Haul/Rave: How I Got Tons of Free Stuff at Sephora!

Hey guys!

So the day before the big VIB Sale at Sephora, I placed an order for other items so that I could maximize my deal codes/points/GWP’s. Here’s what I grabbed!

Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer

For starters, I bought Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer. I got the lightest color available, but it is still a bit dark on my skin. I tried it out in store though and it covered the black in my tattoos and was resistant to fading. I will just put some lighter powder over it and blend it out to get it to match my skintone. This was $25 but qualified me for the bag and samples below.

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This was a bag that I found a code for when looking on the Sephora website. You can choose from 4 different bags which all contain different items (As of the date of this post, the 3 other options are still available with $25 purchase. Just enter code BLITZ at checkout!)

The samples are listed below and came in a cute black makeup bag:

  • Living proof. frizz nourishing styling cream 1 fl. oz.
  • CLEAN Original Eau de Parfum 0.03 fl. oz.
  • Too Faced Beauty Balm in Nude Glow 0.17 oz.
  • Living proof. prime style extender 0.33 fl. oz.
  • BUXOM Lash Mascara in Blackest Black 0.2 fl. oz.
  • Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Cream SPF 25 0.5 oz.
  • fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Petal 0.07 oz
  • Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray 0.5 fl. oz.

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With every purchase on Sephora.com, you get to choose 3 free samples. For these I got Marc Jacobs Daisy, Burberry Brit Rhythm for him, and YSL L’Homme Libre.

Then I also used some of my Beauty Insider points that I have been saving (for nothing in particular, I just kept them because I hadn’t found anything worth using them on). It seemed like a lot of the good stuff all came around at once, so I cashed in!

I snatched up a Lancome Energie De Vie Dullness Relief & Energy Recharge Daily Cream for 100 points. This is a really big sample compared to the size I thought it was going to be!

My other 100 point reward was a Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Mightiest Maraschino. This is a vibrant classic red that I can’t wait to find an excuse to wear!
Then came the 500 point freebie from Urban Decay!

wedding 120

This came with deluxe samples of the B6 Vitamin Infused Complexion Prep Spray, All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Anti Aging, and Eyeshadow in Mushroom which is a gorgeous grey shimmer.

Finally, because it was my birthday month, I got the free birthday samples with this order from benefit.

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Benefit Samples shown with Deluxe Lancome 100 Point Sample

The birthday items are They’re Real! mascara which I am absolutely in love with, and Watt’s Up! highlighter. This little guy is a cream to powder with the exact right balance of brightening and shimmer.

So if you add up each free item that I got, it totals 20! Amazing for only buying one thing, right? I will say that the way that i was able to do this was by saving up points and waiting to get the concealer for over a month before I found the right time. I found an amazing online code to put on top of my points, as well as my free birthday items and the samples that come with every order. I love when I can place an order online and feel like I robbed the place!!

Anyone else have as good of luck (or even better)?

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Haulin’: E.L.F.

Hey guys!

Awhile back,  ELF had an online sale where everything on their website was half off! Pretty amazing when everything’s already so cheap, right? I’m doing this haul now because online they have 50% off holiday gifts!

Most of my ELF online haul!

Okay so the picture above is most of what I got, but not all of it. By now I have some of the items scattered around my apartment, but I’ll make sure I mention and do a quick review on them all! Prices mentioned below are what I actually paid, so retail is double that for each!

Glitter Mascaras in Silver and Plum- $1 each – I was expecting a brush for an applicator on this but to my surprise it is a ridged hard plastic applicator with no bristles. It works just fine for application though and the glitter is something fun I grabbed for occasional use (I used one when I went back to my alma mater’s homecoming).

Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Plum- $1 each- This didn’t have the color payout that I was hoping for at all. I would recommend skipping this one. The felt tip is nice for application, this just isn’t dark enough.

Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Twinkle Teal, Plum Passion, and Black Bandit- $.50 each!!- Again I was hoping for a little more pigment than I actually ended up with, but for 50 cents I can’t complain. These will work just fine in a pinch or when I’m going for a softer look, but don’t grab these if you are going for a dramatic look.

Mascara Primer-$1.50- I actually REALLY love this! I grabbed it on a whim, but I layer it under my Benefit They’re Real! mascara on an almost daily basis. It doesn’t clump my lashes but helps to condition them and makes them look long and luscious.

Eye Refresh-$1.50- This is another product that is just ok. The main thing that I am not a fan of is the added glitter in it. It looked like any other caffeine or antioxidant roller, but this has some fine glitter in it (I’m assuming to “brighten”). Pass.

Lip Exfoliator-$1.50- I LOVE this one! See the full review HERE.

Stipple Brush- $1.50- I haven’t used this one much but it’s very soft and I think the whole line of these brushes would be great for someone who is just starting to use makeup. Not too expensive either!

