Monthly Archives: February 2018

Birchbox Limited Edition Time to Dazzle Box Review and 30% off All Limited Edition Boxes Using the Promo Code LIMITED

I know my last article was also a Birchbox limited edition box, and I was planning on putting up some different articles before posting this one. Then, I saw an ad for a discount on limited edition boxes on Facebook. That thwarted my plan to post this later, because I want the review to go up before the boxes possibly sell out. This is also my chance to tell those who’ve been waiting for a discount on these boxes that 30% off is the best I’ve seen in a while. That is a better discount than I received on the box. Of course, Aces could wait to see if this pops up in the 40% category later. It might, but this is arguably the best of all the available Women’s boxes. Birchbox priced it the highest so it looks like they agree. Yes, I purchased all of them, because I have a hard time passing up these limited edition boxes. See reviews for A Toast to the Host, Meet the Latest and Greatest, and Sweet Beauty Treats. I really did enjoy all four of them and have no regrets on purchasing any of them.

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Birchbox Limited Edition A Toast to the Host Box Review

Limited Edition Boxes are my favorite items to purchase from Birchbox. These are a mixture of full and sample sized items that usually fit a specific box theme. All boxes have a value far greater than the cost so they are a great deal when the items you want to keep exceed the value of what you’re paying. Better boxes sell out quickly, but the ones that linger will occasionally pop up in the sale section for 30% off. Aces sometimes get 40% off on sale items. Predicting which ones will sell out is not always easy so I buy the ones I really want close to the release date. If you’re on the fence because of price, wait it out.

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Sephora Favorites Limited Edition Kit Glow For It Review

See all 2019 Sephora Promotions, Sales, GWP, Deals, Promo Codes, and Events.


A new Sephora Favorites Limited Edition Set, Glow For It, is out. I love when Sephora puts out a new Favorites Set. These sets retail for a lot less than the value of the items inside. As long as the items you plan on keeping exceed the value of the price you pay for the set, it is a good deal. This is one of my favorite ways to sample new items, and I like the sets even more when they have some full-sized items inside. While paying for samples is something I do often with subscription boxes, I limit how often I pay for samples in sets. The mystery of subscription boxes and desire to get things I would never purchase prevails in that case. When a set only has samples and costs over $20, I am less likely to purchase it. Paying for samples is not always a bad thing, especially when sets have items you really want to try, and you have not been able to get them for free or as a GWP.

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Deal With a Discount or No Deal Review Original Sprout Natural Shampoo and Hair & Body Wash

This review is for parents or anyone who likes to sample natural products. These are products my kids and I both use. I know the struggle to find products that work well for kids is a challenge. Even the ones who do not keep sensitive skin as they grow do not always start that way. When my boys were young, it took a lot of trial and error to find products that cooperated with their eczema and sensitive skin. I prefer when products are gentle enough for them, but I like to use them as well.

Have you ever seen something on sale or clearance and wondered if it was worth the reduced price tag? Some items come out and are just priced wrong so supply and demand eventually cause the market to adjust the price. Faulty pricing could be a result of poor product performance, lack of perceived value, over saturation, or a number of other factors. When overpriced items do not sale, retailers place them on sale or clearance to get rid of them. When items are amazing, word of mouth, social media, positive reviews, and advertising usually help the item sell out at the launch price. Naturally, one would think deeply discounted items are all junk. That is not always true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many things I like that others do not and vice versa. Some items are just underrated. As such, I like to take a chance on some sale and clearance items. It is actually a challenge to see if I can discover some true gems. Of course, many of these items are on clearance because they have been discontinued. Falling in love with something you cannot buy again is not always ideal.

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Get Samples or Read Extensive Reviews Before You Buy The Product

If you are someone who buys what you want and never worries about cost, this article is not for you. There is actually not a lot of content on this blog for you, unless you like detailed reviews. Those who do not mind returning products and try all the products they purchase before the return period lapses will want to skip to the second half of the article. I will use a line to help guide you there. A lot of people with sensitive skin are weary to try new products. Unless you have products you already love, you exploring with a little research can help you find ones worthy of repurchasing. My skin is sensitive, but I still love trying new things. As a deal shopper who loves kits, GWP, and subscription boxes, that is probably a given.

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Birchbox Limited Edition Meet The Latest and Greatest Box Review

Limited Edition Boxes are my favorite items to purchase from Birchbox. These are a mixture of full and sample sized items that usually fit a specific box theme. All boxes have a value far greater than the cost so they are a great deal when the items you want to keep exceed the value of what you’re paying. Better boxes sell out quickly, but the ones that linger will occasionally pop up in the sale section for 30% off. Aces sometimes get 40% off on sale items. Predicting which ones will sell out is not always easy so I buy the ones I really want close to the release date. If you’re on the fence because of price, wait it out.

