Rant: Why I Left Sephora During My Time MIA

Hello loves,

It has been awhile, but I’m back! A lot happened during this last year that kept me VERY busy. I got promoted twice, moved, and am in progress f getting my anxiety and depression back on track. That was honestly a major reason for my hiatus. I enjoy reviewing for you all and I love makeup… but my anxiety about feeling like I HAD to post or I was failing took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me to be blunt.

Now I’m back on track and LOVING it again, and I hope that my renewed love will show through my reviews even though tone is hard to convey through writing!

NOW THAT THAT IS OUT OF THE WAY, let’s get to what you all are here for: Why Ulta is awesome and why I’m over Sephora.

There was no single incident that made me go,’Hmm I think I’m going to switch over’. It seemed to be a more gradual shift in my shopping habits. I used to be a die hard Sephora customer. I posted raves like this.

Part of the issue is the attitudes of the sales associates at each given store. While Sephora is nice enough, they always seem to have this elitist attitude and look at me like I don’t belong there. Ulta associates aren’t as knowledgeable in general about the product features and benefits, but I usually know what I want and they are more than willing to help me locate it.

I started to realize that if I could buy items at either store (my favorite brand is Urban Decay which is available at both stores), that I switched to Ulta for their rewards program. At Sephora, you save up points to get deluxe samples… I finally figured out that I either A) was never excited by the samples that were available B) Could have gotten those samples for free from stopping in the store in person and asking or C) had to spend $150 to get a tiny mini thing that usually gets me two uses.

At Ulta, they reward my obsession with money off… meaning more FULL SIZE, ACTUAL product to obsess over. They drive my addiction, but they also reward me for loyalty to them when I am planning on buying everything anyway. As a Platinum member, they are constantly sending me emails for 5x or 3x points, and at a minimum its 1.25 points per dollar that I spend. I also visit the Salon at Ult, and get points for this as well.

They also reward me for being a hoarder. I currently have hoarded enough points for $70 off… A few more points and I get $125 off a purchase! The more you save your points, the more cah value they end up having!

The other main thing that I realized is that it seems like Ulta has worked out partnerships with brands that benefit the consumer more. For instance, I almost ALWAYS get additional free samples when I order UD from Ulta, unlike Sephora where I just get what I paid for.

I will post an example in the next few days of one instance where I got a HUGE bag of free stuff from Ulta, and money off and how it kicked my Sephora free stuff haul in the ass.

Til next time,

A

Review: Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette

Hey guys!

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The Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette just dropped in price, so I thought I’d review it for any of you who may be debating purchasing it.

The packaging on the palette is very in theme with the movie. The inside of the box is red with white blood-like spatter. It is a sturdy cardboard with a decent sized mirror inside.  The palette design is well presented, although I feel it is VERY bulky for the size of the small shadows inside.

 

 

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It also comes with a look card and a small brush as seen above. I love to color of the brush as it again keeps with the Pulp Fiction theme.

 

I swatched this and was not thoroughly impressed. Some shades lack any kind of pigmentation, while the others just looked so… plain on my skin. Don’t get me wrong, they might be nice, matte browns but for the $32 I spent at the time, I was looking for something with a little more to it.

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I do have all 5 shades swatched on my hand above… but can you even see them? I know I’m pale but come on now!

 

Overall, I like the movie and the theme of the packaging. I would use this as some daily neutrals to pair with some of my other UD shadows, but I wouldn’t pay $32 for this again. I think the $16 price tag that it is on sale for now is much more reasonable. I would pick one up still at that price!

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Spring Cleaning: Blog Sale!!

Hello lovelies!

I’ve been going through my makeup because it is getting a bit out of control with some hauls I’ve had lately, so I thought that it would be a great time for a blog sale! That way I can help my makeup find a new home and you guys can get a good deal!

Here are the rules:

1. All items are first come, first served.

2. US only. Sorry!

3. Paypal only.

4. I will hold items for up to 48 hours for payment and then will go down the line for that item to the next person that wanted it.

5. No Returns or exchanges.

6. All items are authentic and I will send additional photos upon request.

7. I will send items within 3 days of cleared payment (usually much sooner) and will provide tracking info. I will also sterilize all items before shipping.

8. For shipping, I will add $3 to each order, no matter how many items. This will help me cover the Paypal charge as well as shipping costs.

 

How:

If you see something you like, email me at ClosetBeautyJunkie@gmail.com.

I will use the email time stamp to keep track of who wanted what items first. I will then send you a paypal invoice and you will have 48 hours to fulfill the payment, otherwise I will move to the next person on the list.

Happy shopping!

