Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rear view mirror, it’s time for my own Black Friday haul post! I pretty much entirely focused on cosmetics this year – initially I was plotting to get a PS4, but with the Persona 5 release date being pushed to April and no really amazing PS4 deals manifesting, I figured I’d just wait and see if anything better pops deal-wise between now and the P5 release date. Sure, Tales of Berseria is coming out in January, but as I still need to work through both Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Zestiria, I’m feeling a distinct lack of urgency on the PS4 front, basically. It doesn’t help that my PS3 finally bricked itself so I need to replace that one as well because Sony apparently doesn’t believe in backwards compatibility… sigh.
Uh, so, right. All that is to say, instead of dropping cash on a gaming console, I instead decided to shore up my makeup kit. In preparation for the sales, I went through my cosmetic stash and came out realizing that I desperately needed five things:
- I had somehow allowed myself to get down to only one small GWP size of mascara
- I was in serious need of more neutral matte eyeshadows for daily wear (I had TONS of shimmery palettes and vibrant mattes, but my Urban Decay Pulp Fiction palette was my only source of neutral mattes jfc)
- I wanted to invest in some higher quality brushes because I was sick of my powder brush shedding all over my face every time I applied my pore finishing powder. Yuck.
- I was about to run out of my shampoo and conditioner and wasn’t impressed enough with either of them to justify a repurchase, so if I could find a volumizing shampoo/conditioner set, that would be stellar!
- Eye makeup remover. My makeup remover wipes were “accidentally” thrown out by someone who will remain nameless, and the only makeup cleansing water that I had on hand was the Boscia Sake Cleansing Water – which, while it works nicely for removing foundation and SPF, is not something I recommend using on your eyes!
So, with those goals in mind, I started creeping on sites like Musings of a Muse and Temptalia, noting which sites were going to have sales and which brands were releasing limited edition sets/palettes for the shopping holiday.
I ended up managing to check every box on my list (and then some 😇), so if you’d like to see how I made out, please read on!
SEPHORA BLACK FRIDAY HAUL
The first shop that I hit up was, of course, Sephora. While they weren’t having any whole-store sales, they were releasing a bunch of mini-kits and gift sets exclusively for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With eBates offering double cash back for the shopping holiday, it seemed like a no-brainer!
As an aside, I apologize for the drop in photo quality – my camera’s charger and battery were “misplaced” (I suspect it was accidentally thrown out when that same certain someone randomly unplugged and moved the charging battery, because it hasn’t turned up after well over a month’s worth of searching), so I’m using my phone’s camera in the hopes that the person responsible will own up and offer to replace the missing battery/charger. I guess it’s decent enough quality – it’s certainly better than when I used my Kindle’s camera way back at the beginning of this blog! – but since I am not really a phonehead and just use a BLU HD R1 phone, it’s a noticeable enough downgrade that I feel like I need to apologize 😖
The first thing that I grabbed was this BeneFit set that’s been in the sale section for awhile now – while it’s not my HG mascara or anything, I do find BeneFit They’re Real Mascara to be reliable and pretty (if a bit stubborn to remove), so a cheapo kit with mini sizes of both the black and brown shades seemed like a nice thing to have. I’ve never tried the They’re Real Eye Makeup Remover before, but hey, I needed some anyhow, so…
The included eyeliner – They’re Real Push-Up Liner – is not one that I’ve ever tried, and honestly I’m still working through my massive stash of black eyeliner from my Glossybox sub era, so it was sort of a non-factor for me. But maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised!
This kit is still available for $19 USD. Remember to use eBates for at minimum 4% cash back (though today it’s 10%!) 😘
I did grab a full-sized mascara as well – the Clinique Chubbt Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey. I have the Black Honey kit that Clinique released a couple years ago and have found it incredibly useful as Black Honey is such a flattering shade, so I was very interested in trying out the LE mascara version to go with my already-owned Black Honey eyeliner!
