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

The Fall 2016 Event

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.

During the 10x points event, I finally earned enough points to cash in 2000. At 2000 points, you can redeem them for a $125 Ulta credit. My willpower always forced me to cash in before I got there, so the most I ever cashed in before this was $50 (1000 points). The only way to make sure you get the full 2000 point redemption is to spend over $125. If you spend less than $125, your points will not be as valuable. In other words, hitting 2000 points does not guarantee you $125. Redeeming them all at once is what guarantees you $125. Point values are calculated as you redeem. If you redeem 2000 points 100 at a time, you will only get $3 20 times, so redeem them in one order.

It helps that I earned about half of what I needed in one day with the event. Otherwise, I am sure I would have given in and cashed in at 1000 points again. To maximize this deal, I tried to get the subtotal as close to $125 as possible. Thanks to coupon code 305204, I got $5 off the $15 drugstore items (OGX and Earth Therapeutics). That brought my total down to $1.07 with tax.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.59.59 PM

The OGX items were buy one, get one 50% off, which is why I decided to try the Keratin treatment. I already use the OGX Split End Mender and love it. Unfortunately, it is not in stock anywhere. It seems the Anti-Breakage serum replaced my beloved item. You get less product, but it seems like you also need less as it is oil based and not cream based like its predecessor. Ulta typically over prices drugstore items, so getting a $7.99 item at full price and a half priced item for $4 still makes them more expensive than buying them at Target for the regular $5.79 price.

When do you pay $11.99 for items on sale that you can get for $11.58 at full price? If you have a $5 coupon, you do it. In other words, always price compare drugstore pricing. It fluctuates and certain stores, like Ulta, issue coupons to justify overcharging on regular prices. With the coupon and a sale, you usually save. That is not always the case if only one or the other exists. Of course, the coupon also went toward the Earth Therapeutics, but that total was only $11. Without the OGX, the coupon would not have worked. Thus, it was a necessity. I did not see a single foot scrub or the Keratin treatment at Target anyway.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.59.39 PM

During the 21 Days of Beauty, Ulta sometimes has Platinum Steals in addition to regular steals. These are not advertised in advance and are only known the morning of the event when we receive our emails. On 09/07/15, Ulta offered Urban Decay eyeshadows at 50% off. By the time I woke up (living on the west coast has disadvantages), most of the shades were out of stock. I kept loading shadows, but they disappeared before I could check out. Finally, Ether and Lounge allowed me to checkout. They’re beyond gorgeous, so I do not even mind that it took me a while to find them. Even though I was well stocked on Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, I decided to pick up yet another at $11. That was a regular steal this day.

Ulta $125 Haul

I usually prefer to order from Ulta on days where I get a bunch of free gifts with my order. Gift stacking at Ulta is usually prosperous. Unfortunately, the only gift I qualified for this day was the Too Faced Bag and a Naked Dolly Lipstick. It’s better than nothing, but I already own the lipstick. At least the bag is very cute and Too Faced pink. The variety sampler included a Smashbox Photofinish foundation primer, which Ulta recently sent me in a skincare sampler as well. Sadly, I cannot use it because it gives me a rash. My other sample was Skincare Cosmetics Retinol Vitamin Enriched Night Cream. I’ve never heard of this brand, but I am always down to try anything with retinol in it. There was a bonus Vitabath Orchid Intrigue moisturizing bath & shower Gelee loosely placed inside the box. Although I’ve received several items from this brand (at Ulta), I have not tried any of them yet.

Ulta $125 Haul 2

This look and swatch of Naked Dolly is from the one I already owned. I am keeping the one received here new in box. Like all La Cremes, it was very moisturizing and lasted a few hours. Unlike darker La Cremes, it fell into my lines. It is a true nude on me as you can see in the swatch that other than it being slightly more peach, it blends into my skin. 

Too Faced La Creme Naked Dolly

Too Faced Naked Dolly 2

When it comes to eyeshadow, I feel Urban Decay is near the top with quality. Yes, the brand uses a lot of shimmer and glitter. While their matte shades are not as impressive, I am a huge fan of shimmer and like glitter when it’s done right. These shades were smooth, pigmented, blended nicely lasted all day, and did not crease. They’re basically everything I expect from urban Decay.

