Friday, April 10, 2015

Haul Time! Lots of Ulta, Some Forever21, and a Little Sephora!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! This post is such a long time coming...I hate when I put blog posts off since I don't feel like I can use my new goodies until I finish writing about them!

So let's get to this haul! All the title suggests, this is a very Ulta-based haul. I'm finding myself preferring Ulta over Sephora (as opposed to the other way around like last year), specifically for the rewards program. Both companies offer rewards based on a points system, but where Sephora lets you trade in points to get deluxe-size samples (or special kits), Ulta gives you money off basically anything in the store. I used to prefer the deluxe samples over money off since I prefer using sample-size products, but now, because of my subscription services, I'm flush with samples and now like the flexibility of money off.

Ulta also recently had their 21 Days Of Beauty, which is like a three week long semi-annual event where there are special one-day deals (or until supplies last, which isn't too long). I took advantage of some of those deals, along with some of the neat stuff that's now (or was) on clearance!
I have a pretty good amount of things to share with you, so I'm going to try and not talk too much about any single thing. I know these get long and wordy and that no one really wants to read walls of text (I love long videos, but I'm not a fan of really long blog posts unless they're super informative), so I'm hoping to make a few extra, bite-size posts to take a more in-depth look at a few of these items.
I'll start with the things I got at Ulta (and these aren't from one single trip, this is over the course of a few weeks) and one of the "oldest" things I got were three of the limited edition Spring 2015 Maybelline Color Tattoos!
There are five or six of these Spring 2015 flower-themed color tattoos, but the display at my Ulta only had three colors. It was buy two get one free, so I bought all three! This first one is my favorite, Black Orchid.
It's like a mauvey-taupe and it's super creamy and opaque. I'm going to make a more in-depth post about these guys, so I'm going to put swatches and whatnot there.
I also got Hydrangea Hype, a pretty periwinkle blue.
This also had a nice formula, though it seemed a little less opaque then Black Orchid.
Finally, I got Rose Riot.
This is a very pretty pale pink in the jar, but either something was wrong with mine or the formula is super sheer. I actually ended up returning it, but I'll talk more about that later.
My Ulta has a ton of stuff on clearance right now, and they seem to put new stuff out every few days, so you still might be able to get your hands on these (I think it really depends on what your Ulta has in stock to begin with. I've seen some really nice stuff other people have got on Instagram that I've never seen at my Ulta). I have a few SpaRitual nail polishes, and while I do like their formula, they can be a little too pricey for me at about $14 a bottle. So I totally bought them on sale! I didn't even know they had a matte texture line and you guys know how much I love matte/texture polishes! This is Mirage, a strong gold.
 And this is Nomad, a really unique olive green with a bronze-gold duochrome.
 Mirage is on the left and Nomad is on the right. These do dry with a nice, matte finish, but the texture is really gentle; you can barely feel it even without top coat. I've seen swatches of these online with top coat added and they are absolutely stunning! I think I paid less than $5 for each of these, so if you like these colors, definitely check out your local Ulta.
 Of course, I got more sale nail polish! This is Red Carpet (the regular polish, not the gel) in the color Makeup Time. Both of these pictures are the same bottle, just different lighting since I couldn't decide which one showed off the color better.
 Makeup Time seems like an odd name for this polish, but then again, so do a lot of other polish names.
Look at that sale! Not sure I would pay $8 for a Red Carpet polish (this is the first time I've tried a Red Carpet polish so I have no idea about what the quality is like), but I will definitely pay $2!
I don't think you can even see what it looks like in the swatch here; it's a transforming/layering polish (though you could wear it on it's own if you wanted something super subtle) and it adds a gorgeous rainbow iridescence to any color.
I also got some Vitabath Plus Shea Butter hand cream! I've never tried anything from Vitabath before (look at that original price! $15 for a hand cream...ouch), but I liked the sale and the sound of the ingredients.
 Also it kind of amused me it is for use by adults only, but I think that's because there's essential oils in it.
I thought it was pretty awesome that it has retinol and niacinamide in it, though they are some of the very last ingredients so there's not much of them in there.
There were a few of these on sale, along with a couple different kinds, but this was the only one I could find that still had its safety seal on and I'm weird about those things. That's the one thing I don't like about clearance items; because they're on clearance, people tend to treat them a lot more roughly than regular priced merchandise, so a lot of it ends up super trashed and, at that point, I'd rather pay full price if it means it will be in good condition.
I also also got two Essence eyeshadow singles on sale! Essence is a brand I normally pass over; it's super cheap (though I hear some of their products are actually pretty nice) and nothing is sealed so it's always all tested and gross and ugh. I wish cosmetics companies would safety seal everything; they seem to over-estimate how civilized some people are. These shadows originally retailed for something like $2.50, but I got them on sale for $0.60 each. They didn't look swatched or anything, but I still sanitized them with my BeautySoClean because germaphobia.
The first once, Dance All Night, was a dud. It is pressed very firmly and has very poor pigmentation; it also feels really rough and grainy because of all the glitter in it.
It's a "sparkling" effect, so I assume that the sheerness and glitter are intended, but it's not an effect I like.

