Value: Ulta Beauty Break 10/26/16

This week’s Beauty Break featured Julep, with a $50 buy-in. Their description appears to have an error; the listed size of the “When Pencil Met Gel” is the full size. They recently released a set of mini When Pencil Met Gel that were 0.02oz each so I used that size for calculations.

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  • Length Matters Buildable Lengthening Mascara, 0.2 oz @ $20/0.35 oz = $11.43
  • Take a Breather Oxygen Nail Treatment in Sheer Pink, 0.12 oz @ $18/0.27 oz = $8.00
  • When Pencil Met Gel Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black, 0.02 oz @ $16/0.042 oz = $7.62
  • It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse in Bisou, 0.07 oz @ $20/0.14 oz = $10

Total value: $37.05

I’m not at all impressed by the value of this set, especially since Julep Mavens (technically free to join I think, as long as you skip all the monthly boxes) get 20% off everything, and Julep routinely offers various promotions that easily take 50% off of even Maven pricing.

9/21/16 featuring Becca: minimum spend $50, value $45.40 to $46.84
9/28/16 featuring Philosophy: minimum spend $50, value $41.12 to $46.95
10/05/16 featuring Benefit: minimum spend $50, value $31.60 to $32.74 + cosmetic bag value
10/12/16 featuring Living Proof: minimum spend $50, value $20.47 to $39
10/19/16 featuring assorted brands; step-up featuring Philosophy: minimum spend $60, value $93.00 to $94.48; step-up minimum spend $75, additional value $11.28 to $15.60 + cosmetic bag value

Ulta currently also has two free-with-any-purchase GWPs that I’m aware of:

  • Joico K-PAC Color Therapy Luster Lock, 1.7oz, $4.99 (now on sale for $3, cheaper per oz than the 4.7 oz size)
  • Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate – this is incorrectly listed as 0.5 oz online but I received my order from last week and it’s actually 0.27 oz, which retails for $20, or @ $175/3.4 oz = $13.90 value.

Total value: $16.90 to $24.99

If you hit the $50 minimum spend exactly and were willing to pay retail price per oz for all the GWPs, you’d be saving 52-55%, which on paper is pretty much in line with values from previous weeks, but the fact that Julep can easily be obtained at a discount makes this Beauty Break unimpressive to me.

Value: Ulta Beauty Break 10/19/16

This week the buy-in was $60 for a mixed-brand skincare set, with a step-up gift at $75 featuring Philosophy.

Edit 10/26/16: I received my order and some samples were not the listed sizes; corrections have been made below.

The $60 beauty break, claimed $125 value:

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  • Clinque Even Better Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, 0.24 oz @ $48.50/1.7 oz = $6.85
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive, 0.25 oz @ $39/2 oz = $4.88
  • Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum, 0.25 oz @ $60/1 oz or $15/0.25 oz = $15
  • Clarins Multi-Active night Cream, 0.5 oz @ $56/1.7 oz = $16.47
  • Strivectin Tightening & Sculpting Face Cream, 0.25 oz @ $95/1.7 oz = $13.97
  • Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, 0.33 oz @ $45/3.3 oz = $4.50, or @ $29/1.6 oz = $5.98
  • Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque, 1 pc @ $65/6 pc = $10.83
  • Hey Honey good Morning Serum, 0.5 oz @ $41/1.0 oz = $20.50

Total value: $93.00 to $94.48
Pretty significantly short of the $125.

The $75 Philosophy step-up, claimed $18 value:

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  • Purity Made Simple 3-In-1 Cleanser For Face And Eyes, 1.0 oz @ $36/16 oz = $2.25, or @ $11/3.0 oz = $3.67
  • The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash, 1.0 oz @ $42/16 oz = $2.63, or @ $15/4 oz = $3.75
  • Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion, 1.0 oz @ $55/32 oz = $1.72, or @ $37/16 oz = $2.31
  • Renewed Hope In A Jar Refreshing And Refining Moisturizer, 0.25 oz @ $75/4 oz = $4.69, or @ $47/2.0 oz = $5.88

Total value: $11.28 to $15.60
There’s a bag shown in the Philosophy photo but it’s not mentioned in the description. If that’s included, I think the claimed $18 value is reasonable; if not, it falls a bit short.

