I’ve found it. I’ve finally found the single hair tool for a perfect blow-out. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with blow-outs for well over 20 years. Around the time I graduated college, I ended up with a hair cut that necessitated a blow-out with round brush (it may or may not have rhymed with ‘the Bachel’). It happened probably 3 times before I was like ‘FUCK this’. I’ve tried everything from ionic dryers to diffusers, but everything takes too damn long – and makes my hair frizzy. About 10 years ago, I picked up a Conair Wet-to-Dry Styler, which works okay, but again – it take forever. Several years ago, I stepped up to a Revlon Paddle Style Dryer Brush, but there was still something lacking…
…until I tried the Revlon Pro Collection Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($59.99). I can literally give myself a salon quality blow-out in about 5 minutes. 5 fucking minutes. I feel like I’ve suffered through decades of bad hair before this tool was invented. Run, don’t walk, to buy this tool. One exception, I give you permission to wait until you get a 20% off coupon like I did.
Oh and pro-tip – definitely use a blow-out spray or primer before you use it. I am using Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray and it protects my hair while making it dry faster.
I also threw in a Revlon Nail Buffer ($3.49) because the 99 cent Diamond Brand ones I bought last time are SHIT. You get what you pay for!
My purchase qualified for a “Skinfatuation” gift with purchase, which included Exuviance Super Retinol Complex; Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer; Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum (fancy); Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum; StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer; and Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Vitamin C Glow Boosting Paper Mask. That’s a lot of fucking retinol!
$138 to Platinum. It’s looking like I might have a chance to hit Diamond with Ulta this year, instead of Rouge with Sephora this year…
Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon
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I never really cared about wet n wild makeup – not since Junior High anyway – until they started putting out these awesome collections. I am still peeved that I missed the Goth-o-Graphic Box, but it never hit Ulta as promised.
I did NOT miss the Fire Dragon vs. Ice Dragon Collection Box ($39.99). Inside the Limited Edition box are two set of products – a set of warm toned Fire Dragon products and a set of cool toned Ice Dragon products. I’ve only had a chance to play with the Fire Dragon side, so I might be a little bit biased towards that side. The Fire Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigment in “Gilded Crown” and “Fire Reign”; Coloricon Bronzer in “You’re Dragon Me Down” and “Queen’s Land”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Fit for a Queen”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in “Queen’s Blood” and “Redlings”. I am IN LOVE with using both shades of lipstick together. The Ice Side includes Coloricon Loose Pigments in “Ice, Ice, Lady” and “To-Knight’s Blue”; Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Winter Falls in LA” and “Halo Walkers”; Coloricon Eyeshadow Quad in “Mythicool Creatures”; and Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipsticks in “Icing on the Wall” and “Shall We Slay”. Lots of cool stuff I still need to play with!
I didn’t stop there. I had added a Pacifica Summer Kale Lip Balm ($1.25) from the sale page. Luckily, it does NOT smell or taste like Kale. I also added the e.l.f. Glow on the Go Selfie Light ($12) this thing is an absolute game changer – no more walking around the bedroom, looking for the perfect light – it makes every selfie perfect. This purchase also got me a gift with purchase – an e.l.f. makeup bag with foil samples of Poreless Face Primer and Hydrating Bubble Mask.
And then I found a BOGO 50% on L’Oreal products. I had been wanting to try their new chocolate lippies AKA L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick Les Chocolat ($9.99), so I ordered 4 out of the 6 shades – “70% Yum”, “Candy Man”, “Dose of Cocoa”, and “Box O Chocolate”. I’ve only had a chance to try out the first two and they have a really strong chocolate smell when you apply them, but the scent is gone as soon as it dries, which take a little minute. I kind of wanted the smell to stick around, but then I remembered how much my husband used to hate this chocolate lip gloss I used to wear to bed – he said it smelled like “chocolate ass”. Personally, I liked the way it smelled…but whatever. They also are very “infallible” – I had to use strong eye makeup remover to get them off my lips. They WILL last all day, whether you want them to or not. ANYWAY, this purchase also garnered me a gift with purchase – a L’Oreal makeup bag with samples of Pure Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (my favorite); Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream; and Voluminous Mascara Primer/Base.
On top of ALL that, I also got another gift with purchase for using my Ultamate Rewards Card – a reversible sequin makeup bag filled with samples. I am pretty sure my daughter is gonna fight me for this bag. Inside samples included: StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream; Lab Series Future Rescue; dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel (package says professional-grade, so does that mean I’ll lose 7 layers of skin?); Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom Aqua-Gel Conditioner (what? no shampoo???); Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser; Algenist Genius White Brightening Anti-Aging Cream; tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter in “exposed”; and an itty bitty sample of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” (my shade!). Pretty nice perk for just a $40 purchase. Oh and my regular samples were pretty lame – a card with 3 sample shades of Clinique 2-in-1 Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bonbon. I did remember use a $3.50 off coupon from an email, but this was still a big order for me – over $80. It will pay off in the long term, as there was a 5x points promo running when I ordered.
