ipsy Glam Bag Review: April 2018

Hey, y’all!

April is here, and spring is in full swing! The theme for this month’s Glam Bag was “Social Butterfly.” I think the bag is really pretty; I love the rose gold accents. Now, onto what was inside!

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

from Ruby

DSC01134

I couldn’t find this brush on their website, so I don’t know how much it is, or really anything about it, other than the fact that it’s cruelty-free. I like the precision of this brush for blending my lower lid or the inner corner of my eye.

My Rating: 5/5

Loose Eyeshadow in “Copper”

from Meech and Mia

Photo of Loose Eyeshadow in Copper from Meech and Mia
$11.50 for Net Wt. 1.2g; Meech and Mia

This eyeshadow is cruelty-free and packs some serious pigmentation. Loose eyeshadow isn’t my favorite because it gets messy, but this one didn’t have any fallout at all. I was super impressed! The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it stayed that way all day long, even after a heavy workout.

img_1313_facetune_23-04-2018-22-55-32

My Rating: 4/5

Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Stockholm”

from NYX Cosmetics

Photo of Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm from NYX Cosmetics
$6.50 for .27 fl. oz.; NYX Cosmetics

I only swatched this on the back of my hand, and I wasn’t impressed. The color was way too orange for my taste, but more importantly, it has no staying power. Yes, it dries matte, but it doesn’t dry down enough to stay put. Even after 20 minutes, I was able to rub it off with no problem. I’ll either list it on My Subscription Addiction’s Swap page or just give it to a friend, but I wasn’t a fan.

My Rating: 1/5

That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in “Lit”

from Trust Fund Beauty

Photo of That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in Lit from Trust Fund Beauty
$20; Trust Fund Beauty

The shimmery glow of this highlighter is everything. It’s a gorgeous champagne color that’s not glittery. It really made my cheekbones pop, and it works well as an eyeshadow, too. It’s a little over-the-top for work wear, but I love it for weekends!

My Rating: 4/5

Pore Tightening Pearl Mask

from Biorace

Photo of sample size Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask from Borate
$25 for 3.88 oz.; Biorace

You can read my first impression of this mask here. I recommend it!

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Are you a member of any subscription services? What did you get that you absolutely love? Can’t wait for May!

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.)

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Yes, Oh Yas! April 2018

Hey, y’all!

I was so excited to get my first Yes, Oh Yas! package this month! I got 4 full-size items– check ’em out!

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites. Retail values listed below my descriptions are what was listed by Yes, Oh Yas!

12 Pc. Pink Vegan Brush Set

from Crown Brushes

Photo of 12pc Pink Vegan Brush Set from Crown Brushes
$12; Crown Brushes

I’ve never tried Crown Brushes before, but I’ve heard good things. The brushes are soooooo soft, and they’re super easy to clean. The set includes:

  • Brow-Lash Comb Brush
  • Lash Brush
  • Smudger Brush
  • Pointed Liner Brush
  • Lip Brush
  • Angled Liner Brush
  • Deluxe Fan
  • Concealer Brush
  • Shadow Brush
  • Angled Shadow Brush
  • Blush Brush
  • Powder Brush

They’re not as dense as some brushes I already own, so it’s nice to have a wider variety of options. The only real detractor for me was the carrying case. It felt really cheap, and some of the compartments were already starting to tear. I’ll be keeping the brushes, but I’m probably going to toss the case or give it away, which is a shame.

Retail Value: $29.99*

*I’m a little confused about this because the insert I got in my package listed the retail value of all the items, and it said this brush set retails for $29.99. When I looked it up on the Crown Brushes website, it said it’s normally $12, but at the time of this post, it’s on sale for $8.40. $29.99 and $12 is quite a difference…

Mineral Bronzer in “Sensual”

from Bella Terra Cosmetics

Photo of Mineral Bronzer in Sensual from Bella Terra Cosmetics
$59.99 for Net Wt. 9g; Bella Terra Cosmetics

The color of this bronzer is absolutely gorgeous, and it applies beautifully. It’s just too glittery for me to wear for an everyday look. I tend to gravitate more towards shimmer or matte bronzers. This would make a really lovely body bronzer on the weekends, especially with summer coming. Due to how glittery it is, I don’t think it’s something I’d repurchase, but that’s purely based on my personal preference.