Ulta currently also has three free-with-any-purchase GWPs that I’m aware of:

  • It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream, 0.014 oz @ $48/2 oz = $0.34, or @ $16/0.5 = $0.45; I think this is probably a typo in decimal placement (should be 0.14 oz), so total value $3.40 to $4.50 edit: sample is actually 0.237 fl oz, so @ $48/2 oz = $5.69 or @ $16/0.5 oz = $7.58
  • Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate, 0.5 oz @ $175/3.4 oz = $25.74, or @ $20/0.27 = $37.04 edit: sample is actually 0.27 oz which retails for $20, or @ 175/3.4 oz = $13.90
  • Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara 0.13 oz, @ 21/0.24 oz = $11.38, or @ $10/0.1 oz = $13

Total: $37.45 to $50.49, or $40.47 to $54.52 if I’m right about the typo. edit: $30.97 to $40.58

Grand total: $141.72 to $164.60 edit: $135.25 to $150.66

If you hit the minimum spend ($75) exactly and were willing to pay retail price-per-oz for all the GWP items, you’d be saving 70-73% edit: 64-67% off. If you only went for the $60 set, you’d be saving 68-71% edit: 62-64%.

I actually did make a $75 purchase this week, not because of this beauty break in particular (not my favorite, to be honest) but because several things I usually use and have run out of were on sale. I’m overloaded on skincare and probably will try to swap or sell most of these.

It’s hard to compare this week’s beauty breaks to previous ones since the buy-in is different and it features a mix of brands rather than just one. The value of the GWP is higher than the buy-in price, which is unusual, but the mix of brands and products means it’s more likely you’ll encounter something you dislike (i.e. something which therefore has no value to you).

9/21/16 featuring Becca: minimum spend $50, value $45.40 to $46.84
9/28/16 featuring Philosophy: minimum spend $50, value $41.12 to $46.95
10/05/16 featuring Benefit: minimum spend $50, value $31.60 to $32.74 + cosmetic bag value
10/12/16 featuring Living Proof: minimum spend $50, value $20.47 to $39

Value: Ulta Beauty Break 10/12/16

Ulta did Beauty Breaks on the 7th (Friday) and 10th (Monday) which is atypical. I did calculate the values for those, but they were much lower than usual, so I’m choosing to exclude them from my Beauty Break roundups.

Today’s Beauty Break is also atypical. The buy-in is higher, at $75, and the setup is odd – they’re simultaneously introducing a new GWP set with the same buy-in that doesn’t appear to be tied to the Beauty Break (i.e. won’t expire when the Beauty Break does), but instead of adding the Beauty Break set to your cart like normal, you add the GWP set to your cart and pick the Beauty Break from a dropdown menu in your cart (as a a GWP to the GWP set). Yeah.

The actual Beauty Break for this week isn’t that impressive.

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Living Proof Timeless Shampoo 2 oz, Timeless Conditioner 2 oz, and Timeless Plumping Mousse 1.9 oz
  • Living Proof Timeless Shampoo 2 oz @ $59/24 oz = $4.92, or @ $12/2 oz = $12
  • Living Proof Timeless Conditioner 2 oz @ $59/24 oz = $4.92, or @ $12/2 oz = $12
  • Living Proof Timeless Plumping Mousse 1.9 oz @$28/5 oz = $10.64, or @ $15/1.9 oz = $15

Total value: $20.47 to $39
In terms of the Beauty Break itself, this doesn’t hold up favorably compared to previous weeks. Ulta is advertising the value of the Living Proof Set + beauty bag as $179, so we’ll see if that’s true.

9/21/16 featuring Becca: minimum spend $50, value $45.40 to $46.84
9/28/16 featuring Philosophy: minimum spend $50, value $41.12 to $46.95
10/05/16 featuring Benefit: minimum spend $50, value $31.60 to $32.74 + cosmetic bag value

There are two options for the GWP set, the “Electric Blue Beauty Bag” or “Luminous Gold Beauty Bag.”

