Oh Zoya, it’s been so long…
I get all kinds of good information from my fb Groups. I had somehow missed the HUE19 promotion – no emails, nothing on from the brand on Social Media – but an online friend clued me into the HUE19 sale – any 4 polishes “FREE”, just pay $15 shipping. I took advantage of a similar sale in 2015, except it was just 3 polishes. Nice!
I only picked one from the newest collection – “Winter Holos” – and that was “Everly”, diamond holographic fuchsia red. I skipped straight to the “Jubilee Holiday 2018” collection for the last three: “Juniper” – sparkling teal textured PixieDust, “Kateri” – midnight brown cream, and the one I’d been lusting after for months – the Leopard Spots Topper.
Of course, I jumped on the Leopard Spots Topper first – I’ve already used it twice!
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.
First Sephora Haul of 2019
It was an amazing test of willpower to wait until January 1st to place a Sephora order. The 1st was the final day of the “Sale on Sale” – 20% off Clearance items, but I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last year and place an order too early.
I only wanted one thing from the Sale Page – the tarte Let’s Flamingle brush Set. Do I need more makeup brushes? No. Do I want makeup brushes shaped like flamingos and pineapples? FUCK YES. I wasn’t feeling the original $44 price, or even the $25 sale price. $20 seemed like the right place. I haven’t used them yet, but I’ve unboxed them and they are soft and uber-fluffy.
I also picked up Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in “Flamingo Acid” ($18). Are you sensing a theme here? I’d been coveting the shade since it dropped as part of the 10/10 set – but I wasn’t about to buy 10 tubes of lipstick for just one shade. Luckily, they just released them all individually. I busted it out today – it is absolutely the perfect winter shade. It makes me look really white, but hey – I AM really white.
I’m super bummed that Sephora is still only offering two samples per order. (They’re also changing up the Rouge Benefits for 2019 – ugh, now I’ll have to pick between makeovers and free shipping – you cannot have both now.) I had picked a Jo Malone sample, but of course I didn’t get it. I got AmorePacific The Essential Creme Fluid and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. I absolutely HATE powders on a postcard. Ugh, Sephora – get it together.
$952 to Rouge.
Second Chance at Black Friday
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Last Friday, I was off work, out and about and I happened to notice an email for $2.95 Hand Soap Sale. So after Big Lots, I skipped on over to Bath & Body Works…
I filled a bag with 6 bottles…what? That is a damn empty bag, but I just filled up on soap a few weeks ago. I was hoping to use the coupons I forgot to bring to Candle Day the week before. [$8.95 3 wick candles – it was INSANE. There were bare shelves everywhere and I managed to get 2 of the last 3-4 “Twisted Peppermint” candles. I was lucky I didn’t get shanked in the parking lot.] Unfortunately, I couldn’t stack coupons with the soaps…but they would let me do two transactions…
I was about to give up and just leave with my soap, when I noticed that they had two racks of sexy black bags by the front door. They had a shitload of the VIP Black Friday Bags left! I verified with an employee – they were selling them for $35 each and I could use all my coupons. Not only did I get $10 off, but I got a free “Winter Candy Apple” Shower Gel for Lily and a free “White Citrus” Shower Gel for myself.
Inside the gorgeous fake leather VIP bag: a Fine Fragrance Mist in “Into the Stars” (it smells nice, but I wasn’t ready to start a new scent, so I gave it to Lily); a “Winter Candy Apple” 3 wick candle, a “Twisted Peppermint” Foaming Hand Soap, a Men’s Collection 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash in “Ocean” (my husband shall enjoy it); “Vanilla Bean Noel” Shea Butter Hand Cream; “Champagne Toast” Antibacterial Hand Gel; and a “Lump of Coal” Charcoal Sheet Mask with Purifying Charcoal.
Just a few weeks more weeks until the Semi-Annual Sale! I better make room!
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! Smarts – Complexion Your Way: Matte
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On the second weekend of Sephora’s ROUGE BONUS 20% off sale, they dropped new Sephora Play! Smarts boxes – Complexion Your Way ($20), with a choice between “Matte” and “Dewy”. Of course, I chose “Matte”.
