Tag Archives: ulta

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty is Back for Spring 2016

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty

Y’all, it’s Ulta 21 Days of Beauty time.  Yay!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Ulta fans.  If you haven’t heard of Ulta 21 Days of Beauty before, it’s an event that Ulta puts on twice a year in the Spring and Fall.  For 21 days they will offer a couple awesome Deals of the Day, valid online and in store.  Sometimes there will also be an additional exclusive online-only deal.  In addition to the discounted items, they have special daily events or demos in the store.  It’s a great time to buy that prestige brand product you’ve been wanting, but didn’t want to pay full price for.  This time around, the beauty steals start Sunday, 3/13 and end Saturday, 4/2.  You will be able to score some pretty great prices on Butter London, Philosophy, Stila, Urban Decay, Too Faced and many more.  Go to ulta.com/21days  for all the details on each day’s deals.  Remember, the beauty deals are only good for one day each, so be sure to mark your calendar so that you don’t miss the items that you want.  Beauty Steals tend to sell out very fast, so if you are interested you will need to log-on or get to your local store early.  And don’t forget to use your Rewards card to earn points on all of your purchases.  The Rewards program really pays off, so if you aren’t signed up, I definitely recommend that you do.  I know that I am going to be taking advantage of some of these deals.  How about you?  Do you always shop Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty?  What Beauty steals are you looking forward to this time around?  Let me know in the comments below.

Happy shopping!

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Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit: Review and Swathes

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Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Happy December y’all!  The magical season of Christmas is upon us, so what better time to talk about a Holiday exclusive.  Today I have the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit to show you.  Though it is hard to tell on the website, this is a limited edition set that Ulta put out for the Holidays.  The Artistry Eye Shadow Kit retails for $20 and contains three small palettes with 5 shades each.  I had to get this eyeshadow set.  The palettes are pretty, and moreover this is an obvious attempt at duping a high end product so I had to try them. The Artistry Eye Shadow Kit is Ulta’s attempt to dupe the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes

The seven Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes launched in January 2015 and I was very tempted to get them until I saw the $58 price tag.  Even I couldn’t justify $58 for five shadows, but I thought that they were gorgeous.  When reviews started rolling in, the Modernist palettes weren’t quite the smash Hourglass intended.  The shadows didn’t perform as well as they should have for the hefty price, and they left a lot of customers disappointed.  Still, their beauty won a lot of people over despite the flaws in formulation.  Enter Ulta’s Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Here is what Ulta has to say about this set: “Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit includes 3 eye shadow palettes. Each palette combines a range of matte and shimmer textures for all occasions. Beautiful wave pressing pattern makes this set an extra special gift or luxurious treat for yourself.”  The palettes are very small.  If I lay all three down next to each other (top to bottom) they are the size of my iPhone 6 Plus.  I don’t own any of the Hourglass palettes, so I can’t truly compare the two brands, but I would say that Ulta’s version might be a dupe in that it is also disappointing.  The three palettes are pretty hit and miss.  Each palette contains a mix of mattes, satins, and shimmers.  The matte shades straight up suck.  All of them are truly terrible.  The shimmer shades are all pretty decent, and the satin finish shades vary in quality.  The palettes themselves also vary in quality.  The blue palette is the worst, which funnily enough I believe is also true for the Hourglass line.  I like the green palette and, while the shades aren’t the most unique, I think most of the shadows perform well.  The plum palette is a mixed bag, but I can get a good look out of it if I am willing to work for it.  Let’s take each palette individually from worst to best.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

There are two matte shades in the blue palette, which is unfortunate because they aren’t very good.  The five shades from left to right are as follows:

  • Matte cream shade- This shadow came with a hard layer that is sometimes found on cheap matte shadows.  Even after scraping down through the layer of film (or whatever), it had no pigmentation and I had to layer the hell out of this to get it to show up on my skin for the photo.  It is completely useless.
  • Gold shimmer/glitter shade- This is a very pretty gold, but it is more of a glitter than a shimmer and can apply a bit patchy.
  • Sheer dark brown matte- This shade confuses me.  It looks like it is a dark slate in the pan, but it swatches like an extremely sheer brown with no pigmentation.  It’s patchy and difficult, not worth the effort.
  • Blue metallic shimmer- This stormy blue shade is actually not bad at all.  It’s a lovely smoky tone, but you have to love shimmer.  It is probably the best shade in this palette, though that’s not saying a lot.
  • Icy Taupe shimmer- This cool-toned icy taupe is another good shade and more wearable than the blue.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Blue

