Walgreens Haul, Makeup Edition!

I know, I know. But those Balance Rewards points keep racking up, and what’s a girl to do? I seriously had over $250 worth of points!! So I did what any normal girl would do – took an audit of my makeup collection and used my rewards points to fill in the holes.

walgreens BR order
I am OBSESSED with these L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows. As you know, I’ve had Amber Rush for awhile, and after rediscovering it last month, had a total one-track mind when it came to acquiring some of the other colors. The green (above left) is Golden Sage, and the brown (above right) is Bronzed Taupe. Both are shimmery pots of gorgeousness, with amazing long-lasting wear. I seriously can’t say enough good things about these shadows. They give eyes depth and polish, without having to do a whole involved eyeshadow routine – I just gently pat my index finger into the product and tap lightly all over my lids. If I’m feeling fancy, I take a highlighter shade and buff the color up above my creases. I don’t even have to use primer! And 10 to 12 hours later, after a long workday, my eye makeup looks just as pretty as it did in the morning when I applied it. AH. MAY. ZING.

walgreens mini haul slices
A close up look at my goodies. From left to right:

Milani Easy Brow Automatic Pencil – I love double-ended products, especially double-ended brow products. The pencil is deeply pigmented – this is Dark Brown 02 – so I advise going in with a light hand. It’s perfect for the tail end of my brows, which tend to be non-existent and need darkening. And the spoolie brush is perfection – it packs a punch and gets every last unruly hair into place. I’m using this every day and loving it.

Milani Illuminating Facial Powder in Hermosa Rose 02 – When reviewing my makeup collection, I realized that I didn’t own a really good neutral blush. I have corals, hot pinks, rosy pinks, all kinds of pinks actually, but nothing that ran more towards the nude pink end of the spectrum. This is one I’ve had my eye on for awhile, and I must say, it’s absolutely gorgeous in person. The powder is pressed into overlapping roses, and has hues of light brown, nude pink, and champagne. I like to swirl my big fluffy Sonia Kashuk blush brush in it, and tap on the apples of my cheeks and up towards my temples. The result is very subdued and neutral, and leaves me with a perfectly flushed face, which makes it perfect to pair with more dramatic eye or lip looks.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Balm for Lips in Nourishing Nude – I am not, nor will I probably ever be, a lipstick person. But this is not technically a lipstick, but rather a balm. The color is almost exactly my lip shade but a little deeper, and it goes on smooth and creamy. Does NOT dry out my lips, as many lip products tend to do, and it looks natural. I highly recommend this, especially if you are lipstick-averse like I am. It’s a nice way to have a more polished lip without going full on lipstick.

And finally, all the way to the right in the collage above, a better look at that gorgeous Golden Sage eyeshadow.

swatches walgreens BR order
I hardly ever do swatches because unless you have the exact same coloring as I do, it’s probably not very helpful. But these shadows are so amazing, I had to swatch and share. From left – Bronzed Taupe, Golden Sage, Milani Brow.

And there you have it, a pretty nice makeup haul, if I do say so myself! How about you – any great makeup hauls lately? What are you buying and loving right now? Let me know!

Cheers,
birdie

Walgreens Balance Rewards Haul

I’ve posted before about my deep and abiding love for Walgreens. We get all of our prescriptions and the majority of our household/personal care items there, and I try to take full advantage of their Balance Rewards program, which means that I end up with a ton of points that I inevitably use on “fun” stuff.

walgreens points order
This is a rewards haul from Walgreens that I ordered earlier last month. I was able to take advantage of a 20% off personal care coupon (they run these promotions all the time online, so I really don’t make an online purchase and use up my points unless I also have a coupon for a certain % off my order). After the coupon, my total was $53 and change. I redeemed 40,000 Balance Rewards points (equal to $50), so I basically got all of this for $3. And change. Whee!!

From left to right:
Fekkai Dry Shampoo (travel size)
Neutrogena Visibly Even BB Cream in Light/Medium
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
EO (Essential Organics) Coconut & Vanilla bubble bath
Calgon Ageless Bath Milk Serum

This order was a combination of stuff I’ve had my eye on (I’m looking at you, Neutrogena BB Cream!), products I already know I love (the Neutrogena Night Cream, as well as the EO bubble bath, although this is a scent I haven’t tried yet), and a few things I just had to try (Ageless Bath Milk Serum – how could you not be utterly intrigued by that name alone? As well as the Fekkai dry shampoo, because I love Fekkai products and I love dry shampoo, so hopefully this one’s a winner!).

