Starting Your Designer Handbag Collection // Rebecca Minkoff at Shopbop

So you want to start a designer handbag collection? But where to begin? What is the best investment? Obviously if this is your first designer pick you don’t want to go full tilt with buying a Louis Vuitton or Chanel, yet you also want to step up from what’s available at Target.

The best way to get started in buying designer handbags is to find a fantastic designer that makes a bag that’s not only trendy, but sturdy. You want this to last and contrary to popular belief buying designer doesn’t necessarily mean your bag will hold up. One of my absolute favorite handbag designers is Rebecca Minkoff. Her designs are always on trend, the bags are made well and they usually sport similarities to other handbags that most of the population desires but can’t easily afford to purchase.

Here are some of my current favorites from Rebecca Minkoff:

1. Micro Regan Satchel $225 // 2. Mini Perry Satchel $395 // 3. Quilted Mini Affair Bag $195 // 4. Micro Avery Tote $195 // 5. Suede Love Cross Body Bag $295 // 6. Isobel Hobo $295 // 7. Sofia Box Cross Body Bag $245 // 8. MAC Saddle Bag $195

Now that we have the designer how else can you save money? Shop.the.sales. My favorite website to buy Rebecca Minkoff from is Shopbop. Not only is there a wide selection of items like handbags, accessories and clothing from Rebecca Minkoff (and other brands) but they usually always have at least one or two marked on sale and, like RIGHT NOW, they’ll have extra sales where you can save even more money!

From now until October 14, 2016 (11:59pm EST) you can save 25% off of purchases of $500 or less and 30% off of purchases over $500 using code MAINEVENT16 at checkout! Click here for more info.

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POPSUGAR Must Have Box September 2016 Review + Coupon Code #MustHaveBox

Press Sample

This month POPSUGAR sent me their Must Have Box to try out and I’m so excited to share the contents with you! Each month the POPSUGAR Must Have Box arrives full of goodies but this month proved to be not only full of amazing things, but practical ones as well!

Jack & Lucy // Bicoastal Wide Brim Hat.
This black hat + some oversized sunglasses = “model off duty” Fall gear. Suggested retail $58.00.

NCLA // MANI-ER Tool Kit.
Everything you need for an emergency, on-the-go mani! Suggested retail $16.00.

Briogeo // Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask.
Spa day for your hair – restore vibrancy and reduce breakage in minutes! Suggested retail $36.00.

Flint // Lint Roller.
This lint roller is practical, looks good and retractable. Perfect for travel + it’s refillable! Suggested retail $9.99.

Smith & Cult // Lip Lacquer in The Warning.
This lip lacquer is glossy and makes your lips look like you live for cherry flavored popsicles. Suggested retail $22.00.

The Gluten Free Bites // Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites.
Vegan, gluten-free indulgence! My husband went crazy for them and didn’t share. Suggested retail $4.99.

Sign up here for the next POPSUGAR Must Have Box! Save $5 on your first box using code SHOP5.

*Press Sample

Skincare from the Inside Out with BeBe & Bella

*This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network. All opinions are my own.

Throughout my seven years of blogging I’ve met a lot of people. The one person that stuck out the most was a skincare expert that said “You can have all of the best skincare in the world, but sometimes it doesn’t matter. Sometimes you have to work on your skin from the inside.” Clearly I looked at her probably the same way you’re looking at your screen right now as you read this. Say whaaaa? I said to her, “My skin is on the outside, though”. She gave me the “bless her heart” look and proceeded to tell me that our skin simply reflects what’s going on inside our bodies. While actual skincare is essential, so is making sure that everything going on inside your body is balanced. BeBe & Bella is a company that believes in this same approach, and with good reason.

Though the family business has been around since the 1950’s BeBe & Bella the innovative probiotic based skin care company was only created in 2013. Since then test groups and clinical studies have proven that the products do work with findings of improvement of the appearance of photo-damaged skin, increased skin hydration, improvement of the skin barrier function, smoothing of the appearance of facial wrinkles and softening of skin.

