Bargain Store Mini-Haul

While I love “prestige” beauty stores like Ulta, Sephora, and L’Occitane, I’m no snob when it comes to buying beauty products.  If you told me I could get products I love at a significant discount but I had to drive into the worst neighborhood in town to get it, I would probably go.  One of the stores I regularly check for bargains is Big Lots.  This is a very-not-upscale chain of stores that carries everything from dog food to furniture…

Drugstore Brands:  Big Lots regularly carries a good selection of drugstore brand products, sometimes ones that have been discontinued and are often in atypical packaging.  Typical brands carried:  Revlon, Maybelline, Almay, CoverGirl, and e.l.f.

Prestige Brands:  While this probably isn’t the type of store you imagine yourself shopping at, you might be missing out on some great deals. Every now and then you can find amazing deals on prestige brands of beauty products.  In the past, I’ve gotten/seen products from Philosophy, China Glaze, eos, and Stila.

My Recent Mini Haul:  Managing to control myself somewhat, I only picked up a few items.  (Unable to resist the deals, I’ll probably be returning in the next couple days to get some more.)

Note:  Selection varies greatly from store to store.   If you have more than one Big Lots store in your area, it might be worth your time to browse a couple of them.

My Mini Haul:

– e.l.f. eyeshadow brushes – 95 cents each

– Sephora/O.P.I nail polish – $1.80 each

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Online Shoppers, Unite!

The holiday shopping season is in full swing.  To help you find the best deals on beauty products, I’m posting all the ones I find on my Facebook page.  Some will be in-store deals, but most will be online promo codes (since Cyber Monday is here already!)  Check it out:

https://www.facebook.com/BridgettsBeautyBlog

Thrifty Americans Wanted

If you live in the U.S. and love shopping for beauty products, consider finding me on Facebook.  When I find great deals on beauty products, I share them on my page so we can all save on the stuff we love!

Bridgett’s Beauty Blog on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BridgettsBeautyBlog

(Recent post:  How you can get the Lorac Pro Palette for just $29.40!)

 

Love This! Urban Decay “Fun” Palette

I am a sucker for a cute palette.  I’m simply unable to resist a collection of beauty products in pretty packaging.  When it’s a great deal I’m absolutely defenseless.  So, when I saw this set at UrbanDecay.com for only $16 (and I was ordering some gifts anyway) I added one to my cart.  Despite my love of all three versions of the palette (also available:  “Dangerous” and “Feminine”), I chose the one I thought would have the most colors that would work for me…

Contents:  6 eye shadows and a mini “Lip Junkie” lip gloss in a pretty zipper bag.  The contents can be removed so the case can be used again.  Here’s a photo of the eye shadows on my arm.  (awkward photo – had to use my phone and it has a “flip case” getting in the way!)

Urban Decay Fun Palette

Shown left to right: Maui Wowie, Deep End, Sellout, Fishnet, Stray Dog, Freakshow

 

 

Pros:  Paraben-free.  Cruelty-free, like all Urban Decay cosmetics. (Leaping Bunny & PETA approved)  Deeply-pigmented eye colors that go on smoothly and stay in place.  Lip gloss is in a thin plastic tube, so you can squeeze it to get more of the contents out.  Lip gloss has a pleasant “sweet mint” flavor. Large mirror.

Cons:  The reusable bag contains a magnet to hold the contents, so you can’t put your credit cards or cell phone into it.  The eye shadows very greatly in their “finish”.  Some are shimmery (almost metallic) and others are glittery.  If you only like a certain kind of eye shadow, this may not be a good choice for you.  Lip gloss is a little on the “sticky”/”heavy” side and is very small.  (The packaging had enough room for a bigger lip gloss.)  No applicators, making it a little inconvenient for “to go” use.

