Monthly Archives: August 2015

Sephora Favorites Bronze Bares All

When it comes to favorites sets, no one puts them together like Sephora. I have a really hard time passing on favorites that are makeup and skin care related causing me to buy more than I should. The Sephora Favorites Kits have been hit or miss lately. Most products in sets are great even if they are repeats from earlier favorites, but I still cannot wrap my head around the $45 I paid for last year’s Summer Stash for a kit containing nothing but deluxe sizes. It is one I should have passed on.

I purchased Summer Stash on 04/19/14. As recently as June of 2015, they were still trying to move them for $30, which is 33.3% off. That should have told Sephora they priced it too high. As if I did not learn my lesson on the early summer release, I also purchased the Sephora Favorites Summer Crushes kit on 07/12/14 for $45. While the sizes were bigger, it was still a kit of deluxe sizes. To add insult to injury, the price went down online the day after I bought it. While some convinced me that I could get the price matched, I did not even bother trying.

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BzzAgent Campaign Crest 3D White

BzzAgent is an international network of consumers who take part in word-of-mouth campaigns for a variety of products and services. It is a membership program that gives subscribers free products to try. After trying the free products, members review and share their experiences with the campaigns to qualify for future campaigns. Short surveys will appear in your profile. Complete them to see if there are any new campaigns available. When you complete surveys, you can accept free MyPoints offers. There are over 1 million BzzAgents in the US, Canada and the UK.

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Get Free Samples Volume Four

Nothing beats completely free offers. Sometimes, there really is no catch to obtaining free items. You just have to know where to look and how to find them. Welcome to the fourth installment of items I’ve received for free. Past free sample articles feature different freebies. The offers at times come in emails. Sometimes, you will see them on a blog or the direct brand’s website. Other times, you can find free offers on social media or even through snail mail. My Free Samples Page provides more information on sample opportunities. Offers can at times come by phone, but I never answer numbers I do not recognize. I will miss out on any that come that way.

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PINCHme Sample Order Volume two

PINCHme is a free sampling service. Complete your profile where you answer questions about your household and shopping habits. On select Tuesdays at 9amPST when new samples release, you can order any available that match up to your profile. The better samples tend to run out quickly, so log in as early as possible. Once you’ve tried the samples, you complete a short survey. As long as you complete your surveys in a timely manner, you are eligible to receive future samples.

This package was ordered on 07/14/15. It shipped on 07/30/15. On 08/19/15, it arrived at my house. It takes about a month from ordering to receipt. The surveys were up before the products arrived. I only completed them yesterday since I just finished trying all the products.

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SAKS Fifth Avenue 20% Off Beauty Plus 16% Back From ebates

SAKS Fifth Avenue offers have been incredible this year. On the morning of 05/11/15, I woke up to find a surprise, unique discount code for 20% off. It included beauty purchases. Passing a discount like that is near impossible, but ebates was also celebrating its birthday. At the time, a number of stores were participating in 16% cash back. Of course, SAKS was one of them. That meant, I would get 20% off the subtotal and 16% back after the purchase. Paying 16% back after removing 20% works out to a 32.8% discount, which is incredible. Neither the discount code nor the cash back had many limitations making it available on items and brands that do not see regular discounts. Unless there is a reason you cannot partake in an offer like this, you always should.

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Kate Somerville SMOOCH

Kate Somerville is a renowned dermatologist who has a great track record with creating wonderful products. I spotlighted Exfolikate in my January Fabufinds, so you may already know my fascination with that product. Some of her products are very expensive, but she does have a few fair priced ones and a good deal can help get your feet in the door on trying more. She has one of the best rewards programs available (outside of a broad store), so joining the rewards program also helps get a fantastic deal.

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Birchbox Man September 2015

See all Birchbox Man articles.

Birchbox Man gives at least four beauty samples a month $20. The price is double the Woman’s box, because of the added lifestyle item, which usually retails for over $20 by itself. As long as the lifestyle item is something you’d want, you should always get your investment back. You will get an email reminding you to select your lifestyle item. Respond as soon as you can, because the more desirable lifestyle items can go out-of-stock. All beauty samples are chosen for you based on the answers to your profile questions. For every review on an item received in your box, you get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A seven sample like this one gets my husband $7 back. He can also share his box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That will give him a  total of $8 back to redeem toward future purchases.

