Gift With Purchase

Just a quick post to let you guys know about a gift with purchase deal that Birchbox has going on right now. If you spend $75 or more you can get a free “Cheeki Thong & Boyshort Set”. The boyshorts will come in black or blush, and the thong is blush or indigo. Colors will vary and the code you need to use for it is CHEEKISET. These are one size made to fit 0-12. You can find pictures and more details here. Also be sure to check out their bonus shop to see what other samples and gifts they have going at any given time. Enjoy!

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Baublebar Code

Spend $50 or more at Baublebar today and recieve a $25 gift card. Use the code FIESTA. And remember, all of their orders ship free!

Now for the fine print…

*Offer valid through 08/14/14 at 11:59AM EST. Must enter code FIESTA at checkout on orders of $50+. Not valid on promotional-priced products including Buried Baubles, Platinum Buried Baubles and Monthly Musts. Prior purchases cannot be adjusted. Limit one per customer. Cannot be combined with other offers.  Vault Points may not be used on promotional items. If you return part of your qualifying purchase, you must also return the gift or the value will be deducted from your return.

Also, Zoya has their fall collections Entice and Ignite up for preorder. Victorias Secret also has a free $15 rewards card when you buy 2 bras. The code for that is 2bras. Lastly, Think Geek has free anniversary tshirts with any order of $19.99 or more, use the code EPIC15. It’s while supplies last only. Happy Shopping!

Spending Points

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Here’s my latest points purchase from Birchbox that just arrived today. I had 200 points, and they sent me an email with a 25% off code because it was my 34th Birchbox (wow). Since this week was also my birthday, I thought it was a good time to do some shopping. I decided to get some new skincare since I’ve been breaking out a little more than usual lately. The Clarisea products are new to the Birchbox shop and are made with sea salt and supposedly good for clearing acne. They have several items to choose from but I went with the exfoliating face scrub. If you look at the Clarisea website, they also have bath soaks and things, and they even sell a snorkel and earplugs for the bath soak products. That seems a bit extreme (and hilarious) to me, but the backstory on the site seems pretty convincing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works with regular use. I also got the Juice beauty blemish be gone for spot treatments. Now for the fun part.. the only kind of math I like.. shopping math!

The Clarisea exfoliant is $18 while the Juice blemish be gone is $15. With my 200 points, 25% off, and my free shipping from the Aces program, my order total was just about $4. If I had bought these normally and had to pay the $5.95 shipping my total would’ve been about $38.95. Sooo instead of paying nearly $40, I paid $4 just because I’m a Birchbox member and I do the reviews. I know I probably talk about Birchbox too much on this site but I loooove the perks! 🙂 And it just makes sense for me to talk about it alot since I get their box every month and shop from their store alot.  If you’d like to get your own Birchbox for $10 a month, you can click here. If you’re already a member I highly encourage you to review every product you get to earn points and always check for coupon codes and bonuses! The Birchbox man subscription currently has free socks with subscription and the regular Birchbox has a deal for 100 free points with subscription using the code bb100 (according to Retail Me Not). That equals ten bucks so that makes the first box basically free. If you’re signing up for  a yearly subscription, use the code BBSUBYEAR and get two free boxes. Enjoy!

Trend Jewelry

Normally I stick to writing about makeup around here, but I ordered some jewelry as Christmas gifts and I was so impressed with it that I’ve been meaning to do a post about it.

A while back, Birchbox sent alot of their subscribers a bracelet from BaubleBar in their boxes, and that’s where I first heard about the site. I got one of the bracelets and it was nice enough, just a plain cord bracelet with black beads and one glitter bead. I still wear it sometimes and I had signed up for emails from the website but I never got around to ordering anything. At Christmas I started looking for personalized jewelry for gifts, and I checked out the website and found some really good deals and alot of pretty things. I ended up ordering two bracelets, and let me just say, BaubleBar sure knows a thing or two about packaging and presentation.