 

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ULTA Lip Butter in Vienna – new in packaging -$4

Bath and Body Works Liplicious in Marshmallow Cream – new in packaging  $4

Lancome Juicy Tubes in Coral Rush – trial size never used -$3

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Stila Lip Glazes – all .05 fl oz (so slightly smaller than the full size) From a set, never used. No packaging. -$8 each

From Left to right and top to bottom- Cranberry, Amaretto, Strawberry Cream, Persimmon, Passion Fruit

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Sephora Flashy Liner Waterproof in flashy violet – new in package, never used-$3 (top)

ULTA Automatic Waterproof Liner in Raisin – new in package, never used – $3 (bottom)

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Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils (these vary in price and condition)-From Left to Right:

  • Perversion-Never Used
  • Oil Slick – Swatched Once
  • Smoke – Swatched Once
  • Whiskey – Swatched Once
  • Roach – Never Used
  • Smog – Swatched Once
  • Scorch – Swatched Once
  • Goldmine – Swatched Once
  • Stash – Swatched Once
  • Freak – Swatched Once
  • Deep End – Never Used
  • Electric – Swatched Once
  • Chaos – Swatched Once  SOLD
  • Invasion -Swatched Once
  • Abyss – Swatched Once
  • Ultraviolet – Swatched Once
  • Lust – Swatched Once SOLD
  • Tornado – Swatched Once
  • Asphyxia – Swatched Once
  • 1999 – Used 2x, sharpened once
  • Woodstock – Swatched Once

$12.50 each for any New Unused

$11 for any Swatched or Used

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NYX Smokey Eyes Palette -Never Used, Still Sealed-$4  SOLD

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Clinique Shadow Duo and Blush Trial- Blush never used, Shadows swatched – $3

Victoria’s Secret Luminous Eye Shadow in Smolder – swatched – $5

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Bath and Body Works Forever Red Vanilla Rum 2.5 oz Eau de Parfum – Used once (sprayed 3x) -$20

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Lancome Color Design Lipstick GWP in Vintage Rose -swatched -$5

Clinique Long Last Lipstick Trial Size in Sugared Maple – swatched -$5

Model Co Party Proof Matte Lipstick in Red Velvet – Swatched, writing is smearing/rubbing off on case – $3  SOLD

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ELF Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain -Swatched – $1.50

MAC Cosmetics Select SPF 15 Foundation in NW15 -swatched -$18

Dr Jart BB 2 Trial Sizes -one swatched, other never used. Both come together. Does not say shade but it’s the generic medium shade that they send when something isn’t customized… -$2 for both

 

**Any that say swatched have only been swatched ONCE!!

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask in a comment below!!

Versus: Beauty Blender vs Dupes!

Hi guys! I wanted to make a pretty comprehensive post and try a few dupes of the Beauty Blender and compare them all in one spot for you, so here we go! I am not going to do an overview of the beauty blender since I have that in a previous post, but will compare it at the end with all the dupes!

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I used all sponges the same way: wet, bounce all over face (gently!) to give an even and more natural finish to foundation.

 

Love and Beauty sponge by Forever 21 -$3.80

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I had no plans to purchase this one but saw it while I was in line buying a shirt (oh those impulse bins!!) and grabbed it specifically for this post. I figured it was only around $4 and if it is a good dupe, then I have a cheap solution right?

Great in theory.

Not so great in practice.

I’m not sure if you can tell from the photo, but it is much more porous and quite a bit harder than the BB. I thought it would be the best dupe upon initial inspection because out of the box it was the one with the most give. Once wet though, the others softened more while this stayed the same. The major thing about this one is the SMELL. It smells terrible! It is seriously heinous. The smell stayed on my face after applying and I could smell it for hours after. The finish was ok (not as even as with the BB) and it tugged at my skin quite a bit. It’s harder to ‘bounce’ this one since it is so dense.  It also leaves your foundation in a thicker application instead of giving the slightly sheered and airbrushed appearance of the original BB.

SOHO Beauty Sponge – about $7.50

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The SOHO Beauty Sponge has been called a pretty good dupe online by a few reviewers, so I thought I would give it a try too. The older ones were all pink, so I’m not sure if they have changed the product itself at all or just the coloration. The SOHO sponge’s density is somewhere between the BB and the Forever 21 sponges. It is fairly light and doesn’t have too much of a smell to it.  I do wish it was rounded at one end to make applying to the cheeks and larger areas easier. The white part of the sponge is also left discolored even after cleaning the foundation off of it with cleanser.

 

 REVIVE Beauty Pro Makeup Applicator – $4.99

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I searched high and low for these at my local TJ Maxx stores to no avail. I went on a trip to Indiana and stopped at the SKETCHIEST looking TJ Maxx I’ve ever seen and BAM! there they were!! This place was like a holy grail! (I’m convinced people think it’s closed so they don’t go in leaving more amazing bargains for me to snatch up!) Anyway, I bought 2 – one in each shape – but used the blue egg shaped one for my comparison since it is the closest in shape to the original BB.

