February Favorite #5: Ulta Beauty


Ulta is one of my favorite stores. Not because I’m super into makeup but because I can buy almost everything beauty related that I want. I can get bar soap for the shower, products for my hair (I use DevaCurl), and face masks all in one place. Then I can use their points program to buy my favorite makeup, Urban Decay. And there are four different stores within driving distance of my home and work, which is helpful when I am looking for something specific.

I mentioned their points program. Do you know about it? Basically, you earn points every time you buy something at an Ulta store. Those points get turned into dollars that you can use to purchase more products. There are ways to earn extra points. If you sign up for the Ulta credit card, you get bonus points when you use it. (I use mine to book hotels/AirBnBs when we travel.) You also get double points during your birthday month. I’ve bought a lot of high end makeup with points. It’s my favorite part of Ulta.

Now, I know that some people prefer Sephora over Ulta. However, there isn’t a Sephora particularly close to my house. There is one near my work but it isn’t convenient to go to the mall it is in. And I don’t think their rewards program is as good as Ulta’s. But that is just my opinion. Where do you buy your favorite beauty products?

Opening The ColourPop Mystery Bag


On January 21, cosmetic company ColourPop advertised a mystery bag called Let’s Get Wild. For a mere $25, you would receive $55 worth of product. I am a sucker for mystery bags so I leapt at the chance. I’m going to share what I got in the bag but I’m not going to swatch the products or review them. I already know I like a lot of ColourPop’s products. I do, however, want to see if I did get $55 worth of product for only $25. So let’s rip open the bag:


First up, the eyeshadows. I received three - two super shock shadows and one pressed powder shadow. The shades are Sequin on the top right, Party of Five on the top left, and Come And Get It on the bottom. All of ColourPop’s eyeshadows are $5.00. Total: $15.00


I only received one cheek product. This is the super shock highlighter in Counting Sheep. ColourPop’s highlighters are $8.00 each. Total: $23.00


Next up are the lip products. There were four in total. These two are the liquid lipsticks. On the right is the ultra glossy lip in Flying Horses. On the left is the ultra blotted lip in Doozy. The liquid lipsticks do vary a little in price. Both of these were $6.00 each, though some liquid lipsticks are $6.50. Total: $35.00


In addition to the liquid lipsticks, there was one lux lipstick. This shade is Sphynx. The lux lipsticks are $7.00 each. Total: $42.00


The last lip product I received was one of ColourPop’s lippie stix in Ziggie. Lippie Stix costs $5.50 each. Total: $47.50


Finally, the last product in the bag is one of ColourPop’s new mascaras. This color is Black On Black. These are $8.00 each. Total: $55.50

Yes! ColourPop did sent $55.00 worth of products! Granted, most of these are shades that I wouldn’t have picked for myself. I tend to go with more colorful shades but if I don’t use these, my daughter will. I also appreciate that ColourPop included one of their new mascaras. (I’m pretty sure this bag was intended to market the mascara, which I think is pretty cool.) I would have preferred one of the colored mascaras but it’s not like black mascara is useless. It’s just basic.

As a whole, I am happy with the products I received. If ColourPop ever does this again, I would recommend grabbing one. You can’t go wrong with their makeup and it is a really great deal. Thank you, ColourPop!

One Direction Makeup Kits - Mascara, Lip Gloss, Nail Polish

Even though my daughter is not a One Direction fan, I had to try their new makeup. I mean, when I was her age, I had the Debbie Gibson perfume (which I would still wear if they still made it!) but I don't remember if any celebrities made actual makeup products. Since there are gobs of One Direction fans out there, I needed to make sure this stuff was at least decent makeup. 

First up is the mascara. It comes in three colors - "Why Don't We Go There?" is blue, "Does He Know?" is pink, and "Story Of My Life" is yellow. Personally, I think yellow is a weird color for mascara but I'm not the one that has to wear it. Back when I was in my early 20s, I used to wear blue mascara. Never tried pink though. The cool thing about these is that they also double as a "hair mascara." If you want to add a stripe of color too your hair, you just swipe the brush through the strands. Since my hair is dyed, I'm not going to try that. I will, however, put this stuff on my eyelashes!

All three of the colors came out spectacularly bright. While the yellow is not  my favorite, it still looked nice. Both the blue and the pink looked fabulous! And it is pretty easy to put the colors together for a new look. Say, do your entire lash blue but then put some pink on the very ends. I love it!

Of course, there is also a lip gloss set. This one also has three colors - "Through The Dark" is red, "Taken" is pink, and "Kiss You" is an orange. These glosses supposedly change colors under UV light. However, I don't have a UV light to test that theory. According to the box, the red turns neon red-orange, the pink turns neon pink-orange, and the orange turns neon yellow. I'm not sure how many teenage girls have UV lights in order to take advantage of this "feature." 

