Lucky me, my birthday is in January, so I get to start the new year with a number of freebies from Ulta and Sephora. I had actually saved my Ulta points to use with the $10 off coupon I got for my birthday, so that gave me a little bit extra to work with on my "shopping" trip. I have been pondering for a few weeks what I would get, since I knew it wouldn't be eyeshadows (just got the Naked 3 palette last month, as well as the re-release of Lorac's Sweet Temptations). I also knew I would be going to IMATS soon, so didn't want to get anything that is on my IMATS list, since I want to take advantage of all the discounts available at the show. I'm a budget girl, so I'm always trying to maximize all my purchases.
In the days leading up to New Years Eve, I lounged about watching Youtube videos looking for inspiration for a NYE look. I was loving Dustin Hunter (mostly because I find him adorable, and fun to watch), GossMakeupArtist (really great reviews, techniques and also pretty adorable) and Miss Maven. Through all this video watching, it dawned on me that I don't have a product for highlighting/illuminating. I used a bit of eyeshadow as a highlight for my look on NYE, and noticed in a few of the pics with flash that the under eye area was looking a little ghosty from the eyeshadow. Obviously, I needed a better option, and one that would work with my mature skin.
Time for research. Knowing I had my free Ulta shopping trip coming up, I reviewed the highlighting products they carry. Several, like Benefit's High Beam, Watts Up, Girl Meets Pearl and Sun Beam had already crossed my radar, but didn't elicit a purchase. Not sure why -- I wasn't as interested in a liquid product, so that knocked out the two Beam options, Watts Up was a little too gold tone, and Girl Meets Pearl was a contender. Then I saw the IT Cosmetics product, "Hello Light". Very interesting.....it is marketed to the mature customer with its anti-aging claims and reviews seemed to indicate that it would work very well for me. Price was in my range, and it is offered as either a cream or powder compact. (Apparently it is now also offered as a cream stick, but my Ulta didn't have that in stock.) I opted for the cream version because it is just slightly more pink tone that the powder.
I also discovered that Ulta is giving a free deluxe sample of IT's Bye Bye Pores HD micro-powder if you spend at least $25. The Hello Light was $24 -- don't you just hate that?!! I don't use powder very often, so I'm not interested in paying big bucks for a full size, but love travel size versions that I have a snowballs chance in hell of finishing. So back to the research, to see if there was anything reasonable in the IT product line that I was also interested in. I found a cool looking lip balm, something I do use since I live in the desert. It is a clear blue designed to hydrate lips, some anti-aging ingredients thrown in to tempt us, and a reasonable price so not too much out of pocket for me. The blue color goes on clear, but is supposed to make your teeth look a bit lighter.
I also snagged a free CK One mascara as one of my birthday gifts from Ulta. I never buy mascara. It seems to be the free gift/sample of choice more often than not, so I have loads of it floating around. That being said, I'm never opposed to being handed an $18 mascara for free. I need to do a comparison of the ones I have --some I love, some I don't.
On to Sephora, which was a little bit faster since I was just picking up their birthday gift....and the nice sales associate also gave me some samples I was interested in, primarily the Cover FX Natural FX Liquid Foundation and a couple of First Aid Beauty products. Unfortunately, my Sephora doesn't carry very much in that line, probably because it's a pretty tiny Sephora tucked inside JCP. Anyhow, I got my birthday gift that is sponsored by MUFE and includes two minis -- a lipstick and a mascara (surprise!!)
That's it for my haul! I will be doing separate posts with mini reviews on the various things I picked up. Kenny and I will be taking one of my daughters and her boyfriend to a Zepagain/Queen Nation concert at the House of Blues on Saturday, so I will try out a few of these new goodies then, and report back.