Monthly Archives: June 2016

Nerd Block Jr For Boys June 2016 Subscription 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 Favorites Soko to Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Set

No one puts favorite sets together like Sephora. The Sephora Favorites Soko to Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Set has had technical issues over the past week, so it would only go up for a few minutes at a time before Sephora pulled it back down. When it went back up last night, I was able to purchase one. My set is pictured below, but there are so many possible combinations to make a set that yours could be completely different. This set gives you a bag and the option to choose any five items from a selection of 13. There are two ways to add the items to your cart. One of the ways allows you to select multiples of the same item, which is why I believe they keep pulling the link down. They are trying to make it so you have to select one of each item.

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Sephora Play! June 2016 Subscription Box Review The Minimalists

See recent Sephora Play articles.

Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers six beauty samples for $10 a month plus tax, shipping 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 if they’re unavailable when you check. This gives one more sample than the standard $10 box offers, 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 purchase minimum to maintain your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status.

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Birchbox Man July 2016 Subscription Box Review

See all Birchbox Man articles.

On my 20th anniversary with the best man I know, I decided to share an article of his. He’s stood beside me for more than half my life, and I am grateful for him.

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 six item box (the foils are the same sample twice), like this one, gets my husband $6 back. (Changes are coming to the points system effective 07/11/16, but everything above and below still applies to this box).

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TopCashBack Summer Treats Cash Back Giveaway

Another Pay-to-Shop Program I was using got acquired by its bigger sister company, ebates. That left an opening for me to join a new one. There are many reasons to join multiple Pay-to-Shop Programs, but Getting the Best Deal is the main one. A reader referred me to TopCashBack. After looking at it, I decided that was the one I would add to my lineup. It joins ebates, Mrrebates, MyPoints, ShopatHome, and Swagbucks. Two of those are untraditional, so I really only have four I use for shopping. I look forward to learning the ins and outs and will add more tips to its page as I learn more about the program.

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Walmart Summer 2016 Beauty Box Trendsetter Subscription Review

Wal-Mart Beauty Box is a subscription box delivered once per quarter. The items are given to you free of charge, and you pay $5 for the shipping. Your first $5 charges when you subscribe, and a box from the current season will ship to you within a few weeks. Future boxes will incur the $5 charge as the box ships. My summer box arrived on 06/20/16. It is good this had no traditional makeup, because it sat in my box for days while I was out-of-town. There is some variation between the boxes, so your items may vary. All of my box reviews are available on my Walmart page.

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Ulta NYX Beauty Break and Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

A list of all recent Ulta Beauty Breaks.

Ulta typically releases a Beauty Break every Wednesday morning from 10am-2pm PST. A Beauty Break is a GWP that is only available for a very short period. There will be select Wednesdays where they do not release one and other times when they pop up at a different day or time, like Monday evening, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and more. While Ulta does email (those who receive emails), these offers and others usually appear in the Gift With Purchase Section before emails go out. Emails stagger, so better Beauty Breaks may run out of inventory before some people receive their emails. People on the east cost have a better chance of scoring a Beauty Break thanks to the time difference. If you wake up and notice an incredible Beauty Break, do not sit on it. These Beauty Breaks never make it to the end of the timeline and weaker ones at times get extended past the deadline. This order was 3x points.

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Subscription Boxes The Beginning of the End for Birchbox: Has the Time Passed?

Is this the beginning of the end of subscription boxes or Birchbox, in particular? The landscape of the Beauty market has changed a lot in the past six years. With all the recent changes, I am asking myself has the time for Birchbox and other subscription boxes passed? If you love trying new things or are still experimenting to narrow down your beauty routine, you’ve probably looked into or even received Subscription Boxes. I am a huge fan of subscription boxes, because I live for the thrill of the hunt.

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Birchbox June 2016 Subscription Box Review Featuring the New Benefit Gimme Brow and Upcoming Changes to Birchbox Points

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.

We received an email today titled Upcoming Changes to Birchbox Points (which are mostly for the worst), but it will not take place until after the next box. This is the current program in place for this box, so I will leave the points situation for now. 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 arrived last month, and I am loving it so far. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. For this box, I selected the Benefit Gimme Brow in Shade 1, light.

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Sephora Offers a 20% Discount to Disney Cast Members at Disneyland Downtown Disney on Select Dates

The 20% off discount for friends and family of Sephora takes place in October, and the 20% off for VIB Rouge and VIB clients takes place in November.

My two favorite places combine! Disney is my happiest place on earth and Sephora is a close second. That makes the Sephora at Downtown Disney in Anaheim a super special place. Sephora appreciates Disney cast members, too. They have special cast member days where employees show their Disney ID for 20% off. This event happens more than you’d think. DisneyWorld finally got its own Sephora at Disney Springs in May 2016, but I have not been to DisneyWorld since the store opened. Once I go, I will edit in some pictures from the other coast. It probably has (or will have) similar offers for Disney employees.

