Sephora Friends & Family sale now open, through 11/2

Hello ladies. It’s that time again!

Sephora’s F&F sale is online only this year, unless you are an actual friend or family member of a real live Sephora employee and have an actual physical postcard you can bring to the store. But for the rest of us schmucks, it’s online only. A sales associate at my local Sephora tried to tell me I wasn’t going to be able to take part in the sale unless I was, duh, an actual friend or family member. She obviously doesn’t know me very well.

The sale is fussier than it has been in previous years; you have to go to this website:, and enter your email address. It will generate a single-use promotional code that is good between now and 11/2. For those of us who like to double- or triple-dip, you only get one code per email address, but you can enter as many as five email addresses per computer. Maybe more, if you do a little tinkering.

There is also probably going to be a VIB event in-store and/or online like there has been for the last several years. Rumor has it that you will be required to actually bring your BI card and a photo ID to the store. For those of us who have lost our BI cards, I don’t know what that means, but I’m sure they will come up with a way to take my money.

What are you indulging in this year? Post your hauls, big and smauls small.


Sales Quickie! Tarte, Urban Decay F&F sales

Term is almost over, and I look forward to resuming regular posting! I have many new and exciting things to review! A few more classes plus finals and grading left to go.

In the meanwhile, two quickie sales announcements:

Tarte is having a F&F sale and offering 40% (!) off through 12/13 with code FFDEC.

Urban Decay is having a F&F sale and offering 25% off through 12/12 with code 1FFNF.


Great Deal on E.L.F. Makeup Palettes — Today Only!

If you’re looking for an inexpensive full-face makeup palette to try out different colors or products, e.l.f. is having a fantastic sale today only!

For $33, you get all three of their Studio Makeup Collection palettes.

Link here — use code MC33 if it does not automatically reduce the price.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Cosmetics & Skincare Deals

All right, ladies (and, of course, gentlemen). Hope you and your removable wallets are in shape for this.

Here are the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals that I think are worth pursuing. As usual, I am not listing sales that are not sitewide or storewide (or, at least, valid on the vast majority of the site/store) or sites that are only offering free shipping, purchase-with-purchase (unless it’s freaking awesome; see below), or gifts-with-purchase that are not worth it.

Some are Black Friday only, some are Cyber Monday only, and some run the gamut of dates. If there’s no code, then either I haven’t received it yet or prices will be marked down on the website itself.

I’ll be adding to the list as more information comes in.



Kate Somerville is having a F&F sale through 11/30: 30% off with code KSFF2010. Recommended: Exfolikate.

SkinStore is offering 20% off everything through 12/1 with code CYBER20.

SkincareRX is also offering 20% off (nearly) everything with code BESTSKIN20. I have no end date on this one.

Bliss has various deals all week long but is offering 50% off of many products on Black Friday including products by Becca Cosmetics (love), Dr. Dennis Gross skincare (formerly MD Skincare, maker of the Alpha-Beta peels I like), and Prevage. No code has been announced, so it might just be prices reduced on the website.

Kiehl’s is offering 20% off from Friday through Tuesday. This applies to online purchases with code FAMILY10 and Kiehl’s stores (starting Friday, there will be an invite online that you can print out and bring to your local store). The discount does not, however, apply to Kiehl’s counters at department stores. Code FAMILY10 will also get you free ground shipping on orders of $30 or more as well. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this one because I am almost out of my favorite Cryste Marine Ultra Riche moisturizer.

Origins has several value sets for the holidays but is also offering $10 off a purchase of $25 or more plus free shipping with code MONDAY. This was only supposed to work on Cyber Monday 11/29 but it worked for me now (very early in the morning on Friday 11/26), so you might want to give it a try. The $10 off of $25 does not apply to gift sets, sadly. (Note: Ebates is offering 8% cash back at Origins right now.)

Josie Maran is offering 25% off on Cyber Monday (11/29) only. No code needed.

Armani Beauty is having a 20% off F&F sale from Wednesday 11/24 through Tuesday 11/30 with code FRIENDS.

YSL is also offering 20% off from now through Tuesday with code FRIENDS. It’s like YSL and Armani got together or something.

Lancome is offering 20% off from Thursday through Monday with code HOLIDAY20. You will also get free shipping.

Stila is offering 20% off everything through 11/30 with code STILALOVES. There is also a Cyber Monday sale on 11/29 only with up to 80% off; I don’t have any more details on that at the moment.

Smashbox is offering 20% off everything through 11/29 with code FFSB20. Free shipping on all orders.

Elizabeth Arden is offering 25% off plus free shipping on any order from 11/26-11/30. (You can get a special deal there now if you go through Ebates: there is a Cyber Monday 31-piece GWP that is available to Ebates shoppers starting now but that won’t be available to regular customers until 11/29. Also, note the EA deal below.)