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Blue

Two good shades out of five is pretty terrible.  This blue palette is garbage.  Luckily the other two palettes do better.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The plum-toned palette is an improvement over the blue palette for sure, but there are still some dud shadows here as well.  The five shades are:

  • Icy lilac shimmer- This is the only palette that doesn’t have a matte highlight shade and it is much better for it.  This icy lilac shade is subtle, but pretty.
  • Off-matte mauve toned plum- Again, a sub-par matte shade, or rather off-matte finish.  This mauve toned plum is a lovely color, and it can be built up to a certain extent like it is here in the swatch, but the lack of pigmentation makes it a frustrating shade.
  • Sugar plum shimmer shade- It is hard to describe the color of this shade.  It’s like a mauve toned plum and a rose gold had a love child.  It is beautiful, and a winner.
  • Royal purple shimmer- A true purple shadow is actually a lot harder to produce than one would think, so I am astonished that this set got it right.  It is lovely.
  • Sheer mauve satin finish- Ulta, you are killing me with these sheer shades.  What is that about?  This satin mauve could have been great but, again, I find the lack of pigmentation frustrating.  It just ends up looking like my eye is bruised.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Plum

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Plum

There are two fantastic shades in this palette, one good shade, and two disappointments.  I do find that I can work with this palette much better than the blue one, even with the duds.  If I didn’t have any other shadows in these shades, I may consider keeping this one.  Ultimately, though, I have these shades in better formulas.  I don’t think it’s trash like the blue palette, but I am probably not keeping it.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The final palette in this set is actually pretty good.  There is one dud, but the remaining four shades are pigmented and smooth.  Here are the five shades:

  • Matte cream shade- I think this is the exact same shade that is in the blue palette, and it is just as useless.  This one also had that hard layer or “film” on top and scraping down through it still wasn’t enough to help this crappy shadow.
  • Khaki satin-shimmer- I really like this shade on the lid.  It has a subtle shimmer and is a unique and rather unexpected color.
  • Brown shimmer- This is a simple brown shimmer shade, but it is done well.  There are subtle bronzy undertones.
  • Metallic olive- I love this shade.  It is a beautiful olive green with emerald undertones and golden micro-shimmer.  Great pigmentation, and it applies well.  Winner-winner chicken dinner.
  • Soft black shimmer- This is a simple soft black shade with subtle shimmer.  You can tell in the pan that it is not meant to be pure black, so I am okay with the charcoal tones.  It’s a good shade.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Green

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Green

With the exception of the matte cream shade, I am a fan of this last palette.  I am a sucker for these earthy tones, so I am probably keeping this palette despite my hordes of green and brown shadows.  I have created a couple different looks with this palette, and I liked them quite a bit.  It definitely works and is the best of the set by a large margin.

I am sure that it will be no surprise that I do not recommend the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.  I am not sure why it is so highly rated on the website.  I got it on sale for almost half the price, and I still don’t think it was worth it.  It looks like a great gift idea and can be broken up into three really pretty stocking stuffers, but unless you are buying for a very young girl who doesn’t need a lot of pigmentation and won’t know any better, skip them.  There are so many other options available for even less money that would be better than this.  I had high hopes, but the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit is too much of a mixed bag for me to approve.

LORAC Mega Pro 2 Review and Swatches

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LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

I finally broke down and bought the LORAC Mega Pro 2 Palette and have it to show you today.  I really went back and forth when it came to deciding whether or not to buy this palette.  I’ll discuss my reservations later, but ultimately the LORAC Pro formula and some truly beautiful shades finally won me over.  Luckily, unlike the first Mega Pro palette, the Mega Pro 2 was made in a much bigger batch, so people could actually easily get their hands on it.  The palette is exclusive to Ulta, but it is still definitely available.  I was bummed to have missed out on the first Mega Pro palette.  I personally love the LORAC Pro shadow formula.  I think that they are pigmented, silky, and blend like a dream.  As I have mentioned several times on this blog, the LORAC Pro 2 palette is probably my favorite of all the palettes that I own.  I finally decided that I would regret it if I missed out on this one as well.  So let’s take a look.

