Monday, June 30, 2014

Field Trip: Ulta

And so I found myself roaming the aisles of Ulta this weekend to see if anything new would catch my fancy.  It was my third trip there in as many weeks as I was trying to resolve an issue I was having with a prior purchase.  And three definitely ended up being the magic number.  So, after finally garnering a win in the resolution department, I took a leisurely victory lap around the store to gather intel for possible future purchases.

One of the first things that caught my eye was this pretty palette from Tarte called Golden Days & Sultry Nights.  Infused with their signature Amazonian clay, it contains five eyeshadows that range from a matte ivory to a dark bronze... with a strip of tantalizing turquoise to help round out the set.

Ignoring the first two colors, I focused in on the last three - all of which swatched pretty well, but the gold (the first color swatch) was quite "crumbly".

Next up was the eponymous makeup line from celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.  I can honestly sit and watch this woman hawk her colorful wares all day long on QVC, her personality is so big and her smile infectious!  I had no idea that her cosmetics were being sold at Ulta, but so glad that they are so I can see and feel them out firsthand.

With so much to see and visually take in, including the Poreless Face Defender "mattifyer" she's well known for, it was hard to decide what to sample first.  But it was the blush/highlight combo and waterproof eyeliners that I ended up settling on, specifically Dark Chocolate, Caribbean Sea and Sailor, and I must say that I was seriously impressed by all.

(L to R: Dark Chocolate, Sailor, Caribbean Sea; Blush combo in Pretty In Pink)

I'm always wary of fashion brands dipping their toes into the already crowded pool of cosmetics.  I mean, what's their real motivation?  Will it be any good?  And will it include a large range of shades that's equal to their supposed fan base?  Well, after seeing the large cK (Calvin Klein) display, I knew that the answer to the latter was "kinda" as it did have some browner hues listed in their range of foundations.  There wasn't a vast scale of browns, but at least there were a few.

(Top, Bottom: 410 Wanted, 610 Bite Me)

And being the lipstick fiend that I am, I just had try a couple of cK's lippies, specifically a hot pink called Wanted and a red-orange called Bite Me.  Both felt smooth as I swatched them on the back of my hand and both were pumped full of pigment.  I may have to cop one of these in the near future to see how they fare in action.

I wandered over to the skin care section and stopped in front of the Peter Thomas Roth display.  Encouraged by my fondness for their Cucumber Gel Mask, I was curious to see what else they had to offer and homed in on their jar of Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask.

The gel has a light consistency and boasts anti-aging/skin repair agents for softer, more youthful looking skin.  Hmm... sounds good enough.  Besides, it's PINK!  And we all know how much Dolce loves the color pink, don't we?

If you guys have read some of my previous posts then you know that I've been getting a little more involved in the grooming of my brows.  So, when I laid eyes on the end-cap featuring Anastasia products, you know I had to stop and peruse some of her gems, including the Dipbrow Pomades.

(Top, Bottom: Chocolate, Dark Brown)

These waterproof brow pomades are so lusciously creamy; they're amazing!  I mean, the brush seemingly "melted" into the product and the pomade itself had no problems gliding on my skin.  I sampled Dark Brown and Chocolate, and - between the two - I prefer the warmer Chocolate to the more ashen Dark Brown for my complexion.

I had to swing through the nail polish department where there's a nice sale going on for China Glaze lacquers.

And I thought this was pretty neato: an elastic, fishtail braided headband.  Now you know that I'm every bit of a dark, black-brown/brunette, but please trust and believe that I would totally buy this blonde one I have my hands on and rock it like no other.  Trust and believe...

So, I had fun perusing the aisles at Ulta and was so glad that I was able to take care of business while partaking in a fair share of pleasure, too.  I didn't end up doing much damage.  In fact, I just re-upped on my shampoo (I know, BOOORING!).  But I did take copious notes on a lot of what I saw and will be using this newly gained info to help guide my picks of possible baubles and bobs to share with you in the very near future.

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