Happy Birthday From Sephora!

Sephora has released their highly anticipated FREE 2016 birthday gifts. This has thrilled some Beauty Insiders, but has disappointed all many VIB Rouge members.

This year, they are offering two different two-piece sets. One gift is from Fresh Beauty and includes mini versions of their Soy Face Cleanser and Rose Face Mask. The other gift is from Marc Jacobs Beauty and includes a mini Le Marc Lip Creme in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and a mini Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer.

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But cue the disappointment for VIB Rouge’s everywhere, because there is NO special Rouge birthday gift this year. No extra product. And yes, this has been confirmed by Sephora. I understand that these birthday gifts are FREE, but it’s kind of a giant slap in the face when you spend over $1000 a year to be apart of their elite level. Especially when you consider all of the other cuts they have recently made to the program (don’t even get me started on how every “exclusive gift” is available to VIB’s).

It’s always great having a birthday at the end of the year and getting to pick up the gift first!! So what did I pick?! Duh. Marc Jacobs. I can not pass on lipstick … ever. And I looooooove MJ’s highliners. I already have this color, but a back up is always a bonus!!

Which gift are you hoping to grab on your birthday?!?!

Epic Rewards

Sephora and their ability to get inside my pockets!!! They are once again offering some AH-MAZE-ING rewards!! And perfectly timed to be released right after their Beauty Insider Appreciation Week. Some more temptation. At 4x the points for Rouge members, a mere $250 CAD spent, can mean a free 1000 point Epic Reward!!

That being said, these are online only. Meaning you need to make a purchase to redeem them. And may have to pay for shipping if you aren’t a Rouge or don’t spend over the amount to qualify for free shipping.

Hopefully, the release will not be nearly as insane as their Extrodinary Rewards that were released a few months ago. The release date has been announced (August 10th), so it isn’t a guessing game like last time. The “sneak peek” states that these are in extremely limited quantities, however, there are more options than last time. They have also specifically stated which rewards are available to US Residents, Canadian Residents, or both.* Some of these are available to US Residents as well, the only one that is exclusive to Canadians is the 10 000 point reward from Too Faced. Also note that some rewards are available for VIB Rouge’s only!!

I feel like things might be a bit more organized this time around. Anybody interested in redeeming will be up for many hours, furiously refreshing their screens every few seconds. But they won’t have their hearts set on trying to get a reward that ends up not even being available to them based on shipping or import requirements. It is disappointing to see all of the amazing additional rewards that are available to American customers (like a trip to Paris with Lancome!!! A Tory Birch bag, wallet, and perfume!! Etc.), but I would prefer to know right away, what isn’t available to me.

Here are some simplified pictures with the rewards and details:

1000 POINT REWARDS

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2000 POINT REWARDS

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5000 POINT REWARDS

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10 000 POINT REWARD

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I better get my hands on one of these!! I’ll seriously be devastated if I miss out by mere seconds. I have my eye on the Smashbox and Becca. Although the Anastasia Beverly Hills reward looks so great, the colors are not for me!! Maybe if I do some serious damage this month for the sale, a 2000 reward might be within reach …
What do you have your eye on? Will you wait it out to get your hands on something?! ♡

*This posting is for all of the available CANADIAN rewards. Click Here to see the Canadian Sneak Peek.

Beauty After Hours

Who is going to the Sephora Beauty After Hours VIB Rouge Event?!?! I am!! And I’m so excited. I had a great time at the Beauty Before Brunch event in the spring, and I’m definitely looking forward to this event. The cosmetic bag filled with samples looks amazing! I’m loving that they are (once again) being offered for VIB Rouge‘s guests as well, regardless of their membership/loyalty level. And obviously I’m also loving that they are free with ANY purchase. On a budget or saving for all of the holiday collections? No problem. Because that’s my problem … too much want, not enough cash. I’m curious what the “Learn & Play” workshops will be! Maybe some trend looks like “Strobing”?
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The event takes place on Wednesday August 5th at 7pm. A much better time in my opinion. That 9am start was brutal!! And of course … 4x the points for Beauty Insider Appreciation Week! Hopefully there are some awesome rewards to redeem for!! ♡

Sephora Jet Set Essentials

I told myself, “no more“. No more random Sephora purchases. No more spending money that could potentially be used at stores with better rewards programs. But then this email happened. And this sale happened. And I couldn’t help myself.