The star of this box was the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Matte Longwear Foundation + Primer. The sample card came with Primer and three shades of foundation. Amazingly, the lightest shade, “150”, was the near-perfect shade for me. There was just enough in the pack for a thin full face application (with a Beautyblender). It was BEAUTIFUL, especially topped with the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder, also included in the box. This will definitely be the next foundation I buy.
Along with a nifty netted zipper bag, the “Matte” box had It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser Skin-Transforming Hydrating Cleansing Serum (love this cleanser); Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight; Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer; Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Moisturizer; and Sephora Collection Beauty Magnet Concealer Brush. I will use all of these, immediately.
I added another purchase to my order – the Ellis Brooklyn Bibliotheca Discovery Set ($20), a fragrance sampler that includes six of the brand’s set. Can you believe that the one I originally received was totally evaporated??? I was SO pissed. I called Sephora immediately and they sent me a new one, no questions asked. Luckily, it was fine…and I got two more samples. Oh yeah, did you hear that Sephora only gives two samples per order now? There will be riots in the street!
Back to the Ellis Brooklyn set…it was utterly disappointing. I really didn’t like any of the scents enough to buy a full size. I had especially high hopes for “Rrose” – I love a good rose, but it was bland. “Raven”, “Myth” and “Sci Fi” were the best of the bunch, but didn’t last long enough for me to get a feel for on me. “Rives” was straight up POISON that gave me a headache (probably the lavender). I wore “Fable” today and I cannot even remember what it smelled like. I am utterly disappointed in this set. I was hoping to find another high quality niche brand to love, like Atelier or Replica, but every formula was weak and was gone within 10 minutes. FAIL.
Oh samples! In the first shipment, I got foundations – Milk Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (3 shades on a card) and Giorgio Armani Face fabric Second Skin Makeup (4 shades foil packs). The second shipment gave me another sample of Ellis Brooklyn Myth and Dior Joy. Oh, joy.
Just $44 to Rouge!
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Oh, Sephora…you really do spoil me. This past weekend and now this weekend, Sephora is offering 20% for Rouge Members. You know I took advantage the very first day of last week’s sale – I had to get that sample bag!
I really wanted to smell some Ellis Brooklyn scents, but they didn’t carry them at my local store. Boo. I had a hard time coming up with something I needed/wanted – until I noticed how many shades of lippies that Kat Von D is discontinuing. I was vaguely aware, but not fully – they are getting rid of about a third of their shades of Studded Kiss, Everlasting Lip Liquids, Everlasting Glimmer Veils, and Everlasting Lip Liners. I decided to grab an Everlasting Lip Liquid in “Underage Red” ($13) – you know, because the name pisses so many people off. I also got an Everlasting Lip Liner in “Misfit” ($11) – a darker maroon. I’ve gotta say, the two of these colors together is stunning. I’m very happy with my purchase.
So…that sample bag…so packed full! It included Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color (in little weird plastic pots); Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (2 shades); NARS Power Matte Lip Pigment in “American Woman”; Tory Burch Eau de Parfum; Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment; Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream; Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask (excited to try this); and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.
Just $86 Until ROUGE for 2019. I will do it!
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Would you believe that this entire Ulta Haul cost me a mere $1.87? The magic of Ulta Platinum points, baby.
I really hadn’t been saving up points for very long – I used up most of my points just six month ago on a Beachwaver. Through strategic use of points promotions and my Ultimate Mastercard, I’d managed to accrue over $100 in points in a short period of time! By stacking a 20% off code, I was able to conserve precious points – I only used $70.50 in points this time.
I exhibited extraordinary willpower in not purchasing the Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette ($49) at launch. I knew I had the points though, so I just bided my time until I got the code. I also splurged on matching Vice Lipstick in “Devilish” ($18). I’ve been using the palette for the past 3-4 days and it is the same buttery formula that I’ve grown to love through all the Naked palettes. There’s a variety of matte and shimmer shades that work very well together. I won’t be the first to point out that the palette seems a little bit like a rehash of the Backtalk palette – but so what? The Backtalk blushes work really well with this palette, so I call that a win. I heartily recommend the Naked Cherry palette, especially when it’s free.
