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Core Collection August 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 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) or mention it in an Empties article (if I finish it quickly). 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 August 2016 that I am not even close to finishing.

Sephora Order Josie Maran 2

The $35 price tag on the 8oz Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter Apple Crisp kept me from trying it at full price. At $4.38 per ounce, I could not justify the purchase. I’ve never spent that per ounce on a body moisturizer. After hearing so many people rave about how great it is for dry skin, I knew I would give it a chance if a deal ever presented itself. This Apple Crisp scent smells delicious, and it is the only scent on sale for $22. Getting it for $2.75 per ounce was the deal I needed to purchase it. It was worth the wait, because I had a hard time putting this down. To prevent products from getting too old, I usually have a first in, first out policy, so newer products to my collection usually have to wait. When I’ve wanted to try something for as long as I can remember, that policy usually flies right out the window.

The scent is reminiscent of apples, but in a clean, fresh way. My skin feels soft and moisturized all day long. It is not difficult to work in at all, because the body butter is not overly thick. Even though it is not overly thick, it is one of the most luxurious body butters I’ve ever tried. A little really goes a long way and although I used this a lot, there is still plenty of product left. In other words, it is totally worth $4.38 an ounce, and I am glad it went on sale long enough for me to figure that out. If you happen upon this article after they finally sell out of these discounted one, purchase a full price one or wait for a holiday set that will inevitably include one. You will probably not regret it.


I purchased an Ahava Starter Kit to get this Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash Hibiscus & Fig and another hand cream. It was a great purchase, because I fell in love with this body wash. A friend of mine uses this and always told me how great it made her skin feel. While I doubt her skin is naturally as dry as mine (so I always moisturize after showering whether I use a moisturizing wash like this or not), I agree that it does leave my skin feeling great during the 10 minutes it takes before I apply a body moisturizer. Really drying soaps make my skin feel terrible instantly, so I can feel a difference. It has a beautiful scent that is somewhat floral with a hint of fig (that smells like tobacco but not it is not at all overpowering). When my husband wears his Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, I think of this wash. I love that scent on him. The scents compliment each other beautifully. This also has a great lather and rinses clean.

Manna Kadar Fantasy 2

The Manna Kadar Cosmetics Day-Dream Fantasy 3-in-1 Blush Highlighter Eyeshadow was a disappointing Birchbox sample for many subscribers in August. It had nothing to do with the product itself, but many of these broke during shipping. There was a social media firestorm from all the users who received shattered products. Nothing is more disappointing than receiving something damaged (or used but that is my fingerprint in the powder). Mine arrived in the second half of the month and took a long time to ship, so seeing it in one piece was not at all what I expected. What a beautiful product this is! I only managed to use a different highlighter once in the second part of August after using this and falling in love. My first thought was it is too dark for a highlighter, so I expected it would work better for me as a blush or eyeshadow. It is a beautiful highlight, and I plan to try it as an eyeshadow or blush in September if I can stop using it as a highlighter. Who knows? Maybe, I will use this all over my face, because it is so versatile. If yours arrived broken, I hope you were able to get it replaced.

Ulta 10x Points 19

I purchased four palettes in August, and I really loved the 3 I’ve tried so far. Since the one below this completely stood out, I spent a couple of minutes trying to decide which of the other two I wanted to feature here. If I did not think listing three in one article was excessive, I probably would have. This is the second year in a row that Ulta included Naked palettes in the 10x Points Event. After acquiring Smoky in last year’s event, the only palette I still needed was the original. It seems weird to list the Urban Decay Naked Palette for August 2016 when it launched in June 2010. Not only was I not wearing makeup at all in 2010, but as a deal seeker, I am not always discovering things as they launch. Some of the better deals pop up after they’ve been on the market a while.

My first Naked purchase was with the second palette in January 2014. I read that those with cool skin should purchase 2 and warm skin should purchase 1. They looked so similar, so owning both did not make much sense to me then. Once, I finally realized my undertones were actually warm with a lot of pink tones on top, I really wanted this palette. These palettes rarely go on sale, short of store wide sales for Sephora, Ulta, or other stores that offer regular promotions. Getting the palette for 10x points was the deal I was waiting for, and I am glad I went for it. As it turns out, I prefer the original Naked Palette to Naked 2. While I really love cool shades, warm shades suit my skin tone a little better. Half Baked is one of my favorite shades of all time, so I love that it is in Naked and Naked 2. I can never get enough of that or the silky, buttery shades in this palette.

