High End Makeup Haul

Being a Tulsan, Miss Jackson’s was basically a landmark. Sadly, after 105 years of business they closed their doors at the beginning of 2016. Double edged sword because I got all of these Nars products (minus Rosecliff) for 60% off. Yes, it was a Christmas miracle. The other items I mainly received for Christmas and I’ve been meaning to post this for about a month now (oops). Hence the scruffy packaging- these guys have been tossed around in my bathroom. Also just realized I forgot to include the Marc Jacobs Understudy lipstick and Nars Striptease lipgloss, as they are somewhere in the pit called my handbag…

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^^ Swatches of Nars Liberte, Nars Albatross, and Hourglass Dim Light (goldeny peach)

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^^ Swatches of Nars Grand Palais (first two) and Nars Jolie Poupee (last two); The bronze color in Grand Palais looks amazing on brown eyes!

^^ This YSL mascara is now one of my absolute favorites. I was scared to try it because I knew I would love it and it’s $32. Going to try and find dupes for sure!

^^ Lancome Le Violet is perhaps the brightest lipstick I own and I adore it. This would look wonderful on darker skin tones, but I can just balance it out with a nude blush and some eyeliner.

^^ Swatches of Syrah, Rose des Cygnes, Le Violet, and Rosecliff; Snap of me wearing YSL Babydoll mascara with Rose des Cygnes on lips.

Out of all of these I highly recommend the Grand Palais eyeshadow and the Le Violet lipstick, especially if you have a similar complexion to me!

-Miranda

Coconuts for Beauty


It’s safe to say I love coconuts, everything about them. Only in the past year have I really dived into their amazing benefits for beauty. These products mentioned below are some of my personal favorites when it comes to coconuts. Not all of them are 100% natural or anything, so keep that in mind. Since I am new to this area, natural coconut products are next!

I tend to have dry, frizzy, wavy hair, and these hair products with coconut do wonders at taming. If you get only one thing out of reading this let it be that this DSC_0586Marc Anthony coconut hair oil with biotin is FABULOUS. It’s about $6-$8 so when I first tried it I wasn’t expecting much, but wow. Just wow. It makes my hair smooth, shiny (not oily), eliminates frizz, adds the extra biotin, and smells soooo good. Go buy it.

Marc Anthony has a whole range of coconut hair products, but I haven’t sampled the shampoo/conditioner because I have been stuck on the Coconut Milk one from OGX. Love this too, not as much as the oil, but it is still very moisturizing and a great drugstore price.

Also shown are the Coconut Monoi Oil hair mask from Hask and the Coconut Hibiscus Curl Mousse from Shea Moisture. I haven’t owned this mask too long, but, once again, my hair tends to be dry and I need the moisture from it. If you have wavy, frizzy hair like I do, I also recommend this mousse. It is lightweight, so it won’t drag your hair down and look limp, and it’s free of sulfates.

I only have a few “skincare” items with coconuts, mostly from the Yes to Coconuts line from Target. The lip products in this line are fantastic, especially the oil. It goes on smooth and gives a clear gloss look, while being moisturizing. The wipes DSC_0588from the same line are good for hot days outside or even just refreshing after a workout, but I don’t like them for makeup removal (reason I purchased them). I also threw in the Coconut Fig lotion from C. Booth even though it only contains a small amount of coconut oil because it’s a nice option for all seasons: not too heavy, absorbs fast, lasts for hours.

Even though I love all of these and will continuously repurchase, y’all don’t forget plain coconut oil from the grocery store. Maybe I’ll do a separate post soon about the uses for just that!