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Birchbox August 2015 Lost

See recent Birchbox articles.

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A five sample box like this one gets me $5 back. I also “shared” my box on Facebook (only I can see it) for an extra 10 points. That will give me a total of $6 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month, I selected the Coola makeup setting spray.

This was my fourth Birchbox for August. Anyone thinking that is excessive is right. It was the first and hopefully last time I received that many different boxes. There have been two months I received a replacement box giving me four (June and July), but the replacements were duplicates of the box with the damaged item. Box One, Box Two, and Box Three were different.

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Julep June 2015, July 2015 and August 2015 Birthstones

I love collecting the Julep birthstones, so I collect them all and not just my birthstone. June’s offering sold out while it was still in the Secret Store. Some may want to order this the first day of the month when it opens up in the secret store to get it before it sells out. The problem is they charge the full $11.20 Maven price in the secret store, and promo codes do not apply.

If you wait it out a little, even the colors that sell out will usually return. It can take some time though. As a Maven, I get free shipping with every order, so I could order the gemstone each month and call it a day. That is not my style though, because I live for a deal. Mavens get offer codes in each box.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Six

See recent Birchbox articles and all Welcome Box articles.

Welcome back to the year of Birchbox gifting. This is the year I decided to send all of the women in my immediate family 3 month Birchbox gift subscription for their birthdays. My brother-in-law and his 22 year old fiancé have been together since she was 14.  She is my sister in every sense of the word.  On 04/20/15, I placed a late birthday order for her from my main account.  Her actual birthday was almost two months prior, which fell during the period I was out of the beauty spirit.  Ordering her gift subscription two weeks after I resumed the gifts helped bring me back full circle, too, because she was the last one I was behind in buying.

I actually had 302 points in my account thanks to reviewing the items from my most recent box and the most recent purchase I made on the main account.  Redeeming 300 points for a $30 gift sub meant this was the first (and sadly only) gift subscription that did not cost me anything.  A new code 100FORME was released that applied to gift subscriptions.  The fine print on the code said you would get 100 points with a $30 purchase.  It meant 30 points for $30 spent plus a bonus 70.  Usually, I am good at reading fine print, but I admit this one tricked me.  I did not notice that it only gave me 70 points until after I ordered it and wondered why I only had 72 points.

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Citrus Lane August 2015 4 Year Old Boy

Citrus Lane is the subscription box for kids aged zero to six. My four-year-old loves getting a box that is all his. The boxes have a mixture of toys, educational tools, food products, beauty items, and more. A product card describing all items inside, which includes discount codes usually comes inside as well. As someone who looks for discount codes before every online purchase, I really appreciate this. A one month subscription is $29. Three months gets you down to $27 a box. It costs $24 a box for a six month subscription. Every month, you get the opportunity to select an item inside the box or add items on for a discounted rate. That allows the kids to have some choice in their box, but they still receive surprise items.

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Julep Sweet Steal Brown Eyed Girl, and the March 2015 Birthstone

The Sweet Steal is a daily deal offered by Julep. It is the place where you can get a specially curated set at a deep discount. If a steal is really good, do not sit on it. They sometimes sell out in the middle of the day. My Julep obsession is huge, so I check it several times a week. You are not generally notified of a new offer, but there is a new one available or sold out for the day almost every time I check.

I stalked the March birthstone daily for almost a month. In addition to the fact that I collect all the birthstones, March is my birth month. Plus, the polish color looked gorgeous. It was out of stock the first time I checked on 03/16/15. From that day until 04/14/15, I never saw it in stock.

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Influenster VoxBox Sally Hansen Air Brushed Legs

Influenster gives free trial products of everything from beauty products to household items. To qualify for programs, you fill out quick product surveys. Once you’ve qualified, the products mail out. Try them and tell people what you think. Share your opinion on social media. Then, complete a short exit survey and review the product. The more active you are the more programs you qualify for. Everything received from Influenster is free, so they never collect payments for products. If you are unfamiliar with Influenster, you can read my overview here.

