Friday, April 19, 2013

Accidental Ulta Haul: Ulta's Spring Gift, Nail Stamps, and More!

I took my three year old to the local bouncy house playland, and stopped by my local Ulta for the first time.  You know, like any other mom (what: you don't have a bouncy house playland?  Because, you totally should.)  By local, I mean an hour away.  That's what I get for living in the country!

"Our" Ulta is brand new, and I was basically a kid in a candy store!  Except I was the mom, and my kid was there, covered in ice cream, and wanted to touch everything.  I digress.

Ulta was having a special on their brand of products: if you spend $19.50, you receive a free gift with an $88 vale.  Well, sign me up!  This sale is online as well, so head on over HERE and check it out!

I had gone in with the intention of shopping for things for my Scout sleepover in two weeks.  At least that's what I tried to tell myself.  I DID buy some things for the Scouts, but not a ton.

Here is what I bought:
Ulta Foam Shadow Applicators (24 pack), Ulta Baked eyeshadow, Esscence Nail Art Stampy Set, Ulta Lipstick

Pack of 24 Foam Shadow Applicators (Ulta brand), $2.49
Ok, I absolutely HATE foam applicators.  I think they are skeevy, germ-filled little nothings that don't work well and waste your shadows.  That said, for our Scout sleepover, I need a quick and sterile way for the girls to have their shadow done; this seems like the perfect answer.

Essence Nail Art Stampy Set, $3.99
 This is the coolest thing ever; similar to the one sold on TV.  This nail stamp set includes a metal stencil with 9 designs, a scraper (to remove excess polish from the stencil), and a rubber stamper.  How this works is that you paint some polish over your choice of design on the stencil, scrape off the excess, and then roll the stamper left to right over the design.  Then roll the design over your nail in the place you want it.  

Stampy Kit out of the box
I think BOTH the Scouts and my girls will have fun using this!  The designs on my little stencil are heart outline, sunshine (or a starburst), two solid hearts, bow, butterfly, filigree, flowers, polka-dots, star tip.  Fantastic find for only four bucks!

Ulta lipstick in shade 207 Just Peachy; 3.5g, $8.00
 I've become slightly obsessed with the new-ish trend; duo-toned lips.  I absolutely love to have a peach color inside my lips, and a pink or purple outside, and blend it for an ombre effect.  I think this looks really neat, and have been using my BH Cosmetics 88 matte palette to help achieve this look, as I didn't (until today!) own a nice peach lipstick that I thought would work.  I  picked up a lipstick tester in 205 and LOVED it, but then noticed that Ulta was sold out.  I then noticed a 207 Just Peachy a couple of slots down, gave the tester a swipe on my hand, and fell in love again.
Swatch of Just Peachy, 207
I love this pretty peach color, and can't wait to play with it to create an ombre effect, or simply as a pretty lip color on it's own.  I LOVE Ulta's packaging on their lipsticks: the top of the tube's lid is clear, so if the tubes are stored right side up, you can see the actual color of the lipstick.  Neat idea!  The lid snaps on firmly, too, I'm less likely to have it fall off.  This is my first lipstick from the Ulta brand, and so far- I'm well I should for a "non-prestige" brand, for $8.  Just sayin'.

Ulta Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Haight & Ashbury (purples); 1.40g, $10
I needed another item to bring my total of Ulta products $19.50, and I noticed some eye shadow trios.  I need more eye shadows like I need a hole in the head, but I didn't want to go crazy, and wanted my purchase to be as close as possible to the $19.50 mark.  I've gone nuts with makeup lately, and it's best if I keep my purchase small and under his radar.  What?  He has his guilty pleasures (cough cough casino on his lunch break cough cough), I have mine!  I love using blue on my eyes, even though I HAVE blue eyes, and this is a no-no.  Purple is a close enough color to blue, and it compliments my eyes really well (that, and I seem to be wearing lots of purple lately. Weird.), so I picked up this trio, and put it in my bag.