Mascara and Shadow Shield-$1.50- This is great in theory but I don’t use it much just because it’s more difficult than I thought to use both of my hands and the shield and mascara etc. This would be great for someone who is slightly more coordinated though!

Makeup Mist and Set-$1.50- Ok. The packaging is kind of bulky but other than that I don’t have much to say on this one. I am pretty partial to my MAC facial sprays.

Makeup Remover Pen-$1.50- This is another great item to grab. I use it under my eyes to clean up any smudged out of place liner.

 

Overall ELF products are a great deal anyway, and for half off I couldn’t resist! It’s the perfect brand to try out for beginners because of how small of an investment it is as well!

How To: Remove Gel Polish

Hello loves!

I’ve been MIA for a few days because I am packing up my house! My husband and I are moving so you’ll have to bear with me and some sporadic posting for a bit! The goal after we move though is to get a room set up where I can do my blogging and hopefully branch out into some vlogging as well!

 

Anyway, on with the show.

I LOVED my first trek into gel polish! Regular polish always seems to chip so quickly on me so I get acrylic nails. With those I was going to the nail salon at least once a week because I would break one. Not the easiest thing to do when my salon is half an hour away!

Gel has staying power which is great until you want to take the damn things off! Here is what I learned along the way.

Grab cotton balls and cut them in half. This will make the rest of the process much easier.

Cut a bunch of foil into strips before you start the rest of this. It’ll make things much easier as well. I ran out part way through and it wasn’t pretty.

Take your half cotton ball and soak it in polish remover. Put it on top of your nail and then wrap the foil over it to hold it in place against your nail. Repeat with the rest of your nails.

Try to do this when you won’t be doing anything and can just sit and relax for about 15 minutes. I just put on a timer and then watched tv for 15 minutes. 

Now take them off one by one and use a cuticle pusher or something similar to push the weakened gel off of your nail. Mine would not come easily, so I took off what i could, then re-wrapped the nail I had been working on and moved on to the next. That way they can keep soaking while I keep working!

I also recommend roughing up the surface of the gel with a coarse file before you start and before each time that you have to rewrap you nails. This will help the remover to penetrate the gel better, especially if you have a pretty in tact top coat on still. 

Please remember that you NEVER want to just chip your gel polish away! This can rip off the top layer of your nail as well and damage your nail beds!

Any other tips for removnig gel polish? Leave them in the comments below!

Raves: Lancome GWPs

Who doesn’t love a great Gift With Purchase? Now I’ll admit, occasionally I get suckered into buying things I wasn’t planning on getting at all just because they come with some great GWP’s.

Sometimes though, I hit the mother load, by finding a GWP on something I was already planning to buy. To REALLY hit the big time though is to buy something you’re out of, that you routinely use, get a GWP with it, AND have a  coupon for! SCORE!

I hit the jackpot on this one guys!

Lancome GWPs

Lancome GWPs

I stopped by the Lancome counter in my local Boston Store and went to grab the foundation that I was out of. I switch between a few, but I really like their Teint Idole Ultra 24H Makeup in 110 Ivoire (C). I had a 20% off which brought this from $45 to $34. Awesome already right? about $10 off one of my go to products.

When I walked in there were the usual over the top displays and marketing showing that I had picked a great time to stop in: they were doing GWPs! I walked over and grabbed the shade I needed with some help of the girl at the counter. Then the saleswoman walked me through all of the free things I would get with my foundation! There were a few options for colors or different issues you want to focus on, so these weren’t the only options available.

Here’s what they threw in for free:

-Bienfait Multi-Vital Night Cream- This moisturizer is more acidy smelling than some of the other Lancome moisturizers that I have used in the past, but I don’t mind it. I think it smells more of the ingredients, whereas the others have always had an added floral fragrance that honestly was neither here nor there for me, but I know may irritate other people’s skin. It is also a little lighter than some of the other night creams I’ve used, but I feel like it helps my skin to breathe a bit better.

-Genifique Eye- I have some of this from awhile back as another GWP, but i love it! I was running out so I’m glad they included this in the bag. Other brands seem to not only be less effective, but they make the skin around my eyes feel weighed down or leave the corners kind of goopy (I know I’m sorry!), but this one is sheer and seems to soak in better than most.

-Genifique Advanced Youth Activating Concentrate- I have been wanting to try this as well for awhile now, but it’s fairly expensive. An ounce will set you back $82 and I didn’t have that lying around at the moment. I did the math and the small .27 oz sample I got alone is worth $22! I figured it’s a great way to see if it’ll be worth buying the larger size after actually trying it, So far I love how quickly the serum absorbs into my skin. A little bit goes a LOOOONG way so if I do get a large bottle, I’m sure that I will have it forever.

I’ll do a followup post on how it does over time on the promises it makes. Lancome says that it helps with these 10 skin issues to improve them for an overall better complexion: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, clarity, and skintone

-Color Design Lipstick in Vintage Rose- This lipstick is creamy, longlasting, and a perfect shade to wear during the day from the office to a coffee date. It has a little bit of shimmer to it as well which I really like.