We all know my skin is oily, acne prone and sensitive but I’m also trying to fight off any sign of aging. You can age in your face, but I think a lot of people forget (until it’s too late) that you can also age on the rest of your body too.

BeBella® Collagen Pro($31.95) is a probiotic nutritional supplement that provides “critical skin nourishment”. Ingredients such as hydrolyzed fish collagen peptide, hyaluronic acid, probiotic Lactobacillus casei, Biotin, as well as other skin enhancing vitamins are formulated to promote healthy, hydrated skin. Dosage info is on the label but basically you take up to 3 capsules a day (based on your individual needs) and allow the product to work on you from the inside so that you can have healthy skin on the outside. That in conjunction with the BeClara Skin Lightening Oral Supplement($36.95), which uses Lactobacillus casei, Glutathione-reduced, NAC, ALA, Vitamin C and added collagen, will give your skincare/beauty routine the upgrade it needs.

Just because your insides are handled doesn’t mean you can skimp on actually caring for your skin from the outside. A great way to get started with the BeBe & Bella line is by grabbing the Probiotic Essentials Starter Kit which contains small sizes of the Facial Cleanser, Purifying Facial Toner, Facial Essence, Hydrating Night Cream and Eye Cream all inside a silver travel case (that can also double as the perfect clutch) for $65.00. The product in this set are all of the BeBella® topical skincare favorites to help will help soften fine lines, fade age spots and inflammation. I love the idea of a set like this because you can get a feel of the products and find out if they’ll work for you before splurging on the full sizes.

In addition to the BeBella® Collagen Pro I have a few other items I’m enjoying and want to give them a special shout out. First up is the Facial Essence Stick($65.00) which is an “on-the-go refresher”. It’s the Essence formula but it’s packaged in a lipstick/concealer-like tube so that you can soften fine lines or get at your puffy eyes while you’re out and about. It’s absorbs quickly and, even better, you can use it ON TOP OF your makeup!

The other item is the Hydrating Night Cream($120.00). I bet you thought I was gonna say eye cream 😉 While I am also loving the eye cream the Hydrating Night Cream was a stand out for me because of the cooling, gel texture and the fact that it absorbed so quickly. There was no sticky residue behind and when I woke up there was no tight feel to my face. A very little bit goes a long way so while it seems like a hefty price tag the pot will last you awhile.

It’s not always easy to decide what products are best for you, and truthfully it’s a long road of testing different things and coming up with the regime that is perfect for your skin chemistry. Investing in probiotics that work from the inside out is a great starting point to not only get the skin you crave but also amplify your overall health.

Try BeBe & Bella products now & SAVE 20% off using code PRIMP20!
CLICK HERE TO SHOP

*This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network. All opinions are my own.

Banish Body Blemishes & Spring Clean Your Body From the Inside Out! + Coupon Code!!

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Now that it’s Spring every one is sharing posts about getting “bikini-body ready”. Whether that means a literal two-piece, a general bathing suit or even just a tank top and shorts, we’re all looking to whip our bodies into shape for the Summer. Um, no. This post is NOT about weight loss. This is about blemishes. Blemishes that live on your body as well as on your face. Blemishes that can make you more self-conscious about yourself than anything else, including your weight (I know this from personal experience).

For me, my face is the most blemish-prone of all, and you know I’ve been treating that lately with the AcnEase® Acne Treatment System, but I have gotten a few on my chest as well as a random or two on my back (which is always the painful one, what’s up with that?!). Guess what? I’m also using the AcnEase® Acne Treatment System to battle the breakouts on my bod. See posts one & two and then keep reading here to see how this treatment is giving me clear skin and the body confidence to go along with it!

It may go without saying, but since taking the AcnEase® Acne Treatment System as directed involves swallowing the recommended dosage of pills it’s going to combat more blemishes than the ones plaguing your face. How? AcnEase is a Botanical Therapeutic® whose ingredients will restore a natural balance internally, providing visible results externally. The blemishes on your face and body aren’t likely caused by just ONE thing. It can be a combination of stress, hormones, environment… the list goes on. Taking AcnEase will not only treat your existing breakouts but it will also prevent new blemishes from forming. The end result is clearer and healthier skin that has less blackheads, whiteheads and redness.