Retail Value: $24.99*

*I assume this is because I received a 2g jar, while what’s listed on the Bella Terra website is a 9g jar.

Flutter Mascara in “Jet Black”

from Manna Kadar Beauty

Photo of Flutter Mascara in Jet Black from Manna Kadar Beauty
$29 for .34 fl. oz.; Manna Kadar Beauty

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m no mascara expert. I’m blessed with long thick lashes, so I don’t really need it for day-to-day life. I’ll wear a little of it when I wear my magnetic false lashes so that they have something to grip onto, but that’s really only for special occasions like weddings when I know there will be lots of photos. Otherwise, I find mascara tedious to apply and remove, and it’s my least favorite part of makeup.

I tried this mascara one day just to take it for a spin. I was concerned that it didn’t say “waterproof” anywhere on the packaging, but after a full day of work and getting a full sweat on with an aerial silks class, it didn’t flake, smudge, or run. I was pretty impressed. The hourglass applicator is interesting; it’s supposed to help you get every last lash without clumping. Not too shabby.

Retail Value: $29.99

Mechanical Eyeliner in “Gray”

from Girlactik Beauty

Photo of Mechanical Eyeliner in Gray from Girlactik Beauty
$19; Girlactik Beauty

As I’ve said before, I’m a liquid or gel liner kind of girl. I tried this eyeliner anyway to see how I liked it. I tried it on my water line one day to see how it held up–not so much. I tried it on my lids another day; it went on smoothly and had a nice color, but it wasn’t as crisp or intense as I prefer. I ended up going over it with my Lorac Front of the Line PRO Liquid Eyeliner in “Charcoal.”

The fact that it’s angled is interesting and keeps the line uniform after multiple uses. It’s not that this isn’t a good product; it’s just not my thing.

Retail Value: $19.99

Total package value: $104.96*

*If you count the Crown Brushes based on the price listed on their website, the total comes out to $84.99. Considering the subscription is only $14.99/month + shipping, that’s still a really good bang for your buck!


I can’t wait to see what May has in store! Which of these items are you dying to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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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!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 4

Hey, y’all!

Sorry I was a little delayed in getting this post up. I ordered online again, and my order arrived right before I went out of town for a wedding, but here we are. Let’s get to it!

Samples

Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask

from Redken

Photo of Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask sample from Redken
$29 for 6.8 oz.; Ulta

I don’t color my hair, so I wouldn’t normally seek out products like this, but I got a sample, so why not give it a shot? It’s a 2-in-1 treatment + care extender that comes in dual chamber packaging; it’s intended to extend the vibrancy of your hair color for up to 4 weeks, according to their website, when used with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

The directions say to shampoo your hair, towel dry it, apply the mask, let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse. I just shampooed, wrung out as much excess water as I could, applied it, and let it sit while I finished showering. The scent was was fine, nothing noteworthy. The mask left my hair soft, shiny, and smooth after blow-drying. I have to wash my hair more frequently than I’d like because I work out rigorously six days a week, so I’m all about deep conditioning. Luckily there was a healthy amount of product in the packet, and my hair is only shoulder length, so I can get a few more uses out of the sample. So far I can’t decide if I like it better than the Saphira Mud Treatment. I do like the Saphira scent better, but we’ll see.

Maracuja Creaseless Concealer

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of Maracuja Creaseless Concealer sample from Tarte Cosmetics
$26 for .28 oz.; Tarte Cosmetics

This sample came with four colors:

  • Fairly Light Neutral
  • Light Medium
  • Medium
  • Tan-Deep

I used Fairly Light Neutral. Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer is incredibly popular; I own it and like it, but I just might like this better. It’s a little bit thicker, so a little goes a long way. They both settle into the small creases under my eyes a little bit, even after baking. If you apply the Shape Tape with a brush instead of the wand, they both behave about the same, though. One big difference I notice is that the Shape Tape has a strong fragrance, while I don’t notice any fragrance with the Maracuja. It blended easily with a concealer brush and the coverage was buildable. When I use up my Shape Tape, I just might have to switch to this! (PS: it’s cruelty-free!)

