If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Every year Platinum members at Ulta get a one day event where select items are available for 10x points. Yes, this combines with any other multipliers you may have. Read my Ulta page for the rules on combining multipliers (if you’re lucky enough to have more than one). This event is always at the end of August and has not included every item in the store since 2014. In 2015, only select items were included. It landed on Monday, August 24th. Ulta is on central time, so it officially started 08/23/15 at 10pm PST. The problem is the emails with the specific items included did not go out until the following morning. Those who got there at 10pm had to play with their carts a bit to see which items calculated at 10x points to beat the rush and avoid things selling out as we slept.
My prediction for 2016 is a Monday late in August, so we’re looking at 08/22/16 or 08/29/16. At Ulta, you exchange points for a credit toward anything they sell, so passing on a great multiplier is not ideal. Platinum members get a 0.25x bonus, so 10x points with no other multiplier result in 10.25x points. For every $100 you spend, you get 1025 points. Spending less than $200 at 10.25x points gives you enough to redeem $125 (just over 2000 points). All items not included in the 10x points event get 5x points, so it is a great time to shop (even if your item is excluded from 10x points).
The offer for 5x points on everything and 10x points on select items will appear in your account under My Rewards, then my bonus offers right after the day switched over. Make sure you activate it before you shop. I spent hours playing with my cart to see which items were calculating at 10x points. If you know what you want to buy, you can just check your items. After midnight PST, I noticed the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette would get 10x points. You can see the points multiplying when you go to process the payment. It will not show until then, and you can exit out before processing the payment if your item is not calculating at 10x points. This is a palette I’ve wanted, so I decided to order it then and there.
We officially received the email listing everything included in the 10x points event the morning of the event. The 10x points offers included: Urban Decay Naked Palettes, bareMinerals Foundations, Ultra Chi Flat Irons, LORAC sets and palettes, It Cosmetics CC Creams, Clarisonic Mia 1, Ulta Beauty Collection, Benefit They’re Real, Lancôme skincare, and Lancôme Audacity in Paris Palette. Anything purchased outside of these items was either received at 5x points. The event included all items in 2014.
The box has more of a smokey feel.
The palette almost looks marbled. It is the prettiest Naked Palette I own so far.
The bottom is translucent.
The flash picture makes it look more clear. It also makes the colors pop.
There are 12 0.05oz shades inside this palette. I swatched them in order from left to right.
High is a champagne shimmer with micro-glitter. Dirtysweet is a medium bronze. Radar is a metallic taupe with iridescent micro-glitter.
Armor is a metallic silver-taupe with tonal sparkle. Slanted is a light metallic gray. Dagger is a medium charcoal with micro-shimmer.
Black Market is a jet-black satin. Smolder is a deep plum-taupe. Password is a cool taupe matte.
Whiskey is a rich brown matte. Combust is a soft pink-taupe. Thirteen is a light beige satin.
I loved the swatches, but the palette was a dream to work with. The colors blend well, and were buttery. This look uses Thirteen as a highlight. Smolder is on my lid. Whisky is in the crease and worked over through the outer V. Slanted is used on the inner corner and worked through the crease as well. Dirtysweet is in the center of the lid.
I also ordered the 2 piece Gucci gift listed on Ulta’s site, and the 9 piece affiliate offer listed by ShopatHome. Yes, I ordered from ShopatHome, because Mrrebates had the highest offer at 5%, but I used the 110% guarantee to get 5.5% from ShopatHome. You have to fill out a quick price matching form to do that, but it has worked every time I’ve tried it making the extra step worth the effort. They also offer ShopGold to redeem toward gift cards, so it is a traditional Pay to Shop programs like ebates, and Mrrebates with the gift card setup like Swagbucks and MyPoints in one. I got 50 ShopGold in addition to the $2.97 cash back on this order.
