February 18th started like any other day. My beautiful niece, Sammy, had been in the hospital since the 16th. Prior to the 16th no one knew anything was wrong with her. She woke up with swollen limbs, and my sister rushed her to the hospital to find out why. For two days, the doctors told my sister that her daughter’s heart condition was beyond repair. From one hospital to the next, my sister was in search of a better trained hospital and a more favorable prognosis.
Every time my sister told me there was no hope, I refused to believe it. Some might say I was in denial. After all, she was healthy or so I thought. I prayed constantly and asked my friends to do the same. There were leagues of people praying for one little girl to overcome her ailments.
Her heart and liver were enlarged, and surgery at the America’s best hospital for pediatric cardiac surgery and recovery rates made me hopeful. She had an early morning surgery and emerged from surgery in stable condition. Meanwhile, I was doing what I do everyday, looking for deals and shopping. After I updated my codes for the day (the final time they would be updated for two months), I shopped.
SAKS Fifth Avenue sent me a unique discount code for $50 off $200 that could be used in beauty and cosmetics. This was a targeted offer, although I am unsure what specific beauty item I purchased from SAKS to trigger the offer or I would of course share. Discounts like that are rare, so I try not to let them pass. Besides, as I was shopping, I felt solace in the fact that Sammy was stable. I set my sights on a number of different items, but I narrowed the items down to four. Then I placed my order.
A few hours later, I got the news that my niece went into critical condition and the cardiomyopathy took her. I was devastated. She was pure sunshine. My heart broke, but my sister’s heart shattered. It was one of the hardest days of my entire life, and two and a half months later, I still find myself in disbelief. How could she be so sick that no one caught it until it was too late? The should of, could of, would of questions can drive a person mad. When my order arrived, I could not even bring myself to open the box. So, it sat unboxed for a long time.
Every time I looked at the box, it made me cry. My niece was dying in the hospital while I was shopping for makeup. It took me a while before I could even bear to look at the box. Then, I finally opened it. A few days later, I was able to take pictures and swatch some items, but I was still not ready to wear any of it. Makeup just seemed unimportant at the time. I knew my love of makeup would return to me, so I eventually started shopping again. Future boxes were a little easier to open, since they were not purchased on one of the saddest days ever.
For those following along, I appreciate you reading what was hard for me to write. That is the main reason I took a break from the site, because I did not want every entry to be sad. While I am still very sad, I have finally reached a point where I want to return to normalcy. My first attempt to do so took place today when I wore makeup for the first time since before Sammy passed. I used two of my new items from this order, so I will start with those.
Tom Ford’s Golden Mink retails for $79, but it was $60.01 with the coupon. Even at full retail, the cost of the shadow at 0.35 oz is $225.72 per ounce. My Narsissist Dual Intensity Palette ($329.17 per ounce), and Hourglass Modernist Atmosphere Palette ($331.43 per ounce) are more expensive per ounce than Tom Ford shadows. Surprisingly, it is cheaper than a lot of palettes.
I love the quality of Tom Ford’s shadows and have been really into gold lately. My skin leans more cool, so I avoided golds for awhile. Everything Tom Ford packages is beautiful. The eyeshadow palettes are trimmed in golden color with a sleek, dark container. They also come inside a felt bag that itself is stunning.
The colors inside look vibrant, but it takes a lot of passes to build up color. This could be considered good or bad depending on your thoughts. Part of the reason I bought it was because I wanted a more subtle palette. From swatches I’d seen, this fit the bill.
This is what the swatch looked like on me. I used lighter swatches here.
Here is what it looked like on me. Other than the darkest color in the outer V, I used a light hand everywhere.
I was pleased with the results other than the slight disappointment in the glitter shades being a little much. Very slight creasing happened in my large folds as well, but I did not let my NARS pro prime set as long as I usually do.
Guerlain Meteorites Perles de Blush retails for $53, but it was $40.26 with the coupon. I am in love with the magic balls, so I was really looking forward to trying Guerlain’s blush attempt. At first glance, I was not overly impressed. The container was small. It is cardboard, too, just like the Perles Du Paradis. When you open it, the sponge is absolutely covered in blush. That was a bit more promising, because blush usually fades quickly on me. If the sponge had that much color, I was hopeful.
Remember the sponge was covered in blush, so one quick pat yielded this. Luckily, I knew to use a lighter hand when I wore it to avoid this overpowering and powdery look. The color itself is quite pleasant.
I actually really like the color, and it lasted longer than most powder blushes last on me, so this is a winner.
Tom Ford Francesco from the Lips and Boys collection retails for $32, but it was $24.31 with the coupon. These are about to release again (end of 2015) with a $3 price increase. It took me a while to decide which shade I wanted. All the while, more and more shades were permanently going out of stock. Finally, I saw a picture of a friend in this and knew it was the one for me.
Based on the swatch alone, I believe I chose the right one.
I finally wore Francesco on 06/11/15, so I am adding the looks below. Whether indoors or outdoors, I am in love with the color. The formula is typical Tom Ford. It lasts a long time even though it is extremely moisturizing and rubs off. While I will never understand how it lasts so long despite rubbing off, it seems to be that way with all of his lipsticks. If he keeps making long lasting, moisturizing lipsticks in gorgeous colors, he will have a long lasting customer in me.
Dior Rosy Glow Blush retails for $44, but it was $33.42 with the coupon. It is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but I always talked myself out of it. This time, I finally pulled the trigger. Like the Tom Ford eyeshadow palette, the packaging on this is beautiful. It also comes in a felt case. The sleek container mirrors that of an actual mirror.
When opened, the pretty pink color brings me back to childhood. If there was a perfect little girl pink this would be it. Here is a swatch on me. It looks perfect.
I finally wore this on 06/11/15 as well. The color is incredible. Like the Guerlain above, this also lasts longer on me than the average powdered blush.
These four wonderful additions to my collection would usually cost $208, but I got them all for $158. Even with tax, I only paid $170.80. Rakuten was offering 8% at the time. With the $12.63 rebate from Rakuten (which should actually arrive any day now), my grand total was $158.17. That means Rauten covered all but $0.17 of the taxes.
The deal does not end here either. SAKS allows you to enter up to five codes per order. Of course, the first was my $50 off coupon. My favorite code was second, free shipping. Third, was a beautiful GWP offer with a $125 beauty purchase. I received this bag with everything in it for free.
The Nails Inc Nail polish in St James’s is actually a quite stunning red. I am a fan of this brand, so I always welcome more. Freebies are even better. Compare this to my other red polishes.
The Chantecaille lip gloss is in the shade Mirth. I have not worn it yet, but I have worn other Chatecaille glosses and think they’re nice. Here is my swatch that I will edit when I finally wear it.
Quite a few of the other samples interest me, although I have not tried them yet. Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase. SAKS is amazing. See all SAKS Fifth Avenue articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.