Beauty Steal

Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging

from Urban Decay

Photo of Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion from Urban Decay
$24 for .33 oz.; Urban Decay

This has been my ride-or-die eyeshadow primer for years. I was glad when they went from the bottle to the squeeze tube because the bottle wasted so much product. I was eh about going from the squeeze tube to the tube with the applicator wand. It’s nice to not have to get my fingers dirty applying it, but I have to blend it with my finger or a beauty sponge anyway, so it doesn’t save much time. As an experiment, I put this primer on one eye and the Too Faced Shadow Insurance on the other eye. By the end of the day, I honestly couldn’t tell a difference between the two, so I’ll probably just go with whichever is on sale at any given time. This time I got it half price! It’s nice to have choices. 🙂 (PS: Vegan & cruelty-free!)

Bonus Purchases

I picked up a couple of other items that weren’t on sale.

Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

from Neutrogena

Photo of Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Refill Pack from Neutrogena
$6.99 for 25 ct.; Neutrogena

I don’t use makeup remover wipes regularly because I prefer cleansing oil. I sometimes use them when I travel, but I tend to use the Clinique ones because they’re gentle enough to use on my eyes. These are a little more affordable, and they’re good to have on hand when swatching, so I went ahead and picked up a refill pack.

Double Entendre Eyeshadow Palette

from ColourPop

Photo of Double Entendre Pressed Eyeshadow Palette from Colourpop
$16; ColourPop

I’ve gotten a couple of ColourPop eyeshadows in past ipsy bags, and I’ve loved them both. They have good pigmentation, smooth application, and no fallout. Considering the high quality, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable ColourPop’s products are. Cruelty-free, too? I’m in love! Needless to say, I was super excited when Ulta started carrying the brand. A girl can never have too many neutral eyeshadows, so I picked up this lovely little palette. It’s 12 gorgeous colors–8 matte, 3 metallic, and 1 satin. So far I’ve only tried a couple of looks with this palette, but I’m looking forward to continuing to play with it! Totally worth purchasing.


What was your favorite purchase during this 21 Days of Beauty? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Hope your week is going well.

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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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!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 3

Hey, y’all!

Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 ends today. I’ve got one last package coming next week, but this arrived yesterday!

Samples

I ordered online in a hurry and completely forgot to ask for samples, but if you purchased $40+ of Too Faced products, you got a free gift consisting of an adorable rainbow cosmetic bag that came with two deluxe samples inside:

Better Than Sex Mascara

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Better Than Sex deluxe sample from Too Faced Cosmetics
$23 for .27 oz.; Too Faced Cosmetics

I don’t wear mascara except for the rare occasions where I wear my magnetic false lashes and want to give them a little more to grip onto. I’ll probably give this away to a friend, but I’ve heard great things about this mascara, it’s cruelty-free, and it’s very highly reviewed.

Shadow Insurance 24+ Hour Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Shadow Insurance 24+ Hour Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer from Too Faced Cosmetics
$20 for .35 oz.; Too Faced Cosmetics

I love my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (spoiler alert: that’s what’s coming in my fourth order!), but I’m looking forward to trying this out. They’re both cruelty-free, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up with a new favorite…

Beauty Steal

Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick from Too Faced Cosmetics in "Sell Out," "Suck It," "Queen B," and "Child Star"
$21 for .23 oz; Too Faced Cosmetics
DSC01077
left to right: “Sell Out,” “Suck It,” “Queen B,” and “Child Star”

I prefer liquid over regular lipstick because I find it more comfortable, and it lasts longer. Of all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, this is probably my favorite. I prefer a matte finish over gloss, so this is perfect. The pigmentation is fantastic, the formula lasts for hours, and it’s comfortable to wear. I was super excited when I saw it was one of the beauty steals on March 30th–half off!

I wanted to pick up some neutrals and pinks that are more work appropriate (womp womp). I already had a sample of “Queen B” and loved it, so I bought the full-size. The other colors are new for me, and I’m looking forward to taking them for a test run!


Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

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!

 

 

 

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 2

Hey y’all!

I noticed that I’m not buying as many products from 21 Days of Beauty as I did last time. I think it’s partly because I’ve tried more products and brands than I had 6 months ago and partly because I’m better stocked and don’t want anything to go to waste. I had hoped to pick up the Marvelous Mauves Eyeshadow Palette from Dose of Colors on April 1st, but apparently I slept in too late, and they sold out. Whoops! It looks like this will just send up being a 4-part series of posts instead of 5. Let’s jump into part 2!

Samples

I ordered online again, so I chose the Skincare Sampler this time.

Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer

from Stila Cosmetics

Photo of Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer sample from Stila Cosmetics
$40; Stila Cosmetics

The full-size product consists of 1 fl. oz. of the foundation and .04 oz. of refillable full-coverage cream concealer under the cap. This sample came with 4 shades of foundation (no concealer):

  • Fair 2 (Warm undertones)
  • Light 3 (Golden undertones)
  • Buff 7 (Warm undertones)
  • Tan 13 (Golden undertones)

My skin has neutral undertones, so I’d most likely be a match for Porcelain 0 or Hue 5, depending on how tanned I was. You can find your match here. Fair 2 worked pretty well for me.

The texture was kind of thick and made me a little nervous at first, but it held up really well over the course of the day. Even after a 12 hour day plus a workout, it wasn’t showing any signs of breaking up. Not sure if I’d purchase full-size because it felt a little heavy, yet I had to layer it on quite a bit to build up coverage. It’s also a bit pricey for me, but I would be curious to see how my supposed color match looks on me.

Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

from Hask Beauty

Photo of Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner sample from Hask Beauty

I’m not really sure what shampoo and conditioner have to do with skincare, but I digress… It turns out chia seeds are just as good for your hair as they are for the rest of you, thanks to the proteins, antioxidants, calcium, and omega-3s inside.

You can’t buy directly from the Hask website at this time, so it directed me to Ulta’s website, but when I looked, the only Chia Seed Oil product I could find was dry shampoo. Maybe this shampoo and conditioner are so new that they haven’t rolled out yet? Have you tried the dry shampoo? I’m curious what you think of it.

The shampoo and conditioner were ok; they smelled nice without being overbearing. They gave my hair volume but left it feeling a little coarser than normal after blow-drying, even after using all my normal styling products. I probably wouldn’t purchase this for my hair (if I could even find out where to purchase it!)

Beauty Steals

Photo Finish Primer Water Set & Refresh Spray

from Smashbox Cosmetics

Photo of Photo Finish Primer Water Set & Refresh Spray from Smashbox Cosmetics
$32 for 3.9 fl. oz.; Smashbox Cosmetics

I love my current primer and my current setting spray, so I was mainly curious to try this out as a makeup refresher during the day. It was one of the Beauty Steals on March 21st, so I got it for half price! I love, love, loved it! The scent was very fresh and not too strong; I loved how hydrated my skin felt and how quickly it absorbed the product. I can’t decide if I like Too Faced’s Hangover 3-in-1 Setting Spray better. I’ll get back to you on that one…

Pérsona Identity Palette

from Pérsona Cosmetics

Photo of the Identity Eyeshadow Palette from Persona Cosmetics
$32; Pérsona Cosmetics

This palette had high reviews, and it was another Beauty Steal on March 21st, so it was half price. Why not give it a shot? These shades were created with brown eyes in mind (mine are hazel), but they’ll work with any eye color.

The palette has 6 shimmer shades:

  • Sassy
  • Goal Digger
  • Seductive
  • Bombshell
  • Goddess
  • Bossy

And 6 matte shades:

  • Humble
  • Charming
  • Maverick
  • Audacious
  • Chic
  • Fearless

When I first swatched these with my fingers, they were sooooo buttery smooth. I couldn’t wait to try them on my lids! They went on just as smoothly with brushes, and the pigmentation was to die for! To test out some of the shimmer shades, I used Goddess as my transition shade, Bossy to deepen, Goal Digger on my lids, and Sassy to highlight. I was so distracted by the beauty of these colors that I completely forgot to put on eyeliner! To test out some matte shades, I put a look together consisting of Maverick for transition, Fearless to deepen, Chic on my eyelids, and Humble to highlight. The matte formula was just as great as the shimmer. So far, I love them all!

This was the only eyeshadow palette I saw on the Pérsona website, but I can’t wait to see what else they come out with! It’s an excellent product, cruelty-free, and even made in the USA. Definitely a brand to keep an eye out for in the future!


2 posts about 21 Days of Beauty down, 2 to go! Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

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!

Photo of Part 1 of my March 2018 Ulta 21 Days of Beauty haul

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 1

Hey, y’all!