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The bracelets arrived in a velvety fold over black bag (pictured above) that snapped closed, with a little tag on each bracelet. The bag itself was wrapped in striped tissue paper, and even the receipt came inside a neon green and pink envelope like a card. All of that was packaged inside of a nice box that I was able to leave them in and wrap. The bracelets were beautiful and appear to be well made. Packaging may be a little thing, but when you’re giving a gift having a nice presentation seems to add so much to it. Any jewelry that comes in its own velvet bag with the store logo instantly seems a little nicer.

Let’s face it, you can buy cheap trendy jewelry in little mall shops for a few bucks. But most of it looks exactly like it cost a few bucks, and it doesn’t hold up well. If you’re looking for unique, pretty pieces like statement necklaces and stackable bracelets, that actually look high quality, Baublebar is definitely worth checking out.

As an added bonus, they have some cool site features as well. Signing up for their emails will get you 15% off of your first order. Each week they email a clue about a ‘buried bauble’ which will be an item on the site that’s temporarily marked down. Around Christmas they had enamel bracelets like the one I bought, but without the initial, as a buried bauble for $10! Shopping with them will earn you “vault points” as well. Every dollar spent earns you 1 vault point and 10 vault points equals $1 in BaubleBar credit. Not bad at all! I love websites that actually reward you for shopping there. Lastly, they even have a referral program to score more points. You can invite friends and earn 150 vault points when they make their first purchase. NICE. Did I mention their shipping is free?

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you guys about them since I was so happy with my purchase. Out of all the gifts I bought online this holiday season, those bracelets were probably my favorite. I will definitely be shopping with BaubleBar again. Let me know if you guys decide to check it out, I’d love to see what you buy! And if you’d like to use my referral link, you can click here (Thank you!!). Or if you’d like to manually enter my code at sign up it’s 25362337.

Fathers Day Gift Guide

If you’d like to skip all the boring reading stuff, you can jump directly to my Pinterest board of Fathers Day gift ideas here.

Fathers Day is upon us once again, and if you’re anything like me, your dad is one of the most difficult people to shop for in your life! It seems that when you’re shopping for men, your options get more limited…cologne/ties/golf supplies. But what if your dad hates cologne, doesn’t wear ties, and hasn’t played golf in years? Well then, you’re outta luck.

Just kidding. I’ve put together a little gift guide on Pinterest (linked above) and I’ll give you a few suggestions here as well. These may not be the ideal suggestions for you, but hopefully they will give you some ideas for a starting point. Don’t blame me if you try these and they don’t work out for you though! Ultimately the decision is up to you, so you’re on your own with this one!

Step 1: Think about what your dad likes. This should be obvious, but alot of us panic and wind up buying traditional Fathers Day gifts like a tie, or a cologne set. There is nothing wrong with either of those things, but your gift will go over much better if it’s something your dad actually can use. Instead of a generic drugstore cologne set, try one of the Sephora sets that samples different brands of cologne and includes a certificate for a full size of the one he likes best. That way, he isn’t stuck with a set of products in the same scent in case he doesn’t like it. Be prepared for the possibility that he might send you to the mall to cash in the certificate for him!

If you really want to be a good offspring, make a list of your dads interests. What movies, sports, tv shows, and brands does he like? Giving yourself a clear starting point is alot less daunting than roaming a store with no object in mind, especially this close to a holiday when alot of people are giving gifts. Once you have your list made, you can figure out around how much you’d like to spend, and start checking out online shops that sell the things you’ve listed.

Skincare Products: Are generally not the kind of thing that dads will buy for themselves. But before you buy these, ask yourself if your dad will actually USE them, or if they’ll wind up in the back of a drawer. If you decide to go this route, start with the basics and don’t go with overly complicated products (like masks). Also be mindful of the scent and if possible, pick products specifically for men. Cleansers, moisturizers, and lipbalm could all work, depending on the guy. If in doubt, you could try a 3 month, 6 month, or 1 year subscription to Birchbox Man, so he can try some deluxe samples and easy into the world of skincare. They also include some little gadgets, accessories and lifestyle items occasionally. Also take a look at their special gift sets. If your dad is someone who already has a skincare routine, you’ll have to be more selective with the products you buy.

