Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Ingrid & A Product Rave!

For all you long term readers, you know I used to do NOTD quite frequently, at least once or two a week, but that all changed when my herniated discs made a grand reappearance and it's taken several months to get to the point that I can sit down in a straight backed chair (with cushions) and take the time to paint my nails without looking like an 80+ year old woman afterwards all hunched over. So thank you to my physical therapist (who don't read this anyway) and medication, NOTDs are back!

I recently picked up the full range of the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection. No, I didn't pay full price. I bought at a mixture of and Victoria Nail Supply (not affiliated with either btw). I think I was most excited for the browns in the range and Ingrid is one of them. It's basically a deep chocolatey brown with a bit of a gray undertone with gold shimmer that didn't seem to translate on my nails as well as in the bottle but that's ok. I think the shimmers all settled to the bottom as I've been waiting quite awhile to use the bottle.

Please excuse my cuticles, they are awful!

There is one thing that I was a little perturbed by. The formula and brush on this polish seemed out of character for the range. The brush was a little wider and floppier which caused the polish to pool and apply more than I wanted, it was also thicker (more pigmented too which is a good thing). I'm not sure if it was the formula of this color or what, but I want my old brush back China Glaze!

Anyway and now for a product rave. I was recently set a kit by the brand Dazzle Dry to review on Beauty Debutante. While the kit was nice, the product that stood out to me was the top coat. It promises to dry your nails in 5-10 minutes, completely. And, it does. It's better than Seche Vite and I'll happily pay the extra cash to buy this in the future once I've finished my Seche Vite supply. No sheet marks, no gouges from the keys on my computer. It is amazing. It retails for $12.50 and can be bought at Overall and a few other retailers. I highly recommend everyone try this stuff out, that's how much I love it!

Disclosure: I was sent Dazzle Dry.
I took the day off work today to recoup from something that was attempting to infect me, and obviously, paint my nails.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giveaway Prize Photo & List

Well, I've selected the bounty for this giveaway. I make it a point of buy extras of some items with the idea that I'll eventually give it away, either as a gift for a friend or here on Jeweled Thumb. Oh wait, you don't want to read my ramblings and just want to get on with it already? Alrighty then.

Oh wow, apparently I am awful at taking pictures from far away, but you get the idea. The winner will receive:
  • ELF Studio Line Brush Set
  • Stila Color Collection & Clutch
  • 7 various Bare Escentuals eyeshadows/blush (smoky diamond, cognac diamond, flawless diamond, rose diamond, harmony, purist, soft focus glamour)
  • 2 24/7 Urban Decay liners (Zero & Honey)
  • Benefit EyeBright
  • Clean Petites Fragrance set
  • Milani Bare To Wear & Dress Maker
  • and finally, Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure
I don't even want to think how much this is worth because I bought it all! No one is sponsoring this giveaway. Some of these items are favorites of mine that I want to share!

This post does not allow comments so please go to the giveaway post if you would like to enter. Thanks and good luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

[CLOSED] Giveaway, Just Because & 400th Post!

I have been hemming and hawing over giveaways on Jeweled Thumb. I'm sure you've noticed. First I thought I would have one for my 1 year anniversary but then I thought that I didn't really properly start blogging till the fall of 2009. I thought I would have one at 300 followers but then it wasn't the greatest of times. Now it seems nothing really has happened except for this being my 400th entry. To be quite honest, I never thought I'd last this long. I am easily distracted, my life is a bit crazy, I get sick often and let's be honest, when you herniate 2 of your discs, how much more should you be expected to do than work full time (and of course physical therapy 3x a week)?

But guys, I've put this off long enough and I do appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time out of your day to read this little blog. So a giveaway it is.

The Rules
1. This is a giveaway for my followers, so you need to be one.
2. Worldwide
3. I'm doing it a little different this time, please leave your e-mail address and I will contact you. If you don't respond within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner, no exceptions. I will also post the winner's name on Jeweled Thumb in case my e-mail goes to your spam folder.
4. You must be over 18 to enter.
5. This giveaway will close October 22nd 2010 at 11:59 EST which is exactly 1 month prior to my 27th birthday!