It’s that time of year again…Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty! Twice a year, Ulta has a 3-week event of daily flash sales (“Beauty Steals”) where best-selling items will be up to 50% off for just one day. They also have weekly “Beauty Deals” where select Ulta Beauty Collection items are 50% off. On top of all that, they have “Hot Buys” that last the entirety of the event where select items are 25-40% off, but sometimes it applies to entire brands. If you’re a Platinum member, like me, or a Diamond member, you get free shipping on your purchase, even if it doesn’t meet the usual $50 minimum, as long as you have a Beauty Steal item in your cart. Throughout this event, there are some fabulous deals to be had; these aren’t just drugstore brands that are on sale. We’re talking high-end brands, too, like Urban Decay, Tarte, MAC, Strivectin, Peter Thomas Roth, etc. If you’ve never checked this out before, GET ON IT! This event is going on through April 7th, and it’ll happen again in the fall.

This is what I got in my first order of the event; more will be on the way!

Samples

I purchased online, so I got free samples; I chose the Skincare category this time.

Dipbrow Pomade

from Anastasia Beverly Hills

Photo of Dipbrow Pomade Sample from Anastasia Beverly Hills
$18 for .14 oz.; Anastasia Beverly Hills

This sample of 4 brunette shades came with the most adorable tiny brush I’ve ever seen! This was my first time using a pomade instead of a powder on my brows, and I learned very quickly that a little goes a long way. My brows were looking a little too Groucho Marx, so I took it off and started over. (Good thing my brows are the very first step of my makeup routine!) I thought I might use Chocolate on the inner half of my eyebrows and Dark Brown on the outer half to contour them, but Chocolate ended up being too light and a little too warm, so I just ended up using the Dark Brown. It’s nice just having one step instead of filling and then using a clear brow gel, but it never seemed to ever dry down to the point that it was truly smudge-proof. I don’t think I’ll be converting to pomade just yet.

Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50

from NARS Cosmetics

Photo of Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50 from NARS Cosmetics
$36 for 1 oz.; NARS Cosmetics

I’ve tried a sample of this primer before and I instantly fell in love. It has a similar texture to Smashbox’s cult-favorite Photo Finish primer, but it has the SPF in it, which Smashbox doesn’t. It does a great job of camouflaging pores and making my foundation last. When my Laura Geller primer runs out, this is without a doubt what I’ll be replacing it with.

Makeup

Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

from IT Cosmetics

Photo of Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder from It Cosmetics
$29 for .31 oz.; It Cosmetics

I got a sample of this in my ipsy Glam Bag a few months ago, and I really loved it. It’s translucent, so it works on any complexion. It applies like a dream and feels so great on my skin. The silk, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants, and peptides in it all have anti-aging properties, and on top of it all, it minimizes pores and imperfections. It leaves my skin looking truly flawless, and the compact is perfect for touching up when I’m at work or out and about. Heck, I’ll sometimes wear it by itself just to get rid of shine when I’m running errands on the weekend and don’t feel like putting on a full face of makeup.

This was one of the Beauty Steals on March 19th, so I got it for half price. Win!

Skincare

Assorted Masks

from Leaders Cosmetics

One of the Hot Buys of the event is that the entire Leaders Brand is 40% off, so I picked up some new masks to try. Keep an eye out for these in future Spoil Me Sunday posts!

7 Wonders Amazonian Açai Anti-Pollution Sheet Mask

Photo of 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution Sheet Mask from Leaders Cosmetics
$6 ea. or $58 for 10; Leaders Cosmetics

Açai is full of antioxidants, and this mask also has Vitamins B, C, and E to help protect and rejuvenate skin.

7 Wonders Caribbean Coconut Calming Sheet Mask

Photo of 7 Wonders Caribbean Coconut Calming Sheet Mask from Leaders Cosmetics
$6 ea. or $58 for 10; Leaders Cosmetics

Thanks to its high Vitamin E content, coconut calms and soothes skin, reducing redness.

Daily Wonders Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Sheet Mask

Photo of Daily Wonders Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Sheet Mask from Leaders Cosmetics
$5 ea. or $48 for 10; Leaders Cosmetics or $9 for 2; Ulta

We all know how well charcoal detoxes the skin, removing impurities and minimizing pores. This mask also has Chlorella and green tea extracts to hydrate the skin.

Daily Wonders Breakup with Your Ex-Skin Cells Exfoliating Sheet Mask

Photo of Daily Wonders Breakup with Your Ex-Skin Cells Exfoliating Sheet Mask from Leaders Cosmetics
$5 ea. or $48 for 10; Leaders Cosmetics or $9 for 2; Ulta

Witch Hazel and Alpine Willow Herb extracts remove dead skin cells, unclogging pores and reducing redness, plus giving you some much-needed hydration.

Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask

from H20+ Beauty

Photo of Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask from H20+ Beauty
$6 for 1 fl. oz.; H20+ Beauty

I’ve never tried this brand, but I’ve always been curious to try one of these bubble masks, so why not start with one that’s on sale? It’s got probiotics, along with Champagne and Yuzu extracts to help preserve moisture in your skin. According to the product info, it should help reduce blackheads after 2 weeks with regular use (2-3 times per week). When I told my husband about it, he was fascinated and wanted to watch me use it. 😀 This will be a Spoil Me Sunday item for sure!

This was on sale for $4.80, but not as part of the 21 Days of Beauty event.

Spoiled Rotten At-Home Pampering Kit

from Patchology

Photo of Spoiled Rotten At-Home Pampering Kit from Patchology
$25 (regular price); Ulta

Another brand I haven’t tried before! This kit includes:

  • 1 Illuminate 5 Minute FlashMasque
  • 1 pair of Rejuvenating Eye Gels
  • 1 Hydrating Lip Gel
  • 1 PoshPeel Pedi Cure

I just had to get this–it has Spoil Me Sunday written all over it! Can’t wait to give these products a try. You can buy the individual items from Patchology, but it looks like this kit is only available from Ulta. Patchology has other kits and sets on their website worth checking out.

This item is one of the Hot Buys, so for the whole 3 weeks, it’s 30% off.


Will you be getting anything from 21 Days of Beauty? What do you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments!

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.)

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!

Ulta Beauty Haul: March 2018

Hey, y’all!

To keep my beauty addiction in check, I set a budget each month and (do my best to) stick to it. This month will look a little different than most because Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty is going on, but I’ll post about that separately. These items are just what I bought outside of the event. Some were purchased in-store, and some were online.

The Samples

Because I purchased some of my items online, I got free samples. I chose to go with the “Variety” category this time, and these are the two that I got:

Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Skin Perfector with Turmeric

from Julep

Photo of Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Skin Perfector Sample from Julep
$30 for .16 oz.; Julep

Since it’s a sample, it didn’t come with the eponymous cushion applicator, but I was interested to try the product itself. This sample came with 4 shades:

  • Ivory (Light with Warm-Neutral Undertone)
  • Cashmere (Medium with Cool Undertone)
  • Desert (Tan with Neutral Undertone)
  • Clove (Deep with Cool Undertone)

I ended up mixing Ivory and Cashmere to (almost) match my complexion. Looking at the color chart on their website, I would think Linen or Ivory would be my match, but Ivory looked too light when I put it on, so I guess I’m somewhere between the “Light” and “Medium” categories. I used Clove as a liquid contour with some success; a little went a long way, and it was a little hard to blend on top of the foundation layer.

The 5-in-1 it refers to is Concealing, Correcting (thanks to the Camellia Seed Oil), Blurring (thanks to the Soft-Focus Powders), Illuminating, and Brightening (thanks to the Turmeric Extract). Overall, I liked the formula. It blended well as a foundation, had medium coverage that was buildable, had a lovely demi-matte finish, and it lasted pretty well throughout the day. It made my skin look gorgeous! Have you used this with the applicator? Comment below to tell me what you thought! I’m not sure if I’d purchase the full size. It depends on how the applicator feels, how well it applies the product, and whether or not I could actually find a shade that matches my skin.

Lemon & Sage Body Butter

from Bliss

Photo of Lemon + Sage Body Butter sample from Bliss
$12 for 6.7 fl. oz.; Bliss

I’m terrible about remembering to moisturize my body, but I love citrus, so I was excited to try this. I was a little disappointed because it wasn’t very citrusy, but the Shea Butter and Coconut Oil do make it super rich. It absorbs quickly into the skin and isn’t greasy at all. I doubt I’d buy it, but at least I can say I’ve tried it.

Now let’s move on to the actual haul!

Skincare

Retinol Advanced Brightening Serum

from Skincare L de L Cosmetics

Photo of Retinol Advanced Brightening Serum from Skincare Cosmetics
$19.99 for 1 oz; Bed Bath & Beyond

Just a couple weeks after buying it, this product doesn’t seem to be available at Ulta anymore. My skin tends to get dull from not getting enough sleep, so I tend to gravitate to any brightening skincare products.

