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!
Sephora Play! November 2018 – Merry and Bright
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This is an…interesting…box.
First off, Commodity Gold straight up smells like donkey ass. Unwashed donkey ass. Someone come take this shit out of my house.
Everything else is less controversial. I’m a big fan of Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser. I’m also happy to get Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in “Pink Tea”, and Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Face Cream. I was, however, really confused when I looked at the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts. At first, I assumed it was another mud mask…great! Then I read the directions – this shit is for your hair. What? I’ll let you know.
Sephora Play is THE best beauty box I receive every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
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…
Kat Von D – 10th Year Anniversary Collection
I’ve been waiting months and months for this…and on Cinco de Mayo, Kat Von D released her 10 year Anniversary Collection. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.
The 10th Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette ($52) was the first thing into my cart. I am blown away by the quality of the shadows. I tried it yesterday, without primer and it was ultra, mega, SO pigmented. Although Kat excels at matte eyeshadows, I’m really drawn to the transformer shades in this collection. I did a look centered around “Alexandra” (rose gold glimmer) and it matched my rose gold hair perfectly. When my husband got home from work last night, he actually said my makeup looks cute…and he NEVER says that. Literally, the best I can hope for it, “You look nice,” but usually I get “What is wrong with your face?”
So, this palette gets the husband stamp of approval – that’s even higher praise than “Jeffree Approved”!
I also picked up the 10th Anniversary Lipsticks – Everlasting Glimmer Veil in “Gold Skool” ($22) and Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Santa Sangre” ($19). I wore “Gold Skool” with “Lolita II” Everlasting Lip Liner yesterday and it KILLED. Now, the $64,000 question – how does it compare to Jeffree Star “First Class”? The two aren’t even really similar – “First Class is a black-leaning metallic, while “Gold Skool” has more of a glittery gold dust finish. Not dupes at all!
I dropped $93, but I didn’t even get the whole collection. There’s also a brush set ($125), a highlighter ($30), an eyeliner ($20) and a traincase ($150). I wanted them all…but I also wanted my family to eat this month. I am VERY happy with my purchase and I am confident when I say that Kat Von D has overtaken Urban Decay as my favorite cosmetics brand.
Since I have Sephora Flash, I broke my order up into two orders, so that I could get double samples and use two promo codes. I got my doubles AND Sephora still sent it all to me in one box. Winning!
I used a promo code to get an Amore Pacific Set, which includes Vintage Single Extract Essence, Botanical Radiance Oil and The Essential Creme Fluid. I also used a code to get a fragrance sample bag with Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Stella Peony (the one I wanted to try – need to buy it); Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose (another love); Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia, Chloe Fleur de Parfum, Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh AND Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara. Nice!
For my sample picks, I got 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (each sample card had 4 colors AND a tiny brush – been wanting to try this so bad!); Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Top Coat (includes 4 colors – “Fever”, “Reverb”, “Ritual” and “White Lie”); and Clinique Moisture Syrge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator. Wait! That’s only 4 samples! They screwed me!
But…only $568 until Rouge…I might do it!
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!
As cynical as I am, I’m a sucker for a new products. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer in “Fair” ($14.99). (In my head, I always think Gloomy Lotion). I’ve been really liking the GlamGlow Illuminating Moisturizer. The Gloomy Lotion doesn’t smell as good, but it does the job – I like it.
Since I had a 20% off coupon, I filled my cart with a few other things to get to $50. I also wanted to try Maybelline’s Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil in “Medium Brown” ($7.99). I’ve been loving on the Ulta Slim, but this one is a winner, too! It’t only about 2/3 the length, so it might not be such a good deal pricewise. I got a $5 off a future purchase from those brands for my purchase.
I also got refills of my SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Shampoo and Conditioner ($11.49). It wasn’t on sale, but hey, 20% off. Speaking of rose, I also had to try out Philosophy‘s new scent – Amazing Grace Nude Rose ($20). It’s similar with Ballet Rose, but instead of notes of leather, there are green notes. It made my husband gag, so that’s a really good sign.
Oh, and thanks for actually sending me samples, Ulta! I got a cared with three different shades of Too Faced Born This Way Foundation and a card with samples of L’Oreal Revitalift Serum and Moisturizer.
Only $397.23 to get to Platinum for 2019. Chances of hitting Diamond status? At this juncture, I’d say highly unlikely.
Ulta is now carrying wet n wild cosmetics – online only. There was a 20% off coupon in my email. What a time to be alive!
I was excited, because wet n wild just released a new collection – The Midnight Mermaid Collection. It’s very similar to Black Moon Cosmetics Cosmic Metals Collection – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! I picked up almost all of it. I got all 4 of the MegaLast Metallic Liquid Catsuit lipsticks ($4.99) – “Coral Crown”, “Harbor A Crush”, “Siren’s Jewel” and “Sea Seduction”. I only got one of the three MegaLiner Metallic Eyeliner ($3.99) – “Trident’s Shimmer”. I also only got one of the four Color Icon Metallic Liquid Eyeshadows ($4.99) – “Lara’s Necklace”, because DUH. I also picked up the Mermaid Highlighting Bar ($6.99).
I keep saying that I don’t like buying fragrances without smelling them first…but then I keep doing it. After reading the description of Philosophy Amazing Grace Ballet Rose, I went ahead and picked up the mini size for $18. It also came with a 4 oz. bottle of Amazing Grace Shower Gel as a free bonus! I am SO glad I picked it up – it’s now my second favorite rose scent, after Cartier Goutte de Rose.
I also picked up a little something for Lily – the China Glaze My Little Pony 6 pc Micro Mini Kit ($15). It’s a tie in to the My Little Pony movie coming out next month. Maybe the polish will get her over the pain of me refusing to sit through it in the theater. Oh – and my Variety Sampler included foilpacks of Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream and Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil. Meh.
This order did not push me to Platinum Status for 2018, but you know what did? Friday before last, I took the kids to get their back-to-school haircuts at Ulta and I got a cut and color. I was going for a rose gold melt, but my stylist didn’t want to make all my hair fall out by bleaching it too much, so it ended up a pinkish red. I also went ahead and signed up for the Ulta Platinum card, so I could get 20% off all our haircuts. Ulta may be an expensive place to get kids’ haircuts…but at least I ended up with $61 worth of points out of the deal.
Since Hurricane Harvey has had us housebound for several days, I decided to play around with my Midnight Mermaid stuff. On my eyes, I used “Lara’s Necklace”, the green liquid eyeshadow, and “Trident’s Shimmer”, the pewter eyeliner. I LOVED the liquid eyeshadow and may be picking up some of the other colors. I did not care for the liquid line – it was too goopy, especially on top of the liquid eyeshadow. My lips are an ombre of the blue and green lipsticks – “Sea Seduction” and “Siren’s Jewel”, with a bit of the Highlighter in the middle. The lipsticks are just as great as the other liquid catsuits, and the price cannot be beat. It’s a lot for every day (Can you say MiMi?), but just right for the middle of a hurricane.
Saint or Sinner?
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!