Monthly Archives: November 2015

Get Free Samples Volume Seven

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 seventh 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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I registered with SampleSource and filled out my profile. Within a few weeks Sample Source contacted me about free samples suited to my profile that were available. Quantities are limited, so I responded as soon as I got the email. A few weeks after your samples arrive, you will get an email asking to review the products.

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Sephora VIB Rouge Qualification Gift, My Black Friday Haul, and the MIXITUP Promo Bags

I tried not to re-qualify for Sephora VIB Rouge until the end of the year, but I got really close. After getting there on July 12th last year, I’d say November 26th is a huge improvement. Fingers crossed for December 31st next year. During the VIB Rouge sale, I purposely stopped short of qualifying thinking I would make one last purchase when we get our $25 off $50 gift cards. The Black Friday deals were a lot better to me this year than last, so I was not able to pass them up. There were two that instantly caught my eye, which I mentioned in my Black Friday Deals article.

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Birchbox Man December 2015 Review

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 six item box, like this one, usually gets my husband $6 back. He can also share his box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That will usually give him a total of $7 back to redeem toward future purchases.

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Cyber Monday Deals

Welcome to Black Friday, the biggest shopping Day of the Year. By now, I am sure you’ve probably already shopped a bit or are about to get started. My Black Friday Deals post went over some great offers. This article on Cyber Monday offers will have no repeat deals, so I hope you find something great inside.

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Birchbox Limited Edition Box Charmed Life Review

See recent Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes.

Happy Thanksgiving! I could not think of a better article to share today than my Birchbox review of the Charmed Life Box. I am thankful for so many things and always feel even more so this time of year. It helps that the delivery did not arrive until Tuesday and I presented its sister box, Luxe List yesterday. Both boxes were ordered together to maximize my promo code discount and point redemption. That article already breaks down the entire deal, the points I redeemed, the two piece gift, my bonus freebie, and everything else. This article will only discuss what came inside the Charmed Life Box.

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Birchbox Limited Edition Box Luxe List Review

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. The Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes: Luxe List and Charmed Life looked amazing, so I decided to order both. Once I post the Charmed Life Box tomorrow, I will add a link to its review.

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Citrus Lane November 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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Influenster Pumpkin VoxBox

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.

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Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is the biggest sale day of the year. Traditionally, it is the day most stores cross from red (losing money) to black (making money). Most cross in style with more deals than we can ever partake in. Participating in the best deals once required you to venture out at 3am. Now, you can get a number of great deals from your house. Cyber Monday will bring deals of its own, but it is not always the case that the best Internet deals come out Monday. Many stores see the same sale both days (assuming inventory lasts through the weekend). Some sales are better on Black Friday, even online.

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Target $3 off $15 Beauty Haul From the 10! Of Our Faves Beauty Box

When you purchase a Target Beauty Box, you get a coupon for $3 off a $15 beauty purchase. They usually expire within a month of receiving the box. While the intent is to use the coupon to get a discount off the item(s) you enjoyed from the box, you can usually use it on anything in the beauty department. There are not many exclusions other than items purchased from the baby beauty department. About a month ago, my almost nine-year old told me he no longer wanted to use baby products anyway. After moping for a few days, I gave him the CeraVe sample I received from a Facebook freebie. His skin is even more sensitive than mine, so most of the items in my stash will not work for him. He fell in love with the sample.

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BzzAgent Campaign Welch’s Refreshingly Simple Strawberry Raspberry

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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Paula’s Choice Testing Panel

I’ve always appreciated that Paula’s Choice does not do animal testing. While I have not yet boycotted brands that do, I like buying from those that do not. My skin is sensitive, so I get reactions from products. It is still nice to try as many new products as possible, and I use Beautypedia (an expert site affiliated with Paula’s Choice that uses scientific research instead of opinions for reviews) as a first stop in seeing what ingredients may have caused my reaction. Both sites are a great source of information. Anyone can sign up for Paula’s Choice Testing Panel to test products and give feedback. Panelists immediately fill out a short skin care profile. When Paula’s Choice needs a new item tested, it reviews profiles. A short survey determines whether the panelist moves forward. Those who do take part in the test fill out an exit survey by the deadline. Successfully complete one test to qualify for more.

