Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Works For Me: Birthday Beauty Haul

Ryan and I have known each other over half our lives, so, at this point, it's kind of hard to plan surprises.  For birthdays, we've taken to buying our own presents, which is actually really fun and ensures that we both get exactly what we each want.  My birthday is this month, and I had a few beauty items (what else?) that I wanted to try.  Check out my loot from Sephora!

I know, I'm such a beauty junkie.  But before you judge me too harshly, check out what I actually purchased.

(My actual purchase.)

And what I got for free.

(Free samples!)

Sephora's Beauty Insider program offers rewards based on previous purchases, plus a birthday gift, so I always stock up in July to maximize my money.  This time around, I scored two perfume samples, a cologne sample for Ryan, deluxe samples of mascaras by Laura Mercier and Kat Von D, and my free birthday gift, two deluxe samples of lip treatments by Fresh.  That's enough perfume, mascara, and lip balm to keep me supplied for months, and they are also great to stash in your makeup bag for both daily outings and longer trips.

Sephora also offers great samples at Christmas, so I often purchase gifts there for my sisters and friends, then distribute the little extras among them, too.

To celebrate my birthday, I actually bought Korres Wild Rose Regimen Kit, since I've been dying to try their bestselling Wild Rose Moisturizing and Brightening Cream.  Beauty kits are typically a better value than the actual size product when trying something for the first time, and you also get to sample other brand products, too.  There's less commitment this way, and if something doesn't work out, you haven't invested in the full size product.

I also purchased a second Caviar Eye Stick by Laura Mercier, and I am in love with its creamy, sparkly texture.  I already own the Khaki stick and thought about purchasing Turquoise (which is not sold at Sephora) but decided to play it safe with Amethyst, which is always appropriate for my brown eyes.

Since I didn't take the plunge with turquoise eyes, I splurged on Ciaté Paint Pots Nail Polish in Superficial, a dark teal-turquoise.  I'm still pretty conservative when it comes to makeup, but I think it's fun to try new colors, especially on my toes.   Ciaté is new to Sephora, and I'm excited to try one of its bold colors.

And finally, to top it all off, I reordered some jeweled nail stickers made for Sephora by OPI.  I first purchased these last year on a whim, and they are so much fun.  I only use the stickers on my toes, so they last for months, and at $5, you can't beat the price for a little bit of body jewelry.

All total, I spent less that $100 on my actual order and received much more than that in products and samples.  I'm completely set for summer and fall now, and won't need to order anything until Christmas.  I highly recommend taking advantage of free membership programs like Sephora's Beauty Insider, because they truly help you stretch your beauty budget, and it's so much fun to try new products for free.