The active ingredients include Retinol (duh), Vitamin C, Melanoid to improve skin brightness and luminosity. It absorbs quickly into the skin which is nice, but overall I was underwhelmed by this serum. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but it didn’t really seem to do much of anything. I’ve seen greater results from other products that I’m using (I’m planning to write a post about my skincare regimen soon, so more to come on that.) I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this product elsewhere to repurchase. It also annoyed me that this brand doesn’t seem to have a website of their own, so I don’t know much about them. Oh well, I can say I gave it a shot.

Hydrating Night Cream

from Derma E

Photo of Hydrating Night Cream from Derma E
$29.50 for 2 oz.; Derma E

I ran out of the night cream I was using previously, and I had been wanting to try this one for a while. Active ingredients include:

  • Hyaluronic Acid – helps rehydrate skin
  • Vitamins C & E – antioxidants with anti-aging properties
  • Aloe – helps soothe skin

The texture is very rich without being greasy; it’s just what my skin needs after a long day. Also gotta love the fact that it’s guilt free–the Derma E brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. I would definitely buy this again! I only have 2 complaints: 1. I wish it came in a pump bottle instead of a jar so it didn’t take up so much space on my countertop. 2. I wish it didn’t have fragrance added to it. The smell reminds me of bananas, so I guess it could be worse, but I could do without it.

Firming DMAE Moisturizer

from Derma E

Photo of Firming DMAE Moisturizer from Derma E
$22.50 for 2 oz.; Derma E

I had been planning to buy something else, but Ulta had a buy one get one half off deal on Derma E when I bought the night cream, so I bought this to go with it. Active ingredients include:

  • Dimethyl MAE – firms skin
  • Alpha Lipoid Acid – antioxidant
  • C-Ester – derived from Vitamin C, but it’s more stable, penetrates deeper into the skin, and is less likely to break down due to environmental exposure
  • Jojoba Oil – moisturizing
  • Vitamins A & E – additional antioxidants

It has a much richer texture than I expected, but you can use it both morning and night, if you want. Despite the richness, it’s not greasy, it absorbs fairly quickly, and it doesn’t affect my makeup application. Due to the DMAE and ALA, Derma E recommends doing a “patch test” to gauge your skin’s reaction before using it all over your face. I didn’t have any adverse reaction, but some sensitive skin types might. The label says a slight tingling sensation is normal, but I didn’t feel anything. I might repurchase, but I’m not sure. I wish it came in a bottle instead of a jar, and it says it has fragrance added, but it doesn’t smell like much of anything to me. I can’t decide if I like it more than the moisturizer I was using before. Decisions, decisions…

Scar Gel

from Derma E

Photo of Scar Gel from Derma E
$19.95 for 2 oz.; Derma E

This is what I had originally planned to purchase with the night cream, but it was out of stock in the store, so I had to purchase online. I had seen several beauty gurus on YouTube rave about this product, so I wanted to give it a try. I’ve got scars from old blemishes just like everyone else, as well as scars on my body (I’m clumsy). For new scars, you should apply 2-3 times a day for 8 weeks to see results. For older scars, apply twice a day for 3-6 months.

It’s a very light clear gel that absorbs right into the skin and isn’t greasy at all. Because it’s so light, I use it right after my toner so that it can fully absorb into the skin. It smells like Bergamot, so I guess they at least used something natural for fragrance. We’ll see how well it works over the next few months!

Sonicsmooth Replenishment Kit

from Michael Todd Beauty

Photo of True Sonic Dermaplaning System Replenishment Kit from Michael Todd Beauty
$26; Michael Todd Beauty

I’ve been dermaplaning religiously for a couple of months now, and I’m seeing an improvement in my skin. It was time to get more blades, so I purchased the replenishment kit, which is only available online. It consists of 7 replacement blades (a 2 month supply), cleanser, and after treatment gel (.85 oz. each). Ulta needs to update their website because it says the kit comes with the Oat & Honey cleanser, but I’ve gotten the Charcoal Gel Cleanser instead twice now (once when I bought the device and now with the kit). Not a huge deal because I’ve tried both and don’t have a strong preference, but it’s nice to know what you’re actually getting when you buy something.

