Monday, May 26, 2014

Big Ole' Haul Time! - Sephora, Ulta, NYX, and More!

Hello! Are you having a good Memorial Day? I hope so! This has been such a beautiful weekend; the sun was out the last three days, it's been nice and warm, I got to hang out with both sides of my family. I'm just sad it's almost over! I really don't want to go back to work...

This is going to be a fairly long, picture-filled haul post! I've collected the stuff over a couple weeks and now it's starting to take over my desk so I need to get it all posted.

Otherwise, let's get started!

One of many gratuitous box shot!
In my video, I went approximately in the order of when I purchased things, but I'm going to go in a little different order here just to mix things up a bit. So I'm going to start with Sephora! Also, I just like opening my posts with box shots...

I placed an order online for a bunch of essentials (and some sale stuff I wanted to grab) and then I got a few things in both the big Sephora and the Sephora inside of JCPenney. As usual, I got three free foil samples with my online order:
This sample was so much bigger than it really needed to be...I really hate these kind of samples, they're even worse than foil packets.
I had selected a sample of a different Soap and Glory product, but I ended up with some of their Righteous Butter. I also got the mineral sunscreen cream since sunscreen is always important and these foil packets are good to carry in your purse if you need to apply on the fly.
I also got a random fourth sample! This was wrapped up in my invoice (the other samples were laying on top) so I don't know if this was included by accident, but hey! More things to try!
I got another fold-out thing advertising a fragrance; this time Tory Burch. I think I prefer these over the weird postcard things, since I feel less wasteful throwing them away.

One of the perks of ordering online is that Sephora usually has two or three deluxe samples you can chose from to add on to your order.
I'm trying to get serious about fixing my acne (the next step after this is probably going to a dermatologist, which I don't really want to do since I have no idea if my insurance would cover it) so I grabbed this sample of Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix. I've heard mixed reviews about Murad's acne products, and I guess this used to be really popular until they changed the formula from sulfur to benzoyl peroxide. It was free, so if it doesn't work for me, no big deal.

And then I also added on a 100-point perk!
This is a deluxe sample of the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Nude. I haven't checked to see if this color is a good match for me, but I did want to give this a try, especially since with the summer it feels nicer to wear tinted moisturizer instead of foundation.

 So here's some of the boring stuff I picked up. I needed some more eye makeup remover (technically, I still have a bunch, but I like to replace it every now and then because germs). I grabbed a small bottle of the waterproof eye makeup remover and a big bottle of the triple cleansing water. I really like Sephora's eye makeup remover (I've tried other brands but I always come back to my Sephora ones) and I thought I'd give the cleansing water stuff a try as well.
I also really like Sephora's brush cleaner and shampoo, so I grabbed some more. I am actually out of shampoo, but I'm just replacing my brush cleaner since it's getting old.
This was one of the sale items I wanted to get; this is a mini crystal nail file in purple (you can also get it in pink). I don't have a travel file, so I thought this would be great to throw in my purse, especially since it even has a little travel case.
And I got some more headbands! I liked the bright colors, though there was another set that I really wanted that sold out before I could place on order. I have a big, weird shaped head so I struggle with headbands; these are nice and gentle and they don't give me a headache like some other ones do.

And that's my boring online order! Just a bunch of essentials, really. My in store purchases are much more interesting...
I got one of their left over giant Mother's Day bags! I had a lot of stuff, so the nice associate at the Sephora in JCPenney (I went to the big Sephora first) gave me a bigger bag so I could carry everything in one.

This is what I got from the big Sephora! I actually checked the Sephora in JCP first since they have been coming out with their own versions of these Sephora Favorites kits, but they didn't have one that I could find. They did, however, have a different version of the Sun Safety kit! It was $27 and had a couple different products. It did have fewer products as well, and I think the regular Sun Safety kit is a better deal even if it's $5 more, but if you can't find the regular one, check out your Sephora in JCP; they might have their version still in stock. I didn't get the Sen Safety kit this year since it didn't really have anything new or interesting; it's pretty much the same as last year and since I have sooooo much sunscreen from my sample boxes, I really didn't need to spend the extra money.
This kit has 10 products picked out for their summery usefulness, and a lot of stuff in here are things I've never tried before! This has been available online for a long time now, but when I went to purchases it in store, I was told it wouldn't be out until May 15th. When I went last weekend to pick it up, they didn't have it out on the floor, and the associate who helped me didn't know what they were (they had a lot of Sun Safety kits, though). After she asked around, she discovered they had gotten a shipment of them and they were still in the back, so she was nice enough to get me one!
She also gave me a sample of FAB's Red Clay mask, which is awesome, but I've noticed that the associates at Sephora give me skincare samples when I go in there when I'm not wearing makeup so...I think it's a polite way of telling me my skin needs help (which it does). But hey, more free things!

