This is the Fall 2019 FabFitFun Starter Box review for box 15. There have been a lot of variations this year, and this is the fifth someone I sent a box to sent me photos to share. Because I own all four products in this box, I will give my own thoughts. That way I inconvenience the person I sent it to as little as possible. I have starter boxes and can send them to the first requests I see. Keep reading to see what you might get or to get some questions answered if you’ve received an invitation elsewhere. Whenever I get these invites, the person I send the box to gets it for free if s/he pays the $5 shipping charge. 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.
It’s time for my September 2019 Sephora Play 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.
Sephora is offering a free Play! by Sephora Fall Must-Haves PLAY! Box with a $50 purchase using code MYPLAY. There is a photo of the promotion, but I am unsure if those are the exact items you will receive. I ordered this promotion, so I will come back and review it once I receive it. If you are considering subscribing to the Sephora Play Box, you can see my synopsis of a year of Play! Boxes or look at the monthly boxes individually.
How do you earn kicks with Shopkick? Kicks are what Shopkick calls its rewards. The more kicks you earn the more rewards you get. Shopkick is a Pay-to-shop program that lets you earn rewards in-store and online. There are a lot of ways to earn kicks. Redeem your kicks for gift cards. Ulta invited me to join, and it is something I had been meaning to do anyway. I feel like I am late to the party, because I am already enjoying Shopkick.
The Sephora Beauty Insider Shelter from the Storm Umbrella is available in select stores. My review (below) comes sans rain, because we do not get a lot here. Sephora makes sturdy umbrellas, and the one I received nearly four years ago is still in great shape. Click on that link to see the same awesome model is now four years older in the photos below. Why do I need a new umbrella when the one I already have is in great shape? It was commandeered by my husband years ago, and he never returned it. Considering I like this one better, I am finally okay with him keeping the other one. There is something very classic looking on an all black umbrella. Add the black and white stripes to the inside, and it just gives it an added touch of something special.
I’m here to review the recent Walgreens Beauty Enthusiasts free GWP bag. Beauty Enthusiasts at Walgreens get a number of perks for being a member, including 5,000 balance reward points for every $50 spent on beauty and personal care items. They also get access to a lot of other deals, including occasional free GWP Bags. It is important to note that while the contents of these bags always varies, Walgreens does not update the photo attached to the offer. This leaves many upset that they are not getting all the items in the photo. A good rule of thumb is the lower the buy-in, the less you will receive in value. To take advantage of these offers, you will need a Beauty Enthusiasts account. It is free to join. This is separate from a regular Walgreens account, but it will link to your Walgreens account once you’ve signed up. The beauty of this offer is it will load automatically as long as you sign into your account. If you happen to shop during an event, you will get the offer whether you know about it or not. That is the main reason I suggest all Walgreens shopper join.
Almost everyone seems to love Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, but I wanted to compare the popular cream to others within its own line. How does the Bum Bum Cream compare to the Acai Body Power Cream, and the Coco Cabana Cream? I’m confident that most people (who like to sparkle) will love at least one of the creams. So, I want to go over what makes them similar, what makes them different, and what makes them worth the splurge? At $45 for 8.1oz, these body creams cost a whopping $5.56 an ounce. That is extremely expensive for a body product, so why do we spend that much?
The Ulta Beauty Fall Haul Event is back in 2019, and it gets bigger every year. This year, we get two weeks to shop, so it is time to stock up on everyday faves. Unlike the Fall 2019 21 Days of Beauty and the Fall 2019 Gorgeous Hair Event which sandwich this event, we get plenty of drugstore deals with the Fall Haul Event. Week one runs from September 22nd through September 28th, and week two runs from September 29th through October 5th. Items are up to 50% off on makeup, skincare, haircare, and bath. Most items are 30-40% off. While the Fall Haul Event is essentially a long list of Hot Buys, I am keeping those separate for tracking purposes. Some of these deals are the best I’ve seen all year, even though drugstore items go on sale all year via the Buy More, Save More options.
The Ulta Beauty Fall 2019 Gorgeous Hair Event runs from Sunday, October 6th through Saturday, October 26th. This semi-annual event takes place every spring starting in May and every fall usually starting in October. We usually get an October start, but we did get a September start last year. It is a 21-day event where hair products from mostly high-end brands get discounted up to 50% off for one day only. This twice a year Gorgeous Hair Event has steals for all things hair (shampoo, conditioner, styling, tools, and much more). There are also specials that run throughout the event. These steals and Hot Buys get highlighted in the catalog and the special event page. While some jumbo haircare makes this event, deals in the Jumbo Love Event are typically better.
