Perfect Shine Splurge
Back in November, I think when Sephora was offering 15% off, Ulta sent out a $10 off $40 coupon, so why not restock on a few things. Sometimes, there’s nothing like splurging on fancy shampoo & conditioner!
I’d gotten to try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($14 each) in an Allure Beauty Box last year. I really liked it, but it wasn’t widely available. Fast forward a year and now Ulta carries it – score! The secret ingredient is grape stem cells. I don’t know what those are. I also picked up some a single use conditioners – PURA D’OR Single Use Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque ($1.79), HASK Shea Butter & Hibiscus Oil Anti-Frizz Deep Conditioner Packette ($2.99) and HASK Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask Packette ($2.99).
Freeman Masks were on super sale, so I bought a replacement Cucumber & Pink Salt Clay Mask. I also grabbed a clearance China Glaze “Rainbow” for $2.62 and a new Flowery nail buffer.
I definitely did NOT buy that Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kit in “Bare” – it was a gift with $25 makeup purchase. I now know the secret of the Kylie Lip Kits! The lip liner is one tick darker than the lipstick, so it creates an optical illusion of a fuller lip. The more you know…I tried it out and the color was WAY too light for me. Hypothetically, my lips did look bigger though.
My $70 purchase qualified me for a Hello Holidays Sample Bag – it’s so fancy! Inside the bag: Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer; Awake Pore Down Tightening Concentrate; Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Towelette (WEIRD); Lake & Skye 11 11 (I could not smell this); MAC Lipstick samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” & “Cockney”; Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara; Pravana Color Protect Cleanse and Condition (HUGE samples tubes – will try these out after my next dye session); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel; Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion; Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream; Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Burberry Her; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris; NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (foilpacks for travel!); Tonymoly Golden Pig Collagen Bounce Mask; Gucci Guilty; AG Haircare Glow Shine Infuse Serum; Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Sample Card (none of these will match me); Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum; John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-up Creme; Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strip (a caffeine strip that melts on your tongue – is drinking a cup of coffee so hard?); and VDL Velvet Blur Primer.
Oh, and if the order looks a little light, it’s because there were a few gifts in my order…
The new Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Ultraviolet Palette ($49) launched at Ulta on July 5th, several weeks after the launch at Sephora, but I wanted to wait to buy it at Ulta so that I could use points to get it. Patience is a virtue…
I’m glad that I used points to get the Ultraviolet Palette – it’s somewhat underwhelming. The color story is…odd. I never would’ve put peach and purple together, but it is doable. The shadows are not as “buttery” and soft as the first several Naked Palettes – I had a harder time blending them on my bare skin. The brushes included with the palette is very nice though. I’m still experimenting with this palette, but I feel like it will be easily forgotten, kind of like Naked Smoky.
Ohhhhh, Ulta just launched a Harry Potter Collaboration. Several items were already sold out – include all of the lip pencils and the Vault with all of the House Shadow Palettes. I did get the Harry Potter x Ulta Beauty Gryffindor Eye Shadow Palette ($16) for myself. The color story is reminiscent of the rosy chestnut tones that I love. The quality was very good, similar to last summer’s Frida Kahlo collaboration. I knew that my daughter would be Slytherin GREEN with envy, so I picked her up 2 of the Harry Potter Lip Glosses: “Hedwig” (a clear glitter topper) and “9¾” (a peachy topper). Normally $10, they were BOGO Half.
I cannot say no to inflatable Flamingos, to I snagged the Ulta Meet Me Poolside Kit ($10, down from $20). The inflatable Flamingo Drink floatie looks like the perfect size for Barbie. The kit also includes the Meet Me Poolside Eye Shadow Palette, You’re Golden Matte Bronzer, Dive-In Bouncy Blush, Summertime Shine Lip Jelly, all in a cute Cosmetic Bag.