In Summary:  Love this.  One of the colors is a little too “sparkly” for everyday use (Maui Wowie) and another is just a color that doesn’t look good on me (Deep End).  However, I adore the palette overall.  The eye shadows are smaller than standard Urban Decay eye shadow pots, but that’s OK with me.  I don’t like keeping makeup too long (OK, sometimes I do it – guilty!) so at least I might come closer to using it all up before I have to throw it out.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4.5-stars

Note: Since these are on sale, they probably won’t be available for very long.  Shipping for most orders is $8.  If you have a login for the site, it’s free if you spend $35.

Price: $16 (on sale)

Available at:  urbandecay.com, beauty.com (“Feminine” only)

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TotalBeauty.com “Mystery Collection”

I have this weird oxymoronic personality issue.  I hate surprises.  And I love them.  Surprise, last-minute change to my schedule? Hate it.  Even if it’s something fun?  Yeah, still hate it.  Surprise in the form of a “grab bag” of stuff?  Love it.  So, when I saw totalbeauty.com’s “Mystery Collection”, I was intrigued.  Especially when I got a discount code…

About TotalBeauty.com Collections:  This website has several “collections” available at a time, with a good range of offerings.  Currently, there are 5 offered, (“mystery” is sold out) ranging from $15-$30.  The $30 one is a GREAT deal, but it’s a little “rated-R”, just so you know…

Pros:  No commitment!!!  This is a big deal for me.  I hate programs that require a monthly subscription – especially if it’s not easy to “opt out”. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Julep Maven program!)  Also – from what I can tell – all of these collections are a good deal.  Plus, you get to try products that might be too expensive to buy full-size only to find out you didn’t like them anyway.

Cons:  You might not like all the products and/or they might not meet your skincare/beauty needs.  “Full size” products advertised seem to be kind of small stuff, like lip balm.  (Oooh, full-size lip balm?  Awesome!)

What I Got:  The “mystery collection” contained items from the other collections currently offered.  (probably leftovers)  I suppose I could have figured out this is what I was going to get, huh?

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Contents:

– Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm (full size! 😉

– Q-tips (travel size)

– $50 gift card to nakedwines.com (a little tricky to use, but OK)

– Juara Candlenut Body Crème (Sample size  – .17 oz.)

– EVOLVh UltraShine Shampoo & Conditioner (travel size – 2 oz.)

– NYX Roll On Shimmer for eyes, face, body (full size, I think)

– NYX Color Lip Balm (full size)

– The Honest Co. Fragrance-free Face & Body Lotion (travel size – 1 oz.)

– The Honest Co. Fragrance-free Healing Balm (travel size – 1 oz.)

– Boscia Luminizing (peel-off) Black Mask (deluxe sample size – .35 oz.)

– Alfaparf Milano Illuminating Serum (deluxe sample size)

– (2) Ferro Cosmetics Mineral Blush Powders (deluxe sample size)

– (7) EBoost Daily Health Booster Water Additives (single-serve)

In Summary:  OK, I would never buy some of this stuff.  I have a good hair serum that I like.  I don’t buy stuff made in China (talking about you, NYX) or that contains parabens (also you, NYX) and I don’t feel a need for a water additive.  Other than that, I think I’ll get some good use out of the products. (reviews coming soon!) I’m sure it’s a good value – even if I only use these as emergency/travel items.  In the future, though, I’ll probably only order collections where I can see the contents.

OK, Last Chance, Urban Decay Fans!

Last time I posted, it was about a great deal on Urban Decay (20% off total purchase at Ulta.com). I’ve been e-mailed another one-time-use coupon code, so if you’re interested, e-mail me at bridgettsbeautyblog@hotmail.com! (It expires Saturday!)

Anyone? Anyone?

