 Promotion.

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The second box was also small – a single lotion stocking stuffer, my variety sampler – Lumene Time Freeze Instant Lift Serum and Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum – and my gift with purchase…Inside the Berry Glam Beauty Bag: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation with 3 different shades – “Vanilla”, “Light Beige” and “Sand”; Gucci “Bamboo” (not bad, smells like Crystals in Vegas); “Pink Sugar” (too hookery); Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo; Pureology Coulour Fanatic Instant Deep-Conditioning Mask; Benefit ThePOREfessional Pro Balm & License to Blot Set; Urban Decay Cosmetics Revolution Lipstick (Card with 4 sample colors); Giorgio Armani “Acqua Di Gio”; Whish Body Butter in “Winterberry” (the last one I got smelled like hot dog water, so I am scared to try this one); It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product (guaranteed in every Ulta sample bag); Ralph Lauren “Romance”; Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes; Ulta Legendary Lengths Lengthening Mascara; Clarins Super Restorative Day; Alterna Haircare Caviar CC Cream (for hair); Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (I have SO much of this shit); Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream; Nip+Fab Skin Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum (it couldn’t be worse than the snake venom that nut in Vegas smeared all over my face); and a BUNCH of Ulta coupons.

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FINALLY…the third box had the REAL stuff I ordered: John Frieda Liquid Shine Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.74 each!); Joico K-PAK Shampoo (to go with the conditioner); Ulta Rose Gold Palette (been lusting after this FOREVER); Poo-Pourri “Merry Spritzmas” (for my son – at 10, he is starting to get manly shits); eos Holiday Set (also for him), some other stocking stuffers and some nail buffers for ME.

I monitored Ulta’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and it looks like the Cyber Fundays sale was actually the better deal (for me, anyway). They’re still sending different sale emails every day, though…I may not be done ordering yet!

Sephora Makes my Dreams Come True

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Remember just 2 weekends ago, when I spent the whole weekend looking for a dupe for “Lolita”? My search is over…

Sephora just came out with a new version of “Give Me Some Lip”, a Sephora Favorites Lipstick Set – literally just a few days after I started my search for a “Lolita” dupe. The star of the set is Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Lolita”! Also included in the set: Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment (I love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment from the Sephora Sun Safety Kit); Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Creme de Je’taime; Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss, Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in “Coral Blossom”; and Sephora Collection Rouge Infusion The Neutrals in 19 – “Peony”.

There was finally something I wanted to use points for – I got Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Lovecraft” for 100 points. I also used an online code to get a free deluxe sample of belif The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb. For my other three samples, I chose philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Eye, GlamGlow YouthCleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser and Atelier Cologne “Sud Magnolia” (They’re like Pokemon – I gotta catch em all).

I guess I’m having a lipstick phase…

Sephora Math

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Sometimes shopping at Sephora takes a bit of math to get the best deal.

I totally fell in love with the Tory Burch perfume I received a few weeks ago. Since they didn’t have it at Ulta, I decided to break down and order it from Sephora…but $28! Daaaaang, girl. But I also noticed that Tory Burch was one of the options in the Spray of Sunshine Perfume Sampler, which was only $24. Bingo! So I ordered the set online and it got here Friday. They were also offering a Fresh & Floral Perfume Sampler for free with each $25 purchase. So I added a $1 hair tie to my order to get more samples. (I’m pretty sure that’s what those hair ties are for…)

Also inside the Spray of Sunshine Perfume Sampler: Chloe “Love Story” (old ladyish, gardenia?); Elizabeth and James “Nirvana White” (Fuck you, Olsen Twins – although marginally better than “Nirvana Black”, it smells like a knockoff, like one of those designer impostors at the grocery store); Giorgio Armani “Si” (Spicy flowers, smells like the lobby of the Palazzo in Vegas); Marc Jacobs “Daisy Dream” (Reminds me of a Mother’s Day Bouquet – bright, but cheap); and “Stella” by Stella McCartney (Love this old fashioned rose scent – already own it). Inside the Fresh & Floral Sampler: another Tory Burch; another “Nirvana White”; another “Love Story”, Burberry “My Burberry” (smells like new leather shoes – why?); Dolce & Gabbana “Light Blue” (Douchey); philosophy “live joyously” (literally smells like nothingness); Dior “Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet” ( Citrus, but flowers – good job, Natalie Portman) and my personal favorite of the bunch – Atelier Cologne “Mandarine Glaciale” (The ultimate in unisex – like masculine & feminine at the same time – orange spray, but an underlying sexual scent that’s almost obscene). For my regular 3 samples, I picked Atelier Cologne “Orange Sanguine” (I lucked out and got 2 – I already own it, but so?); Buxom “Show Some Skin” Weightless Foundation”; and Urban Decay “Naked Skin” Ultra Definition Powder Foundation.

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I always have a trick up my sleeve. I volunteered for the monthly trip to Costco, knowing it would be a perfect opportunity to hit Ulta and Sephora first. Of course, I didn’t tell Logan this until we were almost to Ulta. Oh, the moaning! All I needed was more Zoya Remove+, but he also talked me into buying him a new eos lip balm in “Lemon Drop”. I must say, the kid’s got taste. We then zipped into Sephora to get my Tory Burch Rollerball. Nothing else caught my eye.

I was surprised that something did catch my eye at Costco – the Jenna Hipp “The New Candies” mini nail polish collection. I’ve never heard of Jenna Hipp, but it was only $7.99! It included 8 creme polishes in yummy sounding colors: “Marshmallow Fondant”, “Crème the Cantaloupe”, “Pink Lady Finger”, “Violet Éclair”, “Très Parfait”, “Thin Mint”, “Rose Tart” and “American Pie”.

So that’s Sephora Math – any questions?

Just the Samples, Ma’am

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Last week, Sephora was offering 5 face samples with every order, so I went ahead and ordered a gift I had been planning anyway. The 5 samples I picked were : tarte  Maracuja Oil (is Maracuja the next Argan?), Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer in “9 neutral”, philosophy purity made simple 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector  in “OPAL” and Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation in “Light 48” (I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while). I also got a free mini Make Up For Ever Lipstick in “Rouge Artist Natural” – it’s so tiny and cute!

Oh, and I signed up for Sephora Flash, too! For $10, I’ll get free 2 day shipping from Sephora for a year…this is very, very dangerous, I can already tell.

Bout Damn Time

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I was wondering if my Ulta order was EVER gonna get here.

On the last day of January, I used a 20% coupon to get the stuff I couldn’t find in-store. I ordered Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder in “Naked Medium Light”, a Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Blush and Ulta Makeup Brush and Sponge Cleaner to clean it. I also couldn’t resist grabbing stila’s Glow and Behold Makeup Set, which includes Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Cream in “Magnolia”, Deluxe Lip Glaze in “Gleam”, Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in “Lionfish” and a cool rhinestone headband. Normally priced $29, it was only $20 – $16 after my coupon! I really just wanted the headband. (I immediately put it on and showed my husband and he looked at me like I put a cat turd on my head. Ass.)

I chose the skincare sampler – yet another Smashbox sample – Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I also received Altchek MD Daily Moisturizer. Only 2 samples – so sad. I guess technically 3, if I count the philosophy “live joyously” scent card. I don’t.