Perfect Shine Splurge
Back in November, I think when Sephora was offering 15% off, Ulta sent out a $10 off $40 coupon, so why not restock on a few things. Sometimes, there’s nothing like splurging on fancy shampoo & conditioner!
I’d gotten to try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($14 each) in an Allure Beauty Box last year. I really liked it, but it wasn’t widely available. Fast forward a year and now Ulta carries it – score! The secret ingredient is grape stem cells. I don’t know what those are. I also picked up some a single use conditioners – PURA D’OR Single Use Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque ($1.79), HASK Shea Butter & Hibiscus Oil Anti-Frizz Deep Conditioner Packette ($2.99) and HASK Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask Packette ($2.99).
Freeman Masks were on super sale, so I bought a replacement Cucumber & Pink Salt Clay Mask. I also grabbed a clearance China Glaze “Rainbow” for $2.62 and a new Flowery nail buffer.
I definitely did NOT buy that Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kit in “Bare” – it was a gift with $25 makeup purchase. I now know the secret of the Kylie Lip Kits! The lip liner is one tick darker than the lipstick, so it creates an optical illusion of a fuller lip. The more you know…I tried it out and the color was WAY too light for me. Hypothetically, my lips did look bigger though.
My $70 purchase qualified me for a Hello Holidays Sample Bag – it’s so fancy! Inside the bag: Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer; Awake Pore Down Tightening Concentrate; Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Towelette (WEIRD); Lake & Skye 11 11 (I could not smell this); MAC Lipstick samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” & “Cockney”; Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara; Pravana Color Protect Cleanse and Condition (HUGE samples tubes – will try these out after my next dye session); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel; Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion; Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream; Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Burberry Her; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris; NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (foilpacks for travel!); Tonymoly Golden Pig Collagen Bounce Mask; Gucci Guilty; AG Haircare Glow Shine Infuse Serum; Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Sample Card (none of these will match me); Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum; John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-up Creme; Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strip (a caffeine strip that melts on your tongue – is drinking a cup of coffee so hard?); and VDL Velvet Blur Primer.
Oh, and if the order looks a little light, it’s because there were a few gifts in my order…
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!
July 2019 Allure Beauty Box – Lessons Learned
I opened this month’s Allure Beauty Box and my first thought was, fuck it’s Kim Kardashian. Then I realized it wasn’t her – just someone who looks very, very similar.
July’s guest curator for the Allure Beauty Box is Huda Kattan, creator of Huda Beauty. I’ve tried exactly one lippie by Huda Beauty, but I liked it quite a bit. This box is a mix of Huda’s own products and those that she loves.
The centerpiece of the box is a full size tube of Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in “Alluring”, a shade exclusive to the box. It’s an orangey red, which I normally would stay away from, but I tried it and it is SUPER flattering on me. I was SHOOK. The formula is really good – it isn’t streaky, it doesn’t dry out my lips, and stayed all day.
Also in Huda’s box: Huda Beauty Classic Lash in “Samantha” (why does Allure keep sending fake eyelashes?); Kayali Vanilla 28 (a rich vanilla scent that is very tolerable and not at all like a little tree air freshener); Too Faced Hangover Primer (some people got Benefit Ka-Brow or an Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil); OUAI Texturizing Hair Spray; and a TONYMOLY Intense Care Snail Hydrogel Mask (oooooh, snail trail).
Except for the lashes, a pretty good box. It also includes a code for 25% at shophudabeauty.com.
The Allure Beauty Box is $15/month, but they give you $5 off your first box. They also offer an option for $150/year – a savings of $30. Sign up via my referral link.
October Ipsy Bag – Spellbound
This month’s crimson lace makeup bag is absolutely outstanding. Sure, I have more makeup bags than any human being ought to have…but you never know when you’ll need another one.
The first thing I saw in the bag, was the huge Urban Decay package…I got excited, hoping it was the new Troublemaker Mascara (I know, I bitch about too much mascara – but new is new). But no, it was an Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”. I think I have 3 or 4 of these. I don’t even use eyeliner anymore…but I can use this for my Halloween eyebrows? Also in this month’s bag: Nail Medic Charcoal Infused Nail Polish in “Volcanic Ash” (ipsy, why do you send me so much gray nail polish?); tarte deluxe lifted sweatproof mascara (just say NO to waterproof mascara); Hey Honey Trick AND Treat: ACTIVE PROPOLIS CREAM CONCEALER; and TONYMOLY Peach Hand Cream (yummy!).
If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my link.
Lara & the Holograms
Birchbox sends you an email saying that I have $19.50 in points that are in danger of expiring…what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?
I…get on the site and starting shopping immediately. I settle on a Milk Makeup Holographic Stick ($28) – just $8.50 after my credits. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my box to fine 2 Holographic Sticks! (Birchbox must like to send me two of things.) I guess it’s Sally’s lucky day – she’ll be getting the other one!
I also used a code to get a free Tony Moly Nose Pack. I’m guessing it’s like a Biore Nose Strip?
To be honest, I’ve been a bit bored with Birchbox, since they ended their original points system. I admit it was a pain in the ass to review all those products, but it was worth it for those sweet, sweet points. I’m not saying I’m gonna cancel, but it’s a possibility.
January Birchbox – Moodboard Your Year
January’s Birchbox issued a challenge to “Moodboard Your Year”, so I declared 2016 as The Year of Creativity. I want to be more creative with my beauty purchases and not just buy the same things I’ve been buying. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to stop hoarding…I just want to become more CREATIVE in my hoarding…
Hmmm…How can I be creative with my January Birchbox? I received amika Bombshell Blowout Spray; Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre (I am happy to get any moisturizer, but the name is grossing me out…I didn’t see embryo in the ingredients, but…); Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner (OMG, it’s like a sharpie!); R+Co. Death Valley Dry Shampoo (Ugh); and TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint in “Red” (my sample choice for the month).
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.