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


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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!

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!

Photo of my February Glam Bag

ipsy Glam Bag Review: February 2018

Hey, y’all!

Another month, another Glam Bag! I was a lot happier with this bag than last month’s. The dusty pink with the black lace is super cute, and I got products I liked better. Wanna see what I got? Check ’em out!

Electra Baked Highlighter

from Luna by Luna

Photo of Electra Baked Highlighter
$23 for .1 oz.; Luna by Luna

This baked highlighter is absolutely gorgeous. The color is really flattering, and it’s not super glittery. I like that it can be a subtle shimmer for every day use, or I can build it up for a more dramatic evening look. It applies beautifully and stays throughout the day. Highlighter is one of my favorite parts of my makeup routine, and this one is a fabulous addition to my collection!

My rating: 5/5

Beach Crystals Palette

from Pacifica Beauty

Photo of Pacifica Beauty "Beach Crystals" Palette
left to right: Faceted, Spaced Out, Prism, Raw Power, and Mars

This mini palette is a sample of their Crystal Matrix palette, which contains a total of 10 shades. I’d never tried this brand before, but so far I’m pretty impressed with their eyeshadows. They’re 100% vegan and cruelty free, the pigmentation is gorgeous, I didn’t experience any fallout, and they blend really nicely (the coconut water infusion probably helps with that). The full-size palette runs for $18, so it’s a very reasonable price point. I’d definitely be curious to try more of their eyeshadows; the only reason I didn’t give it 5/5 is because I’m going through more of a matte eyeshadow phase right now, especially for work.

My rating: 4/5

Perfecting Primer Facial Mask

from Biobelle

Photo of #Primer Tencel Mask from Biobelle Cosmetics
$4.99 ea.; Biobelle

I gave this an honest shot, but I’ll admit I went into it pretty skeptical. Sheet masks aren’t my favorite because they feel like more work than clay or peel masks and because they’re kind of pricey. I may not have followed the instructions 100% as intended because I did my normal morning skincare routine, waited about an hour, and then applied the mask. When I took the mask out, it smelled good without being overpowering, but I would have preferred the smell of tea tree oil, since it’s listed as an ingredient. I thought the hearts on the sides were super cute, but it’s still not something I would be inclined to purchase myself. It left my skin feeling nice and refreshed, which is why I gave it a 2 instead of a 1, but it didn’t do much to help my makeup last or to control the oil in my T-Zone. For $5 a-piece, I’ll stick with my Laura Geller Spackle primer that has SPF 30 in it (although when that runs out, I’ll be switching over to NARS Cosmetics Smooth & Protect Primer with SPF 50.)

My rating: 2/5

“Bye Bye Under Eye” Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer in “Light”

from IT Cosmetics

Photo of Bye Bye Under Eye in "Light" from It Cosmetics
$24 for .28 fl. oz.; IT Cosmetics

I love IT Cosmetics; they make some really great products that make my skin look flawless–this isn’t one of them. First off, yes, this stuff is waterproof and full coverage, but it’s so ridiculously thick that it’s difficult to blend. I would equate the consistency to wet house paint, and it seemed like the way to “blend” it was to let my beauty sponge take a good bit of it off of my face. I also didn’t find the “no creasing” claim to be true–it settled into the little creases under my eyes even after setting it with powder. I remembered after the first time I tried it out that my sister-in-law had warned me about how thick it is when we were at Ulta together a couple of weeks ago. She loves IT Cosmetics, too, but she’s not a fan of this, either. The ingredient list includes several things that are great for your skin: peptides, antioxidants, collagen, hyaluronic acid, etc., but I’ll stick with my Tarte Shape Tape, thanks.

My rating: 1/5

Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in “ipsy Unzipped”

from OFRA Cosmetics

Photo of Ofra Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in "ipsy Unzipped"

As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer liquid lipstick over traditional, and I like it matte. Sometimes it can be hard to find a good formula, and even when you do, you can’t always find that perfect shade that you’re looking for. I’m definitely adding this OFRA formula to the “winner” list. It’s comfortable, doesn’t dry out my lips, and lasts all day; this color that was created for ipsy is perfect for daytime wear. Since the color is an ipsy exclusive, you can’t buy it anywhere, but OFRA has so many to choose from on its website! It runs $20 for 6g of product, so pretty comparable to the price points of Tarte, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills, etc. I wish OFRA was sold in brick and mortar stores; some reviews on the website say that the colors shown are not true to life, so I wish I could test them out myself. I think I’ll be seeing more OFRA liquid lipsticks in my future…

My rating: 5/5


This month’s Glam Bag had an average rating of 3.4, which is an improvement over last month. I did notice, though, that there weren’t any products that I was indifferent about; I either loved them or I hated them, for better or worse. I also enjoyed the fact that the highlighter, the lipstick, and the cool shades of the Pacifica palette all worked well together to form a cohesive look.

Are you a member of a subscription service? What fun things did you receive this month? Leave a comment to let me know!

Have a good rest of the week; we’re halfway through!

 

Love,

Sarah xoxo