Mrrebates did not have the affiliate offer anyway, so I did not want to chance ordering it using the ShopatHome link and losing my cash back for adding an offer not listed there. It is rare, but it does happen. The same affiliate offer was available at ebates, but it had the smallest percentage.
Ulta does not allow you to select the individual samples, only the group. I went with skincare for this order and got Peter Thomas Roth Rose Repair Cleansing Gel. This is something I’ve always wanted to try but have not received a sample of before. CoTZ Flawless Complexion The Healthier Sunscreen is a sample I have received before, but I have not tried it yet.
The two piece Gucci Bamboo gift included a 0.16oz Eau de Parfum, and a 1.6oz Body Lotion. I like the scent, but I love the mini perfume bottle. It is a scent I did not own before, which makes this gift an added bonus.
The affiliate offer was decent. It has six deluxe samples and three foils. I like that the foils are nice sizes. The Jergens Natural Glow is a sample I’ve received a lot but have not yet tried. Different Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick samples graced my May Empties. The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal is an absolutely beautiful sample. This foil will not keep the generous sample from spoiling, so I will keep it unopened until the container I already own has enough room to pour this inside. I suggest you transfer it to a different container as well.
The 0.16oz Dolce & Gabbana Dolce mini perfume in the affiliate offer is so cute. I already liked the scent and owned a few vials, but I am still happy to receive this. Look at that flower.
The DERMAdoctor Brazilian Bombshell sunscreen is something I almost bought from Sephora shortly before this. It went into the sale section for 50% off. I went into Sephora to check this out before ordering and was not overly fond of the smell. Now that I have it for free, I will try it to see if I can endure the smell and see if it works as well as some of DERMAdoctor’s other products. I already use the AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask and am a fan. Having more is always a good thing. I am pretty sure the Philosophy no reason to hide serum is a new sample to my stash, so I look forward to trying that. Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream is another sample I am pretty sure I did not own. Hyaluronic anything is always good to try, and it does not hurt that the offering is from Mario Badescu. Thanks to Ulta, I already own the Michael Kors Sporty Citrus scent, but I think I know who I will gift this to.
I thought I did well until I checked in with others and realized I left some freebies on the table. That always reminds me that no one has all the offers, so collaboration is key to getting the best deal. Never use only one source. After almost an hour more of searching, I got tired and decided to call it a night. When I woke up in the morning, I received an email laying out which items would get 10x points.
Ulta branded body items, which I was planning to pick up anyway and It Cosmetics CC creams were both listed at 10x points. I found items from both categories and loaded them. I had a coupon for $5 off a $15 Ulta purchase that combined with the buy two, get one free offer. Although I was unfamiliar with Exuviance Concealers, I had a 5x points offer going into the event. When I combined that with the general 5x points offers, it made the offer 9.25 points. If you’re wondering how I added 5+5 to get 9.25, I will explain. Platinum members always get a 0.25 bonus on their purchases. That bonus never multiples. That means a 5x points offer pays Platinum members 5.25x (the 1.25 base + 4). You cannot add the base twice, so the second 5 would get you 4 (the base was already counted). The fact that there was a brand specific gift with Exuviance purchase helped push toward the order as well.
The Exuvaince Concealer in Light sounds wonderful on paper. At $24 for 0.5oz, that makes it a very reasonable $48 an ounce. When you compare this to other concealers, it is not too bad. I love this. It is a great match for my skin tone, and provides medium coverage. Although it is not the best for under eye (it creases), it is great to cover blemishes.
I am still searching for a decent priced foot cream to replace my love for the way too expensive June Jacobs FabuFind. Right now, the cream I am using is terrible. To take advantage of the buy 2, get one free Ulta branded offer, I decided to buy an Ulta branded one. My June Jacobs love is a peppermint cream, so I have high hopes for this Ulta Peppermint Hydrating Foot Cream. Adding the Ulta Peppermint Cracked Heel Treatment was an easy decision, because I am already using Egyptian Magic on my feet concentrated at the heels. This seems like it may have a similar result with a much cheaper price tag. For my free item, I added a Ulta Beauty Smoothie Body Creme in my favorite Ulta scent, dragonfruit frappe.
