Today's post is going to be a haul from both ULTA and Sephora. They arrived only days apart and I'm actually still waiting on 2 more items from Sephora. I just thought I'd go ahead and do a haul post since it's all new product I've not tried. It's mainly skincare. Cause I'll be honest, I'm not doing a ton of makeup looks right now since I'm home ya know? There is a sprinkle or two of some non-skincare items though. These orders were from sales that both stores were having at the time.
What's new guys? I'd say probably not much, since most of us are still in lock down. How are you feeling? You guys doing ok? I hope you're well. If you read my last post you'll know my husband had a freak accident and had to have surgery. He's gonna be off for a little while but that's ok. We're blessed enough that because I already work from home, I'm here all the time to help him recover. It's a bit odd having the roles reversed though, I'm usually the one who is sick or having the surgeries (that's no exaggeration, if you only knew...). He's the one who's used to seeing not just my sickness but all his patients sickness day in and day out. So it's definitely a change, but we've went full steam ahead, focused on him regaining his strength, as a team. As I said, we've been very blessed and everything has gone very good so far. Surgery went well. He's doing better. We're just focused on getting him back to 100% right now. God is good.
Let's start with ULTA. I picked up stuff that I've wanted to try for a while, brands I hadn't heard of, a few things I actually needed, etc. I believe everything I got was on sale. It was super affordable products in general and then even less expensive due to the sale. Mainly it was just a skincare sale though.
First up I got the Pixi Retinol Tonic in the 4.2 oz. I've wanted to try this for a while. I've listened to Caroline Hirons talk about this for some time now, and review it on her blog as well. She really likes it as more of a gentle retinol product and I have to agree. It's one of the newer tonics that they released. There are quite a few now. However, the most famous is the OG "Glow Tonic" which is their cult favorite, been around for a while, and I believe that's what made Caroline fall in love with first, from their range. I'm surprised it took so long for them to come out with more tonics but I'm glad they did. Although, they've built an incredible range now, both beauty and skincare, and it keeps getting better. There's a Vitamin C one that I'd like to pick up next. I've not tried this one enough to give you a true review, but first impressions are that it's absolutely lovely and I would think it's a great way to start incorporating a retinol type product into your routine, if you'd like to.
I picked up one of the most affordable products which was a brand I'd never tried before, Formula 10.0.6 "Melt Away" Vitamin C Triple Action Cleanser. It's an AHA Fruit Complex + Hemp Seed Oil. So Vitamin C to brighten, AHA to resurface, and Hemp Seed oil to help cleanse and moisturize. I got to talk to the brand actually and they are a family owned business since 1933. Which I love, because nearly every time it's a family owned business or an individual running the show on their own, no matter what products they're selling it's got a little bit more heart in the products. Ya know? Like a little more "blood, sweat, and tears" goes into what they're doing so that you enjoy what it is that they've made for you and it's something that makes them proud. Those are the best. The cleanser is really good. It's got just a hint of a scent, not much. It's a pleasant scent in my opinion. It's like a milky serum texture to me, the skin is so soft after you use it and feels very refreshed. I prefer it as a morning cleanser because, it kinda wakes me up, it is quite resurfacing, and it's awesome to use before you're going to do your makeup due to the extra "glow" from the vitamin c. It's a "sulfate free and pH balanced formula".
I picked up Carbon Theory "Tea Tree Oil & Citric Acid Tonic". It's 8.4 oz. It's a UK brand. I can already tell you that I really enjoy this. I love their packaging, I like their aesthetic, I dig this formula, it's really gentle and all around just well done as my first impressions right now. It's a Breakout Control Facial Purifying Tonic. However, I have no breakouts at the moment and my skin is normal to dry-ish and this is still lovely, it doesn't dry my skin out. (Although, you know my routine is very heavy with hydration so there's that.) It's Vegan and Cruelty Free. It's "Lab formulated with Pink Grapefruit Extract. Deep Cleansing, pore reducing formula. Minimizes shine & keeps your complexion clear". The "Citric Acid removes dead skin cells, speeds cell turnover and is effective in treating mild acne, pigmentation, clogged pores, and dark spots. Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic which reduces inflammation and keeps skin clear and healthy." You definitely smell the Tea Tree in it. I'm glad they phrased it as treating "mild acne". I don't like it when brands make super bold claims about how "this will erase all your acne" etc. because when you get into true acne territory (not just a breakout or a few spots) you really need a professional to take a look at it and tell you exactly what you have because no one's skin is the same. Not all breakouts are the same. Sometimes you need a product that is prescription strength. Sometimes you need to be made aware of products you shouldn't be using. I love that they're being really transparent in their descriptions. The 3rd ingredient in this is Lactic Acid so you do feel a little bit of a tingle when you put it on but its mild and I think I'm also feeling the Tea Tree in it as well. Which I love the tingle feel in these types of products. However, if a product EVER starts BURNING your face, take it off immediately. A tingle is ok, feeling like your skin is burning and you're in actual pain is a reaction and is not ok. So always remember that, when it comes to any product going on your skin, makeup included.