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Use code “JETSET” at checkout with any $35 CAD purchase and you can pick 3 minis for free!! You also get the additional three samples with all orders. They had mini Dior DiorShow Mascaras available when I checked out. That’s like getting 4 minis and 2 packet samples FREE with your order!! This is available for all Beauty Insiders (great freebie, but seriously Sephora, where are my Rouge exclusives?!?!)

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Surprise! Sephora is also having a huge Summer Sale with killer deals on Tarte, Peter Thomas Roth, OCC, Clarisonic, Philosophy, and MORE! Some of these sets are 50% off!

Here are some of my favorite items currently on sale. I only bought the OCC Pro’s Picks Lip Tars Set (perfect as it was $36 CAD – so close to that $35 CAD minimum). I’d be lying though, if I said that I wasn’t tempted to buy every, single item in this grid and then some. The only thing stopping me, was the massive amount of makeup I already bought this weekend on my US trip.

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Will you take advantage of the sale and promo? What were your best finds?! ♡

My First VIB Rouge Event

I had the privilege of attending the Beauty Before Brunch event at my local Sephora last month. This was the first event I have attended as a Rouge member. Although I have a few Sephora locations close to me, I decided to go to South Calgary. I have had terrible experiences there in the past, but the (NEW!!) Store Director, Sam, was beyond amazing and put forth a real effort in getting to know me as a valuable customer. Because of this, and because of my faith in her as a team leader, I decided to visit the Sephora I had previously loathed soo much. I’m so glad I did, because Sam and her team did a great job executing the event.

The event was a closed door event, meaning that you had to be on the list to get in, oooohhhh exclusive! When I first arrived, I was greeted by a Cast Member (associate) who took my name and gave us a run down on the event, including the mini classes they were offering and when. I loved that Sephora had someone at the door to walk you through the day’s event. In case you forgot anything, you could check the program they handed you during check in. No confusion. No missed tutorials. No problems. (Nordstrom, take note!!)

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Sam (the Store Director) went above and beyond my expectations. She had my “must get” purchases already put aside for me. I wish I could hug her to thank her, because it turns out the KVD Shade and Light Contour Palette was sold out. I only got mine because Sam was such a doll for holding my items until the event.

There was also a table with snacks and refreshments. And good refreshments too! Starbucks Coffee and Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade!! Great choices. And of course water bottles. They were regular water bottles; I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a tiny bit disappointed that they weren’t VIB Rouge label water bottles. I guess my hunt for one, will continue. They also had gluten free quinoa cookies.

During the event, they were having mini classes for skincare, brows, and contouring. I attended the brow and contour demos. Both were very well done. They were quick, to the point, and provided everyone with some great tips and techniques. After the brow tutorial (the last of the three), the Cast Member offered to do my brows for me. I loved having the opportunity to see how she did my brows compared to how I do my brows. I came to the event with minimal makeup, a much better canvas for a play day full of new products and techniques!

There were a few brand representatives on site, I talked with the Clarisonic and Clarins Reps. Both were very knowledgeable about their product lines. The Clarisonic Rep did a demo on my friend who was curious about the product and it’s benefits. The Clarins Rep was delightful to talk to and she recommended some products. We chatted about the Clarins makeup line (not available at Sephora) and about some of the new skincare products coming out. I would have liked to see more makeup brand (vs. skincare) Reps at the event, but I don’t think that this was organized by each individual location. In other words you get what you get.

I enjoyed having the store all to myself. And by “to myself” I meant with all of the other VIB Rouge’s. I have never spent so long at a store before. We were there for over 2 hours. We even stayed past the 11am event end. Browsing, chatting, testing. It was like Wonderland. The best part was that I never felt rushed or pressured to make a purchase (although I had tons of stuff that I planned to buy, I didn’t feel pressure to buy anything at all). Even once the event ended, we weren’t rushed. We were told the store was now opening up for everyone and that we would have to mention we were at the event, when we went to the till, to get the discount.

