Welcome to spring makeup madness part one. I spent way too much money, why are all the sales lumped together? It started with me somehow ending up on the beauty section of TJ Maxx's website, not technically a sale but everything I bought there I got at a good discount compared to its MSRP. Then, 21 Days of Beauty started at Ulta and I went a little crazy. Just when I thought I was done with Ulta for a while they throw me a 20% off everything coupon including prestige brands. My makeup collection is 99% bougie so I live for these coupons so I can save some dolla bills on the pricey stuff. I love watching beauty haul videos on YouTube and since I don't make YT videos yet, hopefully someday though, I thought I would share with my other beauty addicts out there what I've picked up recently. I got so much stuff that I decided to split it into two parts so it wouldn't be one overwhelmingly long post. This is the longer of the two posts so grab some snacks and tuck in cause this is a lengthy one.
I was probably looking at sunglasses or shoes on TJ Maxx and somehow stumbled over to the beauty side. I started looking around and found they carried some brands I like/was interested in and a monster was born. You can't search for brands on TJ Maxx's website but if your willing to put in the time looking through everything you can find some diamonds in the rough. Here's what I found...
This stuff is incredible. I kid you not, it has completely transformed the feel of my skin. Before I was using foam cleansers but they always striped my skin and made my face feel tight and dry but this is super gentle and nourishing. My face has never been so soft in my entire life. If you have really dry skin and are wanting to try a new cleanser I cannot recommend this enough. What convinced me to try this out blindly even though I was not too familiar with the brand is the ratings. It has a five start rating at Clarins, 4.8 rating at Ulta and a 4.2 rating at Sephora. I have medium sensitivity skin and the fragrance in this does not irritate me at all. I got started on a Clarins kick after trying this and now I'm hooked. I paid $35 for the limited edition luxury size which retails for $48 and is mostly sold out online (if you hunt for it you might find it online somewhere) but you can find the 6.9 oz bottle online for $33 at Ulta, Sephora, and of course Clarins.
I started using waterproof mascara a few months ago and have discovered just how hard it is to remove. I had been using the Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips but wanted to try something different since it wasn't doing the greatest job for me, not horrible but could be better. I saw this on TJ Maxx and looked it up online and it has a 4.1 rating at Clarins and a 4.4 rating at Sephora (isn't sold at Ulta). Pretty solid ratings/reviews so I decided to try it out and now that I've switched over to it after using up all my Clinique remover I'm so glad I found this! It doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes and is much more effective than the Clinique remover, at least for me. The bi-phase formula is what makes it work so well but I must confess sometimes I forget to shake it up first. I absolutely love it and would 100% recommend. I picked this up for $20 at TJ Maxx and there's currently still some in stock (cost $30 at Sephora and Clarins).
This is the one new Clarins skincare product I picked up from TJ Maxx that I'm not 100% sold on. I decided to try this out since this version is for sensitive skin and to see if it was also magic like the cleanser and eye makeup remover. Alas, it is not. I didn't know this at the time, I know...I should have done my research before purchasing, but toners are the most beneficial for oily or combo skin. I don't notice a discernible difference when I use this versus when I don't and probably won't repurchase once I run out (I also have this Mario Badescu toning lotion that I've tried a few times but I don't notice much of a difference between the two products). I really only use this on the days I've worn makeup after cleansing and on the morning that I'm too lazy to wash my face. This particular formula of toner is only available on the brand's website and retails for $26 and I paid $20 so it wasn't even as good of a buy either as the other products.
As someone with perpetually dry skin, I love cream cheek products so I had to snag this up when I saw it. I already have a pinky-coral cream blush from Josie Maran but decided to get this and see if the formula is any different. It doesn't have the sheen or tackiness that a lot of cream blushes leave behind and settles to a powder finish which is very different from the Josie formula. I didn't notice this until I swatched it for the above photo, mind you after I'd been using it for a few weeks, but it has a very subtle gold shift to it. I love the color and it applies very nicely with a stippling duo fibre brush. I snagged this $20 for at TJ Maxx but it is available for $30 in three shades at Ulta and four shades at Clarins.
I have a few bronzers that I love but I have zero contour products which is what I thought this was because the name of the product has the word contour in it, makes sense right? Turns out it's actually more of a bronzer. I use it to bronze-tour and it doesn't look too warm or weird on me. The two shades actually work out quite nice on my fair neutral skin tone. I found this for $30 but it's available in five different shade combos and retails for $42 at Sephora and Nars.