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Electric Blue Beauty Bag
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Fudge (0.07 oz)
  • Soap & Glory Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream (1.69 oz)
  • Clarins Multi-Active Jour SPF 20 (0.5 oz)
  • Benefit Roller Lash Super-Curling Mascara (0.1 oz)
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation in 5.0 (0.1 oz)
  • Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play (0.07 oz)
  • Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil (2.0 oz)
  • ULTA Butter Balm Lip Gloss in Luna (0.098 oz)
  • First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser (1.0 oz)
  • Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusion Concentrate (0.33 oz)
  • Kenra Platinum Revive Complex Leave In Fortifier (1.0 oz)
  • bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready
  • Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Brown (0.028 oz)
  • Narciso Rodriquez For Her Eau de Toilette (0.03 oz)
  • Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette (0.05 oz)
  • Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum (0.04 oz)

Total value: $96.87 to $104.49, plus the value of the bag itself
Total value including Beauty Break: $117.34 to $143.49, plus value of bag

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Luminous Gold Beauty Bag
  • Wella EIMI Root Shoot sample (1.5 oz)
  • Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer sample (2.0 oz)
  • Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner sample (2.5 oz)
  • Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum sample (0.25 oz)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Fudge sample (0.07 oz)
  • Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream sample (0.68 oz)
  • Benefit They’re Real! Beyond Mascara sample (0.1 oz)
  • Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair sample (0.1 oz)
  • H2O Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream sample (0.34 oz)
  • IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe sample
  • ULTA Eye Primer in Nude Matte sample (0.1 oz)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer sample (0.25 oz)
  • Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Liquid Lip in Gwyneth sample (0.02 oz)
  • Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum sample (0.05 oz)
  • Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum sample (0.05 oz)
  • Acqua di Gioia for Her sample (0.06 oz)

Total value: $104.08 to $114.74, plus the value of the bag itself
Total value including Beauty Break: $124.55 to $153.74

In any case, the value of the Living Proof Trio + beauty bag falls short of the stated $179, unless you generously value the gold bag as being worth >$25.

Right now there’s also a free-with-any-purchase deluxe size of Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipstick, 0.06 oz at $21/0.16 oz = $7.88, bringing the total GWP value to $125.22 to $161.62. So if you hit the minimum spend ($75) exactly and were willing to pay retail price-per-oz for all the GWP items, you’d be saving 63-68% off, not including the value of the GWP bags (which look pretty nice, in my opinion). In terms of pure value, this is definitely a good deal.

Value: Ulta Beauty Break 10/5/16

Benefit likes to do cute novelty items for their GWPs, often cosmetic bags, which I personally really like. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good way to calculate value. Sometimes they’ll list the bags for sale on their main site, but right now at least I don’t see this one offered.

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They’re Real! Beyond Mascara mini (0.1 oz), They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer mini (0.1 oz), Ka-Brow in 03 Medium mini (0.03 oz), BROWVO Conditioning Primer Nutrient-Rich Eyebrow Primer (0.03 oz), Pink Emblem Case

The minimum spend for this Beauty Break was $50. For value calculations, as always, I used the smallest size and biggest size (i.e. the lowest buy-in and the best value) available at Ulta. Confusingly, the email and photo advertise a sample of the Total Moisture Facial Cream, but the item descriptionI already have more Benefit mascara samples than I can use (one of They’re Real and two Roller Lash) and the Ka-Brow isn’t my color.  instead includes a sample of Ka-Brow.

  • They’re Real! Beyond Mascara mini, 0.1 oz @ $24/0.3 oz = $8.00, or @ $12/0.14 oz = $8.57
  • They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer mini, 0.1 oz @ $24/0.3 oz = $8.00, or @ $12/0.14 oz = $8.57
  • Ka-Brow in 03 Medium mini, 0.03 oz @ $24/0.1 oz = $7.20
  • BROWVO Conditioning Primer Nutrient-Rich Eyebrow Primer, 0.03 oz @ $28/0.1 oz = $8.40
  • Pink emblem case, unknown value

Total value: $31.60 to $32.74 plus value of case
Their stated value was simply “over $30” which is definitely true. If you value the case at $10-15, the value holds up pretty well compared to the last two weeks. 

9/21/16 featuring Becca: minimum spend $50, value $45.40 to $46.84
9/28/16 featuring Philosophy: minimum spend $50, value $41.12 to $46.95

I’m not aware of any free-with-any purchase GWPs this week. If you hit the minimum spend exactly, were willing to pay the retail price-per-oz for the GWPs, and value the case at $10, you’d be getting 45-46% off.

Personally, I already have more Benefit mascara samples than I can use (one of They’re Real and two Roller Lash) and the Ka-Brow isn’t my color. I’m interested in trying the lash and eyebrow primers, and I do have a soft spot for cosmetic bags that I really don’t need, but it’s not uncommon for Benefit to offer significant brand-specific GWPs that can be stacked with Beauty Breaks or other promos, so this isn’t particularly tempting.