I picked up a Conair detangling cushion brush in a travel size because my wet brush is quite huge and hard to pack or take with me anywhere, but this is easy and does a good job. Conair hair tools are so underrated. Their curling irons (ceramic, titanium, and the gold toned ones at Sally's) are better than most salon curling irons I've tried. No joke. My hair guru "Poodle" uses their curling irons only. As do I. Their wet brush is incredible. Don't underestimate them, they have some really good products.
I also grabbed a top coat nail polish from Essie. It's called the "Speed.Setter" and supposed to "dry in less than 1 minute". I got it when I had my acrylic nails on and was constantly painting them or using the nail wraps. I currently don't have any nails on due to everything that's been going on lately. I'm getting ready to do them again though.
Which leads me to my next product. I picked up the "Nail Polish Corrector Pen" from Flowery. Never heard of this brand but I was looking for a product that would be very helpful in removing any mistake I make with polish. I have the latex coating that goes on the skin all around the nail but it doesn't get right in the edges of the nails, so I still have mistakes that I need to fix to make sure the nails look "uniform" and tidy. Again, haven't had the chance to use it yet.
Lastly I picked up a serum from Tony Moly, Vital Vita 12 Synergy Ampoule. It doesn't have much information on the actual bottle but it's 12 types of Vitamins (A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B8, B12, C, E, F, H) which is part of the Vita-12 "multi-vitamin compound" that uses "nano technology". It also has Niacinamide and Adenosine. You know I love vitamins in my skincare to "feed the skin". This sounded right up my alley. With more vitamins than I've seen in one product, in quite a while. I'll let you know how it goes. I had to research Adenosine. Turns out it is quite the ingredient. It's skin soothing and restorative. This is supposed to help by making the skin energized, and looking smoother. This basically is a liquid as far as texture goes, it does have just the slightest bit of tackiness as it's absorbing into the skin, like serums sometimes have. Has a small citrus scent to it but not overpowering. Easy to layer. I hope it'll live up to what it should be for the claims it makes, and the massive amount of vitamins in there, but only time will tell.
That's it for ULTA. It took quite a while to ship but I expected that with everything that's going on and their actual stores being closed for a while. I wouldn't even try to guess how many orders they're trying to fill. God Speed ULTA.
Moving onto Sephora.
Sephora had their "spring event sale" which I done a buying guide for earlier. I picked up things that I'd had my eye on for a while. It's all skincare except one item.
So first off I got the Youth To The People (YTTP) Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. I'd gotten a sample and it lasted for ever because the texture of this almost changes when it hits your face, you don't need as much as you think....ever. It's such a wonderful cream to end a routine with a.m. or p.m. (or both). You can literally feel it absorbing deep into the skin while still helping the skin feel hydrated and moisturized on the surface while it's penetrating. I love it. It's expensive for a moisturizer, that's why I waited for a sale. It's not a necessity for it to be the moisturizer in your routine, by any means, but it's really effective none the less. I also picked up a travel size duo kit that I was waiting for them to get in, which is the "Power of Dreams Kit". It has the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask and the Kombuha 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner. It's described as a two-step "Exfoliate + Glow Facial" kit. I see where they're coming from. I've wanted to try the toner especially, for a while now. You get 1 oz of the toner and .5 oz of the mask. That's actually perfect sizes for me because I do test and then rotate so many products into my routines, it's much easier for me to use a product up like this instead of letting it expire before I can use it all. The mask is packed with Vitamin C, and more, to make you glow like crazy (my friend Savannah, aka "Poodle", loves it.). You apply it before bed and sleep in it. So I would actually replace my normal cream with this mask, basically, when I wanted to use it. The toner is Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Black Tea, and Tree Bark. I actually have the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha essence/toner that I love. So I feel really good about this toner with the AHA addition to the mix. I have tried it and I definitely feel a tingle but nothing too harsh or a specific burning sensation (keep in mind, again, that a mild tingle and a burning feeling are two separate things. Tingle is good, burning is bad.). My skin is not sensitive to much though. So if you are someone who has sensitive skin, then maybe start lightly. Honestly, I like pretty much all the YTTP products when I think about it. They're have a solid range.