All three of these lip glosses have glitter in them. Quite a bit of glitter, to be honest. Considering the target audience, I don't blame them. I think the teenage girls will love glittery lips. The orange one is probably the worst. It barely shows up on the skin. It's basically a lot of glitter with a little color. The pink one isn't too awful. It does have a nice candy pink color, again, with tons of glitter. My favorite is the red one. (OK, they call it "poppy." It's red.) It has some really nice color to it with just the right amount of glitter to make your lips sparkle without looking like you tried to eat a craft store. 

The last piece of the puzzle is a nail polish kit. This kit has three polish colors and three different colored glitter bottles. "Happily" is the blue nail polish, "Moments" is the pink, and "Diana" is a silver glitter polish. The glitter bottles consist of "Kicks" (blue), "Not Afraid" (pink),  and "Star" (purple?). Supposedly all of these also react to UV light.

These things are just weird. The best of the three is "Diana." Even though it is basically a clear nail polish with glitter, it still looks much better than the other two. "Happily" is so sheer that you can see your nail right through the blue. You would need at least three coats for this to have any real effect. "Moments" isn't terrible but it is a very neon pink. Like 80s neon pink. I'm not sure 2014 girls would even want to wear this color. 

I will admit that I did not try to add-on glitter. One, it looks super messy. They come in these tiny little pots and, in order to use the glitter, you would need to pour it out onto a plate or buy a separate brush or something. Two, there isn't a whole lot there. Since I don't particularly want glitter nails, I decided to save it for someone who would want to use it. You might be able to get one whole hand out of each pot. I'm not sure why they made them so small. The nail polish is definitely my least favorite of the three kits.

As a whole, I am kinda impressed with these kits. I figured that, since they are celebrity endorsed products, that they would be complete crap. Just another product made to drain the teenager's money. However, they aren't half bad. The nail polish sucks a bit but it can be pretty hard to find decent nail polish that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. If I were a younger woman, I would definitely use the mascara and probably the lip gloss. They would be absolutely awesome for costumes though. Very bright colors that can be seen from far away. Good job, One Direction!

Want to win your own set of One Direction makeup? Here you go!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, all opinions contained within are solely my own. 

Subscription Box: Beauty Box 5

bb5 It is time for another subscription box review! Yesterday's mail brought me the Beauty Box 5. BB5 gives you 5 beauty products. Most of them are sample sized but sometimes you get a full-sized product. In my opinion, the cost is very reasonable. If you pay monthly, it costs $12. However, if you choose the quarterly option, it is only $30. The last option is yearly, which is $99. Most women probably pay more than that per month on regular beauty products. Now you get to try new things!


When you first open the box, you are greeted with the month's informational postcard. The front of the card tells you a little bit about that month's theme. Turning the card over, the back gives you a detailed description of each product in the box. You also get a card with five codes that allow your friends to get their first and fifth boxes for free. Update: Sorry, that is a different box that I will be reviewing next week.


Here is the inside of the box I received. Due to the way it was packaged, you can't see all five products in this shot. But there are definitely five products there. Let's go through them one by one.


First up, Blum Naturals All-Purpose Cleansing Wipes in Citrus Scent. The bottle contains 30 wipes with a grapefruit smell. I adore citrus scents so I think this will get a lot of use. If all goes well with it, I would buy the full-sized version for the house.



Next up is the bh cosmetics California Collection eyeshadow palette. The palette has three shades: Hollywood is a deep purple color, San Francisco is a bronzey sort of color, and Malibu is a yellowish gold. These are some awful pictures of the shades but I couldn't get both the purple and the bronze to show up without making the gold look garish. In reality, all three are very nice colors. I would most likely wear San Francisco the most but my favorite color-wise is Hollywood.




The next two products go together so I'll talk about them at the same time. One is NickAK New York Hydro Lipstick in the Gypsy Begonia shade. I love this color. It's like a deep berry color. I really can't wait to try this one out! With it came a Bonne Bell lip definer. Unfortunately, this came with the pencil tip broken off. So I can't tell you much about the shade. It seems to match the lipstick but I can't be positive.


Finally, there is a 3-day Natural Glow moisturizer by Jergens. I believe this is supposed to be similar to spray-on tanners. I've never used fake tan products before. This appears to be a sample sized product so I'm not sure how much coverage you would actually get from it. You might be able to cover your face and your arms but it definitely will not cover your entire body. I doubt that I will personally try this one out but maybe I can find someone to try it for me.

And that is it! I am quite happy with what I received in this month's box. Out of the 5 products, I will definitely use at least three of them. I have two more boxes left in my subscription package so I hope this is a trend that will continue!