So this is the last ad before Christmas-and it has a $5 off a $10 purchase coupon. The one in newspapers had the standard $3.50 off, so be prepared to save mucho money.

We start out with fragrance, and it’s the usual “luxury robe” with a purchase of $30 or more in fragrances…or the new Ed Hardy appliances. Nothing truly “new” on the fragrance front, although Couture Couture is amazing. I bought the rollerball at Sephora and it’s a great young-but-sexy perfume. Also Incanto Bliss is not new-in fact, there’s another Incanto coming out this next spring. I sure hope there’s another Island perfume coming, because Very Hollywood didn’t live up to my expectations. The new Ed Hardy is just as bad as the previous two, although I do love the bottle with the outsized cap. As far as the appliances go-yeah, they’re pricey, but it’s Ed frickin’ Hardy after all, and they have the Love Kills Slowly black base w/skull design appliances now in full-size. Me? I want the mini set.

Next up is a popular one for ULTA-stocking stuffers, as there are things from $2 handcreams and $1 lipbalms to $3 Jasmine LaBelle sets and $5 compacts, wristlets, and nail polish sets. Apparently the OPI Tiny Tinsels set is on sale for $5, so I may or may not pick that bad boy up. There are also $10 and under gifts such as the mug gift set with shower gel, lotion, and body cream, Cargo’s new lip gloss greeting cards, cheapie eyeshadow palettes galore, candles, and all sorts of things. All of them, to me, relatively boring, but when you have a multi-year supply of body products then yeah, things get boring. The under $20 though looks better. Too Faced Glamour to Go 3, an ULTA pro 5-piece brush set, POP Beauty 24K Clutch, Cargo Boogie Nights eyeliner set, and a twin pack of Pur Minerals mascara, along with a larger beauty blockbuster courtesy of ULTA brand.

Moving into prestige cosmetics (already? Darn) there is the Smashbox Wish collection, which I strongly suggest you take a look at. The highlight for me is the brush set, and if you use the Photo Finish primer you will want to check out that duo set. With any purchase, you get a free cream liner trio. I just got a Blacktrack fluidline, so I am good for now, but I may get the brush set for both my mum and myself. Bare Minerals has a few sets-there’s a 4 piece brush set for $35 (kabuki, blending, contour shadow, eyeliner) in a pink bag, as well as a 4-piece Buxon lip gloss set for $28. For $34, you can get a “classic glam” inspired set, with Pearl Sateen and Parisian Grey eyeshadows, Charcoal Lame liner/shadow, So Fab blusher, and a mini Pomegranate gloss. I admit, I’m kinda liking the gloss… Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Friday Shopping

27 November, 2009

This, in all honesty, is the first year I’ve ever done the actual Black Friday running around. The closest was my senior year of high school, in which we hit three stores total. This? Way better. The last three years I worked opening shifts and so all my shopping was done on breaks or afterwards. But this year? Shop before, baby!

Mom and I left the house at 5:15, and headed up to Best Buy. No way in heck either of us were camping out, and it was pretty cold. No rain, luckily. The store was jam-packed though, and I came in for one thing: Brutal Legend on PS3 for my brother, because I needed to get him taken care of. They also had other video game bargains, and we got Rayman Raving Rabbids for the Wii as well as Sonic Chronicles for the DS for $10 each. The DVD’s, though, were the star. We got some $4 flicks (Sideways, Capote) and some $7 ones (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Role Models) because DVD’s can add up, and they were movies I wanted to see anyways. The line was insane-be prepared to wait up to an hour in line. But totally worth it!

Next stop was JcPenney, and we mainly went for the free snowglobe that they ran out of. They did have some good deals, but most were after mail-in rebate. A lot of places had that, actually. Still annoying as hell, though. After that was ULTA, where deals were a bit more scarce. They had the weekly ad deals plus a few doorbusters, but it was really nothing spectacular. I only bought two things-one of the BE sets that was $10, and Essie Bright Tights, as I had been wanting it since I first saw it. My mum got both the face and the eye sets, but the eye one for me? Meh. However, I have a few new lemmings. First up is the Napoleon Perdis Gold Digger Glimmer set, featuring three shimmer pots and a brush for $25, as well as the lipgloss set which is $28 (or in that range) for five glosses). Second is the Smashbox Wish brush set, which is a set of five travel brushes (angled face, slant eyeliner, large eye blending, eye fluff, eye tapered) in a pink hard case with $1 of the sale going to Children’s Miracle Network. It’s $49-so about the same as the MAC sets-but the quality is so amazing. Finally, POP Beauty has the Lid Neon palette for $22. Granted, it’s all matte so it’s bound to be a bit chalky but if you use a good primer, I can only imagine how crazy it would be. Read the rest of this entry »

ULTA 2009 Black Friday Ad?