Swatch of Haight & Ashbury trio
I swatched it when I arrived home, and am really happy with it.  The shadows are really nicely pigmented, and having all three together will make it easy to travel: just toss this trio in my bag instead of a mini palette (or my Beauty RX magnetic palette), and I am good to go!  I love how the shades are all shimmery, and the darkest purple has micro-glitter in it.  This item bumped me over the price threshold, but when I checked my receipt later, Ulta counted this as my free shadow, and the one that is $2 less (the blues below) as the one I paid for.  I'm not exactly sure WHY this happened, as I needed that $2 to have a qualifying purchase, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth- I'll take $2 in my pocket!

I also bought my youngest a foot brush, because she wanted to brush her hair with it, and screamed until I put it in my bag. If it had been more than $1, she could have just screamed with me being fine with it.  There's no picture, because as soon as we got home, she took it from the bag and promptly lost it.  Typical.

I was also looking for disposable mascara wands for my Scout troop's sleepover, and couldn't find them.  A very helpful employee checked around for me, and told me that she didn't think they sold them; but had some in the "prestige" section (aka high end: Benefit, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Anastasia, etc) for demo, and would ask one of those girls if they had some for sale.  I explained WHY I wanted them, that it was for my Scout troop, and she walked over to the Tarte section, grabbed 26 wands and told me to take them.  Score!

Ulta's Spring 2013 Gift, in Pink, floral bag

Because I spent $19.50 or more on Ulta brand products, I qualified for a free gift, valued at $88 (according to Ulta)! They had two color choices, pinks or peaches, and 4 bags to choose from (two each pink or peach themed).  I chose pink, even though pinks aren't my favorite- I was purchasing peach lipstick and had just received peach polish from Ipsy (that I'll probably give away), so the pinks looked better to me.

My bag :)  One of four I had to choose from.
The bag itself is super cute: grey background with pink flowers, and a pleather bow on the zipper.  I will keep my Scout makeup in this bag, so that I don't get it confused with my stuff: my Wet N Wild mascaras, mascara wands and sponge applicators are already inside!  I'm not sure what the value of this bag is- it's a really nice size, and very pretty, and well made.  Let's call it $10.

Ulta lipstick lipcolor in 237 Precious Pink; 3.2g; retail value $7.31

This lipstick is ALMOST as big as the peach one I picked up, just in a less-fancy packaging.  I've noticed that lots of companies that give lipstick as a freebie put the product in a less-expensive tube when giving it away.  Honestly, I wouldn't actually mind NOT having the fancy packaging if it means I can save a couple dollars, but that's just me.  Sometimes having a cute lippie is absolutely worth it!
Swatch of Precious Pink, 237
This is a very pretty pink, and I think I will get good use out of it.  I never used to be a lipstick person; I've always been more of a gloss kind of gal, but here lately, I seem to be on a 'stick kick.  Maybe it's a spring thing, I'm not sure!  At any rate, this lipstick is smooth and creamy, and leaves my lips feeling moist and happy.  The pink is a LITTLE bright for my taste, but is still definitely wearable.  I always swatch lippies when I can; they look SO different than when they are in solid form!  The full size of this lipstick is $8 (3.5 g)

Ulta Super Shiny lip gloss in #14 Starlet, 2.58g (.09 oz); retail value about $2.88.

I was very pleasantly surprised when my free gift held both a lipstick AND a lip gloss!  This tiny gloss packs a big punch!  Super Shiny gloss lives up to it's name: its very shiny and not at all sticky.  I am seriously in love!

Swatch of Starlet gloss, #14

I'm going to try this on top of the pink lipstick from this bag, and see how it works.  I have high hopes for this, and will probably reorder when it's empty.    Full size of this gloss is $8 (.25 oz).