Eve Pearl is bringing back the Black Pearl Special, in which you can get up to 55% off with code BPCM2010. According to their website, the special begins on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) at midnight EST and ends Monday 11/29 at 11:59 pm EST. I do wonder whether they really meant Friday, but who knows — if you’re up late tonight/early tomorrow, it might be worth a look. They meant Thursday, all right; the sale is up. The average site-wide discount seems to be about 40%; I think it’s only certain items that are “up to” 55% off.

Korres is offering 25% off (and a free Wild Rose lip butter with orders of $30 or more) with code MUSE. Recommended: powder blushes. (The Muse runs a blog, which I am linking to for your reading enjoyment here.)

Shu Uemura is offering 20% off (with free shipping on orders over $50) on Black Friday only with code WISH2010.

Trish McEvoy is offering 20% off and free shipping on all orders now through Monday 11/29 with code TMHOLIDAY.

BeautyTicket is offering 30% off on Black Friday only with code CYBER30.

Lierac is offering 30% off from 11/29 through 12/3 with code FF2010.

If you live near a CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet), check for super-early-bird Black Friday discounts. Mine is offering an additional 10% discount (on top of their normal 30% markdown) between 12 midnight and 6 am on Friday morning.

And it’s not just the high-end sites that are having sales, either:

Sally Beauty has 20% off through 11/30 with code 555962.

NYX Cosmetics is offering 50% off (!) your entire purchase on Friday 11/26.

CherryCulture is offering 20% off now through Sunday 11/28 with code TG20.

Coastal Scents is offering 33% off the entire site now through Monday 11/29. There is no code but the discount appears magically in your cart at checkout.

And, certainly not least, ELF has an odd mixture of codes going on at the present. Code bcg55 gets you 55% off of everything on orders of $25 or more, but does not net you free shipping as far as I can see. (Note: MrRebates is offering 7% cash back on ELF at the moment.)

And a special shout-out to our Canadian vixens (vixennes?):

Beauté is offering 20% off your order with code KARLASUGAR. (Yes, this code applies to Yanks too, but since it’s a Canadian company, they should get the bragging rights. KarlaSugar runs a fabulous blog of swatches; thanks for sharing the code with us, Karla!)


Surprisingly Fabulous Purchase Of The Day:

If you have ever been the least bit curious about Elizabeth Arden makeup, then I have an offer here that you cannot refuse. The Elizabeth Arden holiday blockbuster is out, and it looks gorgeous. I know lots of people think of EA as an “old lady” brand of makeup, but I have two lippies from them that I really like a lot, and I keep forgetting they’re EA for some reason.

Here is a picture of the EA holiday blockbuster 2010:

It contains:

  • Deluxe two tiered compact with ten eyeshadows in Sunny Pink, Indigo, Limelight, Fizz, Nude, Black Plum, Mink, Slate Blue, Silver Taupe, and Midnight Emerald plus two cheekcolors in Terrarose and Golden Rose and one pressed shimmer powder in Soft Gold Shimmer
  • Two lip pencils in Crimson and Taupe
  • Two eye pencils in Midnight and Espresso
  • Three vintage cased Exceptional Lipsticks in Smooth Mauve, Soft Red, and Red Door Red
  • Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara in Black
  • Two High Shine Lip Glosses in Golden Pearl and Sparkling Ruby
  • Nail Lacquer in Red Door Red
  • Red Door Eau de Parfum Limited Editon Replica
  • Three piece brush set with brush pouch
  • Red satin quilted cosmetic bag

At most places this collection (valued at $340) is available for $42.50 with a $24.50 purchase, so it’s a purchase-with-purchase thing. BUT! Online at Ulta, you can just buy the blockbuster for $42.50 with no additional purchase. AND you get a free 7-piece EA gift (the contents are unclear but there’s a red lippie, a fragrance sample, and some skincare samples). AND you can use code 512213 to get free shipping. AND you get three free samples. AND if you go through Ebates you will get 5% cash back. (You will get 7% cash back through MrRebates but it takes longer and for such a small amount of money it isn’t worth it to me.)

So for $42.50 plus tax (and minus a few dollars from Ebates), you get a heck of a lot of stuff. If you want to try EA, or if you are looking for sets to break apart and turn into stocking stuffers, you cannot go wrong with this deal. (Yes, I ordered one this morning.)

To be careful your wallet! Photo:

Thursday Tossup: (Smells Like) Texasssssssssssss!, Sales

I have a dear friend (who probably thinks I’ve fallen off the face of the planet) who lives in Texas. This is not her choice, but her husband has a job there that he really likes, so for the foreseeable future, that’s where she’s stuck. On the all-too-rare occasions when I talk to her on the phone (the all-too-rare-ness of which is entirely my fault), we usually greet each other by the names of the states in which we live, since that used to be all that would show up on our caller ID. For example, when she lived in San Francisco, I used to call her “California,” and when they moved to Nashville for her husband’s medical residency, she became “Tennessee.” But she dislikes Texas so much, and has told me so many horror stories, that I just can’t bear to enthusiastically call her “Texasssssssss!” in the manner of William Shatner in Miss Congeniality, which I would otherwise love to do.

