Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Haul: Sephora + getting the most out of online shopping

I'm a bit concerned that this post is going to make me seem like one of those crazy coupon people and I swear I'm not.  But when I spend this much money on beauty items, I want the most bang for my buck.

After much hair angst, I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase some higher end hair products and see if they can actually make my hair more manageable.  It has been a long time since I've used salon grade hair products, so I wasn't sure where to start.

I knew that I was going to buy online, so that I have a few criteria for online shopping:

  • Shipping.  Few things irritate me more than paying shipping.  I hate it.  I will go to great lengths to avoid paying shipping.  Many sites will include free shipping after a certain dollar amount of purchase.  I often save purchases until I have enough items to qualify for free shipping.  Sometimes, just throwing in another item that will put me at the free shipping level is cheaper than it would be to have fewer items and have to pay shipping.
  • Rewards.  I frequent sites that give back.  Ulta, Sephora,, Dior Diva.  There are tons more, but those are the ones I use the most often.
  • Rebate sites.  EBATES and Mr.Rebates are the sites I use when I make online purchases.  They give you back a percentage of each purchase.  The percentage depends on the rebate site (Mr.Rebates typically gives more back than EBATES).  The sites give checks back at different intervals.  EBATES does it quarterly.  Mr.Rebates will make your money eligible for a check back 90 days after the purchase, but you do have to request a check.  The way I figure, If you're going to make the purchase anyway, you might as well get cash back.
  • Gift With Purchase.  Some sites list all the week's sales and gift with purchase promos.  I know does.  Sephora has a lot of different GWPs.  I always check Temptalia's weekly Bargain post.  A new one goes up every Monday and Christine always has all the Sephora GWP codes.  Some of Sephora's GWP codes can be stacked.  You just have to try and see which ones you can use together.
Okay, so back to the hair products.  Ulta does carry a lot of salon hair products, but a lot of them are not available online and since Ulta is about a 45 minute drive away, that's right out.  The salon where I get my hair done only carries Bumble & Bumble and I'm just not interested.  So ... Sephora it was.

I have curly hair, so I was looking for a brand that was specifically for curly hair.  And I was also looking for some kind of set because I figured that if I was using a salon grade shampoo but a drug store conditioner (or vice versa), it would defeat the purpose of this whole experiment.

I finally decided on the Ouidad Ultimate Frizz Fighting Trio.  It includes a shampoo, conditioner and gel.

It was $46 and Sephora has free shipping over $50, so I added on a $5 Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange body butter that had been on my list since Cora at Vintage or Tacky mentioned it in one of her hauls last month.

So then I just tried stacking Sephora GWP promo codes.  I found out that the SCENT4U and 6SCENTS promos could be stacked together.  Here's what each of the promos got me:

  • SCENT4U - Bvlgari Omnia Coral Eau de Toilette deluxe sample
  • 6SCENTS - I had a choice of 4 different fragrance collections.  I chose the "Addictive" bag which contained: Michael Kors Michael Kors, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Betsey Johnson Too Too, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Hanae Mori Butterfly, and Calvin Klein Euphoria.

And then I had a bunch of Beauty Insider points, so I used 100 of them to get a deluxe sample of the new Diorshow mascara.

And then, there were the 3 samples that come with any Sephora order:


  1. Great tips for online shopping - I also hate paying for shipping, especially because I live in Australia the International rates are usually exuberant!

    1. Shipping is awful. I mean, I understand it costs them money, but I hate paying through the nose for it.

  2. Those are such great tips! I also avoid any site that doesn't have free-shipping. that's why I love so much! Please let me know if the frizz control products work!!

    1. I will definitely let you know about the Ouidad products. I want to put them through their paces.