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Hot Deals for Christmas 2015

Some of the best deals available all year come around this time. Are you ready to shop? I’m going to discuss popular offers available now or coming soon. Waiting for the right deal may extend your holiday shopping budget and can prevent you from sacrificing quality for quantity. These are recurring offers, so if you’ve happened upon them for a different year, the dates will be different.

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Yves Rocher Subscriber Pricing

Yves Rocher automatically loads gifts in your cart, so they combine with any promotional code. Gifts compound, so the more you spend, the more gifts you qualify for. When I ordered, there was a gift with a $10 purchase, and a gift with a $20 purchase. There were also gifts with higher buy-ins, but I did not qualify with this order. The minimum for a gift applies before the promo code. I received the promo code 05RY20 for $5 off a $20 purchase and free shipping. Getting two free gifts, free shipping, and no sales tax (no store in my state) for as little as $15 is a steal.

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The Deal Shopper’s Take on The $20 Makeup Challenge

I’ve watched a few Youtube videos on the $20 makeup challenge. As a deal shopper, the challenge interests me, but it always seemed impossible to really only use items for a full makeup look that cost less than $20. Then, it hit me. If I can do the challenge my way, the deal shopper’s way, I could actually have fun with this. Deal shoppers get items for free, get them at deep discounts in kits, subscription boxes, on sale, and more. To follow the spirit of the game, I will not even use the deal shopper’s biggest resource, the gift with purchase. Those gifts require a purchase making them technical cheats for this game.

If I purchased them in a kit or a subscription box, they’re fair game. I will use the amount I paid for the kit or subscription and divide it by the number of items in the box to arrive at the number. Of course one could argue that I could not get items from kits or subscriptions without first spending the entire amount. To that, I say touche. However, I still think it is fair game, so I am moving forward.

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Julep November 2015 Birthstone

I love collecting the Julep birthstones, so I collect them all and not just my birthstone. November’s offering is a shimmery bronze-orange. 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 VIB Sale 20% Off Holiday Shopping

See recent articles on Sephora Sale items.

The annual VIB sale which runs from the beginning to the middle of each November is in full swing. This is the first year Sephora decided to exclude Rouge clients from the VIB part of the 20% off sale. I was curious to see whether HOLIDAY20 or VIB20 would work for Rouge clients. Sephora said it would not work, but parameters on new codes can fail. A VIB exclusive code had never been released before, so it was worth checking. The VIB sale runs 11/13/15-11/16/15. The code officially went live at 11:41pm PST on 11/12/15, so it came 19 minutes ahead of schedule for the west coast and was behind schedule for some others. When I tried to enter the codes from my Beauty Insider account (created solely for receiving email offers) and my Rouge account, I got a pop up that you must be a VIB member to redeem.

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Review Directory Test InstaNatural Neck Firming Cream and Acne Spot Treatment

Review Directory is subsidiary of Fuelmyblog.com, which was founded in 2007 and has a database of over 1.5 million bloggers. Bloggers review products and services for free or at a deep discount in exchange for honest reviews. They are only required to give the reviews on the site the product comes from.

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Review Directory Product Test InstaNatural Scar Gel Cream and Stretch Mark and Scar Cream

Review Directory is subsidiary of Fuelmyblog.com, which was founded in 2007 and has a database of over 1.5 million bloggers. Bloggers review products and services for free or at a deep discount in exchange for honest reviews. They are only required to give the reviews on the site the product comes from.

I had never heard of either company, so I had to do a little digging when I received the following email from Ann. Her contact did not surprise me, because I tend to write detailed reviews. If it was a legit offer, I understand wanting detail.

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Birchbox November 2015 Launches Love of Color, LOC

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 got me $5 back. I also shared my box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That gave 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 LOC Lipstick in Glam Life.

This is the second of my two Birchbox Subscriptions. Box One was different.

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DAWGS GRANDOPENING

A reader who worked at USA DAWGS (she no longer does) emailed me earlier this year. I had not heard of them, so I looked into them and remember thinking there were some cute items. There were also a lot of items I would never wear in a million years, like the shoes that resemble Crocs. The clothes were hit and miss. Some of the canvas shoes look a lot like Tom’s, which are my favorite shoes ever. My only pitfall with Tom’s are inconsistencies. Some of my size 8 shoes come in too tight and others come in too loose. Each pair is hand-made, so that explains why they all fit differently. They eventually mold to my feet to fit perfectly, so I do not mind. I also like that every time I buy a pair, a pair goes to someone in need. Tom’s are so comfortable, and I like that I can wear them without socks.