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Sample Society March 2015 Roller Lash Arrives

By now, I am sure you’ve heard Sample Society Boxes no longer exist. Allure took over management and anyone who chose to continue with the subscription was transferred to the Allure Beauty Box. After receiving my March box, I decided to cancel. Do not get me wrong. I was happy with every single sample that came in this box. It just arrived during a time when I was not in a beauty product mood. Based on my history, which was hit or miss, I did not want to continue. Sample Society also sold boxes that did not sell out on Beautybar’s website for the same price subscribers paid.

The only benefit to subscribing was a guaranteed box, which based on some of them, was no benefit at all. My thoughts were I would just buy any box that tickled my fancy after I saw the contents. Beautybar stopped selling the newer boxes. I am still deciding whether I want to subscribe to Allure’s new box, but I did not subscribe in time to receive June, July, or August.

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Birchbox August 2015 Soak It Up

See recent Birchbox articles.

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A five sample box like this one gets me $5 back. I also “shared” my box on Facebook (only I can see it) for an extra 10 points. That will give me a total of $6 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month, I selected the Coola makeup setting spray.

This is the second of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One and Box Three were different.

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Julep August 2015 Skip the Brush

When it comes to nail polish, I am a huge fan of Julep’s five free formula. I find these polishes chip less than most, and the polishes themselves are a good deal when you have a Maven membership. They are quality polishes, so I would probably purchase them at $14 each if I did not have my Maven membership. Luckily, I do not have to pay that much. The color selections and polish finishes are more vast than almost any other nail polish line. Every month, they release nine new colors.

I have not skipped a box since I first subscribed in May 2014, because I find something I want every month. More often than not, the nail polishes are what draw me in, but I like to try Julep’s beauty products as well.

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Birchbox CEW Mass Appeal Beauty Collection Limited Edition Box

See recent Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes.

The 2016 CEW Boxes are available. Check my Birchbox Page for details and offer codes.

You’ve banked a lot of points at Birchbox. What should you spend them on? There are thousands of great items in the store. If you’re a subscriber, you’ve probably even sampled some gems you could buy. I like to use my points to purchase more boxes.  The Limited edition boxes, in particular. The CEW boxes are usually a great purchase, because they’re high value and desired items. Birchbox usually applies a $5 discount (applied automatically) when you add both CEW boxes to your cart. You can look at the discount however you want, but I look at it as getting the Mass Appeal box for $10 instead of $15.

The discount makes it almost impossible not to get them both. There are items from both boxes I really want to try or already know and love, so it was an easy decision to get them both.

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Birchbox CEW Prestige Headliners Beauty Collection Limited Edition Box

See recent Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes.

The 2016 CEW Boxes are available. Check my Birchbox Page for details and offer codes.

You’ve banked a lot of points at Birchbox. What should you spend them on? There are thousands of great items in the store. If you’re a subscriber, you’ve probably even sampled some gems you could buy. I like to use my points to purchase more boxes.  The Limited edition boxes, in particular. The CEW boxes are usually a great purchase, because they’re high value and desired items. Birchbox usually applies a $5 discount (applied automatically) when you add both CEW boxes to your cart. You can look at the discount however you want, but I look at it as getting the Mass Appeal box for $10 instead of $15.

The discount makes it almost impossible not to get them both. There are items from both boxes I really want to try or already know and love, so it was an easy decision to get them both.

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SheSpeaks The L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Skin Care Program

SheSpeaks is an online community powered by women. It inspires women to discover, influence and share products. The community connects you to other women with the same goals to exchange tips, advice, review, share deals, and join discussions through the community blog and forum. If something is hot or scoop is available, you can usually read about it here. In addition to connecting you to other influencers, there are a number of exclusive giveaways, parties, and free products to try. Once you try items, you review them and take an exit survey. Then, you’re eligible to try items in the future.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Five

See recent Birchbox articles and all Welcome Box articles.

Welcome back to the year of Birchbox gifting. This is the year I decided to send all the women in my immediate family a three-month Birchbox gift subscription for their birthdays. My step-mother-in-law actually celebrated her birthday just before I put this Birchbox gift subscription plan into motion. I decided to send it as her Mother’s Day gift instead. On 04/16/15, I placed the order for her subscription on my second account. To make sure it arrived as close to Mother’s Day as possible, I selected 04/26/15 as the ship date. The ship date has more to do with the samples that arrive than the order date.