Julep July 2016 5

The Julep Sheer Lip Butter in Currant is the only item on my list this month that I have a mini beef with. One of the draws to this product is that it has SPF. I love lip balms, because my lips are so dry. Choosing between a beautiful color and moisturized lips is not ideal, so products like this that intensely moisturize while imparting serious color are right up my alley. Julep is extremely good at making lip balms that impart color, so I knew I would love this. My first thought is that it is actually more comfortable than the formula of my beloved lip product (just below this). The problem is the SPF in this formula expires this month. This is a brand new product to Julep as of July 2016. How on earth did we only get two months before it expired? That does not make me happy.

What does make me happy is this is incredibly comfortable. It does not highlight my dry patches or accentuate my lip lines, as some of my beloved products do. The color lasted a long time, and my lips felt moisturized long after the product wore off. Julep claims the expiration only affects the SPF, so the product is still good for a while. This really is amazing, so it will definitely take the billing for my top spot if it can give all the benefits I love from a moisturizing color balm with SPF that lasts a long time. In the mean time, I will use these knowing they are not protecting my lips from anything other than dry air. I love that the purple really looks purple, too! Some balms change colors from the tube to your lips.

Julep It's Balm Very Merry Shimmer

I have probably mentioned about 100 times how much I love Julep It’s Balm. They’ve released 12 products in this line, and although I do not love all 12 equally, there is not a single one of 12 I do not love to some degree. Imagine my surprise when I was looking to swap items for my August Julep Maven Subscription Box and stumbled upon Julep It’s Balm in Merry Berry Shimmer. It comes in an ornament box, so there is no doubt this was a limited edition Christmas release that they have not sold out yet. This is not even listed with the 12 from the regular line, so I was unaware of its existence. Although I do not need to own each one, I’d like to. So, this became my 13th It’s Balm, and quickly became one of my favorites of all 13. Trying to pick my all time favorite would probably take a while, so I will just say it is at least top 3.

This is a great berry color. I really love berry colors, especially in the fall. Part of it is because they’re on trend, but I always wear what I want when I want. The main reason is I like darker colors against my skin when it’s more pale (as it is in the winter). It does not accentuate lip lines or highlight dry patches, as some of the It’s Balms do. Like all the others, it is very moisturizing, long-lasting, and super comfortable.

Sephora Sale 082216 13

A friend and I were strolling through Sephora just before Christmas in 2015. She asked me if I’d swatched the Ciaté London Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London Smokey Suedes Eye Palette. Not only had I not swatched it, but I had barely heard anything about it. After telling me how beautiful the swatches were, I felt compelled to dig my fingers in. The swatches were nothing short of beautiful. With all my Christmas shopping done and my 2015 beauty dollars all allocated out, I placed it in my Sephora loves list. As time went on, I kind of forgot about it. Out of sight, out of mind definitely applied here, because I never rally saw or heard anyone talking about this palette.

The Sephora Sale Section blew up recently when Sephora had its End of Summer Sale. To my surprise, this beautiful palette was 50% off. Yes, please. For eight months, I knew this thing was magical and just kind of sat on it. Maybe, I just needed the sale to give me a kick in the pants. This palette would have been worth the full price. Other than the center shade, they are all wonderful. It looks as beautiful on my eyes and the shades look swatched on my arms. They are really easy to work with, blend easily, and do not crease. If this comes back in stock again, get it!


I really did purchase this Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my husband in mind. This was his favorite hand cream, and he always hid it from me. Although I generally prefer we share products we both love, I totally get why he hides it. He uses hand cream on average about once a day and uses a conservative amount with each application. I use hand cream after EVERY hand wash, and I always use a liberal amount. In other words, I use a LOT more hand cream than he does. When we share, his tubes empty way too fast. After getting a smaller briefcase over the summer, he no longer has room to carry a large hand cream. This is the first time I saw one of these small enough for his briefcase that was resealable.

On our way out of the house one day, I asked if he had a hand cream I could borrow. The one in my purse was empty, and I did not want to have everyone wait for me to run upstairs to grand another. He handed me this one. I could not believe it actually, because this is even smaller than the ones he was so protective of before. In my care, this would be gone in no time. I threw it in my purse with every intention to return it when we got home. Sadly (or not so sadly depending on how you look at it), I forgot to return it when we got home, and I kept forgetting until I was out and had nothing else but that to use. So, I’ve used this rich, moisturizing, non-greasy treasure a bit over the past couple of weeks, but the good news (or not so good news depending on how you look at it) is I finally remembered to return it when I wrote this article. It is not even empty!

See all favorites articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

Disclosure: Affiliate Links

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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (13 and 8) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 13-year-old to apply it.

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