Frida Kahlo x Ulta Beauty
It’s here – the collaboration of the year! Ulta Beauty just released a collaboration with the estate of Frida Kahlo. While Frida herself may have rolled her eyes at the commercialism aspect of her image and artwork being used to sell makeup, she LOVED beauty and I think would appreciate the celebration of her legacy.
The cornerstone of the collection is the Signature Box, which includes a 12 shade eye shadow palette and a New Hue Shadow Switching Pan in a Keepsake Box ($30). This is now my FAVORITE eye shadow palette – sorry KvD. I already have a New Hue Pan, but I don’t mind having another one. (Or Lily might get lucky…)
I also picked up the Face Primer ($15) – and it smells AMAZING. The scent is lightly floral, but not gagging. It’s a clear gel primer and it immediately blurs all my imperfections. It doesn’t break me out (so far) and it also works great as an eye shadow primer.
I splurged on all 4 of the Matte Liquid Lipsticks ($10 each). My favorite is “Pasion”, a universally flattering orangey red. “Surreal” is a dark mauve. I didn’t care for “Vida” – it is too light on me and was streaky. I’ll be trying the chestnut brown “Sensual” tomorrow. All the the lipsticks are super long-lasting – more so than other Ulta brand Liquid Lipsticks I’ve tried. They’re also not drying, which is crucial.
The last piece of the collection that I purchased was the Floral Headband ($18). My husband HATES it, but I LOVE it. He says it makes me look like an old lady, but I don’t care. I struggled a little bit with it – is it cultural appropriation? Ultimately, I decided it’s not different than when I wear floral headbands at the Ren Fest. It’s not necessarily work-appropriate, but fun for costumes.
I didn’t get the WHOLE collection – there is also the Artist Brush Set ($30), Liquid Illuminator ($10), Blush & Bronzer Duo ($12), a Brow Master Palette ($15 – and brows ARE what you think of when you think about Frida), and a Cosmetic Bag ($20). I really agonized over the Cosmetic Bag, but I couldn’t rationalize it with all the bags I already have. If any of it goes clearance, I might pick it up – as well as a back-up of the Primer.
I postponed my order until I could get a REALLY good gift with purchase – and not just one, but two of them. The Clinique gift was small, with deluxe samples of High Impact Mascara and Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. The Ulta gift (free with $60 purchase) was really nice. It was a big comfy Cosmetic bag with an eye shadow & cheek palette; Face Highlighting & Color Stick in “Pixie Dust”; Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes; Lip Crayon in “Festival”; Patent Shine Liquid Lipstick in “Verona”; Matte Eye Primer in “Nude”; Hydrating Face Primer; Ultamate Lashes Mascara in “Jet Black”; Cheek Brush; Mini Blending Sponge (OMG, the tiniest one I have ever seen – it looks like a hummingbird egg); 3 hair ties; and a $5 off $15 Ulta coupon
Not only did I use a $10 off coupon, but also $59 in Ulta points that I had accumulated. My whole order was just $34 + tax!
Oh…and this order made me platinum for 2020…will I get to Diamond? Maaaaaaybe.
Deja Ulta Haul
I am getting serious deja vu from this Ulta Haul – oh yeah, I did a haul like this almost exactly a year ago.
I decided to use my 20% code to stock up on L’Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color for the kids ($10.99 each) in “Red”, “Maroon”, and “Burgundy”. I also picked up a L’Oreal Colorista Highlights Kit (also $10.99). Will I ruin my hair? Maybe…but maybe it will look amazing? The color isn’t important – I just need to process it to pick up the pink dye I’ll add to it later…
In addition to the hair dye, I grabbed one of the cute little I Heart Revolution Donut Palette ($7) – of course, I got the “Chocolate Dipped”. I also grabbed some sale NYX lippies – Liquid Suede Metallic Creme Lipstick in “Acme” ($2.09, down from $2.99) and Lip Lingerie Glitter in “Eurotrash” ($5.25, down from $7.50). I am a bit disappointed in the Lip Lingerie Glitter – it is more like a glossy paste than a long lasting liquid lipstick – but I am IN LOVE with the Liquid Suede in “Acme” – it is perfect!