Overall, I feel like the event was well organized and had a great atmosphere. For such a big event, everyone was calm and aware of what they were supposed to do. I very much enjoyed my experience and look forward to the next event. I have to send a major shoutout to the Store Director, Sam. She is on top of her game. She knows what her customers want and she knows how to get it for them. She single handedly made me happy to shop at South Calgary again. I feel that location will strive with her guidance. It was such a complete turn around from the store I had visited previously. She not only welcomed me to the event personally, but she also said goodbye and gave us a few of her favorite Ole Henrikson samples to try at home. Thank you Sam!!

Now for the fun part, my VIB Sale haul!!! With EVERY purchase (no matter the amount) you got a free fold over clutch filled with samples (deluxe and packet) and a full size Formula X Nail Polish (I got the shade Extreme, a coppery red).

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Admittedly, this was only the first of three VIB Sale purchases I made. Oops. But they got smaller each time, I swear! This pic is strictly the items I got at the event. One of the best parts of a exclusive event is the samples!! I got quite a few at the event. I went back to a different Sephora later that same day to make a second purchase (items below), and got another bag in the process. (I was working on the other end of the city so I was unable to return to South Calgary). They were out of samples for the bag, so the Cast Member made me a bag. I actually liked it more than the first bag I received (even though it didn’t contain a full sized product like the bag I got from the event, she did throw in more deluxe samples to make up for it). I also redeemed 200 points for two deluxe samples of my FAVORITE lash primer, Dior Show Maximizer.

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KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR PALETTE
Retail: $55 CAD
Steal: $49.50 CAD

KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR BRUSH
Retail: $43 CAD
Steal: $38.70 CAD

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I am so happy that I purchased BOTH of these. They are a beautiful sight. I haven’t used either yet. I still need to stare at them and admire their beauty for a but longer before I mess them both up. Dirrrrrty. Filthy. Once I have tried them, I fully intend on writing a full review on the products.

HOURGLASS MODERNIST EYESHADOW PALETTE (Color Field)
Retail: $67 CAD
Steal: $60.30 CAD

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I love, love, LOVE these palettes. I already own Obscura (earth tones) and fell so head over heels, I knew I had to get another one. Not only do I love the shadows themselves, the palette is a literal work of art. I purchased Color Field (olive tones) during the sale for the pop of color it could add to my eye looks.

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL (Smog & Electric)
Retail: $24 CAD
Steal: $21.60 CAD

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I love Urban Decay. And I love these pencils. They are creamy, pigmented, bold, and they don’t budge. I probably own a dozen or more. Color, brown, black, shimmer, matte, satin … I own it all, they have it all. These are hands down my ultimate FAVORITE eyeliner (Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons takes a close second).

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL TRIPLE THREAT TRAVEL PENCIL SET SMOKY MATTE EDITION (Smoke, Sabbath, & Perversion)
Retail: $22 CAD
Steal: $19.80 CAD

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I just told you how much I love these pencils. Obviously a threesome, a trio set was a no brainer! I love that they are all matte. And I also love that I didn’t own a smokey gray (Smoke) or navy shade (Sabbath) like this. I already own and love the matte black (Perversion), but who doesn’t need a back up of their fav black eyeliner?

BITE BEAUTY LUMINOUS CREME LIPSTICK DUO (Tangerine/Lingonberry & Fig/Date)
Retail: $15 CAD
Steal: $13.50 CAD

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I love the brights of the Tangerine/Lingonberry duo. I wanted a coral orange/pink for summer and was going to purchase the Sephora Collection Creamy Lip Stain in Watermelon. Then I noticed this duo. The Tangerine shade looks sooo orange, but once swatched, it has the most gorgeous hint of pink. The Fig/Date duo has the most flattering nudes, with some hints of mauve. Bite Beauty makes amazing lip products. My favorite thing is that they are all food grade and natural. Yes, you can eat it. My German Shepherd can vouch for that, he ate my Rouge Bite Beauty Welcome gift. The lipsticks are super pigmented, moisturizing, and creamy. I love the formula, it even has Resveratrol. Resveratrol “fights free radicals with potent long-term age-repair benefits. Each lipstick contains the Resveratrol equivalent of two glasses of red wine, reducing fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lip area over time“. And how practical are these dual ended sticks? Two colors, one tiny tube. Very clutch and travel friendly! Not to mention the value ($28 CAD) compared to the $15 CAD retail. A great purchase, I had to own both. I hope they release more duos, I would buy them all!!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this event. I did enjoy having access to the discount early and also a private event to make my purchases while there was still lots of stock available. I’m still a little mad about the Extrodinary Rewards b.s, but that is with the company directly, and in no way reflects my experiences at the South Calgary location. I love all of my purchases and couldn’t have better things to say about the Rouge event! I look forward to the next one. Did you attend the Beauty Before Brunch event?

