Ulta Beauty Haul: July 2018

Hey, y’all!

July flew by and with it came a new job offer (that I accepted) and new beauty finds! I’m so ready for fall, but in the meantime, check out my July haul!

Samples

Moisture Surge™ 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

from Clinique

Photo of Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto Replenishing Hydrator sample from Clinique
$19 for 30ml; Clinique

When I first started using skincare products in middle school and high school, I used Clinique’s 3-step system a lot because it helped keep my acne at bay. I eventually drifted away from Clinique, but this moisturizer felt really nice.

Key Ingredients:

  • Caffeine–encourages skin’s natural rehydration system
  • Hyaluronic Acid–helps skin retain moisture
  • Activated Aloe Water–plumps skin
  • Humectants and Polymers–seal in moisture to reduce water loss

Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser

from Jack Black

Photo of Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser sample from Jack Black
$22 for 3 oz.; Jack Black

I’ve never purchased any products from Jack Black before. You can use this particular product as a cleanser or as a mask. I gave this sample to my husband, so we’ll see what he thinks of it.

Key Ingredients:

  • Glycolic Acid–removes dead skin cell buildup
  • Volcanic Ash–gentle physical exfoliant to help smooth skin
  • Kaolin Clay–draws out skin impurities, oil and dirt, plus helps control oiliness

Green Apple Peel Full Strength Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Green Apple Peel Full Strength from Juice Beauty
$48 for 2 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

The skincare angels heard my prayer and granted me a sample of Green Apple Peel Full Strength! (I had to buy $50 of Juice Beauty products, but whatever, it’s stuff I needed.) I tried it out last week for Spoil Me Sunday.

Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum

from Guerlain

Photo of Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum sample from Guerlain
$66 for 1 fl. oz.; Ulta

Inspired by Angelina Jolie, this sensual perfume has a complex combination of floral and spicy notes:

  • Top notes: bergamot and carla lavender
  • Middle notes: paradisone, sambac jasmine, and coumarin
  • Bottom notes: iris, tahitensis vanilla, and album sandalwood

Decadence Eau So Decadent Eau de Toilette

from Marc Jacobs

Photo of Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau de Toilette sample
$87 for 1.7 fl. oz.; Marc Jacobs

The full-size bottle is adorable and almost makes me want to buy it! This light and feminine eau de toilette has a combination of fruity and floral notes:

  • Top note: nashi pear
  • Middle note: pink lily of the valley
  • Bottom note: white amber

 

Skincare

Coconut & Hibiscus 2-in-1 Foaming Milk & Body Wash

from SheaMoisture

Photo of Coconut & Hibiscus Foaming Milk & Body Wash from Shea Moisture
$9.99 for 16 fl. oz.; SheaMoisture

I love this brand–quality ingredients, cruelty-free, and good price point.

Key Ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil–nourishes and firms skin thanks to Vitamins E and K, iron, and fatty acids
  • Hibiscus Flower–a natural emollient that treats dry skin and improves skin tone
  • Songyi Mushroom–brightens and evens skin tone

Yes to Tomatoes Acne Fighting Micellar Cleansing Water

from Yes to

Photo of Acne Fighting Micellar Cleansing Water from Yes To
$8.99 for 7.77 fl. oz.; Yes to

Another great brand with a reasonable price point. Tomato extract, salicylic acid and micellar water gently cleanse, treat, and moisturize, so your skin isn’t left feeling dry. I had been using the Micellar Water from Formula 10.0.6 first thing in the morning, but honestly the bottle annoys me. Either I don’t get enough on my cotton ball, or I accidentally soak it. This dispenser method seems a lot better.

I’m a little confused about this product, though, because I bought it from Ulta for $2.25, but now I can’t find it anywhere on the website, even though it’s still listed on Yes to’s website. You can’t buy directly from their website at this time, so who knows? Anyway, you can still get the Charcoal one for $8.99 at Ulta.

Blemish Clearing Cleanser

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Blemish Clearing Cleanser from Juice Beauty
$24 for 6.75 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

I’m trying to find the perfect cleanser that gets my skin clean without drying it out. This one just might be a contender. Most of the ingredients are organic, and it’s cruelty-free.

Key Ingredients:

  • Lemon Juice & Cherry Juice–cleanse
  • Aloe Juice–moisturizes

Skin Renewing Cream Serum

from CeraVe

Photo of Skin Renewing Cream Serum from CeraVe
$16.99 for 1 fl.oz.; Ulta

When I got my birthday facial, the aesthetician recommended that I start incorporating Retinol into my skincare regimen, since I’m approaching my 30s. When I ran out of serum, I decided to try this out.

