There’s a ton of reasons to make all of your beauty purchases at Ulta but the best one is the rewards program. Hands down! Racking up points at Ulta doesn’t just get you deluxe samples or impossibly hard to get mega sets. Shade but no shade. Sorry Sephora. I’ma let you finish but Ulta has the best rewards program around! Instead of getting deluxe samples of goodies you’d essentially receive for free elsewhere Ulta rewards you with dollars off your next purchase. The more points you have the better!
I’ve been spending up a storm over the last few months at Ulta but it’s all paid off because I was able to score almost all of the new limited edition holiday sets and palettes on my list without breaking the bank. I let my points stack up to 2,300 and redeemed them for $133 off. Talk about win! I couldn’t wait to grab a grey bag and fill it up with my top holiday picks so far this year.
I’m still new to Butter London but after trying their lipsticks and glosses I was convinced that I needed the new limited edition Fancyfull Lippy Liquid Lipstick Collection. The Fancyfull Lippy Liquid Lipstick Collection features 4 full sized Lippy Liquid Lipsticks for just $29. Which is a serious steal considering the Butter London Lippy Liquid Lipsticks are regularly $18 a pop. The Fancyfull Lippy Liquid Lipstick Collection has a nice range of colors including:
- Tickled Pink bubblegum
- Dahling deep rose
- Spiked Cocoa mocha nude
- Mulled Wine deep berry
It’s a beautiful set with a nice variety of colors that’ll suit a wide range of skin tones. Including my dark skin divas. Of course, Tickled Pink will require a good lip liner but Dahling, Spiked Cocoa and Mulled Wine are effortlessly simple to pull off on brown skin. And the formula is pretty nice too. The Butter London Liquid Lippy formula combines the high shine of a gloss with the color intensity of a lipstick to give lips the best of both worlds. Perfect for the holidays! Who couldn’t use a little extra shine and color this season?
You know I love lipstick so I couldn’t just stop at the Butter London Fancyfull Lippy Liquid Lipstick Collection! I also grabbed this year’s limited edition Stila Stay All Day, Sparkle All Night Lipstick set featuring 5 Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks and the new Gliteratti Lip Top Coat for $39. The holiday season is all about glamour and glitz so it’s only right that Stila steers us in their right direction with a beautiful mix of nudes, berry and pink that we can top off with glitter to really serve up the glam this holiday season. The Stay All Day, Sparkle All Night Lipstick set features 3 of Stila’s permanent shades of Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick along with 2 new limited edition shades including:
- Baci nude pink
- Rubino beet red
- Fresco mid-tone dusty rose
- Patina dusty rose
- Bacca raspberry
I’ve had my eye on Bacca and Patina for quite some time so this liquid lipstick set was a no brainer for me. Especially when Stila threw in the gorgeous Rubino (perfect berry red for holiday parties!) and the amazing Glitterati Lip Top Coat. The Glitterati Lip Top Coat is pretty much magical in a tube. It’s loaded with chunky flecks of silver, pink and blue glitter that dazzle and dance in the light. I absolutely love it! Glitterati adds a nice sophisticated sparkle to Stila’s iconic Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks that’s much needed this season. You don’t want to miss it!
Just when I thought Butter London was killing it with the awesome value sets this year I came across the Smashbox Light It Up L.A. Lights Palette. This blush, contour and highlight palette is huge, baby! For just $39, you receive the Culver City Coral and Malibu Berry L.A. Lights Blush and Highlight Palettes along with a new trio that includes a neutral blush, bronzer and sparkling gold highlighter. It’s such a steal! The blushes and highlighters are all full sized and the quality is consistent with that of the original Culver City Coral L.A. Lights Blush and Highlight Palette I already own. Each blush is soft and silky with moderate pigmentation that makes it easy to get a soft sweep of color or layer on for a more opaque finish.