Ulta Amped Lashes volume + defining mascara, full size, retail value $10
I've been overwhelmed with awesome deals on mascara lately, and I kind of have a rule to only have 2 open at a time (since they get tossed in 3 months it seems like a waste to have more open), I'm going to wait to try this one out.  This basic black mascara has a standard straight wand hidden inside it's sleek silver exterior.  I'm excited to give this one a shot, but right now I'm sort of in love with my Tarte Amazonian Clay mascara from my LAST Ulta purchase!  I took the plastic off, and tossed it, but forgot to check it for a weight.  This looks to be full size.  This is NOT advertised as a waterproof formula, but I still have high hopes for this one!

Ulta Baked Eye Shadow duo in Deep Blue Something, 2.55 g; retail value $8
I couldn't resist picking out this pretty blue shadow duo as my free gift.  The solid side of Deep Blue Something is a dark, matte blue, and the swirly lighter side is shimmery and marbley, and just plain beautiful.
Swatch of Deep Blue Something duo
I don't have the best luck with matte shadows, but I can totally seeing me use this for a blue smoky eye.  I think this is a great addition to my collection.  Plus, it was free (sort of- I paid for this and got the purples free.  Same difference, I guess!).  Who could ask for more?!

Ulta blush in Infatuation, 3.36g; retail value $5
I've just started to expand my blush collection, and this pretty pink looks like a good way to do that!  Infatuation is a matte pink blush, and I think it's great for my skintone, for a fresh, natural look.

Swatch of Infatuation cheek color
The cute little compact this deluxe sample size came in will fit perfectly in my purse.  Gotta love it when that happens!  I'll be taking this for a test drive soon; once I get tired of my Be A Bombshell Beach Please (love that stuff!!).  The full size of this cheek color is $7 (4.7g).

Ulta Nail Lacquer in Fuchsiamania, 0.169 oz; retail value $2.56
My kids love nail polish.  Like, seriously, LOVE it.  I go through phases where I paint my nails, and am happy to add this bright fuchsia to my collection!

Swatch of Fuchsiamania
I'll confess, I cheated with this swatch.  I layered it over the Sation peach color I received from Ipsy; I haven't changed my polish since I tried that one out.  I think this does better with a base coat, and I'll be adding this to my polish box! The full size of this polish is $5 for .33 fl oz.

Ulta Ultimate Clean Foaming Face Wash, .5 fl oz; retail value $0.75
I love foaming face wash, and I am really excited to have received this sample!  The face wash is clear and unscented.  I gave this a try, and it did really well for me- my face felt very fresh and clean. The full size of this product is $9.00 for 6.0 fl oz.
Ulta Kohl Eye Liner in Indigo, 0.04 oz (full size); retail value $7.00
With this kit, I was able to choose my own eye liner, and I thought this would be a pretty color.  The packing looked like a grey-blue to me, so I tossed it in my bag.  I swatched it at home, and it's more of a blue-grey.

Swatch of Indigo Kohl liner
I  think that this color will be good for me this spring- this is a softer alternative to black.  With all of the pastels I wear in the spring, a lighter color will look nice with them.  I still want a pretty, grey liner; perhaps I'll find a liquid liner in grey that I like!

Ulta Brush Set: sponge tip, eye shadow and contour blush; retail value est.$7.50
I am a total brush whore.  There, I said it.  I LOVE makeup brushes, and I'm always on the lookout for the perfect brush for each job.  It seems to be a bit of a trend to put brushes in the free gifts this spring- I received 2 brushes in my Clinique gift (Macy's) too!  These brushes all have clear plastic handles, and have the Ulta name and brush purpose embossed on the handle.  Now, I liked the Clinique brushes okay (they shed!), but the Ulta brushes are hit and miss.  I'll start with the sponge tip.  I don't actually understand the point of a sponge tip brush.  I realize it's not a brush, but I'm not sure what else to call it  Sponge tips aren't as sanitary as other applicators (at least to my thinking) and I'm not sure how to wash this.  I honestly don't know if I will use this.  The eye shadow brush is the biggest disappointment in this set.  The bristles are REALLY stiff.  I'm going to wash this with olive oil to help soften the bristles, and hope for the best  There are some jobs that a stiff bristle brush is a good thing, but  I'm not sure if this brush is a fit for me  The contour blush brush (try saying THAT three times fast!) is the shining star in this three piece set.  Its bristles are cut at an angle, and they are very soft.  I will definitely be adding this one to my travel brush collection.  Since these brushes are similar to the Clinique ones, I'll give them the same estimated value: $2.50 each.