1 entry:
Leave a comment with (1) your name (2) your e-mail (3) something you want to see on Jeweled Thumb

+ 1 entry
follow me on twitter if you haven't already (please comment when you do and if you already do) and retweet the giveaway... thingy - not done yet since the post isn't a post right now

So a maximum of 2 entries per person. Please only leave 2 comments per person on this post so it's not impossible to track!

And what are you going to win? Well, I'm at work *shh* and I don't have the prizes in front of me, but I will update the post tonight with the bounty (posting it now so I don't forget and lose out on #400!). All I know right now is the retail value will likely exceed $200 USD. So there ya go. Good luck!


Bounty below!
  • ELF Studio Line Brush Set
  • Stila Color Collection & Clutch
  • 7 various Bare Escentuals eyeshadows/blush (smoky diamond, cognac diamond, flawless diamond, rose diamond, harmony, purist, soft focus glamour)
  • 2 24/7 Urban Decay liners (Zero & Honey)
  • Benefit EyeBright
  • Clean Petites Fragrance set
  • Milani Bare To Wear & Dress Maker
  • and finally, Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

Stila Friends & Family!

From now through September 29th, receive 20% off on Stila Cosmetics on their website! Woo! Free shipping over $50. Code is FRIEND2010.

Note: It says exclusions apply but doesn't say what exactly. My guess is the code won't work on already reduced merchandise. Let me know if you run into any other issues so I can update this post.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptous WP

If you remember, I recently picked up a new mascara from Maybelline. While the name is a bit excessive, I wanted to share my thoughts regarding this mascara. I'll say right out that I quite like it. I didn't really like it the first day I used it, but I've managed to figure out how to use the brush (I think!) and it holds a curl pretty well (my biggest issue with mascaras as my lashes are long but stick straight). It doesn't flake throughout the day, although it does transfer a bit onto my lid and below my lower lashes right after application. And perhaps the most important thing, it doesn't irritate my sensitive allergy ridden eyes!

The formula is slightly dry which makes me a bit worried how long my tube will last, but it's not what I would call an expensive mascara clocking in at around $10 without a sale.

The brush is slightly curvy, though not as pronounced as on the packaging and has small bristles, slightly longer on one side than the other. The wand itself isn't floppy (it is rather stiff) which I prefer over the more rubbery ones.
This is 2 coats on my lashes after coming home from grocery shopping. Please ignore the gross under eye circles!

This comes off easily with makeup remover and I haven't noticed losing more lashes than normal post removal. So all in all, not too bad! I'd repurchase with a sale.

Have you tried Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptous? What did you think?

If you have any suggestions for mascaras that hold curl really well, let me know! I'm always looking for the next best thing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blog Sale

A few months ago I stumbled across my old MAC collection at my parent's house. I was shocked to find so many barely used cosmetics. Well, it's taken me a bit of time to go through them, and this sale doesn't even encompass all the items I found but I was only able to carry a few things back home with me and I hate photographing these type of things! I'm going to stop rambling now and share the blog sale! Lots of MAC and a few other brands, but the majority is MAC. I finally figured if I could 'forget' about these things for several years, I obviously don't need them!

Here is the link. It is now about 10 after 8pm on Saturday and I imagine I'll fall asleep closer to 9:30 and I need to take a shower.... I'll try to respond to comments and invoice as soon as I can. Imagine shipping will occur sometime this week depending on work schedule and how my back feels.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

MAC Cyndi, Various Rambles & A Supermini Haul

I just want to first apologize for the lack of blog posts recently. I'm a bit stressed out with work, back issues (yes still!) and the seemingly continuous sinus infections that have taken residence in my body this season.

