Give Me Some Balm
Oh hey, so here’s my order from Sephora’s Spring VIB Sale. It took over two weeks to get here, which is understandable…but work has been literally INSANE the past week, so I haven’t been posting…
Sephora hasn’t been wowing me lately, but I did find a few things that sparked my interest. I’d been eyeing the new Sephora Favorites “Give Me Some Balm” Kit ($29), because almost every day, I’ve been wearing nothing but lip balm. The star of the set is the FULL SIZE Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Balm in “Clear” – hands down, this is the prettiest tube I own! I’m also pumped about the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment in “Clear” – it’s minty. Even though I hate applying lip balm with my finger, the peachy scent of the Too Faced Cosmetics Peach Mega Moisture Lip Balm has me keeping it by my bedside. Also included in the kit – FULL SIZE tarte SEA Quench Lip Rescue in “rose” and Jouer Cosmetics Essential Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment. All my fellow work-from-homers must have picked up this kit, too – it’s no longer available!
I also snagged another Cocofloss in “Fresh Coconut” ($9) – I LOOOOOVE this dental floss.
Do I really need red eyeliner? No, but it was on clearance for $10, so I picked up a Kat Von D, um, I mean KVD Vegan Beauty Ink Well Long Wear Eye Liner in “Outlaw”. I haven’t tried it yet, maybe I’ll leave the house by Halloween?
For samples, I got Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and a sample card of Shiseido VisionAiry Gel Lipstick (meh). I never would’ve picked the lipstick, but I did pick the perfume. Why does it smell like a Mens’ scent?
On a side note, Sephora Play! is no more! April was to be the final box, but changing my expiration date didn’t take in my account and I missed out on the very last box. (It probably would’ve been a bunch of leftover samples, anyway). Thanks for nothing, COVID-19.
Without Sephora Play!, will I be able to spend $208 more to get VIB status for 2021?
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!
October 2019 Sephora Play! – Your Beauty Recipe
Better late than never, aight?
A very odd Sephora Play! box this month – there doesn’t seem to be an overarching theme, other than pieces you can mix into your beauty routine. The first sample I tried was the dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Masque. I was worried that it would have a vinegary smell, but the smell was rather light. I used it in the shower, so I probably only left it in my hair for 5-7 minutes – but it made my hair feel really nice and silky.
I also tried the Tarte Quench Hydrating Primer – Rainforest of the Sea Collection. I wish there was more in the tube, because it was really nice. There was only 2 uses in the tube!
Also in this month’s box: Shiseido WASO: Clear Mega-Hydrating Moisturizer; Origins Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion (Is that name long enough for you?); Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser (why is it in a tiny glass bottle?); and Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
Oh, something new in this month’s box – instead of a 50 point Play! pass, this box came with a code for 20% off any foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB or CC Cream. If I didn’t just get the 20% holiday bonus, I’d definitely use it!
Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! 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…
VIB Rouge Fall 2017 Preview
I’ve been invited to several exclusive Rouge events over the last two years that I’ve had Rouge status, but this past Saturday was the first time I ever actually went. I actually got up super early, got dressed and drove my ass to Sephora at 9am in the morning.
The Fall Preview Event showcases a few of the new products launching in the fall and makes them available to purchase in very limited quantities. I say very limited, because by the time I arrived, 25 minutes into the event, they had already sold out of the Too Faced Glitter Bomb Palette. I might have been tempted to buy it, especially after swatching it and covering myself with rainbow glitter…but then I think about the owner…and no.
I had snagged a new Clinique Bubble Mask…but then I got a mini-facial with Fresh products. I put that sucker back and purchased Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream ($40) and Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner ($44). I just have a soft spot for rose scents. I also picked up a Deep Pore Replacement Head for my Clarisonic ($27).
Oh, and the freebies! The Fresh Rep gave me a Deluxe sample of Fresh Sugar Face Polish and Sugar Lip Treatment Collection. When I checked out, I qualified for a HUGE flower printed pouch and a little gift baggie of samples. Inside the little baggie were 2 of each sample: Lancer The Method: Polish, Cleanse, Nourish; Alterna Haircaire Bamboo Smooth Anti-Frizz PM Overnight Smoothing Treatment and AM Daytime Smoothing Blowout Balm; Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer; and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. Weird products, but I’ll try them out.
All these purchases requalified my VIB status for 2018 and put me just $561 away from Rouge. I think I can do it…
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).
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.
