Week 1: Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Beauty Steals

Week 1: Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Beauty Steals

Let the games begin! Beauty lovers can hit the ground with Week 1’s Beauty Steals during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty. There are lots of great products included at even better discounts than the Hot Buys. You can check out my other blog post regarding those deals here.  Find out what my top picks for this week below! I’ll definitely be shopping online (and also maybe even in-store too) to take advantage of these steals!

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Sunday, March 18 

LORAC PRO Palette 3 –  The first day of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty kicks off with an amazing deal! However, this is a Platinum Perk that is only available online. This means that you must be signed into your Ulta account and have either Platinum or Diamond status to be eligible for this deal. This edition of the PRO palette line is highly loved and rated (4.5 stars out of almost 500 reviews on the Ulta website). It features 8 shimmer shades and 8 matte shades to give an endless amount of makeup looks. This is a great collection of shades for makeup artists and beginners alike as it features plenty of neutral colors that can be used year round. Here are the shade names for the top row (mattes): Blanc, Canvas, Cool Taupe, Pink Nude, Clay, Terracotta, Dark Brown, and Jet Black. The bottom row (shimmers) includes: Light Gold, Almond Pearl, Medallion, Light Pewter, Amethyst, Rose Bronze, Dark Mocha, and Truffle. You also receive a mini Behind The Scenes Primer with this palette.

Tuesday, March 20

Clinique 3-Step Introduction Kit –  I have become a huge fan of Clinique for the past year, especially as I’ve learned how my skin type can change throughout the different seasons. This brand has become a staple in my skincare routine, whether my skin is feeling extra dry in the winter or slippery and oily in the summer. I included it in my winter skincare blog post hereIn fact, my love for this brand started after I purchased one of these introduction kits during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty last year. Clinique skincare features a numbering system to help you determine which products would be best for you. Generally, it goes from very dry-1 to oily-4. (See the chart below). Each kit includes a facial soap, toner, and moisturizer. Also, don’t forget to scroll down to see Freebie Alerts for an even better deal!


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Saturday, March 24

Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – This is my holy grail eyeliner that I have been using for several years. It’s longevity and high pigmentation make it worthwhile for me even at full price, so you can best believe I will be stocking up! This product is tried and true through long work days and even unforgiving weather. It’s waterproof and glides along the skin without skipping. I also appreciate that the thin marker-tip makes perfecting a cat-eye look much easier. I usually purchase it in the shade intense black.  I shared some info about limitations on how many items you can purchase during the sale in my previous blog post here, so don’t forget to check that out if you plan on stocking up on this deal too! I’ve included a few pics of me wearing this eyeliner, but you can pretty much bet that every picture of me on my Instagram features it, since honestly wear this everyday.


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Freebie Alerts! 

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 9.24.49 PM*Pro-Tip: If you plan to make any purchases this week, be sure to click on this link to to add a FREE deluxe sample of the Murad Deluxe Age Reform Rapid Collagen Infusion. –It will show a price $10.00, but when you add it to the cart, the price will adjust to free! This freebie is available while supplies last


Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 9.50.23 PM*Pro-Tip: You can also receive a free Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage plus 24-Hour Wear with any $25 Clinique purchase (offer valid 3/7/18-3/24/18 or while supplies last). This freebie is online only and should be added to your cart automatically once you’ve met the spend requirement. As I publish this blog post, the following shades are available to choose from:  Very Fair 04, Moderately Fair 14, Medium Fair 18, Deep 24, and Deep 28

*Another Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

What steals are you grabbing this week? Comment below!


Tips for Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty

Tips for Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty

It’s that time of year, folks! I swear I just finished writing my last blog post about the Museum of Ice Cream (check it out here) and after a quick *blink* it’s suddenly March! But that’s ok, because March is the time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, and …. Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty.

What is the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Event?

