After I review my Empty Products, I take extra time to go over the standouts. It is a round-up for the best of the best. Only products that seem like they’re made for me make FabuFind status, so there are a lot of items I love that never make it. These are items I would repurchase, even without a deal. Items I am loving but cannot finish any time soon make it into my Core Collection. To eventually spotlight all FabuFinds, I will never repeat items already mentioned in a past article. That does not mean they lost their magic. An item not spotlighted in a past Empties article may get promoted as I try it more and fall deeper in love. If something gets demoted from FabuFind status (formula changes, skin changes, finding something better, etc), I will note the change in the original article I mentioned it in. There are three products I consider FabuFinds in my Winter 2019 Empties that I have not discussed yet.
It’s time to review my empty products from Winter 2019. By the time I’ve finished something, I know exactly how I feel about it, so I prefer reviews of empties to first impressions. These are the items I finished during the winter of 2019. For items I neither love nor hate, I am always willing to try them again, but I will not seek them out. This generally means I will only try them again if they are: free, on sale, or in a set (sets are a great way to get a deal as long as the value of the items you want to try exceed the cost you are paying). Empties from my December and February Foil Challenge are not here, because I wanted to avoid redundancy. The pH of products I’ve tested this season are below. Visit the pH article for info on how I test and a list of everything I’ve tested.
A new 2019 Ulta Beauty Stars Event for Favorite Moisturizers and Serums Picked Just For You starts today, March 29th and runs through Monday, April 1st. Like the March 2019 Beauty Stars Event from earlier this month, it offers 5x points on select products to UltaMate members. Platinum and Diamond members get 7x points on the same products. See the article for all 5x, 7x points offers. There was only one Beauty Stars event in 2017, in November. We got 2 in 2018, which were in March and November. This is already the second one for 2019, so things are looking up (even though the multiplier went from 10x to the 7x points for the Platinum and Dimond tiers). Giving us more events each year gives members more chances to partake.
Spring is officially here, so it is time to go over my favorites from the 2019 winter season. I like to call these my core collection items, because I find myself reaching for them over similar products in my stockpiles. These are items I am still working on, so they will not make the Empties article for this season. Each is still worthy of discussion, so this is the place I like to do that. Items I am still in love with once I empty them become FabuFinds. While I cannot promise I will ever finish these (some products expire before I can empty them) and I cannot promise I will still love them enough to label them as FabuFinds upon completion, I loved them throughout this season. Many of these items are serious contenders for my Best of the Year article. There were seven items I really enjoyed this winter.
I have started the next giveaway. You can see what the winner received or enter the new giveaway through that article.
When Birchbox placed a Limited Edition Box I enjoyed on sale for 50% off earlier this month, I decided to grab a second one. I’m keeping the items I want duplicates of and placing the other items in this giveaway. The first item is the Smith & Cult Book of Eyes Eye Quad Palette in Noonsuite ($44). Next, I am giving away the Oribe The Lacquer High Shine Nail Polish in The Red ($32). I definitely do not need a second pair of the Clip-on nOir™ Jewelry Tassel Earrings ($25?). There is also a full-size Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil in Perversion ($20) I got from Ulta earlier this month in a GWP.
To make entry as easy as possible, I am only asking for a comment below from a subscriber. This means anyone who follows via WordPress or email. While I appreciate followers on all platforms (and may host giveaways on other platforms in the future), this is for blog followers. After April 21st, I will use a random number generator to select a comment. Each person will get a number assigned based on his/her first comment. As long as the person is still subscribed when the giveaway concludes (I can see your email address with your subscription) and responds to the email I send within seven days, that person will be my winner.
If the person selected is not subscribed or does not respond within seven days, I will keep drawing until I find a winner. I like to throw in samples with my giveaways, so I will ask some qualifying questions in the email to tailor a box to the winner. Depending on where you live, I may need to substitute samples for the nail polish.