The only code available to use on this account was SUBSCRIBENOW50, which is still valid. It is the same code I used in Volume Three, but that was on the main account. Always remember to check all active codes here before placing an order. Reminder that you can only use each code once per account. That code gave me 50 points to redeem on a future order. I used the 100 points I earned purchasing the gift sub in Volume Four.

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BzzAgent Campaign Secret Outlast

BzzAgent is an international network of consumers who take part in word-of-mouth campaigns for a variety of products and services. It is a membership program that gives subscribers free products to try. After trying the free products, members review and share their experiences with the campaigns to qualify for future campaigns. Short surveys will appear in your profile. Complete them to see if there are any new campaigns available. When you complete surveys, you can accept free MyPoints offers. There are over 1 million BzzAgents in the US, Canada and the UK.

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Target Beauty Box Hello Sunshine

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. They range in price from $5 to $10. Unlike some beauty boxes, this is not a subscription. Box contents appear online once they become available, which decreases the likelihood of buyer’s remorse. Items inside a box only tend to vary in color meaning your only surprise will be in the color you get. Most items inside the box are full-sized, and it is not unusual that one item exceeds the cost of the entire box if you were to buy it separately. I like that they usually release more than one box at a time giving you a choice or the possibility to get multiples. Men are not left out either, because they sometimes get a box of their own.

When Target advertised the Hello Sunshine, I was excited to see the hair and teeth items. Other items were all bonuses. The limited edition boxes are first come, first served, which is the only drawback on the lack of subscription. You have to act quickly when the boxes come out, because it is not uncommon for them to sell out quickly. I ordered it right away, because it was only $7. It is hard not to find $7 in value. This box sold out before I even got my shipping notification. That means waiting to see what comes in everyone’s box is not an effective strategy on obtaining one. If you want to make sure you get a fall box, subscribe to Target emails and look at them when they hit your inbox. Of course, I will always alert you on the front page when they come back in stock as well. Continue reading

Birchbox August 2015 Three Sample Choices in One Box

See recent Birchbox articles.

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A five sample box like this one gets me $5 back. I also “shared” my box on Facebook (only I can see it) for an extra 10 points. That will give me a total of $6 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month, I selected the Coola makeup setting spray.

This is the third of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One was different, and Box Two has not arrived yet.

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Birchbox Lovely Day Limited Edition Box

See recent Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes.

You’ve banked a lot of points at Birchbox. What should you spend them on? There are thousands of great items in the store. If you’re a subscriber, you’ve probably even sampled some gems you could buy. I like to use my points to purchase more boxes.  The Limited edition boxes, in particular. When the Mother’s Day Box released this year, I wanted to get it. This was when I was purchasing gift subscriptions for everyone. In an effort to save my points for that, I passed.

The Lovely Day Limited Edition Box has so many amazing items in it. I’ve loved so many of the limited edition boxes lately, and this one was no exception. Other than the tea, because I do not drink tea, I wanted to try everything in this. Thinking it would sell out very quickly, I wrote off the idea of ever getting it. Fast forward to July 21st. All of my gift subscriptions for the year (more articles to come) are ordered. I received 50 bonus points for telling Birchbox I want them to come to Vegas during their road trip promotion.

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Birchbox August 2015 Candidly Nicole

See recent Birchbox articles.

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A five sample box like this one gets me $5 back. I also “shared” my box on Facebook (only I can see it) for an extra 10 points. That will give me a total of $6 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month, I selected the Candidly Guest Editor Box on my main account.

This is the first of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. It actually arrived first this month for the first time since I’ve had three subscriptions.

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Beautytalk Chat with Drybar and Bumble and Bumble Yields Free Gifts

Sephora hosts a variety of chats via Beautytalk with beauty professionals who represent the brands we know and love. I’ve participated in a lot of them for over a year. Who better to ask your brand specific question to than the brand creator or a top executive! On 06/29/15, Drybar and Bumble and bumble each chatted with Beautytalk members for an hour. Although I’ve dabbled with Bumble & Bumble, I do not have a lot of experience with Drybar at all (other than my shower cap, which I adore). The topic was hair, and I struggle with nothing when getting ready more than hair.