Just $453 until Diamond Status. Oh, and somehow, I have accrued $86 worth of Ulta Points (see above promo)…I’ve got my eye on that new Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette – it would match my hair!
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.
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.
First Ulta Haul of 2016
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I didn’t think it would be so soon…but here it is – my first Ulta haul of the year.
I had been using John Frieda Illuminating Shine and I REALLY like they way it makes my newly short hair feel. I noticed it was $3 each on Ulta’s site and went nuts, ordering 3 each of shampoo and conditioner. (I guess it is discontinued now – it’s no longer on Ulta’s site. FUCK.) Isn’t that the way it always goes? You find something you like and them BOOM – it’s gone. Ugh. I also got a John Frieda Gift with Purchase – travel sizes of John Frieda Beach Blonde Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo, Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner and Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. Of course, I just cut all the blonde off my hair, but these will be good for summer.
I also picked up Urban Decay Loose Ultra Definition Finishing Powder – I’ve been using the Pressed, but wanted to try this. I also got Biore Baking Soda Liquid Cleanser (is baking soda the new charcoal?) – I tried it last night and it was nice. I had been lusting over Nicole by OPI “Pick of the Glitter” for about a month, after spying it in a Walgreen’s display. It was still on my mind, so I broke down and bought it. (It is every bit as good as I thought it would be.)
My purchase qualified me for the Platinum Skin Beauty Break Gift with $60 Purchase – a little plastic makeup bag with NOICE samples. Inside the bag: Dermablend Professional Setting Powder (Pricey); Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (going to Vegas with me); StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (Which one should I work on first?); Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (Leave it to Gwyneth Paltrow to make beauty products in the worst scent imaginable); Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate; Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifiting and Firming Moisturizer; Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Patchology FlashPath Eye Gels; and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil. This is the best sample bag I’ve gotten from Ulta, I think!
I didn’t get my Variety Sampler though…Bummer.
My 1st Birchbox Purchase
Don’t you love it when you get home and there is a stack of shipments? I came home to 3 today…some Victoria’s Secret Yoga Pants, some Julep polishes and a Birchbox order!
My Birchbox points had been adding up and I had $20 in credit, so after hemming and hawing for 3 days, I ordered the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Collection No. 2. It came with Cynthia Rowley’s Eye Shadow Palette – No. 2, Mini Creamy Lip Stain in “Valentine” and Mini Eyeliner in Black, all in a Neoprene Confetti Bag. List price was $35, but I got an email with a code for 20% off of my first purchase. With $20 in Birchbox points, my total was $8 – what a steal! I was supposed to get 2 free samples, but for some reason, I only got one…more StriVectin Night Cream with Retinol. That shit WORKS. In another 10 years, I’m really gonna need it…
Even though I’m excited to try out my Cynthia goodies, it’s bittersweet. I wish I had waited a few days to use my points…I want that Modern Mermaid box in the WORST way. I need more points! Click my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join!
Free Ulta Goodies
Ulta is so weird. They shipped all my “Gifts with Purchase” in a separate shipment than what I actually paid for. Why would they pay the extra shipping on stuff they’re giving my for free? Whatever…
I got a free StriVectin Age-Fighting Kit – let’s face it, I’m brushing up against the underside of 40. I’m about to have to start buying this stuff for real. There’s eye cream, wrinkle cream and neck tightening cream. Oh my…I wonder what else it will tighten.
I also got samples of Urban Decay Ultra Definition Face and Primer. Everyone is shoving their primers down my throat!
I also got ANOTHER set of fragrance samples. Marc Jacobs “Dot” is alright, but Elizabeth Arden “Untold” smells straight-up Church Lady. Ack. There’s also a Versace sample that I can’t figure out what the name is and another Escada. Speaking of Escada – Lily and I wore the “Especially Escada Delicate Notes” sample today. I wonder if she turned heads as she strutted into the kindergarten classroom? She had to be the best smelling 6 year old there!
It’s only been a few days since I got mail…my mailbox has been so lonely!
I decided to treat myself and get one of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I was eyeballing them at Ulta last week and took the plunge. Upon Amy’s suggestion, I went with the Naked 2 Palette. She has Naked 3 and said it was okay, but her daughter has Naked 2 and she likes it better. I am so SINGLE WHITE FEMALE.
I also took Beth’s recommendation and ordered L’Oreal Magic BB Cream. Fingers crossed – I’m trying it tomorrow!
I also had an email offer for a free StriVectin Skincare Kit, but that is coming in a different shipment…odd.
The fun thing about Ulta is that you get Samples with every purchase. I chose the Fragrance Sampler and got Especially Escada, Guess Girl and Calvin Klein Encounter. Encounter is for Men, so the husband gets it. I sniffed it for him and managed to spill it all over my fingers. 3 hours later and a dozen handwashings later and I still smell it. To me, all Calvin Klein scents smell exactly the same. It’s GROSS…and I can’t get it OFF ME.