Monthly Archives: January 2016

Birchbox Man Box Review February 2016

See all Birchbox Man articles.

Birchbox Man gives at least four grooming 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 grooming samples are chosen based on the answers to your online 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.

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Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip

See the 2018 Give Me More Lip Review

 

I have a really hard time passing on a Sephora favorites. When Give Me Some Nude Lip launched, I thought I would pass. Nudes are not really my thing. When I wear lip color, I generally want them bold. My bolder eye looks do pair better with nudes, so I keep some on hand. Lippies are a serious weakness. This is my third mini set. Although I missed the 2015 set, I did partake in 2013 and 2014. In 2014 and 2015, I also purchased the Give Me More Lip sets (which are a lot larger). You could quickly build your lip collection just by investing in these kits. This set has gone in and out of stock online. If it is out of stock again when you check, call your local stores to see if they have any. They can hold it for 24 hours if they do.

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Sephora VIB Rouge Event Lip Boldly and Color IQ

This was an open-door Rouge Event. Private, closed-door Rouge Events were canceled after the Points Promotion in August 2015, but they returned in June 2016 to launch new items from the Fall. The last VIB Rouge event took place 09/10/16.

Sephora has another VIB Rouge exclusive event. Some have reported that their store opened the event to non-Rouge members, but my store verified membership before I could partake. Like the earlier Face Mask Friday, Lip Boldly is also on Friday (January 29th). Hey, that’s today. I decided to write about the event after attending to see if it is worth your while. No appointments are necessary, so you can just head on over if this appeals to you. Events can vary from store to store, so there is no guarantee yours will be like mine. My store, Sephora Summerlin, usually does the bare minimum when it comes to events, so there is a good chance this event is better at other stores. The Face Mask Friday event launched for the first time a month before the annual November VIB event got canceled, so I hope this event does not mean we are not getting an event to kick off Chic week at the beginning of April (especially since this was not an exclusive event). It did not go over well when Sephora canceled the Fall event, so I look forward to seeing how they handle the spring sale. Continue reading

Nail Polish Swatches Reds

My nail polish collection is large. Polishes kept in good condition (away from heat or light) can last a long time, longer than the two years many people quote. A good thinner (I use Seche Vite) can also revive them. I have tossed polishes when thinner cannot save them or they have obviously gone bad, but it is rare. When I started collecting polishes again, I tossed all polishes older than the summer of 2013. To avoid ordering duplicates, I created a spreadsheet. Swatching them with these spoons I purchased from Amazon will help me compare the colors, finishes, and overall quality. All polishes only have one coat, because I wanted to spot the difference between my sheer and opaque polishes. We’ve all seen polishes that look dark in the bottle only to need 3-4 coats for opaqueness. No polishes have base or top coats either, because that can change the way the polish looks.

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Nerd Block Jr For Boys Aged 6-11 January 2016 Box Review

My oldest son turned nine last month. Like his little brother who received a six-month subscription to Citrus Lane and other gifts for his fourth birthday, I offered Xander a chance to have a six-month subscription in addition to regular gifts. He poured over box options (thanks to wonderful blogs and Youtube videos), and settled on Nerd Block Jr for boys. We missed the cutoff (the 15th) to start the box in his birth month. Better late than never, so we subscribed in time for January. Nerd Block Jr For Boys is for ages 6-11, so I think he chose wisely.

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Drugstore.com StriVectin 15 Piece Sample Bag

I do not purchase a lot of drugstore makeup or skincare, but I use a decent amount of drugstore body care. Most of my purchases are from samples I’ve tried, items I’ve swatched, or exhaustive research on a product to include reviews. Only the latter is easily available for drugstore products (although Target and Wal-Mart Beauty Boxes have helped in the sample category). When Drugstore.com releases a GWP on items in the beauty category, I try to stock up on items in the beauty category that qualify for the gift. These body care items qualified for the free 15 piece StriVectin Bag with a $75 Drugstore.com purchase. This gift expired on Friday, but there will be more throughout the year, including the next large offer Next January. While this one is not as impressive as the one I received in January 2015, there are still a few things in here I really want.

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The Real Deal That is Egyptian Magic, The Secret Magical Cream

If you’ve never used Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream, I assume you are reading this to see if it is as magical as they claim. Spoiler Alert. It’s even better. Why do some tout this magical moisturizer as the best thing ever while others call it a greasy mess? The truth is they’re both right, kind of. While it claims it is a cream, it quickly gains an oil like consistency as you warm it up. Part of its appeal is the very thing that turns some people off. There are only six ingredients in the formula: Olive Oil, Beeswax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, and Propolis Extract. These six simple agreements do not bring any new anti-aging ingredients to the table, but they also exclude potentially harmful ones many would like to avoid.

