Hello and welcome back to Stuff in a Powder Puff! ❤
I picked up a lot of skin care products on Ulta last Sunday. I am in makeup buying exile but that doesn’t translate into skin care products, especially since I am running low on my current items and my skin is starting to crave something new. Or, you know, is reacting to winter poorly. Whatever. The most exciting part is that I only ended up paying $3.20 for all of the stuff you are about to see thanks to a free gift with purchase, free shipping, and redeeming my Ultimate Rewards points. Stoked, I tell you.
As excited as I am to try all these new skin care products, I realize I have probably set myself up for failure. With rosacea, one of the worst things I can do is exfoliate my skin. So that brush may not work out. I’ve never tried any of those 3 cleansers so even though none of them are made primarily with alcohol or witch hazel (also a rosacea no-no), they might not work out either. And the reviews for the 10.0.6 pore strips are all over the place. We shall see.
Let’s get into Unboxed!
I picked up the Ulta Dual Action Cleansing Brush System for $25.00. This is an automatic spinning brush with 2 different heads. It isn’t as fancy as the Ulta Sonic system or the Clarisonic system. However, with my sensitive skin, I don’t even know if I can use this thing so I went for more expensive than ELF’s manual brush but less expensive than the other stuff. One head has a pad with bristles for deep cleaning. The reviews on this seem to agree that it is a medium soft brush head and it does feel soft so I hope it doesn’t cause a rosacea flair. The other head is smooth and is supposed to be for applying moisturizer. I’m not sure how that is going to work out but I’m going to give it a shot. Worst case, I can probably use the soft head for cleanser if the brush is too harsh. Ulta also included 4 AA batteries for this brush so I can use it immediately.
In addition to the brush, I also picked up a few different cleansers to try out. Like I said above, my skin is having some issues. It isn’t acne and it isn’t redness. I switched out toners last month because I wasn’t getting enough redness relief and I was starting to get dryness that I can’t handle. I went from witch hazel (that I’m not supposed to use, I know) and the Dermologica Calming Spray to only Mario Badescu Aloe Vera toner. I am getting redness relief finally and haven’t had many breakouts. But my skin is still getting winter dryness despite being an oil field. The Neutrogena brand and the WalMart brand equivalent cleansers are just not doing it for my skin lately. My cleansers are not making my face feel fresh anymore. If anything, my face feels tight and itchy after using them. I hope changing up cleansers will help. I do not want to upgrade moisturizers yet. That stuff is uber expensive and I’d rather stick to the less than $15 range if possible.
I picked up a full size of Mario Badescue Cleansing Milk with Carnation and Rice Oil for $12.00, a full size of Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser for $7.99, and a travel size of The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash for $5.00. I picked up the travel-size of that Tea Tree product because I have seen a few instances of people having rosacea issues because of using Tea Tree Oil products and others that say it is drying. Directly opposite of what I hope to accomplish. If I’m going to have that, I’d rather waste a $5 bottle rather than the $14 full size.
I was literally .01 short of getting free shipping. So I decided to give a new-to-me brand of pore strips a try. Biore has gotten out of control with their pricing and their quality has gone downhill in the process. The WalMart equivalent works but not as well as I’d like. So I decided to give Formula 10.0.6 Down to the Pores Pore Strips a chance. They are $5.99 for a 6-count box. That is slightly under Biore’s price point but slightly above WalMart’s price point so I’m hoping for the best here.
Included with my purchase was a 12-piece gift set that was free with a $21.50 Ulta brand purchase. I liked last year’s free with purchase set so much that I ended up getting it twice. Since I picked up the Ulta Cleansing Brush, my purchase qualified for the gift. Some of the stuff in this set is part of the regular retail Ulta line. Some of it is not. It says it is worth $88.00. *shrug* Free is good for me. 😀
Every bag is almost identical. The only variance is the choice of color of the makeup bag. Like last year, there are 2 versions to the free with purchase set. This year, we get the choice of a blue or peach toned reptile scale print bag. I have no $ amount for the bag. I went with peach simply because Ipsy sent out a blue/silver toned bag in January and a denim color bag in February and I wanted something different.
The bag really wasn’t that important. The makeup was key for me.
Included are products and retail values or closest retail approximations:
Amped Mascara in Jet Black ($10.50). Available in the regular retail line. This mascara is dark black. It has a very sharp chemical smell that makes me nervous. The bristles on the spoolie are plastic. They aren’t long bristles though so they might be okay. I really was hoping for the old fashioned bristles like Ulta’s Plush Drama mascara. I used it for months last year so I’m hoping this one performs well too despite the difference in spoolies.
Matte Lipstick in Petal ($8.50). This particular shade is limited edition and not sold outside of this set. But it is from the Matte Lipstick line that Ulta currently carries. This looks like a deep berry shade. It definitely does not say “Petal” to me. However, appearances are deceiving with this lipstick. It swatches a bit pinker than it appears. It lives up more to the name than I expected. It has no noticable smell. I was worried about that. In my experience, many lipsticks smell overly like flowers and I figured a lipstick called Petal would be the same. I am very happy to have been wrong about this! lol
Brow Tint in Medium ($10.00). Available in the regular retail line. I just bought this product recently. This shade too. I’m happy to have a 2nd one because I am liking the first one. It is always nice to have a backup of products that are great.
