Everyone in the family was needing a little hair care, so another Ulta haul was in order…
For myself, I ordered a NatureLab.Tokyo Perfect Smooth Shampoo Refill ($22) to match the Conditioner. I also got a back-up Colorista Bleach Highlights Kit ($10.99).
My son needed shampoo & conditioner for his bleached hair, so I grabbed Pacifica Sunshine Highs Shampoo & Conditioner ($10 each) while they were BOGO 40% off.
I decided to treat my daughter with Colorista Semi-Permanent Color in “Purple” ($10.99).
All this hair stuff qualified me for a free 12 piece Hair Color Sampler. The sampler included Madison Reed Color Protecting Shampoo & Conditioner (I’ve been curious about this brand for a long time); Virtue Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner; Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo & Conditioner (I don’t know what citric acid will do for my hair, but looking forward to trying it); Kenra Color Maintenance Shampoo & Conditioner; Fekkai Technician Color Shampoo (no conditioner?); AG Hair Care Ultradynamics Extra-Firm Finishing Spray; Pureology Color Fanatic Multitasking Leave-In Spray (giving to my son); and DevaCurl Noo-Poo Blue Anti-Brass Zero Lather Curl Cleanser (also giving to my son).
On the non-hair front, I picked up St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist ($15, down from $30) for my kids, because they LOVED the previous sample I got…for myself, I got Ulta Coffee & Chocolate Energizing Superfood Mud Mask ($4, down from $8) – it smells good enough to eat! It sucked all the gunk out of my pores and made my skin super soft.
I qualified for a second gift with purchase – a Best Seller 7 Piece Gift, with my $65 purchase. This gift included Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Bumble and bumble. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex (I love this stuff); Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (I also love THIS stuff); MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in “Werk, Werk, Werk” (it’s red…meh); and Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Hydrator. That was only 6 pieces!!! What a rip-off…
Just $784 to Diamond!
But is it really splurging if it’s on the sale page?
I hadn’t used my $10 off birthday code at Ulta yet, so I filled my cart on the sale page. Actually, let me back up. I was scrolling the Sephora Presidents Day sale and saw that the Jackie Aina and Carli Bybel palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills were 30% off, so I decided to redirect that purchase over to Ulta – not only because I have a coupon, but also because I feel like I get more value from being top tier at Ulta than being top tier at Sephora. Also, Ulta has BOMB GWPs.
Ulta didn’t have the Jackie Aina palette, but the DID have the Anastasia Beverly Hills Carly Bybel Palette ($31.50, down from $45). That’s fine, because the Jackie Aina palette looks a little cray. (I was hoping that the Alyssa Edwards palette would be back, but nope.) I only know Carli from the Allure Beauty Box she did last year. I was thinking that the palette would end up being pretty basic, but it’s got a nice selection of colors, with lots of shimmer and glitter. I’m enjoying using it, except that the glitter shades have the fallout from hell. It sprays all over my whole damn face. Primer helps a little bit, but it still gets everywhere. I’m gonna have to work on it.
I also decided to go out on a limb and try the Lime Crime Venus XS Vixen Palette ($10, down from $20). I’ve stayed away from Lime Crime for the most part because the owner was a shitbag, but since selling out in 2018, it appears they’ve turned their reputation around. The XS Vixen is a small red-themed palette. The quality is just OK – it doesn’t blend very well at all and the coverage is splotchy. Looks like I can continue to ignore this brand.
One more sale purchase – an Urban Decay Cosmetics Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush in “Dark” ($10, down from $20). I’m guessing that it’s on clearance because they are discontinuing it…which is fine. The quality is fine, similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but still not as good (for me) as the Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil.
I picked up the new Pacifica Sunshine Highs Toning Shampoo & Conditioner ($10 each) for my son’s bleached locks. I got it in preparation for another round of highlights, so probably next week or so.
There was also a free 28 piece beauty bag with a $70 purchase. You know I cannot get enough of those GWPs. Inside this HUGE red bag: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum; LORAC Pro Plus Fiber Mascara (eek, those fiber mascaras scare me); PUR Fully Charged Mascara; Boots No7 Dark Circle Corrector; Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam (I have 3 sample bottles of this now – thanks, Ulta); Living proof. restore perfecting spray; Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” (I really like this shade – I wonder if my old one is dried up?); proactivMD Deep Cleansing Face Wash (I used proactive back when it first came out; it worked for a while, but then ate all my skin off); Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector; Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; It’s a 10 Miracle Finishing Spray; Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask; Patchology Flashpatch Illuminating Eye Gels (so many damn eye patches – I feel like a fucking pirate); TonyMoly Vital Vita 12 Ampoules Mix & Match Serums; Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Glow Powder; DevaCurl Supercream (no curls here, go will give away); Viktor & Rolf Bon Bon; Zitsticka (intrigued); Botanics Simply Calm; Ulta Beauty Matte Black Eyeliner; Biolage Airdry Glotion (what?); Pureology Colour Fanatic; Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control; Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio; e.l.f. Poreless Primer Putty (oh, this is some GOOD stuff – I like it); Cover FX High Performance Setting Spray and Florence by Mills Clean Magic Face Wash (what does that girl from Stranger Things know about beauty products?) A dang good bag!
