Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip 2015

See the 2018 Give Me More Lip Review

When it comes to favorite sets, no one puts them together like Sephora. The Give Me More Lip Kit usually releases every year in mid September, but it released a little later this year. I have a really hard time passing on favorites that are makeup and skin care related causing me to buy more than I should. My favorite kit each year has is the Sun Safety or the Give Me More Lip. The smaller Give Me Some Lip Kit looked nice as well, but I sat on buying it for too long and missed out. It was cuter than the one I got in 2013 and 2014, so I regret my decision to wait until I had more used than unused lipsticks to buy it.

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BzzAgent Campaign Zoomer Dino Jester

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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Sephora Father’s Day Gift With Purchase

Every Father’s Day, Sephora releases a promo code that allows you to pick up free samples for a special Dad in your life. We shop all year for ourselves, so it is nice to forgo our usual promo code to get something for him as well. It is usually 3-4 deluxe items with a $25-$35 purchase. Beauty Insiders get three, and VIB clients get four (reduced to 3 for everyone in 2016). This is a promotion I look forward to every year. Buying girly things usually yields girly samples.

My husband is so particular with samples that he usually refuses to try anything he has not researched forever first. Considering I love trying every sample I possibly can, it is safe to say opposites attract. If the items I get for him are completely free, I do not fret when he rejects them. Buying him beauty products is a complete failure unless he specifically tells me what to get him. I did get him an item from SAKS, and he was mostly happy with it.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Ten

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 three-month Birchbox gift subscription for their birthdays. On 05/27/15, I ordered a subscription for my sister-in-law, who was about to turn 25. Boxes received have more to do with the ship date than the order date. Her birthday was less than a month away, so I selected 06/05/15 as her ship date.

I redeemed $10 in points and ordered this for $20 from my third account using the code LONGWEEKEND. This code gave me 70 points with the subscription order.

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Ulta Love Your Hair Event and a Free 18 Piece Beauty Bag

See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.

2016 Event- The Gorgeous Hair Event for Spring 2016 is May 8th-28th.

Now that the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta wrapped, what can you look forward to at Ulta? The Love Your Hair Event is to hair what the 21 Days of Beauty is to makeup and skincare. Those new to Ulta may have noticed there were no amazing hair products included in the 21 Days of Beauty. That is because it gets an event all its own. Hair is big in Texas and twice a year at Ulta (May and October). Last year, it ran from October 5th-25th, so the dates will probably be similar this year. Most steals posted in the special section of the Ulta site, so be sure to study it to plan your purchases.

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty, Redeeming 2000 Points, and My Nearly Free Order

See The Fall 2016 Event

View detailed instructions on Earning and Redeeming Points at Ulta.

Ulta runs some great promotions during the year, but my favorite is 21 Days of Beauty. They do it twice a year (usually March and September). This year, the fall event ran from the 6th through the 26th of September. That means the event is officially over. The spring event is always better, so fret not if you missed the fall event. If you need any tips on how to make the most of the next event, I give them in this plan. Check all offers on the special event page.

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Birchbox Man October 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 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 five item box, like this one, gets my husband $5 back. He can also share his box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That will give him a  total of $6 back to redeem toward future purchases.

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Ulta Free 16 Piece Beauty Bag

See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.

My makeup obsession reached a point where my the two train cases I owned were not cutting it for active makeup. I have buckets for backup items, but I like to store active ones as neatly as possible. The solution was to get a new train case. Of course, one new train case barely cracked the surface, so I ordered a fourth one two days later. Now, I happily have one of just lippies, one of face products, one of eye products, and one of mixed products (which has some carryover eye products).

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Walmart Beauty Box Fall 2015

Wal-Mart Beauty Box is a subscription box delivered once per quarter. The items are given to you free of charge, and you pay $5 for the shipping. Your first $5 charges when you subscribe, and a box from the current season will ship to you within a few weeks. Future boxes will incur the $5 charge as the box ships. My fall box arrived yesterday. There is usually some variety in boxes based on the age of the recipient. If you’re unhappy with your box, you can try adjusting your age up or down before canceling.

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h2o+ Free Glow & Glisten

I use a lot of h2o+ items. There are some gems in the line, and I love trying as many items as possible. The line lies between drugstore and midrange pricing, which makes it very affordable. When you get a fabulous deal with your purchases, the items almost become a steal. Every time I order direct from h2o+, my box arrives looking like someone played kick ball with it. Opening the box is always interesting, because I never know if I am going to find damaged items, spilled items, missing items, etc.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Nine

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 three-month Birchbox gift subscription for their birthdays. On 04/28/15, I ordered a subscription for my sister, who was about to turn 37. I selected 06/19/15 for her ship date, because her actual birthday was two months away. The box she received had more to do with the ship date than the order date.