Another reason that I’m glad I waited to order from Ulta is all the gifts with purchase I was able to rack up on my order. I got ANOTHER Palm Tree Tote 4 piece gift like the one I got last month with $25 in Ulta products purchase – I gave it to Lily. I also got a Platinum/Diamond Exclusive Gift with a $30 Makeup purchase…turns out it was the Fall 2019 gift with purchase that I got in November. The Zebra Beauty Bag (free with an $85 purchase) was NOT a dupe though. Inside the rainbow zebra bag: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Profundo; Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti-Frizz Dry Oil Mist; Kenra Prime Conditioner Style Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner (deluxe sizes!); Kate Somerville ExfoliKate (yes!); Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream; Bumble and bumble. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil; MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance; Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream; Becca Ignite Highlighter; Tan Towel Plus (NOPE); PÜR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer; Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; Mamonde Rose Water Toner (good, I’ve almost used up my last sample); touch in SOL No Poreblem Primer (Ooooh, I’ve been wanting to try this one); Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask; and philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Peeling Mousse (intrigued). Yeah, this bag is packed with cool new products I’ve never tried before and few ones I really love.
So I managed to use $50 in points and a $3.50 off coupon, ultimately only spending $39.51 for the whole box…$682 to Diamond.
February 2020 Sephora Play! – Beauty Soul Mates
Hmmm…I’m getting a severe sense of deja vu with this month’s Sephora Play! box – I feel like I’ve seen all of these products before.
I received the Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey” just a few months, ago, in November’s box. The Clinique Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub is a new product to me, at least.
I got the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Setting Powder in a 500 point bonus, so at least it’s not a repeat. (I noticed that the insert still refers to Kat Von D Beauty, so this was all put together well in advance of the rebranding.)
I received Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer, which is slightly different than the Youth Preserve Mask I received in 2018.
I’m not going to complain about philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser – I love it…but I did receive it in a Play! box in 2018.
Last, but not least – Verb Ghost Oil. Yup, you guessed it – 2018.
Even though I’ve gotten almost all of these products before, it’s a good little box this month.
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
January 2020 Allure Beauty Box – 2020 Vision
It’s only January and I’m already sick of the “2020” puns. Lordtttt help me.
This month’s Allure Beauty Box is full of beauty innovations. Some of these were so good that I snatched them up and took them to the bathroom immediately!
The evening I got the box, I broke open the Kate Somerville Exfolikate – I love getting any Kate Somerville sample I can. I also started using the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream – it smells SO good and I love what hyaluronic acid does for my skin.
Also in this month’s punny box: tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara (SMART mascara? PUHlease…); Akar Skin Pure Lip Restoration (this definitely will be going to Vegas with me); Vitabrid 12 Dual Drop Serum (interesting); and Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Shine Oil Mist (I really liked the Naturelab Perfect Shampoo and conditioner in September’s box).
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.
Ulta Cyber Monday 2019
Ulta offered a HUGE Wintry Wonders 24 piece Beauty Bag with $80 purchase on Cyber Monday. Of course, I still had some gift shopping left to do…
Obviously, I’m not going to ruin Xmas by showing all the gifts I bought – but I can show the few things I picked up for myself. I’d been wanting to try It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone Moisturizer for a bit, but the price ($48) was putting me off. 30% off though – you have my attention. I’ve been using it for nearly a week and it’s too soon to tell if there’s a dramatic change in the tone of my skin – but the texture of my skin is amazing right now. It’s dewy and clear – no breakouts, which is a good sign. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it again at full price.
I also picked up a sale Makeup Revolution Good Vibes Lip Balm with Cannabis Sativa ($4.90, down from $7). There’s no tint, no fragrance and no taste to this lip balm – I mean, it works as a lip balm, but I think slapping Cannabis on the label is just a selling ploy – there’s nothing a special about this lip balm – disappointing.
