My May 2018 Ulta Haul

Last week, I purchased some new makeup from Ulta, and it hasn’t come in yet, but I’m very excited for it. In preparation for it to be here later today, I thought I’d let you guys know what I got, so you can hopefully look forward to some good reviews in the next few weeks. I’m very hopeful about the pieces in this shipment, and I think you guys will enjoy some of them, as well!

  • Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-In-1 Skin Perfector – I recently did a post about why I prefer to use BB cream instead of foundation in the summer, so I decided to try this one out. I like Maybelline’s Baby Skin Primer, so I think their BB cream might work well for me, too.
  • FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter – I ended up getting the NYX Wonder Stick, and it’s okay, but the highlighter isn’t very shimmery. I know some women like a matter highlighter, but I prefer to glow a little more, so I’m thinking this one may be more my speed.
  • SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color – I actually got two of these, Lover and Poet. One of my best friends has Lover, and it looks really good on her. She’s been telling me for weeks how great these are, so I finally caved and bought a couple. I stayed with safer shades, since I was buying online, but it looked like they had a lot of really neat colors that I’d like to try out.
  • Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation – I’ve heard some good things about this foundation, so I thought I’d check it out. I like my current one, but I could use one with a little more coverage for some occasions, so hopefully this one will check that box. Plus, I needed to spend a little more to get free shipping and my free gift, so what the heck, right?
  • Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition 21 Color Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette – I’m probably most excited about this. First, it was only $18, and it has a lot of colors that I think I can wear on a daily basis. Plus, it’s just a beautiful palette. I’ve never used any BH Cosmetics stuff,  but it looked like it had some good reviews. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
  • 4-Piece MAC Gift Set – Because I spent $50 (which is what you need for free shipping, anyways), I got a free 4-piece gift set from MAC. I can’t remember exactly what it featured off the top of my head, and the listing isn’t available anymore, but I know it had a lipstick, a mascara, maybe a primer, and something else. I’ve never tried any MAC products, because they are so expensive, but I’m excited to see if they’re worth the hype.

With a $3.50 off coupon, I got all of this for $55.09, which I personally think is amazing for all of this. I can’t wait to play with it all and let you know how everything is working. What are your favorite pieces from recent beauty hauls?

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like me, you probably struggle a little every year with what to get your mom. Most moms are basically superheroes, so I’m always a fan of giving my mom something she can pamper herself with. With that being said, here are a few ideas for something you can get your mom this Mother’s Day.

  1. Last year, I bought my mom a few things from an Etsy shop called SlightlyMelted. They sell homemade bath bombs, bubble bars, whipped soaps, and sugar scrubs, among other pampering items. Their prices are reasonable, and my mom said she really enjoyed what I got her. I’m not sure if the shop is still in business, because they don’t have any items listed on their Etsy page right now, but I highly recommend items like this.
  2. A gift card to get a massage or a pedicure. My mom almost never stops moving, so giving her an hour or so of time that she can take just for her is a big deal. She’s also still very active riding horses, so she likes to get pedicures to keep her feet happy and from getting too rough or cracked. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend too much, Groupon usually has great deals on these kinds of things.
  3. Experiences that the two of you can share. When I asked my mom if there was anything specific she wanted for Mother’s Day this year, she said all she wanted was to see me. I live in a different state now, and although they can travel easily since my dad is a retired pilot, I don’t always get to see them as often as we’d like. Groupon is a great way to find something that you can do with your mom. Wine and painting classes are a great option, and I know some bars or restaurants even have terrarium nights, which look pretty cool. I also took my mom to one of those escape games, and she loved it, because she loves mysteries and we used to play Nancy Drew games together when I was little.

In the end, no one knows your mom better than you, so trust your gut when deciding what to get her. Hopefully she won’t see this, but my mom loves cornflowers, so I found a really pretty cornflower and gold flakes resin necklace on Etsy that I’m planning to get for her, and she’s hopefully going to get to come up and see one of my volleyball games. What are you planning to get your mom this year?

How to Find Your New Favorite Perfume

Perfume is probably the weakest point of my beauty game, because I think it’s way too expensive, and I forget to put it on a lot. However, when I do put it on, I tend to feel really put-together and sexy, so I’ve been trying to do it more often lately. I still refuse to buy perfume though, and I’m not super picky with mine, so I’ve found a lot of success using samples I get from different places. Below are some ways you can get different samples, so you won’t have to buy a full-sized bottle, unless you happen to find your new favorite.

  1. Ulta has an option on their online checkout to add free samples to your order. You can choose from skincare samples, fragrance samples, or random beauty samples. I’m not really one for surprises, so I always choose the fragrance samples to my order, and they haven’t let me down yet. I’ve really liked all the fragrances I’ve gotten. I even got a Marc Jacobs one once that I absolutely loved. I definitely recommend this method, because it’s free on top of makeup you were already going to buy.
  2. Subscription boxes sometimes put perfume samples in their monthly packages. I know I got several from Birchbox, so I would imagine Ipsy and other ones would add them, too. It’s not a guarantee, though, that you will get perfume samples at any given time, so this may not be the best method if you’re specifically looking for a new perfume.
  3. I’m not 100% confident on this, because I haven’t tried it myself, but I have heard that Sephora has a makeup sampler you can do where they give you mini bottles of different perfumes that you can take home and try out before you buy a full-sized bottle. I don’t have many details on this one (cost, number of samples, etc.), but if you’re looking for a new perfume or have a specific one you want to try, this may be the way to go.