However, if it weren’t so dang expensive, I would consider buying her this horrendous bottle of perfume, just as a joke. This is Bond No. 9’s new and exclusive scent called (guess!) “Texas.” Only 400 bottles are being produced (thank God) and it is available via Saks for the low low price of $360. To be fair (ha!), some of the cost is attributable to the fact that perfectly innocent Swarovski crystals were harmed in the construction of that bottle.

What does it smell like? Well, Fragrantica has the following to say: “Opening notes incorporate: mandarin, bergamot, black currant, pineapple leaves. A heart beats in floral rhythm of jasmine, gardenia, Hedione, neroli and lily of the valley, while base notes close the composition with vanilla, vetiver, cardamom, musk and oakmoss.” The Houston Press is slightly more cynical, and has an amusing take on the fragrance here. Heh.


If you are a Sephora VIB, the VIB-only 20% off sale starts today and runs through Monday 11/15. Online code: VIB20. You should also have gotten this info via email, and you can print out the email for use in-store (or bring the coupon you got in the mail).

Boscia is holding an F&F sale with 25% off any purchase excluding kits. Runs through Monday 11/5 with code FNF2010.

We are right around the corner from the official start of the holiday shopping season (what do you think, should I make another midnight Black Friday cosmetics excursion?), so there are likely to be other sales cropping up soon.

Monday Mix: Quick Fix Vixen Tricks; Sales

All right. There are five and a half weeks until the end of classes. (Not that I’m counting.) We can make it, right? Right?

Yes. Yes we can. And lipstick will help us.

If you are like me, and mornings put you in the position of trying to do a ten-minute face in three minutes and hoping it makes you look like you got seven hours of sleep instead of four, then here are some quickie tips that might help you:

1. Lipstick can double as blush. Srsly. This works with pigmented glosses too, but nothing too shiny or glittery. So if you grab a lippie on your way out the door, you can dot it on your cheeks in the car (at a stoplight, of course!) and blend with your fingers. Done.

2. A stick concealer is your best friend for on-the-road makeup fixes, including covering up inner-eye shadows and blemishes.

3. Grooming your brows is probably the single best two-minute investment you can make in the morning.

4. A soft nude eye shadow will help cover purple or otherwise discolored eyelids, making you look more awake but not “made-up.” If you have an extra second, smear some eyelid primer on there first to help it adhere better. I like TFSI for a primer and ULTA eyeshadow in Cocoa for a barely-there look.

We shall overcome!


Just when you thought it was safe: if you are a VIB and you missed the Sephora F&F sale (or there was something you are kicking yourself for not picking up), you get another chance! Starting Thursday 11/11, Sephora is running a VIB sale with 20% off. You must be a VIB to get the discount. Online, the code is VIB20; they are supposed to be sending out postcards for in-store use. I haven’t gotten mine yet. Ends 11/15.

HauteLook has Rock&Republic beauty on Monday 11/8 and Becca on Tuesday 11/9. I will be interested to see what turns up in these sales. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

Thursday Tossup: Ow, My Removable Wallet! and, Sales

This week has hit me like a brick a ton of bricks a whole freaking house worth of bricks. I am continuing to smear makeup on my face before I leave the house in the morning, but writing sparkly little posts about it is kind of beyond me right this second. And a review that says “Mmmf. Blargh. Mascara looks crappy all over face. Stupid applicator. Hate you…” is, well, not super-helpful.

(No real mascaras were ridiculed in the creation of that hypothetical review.)

So here are some sales, if you can bear to look at them. For me, the morning after the Sephora F&F sale is over is not unlike waking up on New Year’s Day after a night of celebratory debauchery and having someone say, “here, have a tomato egg cream!” Bleah. I feel mildly ill and am full of virtuous resolution to live Puritanically for the foreseeable future (or, for the next week, whichever is longer).


Clarins is having a F&F sale of their own: 20% off (and free shipping) through 11/16 with code CLARINSFF.

Korres is also having an F&F sale: 20% off through 11/11 with code FF2010.

And, of course, there’s the F&F sale: it’s the usual 20% off, through 11/5 at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Click through this link to access the sale. (I’ve also heard you can use code BTY20 but haven’t tried it. Usually their F&F sales are click-through-link sales rather than checkout codes, but give it a try.) is offering 20% off through 11/7 with code BESTSKIN20. There are a couple of brand exclusions.

L’Occitane is offering 15% off through 11/7 with code INVITE15.