This is a beautiful palette, but I have not tested it yet.
The swatches from mine make it look nice.
I love the polish. The color is beautiful and the formula is long-lasting. This manicure was from my bottle.
I own and enjoy the eyeliner, but I do not have a swatch photo. Let me know if you want to see one, and I will upload one.
This contest is open to any subscriber. Those under 18 must get permission from a parent before commenting below. If I select you as the winner, I will confirm via email that you obtained permission before I mail anything. Good luck!
My last winner has received her package, so I am ready to share what Julia received. She received full-sizes of: Sterling Forever Velvet Choker in Light Grey, Summer & Rose Brittany Striped Tote, Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye™ Brightener in Stella, and Free People x Understated Leather Starry Eyed Travel Eye Mask.
The Sephora versus Ulta comparison pops up all the time, and people always ask me which one is better. A true beauty product lover can tell you that is a loaded question. There are pros and cons to everything, because nothing is all good or all evil. They have a lot in common, but they have a lot of differences as well. While I understand some shoppers feel an affinity toward their favorite stores and try to reward those stores with their loyalty, my mindset is different. Odds are yours is as well. How do I know you are not blindly loyal to a specific store? If you were, you would probably not finish reading this. You’d already know which store you prefer. Besides, many of you are likely deal shoppers. Deal shoppers, like myself, are loyal to the deal, not a store. If they can get $10 off a product somewhere else, they will.
The 2019 Ulta Beauty Spring Haul Sales Event runs from Sunday, April 7th through Saturday, April 20th, and the 20% off prestige coupon should arrive sometime during this event. Each week features products ranging from 20-50% off with most clocking in at 30% or 40% off. There are 40 deals each week. Of the 80 deals, some repeat from week one to week two. Others are unique. This event is essentially a long list of Hot Buys, but I am keeping those separate for tracking purposes. Unlike the other Ulta Beauty events, the 2019 Spring Haul Sales Event features mostly drugstore items. Yes, drugstore items go on sale all the time, but the discounts in the seasonal haul events are among the best you’ll see all year.
The 2019 Sephora Spring Bonus Sale is here. Beauty Insider members get 10% off, VIB members get 15% off, and Rouge members get 20% off. Scroll down for the dates and important details for the Sephora 2019 Spring VIB sale. It is open to every tier even though most people call it the VIB sale. Once again, Sephora is calling the discount event the 2019 Sephora Spring Bonus. This is the first time since 2013 that Sephora Spring Sale separated all discounts based on Beauty Insider reward level. Since the launch of the Rouge program, the Sephora Spring discount event always offered VIB and Rouge members the same 15% off discount. Rouge members get 20% off for the first time in the 2019 Sephora Spring Sale.
Back when we only heard negative things about a few brands, I told myself I would never purchase from those brands. Then, Cancel Culture became a huge thing. The only thing more fun than watching a brand rise was watching it fall. I briefly touched on this in Fake and Dishonest Reviews, Undeclared Sponsorships, and Bias – How Do You Know Who to Trust? Scandals can come from companies you’d never expect them from. That is why I am not truly surprised with much I hear anymore. It is also why I am trying not to boycott brands off the actions of one individual, even if the individual is the brand owner and benefits the most from my purchase. It’s starting to seem like we’ll have nothing left to buy if we “cancel” a brand every time it sparks controversy.
Birchbox announced a new tier pricing structure, which effectively means it raised the price on most members. Only select members will get the $10 pricing it launched with. What added benefits are we getting for the price increase? When Birchbox launched in September 2010, and it was a pioneer in the beauty subscription box industry. Members could get a box of 4-5 beauty products to sample for $10 a month. The concept was simple. Let users get samples stress free. There was no need to go into a store to ask for things, because Birchbox tailored the samples to the user’s profile. A subscription box revolution emerged in the years that followed, because many saw the success Birchbox had and wanted to capitalize while the market was still hot. While Birchbox only sold 12 products when it launched, the intent was always to encourage customers to purchase the full-size of the samples they fell in love with. It wanted to build its subscription program, so it could grow its online store.
