Save Some Money

Time for some more deals.

Birchbox is having a 30% off sale here. Aces get 40% off. Don’t forget that if you sign up by November 9th using a referral link, you get $10 to spend in the shop. Another excellent deal I found recently on Birchbox was when I was shopping for some eye makeup remover. I had previously received a sample of Marcelle Gentle Eye Makeup Remover For Sensitive Eyes, and had liked it alot. When I went to purchase it, it was $15. Then I noticed that you can get that product for FREE with any full sized purchase from Marcelle right now using the code MAKEUPREMOVER. I looked around and found that the Marcelle Oil Free Eyemakeup Remover Pads were only $10. So I ordered those, got the full sized liquid version for free with the code, paid for my order with $10 in Birchbox points and got free shipping with my Aces status. All the eyemakeup remover I could want and it didn’t cost me a penny! (Do you see why I love Birchbox??) They also have a free Eyeko eyelash curler ($18 value) with any mascara purchase right now. The code is LASHCURLER. Not sure which mascara to choose? They have a sampler of Benefit mascaras that looks pretty cute.

DecalGirl has 25% off of their entire site right now.

Zoya still has BOGO on fall shades with code FBG. Or you can still get the Spooky Glam Trio free with $25 purchase and free shipping with code GLAM3. As far as I know, Zoya codes don’t stack, so you’ll have to choose one deal per order.

Bare Escentuals Sale

The Bare Escentuals website has free shipping this weekend, as well as a sale on their last chance items. (25% off with the code EXTRA at check out). You can pick up the Marvelous Moxie lipgloss in the shade Rebel for $1.00, and if you pick up something from the last chance section with it you’ll get the free shipping. They have high shine eyecolor for around $2, meaning that you could get a lipgloss and eye color for about 3 bucks, shipped free. They also have some other great markdowns, add it to your cart to see the final price. Happy Shopping and Happy Valentines Day!

Last Minute Valentines

As I’m sure you probably know, Valentines Day is this weekend, (also known as Single Awareness day to those of us who aren’t currently in serious relationships). But Valentines Day doesn’t have to be about romance, it can just be a day for showing the people in your life that you love them. I decided this year to get gifts for my mom and nieces, and I have to say, shopping for them was alot more fun than dreading a romantic holiday! So, whether you’re a guy who stumbled here somehow (hi!), or you’re looking for gifts for your mom, sisters, nieces, etc. here are a few ideas that you can pick up this weekend besides the standard flowers and candy.

Birchbox – Obviously has to be the first on my list. I’ve been a member for a couple of years now and I love getting makeup and skincare in the mail every month. Reviewing the samples you get earns you points to spend in the shop, meaning that I’ve been able to get alot of full sized products very cheap or free. They have coupon codes and sales, frequently let you choose one of your samples, you can get free shipping on full sized products from your box each month, and if you reach Ace status you get free shipping all the time and exclusive sales, deals, and perks. The main reason I recommend it as a gift is because you can order it at the very last minute and have an email sent to the person that lets them fill out their own address and profile. They won’t get their box for another week or so if you go that route, but you can set the exact date they get the email if you want that to arrive on Valentines day so they get something that day. You can give subscriptions for 3 months, 6 months, or a year. You can even have their first box sent to you to give it to them in person, but it wouldn’t arrive before Vday. I’ve given subscriptions of this at least four times and everyone seems to love it. There are many other beauty subscription boxes out there, but I haven’t found one yet that has as many perks and as much value as Birchbox. They have great packaging and really helpful customer service as well.

Giftcards – I know, it seems a little impersonal to give someone a gift card. But if you’re stuck for the right thing to add onto a gift, or you just waited too long and need to send something fast, egift cards are always a good solution. Personally, I love to shop so I am always thrilled to get giftcards. For Valentines day I would suggest Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, or even Amazon. Nordstrom can be a nice option as well because they always have free shipping. If you’re going to send a giftcard, it’s nice to think ahead about the potential shipping they may have to pay. You don’t want to send a $15 giftcard to a store that will take $7 in shipping. Even QVC has lowered their shipping prices recently on beauty items and some other things. Dooney & Bourke has giftcards too, if you’re thinking of getting someone a nice purse but aren’t too sure of their style.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – What’s better than chocolate? Makeup that looks and smells like a chocolate bar. You can find this one reviewed online and sold through stores like Sephora and Macys. While you may not have time to order this online, there is still time to go out and pick one up.

Nail Polish – Nail polish can be a great gift for friends, nieces, co-workers, etc. Plenty of brands have nice sets, but if you can’t find one it’s easy enough to buy them individually. Grab some red, pink, and white shades and throw them together in a little basket or container. For a nicer look you can stick to one brand, but it’s not necessary. Check out Ulta for brands like Zoya, China Glaze, and OPI. Or if you’re pressed for time or cash, just check out the grocery store or Walgreens and such.

