free spirit

I'm a sucker for email subjects with the word "free" in them. The promise of a free gift with purchase all but guarantees that I will, in fact, make a purchase. I also love earning bonus points in rewards programs. When Ulta offers me 2, 3, or sometimes 5 points on certain brands, I often make sure to buy those brands for whatever need arises. For instance, if I'm running low on my Urban Decay foundation but I have 5x points on Tarte, I might put off repurchasing the Urban Decay foundation I know I love and instead try a new Tarte foundation.*

Last week Ulta offered a free 1 oz air dry cream with any purchase, which appealed to me for two reasons. First, I basically air dry my hair every day lately. And second, see discussion of free items, supra. At the same time they were offering the free hair cream, I had a bonus offer of 5x points on Murad. I was set on my go-to face cleanser, but I needed moisturizer. Plus, if you spent a certain amount on Murad products, they were offering a (you guessed it) free gift with purchase.

Oh, and did I mention that this was all happening during Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty?** Yeah, so I also had some daily deals to check out.

That day, there was a Stila mascara and a Tarte eyeliner each for 50% off. I'd never tried them, but they had good reviews and I couldn't pass up a chance to check them out at half price. The Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion is a product I've bought several times in the past; it's great for after I wash my face at night when I'm broken out. And normally I only use Murad's acne line, but my skin has been doing better lately (*knock on wood*) so I grabbed up a balancing moisturizer as well.

The moisturizer allowed me to meet the purchase requirement to qualify for the Murad "daily detox essentials" gift. The order arrived yesterday, and I'm psyched to try out so many new things!

More for my benefit than anything else, I wanted to break down the deals:

To purchase the perfecting lotion ($40), the moisturizer ($40), the daily detox set ($32), the mascara ($23), the eyeliner ($20), and 1 oz of the hair cream (~$5) at full price would be $160 and without bonus point offers I would have earned 200 points (platinum members earn 1.25 points per dollar spent). I spent $101.50 and earned 446 points. 

So...I count that as a successful haul. Also, if you aren't yet an Ultamate rewards member, sign up using my link and we'll both get $10 off! Watch for follow-up posts as I try, and review, the new stuff!

*There's actually no "might" about it. This is exactly what led me to discover Tarte Amazonian Clay full coverage foundation.
**21 Days of Beauty is still on! It ends this Saturday, April 8.