The canvas design on Tom’s does rip after a while, which is not great for the price. Each pair only lasts about a year. DAWGS is based in Henderson, which is the city next to mine. I like the idea of shopping a local company. Zappos is technically local, too, and I actually know someone who works there. One day, I will need to buy shoes from them as well. Anyway, after tearing a hole in another pair of Tom’s, I remembered that DAWGS had a similar pair. The stripes on the back are different but not necessarily a deal breaker. I also like that the shoes are naturally cheaper than Tom’s and DAWGS puts out way more discount codes and offers free shipping. It was finally time to put them to the test.

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Birchbox November 2015 GlamLifeGuru and Launching Love of Color, LOC

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 got me $5 back. I also shared my box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That gave 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.

This is the first of my two Birchbox Subscriptions. Box Two is different.

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Essentielle Beauty Product Test Volume Two

After testing the lavender balm and raspberry cream, Megan from Essentielle Beauty asked if I’d be willing to test some more. She had some new formulas with Christmas in mind. I love Christmas, but I really love all the scents released in products around the holidays in general. My package, which included a Chocolate Face Cream, a Peppermint Face Cream, and a Gingerbread Face cream arrived on 09/28/15. They were all labeled face creams this time, so I was not going to make the same mistake of applying it to my body like I did the last time. That sample tube was huge. Even with two body applications, I still had enough leftover for several applications on my face.

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Sephora VIB Sale 20% Off Holiday Shopping Event Rouge First Access and Gift 110615-110915

See recent articles on Sephora Sale items.

The annual VIB sale which runs from the beginning to the middle of each November started. By now, all of my fellow Sephora US Rouge shoppers should know our private shopping event to kick off the annual VIB 20% off sale did not happen. Apparently after surveying us about our satisfaction with the last event, Sephora decided to cancel the event instead of making improvements. There were certainly areas I felt could be improved. As I mentioned after attending the August event, my store event could have been better. If my store stepped it up the way some other stores do, I may have enjoyed the events a little more. While I appreciated the Face Mask Friday event added this year (which I now wonder if it was a replacement to the private shopping event we usually have in November), I was not into the jar masks my store opted to go with.

Had Sephora not canceled the event, I may have attended. Guess we will never know one way or the other now. While I took the survey after the August event, I cannot remember what I wrote. I do remember being asked to rank event happenings and am pretty sure I rated brand reps presence lowest. Sorry, I really enjoyed spending time with them in August of 2014, but I found something missing in November of 2014, and August of 2015. Some people reported brand reps would still be visiting the stores, but I did not see any at my store yesterday. Not sure I really missed them either.

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Julep November 2015

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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Estee Lauder Holiday Blockbuster 2015

Estee Lauder’s Holiday Blockbuster is $59.50 with a qualifying fragrance purchase at most stores. I have no desire to purchase fragrance from any brand. On top of the fact that I do not use perfume often, I have almost 200 mini vials (varying in size from 0.02oz to 0.33oz of unique scents. That is more than enough variety, and over half of them are still new to me. After connecting with one, I did get a 1oz bottle only to trade it away unopened a few months later. My aversion to purchasing perfume has kept me from ordering the Estee Lauder Blockbuster in the past.

A friend recommended that I purchase the Elizabeth Arden Blockbuster last year, and I figured out that Herberger’s (Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, and Younkers) sells it without meeting the purchase minimum. Those are all the same department store (Bon-Ton) with different names based on the region. My emails are always addressed from Herberger’s, but I have specifically made purchases from Bon-Ton as well. No matter which site I sign into, I see my order history from both stores. After successfully checking out with just the Elizabeth Arden Blockbuster in 2014 (and a cardigan that was too cute to resist), I vowed to finally purchase the Estee Lauder Blockbuster this year if I could forego the fragrance purchase.

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Sephora Party Favors 8 Sample Filled Clutch

It’s that time of year at Sephora again. Time for sample filled bags. There are four bags to choose from containing seven samples in Canada or eight in the US. All Beauty Insiders can redeem a bag of samples. If you’re a VIB or higher, you can redeem two. On my main account (Rouge), I received the code VIBFAVORS to redeem a bag. My secondary account (Beauty Insider) received the code PARTYPICKS to redeem a bag.

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BzzAgent Campaign Crest Pro Health Active Rinse Clean Purple

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 Six

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 sixth 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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