See the latest box, FabFitFun Starter Box 15 Fall 2019.
The person who ordered this 2019 FabFitFun Starter Box for me to review did so on 07/21/19, so he got Box 10. His box just arrived, which is why I am only now showing it. I finally offered new starter box invitations after his shipped, and the person I sent one to is already almost in receipt of it. Currently, FFF is shipping Box 15 (which I should review in a few days). There have been a lot of variations this year, but it is only the fourth someone I sent a box to sent me photos to share. Because I own all four products in this box, I will give my own thoughts. That way I inconvenience the person I sent it to as little as possible.
I have starter boxes and can send them to the first requests I see. Keep reading to see what you might get or to get some questions answered if you’ve received an invitation elsewhere. Whenever I get these invites, the person I send the box to gets it for free if s/he pays the $5 shipping charge. 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.
My September 2019 Birchbox review is ready. Birchbox subscriptions get customized to your beauty profile. 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.
Each time the Causebox Market opens in 2019 or 2020, I will update this article. The Causebox Market is the place where Causebox Members get to shop socially-conscious products at prices up to 70% off. The sale usually coincides with the customization process for annual members. Once the sale wraps, you have to wait for the next seasonal box selection time before the CauseBox Market opens again. To take advantage of this perk, you just need to login to the my account section of your dashboard and click the Causebox Market link during the shopping window. If you are not a member yet, you can join while the Market is open and shop.
BECCA Mini Highlighters arrive broken almost as often as they arrive intact, so I would never recommend purchasing a mini. The price per ounce is also too high that way even though it is a beautiful highlighter formula. If you must have a mini, try to get it in a GWP, subscription, or a kit. The Champagne Pop I received in my July 2019 Sephora Play Box and Rose Gold I got in an Ulta GWP (did not write an article on that) arrived broken. Thankfully, I already owned both shades, so it was not a big deal. Instead of repressing them, I decided to combine them with some liquid opal to make a new shade in a cream format.
It’s almost Fall 2019, which means my Summer 2019 Walmart Beauty Box review is ready. I’m not sure why they get mailed so late in the season, but it is still technically summer. This is a subscription box that gives you the items for free as long as 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. While this box gets released each season, the release date always varies. Walmart will email you before it releases to remind you to update your account information. Sometimes, it sends boxes right after you update. Other times, it will tell email you to update your account, then still wait weeks to ship your box.
Causebox provides annual members with customization options. To take advantage of this perk, you just need to login to the my account section of your dashboard and click the customize my box link during the customization window. Every time there is a Causebox customization update in 2019 and through 2020, I will update this article. Having some say about the items that go into a box can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy a box. That (along with the $5 per box savings) really makes annual membership a real perk.
This is my overview and review of the Sephora VIB Rouge private, closed-door event for Holiday Preview. It is the first private event for VIB Rouge members this year and is likely the last if the pattern from last year repeats. The event took place at all Sephora locations on Saturday, September 14th from 8:30am-10am. This event gave Rouge members first access to the holiday launches. Is going worth your time? Every event is different. Some stores provide the bare minimum while others go all out, so no two experiences will be the same. I recommend reading Inside a Sephora VIB Rouge Event for those who have never attended who are trying to decide if this event is worth their time.
Rakuten acquired ebates back in 2014. Everything happened behind the scenes, so account holders did not really notice a shift in service. The transition has been pretty seamless, so a lot of users are still unaware. In 2018, Rakuten began making subtle changes. While the actual date where the official name change will take place has not been announced yet, I am switching everything on this site over to Rakuten now. I thought I’d get ahead of the curve, so I’m ahead of the game when the big day comes.
Sephora September Daily Deals run from September 1st through September 21st in 2019. This is Sephora’s first ever 21-day event where customers can get daily deals up to 50% off. If this format sounds familiar, it is because Ulta has the same event via the 21 Days of Beauty (see that article as all deals are already out). The dates even perfectly overlap one another. As we can expect with Sephora, we will not know the deals in advance. I will update the article as I see the deals, so it might not get completed until the event is over. This event will take more of a Daily Wow! approach than a 21 Days of Beauty one. Its tagline is oh snap! Up to 50% off today only, which gives me serious Legally Blonde vibes.
Birchbox Customer Appreciation Day in 2019 is taking place on September 18th, but the party officially kicks off today. It 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 I’ve had this long. Others have come and gone.
