My sweet Sally sent me an Ulta giftcard for my birthday last month. At first, I wasn’t intentionally saving it – I almost used it on a haircut a few weeks ago – but I’m glad I did save it. The new Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette ($44) was released at Ulta on March 4th – I ordered it that day in order to get the gift with purchase.
Sure, I have the first six Naked palettes (OG, Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, Naked Cherry), plus a dozen other Urban Decay palettes – but I need THIS one, too. There are a few interesting tweaks to the Naked “formula” – first off, there’s no brush – I guess that’s why it’s $5 cheaper than the rest of the Naked palettes. They also changed up the pan sizes – the lighter base shades have large pans and the dark and glitter shades have smaller pans – brilliant! That’s exactly how it should be! I’ve used it three times so far, and other than having to decide which brushes to use, the experiences have been great. I haven’t used it with primer yet, because it doesn’t need it. The shades are neutral enough for any skin tone, although they seem to lean olive, strangely enough. It’s the perfect neutral starter for someone just getting into prestige brands of makeup. I’ll be reaching for this palette often.
The gift with purchase was an Urban Decay Makeup Bag, in signature black, white and lilac. The bag included a deluxe sample of Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging and a full size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”. For some reason, I expected there to be a lipstick – nope. Free is free though.
For shits and giggles, I added two new Feeling Beautiful Freeman Masks ($4.29) to my cart: Deep Clearing Seaweed + Sea Salt Mud Mask + Scrub (I really liked the scent and how exfoliating this mask was) and Soothing Watermelon + Aloe Cooling Gel Mask (not especially cooling, but I did feel like it calmed my skin before my shower).
I also qualified for another freebie bag, which had a really strange assortment of products. The standout sample in the bag is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in (what I believe to be) “Crimson Chrome” – it’s not labelled, so I’m making an educated guess. I love the color and how it looks on me, but it gets on EVERYTHING – my poor hamburger ended up wearing most of it today. Also in the bag: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant/Anti-Antiperspirant (why?); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; and Clarins Multi-Active Jour SPF 20. See what I mean? Odd.
$193 to Platinum…
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!
YAYROUGE, Part 2 & 3
Yeah, I paid $8 for dental floss. Technically, $6.80 with my 15%…I tried out Cocofloss in “Cara Cara Orange”. Yeah, I know it’s dumb – it’s not even as orangey flavored as I hoped. But I was just so damn salty that the Sun Safety Kit sold out.
For samples, I got Cover FX Shimmer Veil, Tory Burch Tory Burch (I forgot that I love this), and Versace Bright Crystal (my lil sis likes this one). I didn’t pick any of these samples…
My other order makes a lot more sense. I knew I would be getting the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some New Lip Kit ($28, $23.80 after discount) sooner or later. I kind of miss the lip shaped box. I wanted Smashbox Always On Metallic Matte in “XO, Vlada” so bad – and it’s full size! It’s a beautiful copper and lasts all day. I wore Huda Beauty Lip Strobe in “Snobby” to the dentist and it lasted through the whole cleaning. The dentist even complimented it! Also in the box: Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in “Night Mauves” (also full size); treStiQue Mini Plumping Lip Balm in “Barbados Berry”; and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in “Candy Venom” (gonna try this one tomorrow).
For samples, I got Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer, Woman by Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme. Again, I did not pick any of these samples.
Just $708 to Rouge for 2019. I don’t know if I can do it!
I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I’m always looking for the next product/styling aid that will give me perfect hair…I try something new, get excited…then back comes the ponytail.
That being said, my current Revlon curling iron is probably older than my son (13!) and didn’t get very hot last time I tried to use it. I’ve been drooling over the Beachwaver Curling Iron, but at $129 – that’s a steep price for a curling iron! How can I rationalize spending that much money on a styler I’ll use just a few times a year? Well…I found a way.
First, you save up your Ulta Platinum Points for nearly 2 years – the last time I used my points was on the Alice Through the Looking Glass Palette! I had saved $67.50 in points. Then, wait for a 20% off coupon. Last week, the stars aligned and I snagged the Beachwaver S1 Curling Iron for just $35.70. Woo! I tried it out and it’s just as amazing as videos make it look. You literally just grab your hair and press the button and BAM – perfect waves. I haven’t done my whole head yet…but coming soon!
I also found a promo for a free 18 piece Beauty Bag with $30 purchase on RetailMeNot – check out the amazing contents: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” (already have one, but sure); Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer (have some, but I like it); Bosley Professional Strength Ultra Boost Styling Creme (Bosley, like the hair plug people?); Clairol Hair Food Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Infused with Honey Apricot Fragrance (Mmmmm); Jimmy Choo L’eau; First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (huh?); Hempz Original Herbal Shampoo for Damaged and Color Treated Hair; Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium; Philosophy Amazing Grace; Living proof. restore mask treatment; goodol Wash Up Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay; Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil; Perricone MD Cold Plasma Face Serum; Rituals Hand Balm in “Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil”; Philosophy Purity Made Simple (love this stuff for when I travel); Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum; Estee Lauder The Smoother Universal Perfecting Primer; Organic to Green Coco Oil; and a $5 off $15 Ulta Collection coupon! I have finger cramps now!
My usual samples were also good – NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in “American Woman” and HASK Biotin Boost Shampoo & Conditioner.
I don’t plan on hitting the beach this summer, but my hair will be ready just in case!