I’ve already reviewed my March 2019 Birchbox subscription, but I decided to purchase a featured box separately. This is my review on the March 2019 curated box. Anyone can purchase this curated box for $15, but subscribers can purchase it for $10. It will automatically discount the charge from $15 to $10 once you add it to your cart on an account with an active subscription. That is the cost of our regular subscription, so I recommend this when you want the featured box and a sample choice. Birchbox gives at least 5 deluxe beauty samples each month for $10, but there are 6 in the curated 2019 March Birchbox. See my March 2019 subscription review to view my sample choice and the other items I got with it.
It’s time for my March 2019 Sephora Play Box review. Play! by Sephora 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 Play! 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 to Beauty Insiders, 12.5 points to VIB members, and 15 points to VIB Rouge members. This Play! 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.
When I first noticed the original beauty blender by beautyblender, I was reluctant to even try it. I told myself there was no way I would spend $20 every few months for a sponge, so I continued using brushes to apply my foundation. After getting a free one through a Birchbox order, it was finally time to try it. Even then, I tried to convince myself it was nothing special. It took more foundation than I used with a brush, so it would add even more to my expenses over time. Then, it hit me. My skin looked better when I applied my foundation with a beautyblender. The brush usually left streaks when I used a paint brush style or accentuated dry patches on my skin when used a buffing style.
Today is the last day to grab the free 12-piece gift with a $19.50 purchase from the Ulta Beauty Collection. For those on the fence, I thought I would offer this last-minute review. Keep in mind several items from the Ulta Beauty Collection are getting discounts in the upcoming Spring 2019 21 Days of Beauty. This promotion ran from February 17th through March 16th. I went back and forth on whether I would even grab it, so I understand the hesitation. There are items I like from the Ulta Beauty Collection, but they almost always go on sale or have BOGO offers when there is not a beauty bag. That means I give up the chance to get a deal on items I want to try items I may not enjoy when I select the GWP bag. Sometimes I do. Other times I don’t. The deal shopper in me always needs to find balance between gifts with purchase and getting a discount instead. Although, getting a nice GWP is usually better than a discount if I find items I love in the GWP.
My Sephora Milk Makeup birthday gift review is ready. This is one of the two VIB and Rouge exclusives for the 2019 Sephora Birthday gifts. It is online only, so you will need to place an order to redeem this. I redeemed this on my account, so this is my official birthday present. Everyone with a Beauty Insider account gets a birthday gift offer, so sign up if you have not already. There is no purchase required to pick up a gift in store, but you must make a purchase to redeem it online. Stop by my Birthday Beauty Deals page (if you have a birthday coming soon), because other retailers have offers as well. See my 2019 Sephora Birthday Gift review for Drunk Elephant, Kat Von D, and Jo Malone.
I’ve wanted the Les Merveilleuses Laduree Paris Face Color Rose Laduree 02 since the first time I saw a picture of it. The rose petal blush was one of the most beautiful beauty products I’d ever seen. With the delicate looking flower petals and ornate container, I knew I would purchase it some day. My hold up was the cost. Spending over $100 on a single beauty product was something I had not done before 2017 (when I purchased this). Although, I had spent $95, $98, and $99 on products, so I was close enough. The second problem was availability. This is not sold in the US outside of Amazon, and the risk of receiving a fake on Amazon was too great.
Target launched 14 Days of Deals for 2019, which gives new, incredible beauty deals each day for 14 days. The first offer is already available. This is Target’s version of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty (which has leaked the Spring 2019 deal calendar). Each deal is available until the end of the day. These offers are available online and in-store. As this is a new promotion, it is too soon to say how often it will repeat. My guess is it will repeat based on how well it does in its first run.
