Monthly Archives: May 2016

Deal Sharers Traveling Box Shade Tree Donation

My stash grew a little too big, so I knew it was time to donate my extra items. All items were new products that I: had duplicates of, was not interested in trying, or tried in the past and did not love. It is also a good idea to donate items when you have things that will expire before you can get to them. Giving them to someone who can use them is better than tossing them after they’ve expired while waiting in your stash. Many of the items I donated were items I may have tried if they did not expire so soon.

I joined a BzzAgent Campaign featuring five Paula’s Choice samples I needed to share with other beauty lovers. This was the perfect time to start a traveling box. After selecting 14 ladies I trust, I selected the items I wanted to donate along with the five free Paula’s Choice samples and mailed them to the first lady on my list. She removed the items she wanted and added items she wanted to donate. Each lady did the same until the last lady made her trades and returned the box to me. Once all 15 of us selected items we wanted to trade for, there were plenty of extra items to donate. That means this donation was the collaborative gift of 15 people.

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Target June Women’s and June Men’s Beauty Boxes

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. These are not subscription boxes and always sell out the day they release, usually in the first few hours. New boxes (for men and women) 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 June Women’s Beauty Box retails for $10, and the June Men’s Beauty Box retails for $5.

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Ulta Gorgeous Hair Event Haul and a Pureology Beauty Break

A list of all recent Ulta Beauty Breaks.

The Spring 2016 Gorgeous Hair event officially wrapped last night. Based on history, the fall event will likely start sometime around 10/02/16, but it could start October 9th. This event is to hair what the 21 Days of Beauty is to makeup and the Glowing Skin Event is to skincare. If your hair products can wait until then, it is probably worth waiting. While it will be months before the lineup gets announced, a lot of items will appear. Hair products around the middle of this sale had a 5x points offer. This order from 05/18/16 received 5x points on the hair products. There is a good chance a similar promotion will début with the fall event. Getting bonus points on steals is too good to pass up. Making plans before the event starts can help make the most of the deals. This order was 3x points.

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Birchbox Man June 2016

See all Birchbox Man articles.

Birchbox Man gives at least four grooming samples a month for $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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SampleSource Volume Two

SampleSource provides free samples in exchange for your opinion. Register and fill out your profile. If samples suited to your profile become available, they will send you an email. Quantities are limited, so respond as soon as you get the email to make sure yours do not run out of stock. A few weeks after your samples arrive, you will get an email asking to review the products. The review is an exit survey that only has a few questions per product.

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Tioga Research The Aesthetics Panel

Darlene, an intern at Tioga Research, contacted me to see if I wanted to take part in an aesthetics panel trying to standardize the ranking of the aesthetics of creams. When it comes to testing or reviewing things, I am always intrigued. It is one of the main reasons I love subscription boxes and trying new things. Studies can actually be a lot of fun, although I prefer studies or sampling when I actually know the product I am testing. She said, “This study is attempting to revamp the questionnaire and protocol to find a more reproducible way of gauging aesthetic properties such as touch, smell, texture, appearance.”

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Julep Aries and Taurus

I spent all of 2014 and 2015 collecting the Julep birthstones. My plan was to collect every birthstone in 2016 as well. Julep decided to forgo the Birthstone Collection this year to focus on the Zodiac Collection. Each sign releases before the introduction to the new period. That means we can expect each sign to release before the secret store opens. Thanks to a wonderful Leap Day sale that did not exclude codes, I was able to get two polishes free with this order.

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Nerd Block Jr For Boys May 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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Sephora Play! Subscription Box Review May 2016

See recent Sephora Play articles.

Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers six beauty samples for $10 a month plus tax. Shipping is included. The charge posts from the 1st through the 4th, and the boxes start shipping around the middle of the month. Spots are limited, but you can place your name on the waiting list. This is one more sample than the standard $10 box offers (which makes me feel better since I have to pay tax), because it considers the monthly fragrance as a bonus item. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box, so it only includes well-known mid to high range items. There is not a traditional rewards program with this box, so you cannot get points for referring friends or writing reviews. It does award 10 Beauty Insider points and applies $10 toward your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status.

