Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 when Grover Cleveland (some dispute giving him credit) declared we needed an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. This was during the height of the Industrial Revolution, so employees were really making an impact on the economy. It was not uncommon for workers to endure 12 hour shifts, seven days a week. No one was immune, not even children. Since weekends did not exist for these workers, Labor Day was a welcome and extremely brief reprieve for our ancestors who brought us into a new millennium. Though must of us do not have the work ethic of our forefathers, and thank goodness for that because there is more to life than earning money, Labor Day is still an important part of our society.
See the latest box, FabFitFun Starter Box 16 Fall 2019.
I kept getting a pop-up on my FabFitFun account saying that I could send three starter boxes to anyone I wanted. These boxes usually retail for $19.99, but FabFitFun would send them to my lucky recipients for free as long as each one paid the $5 shipping charge. There really is no catch to these boxes, because people who are not happy with them can cancel within 21 days and pay nothing else. Anyone who does not cancel will automatically move to a seasonal subscription on the 21st day after the $5 gets charged. Either a Seasonal box (if there are any left) or an Editor’s box would start the official subscription. As I was only able to send three, and I have a nice network of friends and family, I had a hard time deciding who to send them to. The ability to send 3 starter boxes is not granted to everyone, because the seasonal account I opened to receive a duplicate fall box does not have this option.
Sephora usually has a Labor Day Sale where it dumps a lot of discontinued items and products that cannot sell for their full retail price into the Sale Section. These items are up to 60% off, and the section can double or even triple the amount of items it usually carries. Labor Day typically marks the end of the summer, and Sephora will usually do this at the end of each season to make room for all the latest and greatest items. It might sound like I am not a fan of the sale. Getting items I wanted but passed at full price is the best. Yes, I will have to sort through pages of products that do not interest me, but there are always gems. For those gems, arrive early. While items that go out-of-stock can return, there are times that they disappear forever once they’re gone. This is because they typically pull items from all the physical stores and sell them online until they run out. As they receive more stock from each store, they place the available units for sale online.
For my latest makeup challenge, I decided to do a full-face (eyes lips face; elf) e.l.f. Cosmetics review. When it comes to value brands at the drugstore, e.l.f. is one of the first that comes to mind. Only a few rival its quality and prices. Most are either higher-priced or lower quality. In some cases, they’re both. One of the reasons I love e.l.f. so much is hits and misses exist with every brand. We all have different wants and needs in our makeup so it would be impossible for someone to like every product a brand launches. There is no way every single product is not only great but also perfectly suited to someone. When I have a miss with e.l.f., I never really feel as bad as I do with more expensive brands. Getting upset when you spent $4 on something that did not work out is a lot less likely than how upset you feel when you spend $60. It’s just a numbers game.
This giveaway has concluded. My winner, Kathleen, has already received her prize. To see what my winner received and/or take part in the next giveaway, please see that article.
I have a brand new tarte Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette that retails for $45. It came in my second, Summer FabFitFun Box. After purchasing my own when it went on sale in the Sephora Weekly Wow, I knew this duplicate was of no use to me. Don’t get me wrong! I love getting amazing products (even when they are duplicates) with my FabFitFun subscription, because I can pass them onto someone who will use them. It’s been a while since I hosted a giveaway, so I decided to give this away to one of my readers. Those in my personal life will keep reaping benefits as long as I hunt deals. My plan is to host giveaways more often, so my readers can benefit as well.
Birchbox was the first subscription box to make an impact on the multi-billion dollar a year beauty industry. Many, including Birchbox, consider it the Original Beauty Box. A lot of subscription box addicts began our addiction to boxes thanks to Birchbox. Well, I’ve never had more than six unique subscriptions at a time, so I am a subscription box amateur. Though I’ve explained why I like subscription boxes, I feel like they are only a part of getting the best deal. Thus, I cannot see myself ever having too many subscriptions. Then again, some might say one is too many. I began my subscription journey in February 2014 with Birchbox. It is the only subscription (other than Julep since May 2014) that I’ve had this long. Others have come and gone.
