1/21 Days of Beauty
It’s that time at Ulta again – their 21 Days of Beauty Sale. It’s rare that I find deal that interest me during the 21 Days of Beauty, but I wanted to give Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz a try at half price ($10.50, down from $21). This time, I got “Chocolate”, a darker shade than my previous “Soft Brown”. It’s been a few years since I’ve used Brow WIz and my base hair color is a biot darker than it was then. Now that I’ve gotten used to the richer, thicker Ulta Brow Pencils, I actually like them better than the ABH. Who knew that a cheaper product would be better?
The Essence Lipsticks were an impulse buy, but at $3.49 each, they were a steal. Not even that much – they were BOGO 50% off. Essence Kiss the Black Sheep is a black lipstick that turns baby pink and Essence Kiss the Flamingo is a pink lipstick that turns…more pink? Kiss the Flamingo does have a more coral tone and I feel like it lasts longer on my face than the Black Sheep.
Still no free samples with online orders. I’m waiting.
$122 to Platinum status for 2020.
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…
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…
Ulta Birthday to Me
I needed a haircut, my kids had been bugging me for a haircut, I had a birthday gift waiting on me…time for an in-person Ulta trip.
Let me just say – my haircut was fine. My daughter’s haircut was fine. My son’t haircut was…NOT fine. I didn’t realize how much he hated it until we got home. It was so bad that he had my husband buzz his head with clippers. I felt HORRIBLE. I bought him a bottle of my hair & nail vitamins and promised to take him to Sport Clips next time. Oh well, at least I got 2x points on all the haircuts.
So the coupon in my email said I would be getting a Full Size NYX Lip Lingerie as a birthday gift, but in-store, they gave me a totally different gift – a mini Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Google says that it was the December gift – I guess they give em away until they’re gone.
Oh, I also picked up a few generic Diamond buffers for my nay-nays.
Just like that, $241 to Platinum!
Born to Run
I did it – I finally pulled the trigger on the Born to Run Palette…I decided go big, or go home…and ordered the FULL Urban Decay Born to Run Vault ($98).
The Vault is value packed! The Born to Run Palette is $59 by itself, the Vice Lipstick in “66” would be $18, and the 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil would be $21 – there’s your $98. The vault also comes with a Travel Size Perversion Mascara Mini, a Travel Size Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, a Travel Size All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray AND a matching crossbody bag. I was hoping the bag would be big enough to use as a purse, but I don’t think it’s quite big enough for all my “mom” stuff. It would be perfect for a night on the town though.
The Born to Run Palette is larger than the last several releases – it’s reminiscent of the HUGE Vice palettes, except with the cheaper cardboard packaging and NO brush. It’s the usual Urban Decay quality – the shifting shimmer shades have more than average fallout, but nothing catastrophic. This would be a good palette to travel with, with neutral and colorful shades. I’m in love with the “66” lipstick – it’s the perfect shade for me. It’s neutral enough to match any eye look and dark enough to not be boring. I have no regrets about waiting to get a good deal on the Vault!
Oh, I also sprung for the new Urban Decay Brow Blade in “Neutral Nana” ($26). It’s a double-ended brow tool. One end is thin pencil, much like the ABH Brow Wiz or my favorite Ulta Ultra Slim – but the other end is a fine, felt tip marker, to draw in hair detail. It works okay I guess – but I don’t know that the results are worth $26. It’s fine I guess.
Of course, I didn’t spend $98 – I waited until I had a 20% off code, plus I’d accrued $59 in Ulta points. I got all this for $43 and some change.
Ulta is STILL not giving out samples with their orders. Cheap bastards. $374 to Platinum Status.
First Ulta Haul of 2019
I follow enough drag queens on Instagram to know that Sugarpill is one of THE makeup brands to use – besides Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills, of course. Ulta just started carrying their lipsticks, so I loaded a bunch in my cart and waited to see what else I needed. Originally, I had Sugarpill “Trinket” in my cart, but it sold out. I also had some other ones, but I decided to try just one and scope out the quality before buying more. I settled on “Pillow Fight” ($18), a dusty mauve with gold sparkle. It smells like a dreamsicle! The formula wasn’t super drying, but more drying than I’m used to. It lasts about as long as my other liquid lips…I’ve got a new brand to stan!
