The Mother of All Sample Bags

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

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…

Magical Bag

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Did I need more liquid lipstick? No, but I wanted it. Same thing.

I’ve been jonesing to try the Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick ($17) since it dropped at Ulta a few weeks ago. I’d been admiring “Emerald City” – not a duochrome, but a trichrome – for quite some time. I also picked up “Versailles”, because I need more rose gold in my life. “Versailles” is very close to Jeffree Star “Pussy Whipped”, but not quite as peachy. “Versailles” looks better on me, TBH. I haven’t tried “Emerald City” yet. The Ofra formula is nice and smooth and not drying.

I also decided to try Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation in “Fair”, which is very affordable at $14. I’m pleased with the performance. it’s light coerage, but a good match for my skin. I also picked up the new Ulta New Hue Shadow Switching Pan. I know I just paid $9 for a sponge in a tin, but this damn thing works like a champ. I don’t know that I could’ve made my own at home for cheaper. I spent just enough on Ulta products to get a FREE Deluxe palette, one of those ones with ALL the products – 24 shadows and blush and lip stuff. I might never use it, but free is free. I used a code for $5 off $15 in Ulta products, so I got all those goodies for a steal.

I also threw in a Zoya Remove+ for shits and giggles. My free sample pack had Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer and Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer (for my man).

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

The real star of my order was the FREE 24 product beauty bag that I got with a $60 purchase. It was packed so full, I can barely get all the stuff back in it!

Inside this magical bag: philosophy time in a bottle repair serum (love this stuff, but too pricey); DevaCurl Buildup Buster Gentle Deep Cleansing Serum; it Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer (I’ve heard good things about this stuff); Sexy Hair Long Sexy Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler (I don’t have long hair anymore, so I must be patient); NYX Total Control Drop Foundation (4 shades, surely the lightest will work); Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream; Clinique BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops (very interesting concept); Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Finally! I’ve been wanting to try this); Ulta Mattifying Balm (another one I’ve wanted to try); Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil (another genius idea); Jimmy Choo L’eau; Tory Burch Love Relentlessly; Benefit Hoola Quickie Contour Stick; Julep love your bare face Hydrating Cleansing Oil; Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner; First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel (another WOW product I want to try); Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea (I stuck it in the fridge for a hot nasty day); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate; Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in “Butter Scotch”; Vitabath Spa Day Body Wash in “Lavender Chamomile”; COOLA Classic Sunscreen White Tea Moisturizer; StriVectin Hair Deep Repair Mask; and Smashbox Cover Shot Golden Hour Eye Shadow Duo. Phew, finger cramps. Oh, and another $5 off $15 Ulta coupon.

Allure Beauty Box – December 2014

/

Because I knew this season’s Allure Beauty Box would go on sale during my Thanksgiving vacation, I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to jump on the computer and purchase it…again, I was able to get this value-packed box of goodies – over $250 of stuff for $44.95 + $10 shipping.

Is it possible that this box is even better than the last one? Inside:  Aloxxi Conditioning Detangler (Lily might be getting this); Bioré Self heating One Minute Mask (I would have tried this out tonight if it wasn’t for a freak mustache wax accident this morning – don’t ask); Burt’s Bees Cucumber & Sage Facial Cleansing Towelettes (I totally used up the e.l.f. ones I got last time, so I know I’ll use these); Cetaphil Intensive Moisturizing Cream; Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer; Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen (weird); Colgate Optic White Platinum Whiten & Protect Toothpaste (cool); Curel Skincare Rough Skin Rescue (the only duplicate from the last box – my husband already called dibs on this bottle to take to work); Dove White Beauty Bar (I didn’t know people still used bar soap?); Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days To Glow Moisturizer (I don’t need to be browner, so this will be gifted); John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Conditioner (this shit is my JAM); John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss for Cool Brunettes; John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir; Neutrogena Boost Water Gel; Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse (do people still use mousse?); Organic Doctor Organic Manuka Honey Hand & Nail Cream; Organic Doctor Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrating Radiance Elixir; Physicians Formula Nude Wear Glowing Nude Blush in “Rose” (YES, YES, YES); Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in “Sweet Talker”scünci Hair Emergency Kit (my purse needs this); Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Body Lotion; Splat hair Chalk in “Dusty Rose” (why not?); and Style Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo (yes, more dry shampoo).

My only disappointment was that there was no face wash! Now I have to go buy some fucking face wash!

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 ShampooArm & 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!