26 November, 2009

I know some of you are coming here, looking to see if ULTA has a Black Friday ad. Unfortunately…I did not see one in my newspaper, nor my mail. If I get my hands on an ad, I will definitely let you all know. It could be something that comes out in tomorrow’s papers, or it could be a non-advertised sort of thing. All I know, I haven’t seen one. Sorry folks.

I have just received an email with a preview of some of the blockbuster deals. They include:

Bare Minerals Bright Idea set #1-This is an eye set, with Well-Rested eye colour and a dome brush. This will be all of $10, making it an insane gift item.
Bare Minerals Bright Idea set #2-This is a face set, with Glee all-over colour and an angled brush. This will be $10, as was the eye set.
Smashbox Beauty Basics Set-This has a mini of Fame lipgloss, eyeshadow singles of ASAP and Pronto, and a .3 ounce size of Photo Finish primer. It says $12.99 on the website, but who knows what it will go down to?
Smashbox Double Duty Beauty kit-This has a Doubletake lip colour in Apricot, a Speedracer Double Exposure lip/cheek colour, and then a medium size of Crystal lipgloss. Same price as the other Smashbox set.
Smashbox Quick Eyes kit-This has a #30 brush as well as Pronto and ASAP single shadows, also for $12.99.
All ULTA Smoothies (the 3/1’s)-$6.99
ULTA 69-piece beauty blockbuster-$16.99
There are two Essie twin-packs. One of them is a colour one, with Bordeaux and A-List polishes, and the other is a classic (ie French manicure) set with Waltz and Ballet Slippers. They are $6 apiece, so perfect for gifts, stocking stuffers, or just to try some new shades at way, way less than retail.
Revlon Fuschia Ionic Dryer or 1″ straightener-$10
Holiday colour sets from $4.99

Update: I went this morning with my mum, and I came home with just two items: the Bare Minerals face set, and Essie Bright Tights. The sets are an insane value, even as gifts. For me, I needed a face brush and the angled one feels nice. There really aren’t a whole lot of special sales, and the clearance area was abysmal. I avoided getting OPI She’s Golden, but I am so glad I shelled out extra to get Bright Tights.

Also, as far as OPI goes, they had restocked all the holiday shades, except the ULTA exclusives which were fairly sparse (only one of Dreaming of Red). Essie had restocked Mint Candy Apple but I got the second-to-last Bright Tights. Pink Parka and Midnight Cami are definitely on my list, though.

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Don’t worry, I’m not really either. After three Christmases in a retail environment where gifting was a key focus, I am liking to NOT hear Christmas music and see as many decorations. I’m liking to take my time and who knows, maybe ENJOY the holiday season perhaps?

But ULTA has some good stuff this time, and on the front page, there’s a deal: two free hurricane vases with a $30 fragrance purchase. They’re the sort of thing that can be filled with satsumas or nuts and easily given as a gift, or used as a centerpiece for Christmas dinner. I plan on buying some perfume once I get a new job, and this is the sort of thing that I could pack away for when I move out (whenever that may be). And inside? Lots of new fragrances. No, there is none of Salvatore Ferragamo’s Incanto Bloom (releasing in March) or Escada’s Marine Groove (Nordstrom exclusive til next February or March). But there’s Lancome’s Hypnose Senses (sounds like potentially a floral version), Versace’s Versense, and more. There’s also a new formulation of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One-a rose version, which sounds promising. Estee Lauder has some sets for Christmas. There’s Day by Day sets for both Beautiful and Sensuous that have a 1.7 ounce of both perfume and lotion, and they retail for $48 and $52, respectively. If you like minis, well the EL folks have you covered on that, as for $29.50 you can get a set with mini EDP sprays of Pleasures, Beautiful, Sensuous, and Pure White Linen. As far as other gift sets go…Donna Karan has a Cashmere Mist set that is $60 and gives you a 1.7 EDT and 3.4 lotion. Calvin Klein has a Euphoria set which is $65 for a 1.7 EDP and 6.7 lotion. Ralph Lauren has a Romance set that is $65, and you get a 1.7 EDP, a mini EDP, and a 6.7 lotion. Dior has a J’Adore set with a 1.7 lotion and a 1 ounce EDP for $60-but you do get a little cannage clutch with it, which is WAY worth it for a cannage-a-holic like myself.

