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…
Allure Beauty Thrills – December 2016
I never did figure out who to call to change my address, so I had to wait for USPS to forward the box to me…and it wasn’t free – it cost me another $15.90 to get this last box.
The first thing I noticed is that this last box was TINY – about half the size of previous boxes. What the fuck, Allure? The boxes have gotten more expensive, but have less stuff. And the stuff is mostly weird brands I’ve never heard of.
Inside the TINY box: Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Battery-Operated Spinbrush (No complaints – can always use a back-up); Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Toothpaste (Also will be used); Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream; ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint in “Merlot” (another good inclusion); Dessange Professional Hair Luxury Oleo Miracle Replenishing Oil (my grandmother used to call margarine “oleo” – is this hair margarine?); Glov On-The-Go (I’ve been curious about these makeup removing mitts); an Invisibobble (looks like a telephone cord you put in your hair); imPress Gel Manicure (NO – I am NOT wearing press-on nails); KISS Salon Acrylic Nude French Nails (I guess my daughter gets two sets of fake nails); Not Your Mother’s Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter (nope.); Redken Triple Take 32 Hairspray; Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in “Crystal Mauve”; Rimmel London Moisture Renew Clear Lip Liner (I do not see the point); Rituals Happy Buddha Shower Foam in “Sweet Orange & Cedar” (I got this in the last box – using this sweet smelling stuff in my shower now); Simple Skincare Hydrating Cleansing Oil (I wish I wasn’t grossed out by Cleansing Oil); WEN Hair and Body Care by Chaz Dean SIXTHIRTEEN Ultra Nourishing Intensive Body Treatment (if this stuff made my body hair fall out like the shampoo allegedly does, I’d be all over it); and Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner (again, skeptical of these co-washes).
What a dinky box! I won’t be blindly buying the next Allure box that comes out – I’ll be reviewing the contents closely. SO disappointed in this box!
Allure Beauty Thrills – August 2016
So…we’ve been in the middle of a big move and I’ve been on hiatus for the last 10 days or so…but I haven’t stopped hoarding. I’ll never stop hoarding…I’ll just have to get more creative, since the new house is about 800 square feet smaller than my old house.
The first thing I must find room for…August’s Allure Beauty Thrills Box. I ordered for the whole year and it showed up on my doorstep a few days before my move. I haven’t even gotten to try any of it yet! Inside the suspiciously light August box: Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Battery-Operated Spinbrush and Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Toothpaste (I’m starting to rely on getting these in every box); Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner (it’s sulfate-free, which is good for my septic system); ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint Rose Petal (I love the ChapStick Total Hydration and I love Roses – I would have bought this if I hadn’t received it in this box); Grande Naturals GrandeLIPS (not sure if my lips need to be any plumper, but I’ll give it a shot); ittse Eye Shadow in “Obsidian” (another shadow for my new zPalette – oops, haven’t posted about that yet); Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Sleeping Cream; Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil (I bet this would ROCK with my Clarisonic); Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (I am guessing my husband will be getting this one to use after a shift on the tractor); Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray; One ‘n Only Argan Oil Treatment; Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry; Rimmel London The Only 1 Lipstick in “Oh-So Wicked” (Oh, dark crimson); Rituals Happy Buddha Foaming Shower Gel (excited to try this!); RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle (I haven’t tried the first one yet); RUSK Styling Collection Elixir Mist; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Duo Pack – in “Flower Crown” – and Big Cuticle Oil; Simple Skincare Dual Effect Eye Make-Up Remover; Skinfix Daily Lotion; Toppik Hair Building Fibers (Uhhhhh…no); and WEN Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner (the one product I WILL NOT try…there’s a class action lawsuit alleging hair loss – FUCK THAT SHIT).
I have another box coming in December…I just need to figure out who to call to change my address!
Flawless Ulta Haul
So…sometimes you just wanna buy something,
After perusing the Memorial Day sales…I was just about to place another overseas Makeup Revolution order (since they were giving away £25 Mystery Bags again), but I had a hard time getting my order up to £30. The only palette I really wanted badly was the Flawless Matte…
…and Ulta has it! On Memorial Day, they were giving away a free mystery sampler with a $50 purchase…no brainer.