Spoiler Alert: Since the 111Skin Mask is such a hit and I have 5, I will put 1 in the next 3 giveaways as well. That way, 4 winners can try it along with me.
My kids have already been back in school for two weeks and there is still a month left of summer. Too bad summer vacation is not more aligned with the actual season. Whether you are going back to school, sending kids back to school, or are forever done with school, I thought it would be a good time to host my next giveaway. The items in this giveaway are a 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask ($32), Generation Clay Brightening Purple Clay Mask ($49), Invisibobble Original Duo Pack ($16), AVEDA damage remedy daily hair repair ($31), eyeko eye do liquid eyeliner ($22), and APTO Skincare Face Mist Set in Turmeric and Pomegranate ($20).
It’s time for my August 2019 Sephora Play 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.
My Fall 2019 FabFitFun subscription box review is ready! I purchased a third box, so I will edit this article with my new items once it arrives. For now, my first two boxes are below. FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription that releases 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.
The latest TopCashBack giveaway, Back 2 School, will run from August 19th through September 2nd. This marks the first time I knew an event was coming before it even started. TopCashBack is finally getting better at advertising these games, but I still think sending an email the day it starts would help those not lucky enough to see a social media post. This 2019 version is just the latest in its series. Once I know the dates, I will list them here. Prior to this game, I had never won more than $0.50, but I still enjoyed playing. Instant winners can make anywhere from $0.25 to $100 by collecting the respective game pieces for that prize. One grand prize winner will get drawn from all entries received by vote. That winner will get $500.
My August 2019 Birchbox review is ready. Birchbox subscriptions get customized to your beauty profile. 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.
This is my August 2019 Birchbox review, but you can see a synopsis of a year of Sephora Play Box reviews vs a year of Birchbox reviews. Every year, I review my $10 boxes (for me at least) against each other, so I can declare the annual winner. This is also helpful for those who would like to see a year of reviews for either box in one place. Birchbox did raise its prices for select members, but it is still $10 for me. For those who are not ACES on the $10 plan, I will consider that when I do the annual comparison for 2019.
About the Birchbox Subscription
The $10-$15 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, I suggest making a choice and purchasing the featured box separately. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Those who pay full-price for their subscriptions up front get points to use toward shop purchases. People who use a discount code on up front subscriptions will not get points. No one on a month-to-month plan gets points for the subscription either. The amount spent for the subscription goes toward the $300 annual minimum to achieve Aces status.
August 2019 Birchbox Theme
Birchbox makes a custom box design for each month. I would pick the full size product shipped in an outer box on the month they are doing throwbacks. Members can get a box design from any month in the past. The Rifle Paper ones are my favorite. It would have been nice to have a shot at another.
The first thing you normally see when you open a Birchbox is a product card. This was the first time it was a piece of paper. It wants us to turn it into a fortune teller paper, so I am guessing the cardboard will return next month.
The back of the card goes over the theme, Old-School Summertime. This might have been fun in the July Box. Since my kids started school this week, I do not want to dream about summer vacations. It’s hard to believe there is still more than a month of summer left. Someone forgot to tell the school.
Contents are loose inside the box with a single piece of black foam at the bottom and a single sheet of tissue paper encircling the items. The tissue does seem to help the items from moving around a lot.
There was also a subscriber’s only coupon offer inside the box. If you arrive after the expiration date and need a code, check this article.
August 2019 Birchbox Sample Choices
The three items to choose from were: amika Bushwick Beach No-Salt Wave Spray, Pūrlisse Watermelon Energizing Sheet Mask, or ModelCo LIP PLUMPER Hydra Lip Therapy. There were three options for the curated boxes.
Curated Box 1- Test the Water, includes: R+Co HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Crème, IBY Beauty Blush, Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water, Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, and too cool for school Coconut Oil Serum Eye Patch.
Curated Box 2- Back to Business, includes: Vasanti® BrightenUp!® Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm Berry Busy, MAC Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara, air repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer, and Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse.
Curated Box 3- Summer Hits, includes: Lipstick Queen Dating Game Lipstick, COOLA® Dawn Patrol™ Classic Primer SPF 30, Lise Watier Intense Waterproof Eyeliner, Juliette Has a Gun Vanilla Vibes, Illamasqua Gel Sculpt Silhouette, and Living proof.® Perfect hair Day™ (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.
Subscribers can always purchase these featured boxes separately for $15 if they want that and another option. Everyone can purchase a curated box for $20.
There was also an option to Swap Your Box For a Full-Size 8oz Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle.