For those who are unfamiliar, Ulta hosts this promotional event yearly. For 21 days, Ulta has special deals on a wide variety of makeup, skin, and hair products. This year, the sale begins tomorrow, March 18 and runs through April 7. Now during this promotional period, Ulta offers Hot Buys and Beauty Steals. Hot Buys are sale items that are honored for the entirety of the 21 days or until supplies last, which can actually be quite brief for popular items. Hot Buys can be up to 40% off the retail price. Beauty Steals, however, are only valid for that particular day so just like a beauty burglar, you have to act fast! These steals are until supplies last as well and can be up to 50% off the retail value.

Are the promotions in-store or online?

You can shop in-store or online. However, some items are only available at a discounted price online. They are usually advertised as such on their website, so keep your eyes open!

What about shipping?

If you have Platinum or Diamond status within Ulta’s Ultimate Rewards Program, the beauty steals will ship free along with any other items you include in your order (sale items or not). Otherwise Ulta’s website usually has a $50 order minimum in order to qualify for free standard shipping. *Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

Are there free gifts with purchase (GWP)?

Absolutely! This is one Ulta benefit that dominates over other competitors’ like Sephora. With any online purchase on the Ulta Website, you receive a free pack of 3 samples or so. You can pick from hair, skincare, or a variety sampler. Also, make sure to check out the GWP page here to see if your purchase qualifies for even more freebies. Keep in mind that the gifts with purchase often require that you buy a specific brand and may have a minimum purchase amount to qualify. In addition to this, Ulta often has other surprise GWP offers or “beauty breaks” so watch out for these too!

Can I apply coupons to these sale item?

Unfortunately, you cannot apply any additional promo codes or coupons to the Daily Steals or Hot Buys. However, if you add additional items to your cart that are not part of these promos, you can apply a coupon to them. (Be sure to read the specific coupon for additional exclusions though). For example, as I compose this post, you can apply coupon code 642971 to receive $3.50 off a qualifying $15 purchase. *Excludes salon and Benefit Brow Bar services, fragrance, prestige brands of cosmetics & skincare, some prestige brands of haircare & nail, Dyson, Morphe, Beauty Steals® Beauty Deals™ and clearance.

Is there a limit to how many items I can purchase?

This is a great question if you plan on stocking up on staple items that you use all year round! For me, this would apply to eyeliner, eyebrow pencils, and skincare items that are holy grails for my routine. (I’ll share these sale picks in my next blog posts so keep an eye out!) The answer is yes. Each customer is limited to 2 per sale item. However, online, you are limited to 2 per shade. For example, if you are a big fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, you may purchase 2 in the shade Medium Brown, 2 in Ebony, 2 in Chocolate, and 2 in Taupe online. Alternatively, if you were to go to an Ulta store, you are limited to only 2 Brow Wiz items, regardless of shades. *Pro-Tip: Ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to stock up on a particular item, this is a good time to convince your significant other to take a romantic date to Ulta with you, so they can purchase 2 of an item, and you can purchase your 2.


Now who’s ready for some Hot Buys and Beauty Steals?!

Museum of Ice Cream LA vs. SF

Museum of Ice Cream LA vs. SF

Go shawty, it’s shertbertday! Last week week, I took a quick break from winter and checked out the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) in San Francisco. Having previously visited their pop up location in Los Angeles a few months ago, I knew I had to come back for seconds! I thought it would be fun to compare the two. NorCal vs SoCal rivalries are nothing new, but MOIC fosters less of a competitive atmosphere and more of a sugar-loving, brightly colored dream!  Born and raised in LA, I am a true LA girl at heart, but I’ll admit that I have grown to love living in the Bay Area over the past few years. I also picture my future here so I’ll try to be as un-biased as possible.

First, there are some basic rules and similarities found in all MOIC locations. The self-guided tour is unidirectional, meaning once you proceed to the next room you can’t go backwards. This allows the flow of people to move according to their ticket times. However, there is no time limit, so you can indulge in your sweetest fantasies! Some rooms also offer treats to taste from candy to ice cream to mochi. Again, you can take your time to finish what you’d like but you have to toss out any extra food prior to proceeding with your tour. While there are a few designated exhibits that you are not allowed to touch, there rest of the museum is fair game for photo ops!