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Radical Skincare Youth Infusion Serum Review

Radical Skincare launched a new review program. They sent me an email on 12/21/15 to join. I admit the email asking for a five-star review turned me off. It reminded me of service shops at the car dealership that always ask for perfect reviews. Once I had to call about an hour before closing, because despite taking the first appointment that morning I received no update all day. I had to wait over 30 minutes when I arrived even though they told me when I called that it was ready. Someone took it for a car wash without letting my service advisor know, and my advisor put the wrong key with my service ticket. He handed me the incorrect key and insisted it was mine when I told him it was not. That car was not nicer than mine either, so I declined the key. If it was nicer, I told him I would have taken it (in jest of course).

He finally located my key on a different service ticket. My car arrived still dripping. Apparently, they did not fully dry it, because they rushed to wash it after losing it. Then a different service advisor talked to his customer at her car, which prevented me from driving forward or backward (no one was in the car behind me) for over 5 minutes. This lady who had nothing but time on her hands arrived almost 30 minutes after I did to add insult to injury. She and her advisor saw that I was trying to leave, but neither made any effort to move any faster. After all of that, my advisor still asked for a perfect review. Seriously! Even my most beloved brands have misses, so I cannot promise before I try anything that it will get five stars. That said, I took it the same way as I take the dealership’s request for five stars. I am not giving it if it does not earn it.

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PINCHme Volume Three

PINCHme is a free sampling service. Complete your profile where you answer questions about your household and shopping habits. On select Tuesdays at 9amPST when new samples release, you can order any available that match up to your profile. The better samples tend to run out quickly, so log in as early as possible. Once you’ve tried the samples, you complete a short survey. As long as you complete your surveys in a timely manner, you are eligible to receive future samples.

This package was ordered on 11/10/15. It arrived on 12/24/15. Shipping is usually slow, but this was the slowest yet. Usually, it is around a month. This took over six weeks. The survey deadline is 02/08/16. I completed the ones I could and will complete the others before then. Continue reading

By Terry Baume de Rose Review

It’s the middle of winter. If you have dry lips like I do and have not found a perfect product for your lips, you are probably wondering what product can help. Thanks to a May 2013 Beauty.com promotion, I discovered the magic of By Terry Baume de Rose. With my order, they sent a 0.1oz sample. That seems really small, but it lasted for five months. Well, it was technically opened for almost eight, because my son took off with it somewhere in the middle of its life. I found it well over two months later mixed in with some toys. After opening it and seeing it had not been tampered inside, I assumed he just thought the jar would be fun to play with. I do not miss the days when he took off with my things. They may have finally passed. Knock on wood.

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DealsTooGoodtoPassUp The First Year

A year ago today I decided to create a space where I could share: my thoughts, endless tips (if you’ve read my articles from start to finish, you know what I mean), and most importantly the deals we all strive for. There were ups and downs, and it almost ended as soon as it started. I learned that blogs are a lot of work, so you have to unplug completely during a tragedy. Through all the work I put into each article and page, I wondered if anyone would find it helpful. When I received a comment or email through contact, I learned that some people did find it helpful and others were happy to help me. Some have my passion for deal sharing, most share my passion for deal hunting, and all share my passion for beauty products.

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Get Free Samples Volume Eight

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 eighth 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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Birchbox Man Points Haul

See recent Birchbox articles.

My husband subscribed to Birchbox Man in July 2015 and received his first box in August. His January 2016 box arrived on Christmas Eve, and he is really good at trying all of his products quickly. By the day after Christmas, he had tried everything and submitted his reviews. He faithfully reviewed all of his products from every box, so he had 500 points. That also officially pushed him over into Aces status. I have a hard time banking that many points, because I get shopping urges around 200. The men also received a $10 off a $35 purchase unique promo code in their December 2015 box. It was time to place his first order.

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Birchbox January 2016 On Trend: Korean Featured Beauty Box Review

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 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.

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Sephora Sale on Sale

See recent articles on Sephora Sale items.