So, inside the Wintry Wonders bag: MAC Lipstick Sample Card, with “Velvet Teddy”, “Mocha”, and “Hug Me”; Becca Sample Card with First Light Prioming Filter and Backlight Priming Filter; Tom Ford Metallique (why do all Tom Ford scents smell so old lady?); Rusk Pro Restore01 Leave-In Conditioner; Ralph Lauren Romance; NARS Climax Mascara; Ahava Extreme Minerals Extreme Firming Eye Cream; Sagely Naturals CBD Cream; 18.21 Man-Made Wash in “Sweet Tobacco” (GROSS); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer; Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear Sample Card; Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation Sample Card (I’ll put it on my Jade Egg); Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion; Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer; Marc Jacobs Daisy; Unwined by Hask Red Wine Inspired Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner (very interested in trying this – even though I’m allergic to red wine – it should be okay, as long as I don’t drink it); Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste; Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub; Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack; Hempz Blushing Grapefruit & Raspberry Creme Daily Herbal Color Preserving Conditioner (but no shampoo???); Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” (Yasssss…cannot wait to try it); Giorgio Armani Light di Gioia (surprisingly, it’s not horrible – reminds me of sunflowers); and Living proof. restore Perfecting Spray. This is a really nice bag, full of brand new products for the most part.
In addition to the gift with purchase, I was able to use a $10 off coupon on my order. $157 to Diamond…so close!
More Ulta Friendsgiving
So I received my second Ulta Friendsgiving order right before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been sick AF since Monday…the whole damn house needs to be quarantined!
So many good sales before Black Friday and Cyber Monday! What could I pick up to get me to $65 for that 23 Piece Friendsgiving Beauty Besties Beauty Bag???
I had been drooling over the Hask Rose Oil & Peach Shampoo and Conditioner ($5.99 each) since I saw them at Walgreen’s a few months ago. I knew they would eventually show up at Ulta, so I waited. It sounds weird, but the shampoo is more rose scented and the conditioner is more peach scented – why? They are a more budget-friendly choice than the Redken and Nexxus products I’ve been buying lately and work just as well. They smell less salon-y, too.
I noticed that Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser was half off ($10.50, down from $21) AND came with a free gift! I’ve gotten several samples in beauty boxes and really like the scent, so I splurged. The free gift was three samples: Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser, Mamonde Rose Water Toner, and Mamonde Plum Blossom Lip Sleeping Mask. Since I cannot resist anything rose, I also picked up the new Biore Rose Quartz + Charcoal Pore Refining Scrub ($7.99) – it’s very gentle.
I hadn’t gotten my first Friendsgiving order yet when I placed this one, so I ended up adding two more Zoya Remove+ ($10 each) to my cart – oops!
Inside that hot pink sequined Beauty Besties Bag: ANOTHER Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser (happy to have it for travel); Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo & Conditioner (I just used up a full size of the conditioner, but still have some of the shampoo left); Maybelline The Colossal Mascara; Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Moon Jelly”; Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia; Prada Candy (2 of these, so Lily got one); bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Sample Card; it Cosmetics Blurring Foundation No 101; Benefit The POREfessional; Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes; Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum (looking forward to trying this); Paradoxx Secret Weapon Conditioner (why is this hair conditioner in a little metal tin that will immediately rust in my shower?); Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara; Ulta Beauty Sugared Vanilla Moisturizing Body Lotion; Moschino Toy 2; Ulta Beauty Charcoal Nose Strips; La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer; Bed Head Small Talk; Love Wellness Lights Out Dietary Supplements (ooooh, sleeping pills that probably won’t work on me!); John Varvatos Eau de Toilette; Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules; and Hempz Pink Pomelo & Himalyan Sea Salt Herbal Body Moisturizer. Phew – my fingers are tired. These are really good samples – I will use at least 75% of them!
In case you are noticing that the math doesn’t add up, there were a few other items that I added to my cart that will be Xmas gifts. Shhhh…don’t tell!
I got to use a $10 off coupon, in addition to the many sales. Just $319 to Diamond…
The Lolita Por Vida Palette
Ohhhh…Kat Von D‘s newest palette might be my favorite ever. it launched in early October, but I knew that my 20% off was coming, so I held off on ordering it. Say hello to “Lolita Por Vida” ($49.50).
I’ve used this palette every day for the past week and I am in LOVE with it. I’ve sampled all but 3-4 of the shades and they are all supremely blendable. The absolute best shade is that rose gold glitter, “reina”. It gave me full coverage in one swipe, with NO PRIMER. The fallout was minimal and it stayed all day. The one downside is getting the glitter off – it’s nearly impossible. I used liquid soap, a makeup eraser, but finally had the best luck with micellar water on a cotton pad.
