Beauty Reward Programs | Hot or Not?

It’s no secret that beauty costs money. Let’s be downright honest here. It’s expensive. So, how do you make it worth it? Is there a payoff?

Can I just say, the payoff is feeling great and looking like a million bucks. However, beauty stores tend to have some sort of loyalty reward program to reel you in.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Here are my reviews/thoughts on the few bigger beauty stores where I shop.

Ulta
The nearest Ulta is about 40 minutes and another country away, but it doesn’t stop me from heading out there to shop.

Ulta has a reward system called Ultamate Rewards. There are 3 membership levels: Member (free, earn 1 pt/US$1), Platinum (US$450, earn 1.25 pt/US$1) & Diamond (US$1,200, earn 1.5 pt/US$1). I am currently at the Member level because I only started actually shopping there 3 months ago, and the dollar exchange hasn’t been favourable for Canadians (which means I pay more). All levels receive a free birthday gift as well as 2x the points in your birthday month. The Platinum & Diamond levels also receive a US$10 birthday coupon and points never expire. If you’re Platinum, you will also receive free shipping on orders of US$25 or more and will also receive a US$25 beauty service reward card every year.

The nice thing about Ulta is that they sell both drugstore and high-end brands. So, you can get everything you need at one store. That also means I’m in there for a good few hours, at best. There are also a few items I love that are exclusive to Ulta, so it’s worth it.

The thing I love about Ultamate Rewards is that your points equal a dollar amount so you can use it towards any purchase.

The thing I’m not loving about this is that the website is not consistent between the US site and the CAN site, so I have to shop the US side if I want to get my rewards. Twist my arm, I might as well stop by Chick-fil-A while I’m out there.

Sephora
I have a love/hate relationship with Sephora. I feel like we’ve parted ways so many times, but I’m constantly lured back in by it’s Sephora-ness.

Samples. Beauty Offers. Exclusive Products.

Sephora’s reward system is called Beauty Insider. There are also 3 membership levels: Insider (free), VIB (C$350), Rouge (C$1,000). I am currently a VIB. All levels receive a birthday gift, have access to the Rewards Bazaar as well as the Beauty Insider Community. The VIB & Rouge levels also receive monthly gifts and free custom makeovers (1x for VIB). The Rouge level also gets you free shipping on all your orders, a private hotline and invitations to exclusive events.

In my opinion, Sephora has the worst rewards program. Although you can rack up points quickly and there are lots of sales and bonuses (like the Spring Bonus, check out my wish list), your points can only be used in the Rewards Bazaar. Products are launched in the Bazaar every Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm (PT) and they go so fast, it’s unreal. I have an alarm set on my phone and by the time I tap on the Rewards Bazaar tab, everything good is already sold out. Every. Time. My points just keep racking up, unused. Pointless, in my opinion. How ironic. Yet, I keep going back cause it calls me.

Beauty Boutique
I am true and true Canadian. So, I wouldn’t be true to my heritage if I didn’t include a Canadian company.

Shopper’s Drug Mart, anyone? Sorry, I mean Beauty Boutique.

Alright, if we’re going to be hands down open here, the Beauty Boutique is my impulsive spending place. There’s one just around the corner. I could walk there, even if I was stranded at home with no car.

They have just recently switched over their rewards program. It used to be Optimum Rewards, but has since changed to PC Optimum.

Now, I love the PC rewards program. I use it for my groceries, gas, everything. One year, I was able to pay for 90% of Christmas with my PC Points. So, the fact that they joined up with the Beauty Boutique just sets me over the top.

In my opinion, the Beauty Boutique is not quite as established as Sephora or Ulta, but it’s coming along quite nicely. They have great deals and a well-established reward system. It’s a bit different from the other reward systems as it doesn’t have tiers built-in. It is free to join and you can earn 15 pts/C$1 or more, depending on the store you’re shopping at or card you use (PC Mastercards earn more). 10,000 points is equal to $10. There are always opportunities to earn bonus points – I just usually flip through the flyer to see what’s happening.

There you have it. My 3 favourite beauty stores and their reward programs. My favourite would definitely be Sephora, if they switched their bazaar over to dollar value rewards. I probably would spend all my money there.

Until then…

What is your favourite reward program? Do you buy things based on rewards? Comment below.

Foundation Favourites | 2018

I’ve always been the type of person that finds a favourite product and then tries to stick with it forever. More times than I’m excited about, I’ve headed to the store just to find my favourites have been removed from the shelves.
Discontinued.
Way. Too. Often.
That’s where I found myself a few years ago when I ran out of my tried-and-true foundation. Oddly enough, I can’t even remember what it was.
Forgotten. That’s what it was.
This just also happened to be the same time that I found out about Sephora.
I went to Sephora and loaded up on foundation samples – Kat Von D, Tarte, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Makeup Forever, etc.
I found a few that worked great for me.
Out of those samples, these are the ones that I ended up buying in full-size. I’m loving the way they work for me.