Urban Decay Singles

Urban Decay Singles 2

Ether is a stunning purple Moondust, which is the epitome of glitter done right.

Urban Decay Ether

Lounge is a brick-red with green shift. Anything with a green shift goes on my must buy list, but I love wearable red eyeshadows.

Urban Decay Lounge

In the look below, I am only using Ether on my lid, and Lounge in my crease and outer V.

Urban Decay Lounge and Ether

Julep Brows

Urban Decay Lounge and Ether 2

I admit that I am uncool, so I had never heard of Vegas Nay of her Star Dust Palette. After seeing swatches of this palette on Temptalia (she sells me on a lot of makeup), I noticed most of her swatches looked beautiful. As someone who has proudly called Vegas home since 1987, I was also drawn to the shade names. Almost every name reminds me of something iconic to my beloved city. Turns out her real name is Naomi, so she obviously has a sense of humor naming one of her shadows Showgirl. In the movie Showgirls, Elizabeth Berkley plays Naomi. It took me a second to correlate, but I bet someone has brought the correlation up to her before making the choice hilarious.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 4

I am also a Too Faced fan and think no one does beautiful, pink, cardboard packaging the way they do.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 2

This palette was no exception. Very pink. Very cardboard. Very beautiful.

Too Faced Vegas Nay

I can never do makeup as well as the people in the pictures, but I appreciate these helpful tools. Should I ever attempt any of these “recipes,” I will be sure to come back and share the result. To avoid disappointment of an entirely inferior end-result, I usually go about creating art on my own.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 3

There are 12 0.04oz shades in this palette. Chandelier is a matte cream. Millennial is a matte warm medium brown. Girl’s Night is a matte deep warm brown. #Selfie is a cream-white with slight silver shimmer. Showgirl is a bronzed pearl. Jackpot is a brown with gold shimmer. Pink Pearl is a pearl cool light pink. The Strip is a silvered mauve. Follow Me is a vibrant blue purple with blue sparkle. Double Tap is a deep red-brown with violet sparkle. Golden Nugget is a gold foiled coppery shimmer. Sin City is a matte black.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 5

Too Faced Vegas Nay 6

Too Faced Vegas Nay 7

Group One: Chandelier (matte cream), Millennial (matte warm medium brown), and Girl’s Night (matte deep warm brown)

Too Faced Vegas Nay 15

Group Two: #Selfie (white with silver shimmer), Showgirl (bronzed pearl), and Jackpot (brown with gold shimmer)

Too Faced Vegas Nay 16

Group Three: Pink Pearl (cool light pink), The Strip (silvered mauve), and Follow Me (purple with blue sparkle)

Too Faced Vegas Nay 17

Group Four: Double Tap (red brown with violet sparkle), Golden Nugget (gold foiled copper shimmer), Sin City (matte black), and the glitter dust (nude beige).

Too Faced Vegas Nay 18

This is my creation. I used Selfie on the brow bone, The Strip on the lid, Golden Nugget in the Outer V, Showgirl in the crease, and the glitter on the center of the lid.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 12

The shadows are pigmented, easy to blend, lasted all day, did not crease, and were mostly a pleasure to work with. Some of the colors are more impressive than others, but this is a quality palette.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 13

Too Faced Vegas Nay 14

Too Faced Vegas Nay 8

The kit also included deluxe samples of Shadow Insurance (0.17oz), Better than Sex (0.17oz), and Glamour Dust Glitter in Nude Beam (0.02oz). Shadow Insurance does not do enough to prevent shadow creasing on me, so this will find another home. Better than Sex mascara is one I like. With others I love and many more yet to try, I do not want to repeat ones I only like. The glitter will stay with me. Every Vegas girl has to own glitter, and gold glitter is a must.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 10

Too Faced Vegas Nay 9

The glitter is really pretty. It is not traditional glitter but rather a finely milled (for glitter) powder mixture that swatches beautifully. When applied dry, there is serious fallout and it has a hard time staying put. I think it is worth the effort, because that swatch above says it all. This is one of the most stunning glitter shadows I’ve seen.

