Ulta Summer Beauty Haul

Recently I made an online order from Ulta that I thought I'd share with you all. It seems every year I do a hefty "summer staples" haul with all the things I need to emerge from the season unscathed. I usually don't order from Ulta online since I have several local stores, but sometimes the online promotions and perks justify it, plus, I bought enough for free shipping. I was specifically looking for affordable alternatives to several of my favorite products.

Here's what I got:

Maybelline Clean Express Facial Wipes
NYX Liquid Illuminator in Gleam
NYX blush in Summer Peach
NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in Jewel
NYX Dewy Makeup Setting Spray
Maybelline One By One waterproof mascara
Revlon ColorStay concealer
Clean and Clear Advatage Oil Free Acne Moisturizer
Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Cream

You might notice a theme here-I was definitely focused on products that will keep me
de-slicked, non-smudgy and clear skinned. The Revlon concealer is  by far my favorite concealer and I keep coming back to it time and again. The Clean and Clear moisturizer is a good basic anti-breakout cream, which I've used before and liked. It doesn't dry me out too much as well. I am still looking for the perfect magical product that will give my mostly-straight-but-wayward-in-humidity-and-rain-hair beachy waves, and I'm not sure if I will ever find one that doesn't take more effort than its worth. I thought the Not Your Mother's cream might hold a wave better in my hair when used in conjunction with sea salt sprays, but I'm not sure. The jury is still out on this product.

I bought several items from NYX as they were on sale. The blush is a pretty pinky-peach color. I made a mistake when ordering the eyeliner because the image on the website really makes it look like a medium metallic brown, not the plum-y wine shade that I got. I suppose the name "Jewel" should have tipped me off! It's not what I expected, but it's actually sort of pretty. I will still use it.

I was looking for an alternative to Urban Decay's All Nighter makeup setting spray,  so I decided to try NYX's dewy version. The full size bottle costs less than the travel size of the All Nighter I would usually buy. I honestly can't name any clear differences between them, and they seem to work equally well to me. The bottle will last me a very long time!

I was also able to get a makeup bag filled with very generous samples as a promotion for spending 35+ dollars. The yellow Eos lip balm pictured below wasn't part of the perk, I just forgot to put in in the main haul picture. I bought it because I wanted to have a lip balm with SPF handy when I'm out in the sun. I've never used Eos before. The flavor is a light, summery lemon, and the round shape is interesting; feels like I'm a little kid playing with a huge toy lipstick.

I had gotten a sample tube of Nars Orgasm Illuminator a while back and really love using it right on my cheekbones. It gives a pretty, ethereal glow. But I just couldn't bring myself to spend 30 dollars on a full size. I saw that NYX had an illuminator that seemed comparable for a much more reasonable price, so I decided to try it.

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Upon comparison, these really are quite similar. Gleam is slightly thicker and creamier, with a bit more pigmentation, whereas Orgasm feels more sheer, with almost a liquid-gel feel to it. The swatches below show that Gleam's tint definitely shows up more. But honestly once I use it on my face (and I only use the tiniest of dots) any difference is negligible. I get the exact same glow with each product, so I would repurchase the NYX first in a heartbeat.

So, are there any summer beauty staples that you are planning to get or products that you come back to year after year?

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  1. That NYX eyeliner in particular is a fabulous colour. Nice haul!

  2. I love when drugstore brands are comparable or even greater than higher end brands. I had this psycho makeup artist neighbor at my old complex that said there are only two or 3 cosmetics suppliers for all the companies, so I guess it makes sense that the qualities can be so similar! :D Anyway, your haul is lovely, and perfect for summer! I have Nars orgasm in the powder blusher, but I have to be super careful with application because it's so pigmented and I'm super pale. I imagine the illuminator is easier to work with and more blendable... But TBH I'd rather get the NYX dupe because why not? NARS is riddiculously overpriced for the quality IMHO. The main things I repurchase and can't live without are Neutrogena makeup wipes, MAC Pink Swoon blush, and OHWTO Black Magic Soap :)

    1. You know that could be true, some of the expensive department store skincare/makeup lines are owned/owned by the drugstore brands, like Lancome and L'Oreal I think, for example. I am really loving the NYX illuminator, it works just as well as Nars IMO. I also must have some sort of makeup remover wipes on hand at all times, but I tend to skip around brands depending on what's on sale. I've heard that soap is really good too!


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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