Candy – Okay, let me start by saying that I’m not a fan of those heart shaped candy boxes that they sell for Valentines day. I love chocolate, but I do not love chocolate stuffed with mystery goo. That is not to say that LOTS of people don’t love those boxes. The thing to remember here, is to know what someone likes. If the person enjoys those boxes it can be a great gift. If they don’t, then check out other options like those giant hershey kisses, or just grab a few oversized candybars that you know are their favorite. Once when I was young, a friend got me a gift and instead of tissue paper inside the giftbag, the bag was filled with Jolly Ranchers with the present hidden under them (those were a favorite at the time). Thoughtfulness can make any gift special.

Gadgets – Ipads, Ipods, Kindles, and other tablets are obviously great gifts for people who like gadgets. The Kindles are all on sale right now too. Also check out things like bluetooth speakers that can be fairly inexpensive and connect to your ipod, laptop, etc.

Jewelry – A classic Valentines option. If you’re in doubt, go for more simple designs. There’s a reason why diamond stud earrings are popular, they’re classic. Sterling silver hoops are also nice.

For Kids – If you’re shopping for kids it gets simpler. Teddybears and candy are the easy options, but be aware of allergies if you’re giving food. I found hot pink stuffed chihuahuas for some of my nieces. Notebooks, bracelets, pen sets, stickers and small toys are good too, just make sure it’s right for their age. You could even put together something similar to an Easter basket with a Valentines theme. I saw some light up heart shaped pillows on Amazon that looked cute too.

For Men – I always feel like men are very hard to shop for, at least the ones in my life. Never underestimate the value of baked goods here, whether you make them yourself or order them from a bakery. (Again, watch out for allergies!) Birchbox has a mens version if your guy is into products. Cologne can work, but it’s better if you know he likes a particular brand. If you have an outdoorsy guy, Coleman has a lantern that has snap off panels which is pretty cool – and it’s red!

Hope that gives you guys a few ideas at least. The most important thing is to choose thoughtful gifts. I always hate when people say that Valentines Day is a commercialized holiday about making money. It doesn’t have to be that at all. It’s just a day to set aside to show people that you love them. You don’t have to buy a single thing! Plan a picnic on the living room floor, plan an activity, or make something by hand. You can even find apps that will let you make a little video or collage, send ecards, or write emails and letters telling people what you like about them. It’s all about showing people that you care, and there’s a million different ways to do that. Check out Pinterest if you need more ideas! Enjoy your holiday! ❤

Sephora Haul

Yikes, I have been seriously slacking on posting lately. I’m sorry about that. Things just get busy and I’m excellent at procrastinating! But anyway, here I am and I thought I’d show you guys my Sephora order that arrived this week.

sephorahaul1

Not the best picture, but my battery was dying so I took this quickly. I’ll try to remember to add in some more pictures later. First thing that I got was the Soap And Glory Peaches And Clean Deep Cleansing Milk. I’ve been looking for a new cleanser for a while now and was trying to find one without parabens and such. Not all of this brands’ products are paraben free, so if that matters to you be sure to read the ingredients.This particular product specifically states that it’s paraben, sulfate, and phthaylate free. This one got good reviews, came in a large size, and was limited edition. I like that it’s a pump bottle because I don’t have to fumble with a cap while holding my Clarisonic in the other hand (a little thing, I know, but still handy). The bottle itself is actually clear, so it’s obviously filled all the way up which I like too. The pump locked into place so nothing leaked during shipping. The price was a bit steep, I think it was about $28, but I was previously using Kiehl’s which was less product for around that price range. I’ve used this cleanser once so far and it seemed nice. It was creamy and worked well with my Clarisonic Mia, and it seems like you don’t need to use alot. I like it so far, as long as it doesn’t cause any breakouts. I’m still iffy on it’s “melt away makeup” claims.

The other thing I wanted to get was Josie Maran Argan Oil. I got the light version in one of the limited edition Birchboxes and started using 3-4 drops of it on my face at night. It made my skin feel very soft and even better, it seems to clear up my acne and any product-related breakouts heal much faster. The light argan oil has been sold out alot in the smaller sizes, so I’ve looked at alot of kits lately. Sephora finally had this smaller sized bottle for $16, but then I found the set that contained the light version and the regular version in the same size for $22. That was a no brainer so I’m excited to try out the full strength kind as well. You can also use this on your cuticles and hair, and I believe it’s recommended for all skin types. If you got the mini light oil from Birchbox, these bottles are about 3 times the size of that. These bottles came in an envelope style packaging which didn’t have the same visual appeal as far as gift giving is concerned, but that was fine with me since they were for myself and arrived undamaged. The envelope also had a little color coded guide showing which oil is best for which occasion (daytime wear, going to bed, under makeup, that sorta thing) which was a nice touch.