Extrodinary Rewards, Extrodinary Disappointment

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Sephora. You perfectly pissed off the majority of your customers. But I’m sure the never ending complaints via phone and email, clued you in pretty quickly. Yes. I’m talking about the “Extrodinary Rewards” that were released today. Or should I say last night? I’m not sure, since they were released in the middle of the night, the wee hours of the morning.

So here’s my issue. I’m a VIB Rouge member. That means I spend an embarrassing amount of money at Sephora. You would expect that this level of membership would mean you were informed of all special events, promos, and sales. Not the case. I never received a single email about the “Extrodinary Rewards“. I found out about them on Instagram and through a little research. I kept waiting for my email. It never came.

Even if I had received an email, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference because they didn’t give away any details. Sephora simply said to check the Rewards Boutique in the coming days. Great. Thanks, Sephora. It’s more of the point that I spend lots of money at your store, but I get overlooked and don’t receive emails. Leave it to the masterminds, to somehow hack the html code (or something), to figure out that the release date was going to be May 5th. That’s the rumor, but either way SOMEONE, SOMEHOW, did indeed figure out the date.

That brings me to my next complaint. Because the date was released (or leaked), some people waited up ALL night to get a reward. ALL NIGHT. Then, as it turns out, the rewards could not be shipped to Canada. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!!? So after all of that hype, all of that effort, and all of that time, some people couldn’t even redeem the rewards?!?!?!?!?!

As if that wasn’t enough, I got an email at 9:17 am (this morning, May 5th) from Sephora saying that they had released the rewards and to hurry to grab some as quantities were limited. But the kicker here is that 1) all of the rewards had been sold out for hours by this point, and 2) I’m Canadian and they wouldn’t have shipped to me anyways!!! Sephora, WHY are you rubbing all of these beautiful, unattainable rewards in my face?!?!

So no emails for me. No rewards for me. And apparently no rewards for basically anyone else either. I’m extremely pissed off with Sephora. And this isn’t the only reason. I have been Rouge since December and still haven’t gotten an email with a single Rouge exclusive gift with purchase. I used to see these all the time on other blogs when I was just a VIB. I would even buy some of the free gifts on eBay because they were so great (Buxom Lippie Trio, Fresh 4 piece set, etc.). That was one of the things I was looking forward to the most when I finally reached “The Top“. I’m nearly halfway through the year, and have yet to see an exclusive free gift with purchase. Another big factor, is the amount we have to spend to get free gifts or samples. Americans spend $35 USD, us Canadians have to spend $50 CAD. It’s been like this for years, even when the dollar was pretty much identical (give or take a cent or two) for both country’s. But there is more! Make your Canadian order online, and you will only be awarded your rewards points based on the AMERICAN price. The bigger the order, the more points you lose. Sometimes it is worth it to take the points cut based on free offers, but most of the time, it’s most beneficial to buy your products in store. If you need another reason for why I’m hating so hard, Canadians can’t use gift cards online! Often products are released online early, exclusively for Rouge members. If you have a gift card, you can forget about getting that product early, and you will have to wait until it’s released in store for everyone else.

If you are Canadian, or just a frequent reader of my blog, you know about the Shopper’s Optimum Rewards program. I did the math and if I stick to buying only during bonus events, like 20× The Points, and redeem my points only during Super Spend Events, I can get $290 CAD in product after spending only $600 CAD. That’s nearly a 50% return!!! Why would I spend that money at Sephora when I get barely anything back for my loyalty? When they leave me out of emails? When they release rewards in the middle of the night in such small quantities. I think I’ll be taking the majority of my beauty spending to Shopper’s/Murale. They give lots and lots of notice about events and rewards. Hell, they even publish it every week in a flyer!!

So Sephora, this is my “it’s not me, it’s you” speech (this and the email I sent this morning – haha!). Get your act together before my Rouge expires in December. Otherwise, I will be happy to be nothing more than a BI to you. And I’ll only stop in for my free bday gift. Did I make myself clear!??