I haven't ordered from Ulta in a long time, and let's just say that this time I went a little buck wild. I had a coupon for 20% off, they had BOGO 1/2 off on L'Oreal and NYX products, freebies from a lot of my favorite prestige brands, and on top of that for using my link through ShopAtHome.com, I got 8% cash back on me entire purchase. Overall I'd say I came close to saving at least $100, including the rebate, coupon, freebies, sales, and free shipping.
It was the perfect opportunity for me to purchase some things that I've been wanting to try, like the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation. A girlfriend of mine, and fellow makeup artist, has been using this for a few months and raves about it to everyone that she sees. I tried it for the first time yesterday, and I can see why. It truly lives up to its name. It looked like I wasn't wearing anything at all, and it evened out my skintone really nicely. I won't go into a full review now. I'll save that for a future post, but I'm really impressed with it after my first test run of it.
Other notable greats were the Benefit Hello Flawless pressed powder. I've been using the foundation for a few weeks now, and it made my list of March Favorites, so I really wanted to try the powder. I love it when I can get matching foundation and powder from the same line. Plus, Ulta was giving away a free 10 day sample of the foundation, so I've got an awesome travel size to take with me. Yay! I also got the Fakeup Concealer stick, and I'm still undecided about this one. It will require further experimentation before I'll make a ruling on it. (I feel like a lawyer here! I need to lay off the crime dramas on tv I guess. lol.)
I was super excited to see that Ulta was doing BOGO 1/2 off on L'Oreal and NYX products, so I stocked up on things I've been wanting to try. I read a review of the Infalliable eyeshadows, and from the blogger's swatches, I picked my six favorite colors. In person, they didn't disappoint. I did a quick swatch of each color on my arm for you to see how richly pigmented they are. I love the way they feel so creamy, yet finish like a powder. I put Bronzed Taupe on my eyelid with some Eternal Sunshine above the crease and on my browbone for a quick eye look while I did some videos, and it's held up really nicely. The lids have a bit of a glossy look from the metallic shimmer of the brown color, but it's a super quick and easy smokey eye. I can see this being an amazing shadow base for more intricate looks. I don't know about the whole 24 hour claim, but after wearing it for nine hours before hitting the sheets, it didn't crease up at all. I'll definitely be buying the remaining colors the next time I see a sale on them. I can see them being a staple in my personal makeup bag this summer when I want something quick and easy with lots of impact.
|In order from left to right: Liquid Diamond, Endless Sea, Golden Emerald, Eternal Sunshine, Bronzed Taupe, Amber Rush. Kinda looks like a rainbow, eh? Totally unintentional! lol.|
For NYX, I tried out their HD foundation primer. I'll need to experiment with it more under other foundations, because under the Naked Skin, it wasn't shown off so to speak. The foundation was so awesome, it didn't feel like it needs a primer at all. I was surprised though how thick it was, like a lotion. And it smelled strongly, almost like cheap sunscreen. It was also a bluish white color instead of clear.
I also grabbed two of their eyebrow pencils in Auburn and Medium Brown. Auburn was really red, and the medium brown was too light for my brows. I'll need to pick up a few other colors to see what works best with my dyed red brows and my dyed red hair. I may just stick to using my eyeshadow colors for now and avoid pencils. Red brows are super tricky, and I've yet to find a pencil that I liked as much as a powder product. Also in the eye department, I got the Faux Lashes mascara. I'm not a fan of the brush, as it didn't volumize at all, and the formula was very thin. I barely looked like I was wearing anything, despite the fibers in the product meant to lengthen and thicken my lashes. I'll have to try again with multiple coats.
I rounded out my NYX haul with two blushes- Dusty Rose and Mocha. I was shocked at how pigmented they were! For a drugstore brand, their blushes pack a lot of punch. I can see me getting more of these down the road.
Now on to the Smashbox purchases. (Can you see where I'm getting the whole buck wild thing here?) They had a nice little set with bronze colored products in it, including a bronze blush that has a gorgeous shimmer and is a wearable brown color meant to be a blush not a bronzer. There was a bronze lipgloss, full size Be Legendary Lipstick in Honey, and a full size Full Exposure mascara (LOVE this stuff!).
There was also a "create your own kit" deal where I got two eyeshadow trios and a dual ended lipgloss for $33. There Photo Op eyeshadows are pretty amazing and really pigmented. I got the Fixed Focus and Macro Lens trios. Gorgeous neutral browns. I know they'll look amazing with the Hint of Bronze collection.
Their Be Legendary lipsticks are the bomb, and I've wanted to try out other colors (I own Honey already and now have another full size of it from the kit). But I didn't want to use the testers in the store (I'm a germ freak when it comes to testers after having worked at cosmetics counters) and didn't want to buy the full size colors only to hate the color. Enter the Be Legendary lipstick palette! It's got 8 colors in a nifty little travel worthy palette complete with lip brush. I'm already planning on buying at least one more for my personal use and using this one for my makeup kit. I can carry 8 shades with me that I can custom mix for my clients, and when I run out I can refill it with a slice off the full size shade. It means I won't have to carry 8 lipsticks with me on vacation! Yay! (Can you tell I'm soooo ready for a vacation?)
Also included in this massive haul were two nail polishes from L'Oreal (I'll be swatching those with another polish later in the month), a bronzer/highlighter duo from Lorac, the Lorac PRO mascara, and a set of 4 mini nail polishes from OPI. Plus of course my freebies and samples.
I tried to film a haul video for YouTube yesterday, but it was so long I'm either going to have to find a creative way to edit it into three shorter videos or just try to refilm it.
Have you bought anything new lately you're loving? Share your recent purchases below in the comments section!