Give Me Some Nude Lip – Take 4
I am such a sucker for Sephora’s curated lip sets. I don’t know if it is the lipstick or the little lip shaped box that they come in. I’d say it was the box, but I REALLY wanted one of those lippies. So I got the new Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip Set ($28).
The one I really wanted? NARS Lipstick in “Orgasm”. I had gotten a deluxe sample of NARS Orgasm Blush a while back and it is one of my favorites – all the hype is true – it is universally flattering. I actually put on makeup for the first time in weeks yesterday, just so I could see the blush and lipstick together – heavenly.
Also in the the glittery white lip box: Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in “Futurist”; Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in “Sugar” (really just a sheer gloss); Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in “Exposed” (I love a basic brown matte); Urban Decay Cosmetics Vice Special Effects in “Fever” (I’d be more impressed if these weren’t on clearance for $9 everywhere); and Smashbox Cosmetics Be Legendary Lip Pigment in “Mauve Wife” (this will be my fave – it’s like a cross between Lolita and Androgyny!)
Oh, and no dupes! I didn’t have any of these lippies!
I also used this order to get my Sephora Birthday gift – I chose the GlamGlow set with GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment and GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. My other chose was some Bite Beauty Lipstick – meh.
Can we talk about samples? Even though I got the 2 deluxe samples I used a special code for – it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser (divine) and Miu Miu L’eau Rosee (not a straight rose, but like running through an unkempt rose garden with roses and whatever happens to be growing there) – I DID NOT get my other samples. This is the third time in a row!
First I emailed Customer Service again, they quickly apologized qand gave me 225 points. That’s nice and all, but not a solution. I took to twitter and then DMed with Sephora. They admitted it’s been an ongoing issue, blah blah blah. I can tell you what the issue is – the samples are no longer showing up on the pick list that shows up in my box. I’ve been using the app to order, so next order will be placed online and we’ll see if that helps..
$932 to Rouge…but $282 to VIB Insider is more likely.
Sephora Play January 2018 – Happy You Year!
It’s January 31st, I had major surgery and I am still managing to cover all my January boxes in January. High Five!
This month’s “Happy You Year” bag is filled with products to revitalize. The first thing I squealed over is the GlamGlow SuperCleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser – I LOVE GlamGlow!
Also in this month’s bag: Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (just a foil pack, boo); Lancome Cils Booster Super-Enhancing Mascara Booster (don’t care); Smashbox Photo FInish Primerizer (primer AND moisturizer – genius!); Ole Henriksen Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask (I love me some masks); and Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream.
No fragrance though – boo!
If you don’t get Sephora Play, sign up TODAY. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
January 2018 Birchbox – Find Your Happy
Even though I forgot to pick the products in my Julep box, I did remember to pick for my Birchbox. I picked the curated box, of course. Not that any products stood out to me, but the sample choices were either lame or repeats.
Of all the brands I get in Subscription Boxes, I’d have to say that I get Smashbox the most. I get a Smashbox product every single month. I’m not mad about getting another Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer – I actually like this pearly primer. (I got it in September’s ipsy.)
Also in this month’s box: Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner (So glad I got equal sizes of BOTH products); Laura Geller New York Fortifying Lashes Eyelash Primer (why?); and Clark’s Botanicals Age Defying Radiance Cream.
If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.
Sephora Play! December 2017 – Glam Straight
I know, I know. Again. Don’t even say it.
December’s box is full of party products – special products for a night out. Before I could even get excited about any of the products, I was in awe of the Art Deco pouch that came with this month’s box. It’s total Gatsby.
After the pouch, I was drawn to the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream – it’s a soothing cream that eliminates redness. My scabby winter skin could use the help. Also in this month’s box – Atelier Cologne Clementine California (so happy – I just used up a travel spray of this); drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1, Clinique pretty easy liquid eyelining pen in “black”; Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Mat in M401 “Hot Red”; and Smashbox Cover Shot: Golden Hour Eye Shadow Duo. I could almost do a full face with this box. I’dd look really weird with no eyebrows though.
Do you get Sephora Play? This is far and away, the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.
November Birchbox – prep. set. party!
Is it December already? Oops.
This month’s curated box is products meant to prep for a party. Apparently…a very orange party.
Included in this month’s box: JUARA Candlenut Body Creme (a repeat); Smashbox Cosmetics Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Driver’s Seat” (it’s SO orangey); Marcelle Hydra-C Eye Contour Gel-Cream; Living proof. STYLE|LAB T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler (interested in trying this out); and LAQA & Co. B’Lighter in “Peacher’s Daughter”.
More than any other box I get, my Birchbox samples just sit and gather dust. I need to nut up and decide if I should keep it or not.
If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.
Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 19
I think it was Day 19…whatever, the 21 Days of Beauty were September 3rd to 23rd and on the 21st, I found something to order.
I have a hard time passing up the chance to try new foundations for 50% off. I decided to try Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation in “Medium” for $16.50. It’s a swirly dome, with streak of gold. I feel like this foundation makes my face matte, but luminous at the same time. It’s really nice, actually.
I also picked up a full size China Glaze “Let Your Twilight Sparkle” ($7.50) for my daughter – she actually used up the entire mini bottle already! Oh, and a Zoya Remove+ ($10).
For freebies, I got Ulta Beauty Radiant Skin Collection Warming Charcoal Cleanser and Sleeping Cream, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in “St. Mortiz/Medium 1”, and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.
I got free shipping with the day’s deal. I used $23.50 in Ulta points (I still have $50 left) and a $3.50 off coupon, so my order was only $7.58!