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Ulta Summer Time Beauty Break

A list of all recent Ulta Beauty Breaks.

Ulta typically releases a Beauty Break every Wednesday morning from 10am-2pm PST. A Beauty Break is a GWP that is only available for a very short period. There will be select Wednesdays where they do not release one and other times when they pop up at a different day or time, like Monday evening, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and more. While Ulta does email (those who receive emails), these offers and others usually appear in the Gift With Purchase Section before emails go out. Emails stagger, so better Beauty Breaks may run out of inventory before some people receive their emails. People on the east cost have a better chance of scoring a Beauty Break thanks to the time difference. If you wake up and notice an incredible Beauty Break, do not sit on it. These Beauty Breaks never make it to the end of the timeline and weaker ones at times get extended past the deadline.

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Essence Showdown Volume Two Review Iope

What is an essence and why do I need it? It depends on who you ask. The description I like most is: a lighter, more watery serum. Adding this step is a great idea for anyone, but it is especially wonderful for someone with dry skin. Products absorb better when moisture is present in the skin. An essence not only adds nutrients to the skin, but the watery consistency assists in letting all the products applied after penetrate more deeply. A moisturizing toner also assists in providing that moisture base to help other products absorb, but it lacks the powerful ingredients available in most essences.

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FabuFinds: Product Spotlight May 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. Items I love but cannot finish make it into Deal Discoveries.

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 was only one product I consider a FabuFind in my May Empties that I have not discussed yet.

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Julep Maven June 2016 Subscription Box Review and Gemini from The Zodiac Collection

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 seven to nine new colors (and at times re-release 1-2 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 Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016 Review

The Sun Safety Kit for 2016 is available now. No one puts Favorites Kits together the way Sephora does. This review goes over the 2016 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit I purchased at the VIB Rouge Event on 06/05/16. It is my favorite set of the year, because I love sunscreen. I love that Sephora donates $20 of the $32 price tag to the Skin Cancer Foundation. My Dad has skin cancer, so I appreciate a cause that furthers cancer research and helps protect me from the sun at the same time. There are 15 deluxe sun protection items in the set making each item a bargain at $2.13.  Continue reading

Sephora VIB Rouge Skip The Line, Nab The New Event Review

See the latest VIB Rouge Event.

A new Sephora VIB Rouge exclusive closed-door event launched earlier today, June 5th, 2016. This private event granted First Access to Fall Launches. Unlike previous closed-door events that offer an actual shopping perk, like a discount or a point multiplier, this event only offered a chance to spend the same amount and get the same perks as everyone a little sooner than others. Like the open-door events for Face Mask Friday, Lip Boldly, and Flash Your Card, there was a gift available with a $25 purchase. It was promising to see closed-door events return, but I think they should return with a real benefit instead of a glorified GWP that we can get online with any order. I’d like to see the event return in August with the Point Multipliers or November with the VIB sale.

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Finished Products Review May 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 spotlight ones I’ve finished and others I have yet to finish, so I can discuss them in more detail.

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Core Collection May 2016 Deal Discoveries

There are so many products I fall in love with but will take a while to finish. Instead of waiting until I can mention them in a FabuFinds article (for Emptied Products) or waiting to see if they make the Top 10 of the Year, I want to go over items from my Core Collection. These are items I consider great deals (even at full-price, although I will still try to get them with a deal). If I ever finish them, I will probably replace ones that do not already have back-ups. Sometimes, they are items I’ve had for a while and just tried or items I tried in the past but love more upon rediscovery. Occasionally, I purchase items I love that do not fit into an article other than this one. When I try something from a recent acquisition where I wrote an article, I will always edit a mini review into the original article (love, hate, or anything in between). A single product review in the original article will not always depict how much I love it compared with other items I tried that month. This lists my Deal Discoveries from May 2016 that I am not even close to finishing.

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Everything You Need to Know About Ulta Coupons

Follow me while I cover everything you need to know about Ulta Beauty coupons, because I am here to help. This is my attempt to answer all your coupon questions (before you ask them), but let me know below if you have one I did not tackle. Ulta takes a lot of coupons, and I go over every type below. I track many coupon articles separately, including 20% off prestige coupons, targeted GWP coupons, dollar off coupons, percentage off coupons, and 2019 birthday gift coupons. General coupons (while I discuss the different types below) do not get tracked. You can find them on the Ulta website, my Ulta Deals page, or in your catalog. The online catalog rarely has coupons inside, so I am referring to the physical copy you receive in the mail. See Tips For Getting The Best Deal At Ulta for a deeper dive into UltaMate Rewards and how to maximize your deals.

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