I don’t know if you follow me on Snapchat, but perhaps you’ve noticed in the past how I’d pull my zip-up hoodie over my chest area when I take a pic with those fun face filters? That’s because I was hiding the small red bumps. Peep me lately, because I don’t do it anymore. 😉 My body wasn’t the major concern (because my face was OY) but it’s a heck of a treat to see clearer skin when I look in the mirror and also be able to wear v-necks now!

How are you getting your skin and body ready for the warm weather? If you haven’t started to prep your skin why not begin NOW? AcnEase has generously offered a 10% off coupon code! Simply head to AcnEase.com, put the items you want in your cart and enter coupon code SKIN16 at checkout. This code will save you 10% off of your purchase of $79.00+ (one time use, cannot be combined with any other offers).

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AcnEase is available online at acnease.com. Use THIS LINK to help you figure out what type of acne you have, and which AcnEase treatment will be right for you. NOTE: the maintenance treatment is not for a first-time user. One bottle is recommended only after you’ve seen desired results with a treatment that is right for you (ex. mild, moderate, severe). The specified doses provide you with the exact amount of ingredients to work on your acne, therefore, if you start off with a low dose, it will have little effect. You would start on a treatment (ex. mild, moderate or severe) for the first month in order to maximize efficacy. Here are more FAQ’s from their website and also an article on how to use AcnEase to get the best results.

60-Day Money Back Guarantee. I LOVE when brands do this. It really proves to me that they stand behind their product and that the results/testimonials are on the level. For your first order for up to 60 days from the original purchase date AcnEase will fully refund you if you’re not happy. Try the product for the recommended 30 days. If after that time it didn’t work for you send back the bottles (both open and non-opened – so save the ones you use up just in case) along with an explanation of why you didn’t like the treatment. For more details on the guarantee click here.

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with AcnEase. All opinions and testimonials are my own. Please make sure you consult your physician before trying any new supplement or treatment. This post and the ones following are meant to educate you on AcnEase and share my own personal experience with using the product.

Top 10 Spring Makeup at ULTA Beauty

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Everyone knows that going on right now is the ULTA Beauty 21 Days of Beauty in which you get all these great deals, steals and goodies just for shopping beauty products, which, let’s face it, you’re doing anyway. Each day brings about a new “steal” in which the product(s) of the day are discounted. A lot. This sale is my inspiration for today’s Top 10 Tuesday post which is on Spring Makeup Products. Let’s check out the best spring makeup products of this years ULTA Beauty 21 Days of Beauty sale!

Below are my top picks for Spring Makeup. I kept them condensed down to items that are included in specials such as deals of the day or deals of the sale in which the products are discounted throughout the entire event (which ends April 2, 2016).

Stila Eyes Are The Window Eye Shadow Palettes* ($29.00 // ULTA Beauty). This is today’s deal and it is ONLINE ONLY! As in March 22, 2016 is when you can get this special deal! These palettes retail for $49.00 each for 12 eyeshadows so you’re getting a fabulous buy. My personal favorite for springtime would be Body because of the brighter shades! Shop here!

butterLondon Nail Lacquer ($10.00 // ULTA Beauty). I’m a major fan of butterLondon and on March 23, 2016 you can get their Nail Lacquer (reg. price $15.00) and Patent Shine Nail Lacquers (reg. price $18.00) for only $10.00! This deal is always a BIG ONE during every ULTA Beauty sale and the shades go fast. Shop here!

Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon($8.50 // ULTA Beauty). This is another one for March 23, 2016 but it’s ONLINE ONLY. This is normally $17.00 and on the 23rd you can pick it up for only $8.50! Shop here!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($10.00// ULTA Beauty). This is one of my FAVORITE mascaras for volume and lift that lasts! It is regularly priced at $21.00 and on March 26, 2016 you can grab it for only $10! Shop here!