-CILS Booster XL Mascara Base-I love this for adding length to my lashes, you jst have to be careful about any extra fibers as they can add bulk to your lashes and make them look a bit clumpy if you aren’t careful.

-Hypnose Drama Volume Mascara in Excessive Black- To be honest, I’m saving this little baby for a rainy day. As most of you know, full size mascaras last less than 6 months after you open them. Samples will dry out even faster, so i try to demo only one or two at a time until I am done with them and then move on to my next ones. If it works miracles, I’ll let you know, but I usually look for lengthening formulas over volume.

All of the items also came in your choice of a pink or black makeup bag with the Lancome flower logo in velvet on one side. I actually really like the bag and chose the black one since i have so many pink or bright bags already.

Review: Adam Levine for Women Perfume

Anyone who knows me know I LOVE Adam Levine. The man can do no wrong. He could sell tampons and I would be lining up to buy them. Too far? Maybe. Accurate portrayal of my love for him? Close enough,

 

Adam Levine for Women

Adam Levine for Women

 

So you know that since he came out with a perfume I HAD to try it. I was walking through a Kohl’s a few weeks ago and saw the sample bottle in the middle of an aisle. I grabbed it and sprayed a bit on my wrist so that I could see how the fragrance interacted with my skin.

*Note: DON’T rub your wrists together after you put perfume on! It breaks up the fragrance molecules! Let it air dry to get rid of that alcohol smell instead of rubbing.

I’ll be honest, at first I was NOT a fan of this at all! It shattered my entire universe. It has this strange muskiness that is supposed to be sexy but came off old woman smelling. Not exactly what i am going for. It has vanilla, jasmine, sandalwood, and rose (which for me are all ingredients that can easily tip one way or the other on the old-or-sexy spectrum).

The top notes have some saffron, citrus, marigold, and spice. These are usually your first impression of a fragrance, and tend to fade a little bit to reveal the mid and dry notes (the bulk of the fragrance). I think that some of these floral notes may be what turned me off at first.

I don’t know what it is, but I smelled the fragrance a bit later and fell in love. I was honestly shocked that it was the same thing I had put on when i first walked in the store. I went home without purchasing it and asked my husband what he thought. He agreed that he liked it (I told him who it was made by after haha), so the next time I was at Kohl’s I grabbed the biggest bottle they sold.

Why the biggest? I went with a friend who let me use her 30% off coupon. The 30% was taken off of my total, including the perfume! That’s the best deal I’ve seen on it while still being 100% sure it’s authentic. I have seen some discount sites with low prices, but these are all sketchy looking and I wouldn’t buy from them.

Overall I fell in love with this!! It’s a bit heavier than most of my perfumes, so I think I’ll be making it my go – to fall or night fragrance. It’s a bit strong for summer or during the day say at work, at least on my skin!

 

Have you ever had the same experience of having a perfume do a 180 when you put it on (for better or worse)?

Review: October Birchbox

Hello Guys!

So I am WAY behind on my Birchboxes! Please forgive me! I was hoping to be in the new apartment by now so I was holding off, but I’ve decided to just let my October box loose!

Birchbox: October 2013

Photo credit to Birchbox.com

For my October box I got:

Evologie Stay Clear Cream- This promises to keep your skin moisturized and pump it up with antioxidants. Honestly, I didn’t notice too much of a difference between this and a regular moisturizer, other than

Beauty Protector Protect and Shampoo and Conditioners – This stuff smells amazinggggg. It’s free of sulfates which I always look for in my hair care products. This one is also vegan and has UV-Protectors.  The sample sizes were decent compared to some others I have gotten in my boxes. It cleans ok, nothing amazing and I think I will be sticking with my Bumble and Bumble products for my hair.

Chapstick Hydration Lock- This says it was added as an additional product and did not replace one of the more prestige products from the box which I’m not 100% sure I believe). Every other box has had 5 different products in it. This has 5 including the Chapstick.

To be blunt, I tossed this after a few days. They put it in the box and act like it’ll be your new HG lip balm, but this stuff is AWFUL! I’ve been using other products since just to try to renew the moisture balance that my lips had BEFORE I used it. This is the worse thing I have gotten in any of my boxes. Boo Birchbox, Boo!

theBalm Staniac in Beauty Queen- I do like how this takes a minute to set so it is changeable. I am usually not a huge fan of stains, just because they tend to set quicker than I can get it applied just right. This is probably my favorite thing in this month’s box. I didn’t have one in my possession that I was already in love with and this filled a gap in my on-the-go needs. This redeemed everything a bit for me, although I will say that it looks a little more bubblegum pink on other people online, whereas for me it’s a more almost fuchsia color that I love, so it may look a bit different on different skin tones.

Do you use another subscription box service that you LOVE? Or do you love Birchbox? Let me know below!!