The first 2019 offer at Ulta for 2x points on anything for Ultamate members, 3x points on anything for Platinum members, and 4x points on anything for Diamond members went out today. While there are a lot of Bonus Point Offers and point multipliers, this article will only go over this specific Bonus Points offer. Every time I see this 2x points, 3x points, 4x points promotion in 2019, I will update this article. See the 2018 2x points, 3x points, 4x points article to see when these offers went out last year. This promotion usually repeats at least five times a year, but we saw it six times in 2018. Since the first offer from 2018 lines up perfectly with the first offer this year, there is a good chance the pattern will continue.
It’s time for my March 2019 Birchbox review! Birchbox gives at least 5 deluxe beauty samples each month for $10, and I received 5 in my 2019 March Birchbox. 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.
My Spring 2019 FabFitFun subscription box review is ready! FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription that puts out one box per season. Boxes have over $200 in value. The items are always full-sized and include products from: beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness lines. Subscribers can either pay $179.99 for an annual subscription ($20 off when buying 4 boxes up front) or $49.99 for a Seasonal subscription. Shipping is free, but sales tax gets charged (in certain states). There is usually a code to receive $10 off your first seasonal box. Those codes are fffa2p6 and FAB10. Members can select add-ons at deeply discounted prices to include with their boxes. All subscribers get to customize some choice options, but Annual Subscribers (select members) get extra choices.
My Sephora Kat Von D birthday gift review is ready. Of all the 2019 Sephora Birthday gifts, the Kat Von D gift is certainly the most controversial. I’ve been a fan of hers for some time and own a lot of products from her line. While I disagree with her immunization stance, I have not boycotted her brand. Since I redeemed the Milk Makeup gift for my birthday present (article coming), I created a Sephora account for my youngest son to bring you this Sephora Kat Von D birthday gift review. Everyone with a Beauty Insider account gets a birthday gift offer, so sign up if you have not already. There is no purchase required to pick up a gift in store, but you must make a purchase to redeem it online. Stop by my Birthday Beauty Deals page (if you have a birthday coming soon), because other retailers have offers as well. See my 2019 Sephora Birthday Gift review for Drunk Elephant, Milk Makeup, and Jo Malone.
Free Ulta Beauty Birthday gifts are here! My 2019 Ulta birthday gift review on the 0.5oz IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream is ready, because I started using a sample I already owned last month. This is the third Ulta birthday gift of 12 Ulta will release this year. It is my birth month, so this is my official birthday present from Ulta this year. I also reviewed the January birthday gift thanks to my oldest son, and the February birthday gift thanks to my youngest son. Spoiler alert, this is the best of the first three gifts. A new birthday gift is getting released every month in 2019. Here’s hoping you get one you like.
The first Beauty Stars Event of 2019 brought a new point combination we’ve never seen before. UltaMate members still get 5x points on all products featured in the event, but Platinum and Diamond members now only get 7x points. Last year, we got 10x points. Every time I see an offer for 5x points for UltaMate members, and 7x points for Platinum and Diamond members, I will update this article. It is to track all offers with this multiplier. When these promotions get tied to a major event, like a Beauty Stars Event, I will link the article for the major event below. Our closest offer before this was for 3x points for UltaMate, 5x points for Platinum, and 7x points for Diamond members in December of 2018. That was a one-day promotion that applied to any product.
View the March 2019 Beauty Stars Event for Favorite Moisturizers and Serums.
The Beauty Stars Event returned in 2019 with a slight change. UltaMate members still get 5x points on all products featured in the event, but Platinum and Diamond members now only get 7x points. This is down from 10x points from the same event last year. There are 114 products in the Beauty Stars Event this year and members can shop this event from Friday, March 1st through Monday, March 4th. All offers for this event are below. To see other offers by tier, visit the general articles for UltaMate members, Platinum members, and Diamond members. See the general 5x, 7x points article to view all promotions with this multiplier.