Clinique has a set for $49.50 in the Happy fragrance which is a 1.7 perfume, a 2.5 lotion, and then a perfume rollerball/Bonfire gloss dual-ended wand. For men, there’s several things. A Black by Kenneth Cole set retails for $72, and you get a 3.4 and a .5 EDT spray, a 3.4 aftershave gel, and a 2.6 deodorant. There’s an Euphoria Men set for $72 which has a 3.4 EDT and aftershave splash, and for $2 more you can get a Givenchy Play set in the same sizes and products. Back to giftsets, though. For $90, there’s a lovely Viva La Juicy set which is a 3.4 EDP and 4.2 lotion and shower gel. A Be Delicious (DKNY) set with a 1.7 EDP and 3.4 lotion is $55, and then two exclusive to ULTA sets: a Daisy set for $65, which has a 1.7 EDT, 2.5 lotion, and mini EDT rollerball; and a Princess (Vera Wang) with a 1.7 EDT, 2.5 lotion, and a shimmer body powder brush.

Not exactly perfume, but Ed Hardy has a brand new makeup palette for women, complete with stage lights. It’s $55, and it looks like six shadows, six lipglosses, a bronzer, brushes, and so forth. BUT WAIT! If you are an Ed Hardy fan like me, the next two pages are full of WIN. Yes, there are now Ed Hardy appliances for your hair! For $99.95, you can get a 1″ flat iron, a hairdryer (both in off-white with the geisha, which is my favourite Ed Hardy design by far…hell I have the geisha shoes), or a travel tool kit (a mini hair-dryer, diffuser, and then something else which I have a feeling is a mini flat-iron, or a groomer tool). There’s also hairbrushes, hair accessories, and for $25, a flat iron pouch.

Moving onto makeup, all of the cheapie colour collections (translation: beauty blockbuster palettes), as well as Caboodles traincases and selected cosmetic bags, are B1G1 50% off. There’s a B2G2 mega mix/match on ULTA brand merch-bath, smoothies, body swirl creams, cosmetics, minerals, haircare, and brushes/makeup tools. Of interest are the ULTA LE holiday scents-four Smoothies (Gingerbread Cookie, Cinnamon Roll, Candy Cane, and Cranberry Tart) and three regulars (Vanilla Nutmeg, Winter Berries, Sugar Plum Dreams). On B2G1 free? Revlon cosmetics, Almay cosmetics, Nicole by OPI, Borghese nail stuff, Sally Hansen lip and nail products, and my favourites-OPI and Essie. Sadly you can’t combine brands, as always, but hey, it’s time to stock up. Again. I kinda need to ignore this whole no-buy thing:) There are also some OPI sets for $14.95 that have two of the holiday polishes and then a free bracelet.

All L’Oreal, Olay, Neutrogena, and then stuff from Lumene, Yes To Carrots, Jergens, and more are 15% off. There’s tons of value sets, too-a free 3 brush set with $12 Physician’s Formula purchase, a free Shape/Shine nail tool with $20 Tweezerman purchase, an $18 ULTA Minerals traincase, a $13 ULTA shadow palette, a $15 ULTA 10-gloss set, and more. Onto B1G1 50% off-NYX, Bonne Bell, Cover Girl, Eco Tools, Neutrogena, Carmindy by Sally Hansen, Ardel, Maybelline (face and lip), Rimmel/Rimmel Underground, L’Oreal, and Japonesque. Burt’s Bees, meanwhile, has several value sets, including a mani-pedi set (just add your favourite OPI or Essie polish) for $20.

Speaking of which, when the heck is ULTA going to put China Glaze on sale? Grr…then again, they don’t carry jack squat as far as CG goes. My biggest suggestion is expand the China Glaze range tenfold, and see sales grow.

