I have a fun post for you today, dear readers! I'm sharing with you some longtime favorites and newly-discovered favorites, all of which can be purchased at Ulta (in-store and online). I have teamed up with Ulta to bring you this post--they provided me a stipend with which to select and purchase some products to share with you, and I thought it would be fun to limit myself to products that do not retail for over $10. In fact, everything featured here (except for one bonus item at the end) retails for under $10 at Ulta.
(Click the links below to go directly to the item listings on the Ulta website for more info.)
You've seen me rave about Vitabath body washes before, but this one in particular is my favorite lemon-scented body wash of all time. Vitabath doesn't get mentioned a lot in the beauty community but I think their body wash formula is wonderful--not drying, great lather for a sulfate-free product, and the scent of Luscious Lemon Creme is to die for. It smells JUST like lemon cake. If you love gourmand fragrances and you love lemon, you need this. Oh, and Vitabath happens to be BOGO1/2OFF at Ulta as of the time of this post.
Freeman 4-in-1 Apple Cider Vinegar Foaming Clay Mask (retail: $4.29; 6.0 oz.)
I love, love, LOVE this little multi-tasker! This should come as a surprise to none of you, since you know I love Freeman in general. But there are some things about this product in particular that I really love. For one, you can use it as a mask, exfoliator, or exfoliating cleanser. I've used it in all capacities and I enjoy them all. The consistency is creamy, but not as thick as other Freeman masks. So it's easier to spread on the skin if you're using it as a mask (just make sure your hands aren't too wet or it will break down too much to be a mask). As an exfoliator or exfoliating cleanser, this product far exceeded my expectations. I'm always afraid when a product is creamy that it won't be abrasive enough (I like a nice "scrubby" exfoliator; no gentle stuff for me!) but that's not a problem here. It's totally abrasive enough to slough away dead skin and it leaves my face incredibly soft and a little bit glowy, but not dry or tight.
I do want to mention that this may leave your skin a tiny bit dry/tight if you already have dry skin. I have very oily skin and since I've been using this during the summer when I'm extra oily, the clay and the apple cider vinegar have been wonderful for pulling all of the excess oil from my skin. But if your skin is already dry, this could be too much, and it may be better for you as a mask. I also want to mention that the scent of this product is absolutely delicious. It smells like fresh, crisp, Red Delicious Apples to me (no vinegar note at all).
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hand Cream (retail: $5.99, 3.2 oz.)
So you know I'm obsessed with hand creams. When I reviewed the Shea Moisture Zanzibar Marine Hand Cream a while back, some of you mentioned that you really liked this honey formula. So I basically had to run out and get it after your recommendations. And now I can confirm that I too, love this stuff.
This formula is similar to the Zanzibar Marine hand cream, but to me this one's a bit thicker, and it seems to last on my hands a bit longer. It keeps my hands so soft and hydrated throughout the day, with no sticky or greasy residue, and the scent is wonderful. I don't get much honey here, but I get fig, and maybe a touch of cedar with a tiny bit of honey. It's an earthy scent that could be unisex since it doesn't smell overtly feminine in the traditional sense. It's quite lovely and I think I prefer it over the scent of the Zanzibar Marine (which I also love).
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Limited Edition Neon Lights (retail: $7.99; 6.73 oz.)
One of the first products I ever reviewed on my blog back in 2009 was Batiste Dry Shampoo in the Original scent. Batiste is still my holy grail dry shampoo because the main ingredient in this formula to absorb oil is rice starch, which works so well for my oily hair when compared to the main ingredient in other dry shampoos (lots of dry shampoos use aluminum starch or tapioca starch, but neither work as well to absorb the oils in my hair as rice starch). Another thing I adore about Batiste is their fragrance range. In addition to the Original scent (which I love--it's clean and lemony), I have been using the Cherry scent for the past few years. But when I recently tried this limited edition Neon Lights scent (pomegranate and jasmine), I fell in love. To me, it just smells like a really luxe, expensive hairspray, if that makes sense! Fresh, clean, a bit floral, a bit fruity. It's perfection and it's exactly how I want my hair to smell.
