Thursday, December 26, 2013

ipsy - a real deal + product reviews

Ever heard of ipsy?  It's a monthly makeup subscription bag, learn more over here.

A one year subscription (sign up for yours here) was my Christmas gift this year!  I received the December bag earlier in the month but forced myself to not open it until Christmas!  And I could not be happier with it!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with ipsy or any other brand, they will probably never even know about this post!  I just loved my first experience with them and wanted to share this, what I consider, amazing deal with you all!  Also all of the pictures are screenshots from their website (they have much better photography skills than me :)

So here is what I got this month (each bag is somewhat tailored to you!):
Each month it is $10 for a bag (you save if you buy a full year, one month is free!).  BUT they are really good about giving full sized products, not just samples, so my December bag was worth over $59!  That's what I call a DEAL!  Read on for more details about each product.

pop beauty eyeshadow trio in bright up your life - naturally bare
I don't think this eyeshadow trio is available for sale as is, so this would be considered a sample, but it is an awesome sample!  I love these neutral colors and they seem to be a good quality.  On the pop beauty website you can get a 10 eyeshadow palette for $24, so that makes there three worth $7.20!

Be a Bombshell One Stick in Flustered
This is called a One Stick because you can use it on your lips, cheeks, and eyes (well maybe not this color...).  So far I have used it for my cheeks and it has great pigmentation!  This is a full size that retails for $16!

Nicka K nail polish
I'm not sure what this color is called, but in person it has a slight purple tint to it.  I haven't tried it out yet but I do like the color.  This is a full size and retails for $4.99!

NYX lip stick in Ceto
This is the picture of the shade Ceto but it doesn't really look that light in person.  Again I have not used this product just yet but I'm happy it was a full size and it is worth $4!

Mirabella Eye Blending Brush
Saved the best for last!  I LOVE the way this brush works!  It picks up so much product and makes any eyeshadow look amazing!  And the most exciting part - it sells for $27 on the Mirabella site!

As you can see, paying $10 for this bag makes it a STEAL!  Plus each month you get a cute makeup bag too!  If you love makeup, surprises, and trying new things then ipsy is for you!

Don't forget to sign up here -

Please leave me comments!  If you like this post, let me know and I'll do more in the future! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Buy More, Spend Less

Today I went to Ulta, armed with multiple coupons and knowing they had a sale going on.

I may or may not have another post about Ulta to come... don't judge me, that store is awesome.

Anyways back to today! What I had:

-$5 off any two Almay cosmetics.  This AMAZING coupon is available through Swagbucks (learn more back here).
-$1 any one Cover Girl cosmetic item (from the newspaper).
-$5 off a $10 purchase, get yours here.

Ulta has been having buy one get one 50% off all their drugstore brand cosmetics for a while now, I feel like they do this sale a lot since their prices tend to be about $0.50 more than say, Target.

At first I was just going to get the 2 Almay products and use the Almay coupon.  If I would have done that I would have spent: ((6.99*50% off) + 7.99) - 5 = 6.49

So then I thought, well that doesn't really make sense because if I spend 3.51 more I can use my $5 off $10.

So THEN I remembered about my Cover Girl coupon.  I found an eyeshadow trio so my total came to: 6.49 + (4.99 - 1.00) = 10.48 - 5 = 5.48
Full price total: 19.97 (I got 73% off!)

By buying the eyeshadow I actually SAVED a dollar... crazy right?  I knew I'd done well when even the cashier was impressed! 
The prices in the picture are determined based on what my receipt said, I'm not exactly sure how they decide how much of each coupon gets applied to each item but thats what I looked at.

I got: Almay intense i-color eyeliner in black pearl, Almay intense i-color shadow stick for hazel eyes, and Cover Girl eyeshadow trio in golden sunset.

Now use the links above to get your coupons and GO get some deals!  Don't forget to tell me about them in the comments too!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Online Rewards Sites

I mentioned Swagbucks and Bing Rewards before but I wanted to do a more in-depth post on them.  I have been using Swagbucks for over a year now and Bing Rewards for only a few weeks.  I actually learned about Bing Rewards through Swagbucks and I will talk more on how to two are related later in this post.

If you are skeptical about using these types of sites let me tell you I am the queen of being skeptical!  But after using Swagbucks for over a year and earning many rewards I can tell you they are reputable and I've never had a problem on there!

