A new 2019 Ulta Beauty Stars Event for Women Founded Brands We Love starts today, Friday, May 17th and runs through Monday, May 20th. This overlaps the Spring Gorgeous Hair Event, which runs through June 1st. The event is only available to select rewards members. I received the offer on my Diamond account, but my sons did not receive the offer on their UltaMate accounts. Anyone who received the offer will receive 5x points on any of the 775 beauty products included in the Ulta Beauty Stars Women Founded Brands We Love Event. It is the fourth Beauty Star event of 2019, which is one more than we received in 2018. That means we get more of these mini Beauty Stars events between major events.
I am here to bring you my Allure Beauty Box May 2019 review. Allure Beauty box sends 5-6 beauty samples for $15 plus tax a month. Shipping is free. Most items are deluxe, but there are times when 1-3 products are full-sized. Items are chosen by Allure editors so products can range from drugstore to high-end. There is no rewards program with this subscription, but you can refer people if your referral link works. Here’s hoping mine does, because you get a rotating gift if someone signs up using your link. Boxes usually ship in the third week of the month, and the charge for the box gets processed the day the box ships. New subscribers get charged the day they subscribe.
New Allure Beauty Box Subscriber Offers
If you are a new subscriber and there are boxes left in the month you subscribe, you will get a box from that month. When the month is sold-out, you will still be charged upon subscribing, but you will not get charged a second time when your first box ships the following month. New subscribers get $5 off their first box. They also get a welcome gift, which is a full-size Badgley Mischka Perfume ($115) for anyone who signs up in May. It was a full-size Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer for the first part of May.
I wanted to host a new giveaway, but I also wanted to branch out and offer this one to more than just blog followers. There are many ways to enter, and following the blog is still one of them. To do this, I am trying Gleam for the first time. If it goes well, I will keep using it. Please bear with me and make sure you check back after May 27th. Hopefully, Gleam will give me contact info for the winner, but I will post the winner’s name here if I do not receive it. This is a learning experience, so I can only hope it runs smoothly.
I want to offer my 2019 Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Shine Lip Set review, because the Sephora 2019 Spring Bonus Sale opens to VIB Rouge members today. This is something worthy of adding to your shopping list. It took me a while after its release to purchase it. Then, it took me a while to start testing the products. Now that I have tested all of them, I will have more entries for my lip balm article (which keeps getting pushed back as I acquire new products). Many of the Sephora Favorites sets have been misses lately, but this is a definite hit. If you are lucky enough to get one during the sale, grab it. Even if this somehow lasts through the sale and you are reading this, grab it.
The Ulta Beauty Spring 2019 Gorgeous Hair Event will run from Sunday, May 12th through Saturday, June 1st. We see a Mother’s Day start each year, so this year is right on schedule. This semi-annual event takes place every spring starting in May and every fall usually starting in October. 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.
My Sephora Jo Malone birthday gift review is ready. This is one of the two VIB and Rouge exclusives for the 2019 Sephora Birthday gifts, and the gift was not introduced until Quarter Two. It is online only, so you will need to place an order to redeem this. The Jo Malone gift replaced the Milk Makeup Gift from Quarter One. Since this gift was not even available during my birth month, I was unable to redeem it. I’m bringing you a review on the product today, because I already own it and want to go over my thoughts for those considering it. 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 Milk Makeup.
My Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2019 review is ready. I waited until the first day of the Sephora Spring Sale to purchase it. Sephora usually tempts me when it puts out a new Favorites Set. These sets retail for a lot less than the value of the items inside. As long as the items you plan on keeping exceed the value of the price you pay for the set, it is a good deal. This is one of my favorite ways to sample new items, and I like the sets even more when they have some full-sized items inside. While paying for samples is something I do often with subscription boxes, I limit how often I pay for samples in sets.
The mystery of subscription boxes and desire to get things I would never purchase prevails in that case. When a set only has samples and costs over $20, I am less likely to purchase it. Paying for samples is not always a bad thing, especially when sets have items you really want to try, and you have not been able to get them for free or as a GWP.