Anyways, I love candles, and there’s a deal where if you spend $30 or more in Yankee Candle you get a 3.7 Cranberry Peppermint (yum) jar. Also, the Christmas Wreath, Christmas Cookie, and Home For the Holidays scents are B1G1 50% off. There are plenty of gift-y things next, such as a Snuggie knockoff (designed to be a blanket that happens to have sleeves, not something that makes you look like a fashion victim or roadkill…heh) and thick, thick socks. The latter one actually sounds really good, but Fred Meyer traditionally does 50% off all socks on Black Friday, and let me tell you my order: ONE OF EVERYTHING NEON. Neon and fluffy are my two favourites.

In bodycare, there’s a $20 Ahava set in a photo-frame box with shower gel, hand cream, body lotion, and foot cream, in what looks to be full-sizes. H2O Plus has a $20 set of 4 of their 4-0unce body balms, and if you like ULTA Bath stuff you can get your choice of three scents in two colours of bag for $15-the set has shower gel, lotion, creamy body wash, and hand cream. Selected holiday bath sets are 25% off, too. Anthony Logistics, meanwhile, has a starter set for $40, and Dermalogica has a men’s shave set for $35. The Anthony Logistics set is actually the sort of thing I would get my boyfriend-get him some really, really good skincare.

Finally, onto prestige cosmetics. This ain’t a thin ad, let me tell you. Unfortunately this is a rewards-cycle ad, and let’s just say all my money was spent AFTER the cutoff. Grr. I will definitely be at level 5 at the very least, though, between everything. Anyways, back to the ad. For $18, you can get an oh-so-cute little Bare Minerals lip palette, with five shades. Totally something that I’d get for my mum. There’s also a Jewel kit for $54, which has Citrine Radiance all-over colour, Yellow Sapphire and Smokey Amber eyecolours, Deep Amethyst liner/shadow, Pink Tourmaline blush, Cranberry Sorbet gloss, and three brushes-a flat-top buffer, a liner brush, and a shadow brush. Definitely the sort of thing I may have to eventually get, even though I wouldn’t use many of the eye colours (admittedly). Studio Gear has a free tote with $35 purchase, and that Carribean Sea shimmery powder looks quite lovely. Cargo has a $30 set with Paris shadow palette, Boogie Nights eye pencil, a Face/Body sparkle, and then a gloss quad. The quad actually looks quite pretty-a greyish-blue, a copper brown, a gold, and then a greyed lavender. Too Faced has the Queen For A Day kit which is not my sort of thing colour-wise, but a great value nonetheless. Benefit, meanwhile, has great deals galore. The Celebutante kit is $34, and has 2 mini lipsticks, a mini lipgloss, mini High Beam, mini Benetint, two of their Velvet shadows, a dual-ended Fluff/Talent eye brush, the Dallas powder, and their mini powder brush, all for $34. Totally cute, but I would get zero use out of it. There’s also a lipstick trio for $18-in full sizes, natch. The Powderazzi set is cute, with minis of Hoola, Dallas, and Coralista in one box for $30. Fnally, for $26, you can get a trio of dual-ended gloss wands.

Smashbox, for Christmas, is doing the Wish collection, with a portion of the proceeds from the items in this paragraph going to the Children’s Miracle Network. For $59, you can get their answer to cheapy blockbuster palettes. It has 64 eyeshadows (meep), 8 cream liners (and a damn good range of them, too), 6 Brow Tech powders, one Brow Tech wax, 8 lipglosses, 2 blushes, one “complexion brightener”, one bronzer, one highlighter (please be Softlights), and four brushes-a shadow, liner, brow, and lip. As much as I hate those sorts of things, I love the colour range, and it’s for a good cause. Anywhoo, the other sets include a $29 lipgloss set with six assorted glosses, a $44 Eye Wish palette with 16 shadows and an eye primer, a $39 Photo Finish set (full-size and mini), and a $20 set with a Softlights, Lash DNA, and something else that I can’t put my finger on. Grr.

Bourjois has some of their shadows in special packaging-and this is cool, it’s all vintage Paris-inspired stuff. You also get a free cosmetic bag with $25 purchase, which will come in handy when I have to rebuy my mascara. Napoleon Perdis has a free tote bag and Chandelier Shine lipgloss/nail polish duo with a $25 purchase from the holiday collection, which will get its own review here in due time. Pur Minerals has a Chisel brush free with 4/1 pressed powder purchase, too. Urban Decay, meanwhile, has the Book of Shadows Volume 2, which if you don’t already have it you have to buy, as well as the 24/7 Super Stash. Side note-the Super Stash liners are WAY smaller than even the minis in the other sets. Buy at your own risk.