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Deal or No Deal Review: Lush Elf & Aliens and Monsters Fun

For a deal shopper, paying full price for any product is never ideal. We do not always have a choice. There is always a chance that items will get discounted after their launch. You can always wait for the price to drop if you think it is not justified. That means you will get it after everyone else, but that’s never bothered me much. Waiting allows real reviews to filter in to see if the product is living up to the hype. It also lets you dedicate full-price purchases to the items you really want and cannot wait for. What happens if you’ve waited, but the price never drops? You either have to make your peace with never trying it, hope you will get the item as a sample, or pony up the full-price. The bright side is most retailers offer free samples, or a gift with purchase to slightly soften the blow. Waiting until a GWP you really want pops up is an excellent way to finally get the item you want to try. If you pay full-price for a $40 palette that is subpar, you cannot call the product you paid for a deal because the GWP was worth over $40. You can say your overall purchase was a deal if you feel that way. These reviews will only take the product itself at the full retail price into account. A low price is not always a good deal and a high price is not always a deal breaker.

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Deal With a Discount or No Deal Review: Becca Light Chaser Highlighter Opal Flashes Jade

Have you ever seen something on sale or clearance and wondered if it was worth the reduced price tag? Some items come out and are just priced wrong so supply and demand eventually cause the market to adjust the price. Faulty pricing could be a result of poor product performance, lack of perceived value, over saturation, or a number of other factors. When overpriced items do not sale, retailers place them on sale or clearance to get rid of them. When items are amazing, word of mouth, social media, positive reviews, and advertising usually help the item sell out at the launch price. Naturally, one would think deeply discounted items are all junk. That is not always true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many things I like that others do not and vice versa. Some items are just underrated. As such, I like to take a chance on some sale and clearance items. It is actually a challenge to see if I can discover some true gems. Of course, many of these items are on clearance because they have been discontinued. Falling in love with something you cannot buy again is not always ideal.

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Ulta Beauty Hot Buys 2018

See the 2019 Ulta Beauty Hot Buys and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.


A Hot Buy is a discounted item up to 50% off at Ulta Beauty. There are times when Hot Buys all fall under the usual link. When there is a special link, I will list it below. Most Hot Buys are 50% off with a few outliers available for less than 50% off and a few available for more than 50% off. I wanted to go over the Hot Buys that pop-up outside an event that are available to any Ulta Beauty customer. The Hot Buys that coincide with an event are not below. They will always get mentioned in their respective articles, like Love Your Skin, 21 Days of Beauty, or Gorgeous Hair. Hot buys that are exclusive perks to Platinum members or Diamond members will appear in their respective articles as well. A separate article exists for deeply discounted items that are not labeled as Hot Buys when I see them. Any time I see a Hot Buy until the end of the year, I will list it. If I know an end date, it is below. Some items are while supplies last and do not mention a specific end date. Unless otherwise specified, all offers are available in-store and online. All offers are in reverse chronological order.

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Birchbox February 2018 Subscription Box Review Sample Choice OUAI Leave In Conditioner

Birchbox gives at least 5 deluxe beauty samples each month for $10. Some boxes have more than 5, but anything over 5 is usually a foil. Boxes get customized to your beauty profile, and you can opt out of one type of sample per box during sample choice. All boxes are a mixture of haircare, makeup, and skincare. There are times when body care items pop up, and you can select an option to receive no more than 6 fragrance vials a year in your profile. You could get a box with 2 haircare items, 2 makeup items, and 1 skincare item or any similar variety, but you will rarely see more than 2 items from any category unless the third is a foil. If you are looking for a box that is mostly makeup or mostly skincare, this is not it. Those looking for a well-rounded sample box may enjoy this subscription.

The $10 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and on the 1st in succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 8th through the 12th. At the end of every month (actual date varies), Birchbox will email an option to select a sample (from a choice of 3-5 items), or the featured box where you know all samples up front. Those who respond to that email can also opt out of one type of sample. If you want a sample choice and the featured box, read this article. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Those who pay subscriptions up front get points to use toward shop purchases. Anyone with a month-to-month plan does not get points for the subscription, but the amount spent will go toward the $300 annual minimum to achieve Aces status.

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Ulta February 2018 Platinum Perk GWP Beauty Bag Review

See all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.