Anyway, first of all, I finally got a hold of the MAC LE Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick. I've been wanting this ever since it came out, but due to the fact that this and the Gaga lipstick sold out quickly when it first debuted, I held off till the hype died down and then kind of forgot about it. Then after realizing it was going away for good early next year (Temptalia says Feb 2011 I think), I realized I needed to act a bit quicker. Of course I'm trying to save some money lately as well, so I waited to swap for it. Well, the other lady got her end yesterday so I tried out my new lipstick today!
I'm actually a little surprised how pigmented it is, even though it's definitely sheerer than it appears in the tube and it's the light glossy lustre finish that I love.
One coat on my lips is a pinky peachy color. I think it gives a similar brightening effect that MAC Jazzed gives and I prefer the lustre finish. You can still see my freckles. Oh and I hate how my bottom lip sticks out like that... or the under bottom or the double lip chin thing? I kind of wish my lips were smaller or at least not so protruding?

Then after my physical therapy, I popped by CVS for some water (sure Ivy, just water, eh?) and remembered I had a coupon for $2 off Maybelline Lash Stilleto (from the red machine of awesomeness), and Maybelline eye and lip is buy $10 get $3 Extrabucks and there were tear pads on an LE display nearby... so I got Lash Stilleto Voluptious waterproof for around $4 and I'll be testing it out starting tomorrow since my allergies are back (though did they ever go away?) with a vengeance. Oh, speaking of this little deal. The Lash Stiletto was $9.99 and it still gave me the Extrabucks!
See, proof of mini haul.

So I apologize for my ramblings. Whenever I get really tired (or in this case, a full work day plus an hour of strength training my core) I start making less and less sense. Hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beauty Week @ Hautelook

Since Hautelook is rolling out Beauty Week starting today, I thought I would do a run-down of the brands featured instead of posting every day about a new sale.

picture is clickable

The major players are the following brands:

Monday 9/20: Stila, Alterna Haircare
Tuesday 9/21: LORAC, DDF, GoSmile
Wednesday 9/22: Rapidlash, NYX
Thursday 9/23: Freeze 24/7, LORAC in the afternoon
Friday 9/24: meh
Saturday 9/25: nada

Just a note, the LORAC Hautelook sales mainly consist of items that are featured in the VIP section of the LORAC website, and at their site there is free shipping over a certain dollar amount which Hautelook lacks. If you're not swimming in credit, check out the site first.

Disclosure: This post includes a referral link.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stila Happy Hour Deal

You think I could resist not post this week's Happy Hour deal from Stila? Well obviously not as this one is pretty nice, though they've offered something similar in the past. Get a free Artist's Palette with any NY Fashion Week set, each priced at $40 with code NYPRO.

I'm personally eyeing the Betsey Johnson set:

It contains (full sizes):
- Eye Shadow Trio in Going Green
- Long Wear Liquid Lip Color in Caprice
- Custom Color Blush
- Major Major Lash Mascara

for $40 ($84 value)
Don't forget, Stila is on Mr. Rebates for 5% cashback! As always, this deal expires tonight at midnight PST.

Disclosure: This post includes a referral link.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bobbi Brown @ Sephora!

It's been quite awhile, since Bobbi Brown and Sephora had a partnership, but it's back! Bobbi Brown is now on the Sephora website with the line coming to select stores shortly - I really hope they roll out some exclusive to Sephora sets! Now if only if * would come back...

Hey a girl can dream, right?

* An old site that used to house major powerhouse brands all on the same site. Here's an old article I dug up on it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Animal Testing

While I love our fluffy (and scaley for that matter, we have a pet frog) friends, I'm not one of those people that only buys and uses products based on whether or not they test on animals. I was recently reminded of this "hot topic" on twitter, when the Pixiwoo sisters had a situation with L'Oreal.

Here's my thoughts on it. All new ingredients require testing (though not "animal testing" as such) per the FDA. However, PETA wasn't founded till 1980 and the FDA was found in 1930 and lipstick has existed for quite a while. You do the math.

While the FDA doesn't promote animal testing for cosmetic items, they do in a somewhat round about way say that it may become necessary after researching other options to "assure the safety of a product or ingredient".

So what does this mean?