Now let’s talk about LA – My husband and I arrived shortly before the call time on our tickets. We first lined up outside with the rest of our group. The crew in LA was awesome from the moment we arrived! Before we were allowed to enter the museum, the staff pumped us up and had us screaming for ice cream. Once we entered, we were welcomed with our first treat – Dove chocolate squares. After being briefed with the house rules, the rest of the tour continued.



Not to give too much away, each room was (obviously) so fun and creative. The LA-native in me especially appreciated their quirky homage to local hot spots around LA from Hollywood to Venice Beach. One room also had one of my favorite MOIC treats, which was a signature ice cream with pop rocks and sprinkles. It definitely satisfied my sweet tooth but was unique, nonetheless.


Other rooms were themed with mint, rainbows, self-love, hanging bananas, swings, jumbo gummy bears, and huge popsicles. We enjoyed different ice cream flavors, mint mochi, and even more candy! Of course, the finale was their iconic sprinkle pool! There are lockers to store your shoes, jackets, and purses. Then your group has about 4 minutes to jump right into the pool and live out your sprinkle dreams. FYI, the sprinkles are not edible. They’re made of plastic, and you will be finding them in places you’d never imagine haha! I had sprinkles popping up on my car seats for days. Throughout our tour, I loved how the crew was dancing, singing, and having a great time in every room.

Now on to SF…


383 miles north, I was excited to re-live my ice cream lover’s dream in SF but also intrigued to see how this location would match up to LA. Plus, this was a much appreciated break from our chilly weather up here in the Bay Area! While each MOIC location shares the same aesthetics, some exhibitions are site specific to capture the spirit of the city they’re in. Located on 1 Grant Avenue, this venue is a city landmark, so it maintains some original features including a bank vault.

IMG_0035Similarly to LA, we joined a queue outside of the museum with our group. We cheered and began our tour with Dove chocolate. One of the first rooms in SF was actually quite fun with a carnival/celebration theme. We played ring toss, trying to land a plastic ring around whipped cream bottles. If you landed 2 rings, you were rewarded with a discount coupon for their gift shop at the end of the tour.


MOIC SF was noticeably larger than LA, which likely contributed to the higher ticket prices ($38/person in SF vs $29 in LA).  This meant we had more rooms to explore and more sweets to taste! Oddly, there was only one exhibit that really paid homage to SF. It was the rainbow nook with prism lights – sadly a bit underwhelming considering how many great aspects of SF could’ve been highlighted instead. Nonetheless, the other rooms included a pink diner counter where they served caramel pretzel ice cream, a gummy bear garden, cotton candy clouds with giant cherries, a pop rocks cave, a disco ball room, and a rainbow room with a unicorn! One of my favorite rooms had magnetic letters all over the walls like the ones we had one refrigerators as kids. I also loved having cotton candy with glitter (yasss!) and more mochi!


Of course, there’s no MOIC tour without a dip in the sprinkles pool! Same rules applied here in regard to what you can or can’t wear as well as the time limit. However, I would say that the MOIC team here wasn’t nearly as fun as the crew in LA. Maybe it was because it was later in the evening and their sugar rushes had left them crashing at this point. We were reminded that like fake friends, the plastic sprinkles can hurt us.  With that warning taken to heart, I tried to make the most of my 4-minutes hanging out in sprinkles! Afterwards, you could take an air shower to blow off any extra sprinkles to help keep them from littering city streets.


In SF, you could also take a swing under hanging bananas and whipped cream bottles, though this seemed more of an afterthought at the end of the tour.

Overall, here’s the rundown:

Los Angeles:

  • Highlights various local neighborhoods and highlights the fun spirit of LA
  • Amazing, fun, friendly, energetic staff – They were the cherry on top of this fun experience!
  • Winner between the two locations!