LORAC has two sets-a Couture Shine gloss collection for $22.50 with 5 shades, and a $30 palette with 8 shadows, 2 blushes, a gloss (tube-form), and a dual-ended liner. It says the palette is a $180 value, but I dunno where they got that. Something I can understand more though is POP Beauty’s Cabaret Bouquet box, which is $29.50, and looks like a funky palette at first. You get a wavy eyeshadow quint, two different face powder things…but wait! Pull on the side drawers, and you get bronzer and then 8 lip shades. Totally buying this. Also there’s the Stila Lipglaze set for $25, which has 4 LE shades and 4 best-sellers. Need to go under $20? Too Faced has the Glamour to Go 3, with 8 shadows, 4 glosses, and a blush. Cargo has a 5-piece set of Boogie Nights eyeliners. Stila has a Kitten set with a mini Kitten glaze and then all-over shimmer, but most exciting is POP Beauty’s Pin-Up Pop set for $10, which is a 12-shadow palette.

Elizabeth Arden has a 7-piece gift with $24.50 purchase, including a giraffe-print tote, capsules, and more. Peter Thomas Roth has a free deluxe sample of Un-Wrinkle foundation with any purchase, and there’s plenty of value sets-a $45 Sue Devitt eye pencil trio, a $35 Anastasia brow/lash set (definer, highlighter, mascara), and a $99 Stri-Vectin set. Dermalogica, meanwhile, has five Try-Me kits (anti-aging, normal to dry, normal to oily, dry, and sensitive, plus you can get a Dermalogica treatment in the salon for only $30 if it’s your first time.

In skincare, you can get a Cosmedicine Normal or Oily skincare set for $25, featuring cleanser/toner in one, an exfoliator, and a moisturizer. Kinerase has a $90 set with Extreme Lift Face, Intensive Eye Cream, and Ultimate Day Moisturizer. Murad has a 30 Day Acne Complex kit for $36 with cleanser, spot treatment, exfoliating gel, and perfecting lotion, plus you can get a mini Pomegranate lip cream with any Murad purchase. Boscia has a $45 travel set, plus a free sample of the Vital Daily Moisture SPF 15 with purchase. Exuviance has a free sample of Evening Restorative Complex with purchase, while Mario Badescu has a free sample of Hyaluronic Eye Cream with purchase. There is also a new Vitamin C serum for $45, but I’m happy with my Avon (which I’ve forgotten completely about, oops). Perricone, meanwhile, has a Youthful Skin Prescription set for $75, with face wash, toner, face firmer, and moisturizer, plus a packet of the ceramic skin smoother with any Perricone purchase.

Onto haircare (this is a 64-page ad, and we’re only at 48 folks), duos and trios from Redken, Matrix,¬†Nioxin, Biosilk, Chi,¬†and Paul Mitchell are B1G1 50% off, as are Rusk, Joico, and Bed Head gift sets. Blow has a free travel kit with $30 purchase, Alterna has a free 1.5 ounce Caviar working spray with full-sized product purchase, Kenra has a hairspray duo for $15, and Oscar Blandi has a dry shampoo and dry shampoo spray duo for $22. The last one, I am actually interested in, because I have been wanting to see if dry shampoos are really all that they are cracked up to be.

John Frieda and L’Oreal Vive Pro haircare is B1G1 50% off, and Nexxus liter duos are $30. Pantene is 3/$10, and L’Oreal Excellence to Go haircolour is $7.50. Selected hair accessories are 25% off, as are the Hairdo by Jessica Simpson bands and wrap-around ponytail.