The swatch on the left is in shadow and the the swatch on the right is in direct sunlight. Since I don't feel like putting in the effort to return a $0.60 eyeshadow, I'm just going to give this to my mom.
I was, however, impressed with the other shadow I got!
This is Sandy Says Hello and it's a metallic effect; I find a lot of drugstore/low-end brands have much better metallic/shimmer formulas when it comes to eyeshadows than any other finish.

This shadow has a lot of pigmentation and it felt soft and buttery when I swatched it. The left swatch is in shadow and the right is in sunlight. This would make a great all over lid color for when I'm feeling lazy. Which is often. I might not have paid $2.50 for this just because I have a ton of colors like this already from brands I prefer, but for $0.60, I am pleased.
On to the Beauty Steals! I have two to show here, and a third one I will talk about in another haul. For one day, Butter London nail polishes went on sale for $9 (compared to the $15 regular price). I do like Butter London polishes, but I totally bought this one for the name.
 This polish is called "Keks", which apparently is slang for men's trousers in British (Britain is weird), but it ALSO means "lol" with an extra "s" in Orcish from World of Warcraft. If you're Alliance, and someone from the Horde says "kek", they are laughing at you (fun fact: "bur" is what lol looks like to the Horde if you're Alliance). Also the Horde is the best so there's that to consider. This polish is actually a very pretty, super bright sky blue, but I would have bought it regardless of the color.
 Along with my polish, I got a cute makeup bag for free! It has the Butter London raven logo on the front...
...and the word logo on the inside!
 The tag is also the logo...
...and it came with a small mirror in the shape of a bottle of Butter London nail polish. Seriously, how cute is that?
The other Beauty Steal I got (at least in this haul) was the StriVectin Age Fighting Discovery kit. This set originally retails for $35, but it was $20 on sale. I really love StriVectin products, but I have a hard time affording them; I got this set mostly to try out the eye cream, but I've used the wrinkle concentrate before and I noticed an improvement in my skin (I've said it before, but you're never too young to start using anti-aging products). I'm curious about trying the neck tightening cream (I have a wide jaw and I get this weird not-a-double-chin-but-looks-like-one and I want to see if it would help) but I also told my friend I would give him a sample of it if I ever got it again, so I'll probably send it to him. $35 is a little pricey for this trio (at that point, I would save up for the full sizes), but $20 was a good deal.

And that's everything from Ulta! Let's move on to Forever21...
I got some sheet masks! Korean sheet masks! I don't know why it never occurred to me to look at Forever21 for some Korean skincare products; I've purchased some Korea-made face wipes from there before, and, while it's an American company, it was founded and is owned by Koreans. My Forever21 didn't have a large selection, so I only got a few things, but I got more at the Forever21 in the Mall of America and there's a bit more online, too. At my Forever21, I got a Coenzyme Q10 and Pomegranate sheet mask from the brand Baroness. I already tried the pomegranate mask and was pleased with it, so I'm definitely going to buy more (...I already did), especially since these are less than $2 each!
 I also picked up another pack of Peptide makeup remover wipes by the brand PureDerm; I was really happy with these the last time I got them and they're less than $3 for 30 sheets, which is even cheaper than e.l.f. remover wipes (at least when they're not on sale). I will say though that I don't use these on my face, only to remove swatches and makeup on my hands, so I can't say if they're good as actual face wipes. I also picked up a love&beauty (F21's in-house makeup brand) lavender sheet mask because it was $1 and the ingredients looked alright.

And that's the little bit from Forever21! Told you this was a super Ulta-centric haul.
I did pick up one item from Sephora, though. Specifically, from the Sephora in JCPenney. I find the best deals there, so I always pop in when I;m at the mall. Like this set! This is the Do It Up holiday hair kit; it includes a small comb, some bobby pins, hair ties, and a travel case. It originally sold for $20, which is kind of ridiculous. Online and in my regular Sephora, this set went on sale for $12, which is still kind of pricey. I got this set for $5 from the Sephora in JCPenney, which is juuuuust right. I actually bought this because my husband and I were going to travel and see family, but plans fell through so I have yet to use this. It's a nice set, especially the case, so I'm happy to have it.
I do have one more totally random thing I wanted to share that I forgot to show in my video! This is a sample I received from Target; there's a special place on the Target website where they'll occasionally post free samples you can request. You have to take a short quiz to see if you qualify, but if you don't you're free to retake the test until you do! If you qualify, Target will mail you the sample for free, though it takes a few weeks to arrive. I've gotten anywhere from foil packets to full size items, so it's definitely worth checking out. This time around, I got a deluxe sample size of the John Frieda 7 Day Volume treatment.
My poor box arrived all dinged up, but my sample was safe!
This is the little bottle of 7 Day Volume I received; I have no idea how big the full size or what it retails for, so I don't know how much this is worth, but it does say I can get up to three uses out of it, which is a good amount to see if you like it or not.
I also got a little info card thing that has a $2 off coupon on back! One thing I really like about these samples from Target is that they always include a coupon, so if you like it, you can go out and buy it and save yourself a little money!

And that is everything from this round of hauling! Whew! Hope that didn't get too long. It probably did. I'm sorry. Especially if you read far enough to read that apology. I will definitely do a more in-depth post about the Color Tattoos, even though I don't think you can still find them (they were very limited edition unfortunately). I hope you enjoyed this haul, or at the very least found it interested and entertaining!

Thanks for reading! <3

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