Ulta First Impressions

One of my least favorite things about blogging is taking product photos/editing them. I know flat-lays or pretty backdrops are a lot more eye-catching, but I have zero skills when it comes to those things and I use my iPhone like 99% of the time. I do prefer to use my own photos over stock photos so my images continue to be a work in progress. On to the topic of this post-- a few new Ulta products I'm excited to try out. I don't know if I've ever ordered such random things, but everything serves a purpose I found to be almost a need vs a want.

1. Castor Oil | I've heard good things about people using this to help grow their eyelashes, so I figured it would be worth a try for my brows. My brows are really dark and the hairs are long , but they definitely lack a little fullness, so I'd like to try and help them grow in if possible. Blame social media?

2. RT Beauty Blender | I've never tried the actual beauty blender... the price always put me off combined with worrying about how hard it would be to clean. When I saw how many good reviews the RT version had, I figured it was worth trying.

3. Burts Bees Lipstick in russet river | I think these lipsticks are my favorite new beauty product of the year... great formula, color payoff, and pleasant on the lips. This shade is a really pretty brick-red which is perfect for fall into winter.

4. Armor Top Coat | I'm back in the groove of painting my nails and was in need of a new top coat. I had been using Seche Vite, which is really good, but it smells so strong, I think it's impossible to use without getting a headache & I can't imagine it's good for you. I was going to go for the Essie gel top coat (3 free), but decided I'd go for Zoya instead-- it was cheaper and 5 free, and I love all of the Zoya polishes I've ever used. Crossing my fingers I end up loving it!

5. Living Proof Dry Volume Blast | Never in a million years did I think I would cave and buy anything that promised volume for the hair. Volume isn't a word I'd ever associate with my hair-- it's impossibly straight and quite long (aka heavy). I did recently cut about 5ish inches off because it was driving me crazy, but I wanted something that would give my hair a little bit of texture because it would either be super clean (too slippery to style if ya know what i mean) or too dirty and greasy and dry shampoo, just wasn't doing the trick.

6. Spin Pins | Staying on the hair struggle, I did a google search for the best hair ties for long hair and everyone kept mentioning spin pins. They claim that one spin pin is equal to 20 bobby pins and I tested one out and it seemed to hold my hair in a bun pretty good, but it wasn't the most comfortable. I definitely need to play around with them a little bit more though.

I took advantage of the Wednesday beauty break and got a little Benefit kit that I got mainly for the bag because I can't handle the glue that is They're Real Mascara, I don't need my eyelashes to be any darker, and the brow conditioner did absolutely nothing. I have a lot of Ulta points I'm saving up for maybe the Lorac 3 palette and I'm anxiously awaiting the Sephora VIB sale to repurchase a few essentials. What are some of your favorite things to pickup at Ulta?

19 comments

  1. I love the RT beauty blender. I have had the real Beauty Blender and was so upset when after a few months, no matter how I cleaned or was careful with it...it started to look awful and tear apart. I don't mind spending less than $10 on it to replace when the RT starts getting gross and I don't notice a difference in performance. I love Living Proof stuff and Zoya too!

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  2. Oh! I totally forgot about the burt's bees lipsticks! I have one and loved the formula, too, but stashed it in a purse and forgot all about it! I'm definitely going to pull it back out today! Let us know how the castor oil works on your brows. Years of over-plucking in HS has come to bite me in the ass now :)

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  3. I actually prefer the RT blender. I threw my Beauty Blender out and will never purchase another. My eyebrows need some fullness, too! I waxed way too much in high school and college. :(

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  4. The Real Techniques Beauty Sponge is great! I use it everyday and haven't used anything else to apply foundation since buying it :)
    Tip - get it damp first...makes application better and cleaning easier. Also, clean it every time you use it. I just do a quick scrub and rinse with a dab of shampoo or body wash each morning ;) Makes it last longer! xx

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  5. Girl I hear ya on not having time to stage and edit the perfect photo! I need to try that top coat, and Burt's Bees can do no wrong! Love their lipsticks <3
    Green Fashionista

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  6. I would rather see a real life photo than a stock or flat lay where everything is positioned to within an inch of its life any day.

    Let me know how you like that Living Proof product. I love their line but have not tried that.

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  7. I actually just put on my solo-vacation list to go visit an Ulta - never been to know. I now want to get one of those hair pins & that make up sponge.

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  8. i way prefer your real life photo than a fancy photo, and stock photos are really boring. i've used them before and will probably in the future, but as a last resort. real life photos for the win! i
    i haven't heard about castor oil for eyebrows, but i totally bought some ardell (i think) eyelash/eyebrow growing stuff (i also blame social media) it was only like $2 or $3, but i didn't end up using it and threw it out when i decluttered the other day. i love my real techniques sponge! i mean, i rarely use it lol because i prefer using my fingers/hands, but i do like it when i do use it. keep me updated about the living proof thing because i need all the volume help i can get. my hair is not heavy at all, super thin and fine and runs away from volume as fast as it can. haha.

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  9. I love Ulta! I can't go in there. I spend way too much money!

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  10. I can't wait for the Sephora VIB sale to be back because I know that I'll be buying some essentials too! I can't wait to hear what you think of the Living Proof Dry Volume Blast! My hair always seems so flat on the second day and oily, so I'd love something that will give me extra volume. I have their dry shampoo and love it though, I just wish that it gave me more volume!

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  11. I've never tried the real Beauty Blender either, so I can't speak about a comparison, but I've been using a RT blending sponge for years and I am in love! I use it as the final step in blending my face makeup (after using a RT brush, I can't remember which one though) and then to blend in undereye concealer and cream blush or highlighter. On the one out of every 20 days I actually wear makeup anymore, hah.

    Hmm, I think I've seen those spin pins too but I have no idea how to use them. I can't wait for my hair to be a length I'm happy with again and maybe I'll give them a try then.

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  12. I'll be curious to hear how you like the Living Proof Volume Blast...I have impossibly straight hair too and it's fine so I always feel like it's so limp :(

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  13. That's the same beauty blender I use and I think it's perfectly comparable for the price compared to the real deal which is way too over-priced for the alternatives out there.

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  14. I'm the same way about photos. My phone is so much easier. I prefer your real photos! I'll be interested to hear about the Zoya. I'm always looking for a good top coat that helps my polish last. I loved the shades of the Burts Bees but they contain raspberries and I am deathly allergic. It made me so sad.

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  15. I just saw that Burt's Bees lipstick at the store last night. I think I'm going to have to try it!

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  16. I think I have reviews on the spin pin. I recommend them and I have a lot of dang hair! I love the RT but still think BB is better, lol. Just rub them on soap to clean them. Either. I love that dry shampoo. The only thing I've not tried is the Armor top coat by Zoya. I have to get that one!

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  17. I've never gone back to the BB sponge after trying RT. Is it the same? No, but it gets the job done in my opinion. I love my spin pins, but I usually have to use a few extra Bobby pins, too. I've heard amazing things about that Living Proof spray!

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  18. I swear by spin pins! You definitely have to play around with them until you find an angle in a hair bun that doesn't nip at your scalp but once you do, it will keep your hair in place all day!
    Great haul!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  19. Let me know what you think of the spin pins after a few uses. My hair falls out of everything so I'd like something that works better.
    I did not know you could use castor oil to help with eyelash growth. I'm very curious about that as well.

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