Everlasting Flash – April 2017
I am going to tell you a tale of some of the best customer service I’ve ever received. Without fail, Sephora has provided excellent customer service – and this time, I didn’t even know I needed customer service!
Last Wednesday, I decided to take advantage of this month’s Everlasting Flash Deal and get early access to one of Kat Von D Cosmetics new line of Everlasting Lip Liners ($18 each). The deal was for “Lolita”, so of course I had to have it. I also ordered one of the new Everlasting Lip Liquid Shades ($20)- “Miss Argentina” (in homage to the character from Beetlejuice). The very next morning, I noticed an email that my order for “Lolita” had been resubmitted. Weird. I didn’t really think about it much, but on the way home from work, I got a call from Sephora Customer Service. It seems that they accidentally sent me a “Lolita II” Lip Liner instead of “Lolita”, so they sent me the right one as soon as the error was discovered. When I asked what to do with the “Lolita II”, she just…to just keep it. THEY LET ME KEEP IT…free ya’ll. I think I even got points for it.
…and this is why I LOVE Sephora. Rouge for life.
Oh yeah, for samples, I got a card with Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer (I’ve been wanting to try this so bad!) and 2 shades of Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Makeup (shades are 2.5, 5.0 and 8.0 – I wear 3.5, so not very useful), Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 and Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb (one of my faves). I also used a code to get a deluxe sample of Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment (this shit is powerful and turned my skin into lizard scales after a single use; it’s 3% sulfur, so I’ll be saving for BAD breakouts).
The 15% off spring event is next week…need to dig through the couch for change…
Online Shopping Binge
I kind went nuts last week with the online shopping – between Thursday night and Saturday morning , I placed no less than 6 online orders…so many sales and coupons in my inbox…I couldn’t resist.
With the long holiday weekend and biblical flooding, almost all of the packages hit at once yesterday. Instead of half a dozen different posts, I figured I’d stuff most of them into one…
I am fairly shameless, so I’m not going to show the pile of underwear from Victoria’s Secret. Yup, I hoard panties, too.
I had been eyeing the Sephora Sun Safety Kit – I need to protect my easily scorched skin. Inside the kit are 16 different sun protection products in a cute travel bag: – AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30, Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light Medium, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Ole Henriksen total truth eye crème SPF 15, Origins VitaZing Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen, Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 30, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ WetForce Broad Spectrum Water Resistant (80 Minutes), St. Tropez One Night Only in Light-Medium, Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, and Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argan Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50. PHEW – that’s a lot of sunscreen!
For my 3 samples, I chose Viktor & Rolf “Flowerbomb” (spicy and flowery, reminds me of a Victoria’s Secret scent), Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA “Beach Walk” (this doesn’t smell like a perfume – it smells like a thing – LOVE), and dr. brandt Do Not Age. Sephora was also running a Jetsetter deal – pick 3 extra samples – so I got Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, and boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. My face is gonna be SMOOTH.
I can’t say no to Birchbox’s Limited Edition Boxes. As soon as I got the email got the “Under the Sun” ($55) box, I knew I would eventually order it…but not until I got that 25% coupon. 25% off and $10 in Birchbox points and ADD TO CART. Inside the box: Baggu Tote Bag (I had my fingers crossed for this elephant print!), Cynthia Rowley Beauty Beauty on the Go Multi Blush & Bronzer Duo (meh), Laura Mercier Bakes Eye Color in “Cameo” (yasss), Sugarpova Flirty Candy (why does Maria Sharapova sell candy?), Chloe + Isabel Birchbox Exclusive Medina Convertible Pendant Necklace (my favorite part of the box!), Knockaround Premium Sunglasses (silver!), ncLA Nail Lacquer in “Bikinis & Martinis” (it’s the color of bubble gum you’d find stuck under a picnic table), and Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Suncreen with Olive Polythenols SPF 40.
For samples, I got Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and Sumita Jumon Contrast Eye Pencil. I also finally got my Birchbox Anniversary Keyring (not pictured).
…and today, I got a big box of Deep Cleansing Hand Soap from Bath & Body Works. You know that I start to get the shakes if I have less than 30 bottles under the sink. They were all between $2.75 & $3.25, plus 20% off and free shipping. I threw in a handful of Scentportables for my car for good measure.
I also received my Dream Polish Gem Glam Topcoat in “Lily Flower” – yes, it’s scented! This another popular one on Instagram and it’s 5 free – I can’t wait to try it out.
I am still waiting on my sale order from Delush Polish – that’s the only one that hasn’t arrived. I think I have enough stuff to keep me busy…until next week when all my subscription boxes start rolling in!