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on how to save money on perfume. I’m really cheap when it comes to things like that, so I’m always looking for ways to avoid spending much on them. What are some of your favorite fragrances? How did you discover them?

Bargain Hunt PSA

Ladies, don’t take your significant others to Bargain Hunt right before a holiday where you’re going to give them a gift. Especially if that gift is something electronic. Why do I say this? Well, I bought my husband a Bluetooth speaker for Valentines day. We went to Bargain Hunt to look for love seats, and he picks up a Bluetooth speaker and wants to buy it. I couldn’t think quick enough to diffuse the situation, so I just told him he couldn’t buy it. Between that and the look on my face, he figured it out pretty quick. So, he got to open his present a few days early. At least I know it was a good gift lol. What presents have you or someone else ruined the surprise of?

Where to find cute boots

So, this is less informational, and more of a cry for help. I feel like I’ve been looking forever, and cannot find a pair of knee-high boots that both look like I want them to and will fit comfortably over jeans. I really want a camel-colored or beige pair, so I can wear them with pretty much anything. I probably need around a 17-inch circumference for the opening, but most of what I’m finding is 15-16 inches. I prefer the faux suede boots, but I can do faux leather, as well. Also, I’m 5’8″ already, so I really don’t want much of a heel.

Any ideas on where I should look? I’ve looked at Kohl’s, Macy’s, JC Penneys, Forever 21, Lulus, Go Jane, and Nordstrom Rack, but I can’t seem to find what I want. I feel like it exists somewhere and shouldn’t be this hard to find, but maybe I’m just crazy. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Amazon Makeup You Can Be Confident In

If you’re anything like me, you would rather spend an extra $20 to avoid paying $7 in shipping. That’s why I love Amazon Prime. I love having free two-day shipping, and to me, it’s totally worth the $100 a year. If you order 5 or 6 times, you’ve already made up for it in shipping. However, buying things on Amazon can be risky, especially when it’s something like clothing or makeup. So, how can you be confident in the makeup you order from Amazon?

One way to do this is to filter your search results by what is available through Amazon Prime. This way, you know you’ll at least get your products, and they are backed up by Amazon. Amazon’s customer service has been super helpful on the rare occasions that I haven’t gotten my items, and they’ve given me a full refund as well as a free month of Prime. By shopping with Amazon Prime, your purchases are safer than they would be from a third-party seller.

Another way you can be confident in your Amazon purchases is to read the reviews on a product. If more people have issues with the product than think it’s great, stay away. More often than not, we are the rule rather than the exception, so avoid makeup that very few people haven’t had problems with. Also, look to the reviews to see if the shade descriptions and pictures are accurate. If they aren’t, you may still find something you like, but be wary of it, because it could be inconsistent. I don’t know about you, but I like consistency in my makeup shades. If I find something I like, I don’t want it to be different the next time I buy it.

Finally, you can ensure you get what you’re looking for by shopping by brand. When you shop by department and choose health and beauty, you have the option to shop by brand, so you can buy makeup from brands you already know and love. You can also search brands in all departments, because sometimes things don’t get tagged correctly. Amazon has lots of brands available, like NYX, Revlon, Benefit, and many more, so you can easily find your favorites. A lot of them are available at cheaper prices than you can find in stores, which is great for people like me, who like to save money.

Amazon is a great way to buy makeup, but you have to be careful, because things don’t always live up to their descriptions. If you follow the steps above, however, you should be able to find great makeup that you can be confident in. What are some things you’ve bought from Amazon that you weren’t sure about at first, but now you love?

Drugstore Makeup That Works

If you’re like me, you’d rather not spend a ton of money on your makeup. However, it can be difficult to find good quality makeup at those lower price points. Between my own experiences and recommendations I’ve gotten from friends, I think I’ve found some good options for drugstore makeup that actually works. Try some of these out and let me know what your think.

For lip colors and eyeshadows, I like to go with NYX. Their colors are strongly pigmented and tend to last. I don’t love their matte liquid lipsticks, except for their Lingerie Liquids, because I don’t feel like the colors are what they claim to be, and they dry my lips out. However, their solid lip colors are pretty good. They go on smoothly and tend to last as long as I need them to. They’re not very expensive, usually around $7 or so, which is pretty standard for drugstore brands. You can find their products at places like Ulta, CVS, and Target has recently started carrying NYX products.

I really like E.L.F. for brushes and eyeshadows. Their brushes are cheap, but they seem to be of good quality. I also have one of their baked eyeshadow palettes. I love the colors; they’re mostly metallics and pale hues. My only real issue with it is that you really have to scrape the top off before you can use any of it, which feels wasteful to me. This also makes it kind of tough to use a brush for application, so I use my ring finger to apply it. E.L.F. can be found many places including Walmart, Target, Old Navy, and others.

I also like the Covergirl brand. I use their Tru Match foundation, especially in the summer because it’s a sheer coverage, so it’s lighter than my normal foundation. It’s usually around $10 per bottle, and when you use a primer or BB cream underneath, it gives better coverage and lasts longer. It does typically last well, though, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a lighter foundation, or just starting out with makeup. I get mine at Kroger, but I’ve seen it at most grocery stores that carry cosmetics, so it can probably be found at places like CVS and Walgreens, as well.

While I see the benefits of prestige brands for some things, I think drugstore makeup is a perfectly good choice, especially for lipsticks or eyeshadow, because you’ll want multiple shades. Let me know what drugstore makeup items or brands you love! Let’s save each other some money this holiday season.