Selected grooming tools and mirrors are 20% off…including electric razors. Yum. I do need to get a lighted mirror, though, bcause if I get my actual vanity working, I won’t have access to my power strip, so no light:( On a better note, ULTA is now carring the InStyler, which is a styling tool that “does it all”. Doesn’t do my dishes, so it can’t do it all…okay, all joking aside, it says it straightens, curls, smooths, or flips in just minutes. Zoe has a 1″ flat iron or a dryer in the polka-dot pattern for only $30, and the coordinating brushes 25% off. CHI has the 1″ ceramic flat iron for $100, the FHI 1″ black flat iron for $80, the Ken Paves 1′ digital flat iron or hairdryer for $80, and Rusk has their Speed Freak dryers, Go Green dryer, and 1″ flat iron for $80 as well. Hot Tools has the Tourmaline Lite hairdryer for $60, and the Ceramic Ti flat irons are $40. Sedu has a 1″ Revolution flat iron for $140, but you get a free mini styler. Hot Tools has the Pinkie mini flat iron (1/2″) for $25, and Revlon has their 1″ Perfect Heat straightener, with bonus 1/2″ straightener, for $20. All Revlon hot air stylers are $40 as well. The Perfect Heat Ceramic Straightener by them is $25, but this is the pink one. Remington has the Wet 2 Straight and Wet 2 Style irons for $25, and Conair has the Infiniti You (a straightening/curling iron) for $30. FHI has their Go 1″ flat iron for $50, in many colours. Oh yeah, more Zoe stuff…pink/white dryer, flat iron, or slim flat iron for the $30. Ultra CHI 1″ flat irons are $120, and they come with a free nail polish, base coat, and thermal pouch. Seven colours to choose from-a turquoise or pink polka-dot, a red damask, a pink leopard, a gold dot, a black/red dot on white, and a fuschia dot.

On the back cover there’s a 5/$5 mix/match-some ULTA Bath stuff, some mini CHI/Biosilk silk therapy poducts, some hair accessories, some ULTA Cosmetics, some fun nail clippers, and more. In a nutshell, stocking stuffers, and for the most part, stuff I would not use. Except for the bath fizzies, cause those are awesome.

Me? I’m sticking to my OPI’s and Essies.

Earlier this year, Sephora came out with about ten sets of products that featured minis of some very popular things. It’s a good way to go if you are wanting to try things out, or also good for breaking up and tossing into gift baskets or Christmas stockings and stuff like that. Well, for Christmas, they have come out with five all-new sets, and these are some fairly interesting ones. So, without further ado, here is the carnage! (Heh)

Set 1: Lip Service Kit
This kit is designed to have all the favourites you need to get holiday-ready lips, with a selection of lipsticks, pencils, and glosses (including a full-size!!!) in universally-wearable colours.
The Products:
DuWop’s Private Red lipstick
Korres’ Wine Red lipstick (one of their Guava lipsticks)
PlantLove by CARGO’s Muir Woods lipstick (this looks to be a full-size)
Tarte’s Hatha lipstick
Laura Mercier’s Pink Champagne lipstick
Smashbox’s Sheer Lip-Enhancing Gloss
Sephora Brand’s Nano Lipliner-it says either 11 or 14
NARS’ Roman Holiday lip pencil

The cost? Only $38-and it’s valued at over $115.

Set 2: Lashstash Deluxe
This has always been a popular one-because it has the little sizes of mascara, which are way more economical than buying full sizes that inevitably don’t get fully used up.
The Products (all minis)
Benefit BadGal
Urban Decay Skyscraper
Smashbox Lash DNA
Laura Mercier Thickening/Building
Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain
CARGO LashActivator
Sephora Brand Lash Stretcher
Fresh Supernova
Korres Lengthening/Stretching (abyssinia oil)
Hourglass Superficial Lash

The cost? Only $39-and it’s a $104 value. Read the rest of this entry »

New ULTA Ad: 6-26 September

4 September, 2009

Alrighty, this is a big, big ad, so let’s take a look at what we have going this time out! We start, actually, with my favourite thing-prestige makeup. Bare Minerals has their all-new matte foundation, complete with a lock/go sifter that makes it truly portable. Each container is $28, and when you buy a BE Matte product, you get a free eco-tote. There is also a new mascara-Flawless Definition Lash-and this is one that I want to try because it’s not only a plastic comb-style brush, but the teeth are very fine. CARGO, meanwhile, has a Must-Have kit for only $30 (worth triple the cost), and it has a bronzer, a Polynesia blush, Vienna eyeshadow duo, and TexasLash mascara in full-sizes. Plus, with a $25 CARGO purchase, you get a deluxe sample of their new LashActivator, which actually lengthens lashes! The thing I like about CARGO is their use of metal tins-totally reusable. Too Faced has their Safari Sexy kit for $34 (a $110 value) with a full size Lava Gloss eyeliner, a Mood Swing lipgloss, Totally Toasted eye duo, and mini sizes of the Pink Leopard bronzer, Lash Injection mascara, Shadow Insurance, and a flatbuki brush, perfect for on-the-go. It also comes packed in a full-size metallic pink tote. Smashbox has their own deals as well-two new ULTA exclusive kits. The first, for $24, is the Private Eyes kit, with a 10-shade creme liner and Brow Tech palette and a full-size Lash DNA. The second, for $47, has a 6-shade shadow palette, a Limitless Long Wear gloss, a half-ounce Photo Finish primer, and a blush/Soft Lights duo. Also, with ANY Smashbox purchase, you get a double-ended brush, worth $30-the 9 (eyeliner) and 12 (angled brow brush).