I also picked up a Lock-It Powder Foundation Refill in “Fair 120”, since I hit pan on my current one. The refills are just $23, compared to $36 for the full compact – that’s a great deal. More makeup brands should do this!
So…I’ve been feeling a bit weird about continuing to buy Kat Von D’s makeup – I’ve been feeling uncomfortable about her anti-vaxx statements and other recent missteps. But then when I think about it, are there any celebrities who are not batshit insane? And are there any beauty influencers that are not batshit insane and/or soulless shills? I guess I am erring on the side of assuming positive intent – maybe Kat is just ignorant of the science behind vaccines and NOT blatantly disregarding the health of her child?
I actually got both of the samples that I chose: Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet and philosophy Amazing Grace.
$485 to Rouge status…I’d also used my code for Xmas shopping, but I don’t think I’ll be getting to Rouge for next year.
All this “controlling my purchases” is making me tired.
A few weeks back, Sephora’s spring bonus event hit and I placed, the tiniest, most pitiful order. I’d been stalking Dolce Garden since I got a sample of it and used the whole thing. I was going to get the purse spray for $29, but then I saw the Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Travel Set ($45), which includes purse sprays of Dolce, Dolce Garden and Dolce Rosa Excelsa – fuck yeah, I’ll get that. I’ve been alternating between the three sprays for the past week or so. I smell rich.
I also picked up another Cocofloss in “Pure Strawberries” ($9). Best floss ever – just ask my work wife.
My husband was not impressed that I got him a Sephora Collection Shear Genius Eyebrow Trimmer ($11). I guess I’ll have to use it on him in his sleep.
For samples, I got a sample I chose – philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser and one I did not – belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb. I don’t mind about the belif though – I love it.
If I would’ve been smart, I would’ve ordered a birthday gift for my sister during the bonus period, but I forgot and did it Friday. Yes, I love her enough to pay full price. $794 to Rouge. Fuck.
First Ulta Haul of 2019
I follow enough drag queens on Instagram to know that Sugarpill is one of THE makeup brands to use – besides Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills, of course. Ulta just started carrying their lipsticks, so I loaded a bunch in my cart and waited to see what else I needed. Originally, I had Sugarpill “Trinket” in my cart, but it sold out. I also had some other ones, but I decided to try just one and scope out the quality before buying more. I settled on “Pillow Fight” ($18), a dusty mauve with gold sparkle. It smells like a dreamsicle! The formula wasn’t super drying, but more drying than I’m used to. It lasts about as long as my other liquid lips…I’ve got a new brand to stan!
I also needed to stock up on face washes. Pacifica was BOGO 40% off, so I got Crystal Beam Foaming Crystal Face Scrub ($16) and Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash ($6, down from $10). I am VERY disappointed in the Crystal Beam – it is NOT a scrub. There is NO grit to the exfoliant – a total waste. Boo.
I also got two of my favorite eye brow pencil at BOGO 50% off – Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” (one at $10 and one at $5). Until I can afford microblading, I’ll keep buying these.
I got a 19 piece Beauty Bag with my $25 purchase. Inside the bag: Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments (and there’s actually a picture of the GOOPtress on the sample – ugh); L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (nope); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (HUGE Deluxe Sample); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Shampoo & Conditioner; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara; Ahava Mineral Mud Clearing Facial Treatment (yes!); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Caroline Herrera Good Girl; Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (yasss); Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream; Living proof. T.B.D. multi-tasking styler; Clarins Extra-firming Nuit Night Cream; Chloe Chloe; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Boots No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum; Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser; Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser; Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy; and PUR Get a Grip Endurance Eyeshadow Primer. Oh, and a $5 off Ulta Beauty Collection Coupon. This is the best sample bag in a bit!
Ulta is STILL not including samples with their orders. Jerks. I used a $3.50 off coupon on this order.
$399 to Platinum for 2020.
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!