I am here to bring you my Allure Beauty Box April 2019 review. Allure Beauty box sends 5-6 beauty samples for $15 plus tax a month. Shipping is free. Most items are deluxe, but there are times when 1-3 products are full-sized. Items are chosen by Allure editors so products can range from drugstore to high-end. There is no rewards program with this subscription, but you can refer people if your referral link works. Here’s hoping mine does, because you get a rotating gift if someone signs up using your link. Boxes usually ship in the third week of the month, and the charge for the box gets processed the day the box ships. New subscribers get charged the day they subscribe.
New Allure Beauty Box Subscriber Offers
If you are a new subscriber and there are boxes left in the month you subscribe, you will get a box from that month. When the month is sold-out, you will still be charged upon subscribing, but you will not get charged a second time when your first box ships the following month. New subscribers get $5 off their first box. They also get a welcome gift, which is a Mally Shadow Stick for anyone who signs up in April. The welcome gift for anyone who signs in May is a full-size Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer.
I am here to bring you my Allure Beauty Box March 2019 review, because I subscribed again. That’s right, March. Keep reading and I will show you the incredible journey this box went on before it finally reached me. My last Allure Beauty Box was from March 2018. Let’s quickly go over why I decided to re-subscribe. It was not that I saw the March box and thought I need to have that, although the La Mer gift for re-joining did not hurt. Well, it actually did hurt, because I assumed it would be the normal size. Turns out it was tiny. You will not find pictures below, because I gave it away before I even bothered photographing it. Yes, I gave it away, because it is not much for me. It is still big enough for someone who has not tried it yet to use it 2-3 times!
A new 2019 Ulta Beauty Stars Event for Favorite Cruelty Free Brands Picked Just For You starts today, Friday, April 19th and runs through Monday, April 22nd. This overlaps the Spring Haul Sale, which runs through the 20th. The event is only available to select rewards members. I received the offer on my Diamond account, but my sons did not receive the offer on their UltaMate accounts. Anyone who received the offer will receive 5x points on any of the 1740 beauty products included in the Beauty Stars Favorite Cruelty Free Brands Event. It is the third Beauty Star event of 2019, which was the number we received in total for 2018. That means we are on track to get more of these mini Beauty Stars events between major events.
It’s time for my Sephora Play April 2019 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 Lancome Makeup Brush reviews are long overdue, but I am finally here to bring you my thoughts on which Lancome makeup brushes are the best, the worst, and just average. Of the 22 makeup brushes on the Lancome site, I own 15. Well, one of them got misplaced, but I am reviewing it anyway. When I got back into makeup in April 2013, I purchased many of these Lancome makeup brushes. That makes many of these six years old, and I am happy to report I’ve had no casualties (from my Lancome makeup brushes anyway). This proves that investing in well-made brushes will result in a long shelf-life. There are cheaper brushes that have also held up nicely, but I will cover those in another article down the road. Of course I picked up a few more of these over the years, so some of them are newer.
Are expensive sheet masks really worth it? How do we know when to splurge and when to save? When it comes to sheet masks, you will not usually notice any long-term benefits from a single application. I’m not referring to the people who can afford to purchase them all the time. This is for those like me who see expensive ones as a luxury that we rarely or never splurge on. I get that the ingredients in the expensive masks typically cost more, so the brands have to charge more to make a profit. Is the benefit from a single expensive mask worth the opportunity cost of investing those beauty dollars elsewhere? Serums can produce long-term effects, so I would typically recommend investing in them and sticking to cheaper masks (unless you can comfortably afford both). Though I only purchase expensive sheet masks when I can get a deal, I wonder if I should stop. In this sheet mask review, I want to go over some of the things I noticed.
Ulta Beauty sometimes offers 15% off prestige coupons or even 10% off prestige coupons to UltaMate members in place of the 20% off prestige coupons sent to Platinum and Diamond members. Every time Ulta sends a 15% off prestige coupon, I will update this article. This had not happened since July of 2016, so it surprised me when I saw the 15% off prestige coupon for UltaMate members today. While the loss of the benefit is disappointing, it looks like Ulta is pushing to differentiate more between the tiers for these coupons as it once had. The good news (if it follows the pattern of past years) is there was only one or two rounds of the five 20% off prestige coupons Ulta sent in the past where the lower tier got a smaller percentage off. That means the 20% off coupons should return on a future round.
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!
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!
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. Someone offered to send her starter boxes to people who happen upon this post. Please comment your full name below, and I will email her your request. She only has a limited number, so she may run out before I can get all the requests to her. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.