San Francisco:

  • Mo money, mo mochi … and candy (more treats than LA, including pop rocks and freshly made cotton candy)!
  • Larger venue with more exhibits

Currently the Museum of Ice Cream is still open in San Francisco and its newest location, Miami. Where would you like to see them go next???

‘Elevating’ Afternoon Tea at The Upper House in HK


As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I LOVE having afternoon tea in different cities around the world. While afternoon tea has sentimental meaning to me, it’s so neat to see so many different renditions of this long time tradition. Today, I’m sharing my experiences at Café Gray Deluxe in Hong Kong!

Nestled on the 49th floor of one of Hong Kong’s hottest hotels, The Upper House, Café Gray Deluxe boasts some of the city’s best panoramic views of Victoria Harbor. But first, just to touch on the hotel itself for a bit, the Upper House embodies modern luxury. Once you step into the hotel, it’s an immediate escape from the bustling streets of Hong Kong. Interestingly, the sophisticated architecture manages to still feel warm and inviting.  While the ambience is very posh, the cordial staff and complimentary hot cocoa in the seating area help to make it feel more comfortable and less stuffy.


Now back to the star of the blog post – Café Gray Deluxe!  Complementing the chic theme of the hotel, Café Gray Deluxe provides modern European dining.  Though there are ample seats throughout the dining area, we were lucky to have reserved a corner booth to really witness the gorgeous views of the HK skyline and harbor.  The natural lighting was beautiful, though a bit tricky for photographs.  Needless to say, our fellow diners and we were pretty busy taking photos throughout our time there. Every aspect of the cafe was Instagram-worthy!



We came here for afternoon tea, which surprisingly is very reasonably priced! You have the option of either $295 (HKD) per person or $535 (HKD) for 2 people.  In US dollars, that’s roughly about $38 or $68, respectively.  Customarily, afternoon tea includes an assortment of savory and sweet bites accompanied by your choice of tea or coffee.  My favorites include the foie gras coupe, golden raisin scones with homemade preserves, and  the mint chocolate yoghurt pavé.  For drinks, we sought a recommendation from our server and opted for their signature Café Gray tea, which has lemongrass, lemon balm, and roselle.  I usually gravitate towards more traditional teas, but this was unique and delicious.  Also, since we were there during the holidays, we had a choice of a small serving of mulled wine or egg nog. We couldn’t resist the egg nog, and it turned out to be one of our favorite takes on this holiday treat.


The is a bit of a side note, but the modern architecture resonates throughout the cafe… even in the restrooms.  This reminded me of the restrooms at the Standard Hotel in New York City.  You can wash your hands while looking through floor to ceiling windows. Oddly, you can see the sinks in the men’s restroom from the women’s side and vice versa. Toilets were private and out of view though.

Overall, we enjoyed the delicious snacks and never saw our teacups go empty. The staff was very friendly, and most importantly, we really appreciated that we were never rushed to clear the table as is often very customary in many HK establishments.  Our experience here truly elevated my expectations of afternoon tea moving forward (pun intended)! Cheers!




Tips to Beating Jet Lag


I think we can all agree that when going on vacation and traveling, every moment counts! We want to make the best of our time away, and it’s really hard to do so if you’re combatting the discomfort of jet lag, which often happens if you travel more than two time zones away. Resetting your watch is easy. Resetting your brain and body’s natural time cycle is another story, so here are some tips that I’ve found helpful:

1. Start adjusting before you leave. Try to ease your body into the time change by adjusting your bedtime a couple night prior to your departure even just one hour earlier or later than usual (depending on what direction you are traveling to).

2. Avoid the buzz. Try avoiding alcohol or caffeinated beverages (coffee, soda, energy drinks). I know this is a hard one, but these can be stimulating and only throw off your system even more. My philosophy is that sure, it’s ok to say yes to that glass of champagne they offer you in business/first class or grab a quick Starbucks while waiting for your plane to arrive. After all, you’re on vacation so you want to enjoy yourself. BUT have a much smaller serving than usual and basically keep it to a minimum. Also, stay hydrated as this can also help to combat jet lag symptoms.