Although I’ve had mostly good experiences with It Cosmetics, I like to try CC creams before I buy them. To reduce the blow of buying one I’ve never tried, I purchased the smallest size (0.406oz). It is actually slightly cheaper per ounce to purchase the sample size, so I suggest buying the smaller one to anyone who likes the CC cream as well.
I used Mrrebates to place the second order. Whenever your total before tax happens to equal the same amount as a separate order placed the same day, pay to shop programs have a hard time processing both orders. You can submit inquires and order numbers to prove they are different, but that is a hassle. Both of these orders had $54 totals (after the $5 coupon deducted from the second one). Every Pay to Shop program has different rules. When I place multiple Birchbox orders in the same amount, Mrrebates makes me wait a month to file the missing money inquiry. By then, I sometimes forget. Thus, it was worth the 0.5% less to order using the Mrrebates link. This is another example of why having different pay to shop programs is a good idea.
The base points on the freebies deduct at the bottom here just as they did above. My points did not initially calculate correctly on the It Cosmetics CC cream, which was odd as I used the link from Ulta’s email to find and select the product. An email to Ulta cleared that up. I also used a $5 coupon on this order which makes it look like I was also shorted on Ulta branded items. The points were all there though. Ulta made adjustments to get me the missing points, so the bottom looks too confusing to post. I needed $15*10.25 on the Ulta items, $15*10.25 on the It Cosmetics, and $ 24*9.25 on Exuvaince for a total of 529 points. Before the adjustment, I only had 453.
I noticed right when I clicked order I was missing points. I assumed they were on Evuviance, because the points did not post right away (only the total popped up). Once they posted, I realized the 76 missing points were on It Cosmetics. Breaking down multipliers is complicated enough without showing confusing manual adjustments. It looks good to me though. This is a reminder to always double-check your multipliers. Mistakes happen, but you can get them corrected.
Then, I added the items I missed from the first order, the 0.3oz Japonesque Velvet Touch Primer and the 1.7 oz Minerva Pure Gold Collagen. Apparently, I still missed another Philosophy freebie, but I did not want to place any more orders. The Collagen gift was a drink. It arrived on 08/31/15 and expired in August. I was starting to feel this sickness coming on, so I did not want to chance drinking potentially expired product. My husband drank it, and the only thing he would tell me is it was not good or bad. At least, I will get to try the primer. Plus, I got an Exuviance gift with included with a direct brand purchase. That gift included a 0.16oz Collagen Triple Boost Serum, and a 0.17oz Super Retinol Concentrate. As someone who wants to try every serum on the planet, this gift was right up my alley.
With this order, I selected the variety sampler. It included Le Couvent des Minimes Gardener’s Hand Healer, which I already know and love. It also included a single use (well, I will probably get 2-3 uses from this) Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal. This is something I already know and love, so I will probably save it for when I travel.
This 10x points promotion (well 9.25 on Exuviance) gave me a little over 1000 points for $54 + tax twice. For someone who earns most of her points the hard way at 1.25x, I am happy I did not pass this year. Combined with the points I earned from past purchases (Platinum points never expire), I finally had over 2000 to cash in a $125 spending spree. Saving them is so hard, but you have to try to save them for the best deal. Points are more valuable when you redeem 2000 ($125) at once, so I spent over $125 on a single steal day to maximize their benefit.
I will continue to post offers I am aware of, so no worries if you happen upon this post after the offers above expire. If you have questions about any Ulta Coupon, I go over all types. Targeted Offers are exclusive to UltaMate Members, so I do recommend joining. New members get $10 of their first purchase with a referral. Remember to check all Ulta offers before placing an online order, because there are always general or brand specific offers that are not targeted. Deal stacking is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. See all Ulta articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal at Ulta. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate and Referral Links