Then, I went back to the Sephora in JCP because I always find really good deals there! Seriously, if you have a Sephora in JCP near you, I recommend checking it out. They have some insane sales (which I took advantage of) and they have their own versions of the Sephora Favorites kits.
 I got two Nails Inc nail polishes on sale; normally, I recommend staying away from Nails Inc polish. I think it's way too overpriced for the quality (or lack there of) that you get. However, I only paid $3 for each of these, so I'm okay with that. I got Chelsea Bridge Road (on the left) and Chelsea Passage on the right.
Here they are swatched in the same order. Chelsea Bridge Road is pretty boring; it's your standard gold chrome color (I definitely would not call this a foil), but Chelsea Passage is pretty awesome! It's a glitter topped stuffed with holographic bar glitter! I used it as a topper over Ciate Chinchilla and it looks pretty cool.
Speaking of Ciate, this was the best find of the day! This is the Mini Mani Month collection which they released around the holidays.
It's a mini nail polish Advent calendar! You get six bottles of glitter/beads/sequins and eighteen (!) mini bottles of nail polish. I do like Ciate's nail polishes (I have a few I also got on super sale from Sephora) so I was really excited to find that this was on sale for...$17. Yup. $17. There was no way I was walking out of the store without it. I do have pictures of each individual polish included in this set, but I think I'll save that for a separate post. You can't get this set anymore (though if you also find it on super sale, grab it!) but I think most, if not all, of the colors included are available in the permanent line.
Once again, I was brave and asked for samples, so the associate gave me two of these Formula X one use mani pod. Things. I don't actually know what they're called. The greenish blue is High Frequency and the grey is Extraordinary. These are interesting, but I'm not confident that I'll be able to paint all my nails with just one of these little guys (especially if I need two or more coats). But that's what samples are for!

Next up is another Ulta order!
I didn't intend to place another order so soon after my hair care haul (especially since it was expensive), but Ulta tempted me by offering a special sample set with any $50 online order. I needed some acne eradicating supplies, so I succumbed to the gift with purchase.
I got a card promoting a new (at least, I've never seen it before) skin care line for adult acne. It's like Ulta knows!
As usual, I went with the variety sampler set, and I ended up with some cool stuff! This time, I got a tiny travel-sized bottle of the Matrix Exquisite Oil shampoo, which is awesome because I like it, a sample of the Ouidad Climate Control gel, which is also awesome since I like this as well, and then a little foil packet of 100% Pure Coconut Nourishing body cream.
I threw this in to get my order up to $50 (I think I was a couple dollars away) and I've been interested in giving this sheet mask a try. Also I think these masks have some pretty ridiculous photoshop going on, which amuses me.
I got this Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial In A Box set kind of on impulse. It's $12 and you get enough products for two complete facials. I already tried it once and I do really like it, though the peel was kind of strong and stung my skin a little. I think my favorite thing is the mask since it foams up and makes my skin feel refreshed. You also get more than two uses out of it (the mask comes in a deluxe sized pump bottle, the other two products come in single use foil packets) so yay! With any Bliss purchase, you also got a foil packet sample of the Micro Magic dermabrasion treatment, which Ulta listed as a $5 value...but I don't think any foil packet is worth $5.
 I was really surprised to see these in stock on Ulta's website! I placed a NYX order earlier (I'll show it a little later...maybe going in purchase order was a better idea. Oh well!) and was sad to see these two colors, Lavender and Violet, were sold out. Not only did Ulta have them in stock, but it was buy one, get one 50% off. Yes.
Here they are swatched, and I think they're gorgeous! I'm not one for colorful lipsticks, but I watched a review/demo of these Macaron Lippies on Youtube and what you can do with is play with color theory! You use these colors to layer under your other lipsticks and make new and unique shades. Also I might wear that violet on its own if I get brave enough.
 This is the whole reason for this order (well, besides the sample bag...); I have been having a really difficult time with my skin lately. I've been having very bad breakouts, painful cycstic acne, and it just won't go away. Some areas will heal and then I'll just break out all over again. It's been very frustrating and has been eating away at my self-confidence. As I said about the other Murad product I got, I've heard this is amazing and that this is the worst thing ever. Not sure how my skin is going to react, but I think Ulta will let me return it if it doesn't work out (at least, Sephora would and I assume Ulta would, too, so they could remain competitive).
Here's the sample bag! It's...not very cute, but it's what inside that counts! And there was a bunch of neat stuff inside...
Ulta wants me to share my haul with you; can't say no to that!
This was the biggest reason why I wanted this bag; this is a 2fl oz sample of the It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. I was sort of sad that I didn't get to try it in my Love Your Hair sampler set (though the product I did get was pretty awesome), but now I do! I never used this before, but it seems a little thick for a spray product...I'll have to try it and see!