Too Faced Vegas Nay 11

After receiving a broken powder in the earlier Becca Kit, I was reluctant to order it again. I thought if I used points to pay for it, the blow would be softened if it arrived damage. That is not true as it turns out.

Best of Becca Wreck

If your Radiant Glow set arrives in tact, congratulations. The two sheets of silver paper inside a box larger than the four deluxe samples is a disaster waiting to happen. Couple that with very soft powder, and the Shimmering Skin Perfector in my kit is the very sad result. It arrived pulverized. I called Ulta right after opening it on the 16th. The man I spoke with said he would put a request in to reorder the product. There was only one other time where a request to reorder did not go well. I asked if he could ask them to go inside the box and package it a little better to prevent the items from shifting. That way, the replacement would have a better chance of arriving in tact. He said he would.

This kit is $2.50 cheaper than its predecessor, but that kit had two full-sized products. I’d rather pay the extra $2.50 to get at least one full-size item here. They’re all deluxe. It includes: a 0.08oz Beach Tint Lip Shimmer Soufflé in Raspberry/Opal, a 0.1oz Under Eye Brightening Corrector, a 0.085oz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone, and a 0.17oz Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight in Opal. That is the swatch order from left to right.

Becca Kit 2 Swatches

I did not get a good feeling from the call, so I tried to repair the damaged Becca moonstone sample. Saving as much powder as I could and with a lot of alcohol, I used a toothpick to put the paste (powder) back in place. It is still in tact, but most of the already small sample did not survive the process. This repair technique also changes the formula, so it is not the same as an original in tact compact.

Becca Moonstone

On the morning of the 17th, I checked my order history to see if the replacement order went through. It was not there. There was no confirmation of the replacement order in my email either. In August 2014, I emailed upon receiving a damaged item, and called a few days later when the emails were not answered. That rep told me he would request the item be reordered. Two weeks after the call, I had not received the item, did not see the item in my order history, and never received a confirmation. I called back, but the item was out-of-stock. Had my original call been addressed while the item was in stock, I would have received it. The new rep was able to see notes from the call with the original rep but was unable to tell me why the call never went anywhere. She offered me a gift card for the exact amount I paid a month earlier (took 10 days to arrive, a few days of unanswered emails before I called, and finally the phone call followed by two weeks of no contact).

The problem was it was a clearance item, so an Ulta gift card would not be enough to cover the full price to purchase it elsewhere even if it was a refund and not a gift card. In other words, I was not satisfied with merely getting the exact amount I paid back after Ulta held my money for a month in a gift card that could only be used at Ulta. That ordeal made me take a break from ordering at Ulta, so the gift card sat unused for a while. To prevent that from happening again, I called back. This time, I spoke with Breanna. She could not find notes on the account from the night before. At least notes existed the year before. How did he note nothing on the account this time. I did not even have his name, so looking up his call log was not possible.

Breanna insisted I write down her name, take an incident number, and told me she reordered the item. She was really awesome, so I have to remember to give her a positive review. When an Ulta rep reorders the item while you’re on the phone, it works out. If they tell you a request to have the item is getting put in, hang up and call back. Seriously. Those requests will get you nowhere. Should you decide to stay on the call, at least get the agent’s name and an incident number, so you can follow-up. Later that day, I received an email confirming the replacement order. The replacement order showed up in my order history the next day. Do not wait endlessly for the replacement if you do not see the order history or get an email. Call back.

My replacement kit arrived on 09/24/15. It was in tact thanks to jamming the box so full of bubble mailers that they actually crushed the Becca Box. Crushing the Becca Box was a good thing, because it helped prevent items from rolling around inside all the loose space.

