Beauty,  Makeup,  Shopping

My Trick or Treats – Ulta Haul

How was everyone’s Halloween? Score any good loot? With beauty sales and gift sets galore, how could I not share my latest haul with you?

As you probably can already tell, I am no stranger to Ulta. I shop there frequently, promotion or not, and often just for the sweet satisfaction of a beauty acquisition (#addict, I know!) However, anytime there is a special beauty sale (like Ulta’s Platinum Point Perks 20% off sale that just passed), I inventory and create a tactical strategy to get not only the best bang for my buck when it comes to my tried and trues, but to also take this opportunity as an incentive to step outside of my comfort zone. Let me let you in on the method behind the madness.


  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – After testing out a few cleansers over this past year, I finally landed on this one for post-makeup removal that was gentle enough to cleanse my face without stripping my dry skin. It’s basic, in the best way possible with no harsh fragrances or ingredients. This is my second time purchasing the full-sized tube. 
  • Cover Girl Clump Crusher Water Resistant Mascara in Blackest Black – It may not seem like much, but this mascara saved me from the dreaded racoon-eye  without being a total bear to remove. It’s totally buildable and like the tube says, isn’t clumpy at all! I prefer dramatic lashes and this way I’m more glam and less spider 🙂
  • Lancome Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer – As much as I like to avoid extra steps (#lazygirl), this one is totally non-negotiable. Forget that this primer provides, nourishing my lashes and protecting them from the dryness that can come with waterproof mascaras formulas, I cannot tell you the number of times people have asked me if I’m wearing falsies or have extensions when I use this! Best.Compliment.Ever! This primer combined with my beloved CG Clump Crusher has been my go-to drama lash solution for the better part of 2018. Tip: Be sure to allow this to dry before applying mascara for best results!

New Finds:

  • Hot Tools 24K Gold Salon Curling Iron (1 1/4″) – Not gonna lie, this was an impulse buy. I have tried curling wands and straighteners to curl  in the past and I was never quite able to get the technique down, but when I saw this old-school, throwback curling iron, the beachy wave spark re-lit inside me and I decided to give this style another go! I have tried this iron out once and so far, so good! I had no learning curve getting the technique down and the extended barrel and wide size really helped to achieve the voluminous, modern wave look I was going for. Stay tuned for pics to come in a future post 🙂 Bonus: I received the Hot Tools 1″ Salon Flat Iron as a Free Gift with Purchase. How amazing is that? Ulta is offering this deal with any Hot Tools purchase over $49.99 from now until 1/5/2019 both in stores and online (until supplies last). 
  • Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Uplift Shampoo – I came across this in my search for a clarifying but non-drying shampoo. Since my hair is dry and coarse, my natural shampoo/conditioner options are deeply moisturizing and often weigh my hair down. I have tried this twice and I’m not sure if I can confidently say that this lives up to the claims of not stripping the hair. Both times I felt the need to overcompensate with conditioner. I may need to resume my search, any clarifying shampoo recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
  • Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo in Divine Dark – I’ve tried several dry shampoos over the years, but I never have been a huge fan of the genre. As a hair product minimalist, it’s all about the feel of my hair. I understand that dry shampoo is meant to prolong a wash, but somehow it always makes my hair feel dirtier then before I applied it. This particular product piqued my interest because it goes above and beyond a typical dry shampoo and aids in covering grays with it’s added coloring. While my gray hairs are usually not too noticeable, it’s nice to have an option to cover them up in a pinch between salon appointments. Now, while this does cover the gray as the product claims and the Divine Dark shade matches my hair color well, anytime I run my fingers through my scalp, my fingernails pick up the brown color. Not only that, but this is a pretty gritty formula and leaves your hair feeling pretty icky. It looks great, but doesn’t feel good and I’m not sure how this color would hold up if you got caught in the rain! At less than ten dollars, I’m okay to have this in my arsenal for emergency purposes, but only until I find the next best thing. 
  • FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum – As I am approaching my mid-thirties, my beauty focus has gone dramatically towards skincare. For the first time in 33 years, I have a skin care routine and I’m actually seeing results. The more I research, the more I am interested in trying new products and the most hyped, with good reason, is retinol. With claims that this serum is a beginners retinol treatment for individuals with sensitive skin, I thought that I would give this a shot. I haven’t tried this yet, but I had tried Tretinoin briefly and my skin wasn’t a huge fan. I’ll keep you all posted if this really is the baby step-version of retinol that I have been looking for.

That’s it for this haul. Make any good Ulta purchases lately? 



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