I added a few other fun things to my order. I’d been wanting to try a bubble sheet mask, so I got an Ulta Revitalizing Bubbling Sheet Mask ($3.00) and since they were BOGO 40% off, I got an Ulta Age Defying Matcha Mud Mask ($1.80). Ulta also came out with Aromatherapy Fragrance Rollerballs ($12.50) – I got the “Uplift” Coconut Rose scent. I absolutely love the scent – it reminds me of the Renaissance Festival for some reason – but it doesn’t last very long at all. Kind of a bummer. I also got a Scunci No-Slip Octopus clip ($5.99) – this is hands down the best clip to hold your hair and not look like a lazy hot mess. I need like 5 more.
In addition to waiting until I got a 20% off code, I also waited until Beauty Break Wednesday. The Hempz Beauty Break included three full size products: Hempz Cinnamon Sugar & Vanilla Butter Creme Herbal Body Moisturizer, Hempz Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Foaming Body Wash, Hempz Original Herbal Body Butter and a travel size Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Moisturizer. Wow!
They didn’t give me any samples though…bummer.
Only $430 until Diamond status…
On Wednesday, We Shop at Walgreen’s (and Ulta)
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Sinful Colors were 5/$5 this week – only 6 weeks or so since the last sale!
I set aside my entire Wednesday to Walgreen’s hop, so I’d be sure to find Halloween polishes. As luck would have it, I found most of the 2018 Halloween Collection, “Conjured Color”, at the first Walgreen’s. I picked up “Witch, Please”, “Mist-erious”, “Bitten”, “Bad Witch”, and “Spellbound”. Score! I also grabbed a few Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks from the Halloween Display – “Bewitched” and “Shady Witch”. No “Zombie Blush” in the Halloween Display though. I didn’t realize it, but I had accrued $10 in Bonus Bucks – Score again!
I hit three more Walgreen’s in search of “Zombie Blush” – nothing. (That might sound like a lot of driving, but it was a really tight circle in the Richmond/Katy area. Plus, I drive a Hybrid, so…) I made a quick stop at my Ulta, but no luck there…at first. I immediately spied an OPI Grease Collection Mini Set ($10.97, down from $14.50) and grabbed it for Lily (and myself, I admit). I was about to leave, when I checked a random aisle of hair ties and stuff…and there was the Wet N Wild “Zombie Blush” Display!!! It was $5.99, plus I grabbed another Halloween Liquid Catsuit – “Pink Your Poison”. I hate when ulta has the lame 20% off one item coupons. I couldn’t use it on a clearance item, so I got 20% off my “Zombie Blush” – a measly $1.20 off. At least they have a 3x points for Platinum going this week.
The “Zombie Blush” is amazing! It looks like a grungy grey-green in the pan, but shifts to a rusty reddish shade on your cheeks or eyes. Be warned – a little goes a long, LONG way. It is reminiscent of the color shifting shade in the “Plaid to the Bone” Quad I got a while back.
On a side note, on Friday, I went to a fifth Walgreen’s, still searching for more colors. I found 4 polishes, plus the Matte Top Coat from the “Radical Matte” Collection…but when I went to check out and this collection wasn’t included in the sale. I had to walk away…
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$3 for ALL Hand Soaps, plus a 20% off coupon? That wasn’t even the most exciting part…
…a new Bath & Body Works opened up closer to me! I was checking traffic on Google and there it was – a location I had apparently never noticed before, in the Shops at Bella Terra. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by an very exuberant employee named Toby. (I am pretty sure Toby is gonna be my new BFF.) I asked how long they’d been open and he told me three weeks. Frankly, I’m shocked that it took me three weeks to notice.
There wasn’t a limit, but I limited myself to 15 soaps, which ended up as $2.40 each after coupon. I was excited to get some Halloween soaps, like “Vampire Blood” – I put them out immediately. I also let me kids pick a scent. My son picked “Flannel” (he is so grunge, like me) and my daughter picked “Coconut Pumpkin Latte” (is she becoming basic, like me?). Merkin does NOT look impressed by my haul, does she?
I also grabbed a Moisture Lip Crayon in “Peony” ($6.50, down from $8.50), but it was so disappointing. “Peony” was only the color, not the scent. The scent was…bubblegum. Gag.
I cannot WAIT to go see Toby again!