HauteLook has Juara skincare today starting at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific. On Monday they’ll have Rock & Republic beauty. Rock & Republic is also offering 50% off on their cosmetics online with code ROCKCOSMETICS — the makeup portion of the brand is being discontinued, and they are trying to get rid of their remaining stock.


Monday Mix: Smells Like Eyjafjallajökull, and Sales

What is the best way to commemorate an act of nature that disrupted travel and commerce in most of Western Europe for several weeks?

Why, give it its own perfume, of course! Duh.

Icelandic perfume brand Gydja has decided, in their infinite wisdom, that people would like to own a perfume made with water from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. I guess so this is so they can fondly remember those days of being stuck in airports. So they’re creating a new fragrance, called Efj — which is, apparently, a nickname for the volcano, though since I don’t speak Icelandic I can’t say for sure, nor do I have the first clue how to pronounce it.

Mmm, volcano. Yummy. (Apparently it will be a citrusy fragrance, which is better than ash, smoke, scorched earth, and airport terminal.)


If you were waiting for an end-of-the-month paycheck to go wild at Sephora‘s Friends & Family sale, I’m pleased to announce that you still have until Wednesday 11/3 to do it!

Or, if you prefer, they are having their own 20%-off F&F sale starting Tuesday 11/2 and running through Friday 11/5. There will probably be a special link that you have to click through. I’ll post it when I have it!

Korres also has an F&F sale of 20% off going on until Tuesday 11/11 with code (you guessed it) FF2010.

Today is the last day of SkinStore‘s 20% off F&F sale; use code AUTUMN20.

HauteLook has Urban Decay on Monday 11/1 and blinc on Wednesday 11/3. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.


Thursday Tossup: Sephora F&F Check-In, and Other Sales, I Guess

All right, ladies, the Sephora F&F sale is more than half over. Raise your hand if you’ve placed an order.

Yes, thank you, Lady Liberty. Now, raise your hand if you’ve placed two orders.

Huh. Okay, raise your hand if you’ve placed two orders and are working on a third.

What, only me?

I’ve done some restocking of staples and some experimentation with new brands and products I haven’t tried before. (My new favorite lippie: NARS Petit Monstre, new for their holiday 2010 collection. Review to follow as soon as I can snap a lip swatch.)

So, spill it. What’d you get? Or, what’re you getting? In addition to the NARS lippie, I’ve picked up a Korres blush that I have turned out to love, an Illamasqua pigment, and the new LORAC Box Office Sensation train case/palette, which ought to keep me busy for quite awhile. Oh, and a couple of brushes.

Sorry we’ve been short on reviews lately. Grading and course prep have been eating my life. Again. It happens every semester.


So in case you missed it, the Sephora F&F sale lasts through 11/3; checkout code FF2010 gets you 20% off, online only.

Dermadoctor is offering 20% off through 11/2 with code SPOOKY. Some exclusions apply; see site for details.

ULTA is offering 20% off online through 10/30 with coupon code 47139. HOWEVER — there are lots of exclusions for the online deal. There is also a paper coupon that some ULTA customers have received for in-store use that has only a few exclusions, so it’s a much better deal if you can get one. (For whatever reason, I didn’t get one, but my mother did. Go figure.)

This one’s not a sale, but MAC’s A Tartan Tale holiday collection launched online yesterday and launches in-store today, so if you’ve been waiting for that, the curtain is officially up. I am not ordering anything from this collection except a backup of the Petrol Blue pearlglide eyeliner pencil. This pencil is limited edition, originally appeared with MAC Art Supplies collection, and was just re-released with A Tartan Tale. I love this eyeliner and it’s the one I use in almost all of my blue-eye looks.


Monday Mix: Happy Spring! and, Sales

Yes, you read that correctly. We are now starting to see promotional pictures for a few early-bird Spring 2011 makeup collections (Givenchy, YSL).

Dude — It’s. Not. Even. Halloween. Yet.

I’m just hitting my stride with my fall makeup and starting to look forward to holiday collections. I haven’t finished sorting out my lemmings from the collections that are going to be released in the next month — I certainly don’t need to be thinking about ones that won’t be coming out until six months from now. It’s kind of like a spoiler; it makes me not even want to get invested in the fall and holiday collections. Besides, half the fun of spring colors is how refreshing they are after months of sleet and snow and ice and grey skies and sweaters and boots and scarves and biting wind and air so cold it hurts to breathe. So let’s save ’em for when we need ’em, yes?


In case you missed it, Sephora F&F is on through Friday! 20% off with code FF2010. Online only unless you have a friend who’s a Sephora SA and will let you take the discount in-store; each store seems to be setting its own policies about that.

Caudalie F&F ends today: 20% off, also with code FF2010.

HauteLook has Bellapierre mineral cosmetics on Monday, Fusion Beauty on Tuesday, and LORAC on Wednesday. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

Beautiful tulip photo by