Key Ingredients:

  • Encapsulated Retinol–Retinol reduces signs of aging, but it’s a pretty unstable molecule. By encapsulating the molecules with lipids, it lengthen’s the Retinol’s shelf life. The capsules break when applied to the skin and helps facilitate better absorption of the Retinol into the skin.
  • Ceramides–protect against moisture loss and keep skin firm
  • Hyaluronic Acid–helps maintain moisture

Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50

from Clinique

Photo of Pep-Start Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from Clinique
$19.50 for 1 fl. oz.; Clinique

This mineral sunscreen protects against UVA/UVB rays, plus it has a (supposedly) universal tint to it helps perfect your skin’s appearance. It’s oil-free, and I’ve had no issues with it underneath my makeup. Not sure I’d repurchase because of the price point (I had a gift card this time). Any mineral face sunscreens out there that you recommend?

Bust Dust

from Megababe

Photo of Bust Dust Anti-Boob-Sweat Spray from Megababe
$16 for 3 oz.; Megababe

I was waiting for a friend while she went through the checkout line at Ulta and she showed this to me because the name and the specificity of its use made her giggle. I was like, “Oh my goodness, they make something specifically for this? I need this in my life!” I’m probably about an F or G cup, and when you work out 6 days a week and live in Florida, the boob sweat struggle is REAL. I was hoping this was a spray that dried with a powdery finish, but it’s just a true powder that sprays out, so it’s a little messy. It smells great, though, and it’s cruelty-free and talc-free. It’s not an antiperspirant by any means, but it helps keep things a little drier and fresher until I can get home to shower.

Key Ingredients:

  • Aloe–soothes skin
  • Lavender Oil–natural antiseptic that inhibits bacteria growth
  • Chamomile Oil–source of antioxidants and essential oils to reduce skin irritation
  • Corn starch–absorbs moisture

I’m curious to try out a couple of their other products, as well: Thigh Rescue and Rosy Pits.

Makeup

Stem Cellular CC Cream in “Natural Glow”

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Stem Cellular CC Cream in "Natural Glow" from Juice Beauty
$39 for 1.7 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

I was running low on my CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics, and I think it was contributing to my breakouts, anyway. I thought I’d give this a try because it’s got 20% zinc oxide for sun protection, plus it’s free of synthetic fragrances. There are only 5 shades, but their website claims that since they don’t use artificial dyes, the colors work for skin tones from very light to dark as the colors blend and adapt.

It does seem to blend pretty well, but it’s thick, so I’m still trying to find that sweet spot of how much to squeeze onto my mixing palette for one use. I find it works best if I apply it with my stippling brush, blend a little more with the flat side of a beauty sponge, and then let it sit a couple of minutes before moving on to contouring and blush. I tried baking it, but my face came out looking really cakey, so I recommend doing the above and then finishing off with a setting spray and/or light layer of translucent powder.

Benefits according to the website:

  • Reduces appearance of fine lines & wrinkles
  • Broad spectrum sun protection
  • Evens skin tone
  • Smoothes uneven texture
  • Creates a radiant, glowing complexion
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Protects with mineral SPF 30
  • Ultimate moisturizer
  • Skin perfecting color
  • Mineral tinted coverage
  • No chemical sunscreen
  • Non-nano natural sunscreen

24-Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel

from Benefit Cosmetics

Photo of 24-Hr Brow Setter from Benefit Cosmetics
$24 for .23 fl. oz.; Benefit Cosmetics

I tried this a few months ago and loved it, but I wanted to see if a drugstore brand could do the same thing for a lower price. So I bought one, and it didn’t even come close. This one is waterproof (the other one wasn’t) and it keeps my brow powder in place, even when I’m sweating at the gym. I love the applicator, too! The long bristles on one side are great for the main part of my brows, the shorter bristles on the other side help tame the really unruly hairs, and the bristles at the tip get the tails of my brows just right. If you’ve got a drug store brand that you think can top this, I want to know about it!

Brush Bath Purifying Brush Cleaner

from IT Brushes for Ulta

Photo of Brush Bath Purifying Brush Cleaner from It Cosmetics
$18 for 3.4 fl. oz.; Ulta

I only bought this because I couldn’t find my usual 30 oz. Japonesque refill bottle on the Ulta website or on Japonesque’s. It’s back on Ulta’s now, so I exchanged it, since Japonesque’s is a better buy ($30 for 16 fl. oz.) What do you think? Have you used either one before?


Whew, what a month! Let’s go, August! How many of these products have you tried?

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Full Strength

Hey, y’all!

I managed to get a sample of this peel that I’ve been wanting, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it. Let’s jump right in!

