Deals Too Good to Pass Up

If you have to buy it, get the best deal!

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.

SAKS is also known for promo code stacking. While you can only use one specific discount code, you can use up to five codes total.  Always look through the available offers on the page. I advertise general ones, but there are too many brand specific ones to list them all. The code changes at times, but free shipping is always available. At the time I ordered, the free shipping code was FREESHIP.

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The discount code itself was unique, but when I reviewed my order to write this I noticed it listed in my account as SAKS50. That is definitely not the code I entered. This is purely conjecture at this point, but I am wondering if there is a general code that can be entered in place of the specific codes before the order or if SAKS just places a general code for the system after the order to ID it in the future. When there is a mystery to solve, I am always there to try.

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My husband, who is very picky with his scents, got a sample of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille about a month earlier. The sales associate who gave him the sample gave him a generous size, which was quite amazing. I almost felt guilty not ordering directly from the kind associate, but I could not pass this opportunity to get this Eau de Parfum for him at an incredible deal. His sample was almost gone, so it was the perfect time to purchase his own bottle. That would be the main intent of this order, but I had to get something for myself as well.

SAKS Haul 051115

The Tom Ford private blend collections start at $129.41 an ounce. They actually get much cheaper as you buy them in bigger sizes. What size should you buy though? Do you buy the smallest bottle and pay the highest per ounce price to get the cheapest buy in or do you buy the biggest size to get the lowest price per ounce? I do neither.

My husband hates using old cologne, so he would probably throw most of it out before he ever used the 8.4oz bottle. Yes, I know better blends of colognes can last for over five years, but try telling him that. After a year or two, the cologne is as good as dead to him. I purchased him a 1oz bottle of his last cologne at his urging, because he claimed he never finishes it making anything bigger than that a waste. He finished it, so I could have purchased the larger size. Based on how quickly he finished that bottle, less than a year, I had faith he would use more than the 1.7oz size. That put him into 3.4oz territory.

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The 3.4oz bottle retailed at $295 when I purchased this. That made the cost per ounce $86.76. There has been a $5 price increase since my purchase, but the new price would still only cost $88.24 an ounce. I knew this was the right size for him. Trying to find the right size where you use the most without waste is the best way to buy cologne. Who cares if you pay less per ounce if you throw away all of your savings plus more! Tom Ford even had a GWP using code TOMFORD24. The code provided a mini Moisturizer for men.

That was perfect timing to have a male offer. Tom Ford had several female offers with purchases in the preceding months, but this was the first male offer I notice. I stalk offers at all the department stores and cannot recall seeing a single one anywhere actually. My husband really liked the moisturizer, too, so I hope I did not create a Tom Ford monster. Once he finishes his current moisturizer, I will have to see what he buys next. He finally has a Birchbox subscription after much nudging, so I have my fingers crossed he finds something cheaper. Expensive samples seriously give me love/hate vibes. I hate when I love them. Luckily, he is still really into the cologne as well, because there is always a fear you buy a cologne from the sample only to find the full-size does not perform the same. It did, so he is all good there.

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My husband took me to Sephora two days before this order and insisted I buy something as a Mother’s Day gift from my boys (article coming). I swatched some of the Dior palettes, but I did not see any in stock for this palette. After debating back and forth, I decided on purchasing something else. While shopping at Dillard’s a few months earlier I thought I swatched this exact palette, Dior Contraste Horizon. It swatched beyond beautifully, but I ended up buying something else instead. When I came across this on the SAKS site and saw it in stock, I decided not to wait any longer.

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This 0.21oz palette retails for $62. That is $295.24 per ounce. I love bluish greens and who does not love coppery-beiges, so this palette begged for me to buy it. Whites are so great for highlighting, although I admit I had a brief stint in the 1990s where I used white only. That was not a good look for me now that I’ve reviewed old pictures. Even though I was excited about the palette, I was backlogged on trying new items, so the palette sat in my stockpiles for about a month.

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Then, I saw Temptalia’s review on this. She mentioned it was a new palette. I am not on top of releases like she is, so I trusted her. If it was new, what palette did I swatch at Dillard’s over the winter. That is the one I fell in love with. Two notes on that. First, write down names of items and what you think as you swatch them. Second, take pictures of your swatches. Had I done either of those things, I probably never would have purchased this palette mistakenly thinking it was another one.

Dior Contraste Horizon 5

Dior Contraste Horizon 6

Temptalia’s review was not favorable either, so I worried about how it would do. I discovered her website over a year ago and could only recall a single time my opinion differed with hers. She really gives honest reviews. The swatches she provided on this did not look spectacular either (except the bluish-green and coppery one), so there is no way it was the item I remembered swatching. Even the bluish-green color had a very patchy application on her. Her review did inspire me to push the palette up on my list of things to try, because I had to know.

As usual, her review was right on. These were not overly pigmented and took a while to build up color. Blending was not particularly easy either.

Hard Candy All Glossed Up sand castle 2

Dior Contraste Horizon 2

The darker colors did do better than the lighter colors as Christine noted. That is why she gave them a Ct as compared to the lighter colors where she gave them an F. She actually gave the coppery color an A-, and while I feel that was a tiny but generous, I agree that it was the best color in the palette once I tried them on. On top of the poor application, I even had creasing. That is the number one thing I hate with eyeshadows. Give me difficult blending or make me take a lot of time to build color, but for goodness sake, do not crease. When items crease with NARS pro prime, they will probably crease with anything.

Dior Contraste Horizon

Dior Contraste Horizon 3

I do not return things that do not work out for me. Even though I am not fond of this palette, I still own it and hope it goes better the next time I use it. As of now, I am not overly enthused to give this another go.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Overall, I am happy with the order. I got 16% back from ebates as promised, so I got $7.94 back (cash back does not include tax) on the $53.62 (includes tax) I paid on this palette. That made my cost for the palette $45.68. It is a lot considering I did not like it, but the cost could have been a lot higher. The $37.76 I got back from ebates on the Tom Ford Eau de Parfum helped soften the blow, too. Getting $45.70 from one order also assisted me in getting a three digit quarterly payout from ebates. If you shop online, use pay to shop programs when possible. Although the cash back is not usually this high, I like that I only paid $263.04 for everything once I got my cash back from ebates.

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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