3. Set your clock. Once en-route, change your watch to the time of your destination. This is probably more psychological, but it can help you feel more in-sync when you land.

4. Rest up on the plane. Once you’ve settled into your plane seat and the exciting thought that you’re officially on vacation sinks in, it’s time to relax! The in-flight entertainment system is great if you allow it to help you fall asleep. Don’t force yourself to stay up to watch another blockbuster film. Eye masks, ear plugs, blankets, and neck pillows are good tools to help prevent distractions that can disrupt your rest. Also, wearing comfy clothing is another great way to help trick your body that it’s bedtime.

5. Get up and get going! Over the past few years, I have found this to be the KEY in offsetting jet lag. On arrival, stay up until the local bedtime. It’s important to keep yourself moving and awake throughout the day to allow your body to adjust. It’s another good reason to get out and explore your destination.

‘RTW Travel Series: Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at HKG

‘RTW Travel Series: Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at HKG

As if it wasn’t hard enough to end our holiday in Hong Kong, the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at The Pier was phenomenal! I could have easily spent the rest of the day here. Though I just recently noted that the oneworld Lounge was the largest airport lounge that I had encountered, this is easily the new winner by far.

The chic interior and wooden paneling throughout warm up the space as you watch aircrafts take off and land through floor to ceiling windows. The layout compliments the vast size of this lounge while still strategically stationing seating areas into comfortable nooks.

As we first entered the lounge, we were greeted warmly by the staff. In the first large room, there is an expresso cart and bakery station with pastries, breads, and desserts. This is one of the better lit rooms, so this is where families with small children seemed to gather around large welcoming dining tables.


As you proceed through the lounge, the next large room has an impressive full bar with lots of soft lounge chairs. We decided to post up here with window seats to watch the early flights arriving.

Next is the tea room. This was such a treat! No one was manning this station, but it was so neat to see this, nonetheless. Though no teas were being served at this time, there was a nice selection of fresh juice blends to help promote blood circulation, relaxation, or energy.

The next room is definitely one of the highlights of the lounge. Here you will find a row of self-serve siu mai, braised noodles, and vegetables. More impressively, there is also a made-to-order noodle bar. Today, our options were wonton noodles in soup, Dan Dan noodles, and Shanghai noodles with vegetable dumplings. Once your order comes out, there is a nice selection of toppings and condiments to flavor your dish to your liking. At the noodle bar you could also order dim sum: BBQ pork buns, xiao lung bao, and pan-fried vegetables bean curd roll. The pork buns and bao were excellent!

Finally, the last aspect of airport lounges worth visiting are the more private and more comfortable restrooms. Predictably, the washrooms here were clean. The soaps were from Aesop and smelled delightful.


Considering how impressive the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge is, I would definitely take up any opportunity to experience the First Class Lounge if I come across it. It is easy to understand how these lounges are some of the top rated globally. Cheers to more safe and comfortable travels!

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! We’re currently enroute from Hong Kong to Paris to spend a little extra time ringing in the new year. Having found myself on many flights over the past few years, there’s no better place to disconnect from my phone and social media platforms and simply reflect. 2017 was another year that brought about great experiences.  I’ve continued to work in a profession that enjoy and strive to help my patients take control of their health. My husband and I re-visited some of our favorite cities as well as ventured off to new destinations.   Lastly, I finally took a big leap and launched my blog, whitecoat2whitedress! This was an aspiration that I had been debating over for years, unsure if any readers would find it worthwhile. Thanks to my husband, travel partner, best friend, and co-foodie I got that push that I needed, and it has been a blast so far! Thank you for allowing me to share my travels, sale picks, and reviews!

Cheers to more adventures in 2018!

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