Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ulta Gorgeous Hair Spring 2016 Event May 8th through 28th

The Fall 2016 Event

Ulta has a new name for the Love Your Hair Event. They apparently changed the name before the October 2015 event, but I never got the memo. The Gorgeous Hair Event runs from May 8th through May 28th, 2016. The event dedicated to hair products includes every type of product imaginable from shampoo to styling and more. Twice a year, usually starting in May and October, Ulta has a 21-day sale where select brands or items are deeply discounted for one day only. This event also has specials that run throughout the event. The deals come from the upcoming catalog (which I will post once I receive it), and the special event page (which has been updated).

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Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture BeautyTalk Giveaway Winner

Beautytalk hosted a giveaway on 03/07/16. Ten winners were selected at random to receive four full-size products from Madam C J Walker Beauty, a new line introduced this spring to Sephora. Entrants only had to comment on why they wanted to try the line with the #MadamCJWalkerGiveaway hashtag before midnight. My entry (notcreative is my username) mentioned that I need assistance from product to help my curls. They are big on the under side of my hair but the top side only looks wavy without product to hold them in place. It seems like winners’ hair types range from wavy to very curly, so I think what one typed in their entry had less to do with winning than pure luck. I was selected as one of the ten winners on 03/11/16.

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Influenster Pantene 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, they mail the products. Try them and tell people what you think in person and on social media. Complete a short exit survey and review the product(s) on Influenster. 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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Beauty.com 5% Cash Back and 25% Off

A 25% discount at Beauty.com is almost unheard of. They do a few 20% off events each year, which usually correspond with Ulta or Sephora sales. Why do they all have to go on sale at once! I received an email (with a unique link) offering 25% off, because it had been a while since my last shopping trip. I actually have ordered from Drugstore.com recently, including my January 2016 purchase (which explains why I have cash back on this order). The two sites share a cart and a rewards system, so it is possible to purchase from one side and not the other. It has been a while since I purchased from the Beauty.com side.

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Birchbox April 2016

See recent Birchbox articles.

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10, which is half the cost of the Men’s Box. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A five sample box like this one gets me $5 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. I’ve compared Birchbox to the Ipsy and am certain I have the better box. My first Sephora Play box arrives in May, so I will compare those soon. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. For this box, I selected the featured box, Effortlessly Elegant.

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Nerd Block Jr For Boys April 2016 Box Review

This Nerd Block Jr For Boys subscription is for my 9-year-old son, Xander. It costs $13.99 plus shipping ($6) per month and is for boys aged 6-11. All plans auto-renew. You get a discount paying up front for a set number of boxes. Save 10% at 3 months ($12.59 each plus shipping), save 15% at 6 months ($11.89 each plus shipping), and save 20% at 12 months ($11.19 each plus shipping). Each box has at least $40 in value and gives 4-6 toys. We are on the six-month subscription. You pay for all boxes and shipping on all boxes up front. Nerd Block has a variety of subscription offers including: Classic, Arcade, Horror, SciFi, Comic, Jr For Boys, and Jr For Girls. For details on all boxes, visit my Nerd Block Page.

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Ulta 20% Off Prestige and a 2000 Point Redemption

See the 2019 20% off Prestige Coupon Offers.


Ulta releases 20% off prestige coupons to UltaMate members five times a year: late January, early April, Platinum members in late June 2016, early July for UltaMate, late July for Platinum members (this is the normal time but members who received them in June did not receive the July offer), late October, and Mid December. The July offer was reduced to 10% for non Platinum members in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, the early April offer was also reduced to 10% for non Platinum members. During this promotion, select UltaMate members receive a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase if they have not shopped in a long time. Each unique coupon is eligible for one online purchase AND one in-store purchase. Coupons emailed have a different code than coupons mailed. If you receive a coupon from both methods, you will have two different online codes and two different in-store bar codes.

Prestige offers have a few exclusions, so these coupons are not 20% off everything as mentioned on the offer. They exclude: CliniqueLancome, Dermalogica, Dyson, Beauty Steals, and Benefit Brow Bar. Additional exclusions including fragrance and select new releases will be added at times. There are other times throughout the year to get general offers for 20% off non-prestige or 20% off a single item, but those are general, multi-use codes. If you have more questions about this or any Ulta Coupon, I go over all types.