I track all Platinum Beauty Bag offers, but I also review the ones I redeem. This is a review of the February 2018 bag, which is still available for free to Platinum and Diamond members with a $150 online purchase. While the beauty bags include mostly deluxe samples, they do at times include full-size items and foils. There are no foils in this one, but there are 4 full-size items. Ulta claims this has a $276 value. Whenever there are errors in Ulta’s list (as there are here), I will only correct them in review articles (like this one). The tracking article will always have Ulta’s original list.

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Physicians Formula Makeup Sets – Try The Brand For Less

When it comes to the drugstore, Physicians Formula is on the higher end of the price spectrum. It surprised me to learn that they produce a lot of value sets. These value sets include full-sized products. There are times when the set featuring 2-4 products is cheaper than the cost of a single item inside the set. Even more surprising is many people do not seem to notice the sets or assume the sets have sample-sized products. Over the past five months, I’ve noticed that these sets were often lower in the best-selling line-up than the highest priced item inside the kit. This means there are some people who go in and look specifically for the item they want. By grabbing the item they want without looking at the set, they are sometimes paying more for the item and not getting freebies they could receive. My goal is to have anyone shopping for Physicians Formula look through all the items available at the retailer of their choice to see if their item is inside a set. Sure, it takes a few extra minutes but paying less for more is worth the effort.

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Sign Up for the Neiman Marcus Beauty Cue for a General Beauty GWP

If you have not already joined the Neiman Marcus Beauty Cue, I highly recommend you do. It costs nothing to join. You simply enter your email address, and your registration is complete. Every month, Neiman Marcus introduces a new Beauty Cue offer. This is a GWP that works when you buy at least $50 of beauty products. The gifts range from a single deluxe item to a set of deluxe items. A promotion code is required to receive the gift, and the code changes each month. Neiman Marcus will email members the code each month, but I also list them on my Neiman Marcus Deals page. Only those who registered before each gift gets announced can successfully enter the promo code after signing into their account. Anyone else who tries will get an error message. That means if you stumbled upon this article today and are not already registered, you cannot get the Cue this month. Register today and you will be eligible for the next offer.

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Ulta 2018 Percentage Off Coupons For Specific Products or Brands

See all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events. As soon as the first 2019 Percentage off coupon for specific products or brands comes out, I will start the new article.


Ulta recently started sending targeted percentage off specific brand coupons. These are different from the general percentage off product coupons I discuss in my article going over all Ulta Coupons. They are also different from Dollar Off coupons. Like the dollar off coupons, these are typically targeted. That means only select UltaMate accounts receive the offers, usually via email. Targeted codes are almost always unique so they can only be used one time. The general codes, when available, are multi-use. Every time I receive an offer in 2018, I will update this article. These are targeted offers so others may receive offers I do not. My goal with this article is to track possible future offers and alert others to deals. Sometimes these coupons hide in emails so you may have one of these and not even know it. If you did not receive the offer I received, just keep an eye out. You may get one in the future that I don’t get.

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Ulta Beauty Bag Affiliate Gift With Purchase Offers 2018

See the 2019 Affiliate GWP bags, and all Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.


Ulta releases so many beauty bags during the year that I split up the articles into General offers (those available to anyone), Platinum offers (those available to Platinum and Diamond members), Beauty Breaks, and Affiliate offers (those available to anyone who happens upon an affiliate post). There is also an article for individual products available with any purchase. Affiliate offers are usually only advertised by affiliates so they are not searchable on the Ulta website. When offers get announced to affiliates in advance, it is difficult to know if it is an affiliate exclusive or a general offer Ulta is letting us know about early. Unless Ulta forbids me from listing an affiliate offer in advance (that happens sometimes), I will list them here as soon as I see them. Once they release, I will move them to the general article if they are searchable on the site. This means you may happen upon an offer that is not live. Check the valid dates before adding it to your cart. Those who add it before the period starts or after the period ends will not get the cost of their bag deducted.

These beauty bags are gifts with a minimum purchase. Although the shipping minimum goes off the final pre-tax total, the GWP minimum goes off the subtotal. That means if you find a coupon or discounted item that lowers the final total, it will also lower your GWP buy-in. Every bag has a charge for the purchase minimum so a bag with a $60 purchase minimum will post with a $60 charge. The total for the bag will drop to zero once you have a qualifying purchase loaded into the cart. If your cart should qualify but the total does not drop to zero, the offer expired or is not active yet. Ulta will give you the bag, but it will charge you the purchase minimum for the bag. This means a bag with a $60 purchase minimum will charge you $60 when the free offer is not active no matter what other items are in your cart. Any bag I redeem will include a link to the review next to the post.