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

The LORAC Mega Pro 2 is twice the size of the regular Pro palettes.  It comes in the same type of sturdy cardboard packaging as previous Pro palettes, and it has that rubberized NARS-like coating on the outside.  There is a large mirror on the inside flap, and it is good quality so you could definitely use it to do your makeup.  LORAC chose dark blue theming for their Holiday 2015 collection, and the Mega Pro 2 is no exception.  I think LORAC made a mistake making the inside packaging blue.  It does the shadows a real disservice and makes the palette look much more cool toned than it actually is.  I think the color was off-putting for a lot of people, and I think they would have been more inspired if the shadows were set against a black background instead.  The palette has 16 matte shades and 16 shimmer shades.  As far as I know, there are no repeat shades from previous Pro palettes with the exception of Black (which is in all of them).

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC really knows how to do matte shadows, and the 16 matte shadows in this palette are fantastic.  They are silky smooth and very finley milled.  LORAC is known for their super soft shadows kicking up a lot of powder.  You do have to use a gentle hand and not dig into the shadows.  If you are rough with your palettes, you may want to steer clear of this formula.  I don’t usually have an issue with it though, because I find the shadows so pigmented that I can use a light hand to still achieve an intense look.  The shimmer shades range from satin shimmer to full-on metallic, with two micro-glitter shades.  There are two shades that needed some building up, Cabernet and Gold Leaf.  Otherwise, the shadows are fantastic.  The real issue that I had with this palette, and the reason it took me so long to decide to buy it, is that there are so many light shades.  The shimmery highlight shades are especially redundant.  At least three of the light shades could have been scrapped for something else and no one would have missed them.  I would have loved to see a matte cobalt blue shade, as well as shimmery emerald and cranberry shades to round off what we did get.  That being said, I am in love with a good portion of the shades in this palette.  Take a look.

Porcelain, Custard, Tawny and Burlap

Porcelain, Custard, Tawny and Burlap

  • Porcelain- Matte, very light skin tone shade
  • Custard- Creamy matte shade with yellow undertones
  • Tawny- Warm orangey brown matte shade
  • Burlap- Matte, warm, light camel color, comes off lighter than it looks in the pan
Melon, Tangerine, Saddle, and Forest

Melon, Tangerine, Saddle, and Forest

  • Melon- Peachy orange matte shade
  • Tangerine- Warm, burnt orange matte shade
  • Saddle- Cool-toned matte brown
  • Forest- Matte blackened green shade, comes off darker than it looks in the pan
Bisque, Lavender, Purple, and Sorbet

Bisque, Lavender, Purple, and Sorbet

  • Bisque- Matte, very light creamy pink shade
  • Lavender- Matte cool-toned lavender
  • Purple- Matte, mid-tone smoky purple
  • Sorbet- Light pink-toned mauve

Gogi, Cabernet, Ash, and Black

  • Goji- Medium pink/berry-toned mauve.  This shade has more of a matte/satin finish.
  • Cabernet- Dark plum with brown undertones.  This shade needed to be built up.
  • Ash- Deep charcoal gray
  • Black- Matte black
Sugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft Plum

Sugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft PlumSugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft Plum

  • Sugar- Shimmery cream shade
  • Chiffon- Light shimmery pink
  • Prosecco- Metallic champagne shade with silver undertones
  • Soft Plum- Metallic taupey-mauve shade with plum undertones
Cinnamon, Sandstone, Gunmetal, and Blue Quartz

Cinnamon, Sandstone, Gunmetal, and Blue Quartz

  • Cinnamon- Metallic copper shade
  • Sandstone- Warm, metallic taupe
  • Gunmetal- Medium metallic gray
  • Blue Quartz- Shimmery electric blue
Moonlight, Seashell, Peony, and Dk. Sienna

Moonlight, Seashell, Peony, and Dk. Sienna

  • Moonlight- Shimmery cream shade with subtle yellow undertones
  • Seashell- Shimmery blush shade
  • Peony- Warm, metallic peachy pink
  • Dk. Sienna- Very deep, warm-toned brown satin finish with very subtle micro-glitter
 Penny, Olivine, Gold Leaf, and Black Ivy