See my Grab or Pass on the Superstars Kit Everyday Must Haves, and all 2019 Sephora Promotions, Sales, GWP, Deals, Promo Codes, and Events. As I mention below, this Sephora Favorites Superstars Kit is worth $40, so I purchased and reviewed it when it dipped down to that price in the Labor Day Sale.
The latest Sephora Favorites Superstars Kit for 2018 is still available. The Beauty Insider Appreciation Event opens to Rouge members today. Rouge members get 20% off one online purchase and an unlimited number of 20% off opportunities in store until the event ends. All beauty insider levels get a discount, but they start on a different date. I’ve gone over the details for that event in another article, so I will not mention this event again here. While looking for ideas on what I should buy, I came across it again. This is something I never considered at full-price, but could I justify it with a 20% discount? As a deal shopper, I typically enjoy the favorites sets Sephora puts out. This one was the first Superstars Kit in years I am not interested in.
Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers five deluxe beauty samples and a bonus foil packet or perfume vial for $10 a month plus tax. Shipping is free. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box so most items are from well-known, high-end brands. While Sephora does carry a few low-end and luxury brands, they do not really appear in the subscription boxes. 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. This box also applies $10 toward your purchase minimum to maintain your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status. The $10 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and from the 1st through the 4th for succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 11th through the 15th.
I live a constant battle between pampering myself and finding the best deal. Finding a balance between the two is my number one goal as a consumer. When I find cheap items that work as well or better than high-end items, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Spending more than necessary is pointless, but I also don’t like to settle. If the cheaper item is not as good as the high-priced item, I will continue to buy the high-priced item when I am in the mood to splurge. How many times have you purchased something expensive only to get disappointed with its performance? On the contrary, how many times have you grabbed something cheaper than what you usually buy only to discover you barely notice a difference between it and your beloved, expensive product? Price is not always king when it comes to getting the best deal. It is the number one reason I never stop experimenting with new products, even when I find something I love. There are so many products that are wonderful in every price range. Duds also exist in every price range, and dollar store items have disappointed me.
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.
Anyone spending over $19.50 on select items from the Ulta Beauty Collection gets a free GWP, a beauty bag. The Ulta 10x Points Event for Platinum and Diamond Appreciation wraps tonight. There are a lot of items included this year, including all Ulta Beauty Collection products. Though this bag is valid (while supplies last) from 07/29/18 through 08/25/18, this is the perfect day to pick it up. Of course, you can always grab it through Saturday if you see this after the 20th or cannot take part in the Platinum and Diamond Appreciation Event.
See all sign-up and welcome offers for new subscribers.
Birchbox created a new program called the Birchbox Bonus. It gives subscribers a special deal once a month. Based on the wording and lack of detail in the email I received on 08/16/18, I get the impression that this is not the month Birchbox started this program. Since I do not know the date it started, I am just going to start from here and move forward. Each month will get listed in reverse chronological order. Every month when I see the new offer, I will list it below. Once this gets long and I start a new article, I will link the new article at the top.
See the Ulta Fall 2019 21 Days Beauty article, and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.
The Ulta Beauty Fall 2018 21 Days of Beauty will run from September 2nd through September 22nd. Twice a year, usually starting in March and September, Ulta has a 21 day sale where select brands or items get discounted up to 50% off for one day only. Every day during the semi-annual event there are at least two beauty steals. There are also Hot Buys that run throughout the entire event. Most events also release Beauty Samplers, Try Me Kits. Spring tends to get the better steals. These deals come from the upcoming catalog, and the online link from the special event page. Deals listed in the printed catalog are in-store and online. All online exclusive deals are only listed online. All Steals ship free for Platinum and Diamond members. They ship free with a $50 purchase for UltaMate members.
See the Diamond and Platinum Appreciation 10x Points article for 2019, and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.
