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!
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!