I also picked up the beautyblender nude for $15 but I didn't want to photograph it because it is extremely stained now since I've been using it pretty much non-stop ever since I got it. I didn't want to believe the hype of the beautyblender because it seem ridiculous to spend $20 on a makeup sponge. I bought it on a whim to see if it was all it's cracked up to be and the darn thing actually works really well. I ended up spending $140 on items that retail for $196 so I feel like I got a pretty good deal. I think I would only repurchase the cleanser and the eye makeup remover. If I found another beautyblender at TJ Maxx I'd probably get it but I don't think I'd spend $20 for one at Sephora. If you're not on the hunt for something specific then you can find some bargains at TJ Maxx. I will definitely be checking back periodically to see what other gems I can find (though not any time soon).
So, this Ulta situation needs a bit of a preface because it's 100% extreme and over the top. I was not expecting the 20% off everything coupon so I went pretty crazy during the 21 Days of Beauty Sale. I ended up returning a foundation I bought with the 20% off coupon because it broke me out which was a bummer because it looked great on my skin. Ulta put that return on an in store merchandise card, kinda like a gift card but you can't use it online, so I went back and got two lip products with that. I did pay full price for a few items in here that weren't in the sale but I wanted to share everything so you too can balk at the crazy amount of dough I dropped along with me (a little bit of me died inside after adding this all up).
I have one other IT Brush, Airbrush Precision Shadow Brush #112, that I got during a past 21 Days of Beauty sale and it is one of my favorite eyeshadow brushes that I own. When I saw the Complexion Perfection Essentials 3 Pc Deluxe Brush Set in the sale for $24.50 (reg. $49) I got really excited because the fluffy powder brush looked awesome (and it is). I don't use the other two brushes from the set as often but I love the case because I now use it to store all my eyeshadow brushes and it will also be great for travel. I paid full price ($12) for the Airbrush Precision Smudger Brush #124 because I really needed one since I didn't have a smudger brush and also because if you spent $35 on IT Brushes you got a Mini Airbrush Foundation Brush #101 for free (looks like a mini version of the #102 brush which cost $22). I've been using the smudger brush a lot since I got and am so glad I picked up this little guy. The #101 brush is on the small side in my opinion for foundation but would work in a pinch. I really hope during a future 21 Days of Beauty Ulta includes a Velvet Luxe brush because I am dying to try one of those out but the prices are insane.
I had purchased a set from Eyeko back in January and loved the eyeliner from it so I decided to pick up the Black Magic pen (which I think is the same as the one in the set). I love that it has a brush tip since I'm much better with a brush tip over a felt tip. I also picked up the Sport eyeliner because I've been struggling to find a black eyeliner that will stay in my upper waterline and not transfer. This one is definitely better than the many others I've tried so far but is not 100% transfer proof so the hunt continues. All Eyeko eyeliners were 50% off during the sale at Ulta so I got these each for $11.
I got a sample of this some time ago and loved it. It looks good under foundation, mixed in foundation, or on it's own for a healthy radiant glow. I've tried plenty of radiant/glowy primers and liquids before and the thing that makes this one stand out to me over the others I've tried is that it's not glittery, just glowy, and not overly so to where you look like a sweaty mess. This purchase was 100% not necessary but I really like the way it looks on and at 50% off it's regular price tag of $38 I decided to grab it while it was on sale.
I got this before I got the Clarins remover since the Clinique eye makeup remover wasn't quite getting the job done. This stuff actually works pretty darn well but the packaging is kind of a nightmare. The applicator is kind of like a plastic mascara wand which works fine but sometimes when I put it back in the tube oil gushes out of the top. If you don't like rubbing your eyes with eye makeup remover to get mascara off this is a great alternative. This normally retails for $17 at Ulta but I got it in the sale for $10.
Most of the time I have pretty clear skin but for the days I don't, this is the product that I reach for. Whenever a random spot does decide to pop up this is my go to for getting rid of the nasty little bugger ASAP. I am not someone who repurchases products very often but this is my third bottle so that should tell you how well it works (at least for me). My only complaint is that it does flake off pretty easily which I struggle with since I toss and turn a lot and end up rubbing my face all over my pillows. It somehow still manages to work 99% of the time even with all I put it through so I'll definitely continue to use it. It was marked down and then had a percentage off on top of that during the sale knocking it down to $9.56 on sale from its usual $17 price point.
I had to try this since the entire internet loves to rave about how amazing it is. I had just purchased the Sephora Collection x Utowa PRO Universal Curler so I definitely did not need another eyelash curler but this one is so highly rated that I had to find out for myself. Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype, at least in my opinion. I had really high expectations but I don't think this is any better than my other curler. The Utowa curler gives me a super intense curl without pinching my lids. I expected better from this but I don't think the curl is quite as good. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad by any means, but if you're in the market for a new curler I rate the Sephora x Utowa one way more. I got the Shiseido one on sale for 50% off during the sale, it normally goes for $20.