How about you – any good drugstore hauls lately? Any drugstore products you are loving that you think I should try out?

Cheers,
birdie

Walgreens Haul

I blogged about this order back when I placed it – I had been saving my Walgreens Balance Rewards Points for quite a while and finally cashed in 50,000 points – which brought a $50.92 order down to a whopping $4.92!

I’m excited about this haul but wanted to note that it’s not just hauling for the sake of hauling (haulers gonna haul?), but rather products that round out my existing beauty product collection and/or items that I’ve been wanting to try and keeping my eye on for quite some time. I know we talk about it incessantly, but I really do feel that No-Buy August helped me gain a lot of perspective on my shopping habits and being a consumer overall. I want to buy and consume things that are truly great products/finds, not just buy them because they were on sale or I got a good deal.

Enough with the deep stuff, on to the goodies:

Walgreens2
Orofludio Shampoo: I had purchased the Orofludio Mask from Birchbox awhile back, and my beauty OCD was always triggered by the fact that I didn’t have the shampoo to go along with it. It’s a very distinctive smell – exotic and amber-y? – and is extremely nourishing. Highly recommend.

Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat: The supposed creme de la creme of all topcoats, and I finally snagged it! I’ve used it several times already and have to say, I can see what the fuss is about. It dries polish fast and leaves my mani/pedi looking super shiny. Highly recommend.

Smith&Vander Energize Spa Shower Tablets: How fun are these? I didn’t even know such a product existed but I’m loving being able to experience aromatherapy/pampering while in the shower. The scent is fruity and invigorating and really does permeate the entire bathroom, as the packaging suggests. Highly recommend.

Walgreens1Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in Hemp Rose: I bought this to use as a brush cleaner, but obviously, as the bottle says, it has a ton of uses. There is also a lot of crazy stuff on the bottle. Political and religious statements, etc. Anybody know what’s up with that? Recommend.

Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask: This was featured in Allure magazine’s October Best of Beauty issue and I immediately added it to my Wish List. It has a very gritty texture and definitely has sugar in it (don’t get it in your mouth, but if you do, it’s not too bad). It leaves my skin sparkling and bright. Kind of ridiculous how well it works for how little it cost. Highly recommend.

Village Naturals Aches&Pains Foaming Bath Oil: Love this scent and had used the bath salts version before. I was very intrigued by the “long-lasting bubbles” claim, because I can never find a bubble bath product with decent staying power. Unfortunately, this didn’t really measure up in the long-lasting department, although it did scent my bath quite nicely. Recommend.

Whew! What do you think? I’m quite pleased with this order and looking forward to continuing to use all of these products. I also purchased a Real Techniques face brush set, which I’ll blog about later – I have a lot to say about brushes, as I’m kind of new to that scene. Turns out that using nice brushes goes a long way towards making your makeup look fab.

Any recent hauls for you? Are you a Balance Rewards (or any kind) points hoarder like I am?

Cheers,
birdie

En Route

Is there anything more deeply satisfying than getting a shipping notice for a carefully plotted, months-in-the-making online beauty purchase?

No. No there is not.

Here is what’s en route to us this very minute (in addition to bijou’s October Julep Maven box, which should ship soon!):

JHAG1A nine-piece (nine!) sampler of scents from French brand Juliette Has A Gun. Birchbox sent out samples of “Mad Madame” a million years ago, and bijou fell deeply in love. Some recent swings through Birchbox’s online user reviews of Mad Madame yielded the discovery of this sampler set, which is really quite a steal, when you consider that a full-sized bottle of their perfume goes for roughly $135. We’re figuring it’s a good investment to sample a whole lot of their scents before splurging that big. Bonus: the packaging is chic beyond belief, even for samples, and the whole thing is just oh-so-French.

Sept Walgreens orderAll of this? $4.92 after all was said and done. Thanks to a whole lot of points saving – if you live near a Walgreens, look into their Balance Rewards program – birdie just cashed in $50 worth of points on this order and used an online promotional coupon to bring down the price even more. It’s kind of insane how quickly the points can add up and pay off.