Also, I want to mention that Batiste is my holy grail dry shampoo not only because of the ingredients and scents, but also because it never weighs down my hair, it doesn't leave a white cast, and it doesn't feel as powdery or chalky as some other dry shampoos I've used. It's 100% dependable for me--it never lets me down.
If you're new to Korean sheet masks, I think that the TONYMOLY I'm Real Mask Sheets are a great place to start. They're well-loved among sheet mask fans, and I really enjoy the masks in the I'm Real line--the Rice and Red Wine formulas in particular. They smell lovely and they come with a TON of essence (essence is the precious liquid that the sheet masks are soaking in). That means there's plenty of essence to smooth onto your neck, décolletage, hands, etc., in addition to your face when you're using them. You definitely get your money's worth with these.
Upper Canada Danielle Pop Lipstick Mirror (retail: $4.99)
Years ago, a friend of mine went to Canada and brought me back some soaps and lotions from Canadian brand, Upper Canada. I haven't seen this brand much here in the US over the years, so I was super excited to see that Ulta now carries some Upper Canada beauty tools (mirrors, makeup bags and a few other things). When I saw this mirror at my local Ulta, it called out to me. I mean, how cute is this?
It's made of sturdy metal (not plastic) and there's a regular mirror on one side, with a 2x magnification mirror on the other. For $4.99, it's such a cute little mirror to keep in your purse.
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights (retail: $6; 0.375 oz.)
Makeup Revolution The Matte Blush in Dare and New Rules (retail: $5 each; 0.375 oz.)
When people talk about the Makeup Revolution Vivid Highlighters, they usually talk about the shades Radiant Lights and Golden Lights. But Peach Lights, which is sort of a neutral shade with pink undertones, is so gorgeous that I think it deserves a mention. For $6, this is an absolutely lovely daytime highlighter. In my swatch below, you'll see that it has excellent pigmentation and it's extremely shimmery but, once you blend, it leaves a very subtle glow to the skin, which is perfect for daytime. This powder is not chunky, nor does it have a lot of fallout. It's beautiful and if you don't have many highlighters with a pink undertone, I think it's one to consider.
I'm sure many of you already own some of the Makeup Revolution The Matte Blushes, but I'm relatively new to them and I now understand why they have almost a 5-star average rating with 200+ reviews on the Ulta site. The texture of these powder blushes is so smooth and buttery, they almost feel creamy to the touch. They're finely milled and packed with color, but it's color you can easily control and they blend very nicely on the skin. They also have good staying power on my oily skin, which is always a plus. For $5 a pop, these are gems and certainly worth considering.
NYX Lip Lustre Glossy Lip Tint in Antique Romance (retail: $6.99; 0.27 oz.)
NYX Velvet Matte Lipstick in Charmed (retail: $6.99; 0.14 oz.)
NYX Velvet Matte Lipstick in Charmed (retail: $6.99; 0.14 oz.)
What kind of budget-friendly post about Ulta would this be if I didn't squeeze in some NYX? I decided to try two of their newer lip color lines, and neither one disappointed.
The Lip Lustre Glossy Lip Tint is an interesting product and it took me a bit to figure it out. Let me be clear that I can only tell you what the shade I purchased is like (Antique Romance) because that's the only one I have tried. This product smells like berries (I've heard that other shades smell like vanilla cake) but there's very little flavor--it's basically flavorless.
When you first apply this product, it has a slight cooling sensation that I was not expecting. That goes away after a minute, and then it feels like a cushiony serum on the lips (not sticky or tacky at all). The texture sort of reminds me of YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oils, but it does not look like a tint on the lips. This is an opaque product that looks like a very pigmented glossy liquid lipstick on the lips. It's shiny and quite saturated with no translucency.