The major 10x points event for Diamond and Platinum Appreciation takes place on Monday, August 20th. Select items get 10x points one-day only. Everything excluded from 10x points gets 5x points. Diamond and Platinum members get free shipping on every purchase for this event. Smaller 10x points events happen throughout the year. Platinum members always get a 0.25x bonus multiplier, so they get 10.25x points. Diamond members always get a 0.5x bonus, so they get 10.5x points. Ulta Beauty runs on Central time, so the deals run from 10pm – 9:59pm for those of us on the West Coast. Get ready to shop to on Sunday night, because a lot of the better deals will be gone by the time you wake up Monday morning. Very few deals get leaked ahead of time for this promotion, so we never really know what is included until the event link goes live.
Sephora made some changes to its Beauty Insider Program on August 9th, 2018, and they all serve to improve the rewards program. Phase one of the new changes took effect on the day of the announcement, August, 9, 2018. It plans to roll out more additions to the program in 2019 and fully explain some of the changes as the rest of this year unfolds. As I learn more (throughout this year and possibly place all the 2019 changes here as well), I will continue to update this article. The Weekly Wow made its début on August, 10, 2017, so it would not surprise me to see a new promotion announced next year on August 8, 2019. It seems like second week of August is a good time for Sephora to roll out new promotions. This announcement came along with a new event that starts August 24th for Rouge members and August 30th for VIB and Beauty Insider members. I covered that event (spoiler alert; it’s a brand new sale) in a different article, so I will not devote much time to it here.
Sephora announced a surprise discount for all rewards tier levels in the Beauty Insider Appreciation Event. It is tweaking the Beauty Insider Program to add new benefits. This event is said to launch those benefits (the reason why it could be a one-time thing). Sephora normally only has two official sales a year. One is the Spring Discount, where VIB and Rouge clients get 15% off and Beauty Insiders get 10% off. The other is the Fall Discount, where VIB and Rouge clients get 20% off and Beauty Insiders get 10% off.
This is the first time in the history of sales where we see a summer event. It is also the first time Rouge clients get a greater discount than VIB clients. For all those (myself included) who do not see much difference between the VIB Benefits and Rouge Benefits, Sephora has finally heard us. My guess is the other sales will remain the same for all levels, so there is no reduction in benefits for any level, but only time will tell.
See all 2018 Edit Sale offers.
I cannot believe add-on selection for Fall 2018 opened to everyone today, because I received this order from the Edit Sale less than two weeks ago. Customization also opened yesterday. If you have not already made your selections, do that soon. FabFitFun held its Summer 2018 Edit Sale from July 9th through July 16th. It was a subscriber only sale where FabFitFun sold items from past boxes, past add-ons, and new items for 25-70% off. Annual subscribers had first access starting on the 9th, and seasonal subscribers got to shop the sale starting on the 12th. Under the Edit Sale, subscribers fill their carts throughout the event. A full day after the sale wraps, subscribers get charged for everything in their carts, tax in applicable states, and shipping (if their orders fall under $25). Items ship ten days after the charge gets processed (it is usually faster than this).
See the Ulta Beauty 2019 Forever Fabulous Sale, and all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events.
Ulta has another event for us to shop while we wait for the 10x Points event that will take place this month. This event overlaps the current Points Promotion. For one day only, so Wednesday, August 8th, shop the Forever Fabulous Sale. It has over 90 deals on drugstore and high-end brands. The deals are on products from makeup, skincare, hair, fragrance, and more. These deals are up to 50% off. Most are at least 30% off. Some drugstore brands are offering 30%, 40%, or 50% off the entire line. That means there are far more than 90 products in this event. Yes, the Fall 21 Days of Beauty event is only a month away, so Ulta is not giving our wallets a break at all for the foreseeable future.
