Author Archives: notcreative

About notcreative

I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

Birchbox April 2019 Review of Curated Box 2 and Two Boxes With Sample Choices Plus Subscription Box Offers

I have three April 2019 Birchbox reviews, and I am placing all three in this article. After I learned about the new Birchbox pricing structure, I decided to purchase two more subscriptions before the price went up. Since I wanted to see if the new boxes are really better than the old boxes, I wanted to have a few each month for comparison. It is easy to get one lucky box. If you get three out of three, it is far more likely actual improvement is taking place. In typical studies, you usually need a sample size of at least 30. As much as I love experiments and blogging, I was not ordering 30 boxes!

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Birchbox March 2019 Review Take Two and Subscription Box Offers

I’ve already covered my March 2019 Birchbox review and the March 2019 curated Birchbox I purchased separately. Yet, here I am to provide two more Birchbox March 2019 reviews. Why? When March 24th rolled around, I decided to purchase two more subscriptions on the last day I could get them for $10 each per month. Since I wanted to see if the new boxes are really better than the old boxes, I wanted to have a few each month for comparison. It is easy to get one lucky box. If you get three out of three, it is far more likely actual improvement is taking place. In typical studies, you usually need a sample size of at least 30. As much as I love experiments and blogging, I was not ordering 30 boxes!

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FabFitFun 2019 Starter Box Review – The New Box For April

There is a (new) Summer version of the 2019 FabFitFun starter box. Click that link for the review.

I am here for the latest 2019 FabFitFun Starter Box Review. This is the second variation I’ve reviewed this year. The photos and products belong to one of the people I sent a Starter Box to. Two of these are products I love, and I think the other two look amazing. I do not have any starter boxes, but I will update this if that changes. 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.

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TopCashBack Spring Treats Cash Back Giveaway Game

The latest TopCashBack giveaway, Spring Treats, starts today, and it is the first time I knew about the game before it 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. It runs from April 8th, 2019 through April 26, 2019. I’ve never won more than $0.50 on any of these games, but I always enjoy 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.

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FabFitFun Spring 2019 Edit Sale Haul Review

My FabFitFun Spring 2019 Edit Sale Haul Review is ready. There is an event between the seasonal subscription boxes called the FabFitFun Edit Sale. This is a subscriber only event where FabFitFun members can shop for items discounted 25%-70% off. For those who love add-ons, this is akin to purchasing add-ons without a subscription box. It also means subscribers who are not interested in any items or need a break for financial reasons can just sit this out. For mainland US subscribers who choose to shop, they get free shipping with a $25 purchase. Like add-ons, you add the items you want to your cart throughout the sale and only pay for the ones that are still in your cart once the event wraps. The event runs from April 2nd through April 9th, 2019 and everyone gets charged for their items on April 10th.

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Birchbox Limited Edition Floral Favorites Box Review

When Birchbox released its new Floral Favorites Limited Edition Box, I knew I was going to get and review it. The challenge is always waiting for the right promo code to come along while hoping the box does not sell out before it does. Some boxes sit in the shop for months and others sale out quickly. It seems the ones I want the most are the ones that sell out the fastest, so I clearly have great taste. 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.

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A Foil a Day in April 2019 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? 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 day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I will only complete foil challenges in even months. 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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FabFitFun Spring 2019 Editor’s Box Review and a Subscription Box Offer

My FabFitFun Spring Editor’s 2019 Box review is ready. Spoiler alert, I love it so much that I purchased two. FabFitFun released its 2019 Spring Editor’s Box in the Edit Sale (which starts tomorrow). This usually pops up in the shop after the Edit Sale wraps, so I appreciated the opportunity to buy it with the options I wanted without waiting for the Edit Sale to wrap first. I ordered mine today. The Spring 2019 FabFitFun Box is still available for purchase, so new members will likely start with that box. Existing members can purchase the Spring 2019 FabFitFun Editor’s Box, as I did, for $49.99 (each). These boxes arrived on the 11th, which was only 10 days after I ordered them.

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tarte Icy Betch eye & cheek palette Review – The Blue Colors I Crave

My tarte Icy Betch eye & cheek palette review is ready. My feeling was tarte would release its Icy Betch palette on April Fool’s Day this year after the blunder last year when it made an April Fool’s joke teasing the stunning blue hues. Consumers, like myself, were extremely interested in the fake palette, so the joke was on tarte. Releasing it a year later than consumers wanted it may not pan out as well as tarte could have hoped. It will face competition from Jeffree Star’s Blue Blood that it could have avoided with a sooner release. Part of me feels the decision to launch the palette before April Fool’s Day (which would have been the perfect release date given last year’s debacle) was to grab some people on the fence with Mr. Star’s $52 palette. At $24, this is a lot more affordable making it an easier purchase decision for someone craving a blue palette.

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FabuFinds: The Best Finished Products Winter 2019

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.

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Empties: Finished Product Reviews Winter 2019

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.

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Ulta Beauty Stars Event Favorite Moisturizers and Serums 5x Points UltaMate Members and 7x Points for Platinum and Diamond Members March 29th Through April 1st, 2019

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.

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Core Collection: My Winter 2019 Favorites

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.

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Easter Subscriber Giveaway

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.

See all giveaway articles. 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.

Sephora Vs Ulta Beauty: Which One Is Better? – The Pros and Cons – How They Compare and Differ

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.

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Ulta Beauty Spring Haul Sales Event April 2019

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.

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The 2019 Sephora Spring Bonus Sale – Beauty Insider Members Get 10% Off, VIB Members Get 15% Off, and VIB Rouge Members Get 20% Off – Runs From April Through May 2019

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.

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Cancel Culture and Why I Am Onboard to Try Almost Anything

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.

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Birchbox Introduced A New Tier Pricing Structure – Members Will Now Pay $10, $12, $12.50, $13, $14, or $15 Based on Their Status and Plan – How Does This Increase Affect You?

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.

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Birchbox March 2019 Curated Box Review and Subscription Box Offers

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.

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Sephora Play! March 2019 Review – Beauty in Bloom Subscription Box

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.

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beautyblender the original beauty blender vs the L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender vs the Flower Beauty Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge: A Comparison Review to Find Dupes

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.

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Free 12-Piece Ulta Beauty Collection GWP Bag Review February 17th through March 16th, 2019

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.

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Sephora 2019 Birthday Gift Review, Milk Makeup – A VIB and Rouge Exclusive Offer

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 ElephantKat Von D, and Jo Malone

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Rose Petal Blush Review: Les Merveilleuses Laduree Paris Face Color Rose Laduree 02 with Pot Versus My DIY Dollar Tree Creation

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.

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Target 14 Days of Deals: Incredible Beauty Deals Spring 2019

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.

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Ulta Beauty 2019 Offers 2x Points for UltaMate, 3x Points for Platinum, and 4x Points for Diamond on Anything

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.

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Birchbox March 2019 Review and Subscription Box Offers

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.

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FabFitFun Spring 2019 Subscription Box Review With a Lot of Add-ons

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 FAB10Members 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.

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Sephora 2019 Birthday Gift Review, Kat Von D – The Lowest Value and Most Controversial Option

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 ElephantMilk Makeup, and Jo Malone

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