Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beauty Haul August 2013

If there is one thing that I pride myself on, it's shopping on a budget. I hate paying full price for something, and when I'm going to, there better be an awesome bonus or perk that I will get for doing so.

I have been trying to keep my general spending in check over the past few months, but I was able to splurge a little in August because I received a rewards card from signing up with AT&T U-verse. I spent some of that money on practical things, like groceries, but then decided to treat myself as well.
My first stop was to Ulta, where I was able to snag some awesome freebies. Lately I've been loving Simple cleansing facial wipes, to the point where my current package of them is almost gone. They're perfect for using on-the-go or when you're feeling super lazy and need to de-grime your face with minimal effort. All simple skincare is currently 15% off, so I figured this would be the perfect time to restock my dwindling supply. To make things even better, if you spend $15 on simple or OWN skincare you get a nifty gift with purchase (valued at $40).

While I was shopping I also noticed that simple is now carrying makeup remover wipes specifically for the eye area. I was super excited about this, because I've tried to take off eye makeup with the facial wipes, but I found them to be a little irritating (especially if I have the oil-balancing formula). I decided to pick up two packs of the eye makeup remover wipes, and a package of the original cleansing wipes, to bring me to a $15 total. My gift with purchase was this adorable makeup bag filled with giant samples.

Adorable simple & Own gift with purchase available at ULTA

I honestly haven't gotten a chance to play with any of these samples yet (aside from the wipes, which I've tried previously), but I'm very excited too! I really think that simple is a great quality skincare line if you are looking for something affordable. I also have not tried any products from OWN, so I am looking forward to using the eye cream. I think it might actually be full sized, which is pretty awesome!

While I was at Ulta, I also decided to FINALLY invest in a couple of Real Techniques brushes that I've heard lots of good things about. The first was the Expert Face Brush which is supposed to blend foundation seemlessly, and the second was the Setting Brush, which is supposed to help blend smaller areas (like concealer, highlighter or bronzer for contouring) with ease. They are both very affordable ($8.99 and $7.99, respectively) and are great quality-wise for the cost. Sometime I will definitely do a full review, but my first impressions of both brushes is that they make putting on makeup a dream, and I will probably be getting a lot of use out of them.

On the brush note, I also noticed that ULTA Professional brushes are 50% off, and decided to jump on the opportunity and grab this Sculpted Brush. I have only gotten a chance to use it a couple of times since I bought it, but I am SO glad that I decided to pick this up. It applies foundation super smoothly and really gives you that airbrushed sort of look. 

The last thing I grabbed before leaving the store was my quarterly reward (at least, I think they're quarterly?). If you get the Ulta "magazine" in the mail, every few months they will tell you whether or not you've qualified for a reward and what your reward options are. I was able to snag a Travel-Size Redken Control Addict Hairspray (worth $7.50). It's super-mega-awesome holding power intrigued my inner ballroom dancer, so I am definitely looking forward to trying it out!

In addition to my Ulta mini shopping spree I also decided to place a small order from Sephora. This week they are doing a tiered extra points promotion for beauty insiders, where normal BIs get 2x points, VIBs get 3x points and VIB Rouge members get 4x points on any order (sidenote, the promo ends today if you are interested!). I figured this was as good a time as any to pick up a few things that I've had my eye on for a while. To entice me even more, I can get 15% cash back from Sephora online using my Discover card. I ended up ordering the Sephora Favorites Draw the Line sampler set, the new Sephora X Top and Base Coats, and a pack of Boscia Lavender Blotting Linens (a 100 sheet pack on sale for only $5!). 

Using my promo code I got a deluxe sample of Smashbox's new Blemish Control primer, which seems like it will be right up my alley. Unfortunately for me Sephora decided to do an awesome VIB promo a few days after I placed my order for a makeup bag with 9 deluxe samples.


On the positive side, most of the products in the bag are things I already have tried or currently have samples of, so I guess I'm not missing out all that much.

Anyway, I have been super busy lately, and haven't had a chance to paint my nails, nor experiment with all of this fun new eyeliner that I have. I think that tonight will be a great night for mani/pedi time, so I will definitely try out the Sephora X polishes and let you know what I think.

The last, but certainly not least thing that I picked up recently was Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil 3 Minute Miraculous Recovery. I actually bought it at Shop Rite while I was buying groceries, because it turned out to be on sale and I had a $2 coupon from the Sunday paper. I use Organix shampoo and conditioner and really like it, but since I have a good stockpile at home already I decided to go for a styling or treatment product instead. Since I've been trying to grow my hair out, an Anti-Breakage formula sounded pretty good to me, and for only $2.99 I figured why not give it try? I've used this product once, but it did make my hair feel like silk. It also smells absolutely delicious. So, first impressions are definitely good, but I'll use it more before making a final decision.

So there you have it!

I felt like I got so many awesome things without remotely breaking the bank (especially with all those excellent freebies). If any of these products interest you hopefully you'll be able to take advantage of some of these sales before they're over.

Also, I got my glambag yesterday (finally)!! I'm so excited to play with it, and I will definitely report back probably by the end of the week.

All right lovelies, I think it's mani/pedi and pajama time. I'm WAY overdue for a little R&R.

Stay gorgeous,