It felt harder than the others before it got wet, but then once I used water on it the whole thing seemed to soften a bit. The best I can explain it is that this one seems to almost have a hard core, while the outer layers soften, whereas the BB softens all the way through. This one also almost doubles in size, just as the BB does. It has no offensive scent and does a fairly good job at giving a nice finish to the skin. It does tug just a bit, but not nearly as bad as the others.

 

Here are some photos of size comparison of all before wetting:

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And after:

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Pardon the BB: It’s been used to the fullest so it is a bit stained and the bottom is ripping.

The Forever 21 and SOHO sponges don’t change much in size, if at all. They also don’t become mush softer.

The Revive and BB sponges both almost double in size.

 

VERDICT:

My number one is still the beauty blender. I bought a 2 pack after doing this comparison! While the others aren’t bad, I do like how it makes my foundation light but still buildable since I need fuller coverage. It’s the only way I’ve found to make my full coverage foundations look like skin instead of a layer of makeup. I also like how easy it is to use on my skin and how minimal the tugging is!

The best dupe would be the Revive Pro Beauty sponges. I would probably buy these again and it gives a similar finish to the BB. It is the only one that doubles in size, has minimal smell, and has a soft outer layer at least for less tugging than other dupes. For the $4.99 price tag, you can also get about 4 of these for the price of the BB! That is a huge draw for me as well, so maybe I will work this into a rotation and switch back and forth between them so I can spend less overall. It gives me a heart attack every time I look at my cart and realize I’m spending $20 on a sponge! haha I’m glad I grabbed 2 because a downside is that they are hit and miss to find.

The SOHO and Forever 21 sponges I would pass on and not repurchase.

SOHO’s sponge doesn’t grow in size and is just an awkward shape for how dense and inflexible it is. If it were squishier material (for lack of a better word), this would be a good dupe. Save your $7.50 and watch for the Revive sponges and stock up on them when you find them! Cheaper and a better dupe!

The Forever 21 sponge is a HARD PASS. The smell is terrible and lingers on the skin. It is far too dense and doesn’t change size when you run under water. PASS! Should have saved my $3.80… lol

 

 

 

Is there another dupe you love? Let me know below!!

Review: bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

Hey guys!

I am always trying new mascaras out (even thought I refuse to have more than 2 open at once!) and I tried Lash Domination out recently.

I thought this would be a great time to review this since it is part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Steals. It is a one day only deal (on Saturday March 29th) and you can get it online or in stores for only $9; it’s usually $18 for the full size! Half off is pretty good!

Photo property of bareMinerals.com

Photo property of bareMinerals.com

First off the brush is a little strange to me. It is a spiral shape and claims to help you coat every lash. It seems kind of like a cheap trick to get people to buy it and try it out since it claims to be different. If anything, I found it to be less effective. I usually apply my mascara by wiggling the wand back and forth at the base of the lash and then brushing through. This is not effective with Lash Domination. Then I tried just brushing through and some other ways, but to no avail.

I also really do not care for the formula itself. One of my favorites is Benefit’s They’re Real! and I was hoping this would be an easier to remove alternative. This is the opposite. This smears EVERYWHERE. Especially upon removal this will smudge all over to give you the ultimate raccoon look. I have had to use makeup wipes, then face wash, and then face wash AGAIN with a Clarisonic when I used more than one coat of Lash Domination! It’s like nothing can help to remove it, it just smears over a wider area of skin to become diluted in color if that all makes sense.

Now, with all of that being said, I do like this for a bit more natural look. If I am only going to use one coat of mascara for just a subtle hint of darker, fuller lashes, then I would use this so it isn’t a total loss. But I find that I like other mascaras and formulas much more and I guess I don’t see the point of using a mascara if you are going to go very subtle.

This would be good for someone who already has long, full, thick lashes who just wants that touch of a tint and a slight definition, but for me this was a dud.

If you want to give Lash Domination a shot still, it’ll be available for $9 (half price) on Saturday 3/29 ONLY at Ulta and Ulta.com!

Review: Sephora Fragrance Sampler

Hi guys!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas if you celebrate it!

My gift to myself that I got as part of my Sephora VIB Haul was the Sephora Favorites – Fragrance Sampler for Her! I was looking for another perfume to add some variety to my collection, and this was the perfect way to try a bunch out!

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The sampler is $65 and contains samples of 14 different perfumes as well as a clutch and a certificate to redeem for a full size of your favorite one, which is what makes this kit such an amazing deal.

