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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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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Ulta Beauty Haul: April 2018

Hey, y’all!

This month I needed to restock on a couple of items, but I also wanted to try out some new products, and I’m pretty excited!

Skincare

completely SMOOTH Moisturizing No-Bump Shave Gel

from Completely Bare

Photo of Completely Smooth Moisturizing No-Bump Shave Gel from Completely Bare
$8.99 for 6 fl. oz.; Completely Bare

I used to shave using baby oil, but it would make my shower-tub really slippery, which became a safety hazard. I’ve been using this shave gel religiously for about 9 months now, and I absolutely love it. The aloe vera, jojoba oil, and other botanical extracts prevent razor burn far better than any shaving foam or gel/foam I’ve tried. A tube lasts me about 3 months, and it doesn’t leave any annoying residue in my shower. I absolutely love this shave gel, especially for the price point and the fact that it’s vegan and cruelty-free!

don’t grow THERE Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor

from Completely Bare

Photo of Don't Grow There Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor from Completely Bare
$9.99 for 6.7 fl. oz.; Completely Bare

This sample came with the shave gel, and I’m looking forward to trying it out! It’s vegan and cruelty-free, and it uses natural ingredients to reduce hair length, thickness, and growth. The lemongrass and tea tree scent sounds wonderful, too. I’ll keep you posted!

Superfruit Complex Bubble Bath & Body Wash

from Shea Moisture

Photo of Superfruit Complex Bubble Bath & Body Wash from Shea Moisture
$9.99 for 16 fl. oz.; Shea Moisture

I love Shea Moisture body washes; I’ve been using the African Water Mint & Ginger Detox and like it, but I wanted to get something a little more moisturizing. This one caught my eye. The combination of shea and mango butter sounds heavenly, along with fruit extracts and green coffee bean extract to improve skin elasticity and radiance. Can’t wait to try it out!

Makeup

Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder

from Becca Beauty

Photo of Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder from Becca Beauty
$25 for .09 oz.; Becca Beauty

I’ve seen several beauty gurus on Youtube talk about how much they love this product. My baking powder seems to be a little too heavy for under my eyes, so I figured I’d give this a try. It’s light-weight and infused with pearl powders to give some nice reflection. It’s definitely lighter weight than my baking powder, but it still settles into the little creases under my eyes, just not as bad or as quickly. Le sigh. Still a fan, though.

Hair Care

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Damaged Hair

from Matrix

Photo of Cleansing Conditioner for Damaged Hair from Matrix Biolage
$21 for 16.9 fl. oz.; lookfantastic.com

I work out rigorously 6 days a week to the point where dry shampoo doesn’t cut it, so I’ve been washing my hair 6 days a week, even though I know it’s bad for my hair. I didn’t know what else to do to get my scalp clean after all that sweat. Then I read about cleansing conditioner, which sounded like exactly what my hair needed. I’ve enjoyed other products I’ve gotten from the Biolage line, so I picked this one up. I absolutely love it!! The mango seed oil and ceramides help give my hair the moisture it needs to shine, and the mango scent is fantastic. It left my hair feeling silky smooth, even after blow drying. I’m planning to go to shampooing once or twice a week and using this one the other days. Love, love, love!

No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser

from DevaCurl

Photo of travel size No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser from DevaCurl
$10 for 3 fl. oz.; DevaCurl

While I was at it, I also decided to pick up a travel size of this cleansing conditioner. I don’t have curly hair per se; it’s more just randomly wavy. Still, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I love this even more than the Biolage. My hair felt amazing after blow drying, and it smelled like roses, even almost 24 hours later. I felt like a weirdo because I realized I was sitting in a meeting sniffing my hair without even realizing it. Oops! lol

I’ll probably go with a full size of this once I use up the Biolage. The only hesitation I have is the price point. Vegan plus sulfate, paraben, silicone, and cruelty-free! Some things are worth a little extra…


What lovely things did you pick up in April? Any new favorites? Do tell!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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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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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


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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. 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


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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!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Hey, y’all!

Everyone that uses makeup and beauty products has their favorite brushes, sponges, etc. I’ve got some other tools I can’t live without, and what’s even better is that each one costs less than $15! Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things. Check ’em out…

OFRA Pro Mixing Palette

from OFRA Cosmetics

Photo of OFRA Cosmetics Pro Mixing Palette
$10; OFRA Cosmetics

This little guy is handy on multiple levels. First of all, it’s perfect for mixing liquid products (as the name suggests), whether that’s mixing colors, or adding liquid highlighter drops. Secondly, I like the fact that it means I don’t have to put product on the back of my hand to pick it up with my brush. I waste less product, and it means less mess. It’s a little under 4″ across at the widest point, but it’s still big enough for me to put my POREfessional Face Primer, my foundation, and my liquid under-eye concealer on the palette all at once without having to clean it off in between. Afterwards, I’ll just wipe it off with a clean washcloth, and about once a week I’ll clean it with rubbing alcohol. You can also purchase it as a set with the OFRA Pro Flat Mixing Spatula for $19 (otherwise they’re each $10), but I just bought the palette because I already had…

Multicolored Depotting Spatula

from Z Palette

Photo of Multicolored Depotting Makeup Spatula from Z Palette
$12; Z Palette

This spatula is great because of the fact that it’s dual-ended. The pointier end is perfect for removing pans from their palettes during the depotting process. The flat end is perfect for mixing liquids, creams, loose powders, or glitters. It’s also great for smoothing out a shattered palette when you’re bringing it back to life. The flat end looks identical to the OFRA spatula, but you get the bonus pointy end, too. From end to end, it measures 6.813″, so it’s a comfortable length. You can get it in black, as well, but I liked the multicolored one, and it’s harder to lose amongst my other black, pink, and silver brushes and tools.

Mascara & Shadow Shield

from e.l.f. Cosmetics

Photo of Mascara & Shadow Shield from e.l.f. Cosmetics
$3; e.l.f. Cosmetics

The end of shadow fallout and mascara smudges is here! The silicone shield is very flexible to conform to the contours of your eye area. I had to cut mine down at the inner corner because it was extending upwards past the corner of my eye. I just held it up to my eye, carefully marked it with a fine-tipped Sharpie, and then it was super easy to cut. The handle is 4.75″ long, and I’ll usually clean the whole thing with rubbing alcohol. I’ll especially focus on the silicone part to get off any remaining eyeshadow particles (I don’t use mascara 99.999% of the time.)

Skin Clearing Tool

from Ulta Beauty

Photo of Skin Clearing Tool from Ulta Beauty
$10; Ulta Beauty

I used to have a different kind of tool meant for the same purpose, but it was too short (3.313″ end to end), and the holes were too small to be very useful (about .094″ and .063″). This one, on the other hand, is great. From end to end, it measures 5.875″, so there’s plenty of gripping space to use it comfortably. The smaller end has a diameter of about .094″, and the larger end has a diameter of about .125″. The larger holes make the tool more effective and easier to clean.

DSC00970
The larger end (for whiteheads) has a diameter of about .125″, so it’s great for extracting larger blemishes to make sure you’re getting everything out.
DSC00972
The smaller end (for blackheads) has a diameter of about .094″, which makes it easier to use it on smaller contours, like the sides of your nose.

Both ends are angled, which makes it easier to use comfortably. It’s important to clean your skin and the tool with rubbing alcohol before and after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria.


What are some of your favorite beauty tools? Tell me all about ’em!

Love,

Sarah xoxo