IT Cosmetics Airbrush All-Over Shadow Brush #119 ($7.00 // ULTA Beauty). If you’ve been waiting to try out IT Cosmetics brushes NOW IS THE TIME. On March 27, 2016 you can get the Airbrush All-Over Shadow Brush #119 for only $7.00 (reg. price $14.00). Fair warning, this will be your gateway brush and after you try it you’ll need to own them all! Shop here!

PÜR Cosmetics Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mudd Masque w/ Pascalite Clay($18.00 // ULTA Beauty). The facial mud mask that gets the job done and isn’t harsh hits a major price cut on March 28, 2016! It’s regularly priced at $29.00 – which is a steal in itself for this type of product with these benefits. Shop here!

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($19.50 // ULTA Beauty). If you know me then you know I have a major obsession with the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. They feel amazing and have fantastic results. Normally these would be $30.00 for 8 pairs but on March 29, 2016 they’re on sale for $19.50 – ONLINE ONLY! You can also pick up the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Face Gels with Extensin and Peptides also on sale for $22.75 (reg. price $35.00). Shop here!

LORAC Riesling Romance Eye Shadow Palette ($15.00 // ULTA Beauty). LORAC makes some gorgeous shadows and this is your opportunity to either test them out or add to your collection on the cheap! This palette is valued at $70.00 and is available now for only $15.00! Shop here!

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner ($11.00 // ULTA Beauty). You’ve heard of this – that fabulous Stila liner that people love! My cousin keeps backups upon backups of Graphite in her makeup stash. On March 31, 2016 you can snap this up half off for only $11.00 (reg. price $22.00). Shop here!

Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser ($14.00 // ULTA Beauty). My cleanser of all cleansers. Normally this is priced at $28.00 but on April 2, 2016 you can buy it for only $14.00. Pick up two, you’ll like it that much! Perfect to use with the Clarisonic! Shop here!

Most, if not all, of these deals are while supplies last. Meaning, shop now and shop fast. Most also contain a free gift with purchase and most of those are also amazing!

What are your favorite Spring Beauty items? Check out what the other bloggers are loving by clicking the icons below!

*Affiliate Links

SHOPBOP Spring Fashion Sale! Get the Info Here!

It’s time for the SHOPBOP SPRING SALE! Starting TODAY until March 5, 2016 11:59pm PST grab your fave brands at up to 25% off.

CLICK HERE & use code BIGEVENT16 to shop! More details below!

To take advantage of this sale simply add items to the cart, enter the code BIGEVENT16 at checkout and the discount will magically take effect! 15% off orders over $250, 20% off orders over $500 and 25% off orders over $1000!

This offer applies to items on Shopbop.com while supplies last. Exclusions apply so be sure to read them!

*Sponsored Post/Affiliate Links

Blogging Tips: How to Cut Your Photo Editing Time in Half + GIVEAWAY!

When I started my blog back in 2009 (!!!!!!!) I didn’t expect it to become a source of income. In fact, I wasn’t even blogging consistently until 2011 and things didn’t really take off for me until 2012 when I competed in the first ever Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger of the Year competition and was named the Most Buzzworthy Blogger. Since then things have been busy and I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to make my blogging life easier.

A huge bulk of my time as a blogger goes into editing photos. Right now I use a Canon t5i DSLR for photography and video. I think I’ve had it for a year and I’m still learning what it can do. Even when I learn new things I’m still having to edit my photos for the better part of a day. For the last few years I’ve been playing around with my lighting setup – adding lights, trying new bulbs, buying extremely awkward and bulky devices that end up being more of a PITA than a help… A lot of bloggers sing the praises of OttLite lamps. I’ve seen them around, but I’ve spent SO MUCH on lighting I haven’t bought one because if I walk through the door with another piece of blogging equipment that doesn’t work well for me my hubs isn’t going to be pleased. When this campaign came up for OttLite to say I dove through my computer to apply would be putting it mildly.

I decided on the OttLite LED 2-in-1 LED Magnifier Floor and Table Lamp because I wanted a floor model to save on desk space, but if it didn’t work out as a floor model I could still use it as a desk model and replace one of my cheaper/less efficient lamps.

