Beauty Haul: Ulta (January 2014 – #2)

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I went pretty crazy at Ulta in early to mid-January.  It was a triple rewards points period and even when I don’t need or want anything in particular, you can bet that I’m going to still buy a bunch of stuff to take advantage of the opportunity to earn points.  Here’s what I got in this trip (I didn’t lay this out very well for the picture to translate to words, but I’m going to start from left and go around in a way that makes sense to me – you should be able to follow by brand for the most part):

– Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – Carbon Black

– NYX Radiant Finishing Powder (new item)

– NYX Butter Gloss – BLG02 – Eclair

– NYX Butter Lip Balm – BLB07 – Panna Cotta

– Essence Get Big Lashes Triple Black Mascara (new item)

– Essence Lipstick – 52 – In the Nude (clearance)

– Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer – 101 – Celestial

– Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer – 201 – Solstice

– Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color – 730 – Coral Gleam (clearance)

– Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara – 01 – Black

– NYX Wonder Pencil – Light

– Essence Lip Liner – 04 – Honey Bun (clearance)

– Mon Image Eye Shadow Applicators (12ct)

I only got the last item to push me over the edge to use a coupon that I had – it was the closest cheap item to the register and it’s funny because I don’t particularly care for sponge shadow applicators actually (I’m a brush girl).  I don’t know if the Ulta coupons always specified that they couldn’t be used on clearance items, but they certainly do now.  I also know that I used the coupons on clearance items for a very long time and whether it’s a newer rule or if they just recently started enforcing it, I’m a bit bummed.

The Stila liner and the Clinique mascara were on my most wanted list and I had also been wanting to expand my lip product collection, so that was my main focus with this trip.  Again, I plan to review at least some of these products individually in the future, but for now, I’m still just posting about my recent acquisitions without much detail.

Beauty Haul: Ulta (January 2014 – #1)

Ulta Beauty Haul - January 2014 - #1

Ulta Beauty Haul – January 2014 – #1

I’ve already raved about Ulta in a previous post, but I could honestly rave about that store all day long, so that sentiment continues here.  The focus this time is a recent haul (from last month, yes – I have such a huge backlog of things that I want to post about, so it’s going to take me a while to get up to date… please bear with me).  The best part of this particular haul is that I only paid about $15.00 for all of the items shown here.  No, Ulta doesn’t love me enough to just give me this loot – at least, not yet (Ulta, if you’re listening, I’m open to that).  What happened here was pretty much the reverse – I clearly loved Ulta too much.  This stash for a steal was made possible by the rewards points I accumulated over the last several months, totaling 3,000, which was worth $175 in free merchandise.  Here’s what I got:

– Urban Decay – Naked Basics Palette ($27.00)

– Pur Minerals – 3-in-1 Universal Pencil in Cocoa Topaz ($17.00)

– Mally Beauty – Shadow Base ($18.00)

– Mally Beauty – Cancellation Concealer w/ Brush in Fair ($35.00)

– Too Faced – The Secret to No Makeup Makeup ($39.00)

– Smashbox – Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation in 2.1 Light Beige ($42.00) ***Note, this shade was later exchanged for 1.1 Fair.***

– Laura Geller – Matte Maker ($24.00)

– Stila – Portrait of a Perfect Lip ($16.00)

– Eco Tools – Buffing Brush ($6.99)

The subtotal of these items was $224.99.  I utilized a 20% discount that was going on at the time, which was applicable to most of the prestige brand products and resulted in a $45.00 discount prior to the utilization of my $175 rewards credit.  At the end of this transaction, I only had to pay about $5.00 for the merchandise and about $10.00 in tax.  It’s only been more recently that I’ve wised up about the best way to utilize my points and I decided that I would no longer redeem my points until my balance was at least 2,000 (which is worth $125.00) – by contrast, 1,000 points is worth $50.00 and as I mentioned, 3,000 is worth $175.00.  I also decided that I was not going to redeem my points until I had that 20% off coupon for prestige brands.  It pains me to think of all the time (and money) I spent not paying attention to these things, but at least moving forward I know that I am working the system to my best advantage.

I plan to review most or all of these products in individual posts at some point in the future, so be on the lookout for those.

Tried & True: Tresemme 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray

Tresemme 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray

Tresemme 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray

I have been using the Tresemme 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray for several years now.  The moment I discovered it, I was in love.  It smells good, it’s inexpensive, and it’s easy to find.  I do have one quibble and that’s the “24 Hour Body” labeling.  I would not consider this to be either a supreme volumizing product, nor would I expect its effects to last all day.  That being said, the title “Finishing Spray” is perfection.  The product is a dream when used for that specific purpose.  If you need long-term hold or if you want a serious root boost, this is not the one for you.  But if you are looking for a spray that lightly sets your style with flexible hold and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve got a shit-ton of product in your hair (even with reapplication), then she’s a real winner (I’ve named her Tanya).  I’ve recommended this hair spray to numerous people and I’ve gotten mixed feedback, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who were at all displeased were really looking for a spray with significantly more holding power.

You do want to be careful when using a larger amount of this spray as you don’t want to spray it too close to your head or you’ll end up with a bit of a helmet (though that’s really true with any hair spray product).  But the reason I mention it is that if that should happen, I’ve found it’s typically easy to brush out and doesn’t leave too much residue behind, but be particularly careful when using this with any kind of updo as obviously those are not so easy to brush out.  It’s hair spray 101, people – as with any other variety, make sure you spray this from at least 8-10 inches away from your head.  And to follow up on that thought, I wouldn’t actually recommend this for use with any formal updos as it just doesn’t have the staying power you’ll need for one of those.

(Side note: contrary to how I feel about the word “makeup,” I have no definitive stance on “hair spray” vs. “hairspray” – I’ve been known to use both and will most likely continue to use both, though I will try to maintain continuity within any given post.)