I also continued my experimentation with hair dissolving chemicals by picking up Nair Glides Away Sensitive Formula Hair Remover with Coconut Oil for Bikini, Arms & Underarms ($8.99). I haven’t tried it yet, but hopeful.
I got a HUGE Beauty Break with my $65 order – a 14 piece Fresh by Day Summer Sampler. Inside the sampler: NEST Grapefruit & Verbena Fragranced Body Wipes (weird); Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish (oh, it’s for your legs); Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Cleanser for Sensitive Skin (a positively huge 3.3 oz tube); Bed Head by TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray (another full size product); Clean Rain; eyeko Yoga Waterproof Mascara (nope); Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream; MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Setting Spray; PUR Lit Mist; Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter; Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with Diamond Dust (a shimmery suntan lotion – crazy); Poo-Pourri “Lavender Vanilla”; Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam (I LOVE the way this smells); and CoTZ Face Moisture Mineral Sunscreen. A great set of summer samples!
I got a second 20% off code after this order, but it expired yesterday. Oh well…$522 to Diamond status.
Triple Freebie Haul
Not 10 minutes after I placed that last Sephora order, I placed this Ulta order…I had kept adding things to my shopping cart over the past month and when the freebies were just right…I made my move.
The biggest part of my haul was Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner (regularly $20 each, on sale 2/$24). I’d samples this duo a few months ago at my sister’s house – it made my hair feel amazing! The price has held me back – even on sale, this is the most expensive shampoo/conditioner I’ve purchased yet. I’m going to give it a trial before switching for good…
I had sworn off Nair when I was 15 – I tried it once and it made me look like I had leg measles and didn’t melt the hair off. I was swayed by a new product – Nair Charcoal Brighten & Smooth Leg Mask ($11.99). I tested a large patch on my shin and it actually worked this time. I left it on for the 10 minutes recommended and it actually worked on me – I was shocked. It still smells like burning diapers, but it didn’t give me a rash. I am trying my entire leg in a few days – fingers crossed.
I also tried a new deodorant – Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick ($14). I know, I know – I’ve scoffed at fancy hippy deodorants for years…but I’d noticed periodic rashes from regular antiperspirants over the last few years, and since my surgery, I’d stopped using them almost altogether. I live in Texas though – I probably should use something. I’ve been using the Meow Meow Tweet and I feel like is working at repelling odor – but it doesn’t stop my pits from getting moist. I may have to start alternating with an antiperspirant to see if that helps.
I’ve been eyeing the Sally Hansen x Jelly Belly collaboration for a while and finally decided to pick up the Sally Hansen Insta Dri x Jelly Belly Nail Color Duo Pack with “Berry Blue” and “Tutti Fruiti” ($7.99).
Ulta was offering a free 3 piece gift with $19.50 purchase – a huge Beach Bag, a Matte Bronzer, and Lip Plumping Transforming Top Coat. I am paranoid about going without eyebrows, so I got a back-up Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10). I also snagged the Mercury in Retrograde 5 Piece Rose Quartz Look Book ($16). I got the set solely based on a lyric from the song “Wasted Youth” by Jenny Lewis – the line about “Mercury in Retrograde” has been in my head for weeks. (The whole album “On the Line” is amazing – you should check it out.) The kit includes Confidence Boost Facial Mist, Be-You-Tiful Cream Eyeshadow (light pink shadow with shimmer), Self Love Lip Crayon (creamy, rosy pink), Crystal Blush (rosy-toned pearl blush), and Rose Quartz Face Gems (54 count). The blush is my favorite part, but I was pleasantly surprised by the cream eyeshadow.
And the freebies…I got a Glow All Day 5 Piece Sampler with my $65 purchase: Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel; Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer; Derma e Vitamin C Concentrated Serum; Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask; and Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum. I got a Step Up 7 Piece Sampler with my $75 purchase: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Botanics Hydration Burst Sheet Mask; Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Creme; Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair; I Dew Care Cake My Day Hydrating Sprinkle Wash-Off Mask; and First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser. My skin is going to feel FANTASTIC!
Looks like this haul made me Platinum for 2020 – just $733 to Diamond status. I also am up to $53 in points…hmmmm, what do I want to buy???