OttLite was developed by the “father of time-lapse photography” Dr. John Ott. The idea of OttLite is to be able to photograph things to see the colors more clearly and accurately while at the same time reducing glare and eyestrain. Colors are a major part of my editing when it comes to beauty. I can take 100 pictures of a lipstick but if the color is off I have to adjust camera settings, move my lighting around… change my shirt… and redo EVERYTHING.

Below is my setup with my original lighting situation. As you can see there are multiple sources of lighting. Six if you count the overhead light on the ceiling. And still I’d need to take this photo, crop it and adjust things to take the yellow-ish tone out of it. I’d also likely change my shirt, which was green at the time this photo was taken, to something white or black. It’s also got shadowing that would annoy me.

Below is a side-by-side product photo comparison. The photos are unedited by me other than to make them a collage and size (I use Picmonkey). On the left is the photo taken with my original lighting setup. You can see the glare from the lighting (which is coming more from the side lamps than the overhead). On the right is the picture taken with just the one overhead light and that clip light to the right along with the OttLite. It’s a bit darker than what I’d like but it’s in need of less color correcting, which is what takes the bulk of the time. Plus, that glare… usually I’m juggling a camera and some makeshift light diffuser to hide that. When I use the OttLite I don’t have to do that!

This OttLite has taken the place of TWO other daylight lamps and does things for me that neither of the other lights can do. Because I use it as the floor model it is bendable all around my photography area at any angle – most importantly this helps me in photographing nail polishes and other product swatches. The lighting is less focused on one area and more circular which covers a larger area and much more evenly, which allows for little-to-no shadowing in some parts which means less editing time for me. (Which makes me SO HAPPY).

Now that I know OttLite works well and am 100% that it suits my needs I want to invest in a second floor model for the back right corner and get rid of another desk lamp or two. They always say in life you get what you pay for and they’re ALWAYS RIGHT.

Below is the current setup. As you can see there is glare to the right where I have no OttLite. When I purchase the second one that will be eliminated thus making blogging life even MORE easy. PS it was so nice not having to edit photos for this post LMAO!

Check out what other people have under their OttLite here!

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SO. How about a coupon and a giveaway?

COUPON: From now until May 31, 2016 save 30% on your OttLite purchase! Click here & use code:OttliteLED30 (USA & Canada only. Canadian customers please call 1-800-842-8848 to place your order) at checkout.

GIVEAWAY: Enter to WIN the OttLite 2-in-1 LED Magnifier Floor and Table Light! Please enter below by waiting for the Rafflecopter Widget to load. Full terms & conditions are listed on the widget and make sure to follow all directions listed on the widget entries or your entry will not be valid.

All entrants must be 18 or older and reside in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). This giveaway will end on March 7, 2016 at 12:00am EST.

There are 2 mandatory entries for this giveaway. (1) In the comments, tell me what you’d love to photograph while using the OttLite (2) follow Blushing Noir on Bloglovin’. After you complete those two entries more entry options will appear. Those are optional, but will obviously increase your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

WTF Fashion Trends & How to Save Money // Splurge vs. Steal

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This weeks Makeup Wars got me in a splurge vs. steal frame of mind and I got to thinking what else would be good to share? Then I was shopping online and saw the most ridiculous things… some of which are THOUSANDS of dollars (some of the bags, though… never in a million years no matter what the price). Most of us out there can’t afford to throw down money on a trend… even if they are on the cute end of the spectrum. Regardless, there’s definitely a less expensive option out there for you in just about every style and I wanted to share few of my favorites!

Handbags. If you are going to spend a lot of money on a handbag you need to do your research. If you want to save some money you have a lot of options in this category thanks to Target. Until 2/6/16 you can also save $10 off a $35 handbag or jewelry purchase at Target with code STYLE. I pulled a few of my faves but you can find a lot more on the website.