I also needed to stock up on face washes. Pacifica was BOGO 40% off, so I got Crystal Beam Foaming Crystal Face Scrub ($16) and Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash ($6, down from $10). I am VERY disappointed in the Crystal Beam – it is NOT a scrub. There is NO grit to the exfoliant – a total waste. Boo.
I also got two of my favorite eye brow pencil at BOGO 50% off – Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” (one at $10 and one at $5). Until I can afford microblading, I’ll keep buying these.
I got a 19 piece Beauty Bag with my $25 purchase. Inside the bag: Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments (and there’s actually a picture of the GOOPtress on the sample – ugh); L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (nope); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (HUGE Deluxe Sample); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Shampoo & Conditioner; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara; Ahava Mineral Mud Clearing Facial Treatment (yes!); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Caroline Herrera Good Girl; Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (yasss); Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream; Living proof. T.B.D. multi-tasking styler; Clarins Extra-firming Nuit Night Cream; Chloe Chloe; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Boots No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum; Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser; Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser; Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy; and PUR Get a Grip Endurance Eyeshadow Primer. Oh, and a $5 off Ulta Beauty Collection Coupon. This is the best sample bag in a bit!
Ulta is STILL not including samples with their orders. Jerks. I used a $3.50 off coupon on this order.
$399 to Platinum for 2020.
Cyber Fundays 2018
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This Xmas, I did my Ulta shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving, during the “Cyber Fundays” event. They had some smoking deals that I couldn’t pass up! There were also some decent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but mostly on stuff I already had, like half price Modern Renaissance and Naked Heat. Boo!
If you’re thinking that this order looks skimpy…it’s because I pulled out the gifts I ordered for my daughter. She doesn’t come here, but her brother does – and I trust him about as far as I can throw him with one hand.
I was excited to snatch the NYX Lip Snacks Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream Set ($15, down from $25) for myself. It’s a set of 12 minis of my favorite lip formula from NYX, specially scented like buttercream. I’ve onlhy sampled 2 so far, but they are the BEST. I also got a half-price Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in “Demolition” ($11, down from $22) – I think a shiny brown cat eye will look good on me.
The biggest bummer was a broken bottle in the China Glaze The Grinch Grinchworthy Nail Art Duo ($10). It wasn’t the “Grinchworthy” polish itself, but the “For Rhinestones Only” adhesive – the stem of the bottle broke inside the cap and it leaked everywhere. I called Ulta Customer Service and they sent me out another one immediately, no questions asked – so now I have 2 bottles of “Grinchworthy” and 2 pots of green felt. I cannot wait to make my nails look like Astroturf! Oh, and I got another tidbit from Customer Service – they won’t be including samples in orders again until January. Cheap bastards.
I added a bottle of Zoya Remove+ to get me over the $65 mark, to get the glittery pink 18-piece Cyber Fundays sample bag. The sample bag was STUFFED – it had: Too Faced Glitter Glue (saving for a special occasion); Cover FX Blurring Primer; Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels (this is the third set I’ve gotten – I guess I should use them); philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar; Clinique Happy; 2 Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in “Vintage” (2!!!); Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in “bunny” (ugh, another one); bliss lemon & sage body butter; Biolage Hydra Source Shampoo & Conditioner; L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer/Base for Mascara; philosophy Amazing Grace; Armani Code Cashmere; Skin Laundry Hydrating Cream Face Wash; L’Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (this black one is my fave); MAC False Lashes Mascara in “Extreme Black”; and Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate. There were also 2 hot coupons – $15 off $75 (only good in December) and another $5 off $15 Ulta Beauty Collection (good until 2/1/19).
I was also able to use a $10 off coupon, bringing my order down to $64.49 before tax – but I still got the bag. I was sweating for a hot minute! Just $301 to Diamond…I do predict another order before the end of the year, but not that much!
We Will Spock You!
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Have you ever bought a polish based on the name alone?
That’s how I ended up with essence cosmetics “We Will Spock You!”, from the ‘Out of Space Stories’ Collection – I was browsing Ulta the other day, while my kids were getting haircuts. I saw the name and had to have it. The fact that it was being clearanced out for $1.49 was a happy coincidence.
This is THREE coats of “We Will Spock You!” over Glisten & Glow Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. I barely got full coverage with three coats. The polish is very thin and easy to work with though.
I was thinking that I don’t already own a silver holo, but then I remembered Julep “Tin Man” – it is very similar, but whiter? Does that even make sense?
