Confession: I wish my friends and family would consult me before they go shopping for makeup and skincare. Yes, this makes me a control freak, but I am coming from a good place. I hate to see people waste their hard earned money. Period.
I have a lot of friends (you know who you are) who indulge in impulsive shopping or worse- they are suckers for cute and pretty packaging without caring about what’s inside. These same friends then sheepishly tell me what they did (after the fact) confession style, and then ask for my input and advice. I am all about advice, and when I first started this blog, I wanted to share what I know about skincare and makeup to help you, my dear readers, to make informed decisions-and purchases.
I know shopping for makeup and skincare can be incredibly fun, and on the flip side, it can also be overwhelming. So many brands and products, it can be downright dizzying! To that end, I wanted to create a new series, a twist on my Try It Buy It posts, consisting of my recommendations for what I would buy in a given store or setting.
First up is ULTA. Is ULTA my favorite store? No. However, I like their mix of specialty and drugstore brands; it’s a nice mix and can be a one stop shop. They often have buy one get one half off or buy one get one free deals and coupons. They also have gifts with purchase if you are into that, I am not, as seen here. Here is what I would recommend purchasing at ULTA:
Spornette brush- If you take a peek at your hair stylist’s brushes you will undoubtedly find a Spornette round brush. These brushes curl, straighten and add body with ease.
Sally Hershberger Wave Spray for Wavy Hair- If your hair has the slightest bit of wave or curl to it; this product will coax the wave from your hair and leave you with beachy waves. A little goes a long way with this delicious, coconut scented spray. I enjoy the entire Sally Hershberger line, affordable and effective products, especially given the fact that the celebrity stylist charges $800 + for a haircut.
Archipelago Signature Soy Candles- I am a lover of candles and these never disappoint. They offer a variety of scents and they make awesome gifts, just make sure to gift one for yourself.
Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Serum- You already know I am a lover and big proponent of Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peels but I also love the rest of his skincare line. His serums absorb beautifully and pack a punch-skin brightening vitamin C and other antioxidants soothe and protect your skin from environmental aging.
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment- When it comes to hair, I am all about health. With long, thick hair I go through conditioner and hair masks like crazy. I always want something rich and thick, and it’s difficult to find ones that don’t contain (vile) mineral oil. This natural balm dramatically improves the look and feel of my hair, every time.
Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque- Not all masques are created equal, and not every masque is suitable for all skin types. This one works wonders on all skin types. While working at a spa, I referred to this product as “an ambulance in a tube.” It helps calm and soothe the skin, dissipates redness, irritation and breakouts, and leaves your skin looking refreshed and renewed. One of those products that garner immediate, visible benefits- perfect to use before a night out.
Eco Tools brushes- Makeup brushes are a must if you want a polished, long wearing look. These environmentally conscious (and savvy) brushes are a joy to use. They are soft and sturdy, an incredible value for the price. Take good care of them and enjoy them for years to come.
Smashbox Bronze Lights- This year I find myself gravitating more towards matte bronzers. Not that I would ever cheat on my HG Laguna, I just find matte bronzers and powders easier to use for contouring sometimes, or if I am using a shimmer blush. This bronzer is soft and easy to blend.
Fake Bake Sunless Self Tanning Mousse- Given my religious applications of sunscreen, I would be pale as larvae without good self tanners! Fake Bake was one of the first I had tried, years ago, and it will always hold a place in my heart-and medicine cabinet. It’s easy to apply, tinted for immediate bronze and goof proof application, and absorbs quickly and evenly. It gives a great, natural brown tan; so much so that no one ever believes it’s self tanner.
Hot Tools Gold 1 in Curling Iron- While you’re peeping your hair stylist’s tools, you will also notice Hot Tools curling irons. They’re a favorite for professionals, novices, and everyone in between. Allure magazine thinks very highly of them as well and voted them Best of Beauty. A one inch curling iron is an essential for creating curls and beachy waves.
Iman Cosmetics- Iman is a living legend, and bloody gorgeous to boot. She is known worldwide for her flawless complexion and her makeup line is no exception. Having experienced frustration with foundations that didn’t match her skin, she sought out to create her own line of products for African American women.
Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturising and Brightening Cream- I received a sample of this a while back and completely fell in love with it. It’s ideal for dehydrated and mature skin types, and creates a perfect base for makeup.
I hope this helps you the next time you shop at ULTA!
What are your go to purchases at ULTA? Do you want to see more shopping guides in upcoming posts?