Green Apple Peel Full Strength Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Green Apple Peel Full Strength sample from Juice Beauty
$48 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

I tried the sensitive peel a few weeks ago, and while it worked fine, I wondered if the full strength would do more. When I was first introduced to Juice Beauty, the rep told me about how uncomfortable she found the full strength to be the first time. I was curious to try it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive.

Key Ingredients:

  • Lemon Juice & Apple Juice: source of fruit acids that smooth skin and even skin tone
  • Aloe Juice: moisturizes skin
  • Lactic & Glycolic Acids: alpha hydroxy acids that chemically exfoliate the skin
  • Grape Seed Oil & Grape Seed Extract: source of antioxidants
  • Vitamin A: reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin C & E: nourish skin
  • Willow Bark Extract: beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates, moisturizes, and works both on the surface and within your pores; it BHAs also have skin calming properties

I didn’t really feel any tingling, but I did experience some flushing after I rinsed it off (it went away after 10 minutes or so.) I followed up with some Nutrient Moisturizer that I got in my Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit, which felt nice. My skin felt smoother and looked noticeably brighter afterwards. I’m curious how much effect this could have on my skin long-term, but I’m on the fence because of the price point. We’ll see!


What are you up to this lazy Sunday? Trying anything new?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

ipsy Glam Bag Review: July 2018

Hey, y’all!

Summer isn’t over yet, and this month’s super cute shimmery aqua bag is perfect for taking to the pool. The theme around this month’s products was all about keeping your skin and hair healthy and happy, in spite of all the sun, sand, salt, and chlorine. I loved that there were so many waterproof products you could get in your bag. Look at what I got!

Studio Skin Concealer in “Light”

from Smashbox Cosmetics

Photo of Studio Skin 24 Hour Waterproof Concealer in "Light" from Smashbox Cosmetics
$25 for .08 fl. oz.; Smashbox Cosmetics

It’s waterproof, hydrating, cruelty-free, oil-free, and has a matte finish. What’s not to love? It does a great job of staying put all day, even through a sweaty gym session. Not to mention, hooray for getting a full-size item! My only complaint is that it doesn’t have full enough coverage to completely conceal the dark circles under my eyes, so I’m still using my Shape Tape for that.

My Rating: 4/5

City Chic Eyeshadow in “Skinny Latte”

from City Color Cosmetics

Photo of City Chic Eye Shadow in "Skinny Latte" from City Color Cosmetics
$3.99; City Color Cosmetics

I’ve gotten City Color Cosmetics eyeshadows from ipsy before, and I love them! The formula has a smooth application with no fallout, plus there’s the great pigmentation, huge pan size, and really affordable price point. This color caught me by surprise because I thought it would be a shimmery light taupe that I could use as an all-over color when I’m low on time. It ended up coming out a LOT lighter and WAY more shimmery than I anticipated. I can basically only use it as a highlighting shade without looking like I just walked out of an early 2000s music video. Lesson learned.

My Rating: 4/5

Pure Skin Face Cleanser

from First Aid Beauty

Photo of sample size Pure Skin Face Cleanser from First Aid Beauty
$10 for 2 oz.; First Aid Beauty

I got this cleanser in my glam bag a few months ago and liked it. It’s got antioxidants to protect my skin, it’s fragrance-free, and it’s pH balanced to maintain skin’s natural acidity. Most importantly, it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry after I use it. This is perfect to have in my travel bag!

My Rating: 4/5

Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream

from H2O+ Beauty

Photo of sample size Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream from H2O+ Beauty
$42 for 1.7 fl. oz.; H2O+ Beauty

This water-gel cream moisturizer feels sooooo nice–I wish the sample was bigger! It has water lily extract to condition my skin and illuminating pigments to give it a subtle glow. I can feel a difference in my skin’s moisture level after using this. I love this product, but I probably won’t spring for a full-size jar.

My Rating: 5/5

I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in “Whiskey”

from Beauty For Real

Photo of I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in "Whiskey" from Beaty for Real
$14; Beauty For Real

This is a brand I’d never heard of before, so I was interested to try this gel eyeliner out. It’s waterproof, made with Vitamin E, and cruelty-free! The fact that it’s retractable makes it convenient, but it also means you can’t get a super tight, defined line. The formula is fine for sensitive skin, if that’s a concern, and this shade is a lovely warm brown with a subtle shimmer. It’s nice to be able to change it up from black to something else that I can still wear to work. 🙂

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.2–the highest one of 2018 so far! How many of these products have you tried?

Any new favs in your July beauty subscription(s)? Tell me all about ’em!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!