Just $301 to reach Diamond status – this is after the haircuts, even! That means I’ve spent about $899 at Ulta this year – wow!
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Would you believe that this entire Ulta Haul cost me a mere $1.87? The magic of Ulta Platinum points, baby.
I really hadn’t been saving up points for very long – I used up most of my points just six month ago on a Beachwaver. Through strategic use of points promotions and my Ultimate Mastercard, I’d managed to accrue over $100 in points in a short period of time! By stacking a 20% off code, I was able to conserve precious points – I only used $70.50 in points this time.
I exhibited extraordinary willpower in not purchasing the Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette ($49) at launch. I knew I had the points though, so I just bided my time until I got the code. I also splurged on matching Vice Lipstick in “Devilish” ($18). I’ve been using the palette for the past 3-4 days and it is the same buttery formula that I’ve grown to love through all the Naked palettes. There’s a variety of matte and shimmer shades that work very well together. I won’t be the first to point out that the palette seems a little bit like a rehash of the Backtalk palette – but so what? The Backtalk blushes work really well with this palette, so I call that a win. I heartily recommend the Naked Cherry palette, especially when it’s free.
I added a few other fun things to my order. I’d been wanting to try a bubble sheet mask, so I got an Ulta Revitalizing Bubbling Sheet Mask ($3.00) and since they were BOGO 40% off, I got an Ulta Age Defying Matcha Mud Mask ($1.80). Ulta also came out with Aromatherapy Fragrance Rollerballs ($12.50) – I got the “Uplift” Coconut Rose scent. I absolutely love the scent – it reminds me of the Renaissance Festival for some reason – but it doesn’t last very long at all. Kind of a bummer. I also got a Scunci No-Slip Octopus clip ($5.99) – this is hands down the best clip to hold your hair and not look like a lazy hot mess. I need like 5 more.
In addition to waiting until I got a 20% off code, I also waited until Beauty Break Wednesday. The Hempz Beauty Break included three full size products: Hempz Cinnamon Sugar & Vanilla Butter Creme Herbal Body Moisturizer, Hempz Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Foaming Body Wash, Hempz Original Herbal Body Butter and a travel size Star Jasmine & Vanilla Herbal Moisturizer. Wow!
They didn’t give me any samples though…bummer.
Only $430 until Diamond status…
On Wednesday, We Shop at Walgreen’s (and Ulta)
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Sinful Colors were 5/$5 this week – only 6 weeks or so since the last sale!
I set aside my entire Wednesday to Walgreen’s hop, so I’d be sure to find Halloween polishes. As luck would have it, I found most of the 2018 Halloween Collection, “Conjured Color”, at the first Walgreen’s. I picked up “Witch, Please”, “Mist-erious”, “Bitten”, “Bad Witch”, and “Spellbound”. Score! I also grabbed a few Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks from the Halloween Display – “Bewitched” and “Shady Witch”. No “Zombie Blush” in the Halloween Display though. I didn’t realize it, but I had accrued $10 in Bonus Bucks – Score again!
I hit three more Walgreen’s in search of “Zombie Blush” – nothing. (That might sound like a lot of driving, but it was a really tight circle in the Richmond/Katy area. Plus, I drive a Hybrid, so…) I made a quick stop at my Ulta, but no luck there…at first. I immediately spied an OPI Grease Collection Mini Set ($10.97, down from $14.50) and grabbed it for Lily (and myself, I admit). I was about to leave, when I checked a random aisle of hair ties and stuff…and there was the Wet N Wild “Zombie Blush” Display!!! It was $5.99, plus I grabbed another Halloween Liquid Catsuit – “Pink Your Poison”. I hate when ulta has the lame 20% off one item coupons. I couldn’t use it on a clearance item, so I got 20% off my “Zombie Blush” – a measly $1.20 off. At least they have a 3x points for Platinum going this week.
The “Zombie Blush” is amazing! It looks like a grungy grey-green in the pan, but shifts to a rusty reddish shade on your cheeks or eyes. Be warned – a little goes a long, LONG way. It is reminiscent of the color shifting shade in the “Plaid to the Bone” Quad I got a while back.
On a side note, on Friday, I went to a fifth Walgreen’s, still searching for more colors. I found 4 polishes, plus the Matte Top Coat from the “Radical Matte” Collection…but when I went to check out and this collection wasn’t included in the sale. I had to walk away…