Next up I picked up the Laneige Time Freeze Sleeping Mask. This is using their "Sleep Tight" tech which is "shape memory polymers" and "oat-derived polymers" to plump the skin through moisture over night and improve elasticity. I'm excited to see how it does over time. There is dimethecone in it which does tend to make the skin look smoother itself. It's to be used once or twice a week and I think that's perfect. I have used it and it was HEAVENLY just on first impression. I mean the texture is amazing. It has a mild but very pleasant scent. I can't tell you much else, other than that right now as I'm still trying it out. I also ordered the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer. I'd been intrigued by it for a while but then when I seen that Gothamista really loved it, I immediately ordered it. It's for "every skin type", it both preps and softens the skin while also moisturizing "like a cream" in one step. It reminds me of a "milk" like essence, as far as texture goes. I just put this in my hand and apply it that way as opposed to a cotton pad like I use for normal toners so that it won't soak up so much of the product since this is a little different from typical "toners". I have used it and it's lovely. Doesn't really have a scent, definitely feels more hydrating than any other essence/toners that I have. So I definitely think they have an edge with this being very hydrating in this type of product that I, at least, have not seen before.
I picked up a Farmacy set, because it had their new moisturizer in it along with their Vitamin C serum that I wanted to try because I really like the brand and always have since they first launched. It also comes with Green Clean cleansing balm, and Honey Potion mask. I have and love both of those products already. It's always nice to have a travel size though. They are another brand that I like pretty much everything they have, that I've tried. The moisturizer is the new "Daily Greens" oil-free gel moistuizer. It's a lightweight moisturizer, obviously, and very hydrating. It's designed for being your daily moisturizer, so I feel like it would do well under makeup. I'll give this a go as my daytime moisturizer. The "Very Cherry Bright" is a 15% vitamin c serum. It's supposed to be quite "potent" and also has hyaluronic acid to give some added hydration to the mix. We shall see how it fairs.
Lastly I got the new Kosas concealer. I've not tried anything from this brand. I bought it on a whim but it has great reviews and I've heard quite a few people talk about this brand, especially the bronzer, (which I almost bought as well). It's quite tacky in texture, it has a good amount of coverage, it blends nicely and kind of sets on it's own without the use of powder, which I like. It is subtly luminous, I wouldn't call it matte but more "natural" in it's finish. Can't really tell you how it does through out a full day right now, but it seems really nice so far.
That is the end of the haul..... I know, so much skincare right? I just figured now is a great time to test new stuff and give you guys my thoughts on it cause we're doing a lot of skincare right now during quarantine, we're listening to people and researching stuff for ourself. Hopefully finding routines and products that are perfect for your skin. Bear in mind that your skin is always changing. So the toner you used in high school may not be what you need to use right now. So many of us are stuck in what we're familiar with and stay with products we've used for years, without giving other products a fair shot. Remember, skincare (unless it's a cleanser or a plain jane moisturizer) needs a good amount of time to be tested. I like testing skincare for at the very least 3 weeks but more than likely over 4 weeks, most of the time, to really see what it's doing. Obviously if you have a reaction then stop using it immediately. I'm just saying try and commit, and give products a fair shot, pamper the skin a little bit more. You'll be surprised at how different it can look in a matter of weeks just because you added in a gentle acid, or a vitamin c (trust me try some antioxidants, especially vitamin C. Unless your skin disagrees with vitamin c products.), or a gentle retinol. You'd be surprised at how smooth, plump, and luminous you can make your skin look just by hydration alone. Now's the perfect time.
I wish you well. I hope you're doing good. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong. I love you.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.