Rebecca Minkoff Love Crossbody $295.00 // Merona Quilted Crossbody $29.99
(A major splurge would be to get the Chanel Qiulted Boy Bag which retails upwards of $4,000.00)

Celine Trio$850.00 (sale: $544.00) // Triple Compartment Crossbody Handbag $29.99
This is one of my dream bags. I love when things can be organized! Tom Ford also has one for $1,190.00 if you’re so inclined =\

Michael Kors Susannah Medium Quilted Tote $358.00 // Mossimo™ Quilted Tote $39.99
If money is no object the Salvatore Ferragamo Ginette retails for $1950.00 and is drool-worthy!

Are you coveting the Fendi Bag Charm? The most expensive one I’ve personally seen is $1,200 (here). If I’m spending that much money it better be an entire bag. Here are other options:

Fendi $900.00 // Sophie Hulme $295.00 // Michael Kors $48.00 // Diane von Furstenberg $48.00

You get your patches at the patch ceremony. If you didn’t get the Troop Beverly Hills reference we can’t be friends. Patches aka stickers are big. Personally, I don’t get it. My daughter has Shopkins stickers that she puts everywhere. That, I get (unless it’s on the furniture which is not okay). Adults putting a patch or sticker that costs over $100 on a bag that cost them thousands blows my freaking mind. And you guys KNOW I love me some planner stickers and stickers in general. Regardless, you can still shop this trend somewhat affordably.

When is the acceptable? When your bag is damaged in some way and you need to cover it up. In which case keep it affordable. Maybe you found your dream LV on consignment but it’s got a weird stain or scratch. The sticker is an excellent way to cover that up.

Anya Hindmarch $225.00 // Skinnydip $9.00

Shopping Tips

If you’re going to take the plunge and make a big purchase do your research. This is a big investment and you want something that isn’t a trend. You want classic so it stands the test of time. You want wearable so you can use it often. You want durable (yes, there are SO MANY designer bags that are complete crap) so it lasts. Join Facebook groups, forums… stalk Instagrams and YouTube to check reviews – a lot of people will do a “1 year later” video or even a video of their first purchase luxury bag to show you how well it held up.

Buy consignment. Shopping at consignment stores is a fantastic way to get luxury items for less. I’ve personally used TheRealReal to buy and sell a few high-end items and have been extremely happy with their service. New members get a $25 credit and they even offer discounts up to 20% off items – even on brands like Louis Vuitton (right now promo code HITS gets you 20% off until 2/14!)! Please do your research before buying from any website to assure the items you’re getting will be authentic.

The deals and the sales. If you must buy the splurge wait until there is some kind of deal or sale going on.

  • Neiman Marcus does a deal quite frequently where you can get $50 off a $200 qualifying purchase or sometimes even earn up to a $500 gift card back. Sign up for the emails and you’ll get 10% off your purchase.
  • Websites like Shopbop also do sales several times a year as do stores like Nordstrom.
  • If discounts are your thing and you’re on point use sites like Hautelook or Gilt to snap up designer fashions and beauty.

Cash back. Shop with sites like ebates to get cash back on your purchases.

What are your tips for shopping trends and saving money?

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Major SHOPBOP Sale! Buy More, Save More!

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A Shopbop sale gives me the happy feels like no other sale can. This particular one comes at the perfect time for me to get a ton of my Christmas shopping out of the way. I shopped the sale last year and knocked out every single female on my list as well as picked up some sunglasses for the hubs at a steal.

The details:Buy More, Save More. CLICK HERE & use code: GOBIG15 to save 15% off orders $250+, 20% off orders $500+ and 25% off orders $1000+!

This includes all full priced AND sale priced items! There are some brand exclusions so be sure to check them out over on the Terms & Conditions page.
The Shopbop sale is going on NOW and will end on November 30, 2015 at 11:59pm PST.

What are you planning to pick up?

*Sponsored Post

SHOPBOP Friends & Family Sale Info!

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It’s time for one of my favorite sales of the entire year – The SHOPBOP Friends & Family Sale!
CLICK HERE to take 25% off your order with code INTHEFAM25.

The sale begins at Midnight EST (so NOW) and ends Friday, October 16, 2015 at 2:55:00 AM EST.
Offer cannot be applied to gift certificates or shipping fees. Exclusions apply and are listed here.

*Affiliate Links