LORAC has a new Press Release kit for a whopping $20 with full-sizes of the Golden Glow Cheek Stamp, Front Of The Line liquid eyeliner pen in Black, Caffeini Martini Mocktail gloss, and Publicity Stunt lashes. The mascara is one that I admittedly have been dying to try, and $20 for four products? Hell yes. Pur Minerals, meanwhile, has a 1 ounce body butter with any purchase, and Benefit has a free full-size of Miss Popularity with any purchase. Studio Gear has their brand new Prime Objective SPF 20 face primer for $35, and with a purchase of that amount, you get a triple-compartment hanging bag for all your beauty goods. I have so many of those, I ain’t gonna lie. Meanwhile, Sue Devitt has something that I need to get ALL OF-the Hydrating Marine Minerals eye palettes. There are four to choose from-Blue Waters, Green Isles, Serengeti, and Kilimanjaro-and each of them has four colours. They are $37.50 (more than a MAC quad but I don’t care) and you get a free full-size Microquatic eye treatment with a $25 purchase. Bourjois, meanwhile, has a mini Effet 3D Mobile gloss with a two-piece purchase (although by the sound of it it might be any mini item), and Urban Decay is the first stockist of the new 24/7 sets, which apparently are $29 each. Hmm. With a $25 purchase, you get a sample vial of UDPP Sin, sadly not in the genie form. Paula Dorf has a free lip liner with $25 purchase, POP Beauty has a free Eye Magnet or Lip Magnet primer with purchase of the Face Magnet primer, Amazing Cosmetics has a free deluxe travel size of the Velvet Mineral loose powder foundation with Amazing Concealer purchase, Anastasia has a free deluxe Lash Lifting mascara sample with $22 purchase, Elizabeth Arden has a new mineral foundation for $37.50, and Stila has the new Barbie Loves Stila collection. There’s a new brand called Bloom that does these lip stains, and you have your choice of 4 colours at $22 each. You also get a free cosmetic bag with a $20 purchase. Finally, in prestige, Napoleon Perdis (yay!) has the new Prismatic eye quads and the Luminous Lip Veils, and with a $25 purchase you get a free full-size of Long Black Mascara. Additionally, all ULTA Professional is B1G1 Free. Read the rest of this entry »

Beauty Sans Cruelty

26 August, 2009

One of the most important things in my life has been trying to be a more animal-friendly person. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, I’m not a leather-wearer (except a few pairs of old shoes), and when it comes to beauty products, I like things that are not animal-tested. It’s a way for me to not only have the beauty items I require, but to know that the animals can sleep better at night, too. It’s hard sometimes, though, finding items that are not tested-but luckily, I’m compiling a list of some brands that do not, based on their websites! This is not a list of vegan brands-it’s mainly a list of brands that do not animal-test. However, if there are vegan items I do note them.

If you talk cruelty-free beauty, we have to obviously mention Urban Decay, which has evolved into being an edgy, trend-based line for the young and young at heart known for its high-performance products that have become bonafide sensations (Primer Potions, 24/7 liners, Deluxe eyeshadows). Their motto is “We don’t test on animals. How could anyone?”, which is amazing to have from the brand, but the thing that makes Urban Decay go above and beyond, especially in a mass retail environment, is their wide range of vegan products. Every product that is a vegan product has a little paw print by its name on the displayer, so you can know before you go what the vegan products are. We’re not talking one or two isolated products here-we’re talking a significant portion of their line! Apparently the eye primer potion has been reformulated to be vegan friendly, and the new eyelash primer is as well. I had used Lancome’s but I’ve given up their products (for the most part) as they do animal-test, so to have a cruelty-free one that is also vegan makes it even better for me. Read the rest of this entry »