OK, due to my recent semi-convalescent state, I’m not doing much shopping.  However, I have a great coupon I’d like to share with someone – anyone – who can use it…

Here’s the deal:  20% off total Urban Decay product purchase at Ulta.com through Saturday.  It’s a one-time-use code, so I’ll e-mail it to the first person who e-mails me requesting the code.   Just so you know, it’s not linked to my ulta.com account or anything.  (I experimented with adding U.D. items to my cart and entering the code without checking out…)

Interested?   e-mail me at bridgettsbeautyblog@hotmail.com

Gift Idea for a Nail Polish Addict

I love nail polish.  I have more bottles of nail polish than I do pairs of shoes (pretty impressive, if you’ve ever seen my shoe collection…).  It must be genetic, because my daughter is also a big fan of all things nail-related.  If you have a nail polish/accessory addict to shop for this holiday season, here’s a great way to give them a gift they’ll love without spending a fortune…

The Inspiration:  This summer, I picked up a nail polish gift set for my daughter.  The one I got was by Wet N Wild, but I’ve seen them by other companies as well.  However, they’re usually not the “prestige” brands of nail polish I prefer to use.  This one is available at CVS right now for $6.99 with a $3 reward:

nail polish bucket

The Container:  Little metal buckets make great containers for a nail polish collection.  They’re super-cute and conveniently portable.  When assembled correctly as a gift set, you can see all the colors/accessories inside easily.  These mini buckets are available at most crafting stores, dollar stores, and sometimes in the dollar sections of mass merchandisers.

Mini Blue Bucket - $.99 at Hobby Lobby.   Mini Wash Tub Bucket, $1.99 at Hobby Lobby.

Mini Blue Bucket – $.99 at Hobby Lobby. Mini Wash Tub Bucket, $1.99 at Hobby Lobby.

Contents: 

– Nail Polishes:  You can raid the clearance aisles of Target, Ulta, Sephora, and other stores to collect enough nail polishes to fill the container.  (Ulta usually has a great selection of name-brand nail polishes that are at least half off – and you can use Ulta store coupons to get them cheaper!)  You want enough to create a “ring” around the inside of the container.

– Accessories:  Fill the center by buying cutesy, colorful nail files & buffers,nail polish strips, etc.  (Dollar Tree stores sell little nail polish glitter tubes!)

– “Travel” Items:  Look for nail polish remover pads in the selection of travel-friendly items at your local drug, beauty, or mass merchandiser store.

Assembly: 

– Fill the bottom of the bucket with a block of styrofoam just tall enough to allow enough room for the nail polishes to be displayed (without falling out).

– Cut a circle of cardboard and put it on top of the styrofoam block.  Use a compass to make a perfect-ish circle, or you can use a can or jar as a template.  You can also use a small paper plate if you have one handy that works for your container size.

– Make “slits” in the center of the cardboard to insert nail files, etc. in an upright position.

– To keep all the nail polishes from sliding around, tape them to each other with clear tape.

– Elevate smaller items in the middle with colorful tissue paper.  Tape them to other items to keep them in place.

Alternate Assembly: Instead of putting the nail polishes in a ring, you can create “steps” with cardboard, and display them more like the example bucket in the first photo.

Voila!  The perfect gift for the nail-polish obsessed!  Not only will you be giving a great gift, you can take pride in having chosen and assembled it yourself.  Oh, yeah, and you’re saving money, too…

Sephora Free Gift

Just wanted to let everyone know about a great “sample set” of products being offered by Sephora (online only) to members of the “Beauty Insider” club.  There are 3 sets to choose from.  All are free with $25 purchase and are available while supplies last.  Here they are

My Latest Bargain Store Finds

I love shopping at beauty stores like Sephora, Ulta, and all those brand-specific ones like Origins.  But I’m not rich.  So, I fill the gap between my budget and my beauty products obsession by finding great products at discount stores.  (See my post about discount store shopping here)  Here are a few things I’ve found recently…

Ricky Care Anti-Frizz Comb

Retail price:  $8   Purchased at: Ross for $4

 

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Set

Retail Price:  $10    Puchased at: Ross for $4

StriVectin SD Anti Wrinkle Cream

Retail Price:  $70    Saw at: TJ Maxx (clearance) for $20

Essie Nail Polish 3-pack

Retail Price:  $24 (if purchased separately)  Saw at: Ross for $9

Photo for example only – actual colors not shown.

 

In Summary:  If you’re willing to break outside your comfort zone to scour some bargain stores for great deals (scouring may be required – these stores are often very disorganized!) you might be able to find the products you love at an amazing price.