The Sickness; Sephora and Ulta Haul Chatter

I seem to have a reasonably solid immune system and tend to only be taken down by the sick once or twice a year. Alas, this past week was one of those times. There’s been a lot of hot tea and chicken soup in this house in the last two weeks There wasn’t a whole lot (read: none) in the way of writing in the last week-and-a-half. The time I didn’t spend down and out (and re-watching Cowboy Bebop for the umpteenth time) I spent at work because I have a problem am a sucker didn’t want to leave things unfinished before my vacation (all are true).

Before The Sickness struck, though, I managed to get through my Ulta and Sephora purchases without going overboard.

Sephora Haul

Sephora still had Drunk Elephant’s Come C about Me set in stock, so I went for it. I haven’t gotten into any of the product yet; tragically the skin near my nose has been more reptilian than human since I received it. I’m excited to check out B-Hydra to see about the hype.

They also had had Adora marked as in stock so I jumped on it; at $12 it is scarcely more than a drugstore lipstick. I’ve never loved a lipstick shade as much as I love this one, so I figured it was worth it even though it was unplanned. I haven’t worn it yet, as it came right as I was getting sick. I imagine I’ll struggle with it and my Invisalign trays but.. man, it is gorgeous and the holidays are nigh.

That’s it! I really wanted an Hourglass blush, but ultimately decided to leave it out for now.

Ulta Haul

I bought a ton of stuff at Ulta. Some are presents I can’t share here because the recipients read this thrice-weekly drivel I publish. Some of it is a blog surprise. But here’s what I will share for now:

Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil – I’ve wanted to try this for a while but wouldn’t buy it off my no-buy. Uncharacteristically of me, I bought two without having tried it. You know when you have a good feeling about a product? This was one of those times. We’ll see.

Real Techniques Single Pocket Expert Organizer – I ended up using this somewhere other than my makeshift vanity. It lives on my fridge holding dry erase markers the neighboring board. It’s really sturdy! It would definitely hold brushes or pencils well. I like it a lot – so much nicer than markers perched haphazardly atop my ‘fridge.

OPI Avojuice in Ginger Lily – The manicure I received before my trip finished with this and it was really nice. Normally I hate scented hand lotions (seriously, hate) but I think this would my nice to mix with my usual unscented Skinfix or to finish off a pedicure. I even bought a bottle for my desk at work!

Ulta Haul ChatterMiss Spa Glitter Gel Eye Mask

This mask gets its own heading because it ended up being the MVP of the order. The purchase was frivolous to boot. My husband was helping me unbox this order and pulls this from the box. Incredulous, he looks at me, then it, then back at me. “What is this?! Did you seriously buy something like this?” I had visions of DIY spa-like treatments dancing in my head. He thought I was a dork.

Then, overnight a couple days later his round with The Sickness worsened. We’re talking fever, sweats, all that jazz. Meds weren’t quite breaking it, and we didn’t want to bring wet (cool) washcloths into bed. My 2AM brain had a, “Eureka!” moment and grabbed this. To our surprise, it helped. Immediately. Entirely unprompted, he apologized for teasing me about buying it.

I ended up catching The Sickness and needed it for the same purpose a few days later. This isn’t marketed as a medical device; it’s just a fun gel eye mask that you can heat or cool before wearing. I am so thankful we had it on hand because it helped us get control of a climbing fever.

The Bottom Line

In short, last week was a wash for me. I got some fun stuff that I haven’t really played with yet due to the mini-plague that has overtaken my home. I can’t wait to play with some of this more and to reveal some of the surprises I have in store.

For my fellow Americans, I hope you have a delightfully gluttonous Thanksgiving tomorrow. If you plan on shopping on Friday, please be safe because people are crazy.