I’ve heard that this mascara shade does amazing things for hazel eyes like mine, so I’m definitely excited to give this a go!
As mentioned above, I needed a good eye makeup remover, and I’ve been wanting to try out Too Cool For School for some time now. This eye makeup remover has good reviews as well as soothing ingredients like aloe and allantoin, so here’s hoping that it’s effective and non-irritating. I’ve definitely tried eye makeup removers in the past that made my eyes red and itchy, or left an oily/filmy feeling… reviews seem to imply that Ziukoza avoids both of these problems, so it seemed like a good choice.
I’ve used it once thus far, to remove some eyeshadow and the BeneFit They’re Real mascara, and it worked like a charm without any irritation or burning, so I have high hopes moving forward!
Also pictured is the 100-point GWP that I redeemed for, namely…
I’ve heard so many good things about Sunday Riley, but I just haven’t been able to justify buying anything – when it comes to skincare, my Memebox craze back in 2013/2014 has got me set for serums, essences, moisturizers, etc for probably another couple years! The exception is that I do tend to burn through toners much faster than any other skincare product, so when I saw the chance to try out this supposedly mattifying toner from such a hyped brand, I knew I had to use my points!
Also, the sci-fi lover in me just loves the silly name 😋
This kit was the one Black Friday special from Sephora that I knew I had to buy. I’ve loved the Alterna Caviar line since way back when it was $50+ for the shampoo and even more for the conditioner – I worked at a salon that sold the line, and after Alterna saved my hair from a very traumatic attempt at bleaching and going red, I became the store’s top seller of the brand and their rep actually gifted me with the Caviar shampoo/conditioner set as a reward. It was phenomenal and my roommate and I both totally fell in love!
Since then, Alterna has become much more affordable, but still top quality. I hadn’t yet tried the Caviar Volume line, but as someone with stick-straight, super-fine hair that really, really wants to be flat, I’d been wanting to give it a go for years.
It still has that familiar Alterna smell that I love so much, too! As soon as I opened my Sephora package, I could smell it and flashed back to the wonder days of working somewhere that netted me a 30% off discount for the brand… sigh, why did I ever quit that job?! Oh, right, college and time constraints… 😥
After scouring Temptalia and YouTube for neutral matte palette reviews and swatches, this palette from Too Faced is the one that I finally settled on wanting to buy. At $36, it doesn’t break the bank, had a good selection of shades, and generally received positive reviews from the online beauty community.
Also, how great are those shade names? Nudie and Sexpresso are definitely my favorites of the bunch, though Honey Butter and Chocolate Cookie definitely make me hungry…
I broke in this palette yesterday, using a Nudie/Honey Butter combo for some errands and a boring dentist visit. I found them easy to apply and blendable, so I’m excited to try the rest of the shades as well as attempt some more detailed looks with this palette!
I’d previously purchased the purple set of these hair ties and was pretty impressed by them – they don’t pull or snag and they don’t get stretched out easily, always important factors for good hair ties. So I figured I’d add the neutral set to my bag while the cash back was so good!
Also pictured are the three fragrance samples that were included with my order – as expected, the samples I chose during checkout were unavailable by the time they shipped my order (more or less par for the course during heavy traffic times like Black Friday or the VIB sales), so these were randomly selected from what they had available. The scents are:
- Prada Candy – Overkill. You’ll see why shortly…
- Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb – a men’s cologne. I’ll probably pass it on to a male friend as I don’t really go for super-masculine scents on myself.
- Paco Rabanne Invictus – another cologne, so same deal.
The code that I used netted me a sample mystery bag for free with my $25+ purchase. I have to say, it turned out to be quite generous, so I’m really glad that I selected this code over some of the other possibilities!