Ultra_HD_Pic

Makeup Forever Ultra HD
Cost: $$ ($52 CDN)
Coverage: Medium
Great for all skin types, it claims to make skin look flawless and feel moisturized.
Let’s just be real here. This is the first high-end foundation that I bought. I was super surprised that foundation could last an entire day and still look flawless after that many hours.
It could be that I only ever used drug-store brands, or it could be that this foundation is just simply amazing.
I’ll give you the answer, it’s amazing.
The foundation went on smooth and blended well. It gave my face a smooth finish and still looked flawless at the end of each day.
Here is the review I wrote on Influenster.

Ultra_HD

Too_Faced_Pic

Too Faced Born This Way
Cost: $$ ($49 CDN)
Coverage: Medium-to-full
Claims to moisturize, brighten skin’s appearance, promote elasticity and give a smooth & youthful appearance.
This is the foundation I tried when I ran out of my Ultra HD. Born this way foundation is absolutely perfect for everyday. It is super light on my skin and looks very natural.
Seriously, I just noticed on the website that it has hyaluronic acid in it. This is my new favourite ingredient. I did a ton of research on it when I was trying to decide if I wanted to get a gel shot in my knee – which is apparently hyaluronic acid…but that’s another story for another day.
Here is the review I wrote on Influenster.

Born_This_Way

Ok, so for some reason, my skin is getting lighter and lighter as the days go on. You’d think winter is lasting long into April or something. Due to this, my high-end foundations are way too dark for me. I mean, by more than a handful of shades. The last thing I wanted to do was go spend money on foundation shades that would only last for a month or so.
Now, y’all know that deals not only catch my eye, but also that I struggle to pass up a good one. Especially when it’s foundation and on sale for $5. In my new shade of blinding light skin tone, no less.
So, with that, I’m including my new fav drugstore foundation.

Fit_Me_Pic

Maybelline Fit Me (Matte & Poreless)
Cost: $
Coverage: Medium
Ideal for normal to oily skin, it claims to blur pores and control shine. It also claims to leave a natural, seamless finish.
So, I’ll start by saying that I was pleasantly surprised with my $5 find. Beyond that, this foundation delivered results that were beyond my expectations. It matched my skin tone perfectly, went on smooth and blended extremely easily. It lasted all day and I couldn’t even tell a difference between this and my high-end loves. As a matter of fact, since my skin looks like it bleached itself overnight, I will probably head out to the nearest drugstore and pick me up a bottle in a beautiful shade of blinding light.

It might be worth mentioning that I’m currently wearing Tarte Shape Tape (hydrating) every day. Although I don’t love it as much as I love the concealer, it does work for me. However, you’ll never guess, but it’s also getting too dark for me.
What. Is. Happening??
If you read my post on my Sephora VIB Wishlist, I’ll likely be trying out Estée Lauder Double Wear next. The question is whether I buy it in shade winter or summer???

What is your favourite foundation? Do you live by high-end or drugstore finds? Comment below.

Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist | Spring 2018

Green corrector.

That was my very first purchase at Sephora. I was almost 20.

I had no idea what to do with it. I just loved the idea of a store completely dedicated to makeup.

So I bought the fanciest thing I could think of without looking like I was clueless about makeup.

I was.

And I probably reeked of ‘newbie’ from across the mall.

I’d like to say that’s when I started learning about makeup, but it’s not. We didn’t have any specialty makeup stores that I knew of where I lived. Plus, I never wanted to spend money. Ever.

Fast forward to 2016.

A friend forwarded me an email from Sephora.

And here we are. Loving makeup and working it into the monthly budget.

The semi-annual VIB Insider event is coming up at Sephora and I thought it would be fun to put together my top 10 shopping list for the spring.

First, let’s talk about the dates.

VIB ROUGE
April 13-16 & 20-23
15% discount
Code: YAYROUGE

VIB
April 20-23
15% discount
Code: YAYVIB

BEAUTY INSIDER
April 20-23
10% discount
Code: YAYINSIDER

With that, let’s dive into the list!

Tatcha
The Deep Cleanse
Tatcha
The Water Cream
Amika
Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo
Amika
Bombshell Blowout Volume Spray
Tarte
Mermaid Skin Hyaluronic H2O Sérum
Hourglass
Mineral Veil Primer
Estée Lauder
Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
Olaplex
Hair Perfector No. 3
Atelier Cologne
Collection Azur – Mandarin Glaciale
Urban Decay
All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

It was hard limiting my list to 10, but realistically I don’t have an unlimited number of resources available at my disposal for makeup. Or for anything.

If I could only get one thing, I would buy the Tatcha Deep Cleanse/Water Cream duo. I was so reluctant to buy anything from Tatcha because of the price point, but quickly found out that it is absolutely worth it!! My skin did a complete 180 degree turn literally overnight. That’s worth my money.
A good face of makeup starts with good skin care.

Are you shopping the VIB Sale at Sephora? What’s on your list? Comment below.