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I’ve listed the samples in alphabetical order below, along with the size you can redeem it for if you choose that scent, retail value of the redeemable size, and some information about each one from a booklet that comes in the sampler:

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-Florabotanica by Balenciaga (Scent certificate is for 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray-$100 retail value) Rose, hemp and vetiver – CHIC
– Chloé by Chloé (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum-$95) Peony, rose, amber, and honey – CHIC
-Happy by Clinique (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum-$48) Grapefruit, bergamot, mimosa – PLAYFUL
-Love by Coach (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum-$72) Mandarin, violet, freesia, jasmine, gardenia, musk, caramel. – CASUAL

-Light Blue by Dolce&Gabbana (1.6 oz Eau de Toilette-$69) Limes, apples. jasmine, bamboo, and white rose – CHIC
-Very Irrésistible by Givenchy (1.7 oz Eau de Toilette-$69) Roses, star anise, verbena leaf- CASUAL
-Guilty by Gucci (1.6 oz Eau de Toilette-$75) Mandarin, peach,lilac, amber, and patchouli – CHIC
-Butterfly by Hanae Mori (1.7 oz Eau de Toilette-$68) Strawberries, blackberries, jasmine, peony, and sandalwood -ADDICTIVE

-Couture La La by Juicy Couture (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum-$70) Mandarin, white florals, smooth woods. -PLAYFUL
-La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum-$78) Iris, patchouli, orange blossom, and jasmine – ADDICTIVE
-Daisy by Marc Jacobs ( 1.7 oz Eau de Toilette-$70) Strawberry, violet, grapefruit -CASUAL
-For Her by Narciso Rodriguez (1.6 oz Eau de Toilette-$77) Floral, amber and woods – CHIC
-Florence by Tocca (1.7 oz Eau de Parfum) Bergamot, grapefruit, pear, gardenia, iris, woods, musk – CHIC
-Bright Crystal by Versace (1.7 oz Eau de Toilette) Lemon, pomegranate, peony, lotus, musk – PLAYFUL

 

I ended up deciding on Couture La La by Juicy Couture. The best part about this is being able to try each on for a day and walk around with it on so that you don’t have to make a rushed decision. That way, you can experience how each scent smells on you with your unique body chemistry and find the one you love most! All of the scents except Happy retail for over the price of the set itself, and even Happy isn’t a bad deal with all of the other items that you get! If you are torn between 2, I would suggest getting the more expensive one with the voucher and then buying the other option later!

 

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The set retailed for $65 (I had a 20% off) and I got a perfume that was worth $70, as well as a bunch of samples and a clutch. Not shabby at all!

They are also now carrying another option at Sephora. This sampler has less fragrances to choose from, and it also redeems for smaller sizes of the full size product of your choice, but the trade off is a lower price tag.

Have you gotten a sampler? Which was your favorite?

Haulin’: Sephora VIB Sale

Hello lovelies!

Thank you for bearing with me while I was gone for awhile there! We moved to a new place so my haul, camera, chargers, etc have been scattered everywhere the past few weeks!

I will wait a bit to do swatches and reviews, but let me show you all of the goodies that I got!

So I know this is very overdue, but I had to share the deals I got! Everything was 20% off! The prices that are after each item are the usual price though and do not include the 20% off.

Sephora Favorites Lash Stash – All kinds of amazing mascaras to try out for only $45? Sign me up! $45.00

Clarisonic Mia2 Detox kit – This is the Clarisonic Mia 2 with an added kit of small detox items from Glam Glow, Boscia, and more. I love the color of the Mia2 in this kit and the small size fits perfectly in my little baby hands. haha $150.00

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2- I was torn between this and the UD Black Market set but I’m really happy I went with this. There’s a reason why these liners have hit cult status. $59.00

YSL Touche Eclat – I got the Luminous Radiance which is the original color that they came out with. This is the one that meshes best with my skin tone. This is one of the only items I’m still a bit unsure about but I had nothing to lose so why not give it a shot? $40.00
Urban Decay Vic 2 Palette- This thing is so pretty that I didn’t even use it at first. I just sat and looked at it in all of its glory. A bit bolder than my usual taste, this palette will be great to mesh with some neutrals to create a little more exciting looks! $59.00

I also later grabbed the  Sephora Favorites Fragrance Sampler for Her which is an AMAZING deal! It’s got a bunch of fragrance samples for you to try and a voucher so that once you find your favorite you can get a full size! Amazing value since some of the voucher sprays alone are worth over $65. The clutch that comes with it is also surprisingly cute.  $65

Freebies from all of the orders:

Stila Favorites – 500 point perk

-Eye Shadow in Kitten
-Lip Glaze in Apricot
-Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
-Convertible Color in Peony
-Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Lionfish

Philosophy Miracle Worker Sample

Murad Clarifying Wipes Sample

Dolce & Gabbana The One Sample

Lacoste Eau de Lacoste Sample

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture Sample

VIB lips tote

I will write some followups for these for more detail and with swatches! In the meantime thank you for reading even when things get really crazy for me here!

*Disclaimer/Disclosure – All of the photos above are from Sephora.com . I will replace with my own photos once I am able to get some of of my camera!