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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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!

Spoil Me Sunday: So A-peel-ing!

Hey, y’all!

As you read from my June Ulta Beauty Haul post, I picked up the Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit from Juice Beauty. One of the items in the kit was this this peel, and I was eager to try it out. Keep reading to see how it went!

Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of sample size Green Apple Peel Sensitive from Juice Beauty
$42 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

On one of my trips to Ulta, I got to talking with the Juice Beauty rep, and she was telling me about how she tried the full strength peel first and almost instantly regretted it because it was so intense. She recommended starting with the sensitive first, so I heeded her advice.

Key ingredients include:

  • Organic Apple Juice: the source of malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin
  • Organic Lemon Juice: additional source of fruit AHAs
  • Organic Aloe Juice: soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Glycolic Acid: another AHA
  • Lactic Acid: another AHA, milder than glycolic acid, that’s used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, etc.
  • Vitamins A&C: reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin E: moisturizes and nourishes skin

As soon as you squeeze it out of the tube, you can smell the apple, and it pretty much has the consistency of apple butter–no complaints here. I spread it all over my face, set a timer for 10 minutes, and braced myself for the tingling and flushing (totally normal side effects). …Not much happened. I felt some minor tingling around a couple of blemishes, but other than that, nada. Don’t get me wrong, after I rinsed it off, my skin felt clean, refreshed, and invigorated. I skipped toner afterwards, and just used my regular regimen of essence, serum, eye creams, and moisturizers.

Maybe I didn’t put on a thick enough layer? Maybe my skin isn’t as sensitive as I thought? I kind of want to try the full-strength to see if I get more noticeable results. I’d probably be less hesitant if I could get my hands on a sample size, rather than shelling out the $48 just to find out that my skin can’t handle it. Have you tried it before? How intense was it?


Well, I tried my first at-home facial peel, and I didn’t get any disastrous results. Whew! What’s your favorite at-home peel?

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!

Ulta Beauty Haul: June 2018

Hey, y’all!

I’ve been really focused on skincare lately trying to figure out what my skin needs, and what better time than my birthday month to snag some new products? During your birthday month, Ulta gives you 2x the points on every purchase you make, so that’s a pretty nice perk, plus I’m a Platinum Member, so I get a $5 off coupon, as well. Let’s dive in!

Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil

from Derma E

Photo of Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil from Derma E
$14.39 for 2 fl. oz.; Derma E

I didn’t end up liking the Nooni Snowflake Jelly Cleansing Oil from Memebox very much, so once I finally used it up, I decided to try something new. I love Julep’s Love Your Bare Face but didn’t really feel like spending that much on cleansing oil this time, so I thought I’d try this one instead. I like Derma E because they are 100% cruelty-free and use natural ingredients.

Ingredients include:

  • Argan Oil: moisturizes skin, plus gives some lovely antioxidants
  • Jojoba Oil: moisturizes skin, plus promotes skin cell renewal to prevent signs of aging
  • Vitamin E: antioxidant that repairs and protects skin

Green Apple Brightening Eye Cream

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Green Apple Brightening Eye Cream from Juice Beauty
$42 for .5 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

I’ve been wanting a new eye cream because I haven’t been that impressed with the Beautiful Skin Dark Circle Corrector I got from No7 a few months ago, and I’m almost out of my Total Eye Care from Dermalogica.

Ingredients include:

  • CoQ10 + black tea: brighten eye area and reduce appearance of wrinkles
  • Green Tea Leaf: provides powerful antioxidants
  • Organic Sunflower Oil: moisturizes skin
  • Aloe Leaf Juice: rich in glycoproteins, soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Peptides: smooth appearance of fine lines
  • Avocado Oil: full of vitamins, lecithin, and fatty acids that nourish and hydrate skin
  • Evening Primrose Oil: source of fatty acids to condition the skin
  • Malic Acid from Apple Juice: rich in vitamins, potent malic alpha-hydroxy acids, phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols–provides lots of antioxidants
  • Carrot Root Juice: source of Vitamin A and other vitamins to smooth skin
  • Cucumber Extract: hydrates skin

Note: The Green Apple Brightening product line isn’t recommended for sensitive skin due to the fruit acids.

I’ve been using the Green Apple Brightening Essence for awhile and really like the fresh citrusy smell, as well as how refreshed my skin feels afterwards.

Blemish Be Gone

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Blemish Be Gone Spot Treatment from Juice Beauty
$15 for .27 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

With how much my skin has been breaking out, I wanted to see if a new spot treatment would help.

Ingredients include:

  • Organic Lemon & Apple Fruit Acids: excellent source of vitamins, lycopene, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and alpha-hydroxy citric acids–powerful antioxidants to help clarify and improve skin tone and texture.
  • Lemon Balm Leaf: clarifies and soothes skin
  • Organic Sage Leaf: provides antioxidants that help cleanse skin
  • CoQ10: smooths skin
  • Organic Green & White Tea: hydrate & soothe skin
  • Green Tea Leaf: provides powerful antioxidants
  • Malic Acid from Apple Juice: rich in vitamins, potent malic alpha-hydroxy acids, phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols–provides lots of antioxidants
  • Aloe Leaf Juice: rich in glycoproteins, soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Reservatrol from Grape Juice: contains alpha-hydroxy acid and more vitamins and antioxidants to nourish your skin
  • Organic Raw Cane Sugar: contains glycolic alpha-hydroxy acids that help exfoliate
  • Willow Bark: contains natural Salicylic Acid, which helps exfoliate and clear skin
  • Organic Marigold Flower Extract: source of antioxidants to sooth and soften skin
  • Algae: contains minerals and antioxidants that soften and moisturize

Maybe someone else would have better luck, but this product didn’t end up helping my skin at all, so I returned it.

SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

from Juice Beauty

Photo of SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen from Juice Beauty
$16 for 3 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

I love knowing that Juice Beauty is 100% cruelty-free. What really caught my attention about the brand, though, is the fact that all of their products that have SPF use 20% Zinc Oxide instead of chemical SPF. Zinc Oxide is great for your skin, and 20% is the highest concentration that you can buy on the open market.

Ingredients include:

  • Zinc Oxide 20%: sun protection
  • Organic Coconut & Jojoba Oils: hydration with a boost of antioxidants
  • Aloe Leaf Juice: rich in glycoproteins, soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Sunflower Oil: great source of Vitamin E to soothe and moisturize skin
  • Reservatrol from Grape Juice: contains alpha-hydroxy acid and more vitamins and antioxidants to nourish your skin

Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit from Juice Beauty
$40; Juice Beauty

This kit includes:

(Click on each of the products and scroll down to learn more about their respective ingredients.)

The eco-washcloth is made of bamboo, which is a sustainable material that can have naturally antibacterial properties and is not pesticide sprayed like cotton. It’s also super soft!

Green Apple Brightening Emulsion

from Juice Beauty

Photo of sample size Green Apple Brightening Emulsion from Juice Beauty
$45 for 1.5 fl. oz.; Juice Beauty

If you bought $50 of Juice Beauty products, you got a free sample-size Brightening Emulsion (I ended up getting 2).

Ingredients include:

  • Malic Acid from Apple Juice: rich in vitamins, potent malic alpha-hydroxy acids, phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols–provides lots of antioxidants
  • Aloe Leaf Juice: rich in glycoproteins, soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Cucumber Extract: hydrates skin
  • Green Tea Leaf: provides powerful antioxidants
  • Sunflower Oil: great source of Vitamin E to soothe and moisturize skin
  • Organic Orange: excellent source of vitamins, lycopene, phytonutrients, flavonoids and citric alpha-hydroxy acids, providing powerful antioxidants
  • Licorice Root: clarifies and brightens skin
  • Sustainably Source Caviar Lime: full of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids to brighten skin

I absolutely love how moisturized and refreshed my skin feels after using it!

Tea Tree Night Lotion

from The Body Shop

Photo of Tea Tree Night Lotion from The Body Shop
$20 for 1 fl. oz.; The Body Shop

I used this nighttime moisturizer a few months ago, but I stopped using it because I felt like it wasn’t giving my skin enough moisture. In hindsight, I think the problem is that I was using the Tea Tree Oil Facewash, Toner, and Mattifying Lotion. Now with my current breakout issues, I’m giving this lotion another go. I really love Tea Tree Oil, and The Body Shop is cruelty-free. Win!

Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion

from The Body Shop

Photo of Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion from The Body Shop
$15 for 1.69 fl. oz.; The Body Shop

As I mentioned above, I’ve used this mattifying lotion before. Ulta was having a buy one, get one half off deal on The Body Shop products, so I went ahead and picked this up, too. I’m using higher quality skincare products than I was before, so I’m not so concerned about my skin drying out this time. Breakouts and excess oil be gone!

Smooth & Protect SPF 50 Primer

from NARS Cosmetics

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

I’ve said before how much I love this primer, so I finally bought it, but I’ll admit I was a little conflicted. NARS doesn’t test on animals, but the fact that it’s sold in mainland China means it’s not a truly cruelty-free brand because Chinese law requires animal testing. Cruelty-Free Kitty is a great resource to check out a brand’s cruelty-free status. I decided to go ahead and buy it because NARS doesn’t test on animals. Some extra SPF never hurts!

Blush in “Orgasm”

from NARS Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Blush in "Orgasm" from NARS Cosmetics
$30 (full-size); NARS Cosmetics

If you’re an Ultamate Beauty Rewards member, you get a free birthday gift; the gift changes every quarter of the year. Here’s a great blog that outlines all the gifts for 2018. I must have been the only makeup lover in the world that didn’t own this classic blush. The peachy pink looks so natural, and the subtle gold shimmer is gorgeous. Now there’s a whole collection built around this iconic shade!

Flower Balm in “Pink”

from Winky Lux

Photo of Pink Flower Balm from Winky Lux
$14; Winky Lux

I’d seen this lip balm on IG and thought it was super cute. It starts out completely clear and then reacts to your skin’s pH to turn into the perfect shade of pink, similar to Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince Blush. There’s a small chrysanthemum in each tube that makes it even prettier, and you can choose the color (I chose pink), but that doesn’t affect the color of the balm on your lips. I also love the coconut-y scent.


Not bad for a birthday month haul! How many of these products have you tried?

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!