I had a really hard time deciding what to get in this order. I’m still drooling over this Tarte Tartiest Clay Paint Liner, has anyone out there tried it? I would love to see pics. I definitely think it’s going to be my next Sephora purchase. Anyway the cleanser and oil are the only parts of this order I actually bought. That brings us to the samples. The three that I picked are Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream (What a long name… doesn’t matter, they had me at buttercream), BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara, and the Eve Lom cleanser. The cleanser is a little foil pack but it also came with a cloth, which is cool and reminds me of the Liz Earle sample I’ve been using. Although, the Liz Earle deluxe sample is the greatest sample packaging ever, and that stuff has lasted me ages and I love the cloth. We’ll see how Eve Lom measures up as far as the actual product goes. I also picked the Bare Minerals mascara because I love to try different mascaras and it’s something I rarely splurge on.

Next I checked out the coupon codes because everyone knows, or should know, that you do not place a Sephora order without a coupon code! They had one for a free year of Vogue that I was planning to use, but honestly, I rarely read magazines anymore and I decided I’d rather try a beauty product than read about them! So I picked up the Josie Maran cleansing oil deluxe sample. Since I already like the brand I thought it might be nice to use something else in the same line, and I’ve never tried a cleansing oil before unless you count oily eyemakeup remover.

But wait, there’s more! I also had a couple hundred points rolling around in my beauty bank, so I figured now was as good a time as any to cash those suckers in. I went for the Bumble & Bumble repair blowdry because it had good reviews, and I have very long hair that could use some repairing. I’ve used it twice now and I think I like it. The last thing is Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting, and Antiwrinkle night cream. This is another product I would never try without a sample, but it has good reviews and who doesn’t love firming, lifting, and antiwrinkling? I have no idea what black pine is but it sounds fancy! Or like something you pick up off the ground after a forest fire. Either way, I’m looking forward to trying it and magically looking much hotter.

Okay, that’s all for now. I will update with reviews on some of these things once I have a chance to use them more. I have some more posts to catch up on soon including my December Birchbox. See you then, cupcakes.

Another Zoya Promo!

Just a quick update to let you know that til 9pm EST you can take 50% off your Zoya order with the code NOJOKE. There’s no minimum so check it out. 🙂

There are only 5 hours left for guaranteed 12/24 delivery by Baublebar (free shipping). I got my order from them the other day (one of the Stila sets) and the packaging and wrapping was beautiful. They have alot of discounted stocking stuffer items and buried baubles.

Birchbox has 20% off everything in their present-worthy category with the code Present20. Or spend $30+ and get $10 back towards a future purchase (in points) with the code TENBACK.

Sales And Deals

Hey everyone! Hope that your shopping is going well. I also hope that your efforts to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree are going better than mine…

Baublebar has 30% off until 11:59 EST. Use the code INSTAGLAM. They also have free shipping both ways and 10% back on your purchase in the form of points (points don’t count on buried baubles though).

L’Occitane has free shipping today with the code SHIPGREEN. They also have 1 free shea soap when you spend $25 and 2 if you spend $45. They have great shea butter and my favorite hand cream.

Birchbox has a deal for people in the Ace program to get an extra 200 points with gift subscription purchase, the code is ACE200. You can choose classic, trendy, or customer favorites for the boxes and select whether to have the first box sent to you or to the recipient. They also have a free Cynthia Rowley eyeshadow palette for Aces who spend $50 or more. The code is ACESGAMEFACE

Julep has a 6 for $30 nail polish set or 3 for $20 and you can choose your own colors.

Butter London has an Art of Alchemy set for $45. It has polish and nail art tools.

ThinkGeek has 25% off your order of $40 or more today. Code is ELFBOT25.

BareMinerals has 20% off today and free shipping. Code is XOXO

Green River Ordinance is offering their Christmas cd for free here

And here’s the Zoya deal today:

Mini Trios

Holiday Shopping: Ways To Save (Your Money & Your Sanity)

Holiday shopping can be stressful and hectic, but it can also be fun. Remember, the point is not to freak out, it’s to show the people in your life that you care. It really is ‘the thought that counts’. That being said, there’s a slight difference between “I thought to buy you a gift” and “I thought about you and what you’d actually like.” I wanted to write down a few tips to just maybe make shopping a little less crazy this season so you can focus on what’s important, being with the ones you love and celebrating the holidays and all the meaning behind them. Hope it helps!

Make a list. Santa makes a list, and you should too. It’s a good idea to write down everyone you need to shop for, and then mark them off as you go. This is especially helpful if you’re buying several small gifts for one person. A list will keep you organized and help give you direction as to the kinds of stores or sites you still need to go to. It was also keep you from leaving anyone out or forgetting anything. Most importantly, it will help you set a budget once you see how far your money needs to stretch. Being organized is a great way to cut down on holiday stress. Also make a list for things you need like gift wrap, tape, tags, bows, etc. You definitely don’t want to run out of wrapping paper an hour before a Christmas party, and I’m speaking from experience on that one!