The shine of this product sticks around for about 30 minutes for me, and then it does fade to a tint/stain as promised. The stain of this particular shade lasts on my lips for a few hours, which is longer than I expected. Overall, I really like this product because I love the feel of serums on my lips (something about that cushiony feeling is so addictive to me) and I adore stains/tints, so this combines those two elements at a very affordable price point.
I have been dying to try one of the new NYX Velvet Matte Lipsticks and when I saw the colors in-store at Ulta, I knew that Charmed had to come home with me. I am a sucker for pinky-brownish-berry shades and this one is absolutely gorgeous (my pics do not do it justice). On my medium-pigmented lips, this actually turns into a My Lips But Better shade. I thought it would lean a little dark on me, but it's totally wearable for daytime. It's not light, but it's not dark either--it's medium-toned on my lips, and it's one of those shades that can easily take me from daytime to nighttime. I already know that I need a back-up, if that tells you how much I love this color (I will be wearing the heck out of it this fall).
Pigmentation is excellent with this color and it's completely opaque after a few swipes. This lipstick transfers at first, but after about 10 minutes on my lips, I get very little transfer to my coffee cup. After 30 minutes, no transferring at all. The texture of this lipstick is a little on the dry side, but it's not super dry. It's drier than the Maybelline Color Sensational mattes, and also drier than the Rimmel Kate mattes, and it does tug slightly during application. That said, I do not find the formula to be drying when it's on my lips, and it doesn't get cakey. Also, since it's not a super emollient formula, this color looks very matte on the lips (much more matte than what you see in my swatch), which I think will make you happy if you've been let down by other lipsticks that claim to be matte but actually have more of a satin finish. This lipstick also has good staying power (I can get 3+ hours of wear, which is great for me when it comes to matte lipsticks).
One more thing: the flavor and fragrance of this lipstick are almost nonexistent to me. At first I didn't really detect a flavor or a fragrance, but after using this lipstick a few times, I did start to notice a very, very slight coconut scent and flavor (so subtle you may not even notice it).
Antique Romance, Charmed
Tartan + Twine Disney 3 Piece Contour Set (retail: $20)
I know that the theme of this post is "favorites under $10" but I didn't think you'd mind ONE thing that's over $10 . When I saw the end-cap display for the new Tartan + Twine Minnie Mouse collection at Ulta, I just had to grab the brush set.
I knew going into this that this set was probably more of a novelty item geared toward Disney collectors. The length of these brushes is somewhere in between full-size and travel. The handles are made of plastic and they're light and hollow inside (I was pretty much expecting that). But what surprised me about this set is that I can actually get some good use from these brushes.
The stippling brush is quite small in circumference (the head is about the size of a nickle), so it's not something you'd want to use for foundation or face powder. But I am having very good luck with it to apply blush. I love using a stippling brush to apply extremely pigmented powder blushes, since you can really control the amount of product you're applying when you use a stippling brush. And this brush works great for that. The bristles are soft, not spiky or scratchy, and they're dense enough to apply powder blushes, no problem. The angled buff brush is nice for blending blush, as well as for blending highlighters and bronzers. Again, the bristles are soft and more dense than I thought they'd be. The small size of this brush works quite well for cheeks.
The concealer brush doesn't really work for me when it comes to applying or blending concealer (I'm super picky about concealer brushes) but it's firm enough to work well for smudging eyeliner or applying shadows to the inner or outer corners of the eye. Again, the bristles are soft and dense. So all in all, this set exceeded my expectations when it comes to novelty products. They don't just look cute; they can be handy, too.
I hope this post helps give you some affordable ideas for your next Ulta haul. If you have any questions that I didn't cover above, please comment below and I'll do my best to answer them.
One more thing:
This is a sponsored post. Products in this post were selected by Nouveau Cheap and supplied by Ulta Beauty. For more information, click here.