A few thoughts on this order…
– We’ve been eyeing Real Essential brushes for quite some time, and this kit will round out our brush collection nicely.
– Seche Vite is pretty explanatory – it’s revered pretty much everywhere as THE top coat to have, and we’ve been dying to try it.
– The Freeman mask is new *and* got a shoutout in Allure magazine’s recent Best of Beauty issue, which is basically our annual beauty bible.
– Some fun bath/shower stuff and the Dr. Bronner’s to clean afore-mentioned makeup brush collection (we’ve read on many a beauty blog that it is the brush cleaner to end all brush cleaners).
– Orofludio shampoo, to match the Orofludio mask that birdie purchased from Birchbox awhile back. Because nothing triggers our beauty OCD quite like having to wash our hair with non-matching shampoo and conditioner.

And while it may look like we are getting crazy-spendy after our No-Buy August, a lot of thought and budgeting went into these purchases. In fact, No-Buy August has us approaching beauty products in a whole new way – something we’ll blog about in more detail at a later date.

Anything fun en route to you right now?

Cheers,
birdie&bijou

Walgreens Haul(s), aka I Love My Drugstore

Walgreens is my homey. Or whatever the appropriate version of what the kids are saying these days would be. I love it – it’s clean and organized, the employees are the nicest, and there are always great deals to be had.

Walgreens haulDrugstores can really be a treasure trove for someone on a budget (like me). There are so many mass-market products these days that are top-notch, just as good if not better than the pricier alternatives.

We have a Walgreens right around the corner from us and their Balance Rewards program is second to none. I’m there 2-3 times a week already, picking up prescriptions (long story, may blog about it eventually) and it’s SO hard not to detour to the beauty section. And, you know, sometimes I give in to that inner voice.

Here are a few things I picked up over the past month or so…

Aveeno Positively Ageless facial scrub: I bought this when Aveeno was offering rewards point for buying two products. I also had a coupon for $2 off, and bought this scrub and some makeup wipes for next to nothing. I like this product because it really feels like it’s working but it doesn’t strip my skin or leave it feeling dry. A great addition to my arsenal of skin care products, and it smells great, too.

Aveeno makeup wipes: I have become quite the fan of makeup remover wipes and had been wanting to try these out. One thing that really stands out is the packaging – oftentimes, wipes are packaged with a “peel back” sticker that, theoretically, is supposed to re-stick and keep the wipes in good shape until you are ready to use them again. But more often than not, I get down to the last 5 wipes or so, only to find that they are completely dried up. The Aveeno packaging is a plastic “pop-top” design that is much better suited to keep the wipes moist. Oh, and, they work great, too. One wipe is all it takes to get every last morsel of makeup off – even heavy eye makeup.

Bumble & Bumble styling lotion: This was another clearance find – priced at $2.50 versus the regular retail price of $26.00. A total steal. It’s not up on the Walgreens website (although, when I did a search for bumble products, this little gem popped up) so I’ve linked to the Amazon website instead. I’d liken this to a cross between a detangler and pre-styler. I can use it on wet hair and then go to bed, waking up with waves, or I can use it as a foundation for other products when I want to blow my hair out straight. Bumble & Bumble has never let me down, and this styling lotion is no exception.

Frederic Fekkai glossing serum: My hair in one word, after using this product – flawless. Glossy, shiny, hair perfection. And it works well in both ways for me – on naturally dried hair for glossy waves, and on blown out hair for a sleek look. Another clearance bin score – $2.00 for a 3.4 ounce bottle, versus the full retail price of $24.00.

Frederic Fekkai set (shampoo, conditioner, hair mask): I tried the Technician hair color line a few years ago and loved everything about it. It makes my hair shiny and lovely looking (and really, who isn’t after lovely looking hair?) and the smell is divine. I used my Rewards Points for this and consider this a splurge-worthy set of products. I just love how these products make my hair look.

L’Oreal Overnight Repairing Balm: I am in LOVE with this stuff. I picked it up in the clearance section for just a few dollars. It’s a treatment designed to leave your hair stronger and healthier-looking, and it works overnight. I’ve incorporated this into my hair care routine (which I WILL blog about at some point). This is great for my hair, especially on days 2 and 3 after a shampoo when I’m using dry shampoo in my roots, but my ends are getting dry. I just twist some of this through at night and wake up to great-looking hair the following morning. Lazy beauty routines – my fave!

How about you – any great drugstore steals or splurges lately?