$1,088 to Diamond. I better step it up!
Allure Beauty Thrills – May 2016
As a pleasant surprise, Allure Beauty Thrills offered a pre-order several weeks before the May box went on sale. They offered all three of this year’s boxes for $199.95, with free shipping. That’s a $20 premium compared to buying each box separately…but without the hassle of making the tiny ordering window – guaranteed boxes!
I was a bit worried when I lifted the box – it seemed WAY lighter than previous boxes. When I opened the box, it even seemed less full – lots more bubble wrap and paper. But there are plenty of products…they’re just smaller. Inside the May box: Hask Macadamia Moisturizing Shine Oil (I have SO many HASK vials); Burt’s Bees BB Cream in “Light Medium” (I bet this stuff is good) and Burt’s Bees Lipstick in “Magenta Rush”; ChapStick Total Hydration 3 in 1 Lip Care in “Coconut Hydration” (this shit is the BOMB – I used up the last one…who EVER uses up a chapstick?); Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Battery-Operated Spinbrush (I already have one from another box, so I gave it to Lily) and Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Toothpaste; Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal Serum; Completely Bare Calm Down Ingrown Hair, Razor Bump & Redness Eliminator (perfect for summer crotch rash); Caress Mystique Forever Body Wash; Compeed Blister Cushions (I need these – I have a few shoes I’ve been avoiding); Coppertone CLEARLYSheer FACES SPF 30 (Definitely going to try this while out fishing this weekend); Degree Women Dry Spray in “Daisy Fresh”; Not Your Mother’s In A Heart Beat Blow Dry Accelerator; Pureology Pure Volume Style + Care Infusion (the tube is the weirdest ever – an inner layer and outer layer); Redken Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid (yup, more of it); Rituals Magic Touch Body Cream (that sounds almost TOO sexy); scünci Everyday & Active 3x Stronger Braided Elastics (LOVE these); Simple Skincare Micellular MAKE-UP Remover Wipes; Sonia Kashuk Double-Zip Clutch (It’s HUGE); Tangle Teezer Original Detangling Hairbrush (I’m gonna be chasing Little Orphan Lily around the house with this); TIGI Bed Head JOYRIDE Texturizing Powder Balm (the fuck?); and VersaSpa Gradual Tanning Face Moisturizer (a whole lot of NOPE).
I feel like I’ll be using more of the stuff in this box than in past ones…now all I have to do is sit back and wait for my August box to arrive.
Ulta Cyber Fundays
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.
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.
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!
Allure Beauty Thrills – August 2015
It’s that time again – Allure Beauty Thrills time!
There are a few really top shelf items in this quarter’s box, a few repeats and many items I’m curious about. Inside my box: Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes (same as in my last Target Beauty Box); Butter London Nail Lacquer in “Violet’s Revenge”; it Cosmetics Hello Lashes Clinically Proven 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara with Lash Ball Detailer; LANEIGE Advanced Hydration Trial Kit (I loved their water gel sleeping mask, so glad to get more); Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in “Matte Love”; Clear Scalp & Hair Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner (I haven’t tried the last set of Clear I got); John Frieda Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Frizz-Immunity Primer; HASK Monoi Coconut Nourishing Shine Oil; Curel Itch Defense Body Wash (Hmmm…ok); Pureology Colour Fanatic Instant Deep-Conditioning Mask; Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer; Redken Frizz Dismiss FPF 10 Fly-Away Fix Oil-Infused Finishing Sheets (now THIS is a good idea); Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in “Jewel Orchid”; Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Rejuvenating Toothpaste, Truly Radiant Rinse (my son can have this), and Spinbrush Truly Radiant Deep Clean Manual Toothbrush; Caress Love Forever Body Wash (I’ve been wanting to try this – it is supposed to release fragrance for 12 hours); Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant; Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter with Vanilla Bean Beauty Bar; Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream (Ugh, they keep sending this shit and I keep giving it away); BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths (I could have used these today at the Snake Farm); The Revlon ColorStay Collection – ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in “Romantic”, ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor in “For Keeps Pink” (like the Molly Ringwald movie?), and ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in “Cardshark”; Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing Light Weight Weather Proof Cream; and Aloxxi Texturizing Spray.
The box is still just $45.95 + $10 shipping – even if I only used half of it, it’s worth it.