There were two fragrance samples in the bag, Jimmy Choo and Burberry Brit Rhythm. These are okay; I don't like fancy perfumes and since you can get these for free at fragrance counters, I don't feel like they added any value to this bag.
This was also kind of a lame sample; I don't really like Smashbox products in general, and I really hate these types of carded samples (they're worse than foil packets). I might try this since I don't think I ever have, but Smashbox products seem to disagree with my skin.
The sample bag also came with another packet of Bliss Micro Magic; I do like microdermabrasion products, so if I really enjoy this product, at least I get to try it twice.
I already use this leave-in conditioner and I really like it, so I'm happy to have a nice travel size! I do wish it was a resealable bottle instead of this pseudo-foil packet, though. You get a lot in there, so it would be a shame to have to waste it.
This is a travel sized bottle of Ulta's Volume & Strength shampoo. I'm not a big fan of Ulta-brand products, and since I already have a ton of shampoos to try out, I'm just going to give this away. It does smell good, though.
Another foil packet sample...this is a single use makeup removing cloth by Japonesque. I wish we got a pack of like five or so to try instead of just one.
This was also exciting to get! I've never tried anything by Hempz before, but I have been curious, and now I get to! This is the pomegranate body lotion and it's a great size to bring to work and keep in my desk.
There was a ton of stuff in this sample bag! This is a sample size (at least I think it is; I don't know how big the full size is) of the new Covergirl TruMatch The Sunkisser bronzer (that is a bizarre name). It's a creamy bronzer and, honestly, I'm not a fan of it. It has a weird texture and it's really orange on me.
Mmm, orange. Maybe if I get some color to my skin it will look better, but I might just give this to my sister (she's darker than I am).
More Murad! This time, it's a sample of the Acne & Wrinkle Reducer, so it's perfect for me. I'm really glad that Murad has products for both acne and anti-aging; I feel like you can treat one or the other but not both, and I want to treat both! If the Spot Fast Fix doesn't work for me, this might be a good option.
Almost done! This is a teeny sample of the St. Tropez Bronzing face lotion! I want to try some fake baking, but I'm kind of afraid of doing my face since I've never self tanned before and I have no clue what I'm doing. Also if you make a mistake everyone can see it until it wears off.
I'm pretty intrigued by this product; this is the Photo Dynamic Therapy Liquid Red Light eye lift lotion by Dermadoctor. I love trying eye creams since that's the part of my skin that I think needs the most help (after my acne issues at least), so I'll definitely give this a go.
Finally, I got a sample of the It Cosmetics Brow Power brow pencil! I was also pretty pumped about getting this since I'm trying to figure out my brows and I've heard good things about this product. This is in the color Universal Taupe, which is supposed to work for everyone.
It looks a little dark to me, but I'll have to try it and see.

And that's my Ulta order! The sampler bag was an awesome deal and I'm really glad I was able to take advantage of it!

Now let's talk about NYX! This is the first time I ever ordered direct from NYX before. There was an eyeshadow color that I saw in a magazine that I wanted for the name alone, but Ulta (which is the only place I know of near me that carries NYX) didn't have it either online or in store, I decided to try out ordering direct. I'm pretty happy with my order, though shipping took a very long time (I had free shipping with my $25+ purchase) and the confirmation/shipping e-mail was kind of sketchy looking. I also got a free surprise gift with my purchase, which is a great way to get me to buy things!
Everything I ordered came wrapped up in this intensely green bubblewrap in this lace bag. The lace is kind of cheap, but I thought it was a neat idea! I always appreciate creative packaging.
This was my free gift; a lipliner in the color Nectar. It's a great color and I think it will work well with a lot of my lipsticks.
As I talked about in my Ulta order, I wanted to get a bunch of the new Macaron Lippies after seeing a review and demo of them on Youtube. The two colors I wanted the most, Lavender and Violet, were sold out, but I picked up three others.
 This is Rose and Pistachio...
And this is Earl Grey!
Again, these aren't colors I would normally wear on their own, but I'm really excited to try layering them and playing with color theory. In the video, they had layered a pink lipstick over the Pistachio and it was super pretty!