Penny, Olivine, Gold Leaf, and Black Ivy

  • Penny- Metallic bronze
  • Olivin- Metallic taupe with subtle olive undertones
  • Gold Leaf- Shimmery yellow gold.  This shade needed to be built up.
  • Black Ivy- Blackened green? (looks black) satin finish with very subtle gold micro-glitter

There are some gorgeous shades in this palette.  It is a good mix of cool and warm toned shades and is quite versatile.  There are more light shades than I would like, but there are only three or four shades in the whole palette of 32 that I can’t really see myself using.  That’s not bad.  I should point out here that I did not pay full price for the LORAC Mega Pro 2.  I got a 20% off coupon from Ulta right before I left for vacation and I had $9 worth of Rewards Points to redeem.  I ended up saving around $20, so the palette cost me $38 instead of $59.  I am not sure if I would have still gotten the palette if I had to pay full price.  I do really love it and I am so glad that I decided to buy it, but the far left side of the palette leaves a lot to be desired.  What are your thoughts?  Did you buy the LORAC Mega Pro 2?  Are you enjoying it?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

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 Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Today I have my first ever Makeup Revolution review to show you.  I purchased the Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette from Ulta.  I mentioned way back in July that Ulta had picked up this UK drugstore brand and is selling their products online at ulta.com.  I had heard a lot of great things about Makeup Revolution, and I had to check them out.  I opted to get the matte shadow palette because mattes are difficult shadows to pull off, and if a drugstore brand can do them well, we need to know about it.  The palette is .375 oz, and retails for $7.  Because it falls under the drugstore category, Makeup Revolution products are eligible for the $3.50 off of $10 coupon that Ulta regularly offers.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but at such a low price I figured that I didn’t have much to lose.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

The Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette comes in a plastic case with a clear top.  No mirror, but we are talking about a $7 palette, after all.  The packaging is cheap, but functional.  Please excuse the gouge taken out of the last shadow.  As soon as I opened it up I dropped the palette and my thumb nail went into the shadow.  (sigh)  There are twelve shadows in the palette, and it comes with a long double-sided applicator with sponge tips.  I personally don’t like to use this type of applicator, but it could be handy in a pinch.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

The thing to note about the Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette is that all of the shades are very cool in tone.  If you are someone with cool undertones and often find neutral palettes have too many warm shades for you, then you are going to love this.  I personally would have appreciated a better mix of warm and cool tones to make this palette truly neutral, but I can see that it fills a need where the market is lacking.  (Not everyone wants those warm bronzy browns.)  The shadows have decent pigmentation.  They are soft and powdery, but not chalky.  You definitely want to tap off your brush to avoid fall-out.  The shadows blend well together.  Now let’s look at the shades.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

The first four shades are all highlight colors.  The first is an off-white cream shade, then a light buttery yellow tone, followed by a soft pink and soft peach.  I find these shades pretty redundant.  I personally don’t feel that there is enough of a difference to warrant all four shades.  They do make great browbone highlights, though.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

The next four shades include a tawny brown that is a great transition shadow, followed by a medium chocolate brown.  Next is a light gray with a subtle pink undertone and a medium taupey gray.  These four are great shades and I find them very useful for everyday looks.

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette

The final four shades start off with a light-medium slate blue, a really interesting and unique shade for this kind of palette.  Then we have a matte black, great for using as a liner.  The final two shades are very similar plum toned mauve shades, one a little darker than the other.  I have been loving these last two shades a lot, more so than I expected that I would.

The Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette shadows last eight hours or so on me if I use a primer.  They will get you through the work day, but not for any activities later.  Those with oily lids may see fading closer to the 6 hour mark, but I’m not 100% sure on that.  They did not crease on me.  I think that for a $7 palette, the Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette is a good buy.  Right now Makeup Revolution is only available in the US online at ulta.com, and not in stores, but hopefully that will change soon.  I didn’t have high expectations, but for those looking for a matte palette and can work with cooler tones, the Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette is a good option.  It isn’t the best palette I have ever tried, but it is a really nice drugstore palette.  I’d say give it a try.