Fanny Pack Haul
I never thought I’d see the day that my children would be fighting over a fanny pack!
I really try NOT to buy things just for the “gift with purchase”, but there was a little bit of that in this purchase. A $20 NYX purchase gets you a Coachella hot pink NYX Fanny Pack with NYX Pore Filler and NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray. I was gonna use it myself, so I could be like my bestie Sally…but Lily is BEGGING to use it for Frightmare next weekend. My son says he wants it too, but I think he is just being annoying – I’ll probably let Lily “borrow” it. Good thing I am IN LOVE with all four lippies that I picked up – no guilt. The NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Creams were on sale for $5, down from $7. They are my absolute favorite NYX formula – I picked up “Rome” and “Budapest”. I’ve been alternating them the past few days. I also tried out two of the new lippies. NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Lipstick in “Cherry Quartz” was a bit pricey at $9, but worth it. It starts out matte, but turns to glitter with friction and wear. It lasts well. NYX Line & Load All-in-One Lippie in “Ride or Die” was $8 and a genius product. It’s a super thin doe-foot applicator that alllows you to line your lips with precision and it DOES NOT BLEED. I need this in red – ALL red lipstick bleed on me.
So…last week, I found out that my son was scrubbing his face with a toothbrush (not the one he uses in his mouth – ew). I freaked out and ordered him an Ulta Advanced Cleansing Rotating Facial Cleansing Brush ($12.50, on sale from $25) and replacement heads ($4, on sales from $8). I mean, if I was rich, I would’ve bought him a Clarisonic like mine – but he can rough it with the Ulta version. Lily was bugging me for some bobbie pins the other day, so I added some of those, too. All Ulta Skin was on sale, so I added a few Single Use Face Masks to my cart ($1.50 each, down from $3) – a Calming Rose Sheet Mask and a Soothing Calamine Mud Mask. I used the Calamine Mask yesterday and it was wonderful. It applied like a regular mud mask, but it didn’t dry down like a normal mud mask – it stayed flexible and felt almost hydrating.
Did I forget to mention a few bottles of Zoya Remove+? My Holy Grail…
No order is complete without a freebie bag. The coolest thing in the bag is the Real Techniques Travel Sponge Case – I’ve just been throwing my Beauty Blender into my makeup bag like a savage! Also in the freebie bag: Sun Bum Revitalizing Dry Shampoo; Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk; OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Dry Shampoo; Vichy Liftactiv Supreme Anti-wrinkle and Firming Correcting Cream; Wunder2 Wunderkiss Essential Lip Scrub; Tweezerman Browmousse (weird); Maybelline MasterPrecise All Day Liquid Liner; L’Oreal Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten (m y favorite one); and wet n wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Royal Calyx” (interesting – a blue highlighter).
On top of all the freebies and gifts with purchase, there was that 20% off coupon. I’ve just one or two more orders to get to Platinum status – $64. I’ve also managed to accrue another $33 in points. Diamond Status isn’t out of the question this year…
1/21 Days of Beauty
It’s that time at Ulta again – their 21 Days of Beauty Sale. It’s rare that I find deal that interest me during the 21 Days of Beauty, but I wanted to give Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz a try at half price ($10.50, down from $21). This time, I got “Chocolate”, a darker shade than my previous “Soft Brown”. It’s been a few years since I’ve used Brow WIz and my base hair color is a biot darker than it was then. Now that I’ve gotten used to the richer, thicker Ulta Brow Pencils, I actually like them better than the ABH. Who knew that a cheaper product would be better?
The Essence Lipsticks were an impulse buy, but at $3.49 each, they were a steal. Not even that much – they were BOGO 50% off. Essence Kiss the Black Sheep is a black lipstick that turns baby pink and Essence Kiss the Flamingo is a pink lipstick that turns…more pink? Kiss the Flamingo does have a more coral tone and I feel like it lasts longer on my face than the Black Sheep.
Still no free samples with online orders. I’m waiting.
$122 to Platinum status for 2020.