And this is the whole reason for this order! This is the Hot Singles Eye Shadow in the color Lolita! I want to collect as many things as possible with Lolita in the name (though I don't think I'll ever get the Marc Jacob's Lolita palette because that's crazy expensive) because I really love the Japanese street fashion.
 I really like the color of this shadow, but I thought it was kind of chalky and had poor pigmentation.

Since I had to add a little more to my order to reach $25 and thus free shipping, I decided to get another Hot Singles eyeshadow in the color Sex Kitten! I bought this for the name, but it is a pretty color as well.
On the website, this was just called Sex Kitten, but on the back of the pot it says it's called Sex Kitten Bimbo; not sure if it has a really long name and NYX just didn't want to put the whole thing online or if it has different names in different places or what.
Here they are both swatched on the back of my hand; Lolita on the left Sex Kitten on the right. Lolita is a matte and Sex Kitten is a shimmer, which explains the difference in textures, though I wish Lolita wasn't so chalky and powdery. Overall, I think NYX makes good products and ordering from their website is super easy (just like ordering from anywhere else), but the shipping took a while and I think it would be better to make an account instead of just checking out as a guest.

Moving along (we're reaching the end, I promise!), I got some nail polish from Julep!
Normally, I don't buy polishes from Julep outside of my Maven box since I already have a ton of polishes and, generally, if you wait long enough the colors you want will go on sale/be in a mystery box. Which is what happened! Julep had a special for Cinco de Mayo and they had a bunch of polishes for $5 each. And a polish I really wanted was on sale! I ended up with three polish; one from the Cinco de Mayo sale and two from the Savvy Deals section.
This is polish I got for $5, Farrah! I was really sad I missed out on getting this color when it came out in the Maven boxes and I promised myself that I would grab it if it ever went on sale. It's such a gorgeous color and I love the special Silk finish (it's a matte shimmery finish and it's just the best).
This is Nadia, another color I missed from a Maven box and regretted not getting. But it was also on sale in the Savvy Deals section for $3 so awesome! It's a super pretty golden yellow with shimmer! Normally, I'm not into yellow nail polish, but I've been wanting to give it a try for the summer.
And this is Billie Jean, also from the Savvy Deals section. It really reminded of the color of the year Radiant Orchid, and I thought it would be similar to the purple Nails Inc polish I got in the Meet Your Match kit that I love the color of but hate the formula. I'm really happy I was able to get this since it really is a great color!
Here they are swatched; left to right is Nadia, Billie Jean, and Farrah! Billie Jean has that matte-look that a lot of neon polishes get, but that's easily fixed with a top coat. Very happy with this order! I only paid $11 for all three of the polishes, which I think is totally worth it.

And now for the random things!
I got another $10 off promo coupon from Kohls (no clue why, they seem to come in waves) so I bought some more clothes! I picked up this shirt because it amused me and because I was born in 1987...
And I got this tank top! The Little Mermaid is not really "my jam", but I think this is a pretty shirt and will be great for hot weather (I'm wearing it right now, in fact!). After my $10 coupon, I only paid $2 so, yeah, totally worth it.

I got this headband from Forever21 for...$4 I think. It's very soft and comfortable and I love leopard print. I really like getting hair stuff from Forever21; it's cheap and not the best quality, but it's usually unique and quirky.

I made this bracelet! And by "made", I mean I put the charms on, glued the fasteners on, and called it a day. Micheal's had a lot of jewelry stuff on sale, so all the materials for this bracelet cost less than $3.

Near where I work there's this store called "Tuesday Morning". Not sure if they have them all over the place, but it's like a discount store with the stuff they couldn't sell at Marshall's/TJMaxx. It's not too bad, actually (my co-worker thought it was kind of meh the first time she went, but I think she had high expectations. I had very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised), and I bought some things!
I love Chinese Laundry shoes, and I was happy to see they had some cute bracelets on super sale! I like the look of these kind of bracelets (the leather/pleather versus metal) and this was only $5! It was in perfect condition; all the stones were still attached and everything (sometimes in discount stores, the jewelry is sold "as is" and can be missing stones and stuff).
Next to the jewelry there was a tower of sunglasses! I can be picky about sunglasses, so I wasn't sure I'd find anything that would interest me, but then I spotted this cateye, tortoiseshell pair! They look super cute on me and I like that they're different from my big bug-eye glasses.
Finally, I got this World of Warcraft MegaBloks set. This was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up; it was 20% off $8, which is amazing! I have a few of these sets and I think they're fun to have around.

And that's everything! Sorry this was so long! If you read all the way through, thank you! I hope it was interesting and that I didn't go picture/word overboard.

Thanks for reading! <3

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