Clothing: First and foremost, if you’re going to pick clothing, make sure you know the size. Sounds pretty obvious, but leave no room for guessing here. Alot of men prefer to buy their own clothes, so if you’re struggling with the “will he even wear this?” question, you might want to consider a giftcard for clothing instead. If you’re sure you want to go with clothes, you might want to look for darker colors or whatever is closer to his comfort zone.

Accessories/Jewelry: Cufflinks and watches can make great gifts for men. Pay attention to the style of jewelry he already wears and try to stick close to those lines. If he’s not a jewelry kind of person and you choose to risk it, make sure you keep the receipt. It also helps to know what kind of metals he prefers. Some men I know will only wear silver, so its good to know that sort of thing. Also, cufflinks aren’t going to do him any good if he doesn’t own a shirt he can wear them with.

Tools: I think a common mistake alot of people make is to buy a guy a random tool, and assume that because he uses tools, he’ll love it. This is one of those things where you have to pay attention. If he’s mentioned a specific drill, wrench, or whatever he’d like, then you’re set. If he hasn’t, it might be better to look at tools for yard work, as those might be a little more forgiving. (If he does yard work, that is). Another alternative is a multipurpose tool or a nice set. If you really want to buy individual tools, try looking for things that have a cool factor, some sort of unique feature that makes them more interesting.

Sports Equipment: This can be a good gift idea if your dad is really into a specific sport or outdoor activity. It’s another area that can be a little tricky though, so it helps to know what you’re looking for. If you’re clueless about golf, for example, try reading reviews before buying golf equipment. (Although really, you should do that for everything that you can).

Gadgets: Alot of men love tech gadgets, so this can be a fun but generally pricey gift. Kindles, Ipads, Ipods, speakers, and cellphones will all get you some major brownie points. If your dad isn’t tech saavy and you want to go this route to get him more involved in technology, make sure you pick something that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. I wouldn’t say cellphones are an ideal gift unless you’re sure which kind he wants, but like everything else it just depends on the man.

Homemade Gifts: You don’t have to spend alot of money to give a good gift. Just like when you were a little kid, the best gifts come from the heart. (Usually… 😉 You can find alot of cool crafts, ideas, and recipes on Pinterest. Draw something, paint something, build something, whatever it is that you’re good at. If you can’t make anything, try just helping him out with something or take him to do something fun and spend some time together. Take lots of pictures. Just remember that not all fathers are as sentimental as mothers are, so something sweet that you craft for your mother might not have the same effect on your father.

If you’re out of time and out of options, don’t be afraid to go with a giftcard. Home depot, Amazon, Bass Pro Shop; there are plenty of options out there, just choose a place he will actually shop at (less important if he shops online). Nobody wants a giftcard to a place that doesn’t sell anything they use. Itunes cards are cool if your dad has an ipad, iphone, or ipod because he can buy apps, movies, music, etc. The most important thing is to remember that the whole point of the day is just to show your dad that he’s loved and appreciated, so try not to stress too much about the gift.

Also, take my opinions with a grain of salt. This is just to get you started, you know your dad and what he likes. None of these are ‘rules’ they are just suggestions. Good luck shopping! So, what are you getting your dad for Fathers Day? And to those of you who don’t have fathers, or they are no longer with you, I hope you can use the day to appreciate the other men in your life and what they do.

Shopping Math (Haul)

Generally, I am not a fan of math. Shopping math however, is a different story entirely. I had a $25 giftcard for my beloved Birchbox shop, so I decided to see how far I could stretch it. In a previous post, I wrote about how much I loved the Eyeko eyeliner I had received in one of my Birchboxes, and since I have run out now, that was the first thing in my cart ($15).