I redeemed $10 in points and ordered this for $20 from my third account using the code SUBSCRIBENOW50, which I already used on my primary account and my second account. This code gave me 50 points with the subscription order.

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Citrus Lane September 2015

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 $29.95. 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 kids to have some choice in their box, but they still receive surprise items.

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Birchbox Farewell Order

See recent Birchbox articles.

I finished sending Birchbox gift subscriptions to my sisters in June (more articles are coming). Having a third box was awesome, but I wanted to end it with as few points as possible. My Dad always tells me not to leave points on the table. Of course, he is not referring to Birchbox in particular, but this is good advice for all things in life. Going into the September box, my third account had 132 points. You can only cash them in 100 point increments meaning I could cash in $10, but I would leave 32 points behind if I placed a $10 order. Thanks to Ace status, I could have done this in August and been done.

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Essentielle Beauty Product Test

Megan at Essentielle Beauty asked if I’d be willing to test some new products she was releasing. From her email, I could tell she was looking for honest feedback. The line about what works can vary resonates, because there is no miracle on size fits all product. I also like Megan, so I hoped I could do an impartial review. Criticizing your friends is a lot harder than criticizing an unknown person’s work. My reviews are always my own, friend or not, and I can tell that Megan understands that. I’ve actually been exploring natural brands more than I used to, so this product test was right up my alley.

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Julep April 2015 Paradise Ultimate Upgrade and Mastering Don’t Leave Your Brows at Home

When it comes to nail polish, I am a huge fan of Julep’s five free formula. 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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Best of Becca Collection

This article covers the original Best of Becca set. I also have a review for Radiant Glow and Blushed Radiance. All of these are 4-piece sets that arrived with a broken piece. The Becca minis in Sephora Favorites sets, like: Bronze Bares All and Paint It Pink arrive in tact, so the problem is how Becca wraps these sets. They are wonderful products, but they are not wrapped well enough for rough shipping and handling. Sephora wraps its favorites sets and does a much better job.

Becca entered the highlighter world with some strong game. The pictures always looked amazing. I got my hands on a sample and found out that the effects were legit and not clever photo editing. While researching which products I wanted to start exploring the brand with, I came across the Best of Becca kit at Ulta. Sadly, it was out of stock, so I decided to wait before purchasing anything. On 05/09/15, I got a Beauty Break offer that looked interesting.

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Julep Birthstone September 2015

I love collecting the Julep birthstones, so I collect them all and not just my birthstone. September’s offering is a stunning blue, and it looks as beautiful on as it did onscreen. 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. As a Maven, I get free shipping with every order, so I could order the birthstone 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 (that I will always share with you here as long as Julep allows me to share it).

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Sephora Play Sign Ups

A new subscription has entered the market, and it is from one of the best retailers on the market. What are subscribers in for with the Sephora Play! Box? For starters, they can expect to only receive mid to high-end brands. Sephora does not carry low-end brands in the stores, so I doubt we will see low-end brands in the box. It makes the most sense to sample items the store carries, so we can fall in love, then purchase them. At $10 a month, this subscription is sure to give Ipsy and Birchbox a run for their money. Most of you are probably familiar with how I feel about Ipsy and Birchbox, but I wonder how my feelings will change once I get my Play subscription.

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Birchbox September 2015 Farewell

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 six sample box like this one got me $6 back. I also shared my box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That gave me a total of $7 back, which I redeemed on a purchase shipping to me now. 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. For this box, I selected the shampoo with the bonus conditioner foil.

This is the third of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One and Two are different.

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Disney Collection Belle and Snow White Mirrors at Sephora

The Reigning Beauties mirror collection by Disney was released at Sephora on 09/15/15. Stock has gone in and out since the release, but Sephora is restocking the mirrors. If you have not procured yours yet, be sure to sign up for in stock emails and add the mirror of your choice to your Sephora loves list. From this list, you can periodically check stock as well. There are times when demand is high and stock is low that items are out of stock again by the time your in-stock email reaches you, so I adopt a multi-step approach to increase my odds of getting these limited edition items everyone else wants.