Swagbucks is a website with a lot of different things.  They have games, surveys, coupons, promotions, and are also a search engine.  All of these things can earn you "swagbucks" which can be redeemed in their rewards store for gift cards, merchandise, or entries into "swagstakes" (aka sweepstakes).  The best reward they offer (in my opinion) is the $5 Amazon gift card for 450 swagbucks.  You would think you might do better saving up for a bigger amount but you actually save more getting $5 at a time!  It takes me one to two months to earn one, depending on how active I am.  Not much, I know, but it is literally FREE MONEY!  So why not? :)

The top ways I earn swagbucks are:
1. Search - I do maybe 10 random searches each morning (literally some are like this: sjfdkjh) and eventually it will pop up that you earned (usually 5-15) swagbucks.
2. Swag Codes - Periodically there will be a Swag Code that you can enter for 3-6 swagbucks.  Each one is worth a different amount.  I get emails from that tell me whenever one is available.  Each code is usually active for an hour or two but since I check my email on my phone ALL the time, I am usually able to enter them in before they expire!
3. Daily Poll - get 1 swagbuck a day for answering a (usually silly) question.  Super fast and easy!
4. Toolbar - if you have the toolbar on your browser you automatically get 1 swagbuck a day!

There are TONS of other ways to get swagbucks but I can not vouch for the reliability of those since I don't do them (like surveys where you enter all your information or linking your credit card to earn points while shopping).  If anyone HAS done these things without "side effects" please let me know so I can earn faster :)

Sign up for Swagbucks here!  And start earning today!

Onto Bing Rewards:

Like I said before I heard about Bing Rewards through Swagbucks, there was an offer where if you signed up for Bing Rewards you got 25 swagbucks, so I did!  And I actually like Bing Rewards a lot!  I  have not earned my 1st reward yet but I am on my way!  The main way to earn points on Bing is by using it as your search engine.  You get 1 point for every 2 searches, up to 15 points a day (30 on Sundays).  So if you just use Bing as your main search engine you will probably earn that many with no problem!  If you don't use a search engine that often then you can just do quick, pointless searches (like I do on swagbucks!).

The reward I am working towards is... 500 Swagbucks!  Yep a reward on Bing is 500 Swagbucks.  Bing also has a $5 Amazon gift card as a reward for the same price (525 points) but since it only costs 450 swagbucks for the $5 gift card you are better off using your Bing points to get the Swagbucks and then get your Amazon card there.  Make sense?

At 15 points a day it will take just over a month to earn the Bing reward!

So go and sign up!  Click here

Again, here are the links to sign up:
Bing Rewards

Good luck!

Note: I am not affiliated with any site mentioned, I am simply sharing these sites so you can earn free gift cards like me!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Coupons Combine

Coupons are my best "frenemy".  I love a good coupon, don't get me wrong, they can just be frustrating sometimes.  For example you might leave them at home, or buy something and then see a coupon for it the next day, or my personal favorite, arrive at the mall only to discover it expired yesterday.  Yes, all of these have happened to me and left me swearing I'd give up on coupons!  But of course I can't actually do that!  I have had more good coupon experiences than bad, and here is a great one!  If you still have your coupon books from last week's paper you might be able to cash in on this one too!

Last week there was a coupon for buy one get one free Febreeze items.  Any time you see BOGO, cut it out!  These types of deals can be rare, and often times are buy one get one "some percent off", which is totally lame.  So whenever you see FREE you should pay attention!

Then in the Target ad there was a coupon for 50¢ off one Febreeze item.

The reason this is awesome is because you are allowed to use one manufacturer's coupon and one store coupon per item!

So I found myself at Target (as I do at least once a week) and picked out two lovely scents:
-Moonlit Lavender (this is one of the ones marketed to spray at night, for sleeping)
-Apple and Spice

When I got to the register I got a great surprise!  Even though both Febreeze were $2.99, the BOGO coupon took off $3.99!  I guess the computer recognizes the highest value allowed and applies it.  Then I got the extra 50¢ off too.  This meant a grand total of $1.49 before tax!  Less than 75¢ for a bottle of Febreeze?!

So all in all, I must love coupons... for now :)

Want to know how to save even more?  I used a gift card I earned using Shopkick to pay!   Learn more about this mobile app here.

More ways to free money:

Swagbucks (I get Amazon gift cards!)
Bing Search (I get more Amazon gift cards!)
Shopkick (I get Target gift cards! This is a mobile app)

Ulta Haul!