-Miranda

Ulta Shopping Tips: From an Employee

Ulta TipsAfter working at Ulta Beauty for two years, I have discovered many tricks for getting the best deal, so I thought I might as well share them! Remember that Ulta stores vary, along with the associates and managers, so this list comes from my specific location. Some of these tips you may already know, but hopefully you can use this to your advantage at least once.
1. Coupons:
The most obvious way to save money at Ulta is with the coupons. Pretty much everyone already knows about the VERY popular $3.50 coupon and the ever illusive 20% off coupon. However, these little guys have several layers. The $3.50 excludes ALL “prestige” items (i.e. Urban Decay, BareMinerals, Stila, fragrance, etc.), so we always recommend to wait, if possible, and use the 20% off entire purchase coupon for those items.
ulta couponNow, speaking of the 20% off coupon, there are three different ones: one that comes in the newspaper/ad (same exclusions as the $3.50), a mailed postcard that works on anything except fragrance, and another postcard that works on absolutely everything. I recommend to read the itty-bitty fine print before going to the store so you are sure which coupon you have, to avoid surprises.

Ulta will also do bounce back coupons that print at the register after a purchase, usually $5 off $15 that is good for one week. These coupons have the same exclusions as the $3.50 coupon, but in the past customers have been able to use both the $5 and $3.5o off of the same transaction when they qualify. I’m not 100% if it still works, but just be very friendly to your cashier and ask if they will try! But if you’re being friendly, and this trick doesn’t work, usually cashiers will divide your transaction up so that you can still use all your coupons and save more $$. This can be done with multiple $3.50 off too.

YES, THE $3.50 CAN BE USED MORE THAN ONCE (it’s the only one that can).
Also, keep your eyes peeled for vendor coupons, because Ulta will combine these with other coupons when applicable (all company coupon policies are still followed here).

2. Gift with Purchase:
GWPs are extremely common in the Ulta marketing world. They’re those rotator_021614_1little deluxe size samples that come when you spend $X in X brand. My advice on this is to NOT go spend $40 on something that you weren’t going to buy anyways just for the GWP. I did that once before working at Ulta because I didn’t know that the gift was a sample; it’s honestly not worth it. Now, I will say that brands like Benefit, Laura Geller, BareMinerals, the prestige skincare brands, and fragrance usually have the better free gifts. I also want to mention to always check the ad and see if your purchase qualifies for a GWP, because usually the cashier will forget. They have to deal with many things going on at once and multiple free gifts, so just mention it.
3. Special Sales:
The best sale of the year is what we call “The Liter Sale” where most major pro haircare brands have liter sized shampoo/conditioner marked way down. Another great event that Ulta does is the “21 Days of Beauty” where each day, one item is on sale for that day only and usually 98% of the products are prestige. Both of these happen only twice a year, usually spring and fall.
4. Inventory:
At my store, we do inventory usually 3-5 times a year and afterwards there is always an abundance of clearance items. I would suggest asking your store about if they are doing inventory soon and then hitting it up after. Coupons usually can work for these items too, which is more savings.

5. Repackaging:

Companies, especially professional haircare brands, tend to repackage their products a lot. When this happens, the old packaging will be clearanced out to make way for the new design. It’s literally the same products, so be on the look out for these because you can get some great deals.
6. Leaving the Store:
Sometimes a particular location won’t be able to sell enough of a brand, so they mark it down to make room for a new company’s product. Our store did this with Cargo Cosmetics, Napoleon Perdis, POP!, and a few others last year. They were 75% off at our store and full price online.
7. Rewards Cards:
Screen-Shot-2014-03-25-at-11.38.03-AMGet a rewards card. Seriously. It’s basically like EBates where you get cash back for buying things you’d buy anyways. Then you also get birthday gifts and special offers through emails. I strongly advise to save your points at least to 1,000 ($50 off) before using them and to only use them in increments of 1,000 at a time, for the best value. To help bump up your points, make big purchases during times of bonus points (birthday months or activated through emails).
8. BE NICE TO THE EMPLOYEES:
Guys, honestly, we would give out GWPs from previous ads to customers who were nice and sometimes extra coupons that we had at the register. Become friends with your Ulta employees and see the benefits.
Anything I forgot? Sorry, I know it’s a long one! I’d love to hear if you guys have any other tips!
-Miranda