Here’s what was included in my sample grab bag:
- Prada Candy Mini Bottle (you see now why I said overkill with the sample before – I wish I actually liked this scent 😆)
- Versace Eros EDT Spray
- The Estée Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack
- Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask
- Sephora Lingzhi Sleeping Mask
- Clinique Almost Lipstick in Pink Honey
- Coola Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30
This was a really generous bag of freebies. I’m most excited by the Lingzhi sleeping mask (supposed to be the anti-aging and smoothing formula), the Fresh face mask (I’ve really only had positive experiences with Fresh skincare), the Pink Peony water pack, and of course – the Almost Lipstick in Pink Honey! I’m a big fan of the Black Honey Almost Lipstick, so I was super thrilled to see this new shade in my samples 😍 And, well, I’m always on the lookout for that perfect primer, so I’ll give the Coola mineral primer a shot for sure!
TOO FACED BLACK FRIDAY HAUL
My other cosmetics splurge was at Too Faced. I had been on the fence about the Chocolate Chip palette ever since I first saw Muse post about it – it looked adorable and I’ve been wanting, like, all of the various Too Faced chocolate-themed palettes, but I didn’t know if I could justify both the Natural Matte palette and the Chocolate Chip. What ended up really luring me into a Too Faced Black Friday haul was their promo where if you bought their Better Than Sex Mascara, you would get 50% off any other (non-limited) item in your bag.
If you remember my wishlist from the beginning of the post, you may have guessed just why that promotion was so appealing to me.
Yep, since I’d been wanting to try the Too Faced mascara anyhow, I went ahead and grabbed it so that I could also haul the Teddy Bear Hair Brush Set for $32.50 instead of its normal $65 price tag. Assuming I like the brushes, that’s kind of a steal, right?
I’ve heard a lot of good things about these brushes – that they’re super soft, easy to work with, and non-shedding. I’m really hoping that it’s all true! The brushes are, of course, not actually made from shorn teddy bears (…lol), but it’s a vegan synthetic hair. I think it’s a cute name and gimmick, so more power to Too Faced!
The set comes with a cute heart-print holding bag, a powder brush, an all-over shadow brush, a contour brush, a blender brush, and a liner brush. I am not a big brush collector, so these will replace my current shedding variants as well as add some entirely new brushes to my kit.
And, yes, I gave into temptation and grabbed the Chocolate Chip palette as well. I just couldn’t resist, and it had just enough shades that were different from the Neutral Matte for me to justify it – for example, the matte versions of the pinks and purples from the original Chocolate Bar palette.
(The BLU’s camera performed a lot better in this second lighting source, huh? I’ll have to remember that!)
Is is SUPER tiny, though, but that’s why they were calling it a “mini palette” – they’re not kidding! I knew what I was getting, but I just wanted to make sure to note this and put this photo up for scale for anyone else who is considering hauling either the Chocolate Chip or White Chocolate mini palettes. They are definitely travel friendly!
Eyeshadow lovers know what I’m talking about when I say the two matte palettes are different enough, right? Right? No, but seriously, I am really looking forward to trying these shades out – particular the lower right quadrant. I used to have a Chanel eyeshadow quad that was very similar, but all shimmers that I got a lot of mileage out of, so I’m hoping that at least those shades justify the buy.
Also, the palette smells amazing. It’s the same cocoa powder formula as the Chocolate Bar, so, y’know, drool.
You can see the tube in the photo with the palette, but here’s the other packaging with all its hype and promises. 1944% more volume, I guess. I mostly selected this for two reasons: the interesting brush shape (I’m curious if the hourglass shaped brush, as kiiinda seen below in my instagram post, actually makes a noticeable difference in effect for me) and this YouTube review where I thought it made her lashes looked really, really nice!
(That little remark on the packaging really made me laugh – well played, Too Faced~)
So, all in all, I think I made out well. I managed to check off all the stuff that I needed, and even if it wasn’t all on sale, the double cash back at eBates still made everything a worthwhile inclusion to my Black Friday haul.
What did you guys haul for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Anything exciting? And for my fellow Too Faced fans, how hard is this full Sweet Peach collection going to be to resist?! 😱
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