Well, it means that all "new" ingredients need to be tested to assure safety. Most ingredients have already been testing at one point or another so they don't need to be tested again. Many of these ingredients were tested by the use of animal testing. Take Titanium Dioxide for example. How many "natural" "animal friendly" or "vegan" products do you know that use this ingredient? Sorry, that's mostly a rhetorical question.

What I would hope, is that companies choose to use these old findings and not test their own products using animals unless they are under some other legal obligation to do so. And that they should use any other means necessary unless it were necessary for safety per FDA regulations. It would make more business sense to not spend the money to test!

What are your thoughts? While I encourage intelligent debates, please remain civil!

Monday, September 13, 2010

EOTD* & A Review Follow Up

* I am boring and neutral and they all look the same, I know

Obviously, I shouldn't blog whilst (hi UK girls, I blame you for this!) infected, because I really need to read more closely. The Gabrielle Faust line that I received were the sample size eyeshadows (5 grams), the full size jars are 10 grams. Hello much better deal, though I still wouldn't spring for the full size jars if I were you.

Anyway, I decided to do an actual eye look today even though my eyes are itchy and watery and I keep on rubbing them. I'll say that the eyeshadows held up pretty well (I did use UDPP as a base). I applied this at 5:30am and it is now 3:45pm and I just took the photos a few moments ago. Yes, I went very basic because I've been rubbing my eyes a lot and I don't want to look like I was punched if I spread the purpley shadows all over my eye area!

Anyway, I used Hourglass Sand as an all over lid shade (love!) and a little Aftermath in the crease.

Do you see how red my eyes are? Bleh.

So, in respect to the "do you need these" type question in my previous post; no you don't need the full size shades, but at least pick up the samples! Especially if you like neutrals. Though I still stand behind the "if only these were pressed" because I'm really accident prone and can't see well at all without my specs!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review: Gabrielle Faust By Overall Beauty

I was recently contacted by the PR for the new Gabrielle Faust by Overall Beauty line, a line of mineral shadows created and inspired by the horror author Gabrielle Faust. I'm not a press release copy/paste kind of gal, but I'll include the description from the little card I received.

"Overall Beauty presents an exciting new line of eye shadows inspired by the acclaimed novelist Gabrielle Faust. These vegan, mineral cosmetics are hypoallergenic & contain zero dyes or carmines. Purchase individually or as a set!"

I received the full set of 8 which contains:

“Love Lost” (deep rose)
“Vampire’s Kiss” (sangria red)
“Karmic Knight” (dark eggplant purple)
“Misanthrope” (ashen violet)
“Indiscretion” (charcoal gray)
“Aftermath” (burnt umber brown)
“Sanctified Snow” (opalescent white)
“Hourglass Sand” (golden cream)

Each eyeshadow retails for $8.99 individually or you can purchase the full set of 8 for $72 (Overall Beauty is also offering samples for $3). While I was really happy with the array of neutral (though admittedly smokey) wearable day time shades in this collection, I'll admit I was a bit put off by the price. 
I'm fighting off yet another sinus infection, so I apologize for the state of these swatches, but it'll give you an idea. As always (or as usual), I swatched all of these without a base, dry to see the real texture of the shadow.
From left to right:
Love Lost, Misanthrope, Karmic Knight, Vampire Kiss, Indiscretion, Sanctified Snow, Hourglass Sand
on bottom:

I have mixed thoughts about this collection. Even though I really like the neutral slightly smoky palette, I think some color would change things up a bit. A lot of the purple smokey shades are very close (namely Karmic Knight & Vampires Kiss). However, in my opinion, these are wonderful matte shades to work with (aside from Sanctified Snow of course which is a shimmery shade). The only shade I had blending problems with was Indiscretion, the smoky gray shade.

Even though Love Lost is marketed as an eyeshadow, I think it makes a great blush when sheered out. Hourglass Sand is a great all over lid shade for the daytime, the tiny hint of peach/yellow helps correct any unevenness in lid color.

Again, back and forth I go.

Packaging is your type mineral makeup packaging, although they did add sifters, ingredient/product information on the bottom of the jar, the label on top and they are individually sealed, I almost wish they would have snazzed them up a bit. Since they are $9 a jar, make them special, with a different container. The market is saturated with mineral companies in the same clear jars and this is coming from a published author. I was just kind of hoping for something a little more? Is that too picky of me?