I’ve found it. I’ve finally found the single hair tool for a perfect blow-out. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with blow-outs for well over 20 years. Around the time I graduated college, I ended up with a hair cut that necessitated a blow-out with round brush (it may or may not have rhymed with ‘the Bachel’). It happened probably 3 times before I was like ‘FUCK this’. I’ve tried everything from ionic dryers to diffusers, but everything takes too damn long – and makes my hair frizzy. About 10 years ago, I picked up a Conair Wet-to-Dry Styler, which works okay, but again – it take forever. Several years ago, I stepped up to a Revlon Paddle Style Dryer Brush, but there was still something lacking…
…until I tried the Revlon Pro Collection Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($59.99). I can literally give myself a salon quality blow-out in about 5 minutes. 5 fucking minutes. I feel like I’ve suffered through decades of bad hair before this tool was invented. Run, don’t walk, to buy this tool. One exception, I give you permission to wait until you get a 20% off coupon like I did.
Oh and pro-tip – definitely use a blow-out spray or primer before you use it. I am using Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray and it protects my hair while making it dry faster.
I also threw in a Revlon Nail Buffer ($3.49) because the 99 cent Diamond Brand ones I bought last time are SHIT. You get what you pay for!
My purchase qualified for a “Skinfatuation” gift with purchase, which included Exuviance Super Retinol Complex; Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer; Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum (fancy); Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum; StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer; and Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Vitamin C Glow Boosting Paper Mask. That’s a lot of fucking retinol!
$138 to Platinum. It’s looking like I might have a chance to hit Diamond with Ulta this year, instead of Rouge with Sephora this year…
My sweet Sally sent me an Ulta giftcard for my birthday last month. At first, I wasn’t intentionally saving it – I almost used it on a haircut a few weeks ago – but I’m glad I did save it. The new Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette ($44) was released at Ulta on March 4th – I ordered it that day in order to get the gift with purchase.
Sure, I have the first six Naked palettes (OG, Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, Naked Cherry), plus a dozen other Urban Decay palettes – but I need THIS one, too. There are a few interesting tweaks to the Naked “formula” – first off, there’s no brush – I guess that’s why it’s $5 cheaper than the rest of the Naked palettes. They also changed up the pan sizes – the lighter base shades have large pans and the dark and glitter shades have smaller pans – brilliant! That’s exactly how it should be! I’ve used it three times so far, and other than having to decide which brushes to use, the experiences have been great. I haven’t used it with primer yet, because it doesn’t need it. The shades are neutral enough for any skin tone, although they seem to lean olive, strangely enough. It’s the perfect neutral starter for someone just getting into prestige brands of makeup. I’ll be reaching for this palette often.
The gift with purchase was an Urban Decay Makeup Bag, in signature black, white and lilac. The bag included a deluxe sample of Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging and a full size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Perversion”. For some reason, I expected there to be a lipstick – nope. Free is free though.
For shits and giggles, I added two new Feeling Beautiful Freeman Masks ($4.29) to my cart: Deep Clearing Seaweed + Sea Salt Mud Mask + Scrub (I really liked the scent and how exfoliating this mask was) and Soothing Watermelon + Aloe Cooling Gel Mask (not especially cooling, but I did feel like it calmed my skin before my shower).
I also qualified for another freebie bag, which had a really strange assortment of products. The standout sample in the bag is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in (what I believe to be) “Crimson Chrome” – it’s not labelled, so I’m making an educated guess. I love the color and how it looks on me, but it gets on EVERYTHING – my poor hamburger ended up wearing most of it today. Also in the bag: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels; Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant/Anti-Antiperspirant (why?); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; and Clarins Multi-Active Jour SPF 20. See what I mean? Odd.
$193 to Platinum…
Ulta Birthday to Me
I needed a haircut, my kids had been bugging me for a haircut, I had a birthday gift waiting on me…time for an in-person Ulta trip.
Let me just say – my haircut was fine. My daughter’s haircut was fine. My son’t haircut was…NOT fine. I didn’t realize how much he hated it until we got home. It was so bad that he had my husband buzz his head with clippers. I felt HORRIBLE. I bought him a bottle of my hair & nail vitamins and promised to take him to Sport Clips next time. Oh well, at least I got 2x points on all the haircuts.