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Drugstore Finds

I love finding quality items, and I love it even more when they’re a good price. More often than not, I avoid drugstore items. It is not because they lack quality. Trying things before I buy them is just preferred, and I find it easier to get samples from mid range and high-end brands. If the deal is good enough, I will try drugstore items despite never sampling them first. The good news is even if they’re terrible, I am not out as much as I am when I buy terrible items from more expensive categories. This is the main reason I love samples.

I have also tried to get my hands on more drugstore samples lately. There are some cheap, and effective ways to do this. My subscription to the Wal-Mart Beauty Box ($5 a quarter) helped me discover gems. The Target Beauty Box ($5-$10) also helps. Sites covered on my Free Samples page also help with this endeavor. The Olay Regenerist sample I got recently came from P&G Everyday. Drugstore.com has gifts with purchase I’ve redeemed to try new items when purchasing items I already know love. In other words, it is easier to sample drugstore items than I originally thought.

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Birchbox ALL ACES

See recent Birchbox articles.

When you make it to your one Ace anniversary, Birchbox rewards you with a code, ALLACES. It is good for $15 off a purchase in the Ace category. There is no minimum spend, but there are not a lot of items in this category. I received my code last month, but I waited to earn a few more review points to place the order. On 09/10/15, I reviewed my September Box (thanks to the option saying I have not tried the items yet). My box just shipped, so I will not have it for a while. That brought me a little over 200 points, so I had $20 to spend in addition to my free $15 code.

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Birchbox September 2015 You’re Beautiful

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 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. For this box, I selected the cleanser.

This is the first of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box Two and Three (which has not arrived yet) are different.

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My First Makeup Love, Lancome, Will Always Be a Gift With Purchase King

I started wearing makeup when I was 13. My Dad never bought it for me, so I only purchased drugstore brands or used whatever items I borrowed from my older sisters. Though I remember liking certain items, I do not remember loving anything. One day at age 17 while strolling through Dillard’s with my boyfriend (now husband), I came across the Lancome counter. It was having one of the infamous GWP sales. We’ve all seen them. They’re the ones that give you 6-8 items worth over $100 for purchases as low as $35. After my first purchase, I fell in love with the brand.

This was 1997, and it was my introduction to mid-range, department store makeup. I found Definicils, which is still my favorite. Poeme and Tresor were scents I could actually wear. Most scents still make me light-headed, but I found both of those rather pleasant. Dual Finish taught me that being shine free in the middle of a Vegas summer is possible. Prior to that, I thought the opposite. At the end of the day BiFacil took everything off like a dream. Everything was magic. Although I took a healthy break from wearing makeup, I returned to investing in my first love once I starting purchasing makeup again in 2013.

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Birchbox September 2015 Happy Birthday

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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 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. For this box, I selected the brow pencil.

This is the second of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One will post in two days, and Box Three has not arrived yet.

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Birchbox April 2015 General Welcome Box

See recent Birchbox articles and all Welcome Box 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 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 (after your first), you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month was my first with this subscription, so I did not get a choice.

This is the third of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One and Two were different.

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Birchbox April 2015 Current Month Welcome Box

See recent Birchbox articles and all Welcome Box 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 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 (after your first), you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. This month was my first with this subscription, so I did not get a choice

This is the second of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One and Three (posting tomorrow) are different.

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Birchbox April 2015 Mad Men California

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 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. For this box, I selected the Guest Editor Box for Mad Men California.

This is the first of my three Birchbox Subscriptions. Box Two will post later today, and Box Three will post tomorrow.

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A Year of Birchbox Gifts Volume Eight

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 three-month Birchbox gift subscription for their birthdays. On 04/26/15, I ordered a subscription for my step-sister-in-law, who was about to turn 26. I selected 06/14/15 for her ship date, because her actual birthday was two months away. The box she received had more to do with the ship date than the order date.

I redeemed $10 in points and ordered this for $20 from my second account using the code 100FORME, which I already used on my primary account and my third account. At this point, I was already aware I would only get 70 bonus points. The concept of this code is you get 100 points if you pay $30.  Continue reading

h2o+ Free Blockbusters Best Sellers Bag

If you’ve seen my empties, you know I use a lot of h2o+ items. There are some gems in the line, and I love trying as many items as possible. The line lies between drugstore and midrange pricing, which makes it very affordable. When you get a fabulous deal with your purchases, the items almost become a steal. Every time I order direct from h2o+, my box arrives looking like someone played kick ball with it. Opening the box is always interesting, because I never know if I am going to find damaged items, spilled items, missing items, etc.

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