PSA: NARS at Ulta

Just before the holidays, we got to see NARS at Ulta. Initially, they had only four shades of blush, the Multiple, and Laguna bronzer. Since then, they have expanded to a range of sixteen products, several of which have multiple shades. Unfortunately, they’re all online-only at this time; I’m uncertain about plans to move them to stores. I can only assume such a move would depend on the brand’s performance at the mixed-range retailer.

NARS at UltaNARS at Ulta

I picked up a blush before the year ended, but I’m delighted to see they’re carrying my favorite eye pencil and the ever-popular Radiant Creamy Concealer (not the full color range, yet, but I imagine they’ll get there). NARS fans will be happy to see a NARSissist palette, Sheer glow, and the Audacious lipsticks stocked, among other things.

My NARS experience is limited to the aforementioned concealer, eye pencil, the foundation I wore for my wedding, and now a blush. They don’t carry the foundation in question because it has been discontinued, but the other products, so far, are absolutely worth the hype – which isn’t something I often get to say.

Are you excited to see NARS at Ulta? The online-only range is only expanding! Or did you prefer the slightly more exclusive nature it had before? Accessibility is good as far as I’m concerned.

 

Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB

Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIBUlta Platinum vs Sephora VIB

Beauty chains companies are realizing that they have a a fiercely loyal group of customers that it is wise to maintain. Ulta features Ultamate Rewards and Sephora features Beauty Insider, respectively. They work differently and have different perks but they do have one thing in common – a tier system to reward their, “frequent fliers,” and top spenders with premium perks. So when it comes down to Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB which wins?

In late 2014, I hit Platinum status at Ulta and got to keep that status this year. I have no idea how this happened (reality, not being cute); I was shopping at Ulta less frequently than Sephora and I tended to spend less there; so I’m chalking it up to occasionally shopping with a friend who was content to have her purchases apply for my rewards.

In Spring 2015, with the purchase of the Silk’n Flash n Go Freedom (no longer sold at Sephora) and the Foreo Issa, I hit VIB at Sephora.

So between Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB – which is better?

This was originally published in December of 2015, but felt it could use some refreshing. Not joining rewards programs is like leaving money and/or product on the table, so I want to help educate my readers!

Read moreUlta Platinum vs Sephora VIB

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

While shopping for a recent Ulta.com haul, I came across one of their gifting sets, the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

 

Like the Sephora brush set I recently wrote about, doesn’t it look familiar?

Read moreUlta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Exasperated with my local Ulta

It’s no secret that I do most of my beauty shopping online. With the exception of things that require matching (foundation), I prefer to shop online.

Sometimes, I’ll get perks that I can only redeem in store, so I take the time to go – my Ulta is within 3 minutes of my office, so it isn’t a terrible hassle (plus, they carry my holy grail dry shampoo). In the order in which I received my Philosophy Fresh Cream perfume, I received a voucher to get a Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer. “Cool,” I thought. “I can run it through the primer gauntlet and hopefully write a fruitful post.”

Exasperated with my local Ulta - unable to redeem voucher for Benefit Air Patrol

The voucher states:

“Beauty Bonus! Visit your nearest Benefit Brow Bar inside Ulta to receive a complimentary Air Patrol makeupper. Plus, enjoy a Free* deluxe mini with your Benefit product purchase!”

Pretty fair – that means it is a true freebie, no purchase necessary, and that there is another deluxe mini you can get if you spend whatever Benefit’s minimum is. I went in, the Benefit employee was busy doing some brows. Neither wishing to interrupt her nor wishing to wait 20 minutes, I did the rest of my shopping and headed to the register. I presented the cashier with the voucher, thinking that they’d have those up front just like every other GWP/freebie. She glances at it for half a moment and says, “You didn’t spend enough with Benefit…” and hands it back to me.

I take it from her, hold it up and read the entirety slowly to her, out loud. This isn’t the first time I’ve had something like this happen at Ulta. “Ohhhh…” she says, followed with a cluck of her tongue. “I don’t think we have that yet.”

Read moreExasperated with my local Ulta