I think I've said this before on my blog but Cargo Cosmetics is such an underrated brand. The entire Swimmables collection was on sale for 50% off one day so I decided to pick up these two products. I've been dying to get a nude eyeliner for a while now so that one was a no brainer. I've also recently become quite obsessed with shadow sticks, they're just so easy to use, so I decided to try out one from Cargo. I love how much more awake I look with the nude liner and it last pretty well so I'm quite happy with that purchase. I haven't actually used this shadow stick yet because it's on the darker side and I tend to go for lighter eye makeup most days. I had such a hard time choosing a color and I already have two other really pale shimmery shadow sticks so I went with the gunmetal shade thinking it would get me to branch out more with my everyday makeup looks. I will definitely be trying it out soon and see if it has good staying power without creasing. I snagged the liner for $9 and the shadow stick for $10.
This wasn't actually in the 21 Days of Beauty sale but was also on sale at the time for $10. Since I'm having a moment with shadow sticks I just had to try out one from Julep as well. It photographed a lot more bronze-y in the swatch than how it looks on the eyes, it actually is a cool toned taupe shimmer when applied (I'm wearing it in the lip swatch photos below). I've only worn it during the day once so far but it did not crease or move around at all during the six hours or so that I had it on. I also really like that this one has a sponge smudger on one end (none of my others have this). Based off of my very limited experience with this so far, I would recommend it and would try other shades in the future.
This was the last item I purchased during the 21 Days of Beauty sale. I had been using a few different grey eyebrow pencils when my hair was completely white blonde but I recently decide to have my roots shaded so my natural hair color can grow back in and I needed a new brown brow pencil to match. I had the Perfect Brow Pencil from a previous 21 Days of Beauty but it was running down and I had to constantly sharpen it so I got this while it was on sale. This was 50% off from it's normal $21 price tag.
I got this because I was running low on my Clinique Moisture Surge Intense and my skin isn't insanely dry anymore since winter is over. I went for a Clarins moisturizer since I love the cleanser so much. The words "targets fine lines" also spoke to me since my fine lines have been driving me bananas lately. This has not disappointed. I haven't noticed a big difference with the fine lines but the level of hydration it provides is perfect for where my skin is currently at. I paid full price for this, $57, but it was well worth it.
This is the only thing I bought with the 20% off coupon that I ended up keeping. I'd been trying out a lot of moisturizers because I had accumulated so many samples but nothing was working out well. None of them were hydrating enough or worked well under makeup. Since I liked the night cream I decided to give the day version a go. It's hydrating enough for my dry skin but doesn't bunch up under makeup which is a problem I was having with other moisturizers. This retails for $54 so I got it for $43.20.
I recently went through all my lip products, glosses, lipsticks, liquid lipsticks, etc. and tossed a bunch that I hadn't used in ages or that had gone bad. I had heard a lot of good things about Clinique lip products so I knew I wanted to try a few out with my merchandise card. I go to my local Ulta so frequently that I've built a relationship with a few of the employees there in the Clinique section and my girl Camille recommended this to me. Don't be scared by the words plumping because this does not sting! Pink & Plenty is a gorgeous shimmery gloss that would look amazing over just about any lip color and it also looks great on it's own for a softer daytime look. This cost $17 and I paid full price. I am loving this and would 100% recommend!
I really wanted to try something from the Pop lip items and since I'm not a fan of matte or liquid matte lipsticks I looked at the Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks and these lacquers. None of the colors in the lipstick spoke to me that looked different enough from what I already own so I went for a lacquer. I love this bright but dark pink color and that I can control the pigmentation easily with this formula. This is such a fun summery color and I'm so glad I decided to try it out. This cost $18.50 and I ended up spending about an extra $7 after using my merchandise card. I do love this but I think next time I'm looking for a lip product I would like to try one of the lipsticks but this is worth checking out if you're someone who prefers glosses.
I'm in pain after adding up the total for all these. I spent a staggering $282.26 at Ulta. It is a lot of stuff and the skincare was 1/3 of the total but still, pretty ridiculous. Not gonna lie, it kinda makes me sick to think about the numbers. Had I paid full price for everything it would of cost $420.50 so that does make me feel slightly better. Had I known I was going to get the 20% off coupon right after 21 Days of Beauty I don't think I would of purchased as many items during the sale but let's be real here, I probably would of picked up more with the coupon. There has been an edit in here just two days after publishing which I will tell you more about in part two. If you liked part one of this haul be sure to check back for part two with products from Sephora and Koh Gen Do coming Monday. Thank you so much for visiting and have a lovely day!