I wish the bottom row of blushes had a little more color to them but the rest of the Smashbox Light It Up L.A. Lights Palette is a complete win for my brown beauties. Culver City Coral is amazing trio for a soft, natural flush of color (you can check it out here) and the Malibu Berry trio looks even prettier as it’s more suitable for fall and gives cheeks a little more color. Whether you’re new to Smashbox or an avid fan, I highly recommend checking out the Light It Up L.A. Lights Palette at Ulta. It’s probably the best value palette you’ll find this holiday!
Speaking of massive palettes, I finally bit the bullet and picked up the LORAC Mega Pro 3 Eyeshadow Palette. I’m a huge fan of LORAC’s shadows (especially their mattes) because they’re super buttery, pigmented and easy to blend so the Mega Pro 3 seemed like an easy choice to me. Especially after enjoying the Mega Pro 2 so much. However, I started to see quite a few mixed reviews about LORAC’s final edition to the Mega Pro saga and started to get cold feet.
Then it finally hit stores and I found myself swatching it several times a day at work. The more I swatched the Mega Pro 3, the more I was convinced that I needed to at least give LORAC one last try. The Mega Pro 3 Eyeshadow Palette features 32 eyeshadows in a range of warm and cool earth toned neutrals in a mix of mattes and shimmers. I love that LORAC balances out their eyeshadow palettes with half being matte and the other half being shimmer because I hate an overly shimmery eyeshadow palette that leaves me reaching for mattes to complete a look. The LORAC Mega Pro 3 gives you some pretty nice matte shades to work with for a variety of skin tones. I agree with most reviewers that it’s probably better suited for light to medium skin tones but I still think that us dark skin beauties can get some good use out of the Mega Pro 3 Palette too. So far. I plan on cracking it open tomorrow to see if it’s truly living up to the hype.
When Tarte’s Works of Tarte holiday collection first hit Ulta I was super excited until I realized they weren’t all that great of a value for the price point. A few of Tarte’s holiday sets feature tiny deluxe sizes (including the Limitless Lippies set) that honestly don’t have enough product to warrant the price tag. However, when it comes to the Double Duty Beauty Kissing Squad Lip Sculptor Quad set Tarte got it right. Very right! For just $34, you can get your hands on 4 brand spankin’ new shades of Tarte’s Lip Sculptor Lipstick and Lip Gloss that are all full sized. Normally, The Lip Sculptor would set you back $24 but this holiday season you get 3 more to boot in limited edition shades for just an extra 10 bucks. Can’t beat that! The Kissing Squad Lip Sculptor Quad lineup includes:
- Kitten nude
- Mink dark nude
- Flirt berry
- Pixie mauve berry
I’m a huge fan of the Tarte Lip Sculptor Lipstick and Lip Gloss formula because they’re super buttery, nicely pigmented and feel so plush and yummy on the lips so I snapped up this set with the quickness. Typically, holiday lip sets feature shades that aren’t very brown girl friendly but I’m very pleased to report that the entire Kissing Squad Lip Sculptor Quad is dark skin diva approved. Literally every shade of lipstick and gloss looks beautiful on brown skin. Tarte absolutely nailed this set! It’s a must have for holiday!
The LORAC Mega Pro 3 Palette is more than enough eyeshadow for anybody but there was a part of me that could just not leave the Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe eyeshadow palette set in the store. It’s just too cute! For just $49, you get 3 palettes that feature 6 eyeshadows and blush plus a deluxe mini of the amazing Better Than Sex Mascara. Who can say no to that?!
Obviously not me!
The Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe takes a fun spin on Too Faced’s scented shadows with the smell of Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte and Gingerbread Cookie infused into each palette. I’ve never in my life wanted to lick an eyeshadow palette so badly. These things smell amazing LOL! The color scheme of each palette is rather dupable to be honest but what pulled me in were the pressed pigments that Too Faced tossed into the Eggnog Latte and Gingerbread Cookie palettes. They seriously make the entire set pop! I’m talking full on glitter that you can layer on top of any shadow (or lipstick) to turn any look into a festive masterpiece. Besides being extremely cute, the Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe set is a great way to gift this holiday considering that you can break up the set and gif them to your friends and family. However, I wouldn’t judge you if you kept them all as a treat to yourself!
Have you picked up any holiday sets yet?