So I'm back from my sunny San Francisco adventure, and I truthfully cannot make a trip to the States without some time spent at Ulta Beauty. I love Ulta for many reasons, but especially because it's like a drugstore and Sephora blended into one! I think it's important to be able to see both sides of makeup together, so you can swatch in one department, and find a dupe, if you'd like, in the other (makes my life easier!). They also always seem to offer tons of gift with purchases *my favourite* My first trip there was a quick-ish one, as it's not an ideal place to bring your 5 year old son, but I did manage to get some cool products before my time was up!
Kinda hard to see everything in this pic, so I will go one by one and let you know what I think about them all :) Most are available in Canada anyways, but I will be noting US pricing.
Starting from left to right:
Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes" 4 -in-1 Mascara - it was the "Deal of the Day", so it was $10USD...nearly fainted! I often talk about my love affair with Maybelline mascara, but when given the opportunity to purchase a prestige brand at this pricing, why not?? I had originally tried this mascara a couple of years ago in a deluxe Sephora sample pack, and I really did love it. Made my lashes thick and full, but not tons of length. Overall a nice, volumizing mascara, and not clumpy (I actually used the Sephora coupon enclosed in the sample box and redeemed for this mascara). One thing, I dislike the packaging - it has got a weird snake-skin, stitched pleather exterior; a little gimmicky and not a fan of that.
L'Oreal Infallible Lacquer Liner 24H - $9.99, (buy one, get one half price) - So naturally I bought two! I love cream liners and use them on nearly every single client. I love the black, as it's a lot deeper and richer in colour than a lot of department store brands, and it lasts...oh boy, does it last! I always make sure to have a few "Bronze" on hand as well, as I use those most often as a base for my smokey eye looks.
Kardashian Beauty Dry Shampoo - $13.29USD - Admittedly, I am NOT a Kardashian fan, but they do have great hair, right?? (except for that current platinum horror show) Sigh... I love dry shampoos, I have tried so many. But this one didn't do much for my hair, didn't 'revive it's style' like it claimed, and didn't seem to put any texture into my hair. The nozzle on it didn't allow for it to be sprayed easily at my roots (the spray was too 'wide'). And the smell - ack! It was way to strong - back to the store, it went.
NYX V'Amped Up Lip Top Coat - $6.99USD - so essentially this is a glossy black chubby lip pencil. If you wear it alone (who would?? I mean matte black, yes), but this is a bit patchy. It is intended to be able to "vamp" up some of your existing lip colours. Cool pinks turn to deeper cooler, mauve tones, cool reds into vampy, burgundy reds. It's actually pretty neat and can change a lot of your colours with only one product. I did try with a neutral pink/brown colour, and it did look a bit like mud, so don't do that lol... but a kinda cool product for less than $7. Here's an example of what it does:
L to R : MAC Powerhouse (top, alone; bottom with V'amped Up Lip Top Coat)
MAC Viva Glam Gaga (top, alone; bottom with)
NYX V'amped Up Lip Top Coat - alone
NYX Butter Gloss - $4.99USD (buy one get one half price) - this is my FAVE gloss at the moment. Love the non-sticky texture, the medium coverage, the scent, the wearability. It reminds me a lot of MAC Cremesheen glass. Some interesting info: MAC's Cremesheen Glass is listed at $23 for 0.09 US fl oz; NYX Butter Gloss is $4.99USD (or $7.99CAD at Rexall) for 0.23 oz. That's wild - 1/3 of the price for most than twice as much?? NYX all the way!
So there you have it - a fairly tame #UltaHaul visit for me, but still was able to pick up a few of my favourites. With the dollar exchange being so rotten right now, it's probably not a bad thing to scale back a bit!
** At the time of this posting, only the Dry Shampoo was not available in Canada...NBD.