Maybe I should have titled this article, The Two Times I Got Orange Hair Courtesy of PINCHme and Clairol nice n’ easy. I am the type of person who will sometimes give things (and people) a second chance even when they’ve proven they do not deserve it. That happened with this hair color. After the one I mentioned in my free samples article failed, I convinced myself that I owed it to the brand to try it again before writing my review. That one was a different color, Medium Ash Blonde 8A, and maybe this color would not be as bad. It could have been user error, I told myself. Yes, I victim blamed. My Spring 2018 Walmart Beauty Box had a coupon for another free box of nice ‘n easy. Thankfully, I forgot about it, and the coupon expired before I could redeem it.
My FabFitFun Mystery Bundles get reviewed in this article. Yes, all of them, so sit back, relax, and strap on your seatbelt. Even though I love poker, I am not much of a gambler. It is a shame I cannot bring myself to gamble, because I am a very good poker player. No, I am not joking, and no, I do not feel the need to act humble. Anyway, I do gamble with beauty products in the form of Subscription Boxes. Most subscription boxes are a gamble. I hand over my money and the subscription service gives me products it thinks I want. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, and other times I am not sure what I want. You never know when you initially think you’ve received a dud only to discover a gem or vice versa. Since I gamble on subscription boxes, why shouldn’t I gamble on Mystery Bundles? It’s the same concept, right?
It was back in stock on 08-16-18 but gone again on 08-20-18.
When I started writing this article yesterday, the Travel-Ready Treasures box was still in stock. The article was mostly written, so I decided to publish it anyway. It seems like the boxes are running out of inventory faster than usual. That or the last two boxes I received were in high demand. This is another one I originally was not going to purchase. There are a lot of deluxe items in this, and I have more samples than I can use in a lifetime. I ultimately decided to grab it, because I think the bag is cute and saw enough value in some of the pieces I did not already own. Over a week after the box allegedly shipped, it was still saying USPS Currently Awaiting Package. Thankfully, I contacted Birchbox to see what happened, because almost three weeks later USPS is still “awaiting” the original package. Birchbox did send me a replacement, and that is the one I am reviewing now. Who knows, if USPS ever finds my lost package, Birchbox may have one more brand new kit to sell.
See all 2019 Ulta Beauty Promotions, Deals, Coupons, GWP, Sales, and Events. I have not received my UltaMate Rewards Diamond Life Welcome 2019 Qualification Gift yet. A reader, Tess, has. She says the gift has been updated. You now get: a pink envelope with coupons. The first is a coupon for $25 off any hair service in the Ulta Salon. Next, you get a choice between 3 gifts. Her gift choices were: any free Clinique foundation ($27-$29 ), a free First Aid Beauty cleanser ($21), or a free Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($24). This is a better gift than last year, so it is nice to see Ulta stepping it up. Once I reach Diamond, I will write a new article showing and going over everything. Tess says you can redeem the free gift in-stores or online within a few months of receiving your welcome envelope.
The Diamond Rewards level officially launched at Ulta on January, 16, 2018. As someone who made a large purchase on January 1st thanks to the incredible Platinum Perks that day, I assure you that every purchase from January 1st going forward counted toward the spend requirement for this year. It just took the system a couple of weeks to get ready. Since this level did not exist in 2017, only those who qualified in 2018 have Diamond status. This means 2017 spend was not taken into account. Though I did see some who spent over $1200 last year mention they received Diamond status after complaining, I chose not to take that route. That means, I spent the first five months of this year in Platinum status. On 06/04/18, I crossed over to Diamond when I surpassed $1200 in spending this year. Ulta was out of welcome boxes, so I only received mine recently.
When the recent Edit Sale opened to seasonal subscribers, I noticed the Summer 2018 Editor’s Boxes were not included. They did not appear in the Shop either. Thankfully, I was able to track them down, because I wanted a few items inside. Ordering through the direct link gave me a chance to select 3 of the 8 items, which really can make or break a box. All three are items I already owned and want more of. Two of them were items I received from FabfitFun. Getting them inside a box gives them to me at a huge discount. Three of the items vary. The last two were static, so everyone who ordered the box received those. Once my order arrived, I had three brand new products, one duplicate of a product I purchased at Ulta, and four products I received in the Winter 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018 boxes.
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. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. 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.