30% off Ulta Skincare "Renew" Collection
I also received a coupon for $30 off my next purchase of Ulta Skincare "Renew" collection.  I probably won't use this, but you never know! If you would like to use this coupon, you are welcome to- the code for Ulta's website is 80235, and it expires 4/20/13. I must have just caught the tale end of this promotion!

Here's all of my goodies together- I'd call it a very productive day!
I also want to mention that Ulta's brand does NOT test on animals, making them a hero in my books!

Total purchase: 
foot brush thingie for B: $1.00
eye shadow $10            $8.00
lipstick                          $8.00
Sponge applicators        $2.49
Nail stampy kit              $3.99
TAX (stupid MD)            $1.41
GRAND TOTAL:            $24.89

GIFT Breakdown:
$10.00 bag

 $7.31 pink lipstick
$2.88 gloss
$10.00 mascara
$10.00 eye shadow (would have been $8)
$5.00 blush
$2.56 polish
$0.75 cleanser
$7.00 eyeliner $7.50 brushes GRAND TOTAL: $63.00
$63 is NOT $88, but I did estimate a couple items- perhaps Ulta has placed a higher value on the bag and brushes than I did.  It is possible that they counted the coupon towards the value of this set (I don't, unless it's for free product).  Any way you slice it, this is still a fantastic deal!  I'll use pretty much everything in this gift- and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I was able to choose my eye shadow and eye liner myself!  If I can get away with it (tee hee), I'll definitely go on back to Ulta and pick out some more goodies and pick up another gift! 

So, tell me: have you ever accidentally found an awesome deal on beauty products?  Did Ulta do a great job with their gift?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

  I took a couple of quick photos of my look, using my choices here:

Haight & Ashbury trio eye shadow, Two Cosmetics gel liner in Royalty, Tarte mascara, Ulta blush in Infatuation, and Ulta lipstick in colors 207 & 237.  I didn't put any foundation on, and WOW do I have a LOT of freckles!
Closeup of my eye makeup :)
I LOVE teal eyeliner- I think it makes my baby blues POP!
Ombre lips :)  and yes, I DO have freckles on my lips.  Weird, I know.  They will just get worse as summer progresses!

Until next time, my beautiful friends, stay gorgeous...and OnlyAverage!

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Disclaimer: I puchased the qualifying item with my own money my husband's money, and received the gift items because of my qualifying purchase.  I was neither asked nor required to review these items, and any links in this post are NOT referral links.  All of the opinions in this post are my own.


  1. What a great blog. Loved everything you got in your bag and your stuff you had purchased. I love the purples and blues. I usually do the mauve and purples together which actually gives a wonderful pull of your eye color as well.. The pictures at the end look amazing. Your eyes look great and the blush and lipstick look wonderful on you. (Don't worry about the freckles. I have them too and on my lips as well) haha
    Hats off to Ulta and your blog.. Well Done!

    1. Thanks for the sweet remarks! I always have fun playing with new makeup looks, and I'll keep your tips in mind :) Have a great day!

  2. hi, I found your blog on makeuptalk!

    I know what you mean, when I go into the beauty section of a store I start picking up things that I didn't plan on buying lol. I love the eye shadows and that nail polish shade!

    1. Welcome :) It's crazy how the adrenaline kicks in when you find a great deal- and when you find one with great color, it's even better! I love the nail polish shade, and then my three year old accidentally poured it all over my coffee table when she was trying to hide it from me. Woes of a SAHM! :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and visit! I read all the comments and try to reply to everyone. It's the least I could do- it's very...Average.