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Birchbox Discovery The Best Bath Ever Kit

Birchbox puts out a lot of high-quality Discovery Kits. These are smaller versions of the Limited Edition Boxes and typically come in a clear TSA approved travel bag. A discovery kit is a themed bag with multiple brands curated by Birchbox. Some discovery kits, particularly the ones with all samples, are not worth purchasing. Of course, I usually buy them for hard to get items I really want to try or already love. As long as the value of the items I am keeping exceeds the amount I am paying, I will usually purchase the kit. Others are more than worth it.

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FabuFinds: Product Spotlight November 2016 Through January 2018

After I review my Empty Products, I like to take a little extra time to go over the standouts. These FabuFinds are products I love so much they seem like they’re made for me. They are items I would repurchase, even without a deal. Items I am loving but cannot finish any time soon 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. There are 22 products I consider FabuFinds in my November 2016 – January 2018 Empties that I have not discussed yet.

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Over A Year of Empties: Finished Product Reviews from November 2016 through January 2018

I cannot believe how quickly time has passed since I last reviewed my empty products. This has been hard time with a lot of loss so my mindset was not focused on beauty as much as it usually is. During 2017, I barely ever wore makeup, although I continued to collect some for the day I once again had the desire to spend quality time getting ready. Since this was a year of bare minimum pampering (other than moisturizers, which I consider a necessity), I have a lot less than I usually would. It is still important that I tell you what I thought of the items I finished and saved (as I spent a lot of time between two houses and hotels this year so I did not save all of my empties). My ex also started throwing things away after we separated when he used to save the items we both used when we were still together.

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Ulta Diamond Rewards Perks 2018

See the 2019 Diamond Perks and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.


I officially crossed over to Diamond status on June 4th, 2018, so all Diamond rewards after that date are listed below. Prior to that, I only listed the ones received in Platinum emails telling me what I could have received if I was Diamond. Any offer from January 16th through June 4th where only Diamond members got notified is not below. Had Ulta counted my 2017 spend toward the new status, I would have started as Diamond instead of waiting an extra five months. For complete details on the Diamond tier, refer to my Diamond Benefits article. Diamond Beauty Bag offers are tracked separately. 

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Ulta Platinum Perk Beauty Bag GWP Offers 2018

See the 2019 Platinum Perk Beauty Bag offers, and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.


There is a new Platinum Beauty Bag today. Every time Ulta puts out a Platinum Beauty Bag in 2018, I will update this article. A Platinum Beauty bag is a gift with purchase only available to Platinum or Diamond members. This bag full of deluxe and full-sized items is usually available with a $125 or $150 purchase. The bag (which will be different each time) gets released 3-4 times per year. Whenever I redeem one, I will write a separate article and link it to the offer below. Since I did not write a 2017 article, I am listing the 2017 offers below. Tracking when the 2017 offers arrived helps paint a picture of when the 2018 offers may arrive, because they are usually not far off each year. Other Platinum Perks tracked in a different article. Sign into your Platinum account, add the bag, purchase enough products to reach the minimum threshold for the bag, and the cost of the bag will drop to zero.

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Julep Zodiac Collection Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn

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 released before the introduction to the new period. Julep sold a new set of Zodiac polishes for 2017, but I have not purchased any of those yet. Pisces may land in my collection, but I am unsure if I want to own all the others yet. These are from 2016, but are still available for purchase. Thus, I decided to round out my series on this collection with the last 3 polishes. Any other nail polishes I collected during my blogging break are only swatched in their respective Nail Polish Swatch article. I am not writing any articles on them.

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Julep Maven February 2018 Subscription Box Review

Julep Maven is a subscription program. While Julep started as a nail polish brand, it expanded to include a large variety of beauty products. Members get to select the items they want inside their boxes so there are no surprises. Mavens can stick to nail polish, try products from the ever-growing beauty line, or both in their monthly Julep subscription boxes. Products are always full-sized. Many of these beauty products are just as incredible as 5-free nail polish the brand offers. As a nail polish lover, I can say with certainty that these polishes chip less than most brands. A Maven membership helps subscribers get full-size products for a fraction of the cost to purchase them separately. They are quality polishes so I would probably purchase them at $14 each even if I did not have my Maven membership. The color selections and polish finishes are more vast than almost any other nail polish line. Almost every month, Julep releases seven new colors (and at times re-release 1-2 from the vault).

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Influenster Erno Laszlo Phelityl Night Cream VoxBox Review

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. Some virtual Voxboxes or multi product packages include coupons to redeem for the product. At times, the coupon will not cover the full amount, but you can opt out of any program that only offers discounts or does not interest you. If you are unfamiliar with Influenster, you can read my overview.

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A Foil a Day in February 2018 – Challenge To Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. In February, I want to challenge myself to try a foil of something new every single day. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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