Becca Radiant Kit

Becca Moonstone 2

I know Opal is Becca’s most popular shade, but I got it in the last kit. With five shades in this series, they could have included a different color. It is very beautiful, but I doubt I need a second one. Due to broken powder staining the other three products, I would not feel comfortable gifting this to someone. No matter how much I cleaned the containers, it left a tiny film. There is still a stain on my couch from the shimmery powder, too, so I will probably have to get it professionally cleaned. Turns out my bargain kit has a huge cost.

Mally Cherry Blossom

The Beach Tint Lip Shimmer Soufflé in Raspberry/Opal swatched so beautifully. I love the way the raspberry and opal marbled together. Trying every lippie possible is on my list of things to do, so this is the item I was most exited to try. This feels and wears like a gloss. On a scale of 1 to 5, it is about a 2 in stickiness. While I own sticky glosses, I no longer buy anything 2 or higher. Thus, I will not buy any more of these. It does shimmer more than most lip glosses thanks to the Opal highlighter mixed in. I really liked the way the color and highlighter blended together causing that effect. The formula fades faster than most glosses, but it leaves a slight stain (probably due to the highlighter) that is very pretty.

Becca Gloss 1

The dark circles under my eyes are usually against applying a brightener. I usually reserve those for areas I want to highlight, not areas I want to hide. That made the Under Eye Brightening Corrector the item I least looked forward to (other than Opal since I already owned it). Becca claims this brightener is the first of its kind, so I gave it a try. This is a very thick cream, which does settle into creases. Unlike most under eye brighteners, this did not overly accentuate dark circles. It is a product I’d consider using if I periodically check my creases to smudge it back out. On days where I have bad circles, I doubt this will work, but I will report back if I discover it does not.

Becca Under Eye

I swatched and sampled the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone from the damaged one, so it may look different when using one in tact. Opal gets all the love in Becca’s line, but Moonstone glows on my skin. The color and effect are beyond beautiful. This is a winner, and it is now one of my favorite highlighters.

Becca Moonstone 5

This is the one star review I submitted on 09/16/15 that Ulta decided not to publish. I was trying to warn people about the faulty wrapping, and have no clue what is wrong with this review that keeps it from being published.

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Warning!! Stop scrolling now if you’d rather not see pictures of gross, peeling feet below.

I tried the foot scrub and the foot peel. The scrub is not the worst thing I’ve ever tried, but it is far from the best either. Ulta sells a travel and a full-size, and I am glad I purchased the travel size. With the price per ounce on the larger size being more, I would never purchase that anyway. This scrub does not lather and is not very abrasive. It works, but on a minimal level.

Foot Peel

I love the peel. The gentle formula is very easy to work with and gives moderate peeling. Unlike more extreme products where the peeling continues awkwardly over a course of days, this peeling is mostly complete the moment you’re done working the product into your feet. It is gentle enough to use everyday, but I cannot imagine you’d need to have this much peeling everyday. Two days after the first use, I tried it again. There was some peeling, but it was less. When I tried it again two days after that, there was much less peeling. Using it a few times when it first arrives probably helps. Any more than that and I doubt it will have much added effect.

Foot peel 2

Now that I’ve used the foot peel for a while, I am confident once a week is the perfect amount of use. Combined with occasional buffing, exfoliating, and moisturizing feet, peeling once a week has kept my feet smooth.

If you made it to the foot peel section, I hope you were not too grossed out. As awesome as Breanna was, this is now the second time in a little over a year that Ulta disappointed me with useless phone calls. Unless a really incredible Ulta deal comes along, I am taking a break. I will still post my backlogged articles, but those predated this. I qualified for Platinum very early this year, so I can stop shopping until the end of next year and not worry about losing status. We’ll see if any good deals are able to wrangle me back in. They usually do.

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

		
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2 comments on “Ulta 21 Days of Beauty, Redeeming 2000 Points, and My Nearly Free Order

  1. Yael
    September 21, 2016

    Hi! I have a question – do you earn points on the items you purchased even when you “paid” for them by redeeming points? Or did you only receive $1 worth of points for this order?

    Like

  2. notcreative
    September 21, 2016

    You only receive points on actual money spent. If you use $125 in rewards points on a $135 purchase, you’d get points on the $10.

    Like

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