Big Sales at Ulta

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Ulta

Ulta

Ulta is going all full court press with the sales this week on drugstore items.  Free shipping, 40% off, and Buy 1 Get 1 sales are all happening through Saturday October 3rd.  (Omg, is it really October this week?  Where did September go?)  These sales are available in store and online.  If you plan it well, you can rack up some substantial savings.  And don’t forget that you can still use the $3.50 off of $10 coupons that Ulta always has as well as any manufacturers coupons that you may find.  So let’s take a look.

NYX Buy 2 Get 1

NYX Buy 2 Get 1

NYX is currently Buy 2 Get 1 Free.  Now would be a great time to try out the new Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks or the new Slide-On Lip Pencils.  If you really want to expand your eyeshadow collection, the new(ish) Avant Pop and Go-To Palettes are included in the sale.  I really like NYX, and I think that they especially excel at lip and cheek products.  If you haven’t tried NYX blushes or lippies, then you need to give them a shot.  Also in NYX news (taking a time-out from Ulta for a minute) the first ever NYX store is opening up this weekend.  If you happen to live in Southern California, the grand opening starts 10/2 at the Santa Anita Mall.  More store openings to follow soon in Rancho Cucamonga, Torrence, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek. Now, back to Ulta.

40% off

40% off

Right now Revlon, Physicians Formula, and Almay cosmetics are 40% off.  I am definitely going to have to pick up another Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder.  I ran out a while back and really miss it.  If you are a fan of Physicians Formula you will certainly want to take advantage of this sale.  Physicians Formula is rather pricey for drugstore, and 40% off is a great deal.  Remember Ulta accepts Manufacturer’s coupons and you can use them in conjunction with the Ulta coupon.

China Glaze

China Glaze

China Glaze polishes are Buy 1 Get 1 Free.  China Glaze polishes are $7.50 each, so that’s quite a savings.  I really like the China Glaze formula and recommend hopping on this deal.

BCRF

BCRF

Also through 10/3, you will receive free shipping on all orders, when you add a $1 donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to your cart.  There is no minimum required for the free shipping deal.  Once the donation is added to your cart, you will see that your shipping has changed to free.  There is also a link to donate more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation if you would like.

It’s a good week to be an Ulta shopper.  Be sure to sign up for the Ulta rewards program if you haven’t already.  It is free to do so, and you earn points for any purchases made at Ulta that can be exchanged for cash toward an Ulta purchase.  I like to hoard my points and spend them on my birthday and during the Holidays.  It is a good way to bring the price down on those Holiday gifts and palettes that I always want.  There are also special coupons throughout the year for rewards members, and I think signing up for the program is absolutely worth it.  Do you plan on taking advantage of any of these sales this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Ulta Love Your Hair Event Now Through Oct 25

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Ulta Love Your Hair Event

Ulta Love Your Hair Event

I am chiming in a little late on this one, but Ulta is having their Love Your Hair event, offering three weeks of deals and steals for your hair.  If you have taken advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty in the past, you know how great the offers can be.  There are also salon events and demos going on.  The Love Your Hair event started yesterday, October 5 and is going through October 25.  For three weeks, Ulta will be offering deals on the newest and best hair tools and products.  For example, today’s special is 40% off Not Your Mother’s brand hair products.  During Love Your Hair, Ulta guests can get expert guidance as professionals assist in finding the perfect look for everyone, selecting from the season’s top styles.  You can find more information about each day’s Beauty Steal by visiting ulta.com/loveyourhair.

Ulta Love Your Hair Event Through May 31,2014

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Ulta love your hair event

Ulta Love Your Hair event

I am chiming in a little late on this one, but Ulta is having their Love Your Hair event, offering 21 days of deals and steals for your hair.  If you have taken advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty in the past, you know how great the offers can be.  There are also salon events and demos going on.  The Love Your Hair event started today, May 11 and is going through May 31st.  For three weeks, Ulta will be offering deals on the newest and best hair tools and products.  During Love Your Hair, Ulta guests can get expert guidance as professionals assist in finding the perfect look for everyone, selecting from the season’s top styles.  You can find more information about each day’s Beauty Steal by visiting ulta.com/loveyourhair.