Redeeming points (earn and redeem points) at 2000 gives you the greatest redemption value of $125. I redeemed 2000 points on this order to receive $125 off the purchase. My path to 2000 points was quick and painless thanks to some impressive multipliers and brand offers. This is actually the fastest I’ve ever reached 2000 considering I just redeemed 2000 points in September.

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Smiley360 Mission all® Powercore™ Pacs

Smiley360 is an online community. It consists of influential consumers who try products and experiences for free. Brands give their products to Smiley360 who matches them to qualified community members for testing. Based on past missions and your profile, new mission opportunities go on your dashboard. Members take part in the mission if their short qualification surveys line up to what the study is looking for.

The more missions you complete, the more points you earn. Members with more points usually get first dibs at new missions. You choose your level of activity. Pardon my pop culture reference, but “your mission should you choose to accept it” is to take part in the studies that interest you. To complete missions, you must give honest reviews on social media. If you’re unfamiliar with Smiley360, you can read more about my first Mission.

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PINCHme Volume Six

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.

The number of samples available varies. On sample days, you may find zero available based on your profile. Other times, you may find six. These are two different orders. I ordered them on 02/23/16 and 03/04/16. They arrived a few days apart in mid March. Shipping usually takes 4-6 weeks, so this was faster than usual. The survey deadline is 05/05/16. I completed them all, because the people I gave the products to (sadly I was unable to use any of these) already reported their results.

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Get Free Samples Volume Ten

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 tenth 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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Giveaway Redrawn

It has officially been seven days since I drew the original Giveaway winner. She did not respond, so I had to draw again. There were 41 separate commenters (did not count subsequent comments from the same person) on the giveaway page, so the odds were 1 in 41 (assuming all are still subscribed). I am only checking subscriptions of the winner(s), so the odds could be better. The odds are now as low as 1 in 40.

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Julep April 2016

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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Sephora Love Note Sale and The Disney Minnie Beauty By Sephora Collection – Bag and Color Eyeshadow Palette

See recent articles on Sephora Sale items.

The Disney Minnie Collection is on sale. See my Disney items to see why I recommend this collection.

The Sephora Love Note Sale, which I still refer to as Chic Week, launched today for Rouge members. It launches tomorrow for VIB and on the 9th for Beauty Insiders. Rouge and VIB clients get 15% off and can shop through the 13th. Beauty Insiders get 10% off and can shop through the 12th. There are a few changes to the program this year. I decided to go into the store today to get the free bag for Rouge clients to kick off the sale. If you like the bag and are not a Rouge member or were unable to get one, this is a 250 point perk anyone can redeem.

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BzzAgent Campaign Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

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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FabuFinds March 2016

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 two products I consider FabuFinds in my March Empties that I have not discussed yet.

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Finished Products March 2016

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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Target April Beauty Box 2016

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. These are not subscription boxes and always sell out the day they are released, usually in the first few hours. A new box released today and is still available. Shipping is always free, and the box contents announce as soon as the box goes on sale. Most items are sample sized, but there is almost always a full-size item or two inside. Value is usually at least triple the cost. The only variation in box content is on color items. Unless the color is specifically stated in the description, colors will vary. Boxes usually range in price from $5 to $10. The Target April Beauty Box retails for $7.

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Ulta Gift Bag with $25 Purchase (GWP) 040316 through 040916 Combines with 20% off or $15 off $50

See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.

If you’re as sad as I am that the 21 Days of Beauty wrapped at Ulta yesterday, I have a little consolation. Ulta released a variety Beauty Bag of samples with a $25 purchase. It has a $54 value. This is effective today through 04/09/16 or while supplies last. Platinum members should also have a 20% off coupon to use toward prestige items with limited exclusions through 04/09/16. Some UltaMate members reported receiving a $15 off $50 coupon this morning. Others received a 20% off certain brands and 10% off prestige. All three offers combine with this bag.

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100 Followers Reached- Giveaway Awarded

The blog reached 100 followers yesterday. I really appreciate the support, especially from those who stayed subscribed, because I know I post more than the average blog. My giveaway (for blog followers who entered) has officially wrapped. To qualify, the person needed to follow the blog and comment from the same email address s/he followed with. There were 41 separate commenters (I triple checked those who commented more than once and only counted their first comment) meaning the odds were 1 in 41 at the highest. Thankfully, the first person I drew is still a blog follower, so I did not have to redraw or bother calculating the odds (by seeing who commented but it not following).

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Birchbox Man April 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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