Next up, I decided it’s time for me to get a full sized bottle of Zoya Remove ($9.99). Especially since I made a rather large polish order in their recent promotion. When I tried the sample of Remove, I wasn’t thrilled with the scent, but I did find it to be really effective and it left my nails in really good shape. Can’t argue with results, so I’m going to see how I like using it on a more regular basis.

Lastly, I needed a new cleanser because I’m almost out of mine. I’ve been using Real Purity by Philosophy for a long time now. It’s a good cleanser and works well with my Clarisonic, but it sometimes makes my eyes burn, and I was hoping to find something a little more natural. I settled on the Kiehls Ultra Oil Free Cleanser ($18). I’ve never tried it before, but I’m hoping it will be good; I found alot of good reviews on it from various sites.

By this point, my total was well over $25… try more like $43. Shipping would’ve added another $6 or so, also. However, the Eyeko liquid liner ships free right now, meaning my whole order did. So I started with my $25 giftcard and free shipping. Next up, I had 100 Birchbox points, which took another $10 off. Lastly, I used the coupon code BBFRIENDS to take %15 off of my order. My final total? $1.54. Seriously, is it any wonder why I love Birchbox? 🙂 I do have to admit that I rearranged my cart many times trying to decide on what to buy, and how to get the most for my money. Sometimes a little effort really pays off. Happy shopping, my friends!

*Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers deluxe samples to your door for $10 a month. These samples are selected based on questions you answer about your beauty preferences and needs. For each product from your box that you review (multiple choice reviews, very simple), you receive 10 points and for every 100 points you accumulate, you receive $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop. This makes it possible to get discounts or even free full sized products. Get your own Birchbox here.

I have no affiliation with Birchbox, I’m just a satisfied customer/subscriber 🙂

After Christmas Sales

Hey guys! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, Hanukkah, and holiday season. What was your favorite gift this year? I hope that you all were able to have a great time with your family and friends and enjoy this magical time of year.

Did that sound corny, or what? It’s true though. In other news, I’m sure that like me, alot of you received giftcards so I’m currently trying to scout out some after Christmas sales. Here are a few brief ones and I’ll add to the list as needed.

  • Zoya has a deal to buy 2 Ornate Collection shades and get one free, plus $2 shipping. (Shipping is normally around $6.95 I think?) The code is NY2013. I’m tempted by this deal but they still seem to be sold out of Electra. If I could recommend one color from this collection it has to be Aurora. It’s absolutely stunning and probably my favorite polish that I’ve ever bought.
  • Nordstrom is having a buy 2 polishes get one free as well. This includes Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, The New Black, and Nordstrom brand polish. Free polish must be the same brand and Nordstrom has free shipping. No code needed.
  • Juice Beauty has free shipping on all orders with the code FINALLY.
  • Julep is having a big, end of the year sale. They have some great prices on sets, individual polishes, and even jewelry and skincare products. Personally I’m not that thrilled with the two polishes of theirs that I tried, but they do have some great colors. I’m definitely tempted and things seem to be running out of stock fast.
  • Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is promising Josie Maran argan oil in their January bag, although they don’t say what size. I’m really tempted to give them another chance just to try that oil. Has anyone used it before – if so, what did you think?
  • Victoria’s Secret is giving away a free pair of New Years Eve panties with any in store purchase through 12/31
  • Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals boutiques are giving away free lipgloss samples In Cupcake with an in store purchase through the 31st. It seems like you might need to print the email and take it with you, so be sure to go to their site and sign up for the emails so you can print it out before your visit if you want the sample.
  • Birchbox is offering extra points on orders of $35 and $50. The codes are buy35bonus35 and buy50bonus75. (Like I always say, their points reward system is fantastic).

That’s all for now. Check back soon, I’ll be posting a review of Mally eyeliner in the next few days. Happy Holidays!!