Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Purchases: 6 Product Reviews

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I received my monthly Ulta catalog touting the 21 Days of Beauty Sale that comes around every so often. Whenever I get the sale calendar, I always make a note to pick up certain products because Ulta often puts bestsellers in their lineup and best of all, they're all discounted by 50%! Finally, I made a note of all the products I wanted to pick up and actually committed to buying them. I bought almost everything I wanted. Here are my picks, along with product close-ups and mini reviews:

Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Starblush - Orig. $32 Purchased for $16

Product Claims: "A disc of five baked, glimmering shades to bring a soft veil of shimmer to the complexion." Additional details claim "Get a gorgeous lit-from-within glow with this radiant silk-like powder. Enriched with an innovative baked formula, it imparts luminous shimmer to keep the skin looking luminous. These soft shades can be layered together and dusted onto cheeks, temples, the nose, the decollete, or even the lids for a glowing look. Or use the true highlighter (lightest shade) to strobe."

Review: Wow this product claims to be a lot, doesn't it? In reality, this product is a total and complete tease. Despite its gorgeous appearance, when applied to the skin this product is virtually invisible. While a quick swatch of the finger will immediately turn your finger into a glowy, luminous, incandescent sex object, when you actually go in with a brush and apply the product to your face, the result will make you confused. Where the hell is it? This product required layers and layers of application, with deep digs into the product to build up a tint visible to the human eye. I had to pile on the powder to even remotely create an angelic cast on my cheekbones. Disappointing. I returned it.

Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Baked Starburst - Orig. $32 Purchased for $16 

Review: Similar story here, but not quite. The Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Baked Starburst actually did show up on my skin, and didn't require as much application as the Starblush shade. I actually really liked the sheen it gave my cheekbones, but the highlight faded quickly throughout the day, and once I bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Gleam (4 beautiful shades), I didn't feel like I needed this anymore. I preferred to get my money back so I returned it, but sometimes I still wonder if I should have kept it around.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Gleam - $40

Product Claims: The ultimate highlighter for the girl who craves a flawless gleam. Housed in chic compacts, Glow Kits feature an enviable wardrobe of four metallic powders that give your complexion an intense luminosity. Shades include:

  • Hard Candy (mood-changing golden peach w/a pink pearl reflective finish)
  • Mimosa (radiant golden peach w/ a metallic finish)
  • Starburst (rush of cool pink w/an iridescent finish
  • Crushed Pearl (glimmering pink and silver w/a crystalized finish) 

Review: So this was not a product featured in the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale, but when I overheard the sales associates half-whispering about how they got this product in last night, I knew I had to act fast. I'm so glad I did because this product is g-g-gorgeous! I'm so pleased to have added it to my collection, these highlighters feel like butter and they apply like a dream. They add an instant gorgeous sheen to your cheekbones, and each shade is so lovely that I can't tell which is my favorite. The one exception to these is the top left shade, Hard Candy, which is the highlighter I thought I would like the most. It fits my go-to blush color profile, which is primarily bronzey mauves, but it actually doesn't apply as nicely as the other colors. It's less buttery and a little patchy. Also, the color doesn't look quite right (interesting that it's apparently mood changing). One last thing, the descriptions of the colors are really off to me and the product image on Ulta is super muted so make sure to google for more accurate photos.

Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Pink Grapefruit - Orig. $28 Purchased for $14

Product Claims: Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten starts with a radiant blend of liquid pigment that is baked for 24 hours to create a soft, creamy powder. This formula treats your skin to a nourishing blend of antioxidants and anti-aging properties while creating a beautiful, glowing complexion. Features:

  • Made with a blend of rich, marbleized color
  • Unique formula is baked for 24 hours
  • Soft, creamy powder goes on evenly
  • Formulated with anti-aging and antioxidant protection
  • Paraben free and mineral oil free 

Review: It's veery easy for you to feel like you hit the blush truck with this one. I went to Ulta a week before the 21 days sale to test out the shades of this blush line by Laura Geller. I only found two shades I really liked, and this was one of them. However, when dusted on the cheeks, this blush immediately turns your cheeks bright pink. It's almost like a day-glow color. Judging from the actual blush itself, in the container, I thought it would translate to giving off a gorgeous flushed neutral warm pink-y tint, but instead it just looks intensely concentrated hot pink. Think of a rouge pot and a powder puff. Now hit your cheeks with it. That's the intensity of this blush.

Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Honeysuckle - Orig. $28 Purchased for $14

Review: Laura Geller's Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Honeysuckle - love at first sight. While I'm still on the fence about the Pink Grapefruit shade, this blush makes me smile, literally. I dabbed this shade on my cheek and it gave off such a beautiful bronzed, rose/tan color that I busted out into a grin. I had been nervous because this shade is a bit perplexing in the pan - it's kind of just this brown/pink marbelized looking swirl of powder, but I knew from swatching it on my hand that it actually gave off a deep tan/rose, which is exactly what it looks like on the skin.

Too Faced Sweetheart Perfect Flush Blush in Peach Beach - Orig. $30 Purchased for $15

Product Claims: Choose from three no-fail color palette blushes to take the guesswork out of creating a sweet, romantic flush. In each baked, heart shaped blush there are three individual color swatches. The baking process and multiple colors create dimensional color to provide the look of younger, brighter, healthier skills. It's like having Hollywood lighting wherever you go.

Review: So... this blush. I'm not quite sure about my thoughts on this one, despite me having applied it several times from sheer all the way up to full intensity to try and get an assessment of it. How does it look? I actually took a photo of the color on my makeup brush to try and give you a better idea.

It's hard to place what color is produced when swirling the three strips of color together. Judging from the brush, the color certainly is peachy (as the title alludes to), but it also shows up somewhat pinky. The color itself isn't unpretty, but there's just something about it that I'm not wild about. While it doesn't particularly tickle my fancy, it IS truly one of those blushes that give your cheeks a natural flush of color (good job on the name Too Faced!). Last note - this blush is very shimmery and sparkly, so be aware that it will look like you are wearing blush. I might return.

Thanks so much guys for tuning into this post, I really enjoyed writing these mini reviews and sharing my thoughts. I hope you will continue to come back for more! Thanks.

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