Ok so I may be exaggerating a little when I say "Haul"...  I may watch a little too much YouTube.  Who doesn't?  But I have been so excited to share this deal with you!  I used one of my rules of thumb and combined a sale with a coupon... little did I know I would actually be combining TWO sales with a coupon!

Everyone loves a good surprise, especially at the register.  I am still not sure why Ulta decided to have two promotions on the same products at once, but hey, I'm not going to complain!

On to the deal:
I knew all Maybelline cosmetics were 40% off at Ulta (this was a one day deal I saw through email).
I knew I had a $3.50 off $10 coupon (standard in the Ulta ad, which can also be found online).
What I did not know was that all Maybelline cosmetics were also buy one get one 50% off!

Any of those alone you know I would have passed, but all three together?  Meant 68% off for me!

And now for a break down of what I got!  Hope you enjoy and are inspired to check your local ads this weekend!  P.S. even though store emails can be annoying, they are a great way to find out about limited time offers!

I have been searching for something to cover up under-eye circles with no luck so far.  Several YouTube makeup gurus have recommended this so I have been wanting it.  But at $8.99 I just could not justify it for myself!  After all my savings were applied, I only paid $2.84 for it, perfectly acceptable!


Yep, good things come to those who wait.  And boy have I ever been waiting!  Baby Lips came out well over a year ago but I got my first one last Christmas.  Ever since I have been dying for more colors, and I've been looking for sales almost all year, but I will not pay $4 for a lip balm, so no more Baby Lips for me... until now!  These are the other reason I ran to the Ulta sale!  After all discounts they came out to $1.25 a piece!  That is well worth it considering a plain old chapstick costs a buck.

Here are close ups of the colors, if you're interested:

Peach Kiss
Cherry Me

This product I grabbed at the last second when my total didn't reach $10 due to the unexpected BOGO 50% off.  I would never pay the full $6.99 for a lip gloss.  But I really like it and for $2.21 I am happy to try something new!  The color is Captivating Coral and I am so excited to finally have a coral lip color! 

Each item turned out to be 68% off, which means overall was also 68% off!
Original: $23.98
I paid: $7.56 (less than the cost of the concealer I wouldn't let myself buy full price!)

Don't forget to subscribe!
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What is Deals Actually?

Welcome to Deals Actually!  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope this blog helps everyone to become a real bargain shopper.  If you're wondering where the name 'Deals Actually' came from, there are two reasons:

First, I always see store advertisements that say "Sale of the Year ... 20% off" or specials on tv that tell you about saving "up to 50% off".  I get a very confused look on my face when I see these signs and advertisements.  I personally do not consider these "deals" anything special.  Yes, technically they are sales, but considering retail usually has 100% markup I need a bigger discount!  So I am setting out to share my ACTUAL deals, and hopefully show shoppers 'the light' on getting real steals!

Second, ever heard of Love Actually?  Yep, that's it!

I have a couple rules of thumb when I am shopping (I hold to these for clothing and shoes, a little more lenient on other items):

If it is something I need, I obviously have to get it, BUT I try to use some sort of coupon, or at least price compare between stores.  I am always looking for last minute coupons, usually using Google.

If I am just shopping for fun (Retail Therapy anyone?) I like to get 75% or more.  Depending on the store and brand of the item this can vary but I definitely never get something if it is only 50% off!

Macy's is my go to store when it comes to 'combo deals'.  They have great clearance prices and then I always combine with a coupon!  Big savings even bigger!

Maybe your mom has always told you this too, and it really is TRUE!  More often then not, I see a new top I love or find a cute skirt for half off, and of course I don't buy it (see above).  But since I shop often (see below), I am usually successful in getting said item... eventually.  Patience people!

When you only go out and shop for things that are necessities, you tend to impulse buy.  Not good!  This leads to overspending.  Shopping more often can actually SAVE you money!  I rarely even look at the full price items, straight to the sale areas for me!

This goes along with shopping often.  Lets say you see some nice black pants, in your size, for 75% off.  But you don't need black pants right now.  Buy them anyways!  I guess this is kind of what extreme couponers do with a 'stockpile', but way less 'extreme'.  You'll probably need new black pants eventually so why not buy now so you DON'T have to spend later?!

Yeah you read that right, free money!  I love any and all apps, websites, etc where I can earn real money for doing things I would do anyways!  Here are my favorites (click on each to sign up!):
Swagbucks (I get Amazon gift cards!)
Bing Search (I get more Amazon gift cards!)
Shopkick (I get Target gift cards! This is a mobile app)

Please subscribe to my posts and leave any comments below!