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ebates 17th Birthday Week 15% Cash Back

Every year, ebates celebrates its birthday with big cash back percentages at select retailers. The 2016 celebration lasts from 05/09/16 to 05/16/16. Over 250 stores are participating by giving 15% cash back on purchases. Check the 15% Cash Back Stores link to plan purchases. Some stores offer 15% throughout the event, while others are only offering 15% on select dates.

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Target $3 off a $15 Purchase From the April 2016 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. The ones received in the 04/04/16 beauty boxes expire today, 05/14/16, so this is your official reminder to use them if you have not already. 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 beauty items purchased from the baby or personal care departments. Target releases most of the Beauty Boxes on the first Monday of the month, so the next one will be right around the corner. I actually purchased one of the items I received in the 01/04/16 Target Beauty Box with this coupon.

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Birchbox May 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 later this month, 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 Real Chemistry peel.

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Subscription Box Finds – Is Joining a Subscription Box Right For You?

I love sampling new things. The thought of discovering my latest and greatest FabuFind is always with me. There are items I adore and will probably always repurchase, but trying new things gives me the chance to find things I love even more. My sample obsession started with purchasing packaged sets. These usually contain items I really want to try or items I’ve tried in the past and need more time with. Sometimes, you find sets that are great values, so it is actually cheaper to purchase them if you really want most or all the items in the set. Although I still purchase sample sets, there is something surprisingly welcome about not knowing what I will get. Subscription Boxes seemed like the logical step to try items I had not considered.

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Get Free Samples Volume Eleven

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 eleventh 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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PINCHme Volume Seven

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.

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April 2016 FabuFinds

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 decided to condense the article. There were three products I consider FabuFinds in my April Empties that I have not discussed yet.

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April 2016 Finished Products Review

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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Julep May 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 Flash Your Card Event VIB Rouge, Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty Reflection of Minnie Compact Mirror, and Save $10 on Two Gift Cards Worth $50 or More at Smith’s/Kroger

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

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.

If you’re as disappointed as I am that Sephora canceled the closed-door VIB Rouge events, an employee at my store thinks Sephora is listening to its customers. She said they canceled the events based on feedback and are trying to offer events more often (that ultimately give less per event) for more Rouge clients to partake. Now that some customers are expressing disappointment, they are planning to bring a closed-door event back. Her guess (and she asked me not to quote her) is the event will take place in September. There have never been any closed-door Rouge events in September before, so I’d be curious what promotion the event would be tied to. The points promotion last August included one, but the November VIB sale has not seen an event since 2014.

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Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty Minnie’s Aren’t You Gorgeous Handheld Mirror and the Annual 10% VIB Discount

See 2018 VIB Promotions.

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

When Sephora released the Disney Minnie Beauty By Sephora Collection, there were three pieces I needed. I love all things beauty and all things Disney, so limiting what I collect is difficult. The first was the Minnie World in Color Eyeshadow Palette, which I picked up during the Sephora Love Note Sale. This is still available and definitely worth it. There was a 250 point tote bag (which may still be available in stores but is out of stock online) that I also think is worth it. My last piece was harder to pick up, but I finally got it on 05/03/16.

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Target $5 Gift Card with a $20 Beauty Purchase May 2016

Target is offering a $5 gift card with a $20 beauty purchase through 05/07/16. The gift card will automatically load into your cart with an online purchase. It ships separately after your items ship or after you pick them up (if you choose the ship to store option). Online shipping is free with a $25 purchase minimum. In store, text BEAUTY to Target (827438) to receive the bar code the cashier needs to scan. This discount applies to hair care, cosmetics, soap, body wash, skin care, sun care, shave care, deodorant, fragrance, and oral care, so hitting the minimum is easy. I went shopping with my husband and noticed the items we were getting were over $40, so he paid for some and I paid for others. We each got a $5 gift card. I like to give these gift cards to my sons’ teachers to help them with all the extra supplies they buy throughout the year.

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Birchbox Man May 2016

See all Birchbox Man articles.

Birchbox Man gives at least four grooming samples a month for $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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Target May 2016 Beauty Box

Target releases seasonal beauty boxes. These are not subscription boxes and always sell out the day they release, 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 May Beauty Box retails for $10.

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