Every year from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, Sephora offers 20% off everything in the sales section. Accessing the sale on sale requires a promo code, so you will not get any freebies with the order (other than the standard 3 samples in the checkout section). The promo code usually changes from year to year, but it is multi-use. Shop the sales section as often as you want during the week. This year, the promo code is EXTRA20. Rouge clients were able to get access to the sale early using the code ROUGE20. It opened around 9:30pm PST on 12/22/15 for Rouge clients and 9:15pm PST on 12/24/15 for everyone else. Last year, the sale opened for Rouge very early on the 21st, so we had almost two days less advance access this year. We still got two full days to shop before it opened to everyone.

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Julep January 2016 Box Review The Whole Shebang Upgrade

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 (unless they re-release one or two from the vault). 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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The Most Anticipated Releases of Early Winter 2016

Beauty Products are constantly reinvented to bring us the latest and greatest. Innovations can miss, but there are times when they advance a product. Of all the ones recently released, these are the ones I anticipate most. Some bring new features or formulations to products we already know and love, others are brand-new takes on products, and most are new colors to welcome the upcoming season. While I do love seeing new colors and find some season appropriate, I do not let the season dictate the colors I wear all the time. That means, I am fine waiting until the next season to purchase an item. It not only gives me a chance to see it on others, but I can sometimes get a better deal on items that are not brand new releases. At some point, I will pick these up (as long as first reviews are favorable) or I can swatch or test them myself.

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FabuFinds: Product Spotlight December 2015

Every month, I review my empty products. Some products are not worth thinking about once the month is over. Others are wonderful and seem like they’re made for me. Those are FabuFinds, and I generally devote a little more time to discussing them. They are items I have repurchased and will continue to repurchase even at full price if I could not find a good promo code.

To eventually spotlight all of my FabuFinds, I will never repeat items already mentioned in a past article. That does not mean they lost their magic. It is also possible an item not spotlighted in a past Empties article may get promoted as I try it more and fall deeper in love. Other times, it is because I had a lot of FabuFinds in a previous month and had to condense the article. There were five products I consider FabuFinds in my December Empties that I have not discussed yet.

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Target Renewal Beauty Box Review

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. They range in price from $5 to $10. Shipping is free. Unlike some beauty boxes, this is not a subscription. Box contents appear online once they become available, which decreases the likelihood of buyer’s remorse. Items inside a box only tend to vary in color meaning your only surprise will be in the color you get. Some items inside the box are full-sized, and it is not unusual that one item exceeds the cost of the entire box if you were to buy it separately. I like that they usually release more than one box at a time giving you a choice or the possibility to get multiples. Men are not left out either, because they sometimes get a box of their own.

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Target Refresh Beauty Box Review

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. They range in price from $5 to $10. Shipping is free. Unlike some beauty boxes, this is not a subscription. Box contents appear online once they become available, which decreases the likelihood of buyer’s remorse. Items inside a box only tend to vary in color meaning your only surprise will be in the color you get. Some items inside the box are full-sized, and it is not unusual that one item exceeds the cost of the entire box if you were to buy it separately. I like that they usually release more than one box at a time giving you a choice or the possibility to get multiples. Men are not left out either, because they sometimes get a box of their own.

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Empties December 2015

When the new month starts, I toss everything I finished the previous month. I give a mini review of each item. Items I love are usually repurchased, so some of them appear in the Empties Series a lot. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Items that are not for me may not always be empty. Generally, I finish them but do not use them again in the future. If they’re really awful and new samples find their way to me, I give them to someone else unopened. For items I really love, I do a separate product spotlight to discuss them in more detail.

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Ten Worst Beauty Products of 2015

There are so many terrible beauty products. Very few of us come close to trying them all (thank goodness). Of all the ones I tried this year, I selected my ten least favorite. I limited the list to products I tried for the first time this year, but that does not mean these items were all released in 2015. Sometimes getting the best deal means I discover products after they are no longer new to stores. When they are terrible products, it really is no deal at all. Maybe I should re-evaluate my policy of not returning things, because I kept all these train wrecks. It was really hard to narrow this list down, because you have to kiss some frogs to find your prince.

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Ten Best Beauty Products of 2015

There are so many amazing beauty products. Very few of us come close to trying them all. Of all the ones I tried this year, I selected my ten favorites. I limited the list to products I tried for the first time this year, but that does not mean these items were all released in 2015. Sometimes getting the best deal means I discover products after they are no longer the latest and greatest. These are all certainly winners regardless of when they arrived in stores. It was really hard to narrow this list down, because it was a great year of discovery.

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Review Directory InstaNatural Eyelash Enhancing Serum

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 reviews on the site the product comes from.

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