I want to find a magical product that reduces or eliminates frizz in a foolproof form. Hair oils can look greasy when they’re not applied perfectly. My hair is seriously a huge frizz ball, but I almost prefer the frizzy look to oily when I apply hair oil improperly. Rubbing it together and applying from mid shaft to ends helps reduce the oily look, but I wish there was something more effective near the base of my head. Though neither Alli Webb nor Mischa answered my specific question, I did find some helpful responses in the insightful questions others asked.

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Fabletics August 2015 Genessee

My quest to get better workout gear continues. Fabletics provides quality workout gear for a decent discount over buying the similar items from sporting good stores. They are cute and high quality. Workouts in quality clothing not only make you look better, but they also make the workouts more comfortable. There is a large selection of outfits every month from plain to fun. My goal is to get some of both.

Outfits are usually 2-3 pieces and run from $49.95 to $89.95. From the 1st through the 5th of every month, you select the outfit of your choice or opt out online for the month. Reminder emails make it hard to forget. If you do forget, Fabletics will charge the card on file $49.95 and give you a credit toward a future selection. You will not receive anything you do not hand select, so you build your workout wardrobe based on what you want. You even get 50% off your first outfit making the first outfit an incredible deal too good to pass up. Follow up outfits are still a great deal in their own right.

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Beauty Birthday Offer Sephora

2016 Birthday Offer

There are so many retailers with fabulous birthday offers. Do not forget to check the birthday offers before your big day arrives. When I learn of a new offer or a change in offers, I update it. Even though I was not really shopping around my birthday, because life in general got in the way, there were a few Birthday gifts I had to pick up. This one from Sephora is completely free if you pick it up in store or requires a purchase to order online.

I give my birthdate upon retailer request. On 03/01/15, offers started coming in. They continued to roll in throughout March with most of them arriving on my actual birthday, March 15th. Remember to save some of your birthday shopping budget for your actual birthday, because so many offers will not come in until then. For the retailers who send the offers after your birthday, they seriously need to step up their game. As I mention on the birthday offer page, some offers are general. Others are unique. If you try to redeem before you get your own unique code, it will not work. Also, check the main retailer page before placing your orders, because the birthday offers are not always the best available offers.

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Beauty Birthday Offer Ulta

The 20162017, 2018, and 2019 birthday gift articles are up.

There are so many retailers with fabulous birthday offers. Do not forget to check the birthday offers before your big day arrives. When I learn of a new offer or a change in offers, I update it. Even though I was not really shopping around my birthday, because life in general got in the way, there were a few Birthday gifts I had to pick up. The second one, from Ulta, was another completely free one. It can only be picked up in store.

I give my birthdate upon retailer request. On 03/01/15, offers started coming in. They continued to roll in throughout March with most of them arriving on my actual birthday, March 15th. Remember to save some of your birthday shopping budget for your actual birthday, because so many offers will not come in until then. For the retailers who send the offers after your birthday, they seriously need to step up their game. As I mention on the birthday offer page, some offers are general. Others are unique. If you try to redeem before you get your own unique code, it will not work. Also, check the main retailer page before placing your orders, because the birthday offers are not always the best available offers.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Four

See recent Birchbox articles and all Welcome Box articles.

Welcome back to the year of Birchbox gifting. This is the year I decided to send three-month Birchbox gift subscriptions to all the women in my immediate family. Right after placing an order for my sister on 04/06/15 in Volume Three, I wanted to place an order for my sister-in-law who was about to turn 25. Unlike the other orders where I ordered first available shipping, I delayed shipping on this until 04/28/15 to have it arrive closer to her birthday. The ship date has more to do with the samples that arrive than the order date.

Seeing what comes in their welcome boxes, which are never customized to a profile, would be fun for me and hopefully helpful to someone thinking of purchasing a gift subscription for a family member or a first subscription for herself. Promo codes can only be used once per account and I wanted to order more gift subscriptions on 04/06/15, so I opened a second Birchbox account. It is something I wanted to do for a while anyway. There have been many months where I had a hard time choosing a sample with the latest and greatest custom designed box or the guest editor box, which is different. With two accounts, I could choose both if they were awesome.

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