Some members were given the option to swap the box for Birchbox Loyalty points. I get 1.3 points per dollar as an Ace, so I would never pay $10 for 100 points. That is equivalent of 1 point per dollar.
My choice was the swap for full-size option.
My box was 65871096. Because I swapped for a full-size product, my box only has one item. Prior to my July 2019 Birchbox, every box I’ve received since the April relaunch had at least one full-size product in it. That means forfeiting the other five items was a risk. The main reason I decided to go for it is that I already know and love the full-size product. With tangle prone hair, I need a lot of leave-in conditioner.
The 8oz Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle retails for $23.50. I love the way this smells, but most importantly, it really helps detangle my hair. It also makes it a little softer and less frizzy than usual.
Was my August 2019 Birchbox worth it?
The August 2019 Birchbox has a $23.50 value. That brings the value for the average box in 2019 to $42.24. Had I selected a box I am almost certain this would have a higher starting value driving up the average box value for the year. I am happy with my selection and have no regrets. This particular full-size product is 8x the sample size Sephora sent me in the past. It will last me a long time. Paying $10 for a $23.50 product is over 50% off. With an amazing deal like that, I just hope Birchbox can sustain it. Let’s see which full size products it offers in place of the box next. If they are good ones, I will be all over that deal.
My personal value is $23.50, because I am keeping this. If I have any samples left, I might be willing to part with those. Thus is all mine though.
See my list of Birchbox subscription offers. Want to subscribe? Click that link to see the current start-up offers. If you’re reading this around the time I’ve posted it, the one I posted below will work.
Get a free ColourPop Highlighter Palette with a sub.
What are your thoughts on my August 2019 Birchbox review? Do you think it is better than past boxes so far? Let me know below. If your purchase is over $25 (longer subscriptions or purchasing something from the shop with the subscription), you can pick a free item from the bonus shop if you do not use a subscription start-up offer or discount code, which I cover on my Birchbox Deals Page. Some discount codes on that page will not work on subscriptions, but I will post any that work on my Birchbox Subscription Deals Page. You can always add a free two piece sample pack when spending $35, because it combines with any promo code. Tips For Getting the Best Deal lays out all the ways I know to save money at Birchbox. Product reviews do not always make it into the haul article, but you can always type the product into the search bar to see if I’ve mentioned it or reviewed it elsewhere. Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all posts. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links
The major 10x points event for Diamond and Platinum Appreciation will take place on Monday, August 19th. It always takes place on the third or fourth Monday of August. 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. 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.
When I received the Sephora Beauty Insider Sweeps email stating it was “a chance to win a million,” I thought it was pretty cool. That was until I saw how many points it takes to enter the giveaway. Whenever it costs a lot to enter a promotion, I usually opt out. Yes, the points spent are worth it for the winner, but the losers, and there will be a lot, only help Sephora remove some points from their books. As that would improve Sephora’s balance sheets, it is a no-brainer for Sephora. But, why should us Beauty Insiders dump our hard earned points into a contest where the odds of winning are likely incredibly slim? Of course, we cannot know the odds until all of the entires are tabulated, but Sephora never would have hosted this if it did not expect at least 1 million points to get redeemed. Anything redeemed over that lets them get 100 points off the books for less than $1. Overall, it will make the finance department happy.
Ulta Beauty is hosting an event for the 2019 National Grooming Day on August 16th. This is just ahead of the 10x Points event that will take place this month. For one day only, so Friday, August 16th, shop National Grooming Day. It will feature deals geared toward men. These deals are up to 50% off. Some are 30% off. Most are 40% off. The last men’s event was a little over two months ago, so we are getting more opportunities than ever to get deals on grooming products at Ulta. Yes, the Fall 21 Days of Beauty event is less than a month away, so Ulta is not giving our wallets a break at all for the foreseeable future.
The Ulta Beauty Fall 2019 21 Days of Beauty will run from September 1st through September 21st. Ulta surprised us with a bonus day on the 22nd, so it was a 22-day event this time. 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.
Everyone was wondering if Sephora Sale would repeat in August 2019. The first ever Beauty Insider Sale in August took place in 2018. That event was to launch the new Beauty Insider Benefits though. Sephora just announced that the August Beauty Insider Sale, also known as the 2019 Summer Bonus, will repeat this year with one major exclusion. It only includes VIB and Rouge members this year. This likely means it has been officially added to the lineup of events we can expect from Sephora. It also brings the sales we can count on from two to three, which makes it easier to shop more often. One is the Spring Discount, where Rouge members get 20% off, VIB members 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 15% off.