Eye Makeup Remover Pads 15-count ($6.50). The full size product is available as an 80-count package so this is definitely a sample size product. I’m curious about this product. I’ve never tried pre-moistened pads. If this works out, then it appears to be more economical than using a pad that I have doused in eye makeup remover myself. A typical sized bottle of eye makeup remover lasts me about 8 weeks or 60 days. If I only need 1 of these to get all my eye makeup off, then this will definitely be more affordable as an 80-day supply and I won’t need to replace my cotton pad supply for toner quite as often. Interesting. It doesn’t smell like any other eye makeup remover I’ve ever tried so that could be favorable too. The container is an issue though. It is a twist top cap but it doesn’t close tight. I can see a tiny gap between the cap and the jar. I hope they don’t dry out.
Nude Matte Eyeshadow Primer ($12.00). Available in the regular retail line. I own this I think. It is in different packaging but I think it is the same eyeshadow primer that I bought a few months ago and tried in my eyeshadow primer experiment. If it is the same one, it isn’t the best eyeshadow primer on the market but it works most of the time for shorter days. Anything longer than an 8-hour day is iffy. I didn’t intend to get another one of these and my current bottle is still half-full. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this one. I will try it out to see if I get the same results as the other one. If it is the same, this might end up in the box of shame.
Lip Gloss Stain in Treason ($9.00). The stains in this formula are available in a larger size in the regular retail line compared to this one. I assume this is considered a deluxe sample size. I don’t hate the color of this product. So there is that. But I hate gloss. And so far, my experience with stains have been so-so. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this product either. This swatches much more sheer than the other red stain I picked up recently. It did a good job as a stain after swatching. When I tried to clean it off, it didn’t move easily. It smells but it isn’t unpleasant.
Dual eyeliner in Majesty and Smoke. Ulta.com does not currently have any pencil eyeliners on retail so I can’t find a price match for this. All of Ulta’s current lines are either liquid liners, felt tip liners, or gel liners. This particular product got swatched because that is fun part of all of this. And then it went go straight into the box of shame to share with the kids at some point. I already know I won’t use it. I might as well let them agonize over the pencil struggle instead of torturing myself. I’ll note that when I swatched these 2 shades, the Smoke shade went on much softer and smoother than any other pencil I’ve tried. Majesty is a beautiful purple but it skipped and left flakes when I swatched it. These smell heavily of chemicals, so much that I can’t imagine putting them around my eyes!
Blush brush ($16.00). The blush brush available for retail doesn’t really look like this brush. The bristles are similar in shape but not in color. And the handles are different. The one I got in this set is similar in size to the ones I got last year but the handle is more gray than the navy blue handles on last year’s brushes. This is only slightly longer than last year’s brushes too which are definitely travel size brushes. I can’t imagine the retail brush is travel size so I have no clue how much this would retail. At any rate, the brushes I got last year are very nice and are part of my regular routine. I have high hopes for this brush.
Cosmetics pencil sharpener ($2.50). The sharpener available in the regular retail line is a dual large/small sharpener. This is only a single small sharpener. I already have 2 single small sharpeners from last year. This one is a bit different. It feels much cheaper than the ones I got last year and it isn’t branded either. This was not sealed. I’m not complaining. You can’t have too many sharpeners.
Eyeshadow Palette in shades lace, charm, nostalgia, vintage, delicate, and seaside. Comes with a foam eyeshadow applicator that I will be trashing. Since these shades are named this year (they were not last year), I assumed they were part of Ulta’s retail line somewhere. But I have looked at every eyeshadow Ulta carries and nothing has these names with these shades. I’ve found a few shades that look close shade-wise but are not the same name. I have no idea what the $ amount could be for this product. My best guess is $10 simply because their 12-pan palettes are $20. The foam applicator is definitely going bye bye. This is packaged in a cardboard palette with a magnetic closure. It wasn’t sealed but the inside had a plastic cover that was attached with stickers to keep it from getting everywhere. This has a slight chemical smell.
Cheek palette in shades fresh glow (highlighter) and nude pink (blush). Like the eyeshadow palette, I expected to find these 2 shades listed in one of Ulta’s lines and came up empty handed. I have no $ amount for this one either. And I don’t have a similar product to compare it to. I’ve got nothing here. Now that I have the product in hand, I can attempt to compare current products to this one. In the picture online, these 2 products look much darker and I didn’t have a good reference. I kind of think they are similar to the highlighter and blush in Ulta’s 2016 Hello Beautiful palette. This is packaged in a cardboard palette with a magnetic closure like the eyeshadow palette. It wasn’t sealed but the inside had a plastic cover that was attached with stickers to keep it from getting everywhere. I have to say, this palette was filthy when I opened it. There was flecks of fall out all over it. I had to clean it before I took the picture because it looked so bad. The blush kicked up a lot of fall out when I did the finger swatch so I’m guessing this is going to be a major issue. This smells slightly like chemicals, just like the eyeshadow palette. I’m not sure if it is the product that smells or the packaging.
I cannot wait to swatch all of this stuff. Coming up in Swatch Me is 6 eyeshadows, 1 highlighter, 1 blush, 2 eyeliners, 1 lip gloss, and 1 lipstick. That will be fun! 😀