So, in addition to the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte Palette ($15), I also picked up a Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher in “Loved Me the Best” ($5) – these seem to be Laura Geller dupes – LOVE.
I also picked up one of the new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks – “Clubhopper” ($6.99) and one of the new NYX Plush Gel Lipsticks – “Breakup” ($6.99). I tried “Breakup” today – so smooth and moisturizing, but doesn’t last long on the lips.
How else can I get to $50? 2 bottles of Zoya Remove+ ($10 each) and a pack of Ulta Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Done!
That Mystery Bag had some cool stuff: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”; Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6; NKD Skin Tinted Tan Mousse (NOPE); bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in “Get Ready” (my third one – I sent the last one to Sally); and Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum (like that shit in Vegas?).
I also got a free sample of DevaCurl Waves Ahead Loo-Poo Delight – I don’t have curls, but why not try it for free? The free Butter London lippie was sold out. Sad face.
For my regular samples, I got Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner and Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer.
Free shipping for an order over $50, plus got to use a $3.50 off coupon.
So look at that palette…all those warm matte colors…I tore a chunk out of my thumb nail whilst peeling the plastic off – but it was totally worth it.
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 gives out unique coupon codes for their spring 20% off, so I didn’t have a cute name for this post…Instead of one or two big things, I bought a lot of little stuff. I also bought some gifts for another upcoming birthday, so those items are not shown, of course.
I can’t pass up 97 cent polishes, so the first thing I added to my cart were essie “Strut Your Stuff” and China Glaze “Long Kiss”. I then added two Freeman Beauty Masks – “Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask” and “Apple Cider Vinegar 4-in-1 Foaming Clay”. I wanted to try another shade of Makeup Revolution Lip Euphoria, so I got “Aura”. I added another Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles.
There were so many gifts with purchase last week! I got free Redken pack with Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo & Conditioner, Beach Envy Wave Aid and 25 Benefits One United Multi-Benefit Treatment (I have a full size of this that I use all the time). I also got a free Ahava pack with Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter Facial Serum (the fuck?), Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask, Time to Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer, Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion, and a free tote bag. By far, the best samples were in the free Smashbox bag, which came with all this: Ahava Beauty Before Age Uplift Day and Uplift Night Cream, Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips (I don’t have eyebrows, but I have a mustache – wonder if it will work?), pür Correcting Primer, Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Gel (NO), Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge (me likey), Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (me no likey), MyChelle Dermaceuticals Refining Sugar Cleanser, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (for real), StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer, It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer and Benefit Benetint.
Oh ya, also samples of Benefit Dew the Hoola Bronzer and Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation.
Phew…my fingers are TIRED.
Allure Beauty Thrills – December 2015
Just like last year, the Allure Beauty Thrills Box went on sale during Thanksgiving vacation. Again, I set my alarm and ordered. The price went up again – $49.95 now, with $10 shipping. Even so, it is a hell of a deal.
There were a few repeats from previous boxes, but loads of new stuff: Algenist Power Advanced Wrinkle Fighter Serum (easily the most valuable item in the box – $105 on Sephora’s site); Aloxxi Volumizing Whip (eh, I am SO past the mousse phase); Caress Daily Silk Silkening Body Wash (this is THE BEST for shaving your legs in the shower); Clear Scalp & Hair Total Care Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner (going to my sister); Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen (my third one); Colgate Optic White Express White Toothpaste; Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant (still using the last one I got); Dove Deep Moisture Wash (another good one for leg shaving); e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator (intrigued); e.l.f. Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in “Bordeaux Beauty”; HASK Monoi Coconut Nourishing Shine Oil (another repeat); Herbal Essences Naked Volume Shampoo (what the fuck am I supposed to do with shampoo and no conditioner?); Jessica Custom Nail Color in “Soak Up the Sun” (bright ass pink); Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Face Lift Serum ($58 on Ulta’s site); Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Unscented Refreshing Dry Shampoo (Ugh); One ‘N Only Island Essentials Awapuhi Intensive Treatment; Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment (I LOVE the Blonde Idol BB Spray from my first Allure box – looking forward to this one); Rusk Working Spray; Simple Skincare Micellular Make-Up Remover Wipes; Sonia Kashuk Tools Medium Eye Shadow Brush No. 28 (I needed another blending brush); Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil; Touch In Sol Feel Like Honey Moon Skin Base; and Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser (Tomatoes and charcoal sounds like something you’d use to get out skunk stink).
