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.
For those who have followed since the beginning, thank you. After enduring personal loss so early in this site, it was your thoughtful messages that gave me the power to come back and push on. I’ve developed friendships with some of you and almost feel like I know you.
For those who were initially scared of all the detail but stuck around anyway, thank you. If any of you have watched a 15 minute unboxing video on YouTube where you learn absolutely nothing, I totally understand why long posts scare you. If there is no fruit, it is not worth your time. Hopefully, my long-winded articles provided the details you needed. It is in written form, so I hope that allows you to skip over the stuff you did not need. There a million blogs where the pictures do all the talking, so I try to give as much detail as possible when I write. The article does not feel complete unless I give all the information I can think of. While no one needs all details, certain people may need different ones. Listing them all makes sense to me. As much as I love questions, I try to anticipate and answer them before they’re asked.
If you found the site after my break, thank you for sticking with me during the transition. I am constantly editing to improve the overall look and experience and remember feeling like I let someone down when she commented on how much she liked the layout right before I changed it. Feedback and trends help me design the layout. Yes, it is basic, and I may update that at some point. When I saw that more people were reading the articles than viewing the deals on the retailer pages, I switched up the entire format to make it easier to get access to the articles. Eventually, I switched them back when people mention they could not easily find them at the bottom go the site. The static front page is an uncommon feature, but I like having a single spot where people can easily find links to the info they need. It is not as pretty, but I hope it is practical and efficient.
If you are new to the site, welcome. I love meeting and chatting with like-minded people, so I hope you are a beauty loving, deal seeking, program mastering, expert. No worries if you’re not there yet. We all have to start somewhere.
Whether you found the site today or have been here since the beginning, I love reading your thoughts. If you have any suggestions for me, I’m listening. Your feedback is important.
Now, I want to recap some articles from the first year that you may have seen or may not have. Whether this is your first time seeing them or your 10th (I do edit articles to update thoughts, as mentioned on the front page, so reading some more than once could be practical), I hope you find them helpful.
The most viewed article from the first year was The Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip article. I love lippies and deals, so I totally get why this was number one. Getting 15 lippies for $59 was an incredible deal. This set really was a lot better than the one I purchased in 2014, and seeing how fast it sold out, I think most people agree. Hopefully, the 2016 version brings more unique pieces. Of the 15 in this kit, I only owned two going in. That was nice.
The fastest growing article from the first year was The 2016 Sephora Birthday Gifts and Rouge Renewal Gift. It posted months after Give Me More Lip, but it averaged more readers per day than any other article I published this year. Everyone wanted to know what Sephora had planned for us this year.
The most viewed article reviewing subscriptions was Why I Canceled Ipsy and Scoff at Most Birchbox Versus Ipsy Posts. I am unsure who first pitted these two against each other. It makes sense in that they’re both $10 a month, but they are so different in most other ways. They are really not even close, and Birchbox has my heart (with its generous rewards program). There is not a business I can think of with a rewards program as generous as the one Birchbox offers.
The most viewed article in other countries was How To Clean Lipstick and Is This Lipstick Moldy or Sweating? This is the only article viewed more times in other countries than my home country, USA. My fellow beauty lovers in China and Thailand probably do not want to chance moldy lipstick, but they do not want to toss a perfectly good lipstick without knowing for sure. I totally get it, and I hope the article was helpful (of course, I cannot read kanji, so it is possible they were writing that it was not helpful).
A lot of people must have been curious what they were missing out on. After Sephora announced there would be no November VIB Rouge event, more people read Inside a Sephora VIB Rouge Event in November than the number of people who read it from when it was first published (August) through October combined. Hopefully, the ones who read it were not too disappointed they missed out. Seeing the numbers who read it and seeing the feedback on beauty forums, makes me think Sephora missed the mark by canceling the event.
Birthday Beauty Deals had a steady number of readers throughout the year, but it had more readers in October and December than any other months. It makes me wonder if more of my readers were born in October and December. My birthday is in March, so I will be updating it a lot in a couple of months. Until then, I will only update offers I see come across.
Sephora Party Favors 8 Sample Filled Clutch was the most popular promotion. Looks like those bags are really popular, and I get it. In a year of less than stellar Sephora promotions, these bags were very nice. I still wish we could customize our samples, but it was still a great promo nonetheless.
Now that I’ve covered some of the popular articles, I want to share some of the less popular ones I hope deal seekers find helpful. The Free Samples Page reviews programs and shares articles I’ve covered. Anyone looking to try new products without any cost should look into the programs.
A newer addition to the site is the article comparing programs, Get Paid to Shop Online with ebates, Mrrebates, ShopatHome, Swagbucks, Mypoints, and More. Unless you already take part in all six programs, I think it is worth reading. It is hard to get the best deal without using a pay-to-shop program. Even if you’re using one, you may get a better offer for your specific purchase with another. They all have benefits and drawbacks, and I cover both.
The article most special to me is probably also the most boring, Getting the Best Deal. There is not a single fun thing in this article, but it is always the one I wish people read most. We can always use more tips on how to maximize our deal. When I learn new things, I update the article, so it is a constant learning process for me as well. No one knows it all.
I cannot direct link to every page, and there is no general link. Every retailer I cover has a page where I not only share deals, but I also share important tips on the retailer, links to all articles involving the retailer, and much more. As I learn new things, I update the page. If it has been a while since you’ve viewed it, you may want to check it out again. The five with the most tips (are also the five I shop the most often) are: Beauty.com, Birchbox, Julep, Sephora, and Ulta. You may notice that I have separate pages for the subscription part of Birchbox and Julep, because shopping the stores uses different tips and codes than subscribing. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Thanks again for following along! I’ve enjoyed most of it, and I really love sharing deals. If you have not already followed the blog, my giveaway (open only to followers) is still going. Articles publish almost everyday and sometimes twice a day, so I recommend weekly updates instead of daily updates.