So the coupon in my email said I would be getting a Full Size NYX Lip Lingerie as a birthday gift, but in-store, they gave me a totally different gift – a mini Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Google says that it was the December gift – I guess they give em away until they’re gone.
Oh, I also picked up a few generic Diamond buffers for my nay-nays.
Just like that, $241 to Platinum!
Born to Run
I did it – I finally pulled the trigger on the Born to Run Palette…I decided go big, or go home…and ordered the FULL Urban Decay Born to Run Vault ($98).
The Vault is value packed! The Born to Run Palette is $59 by itself, the Vice Lipstick in “66” would be $18, and the 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil would be $21 – there’s your $98. The vault also comes with a Travel Size Perversion Mascara Mini, a Travel Size Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, a Travel Size All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray AND a matching crossbody bag. I was hoping the bag would be big enough to use as a purse, but I don’t think it’s quite big enough for all my “mom” stuff. It would be perfect for a night on the town though.
The Born to Run Palette is larger than the last several releases – it’s reminiscent of the HUGE Vice palettes, except with the cheaper cardboard packaging and NO brush. It’s the usual Urban Decay quality – the shifting shimmer shades have more than average fallout, but nothing catastrophic. This would be a good palette to travel with, with neutral and colorful shades. I’m in love with the “66” lipstick – it’s the perfect shade for me. It’s neutral enough to match any eye look and dark enough to not be boring. I have no regrets about waiting to get a good deal on the Vault!
Oh, I also sprung for the new Urban Decay Brow Blade in “Neutral Nana” ($26). It’s a double-ended brow tool. One end is thin pencil, much like the ABH Brow Wiz or my favorite Ulta Ultra Slim – but the other end is a fine, felt tip marker, to draw in hair detail. It works okay I guess – but I don’t know that the results are worth $26. It’s fine I guess.
Of course, I didn’t spend $98 – I waited until I had a 20% off code, plus I’d accrued $59 in Ulta points. I got all this for $43 and some change.
Ulta is STILL not giving out samples with their orders. Cheap bastards. $374 to Platinum Status.
First Ulta Haul of 2019
I follow enough drag queens on Instagram to know that Sugarpill is one of THE makeup brands to use – besides Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills, of course. Ulta just started carrying their lipsticks, so I loaded a bunch in my cart and waited to see what else I needed. Originally, I had Sugarpill “Trinket” in my cart, but it sold out. I also had some other ones, but I decided to try just one and scope out the quality before buying more. I settled on “Pillow Fight” ($18), a dusty mauve with gold sparkle. It smells like a dreamsicle! The formula wasn’t super drying, but more drying than I’m used to. It lasts about as long as my other liquid lips…I’ve got a new brand to stan!
I also needed to stock up on face washes. Pacifica was BOGO 40% off, so I got Crystal Beam Foaming Crystal Face Scrub ($16) and Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash ($6, down from $10). I am VERY disappointed in the Crystal Beam – it is NOT a scrub. There is NO grit to the exfoliant – a total waste. Boo.
I also got two of my favorite eye brow pencil at BOGO 50% off – Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” (one at $10 and one at $5). Until I can afford microblading, I’ll keep buying these.
I got a 19 piece Beauty Bag with my $25 purchase. Inside the bag: Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments (and there’s actually a picture of the GOOPtress on the sample – ugh); L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (nope); Benefit They’re Real Mascara (HUGE Deluxe Sample); Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Shampoo & Conditioner; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara; Ahava Mineral Mud Clearing Facial Treatment (yes!); Organic to Green Coco Oil; Caroline Herrera Good Girl; Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (yasss); Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum; Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream; Living proof. T.B.D. multi-tasking styler; Clarins Extra-firming Nuit Night Cream; Chloe Chloe; Sexy Hair Love Oil; Boots No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum; Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser; Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser; Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy; and PUR Get a Grip Endurance Eyeshadow Primer. Oh, and a $5 off Ulta Beauty Collection Coupon. This is the best sample bag in a bit!
Ulta is STILL not including samples with their orders. Jerks. I used a $3.50 off coupon on this order.
$399 to Platinum for 2020.