Dont put things off: I tend to start my shopping early so that I can buy a few gifts at a time as I have the money. Don’t try to do all your shopping in one day if you can help it, especially at the last minute. Don’t try to do all your wrapping in one day if you can help it, either. I understand people with small kids have to adjust things accordingly, these are just suggestions, afterall. Waiting til the last minute may seem like a good way to score some cheap deals, and sometimes it is, but it also adds to the pressure if you can’t find a gift. If you’re going to wait, at least have a backup plan. When shopping online, make sure you’re clear on the delivery estimates and shipping deadlines so that all your items arrive in time.

Sign up: Normally most people don’t like an inbox cluttered with email newsletters from every store you’ve ever shopped from. They can be annoying, especially the stores that send them daily or twice a day even. Now is not the time to be annoyed! Sign up for newsletters from every store you’re likely to shop at. If your email provider will let you, set it up so that your newsletters go to a different folder, or you could use a different email address just for newsletters. The point is that you’ll be notified of all the sales as soon as they happen, and some of them have exclusive email discounts. For places like Old Navy, the newsletters also tell which deals are available online and which are in store only.

Programs: Don’t underestimate the value of customer loyalty programs. Some of them offer specific discounts when using the stores credit card, but personally I don’t use those. Bare Minerals has a program that lets you pick your own sale day, as well as gives you a free birthday gift. Sephora also gives you a free birthday gift and lets you earn points for a bonus sample. Birchbox lets you earn points to spend in the store, and if you’re a member you can earn enough points to achieve Ace status and get free shipping and other perks. Just check out what’s out there and what the requirements are. A little research can save you a bit of money. And if your birthday is in December those birthday programs can get you a few stocking stuffers for others (or yourself!)

Comparison Shop: If you’re doing your shopping in a brick and mortar store, you probably don’t want to spend your holiday season driving from store to store checking prices. It helps to window shop online BEFORE going to the store so you have an idea of the prices that are out there. There are also barcode scanner apps that can help with comparison shopping. If you’re doing your shopping online, it’s easier to compare, but be sure you’re taking into account any coupon codes and shipping fees to find out who really has the lowest price. Which brings me to…

Coupon Codes: Anytime you shop online, be sure to check to see if the store has any coupon codes. You can get big discounts this way, and sometimes free items or free samples. Sephora always has a code of some sort, but make sure you’re using the code that benefits you the most. In Sephoras case they won’t let you use more than one code per order, so using a code for free shipping is probably going to benefit you alot more than a free sample of lipstick. However, if you spend over a certain dollar amount you can usually get free shipping without the code so that you can use the coupon code slot for another sample.

Free Shipping: It’s a good idea to know the shipping rates ahead of time for the stores you plan to shop from. Email newsletters will help you plan your shopping around free shipping weekends for particular stores. ThinkGeek has free shipping this weekend, American Eagle has free shipping all season long, and Nordstrom always has free shipping. Be sure to check the fine print as some stores will advertise free shipping, but then have a minimum you have to spend to get it. Also Amazon Prime often has free 30 day trials which gives you 2 day shipping. (Just remember that if you decide not to keep it, you have to cancel before the 30 days runs out or they will charge you). Prime is actually really handy to have, year round, as you can also stream movies and such.

Make It Fun: Shopping doesn’t have to be chaotic. If you’re shopping online, get some snacks and Christmas music and carve out a little time where you can browse and not be distracted. This is another reason to not put things off to the last minute. If you can be organized and prepared, you can minimize some of the stress and you might actually enjoy picking out presents for your loved ones. Online shopping can also help you check reviews before you fork over the money for that expensive playset, only to find out later that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Good reviews won’t guarantee that your items will be great or well loved, but it does help!

Homemade: Great gifts don’t have to be expensive. If you’re strapped for cash this season there are plenty of other ways to show people you care. You can find tons of craft ideas online, especially on Pinterest. Handmade ornaments, baked goods, cards, or just helping someone out can be great gifts. (If you’re baking just be mindful of other peoples allergies!) I’m sure there are some moms out there who might appreciate a day of babysitting as their present, so they can get their own shopping done! The point is that gifts don’t always have to be store bought or even material items, just think of the person and what they would appreciate. Or think of your own talents and how you can use them to help others.

I hope this list wasn’t TOO obvious and that it helps some of you. These are just suggestions for things that work well for me and help me save some money and make Christmas shopping less stressful. I definitely salute you brave souls who go out and do the black friday thing, but for me, I’d rather just shop online with a cup of hot chocolate. Anyway, I just wanted to share my ideas, and as always do your own research before trying these and find what works for you!