It annoys me that you can’t just buy the blades by themselves because I haven’t run out of the cleanser or the after treatment gel, but there’s not much I can do about that. I’ll probably just give the cleanser to a friend. I’m still in love with the device, though!

Makeup

Fit Me! Shine-Free + Balance Stick Foundation in Coconut

from Maybelline

Photo of Fit Me! Shine-Free + Balance Stick Foundation from Maybelline
$8.99 for .32 oz.; Maybelline

I wanted a liquid or cream contour, but I just wanted one color. I didn’t want to buy a whole palette. I also didn’t want to buy a whole other shade of Tarte Shape Tape just for contouring, so I tested some things out in the drugstore beauty section and settled on this. It’s completely matte thanks to the powder core, which is exactly what I wanted, and it blends pretty well with a damp beauty sponge. Bonus points for the fact that it’s fragrance free. I like it well enough, especially for the price, but I’m on the fence about repurchasing.

Luxury Baking Powder – Lace

from Makeup Revolution

Photo of Luxury Baking Powder in Lace from Makeup Revolution
$8 for 1.23 oz.; Makeup Revolution (Yes, the label is crooked, and it drives me crazy!)

I needed a good baking powder, especially to set my concealer under my eyes. Someone had mentioned this one on YouTube, and for the price I figured I had nothing to lose. The “Lace” powder is a neutral light pink tone, but they also have “Terracotta” that’s a deeper shade, a Banana Powder, and “Ghost” that’s white.

It works really well; I met some friends for drinks the other night after going to the gym, and one of them asked if I had reapplied makeup after working out because it looked so good (I hadn’t). I apply it with a damp beauty sponge, let it set for a few minutes, then dust off the excess before using setting spray. I’ll usually get some shininess in my T-Zone around lunchtime, but that’s what blotting sheets and powder are for. My only gripe with this product is the packaging. I get it that the sieve at the top is to prevent clumping, but it makes it difficult to get product out to where I can use it without making a mess. Despite that, I’ll be repurchasing. The quality of the product for the price point is too good to pass up.

Tools

Expert Concealer Brush

from Real Techniques

Photo of Expert Concealer Brush from Real Techniques
$6.99; Real Techniques

I have yet to try a brush from Real Techniques that I didn’t love; this one was no exception. It’s so soft and gentle on my under eye area, but it still does a great job of blending my concealer. The aluminum handle makes it nice and lightweight and comfortable to use, and the synthetic bristles are very easy to clean. For such a good price, how can you pass it up?

Retractable Lip Brush

from e.l.f. Cosmetics

Photo of Retractable Lip Brush from e.l.f. Cosmetics
$3; e.l.f. Cosmetics

I needed a new retractable lip brush because the one I had was old, like 20+ years old from when I had ballet recitals as a kid. Yikes. Anyway, this one comes to a point, so it’s great for lining your lips or touching up. You can use it for filling in if you’re patient, but I have a Ben Nye brush that I tend to use for application in the morning. This one lives in my purse for touch ups on the go. It seems to have trouble staying fully extended, but it manages to get the job done. Bonus points for the fact that it’s easy to clean.

Nails

Nail Recovery Kit

from Nail Tek

Photo of Nail Recovery Kit from Nail Tek
$20; Nail Tek

I have naturally soft, peeling nails to begin with, but gel nail polish has wrecked them. This nail kit is my saving grace.

Foundation 2 is a ridge filling base coat; it does the job excellently, but what I really love is how quickly it dries. By the time I had gotten to my last nail, the first five were already dry. It dries a little opaque and pretty matte, so it’s easy to tell when it’s dry. I don’t think I’ll ever use anything else on my fingernails ever again!

Intensive Therapy 2 is a strengthener that helps seal the layers of the nail together. It should be applied every day for best results. Girl, my nails need it! It dries quickly like the Foundation 2–hallelujah! It’s a little soon to tell how well it will work for my nails, but I’m optimistic.

Renew is a cuticle oil for all nail types that nourishes and conditions the cuticle. It has tea tree oil and Vitamin E to help keep cuticles healthy. I like to apply it right before bed and then put on moisturizing gloves.

I’ll definitely be buying these products again, and I plan on checking out other Nail Tek products, as well.


Whew, that’s a wrap! Have you tried any of these products? Any that you want to try? Let me know in a comment below!

April is just around the corner! We’ll see what it brings besides showers. 🙂

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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