All these high end wrinkle products – my face is going to be a smooth as a baby’s behind!
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.
Le Poop and Le Barf
Puss has being absolutely BEGGING to be featured on my site and today, she wouldn’t take NO for an answer.
My son thinks he is a comedian. As I gleefully opened up my Ulta “Finishing Touches” Fragrance Collection, he asked if any of the perfumes were from France. So I started reading off where the perfumes were from and he says, “I thought so – it smells like Le Poop and Le Barf.” How can a 9 year old be so funny?
A few Saturdays ago, I was sitting at my daughter’s Gymnastics Class and got an Ulta email…The special of the day was 2/$40 on the “Finishing Touches” set, plus a free stainless steel 3 piece serving set. Why not? I can keep one and use the other for a white elephant gift. (I was a little perturbed when I saw that Ulta will have these for $14.99 on Black Friday, but then again – that would require leaving the house on the most dangerous day of the year.)
Inside the box: Bvulgari “Omnia Crystalline”, Calvin Klein “Endless Euphoria”, DKNY “MYNY”, Estée Lauder “Modern Muse”, Giorgio Armani “Acqua Di Gioia”, Jimmy Choo “Jimmy Choo”, Juicy Couture “Viva La Juicy”, Lancôme “La Vie est Belle”, Philosophy “Loveswept” (the only one of these that I already own – I got it for Valentine’s Day), Prada “Prada Candy”, Ralph Lauren “Midnight Romance”, and Vince Camuto “Femme”. The set also came with a refillable purse atomizer and a $5 off Fragrance Coupon.
I also picked the mystery sample pack – I got L’Oreal EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Humidity Defying Leave-in Creme; Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream and Redken Diamond Oil. Interesting…
I can’t wait to try all my new fragrances – I hope I like at least one of them…
Allure Beauty Box – September 2014
The Allure Beauty Box is kind of a big deal. It’s not a subscription box, but a gigantor box of full size beauty products that’s sold once a quarter. It’s $44.95 (plus tax and $10 shipping) for over $250 of stuff. This is the first time I’ve tried to get one and I got lucky and managed to snag one…even though they sold out in less than an hour!
Get a load of what was in this box: Aloxxi Dry Shampoo; Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Truly Radiant Battery Powered Toothbrush (I cracked this baby open this morning – it was AWESOME! It was like I just left the dentist. My husband and son use electric toothbrushes, but I had been resisting. I am now a firm believer.); Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste; BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths (weird); Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in “Hawaiian Smolder” (So lip crayons are the “in” thing right now? I used it today and it actually looks natural on me – not nauseatingly pink.); Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser; Clean & Clear Advantage Daily Soothing Acne Scrub; Curel Rough Skin Rescue Lotion; Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash (I’ll probably use this for shaving my legs); e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths; Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Oil Nourishing Styling Treatment (I used this after my shower – so soft!); Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer (This will probably be given away – I don’t need my ass to be browner or firmer); John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Color Protecting Shampoo (Brilliant Brunette is ALL I use!); John Frieda Frizz Ease Go Curlier Heat Activated Spray (I’ll break this out the next time I use curlers); John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Intense After-Color Conditioner (I just ran out of this); Make It Straight; Neutrogena Triple Repair Fortifying Leave-In Treatment; Organic Doctor Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask; Organic Doctor Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Restorative Treatment Conditioner; Organic Doctor Tea Tree Face Wash (I used this this morning – cooling and clean); Real Techniques Blush Brush; Redken Blonde Idol BBB Spray (I’m not blonde, but I’ll try it); Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Shock Wave” (SQUEE!); and TRESemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment.
Dang…my fingers are TIRED! I’m gonna go play with my new stuff!