Coupons, Free Money, and Sales, Oh my!

MyOwnJudge - Online ShoppingThe weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday for Thanksgiving, as well as holiday shopping are upon us. Sure you can say we had the whole year (and sometimes I really do take all that time to get gifts for people), but starting from mid-October the deals start pouring in.

Photo Credit:

I don’t want to inundate y’all with constant posts about great deals here (I’ll only post the awesome ones). For the spur of the moment sale notices, you should be covered between the Twitter, Facebook, and CheapTweet.

  • Sign up to Rue La La for your inside scoop on the best sample sales before 10/25 and get a $20 credit in your account.
  • Family and friends time at Saks Fifth Avenue. Use code FRIEND7 online before 10/24 to get 20% off your purchase (15% off jewelry and 10% off beauty and fragrance).
  • Get 25% off Fall favorites at the Gap with code GAPDEALS.
  • Express jeans are buy one get one half off.
  • Smashbox Cosmetics – get $15 off purchase of $75 or more (plus FREE shipping on every order). Promo code: WELCOME2.
  • Ongoing promo at Shopboprefer a friend and get $25 credit.
  • Get notices about your favorite brands on sale from Shop It To Me.
  • When all else fails, sign up with Ebates to get cash back on any purchase, sale or not (they also offer coupons)!

Then there are the sample sale sites you should sign up to now, so that when the awesome holiday sales come out, you’ll be in the know:


Hautelook ideeli
Gilt Beyond the Rack
Billion Dollar Babes Beauty Story
Editor’s Closet
theSkinny Row|Nine

Remember to assess your financial abilities first and start small. You’re better off setting a $20 budget for five close friends and family members, or $10 for ten people and come out without debt at the end, rather than give everyone a brand name wish list item and then cry your tears in the privacy of your bank.

To kill two birds with one stone, sign up with the sample sale sites and promote them to your friends. Most sites give you credit for referring other people, and you will have a credit to shop in no time. My favorite is Shop It To Me, because you get gift cards of your choice for having people sign up for a free newsletter. My ultimate go to is Swagbucks though, you get points for using their search engine (works using Google so it’s pretty good) and then you can claim points for gift cards and cash.

Did you start holiday shopping yet?

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NARS Bento Box

My Own Judge - NARS Bento Box
After a long ago trip to Japan, Francois Nars has finally done it. After a decade in development, the NARS bento box is going to be available for sale soon, exclusively at Saks, Barneys and Neiman Marcus.

Inspired by Kabuki paint, the little bowls are hand poured with a NARS lipstick formula (there are two colors), enriched with Vitamin E. Each bowl has the same amount as a regular lipstick, and will retail for $125. You can use the brush to apply these babies with the precision of a microscope.

The concept and design is a must see. Interested? There’s a waitlist waiting to get your name on it.

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D&G at Saks!

When I heard Pat McGrath would be coming to Saks as part of an event frenzy for her collabo with D&G for their makeup line? I was giddy! Plus did y’all see the super sexed up but still pinup like ad campaign with Miss ScarJo? (If not that’s ok – that’s what I’m here for! Keep scrolling!)

I got the extra pleasure of going with Miss B from ClumpsofMascara, but unfortunately, B didn’t get to see Pat! 😦 Miss McGrath walked the floor and gave her opinion on what everyone was getting done.

I got hooked up with a super sexy and bright look using the Dazzling Eyeshadow Quad with the MUA Carla, and from all the products, the most impressive were the brushes (which they don’t sell yet – figures!). The products are all a little out of my price range, but a girl can dream!

I especially love the whole gilded luxurious effect with the packaging.

Directly from the D&G Makeup:

“Unconventional to the extreme, this luxurious campaign breaks the rules of make up traditional communication, introducing the entire body of a woman. The inspiration is the modern Marilyn and the essence of the Dolce&Gabbana woman, glamorous and sensual, always with a confident and provocative edge. Inspired by the dreamy Mediterranean coasts and the treasured screen sirens that have defined Hollywood glamour, the campaign is formidably fresh. “

This blogger even got Pat to sign her eyeshadow quad! Jealous!!

I did however get to talk to Ruth from the NYTimes, and your girl is in the Style section this week! woot! Check out the article here if you wish.

Here’s the outcome for me:

don’t mind the diva face and the crazy frizz – look at the makeup! 🙂

I loved the eyeshadow colors so much, I ended up buying it even with the ridiculous price tag! 😦

Eyeshadow quad in Dazzling

Last but not least, my face chart:

P.s. I was most surprised that this line is uber exclusive. It is only available to Saks, and previously (at the day of the event) it was only available in store. It’s available online for internet shopaholics to go at it now, though.

For some additional makeup photography, here’s a forum that put together a lot of the campaigns Pat did. Now you judge it: How closely do you follow Pat? Any favorite looks by her?