The line as described by Gabrielle Faust is both "elegant yet dangerous", I'll agree with that! These (mostly) matte and satin shades are very classy yet the smokey color palette gives it a little edge.

So in the end, do I think these are a must have? No, I don't. They are very nice wearable matte shades that would be great on all ages. I admit that a lot of mineral makeup companies just haven't mastered matte textures (and neither have a lot of low to mid to high end brands for that matter). So for a first launch of a product to have such a great texture is a bit surprising and refreshing. But my personal wishlist for this brand is a) better packaging and if these were pressed I'd snatch any other colors up in a minute. I'm also curious if the line is going to come out with any more products? Blushes? Lip colors? I'd think a black kohl liner would fit in fabulously *hint hint*

So there you have Gabrielle Faust by Overall Beauty. Maybe some eye looks coming soon depending on how horrible my allergies/sinuses are. Though they aren't a must have, I'd try out some of the $3 sample sizes if they catch your interest especially if you like mattes.

Use coupon code: VAMP2112 to take $2.00 off your order!

Disclosure: A sample was sent for review purposes.

Please see my EOTD using a few colors from the collection and some rather useful information here. Like the fact that I totally spaced out on size/price, these sizes are only $3!

Walgreens Rebate Deal

Heading to Walgreens anytime soon for makeup or haircare? Speaking of Walgreens, for the majority of the month of September, Revlon nail polish is $2.99 and if you have a coupon from the paper, it makes it extra sweet!

Additionally, for the month of September Walgreens is running a special beauty rebate program. Spend $30 or more between 9/1/10 and 9/30/10 and receive a $10 gift card when you buy Nexxus or Revlon products!

The rebate form is here. The rebate form must be postmarked by 9/30/10 and must contain copies of the receipts with the items purchased that reach the $30 amount. I sincerely hope I don't spend $30 on makeup and haircare for the month of September, but if you regularly use Nexxus, I'd highly suggest saving your receipts and stocking up.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beauty Blog Link Love - 9/11/10 - #18

Rae ignites a bit of a lipstick craze with photos and swatches of her (current) favourite drugstore thrill -- Revlon Mauvy Night!

Eyelining rounds up all of the Sleek iDivine palettes, both permanent and limited edition!

Neutrals is her middle name! Maggie shares her favorite neutral eyeshadow palettes over at The Polka-Dotted Apple.

Jen from A Beauty Junkie in London has a sneak peak at the new range of make-up from Accessorize.

Phyrra shows you a cool tutorial on how to do a Candy Gothic Lolita Look.

Take a little look at the *NEW* Max Factor MakeUp Brushes! Sophie likes them a lot!

Jellyminx shows you how to create a subtle gold and plum look.

Musicalhouses has swatched the new NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks so you don't even have to check them out in person! Woohoo!

Glitter Geek is going on a self-imposed Chanel ban, and it's all because of this beautiful blush.

The Lip Print puckers up to Etsy and goes a little crazy for Flourish Lip Balms.

Jeweled Thumb takes a walk down memory lane and runs through the best and worst of the ULTA makeup line.

Check out Pink Diva Beauty & support Tammerly while she fundraises for Liptember and pledges to try 30 lip products in 30 days!

The Smashbox Masquerade eye shadow palette for Fall is both both and beautiful. See pictures and swatches and learn how to get the look at Prime Beauty.

Emma discovers her new favourite lipsticks for only £2 a piece at Birds Decorate Branches!

Makeup Zombie is absolutely crazy over her most recent High Voltage Haul!

Hot Beauty Health shares 7 fun and easy braided hairstyles! thinks the term 'real women' has been hijacked!


Over at The Glamorous Gleam, Mz. More is celebrating her first Blogiversary with a giveaway. Enter for a chance to win MAC Viva Glam Gaga and Cyndi lipglasses!

IHeartCosmetics is holding a giveaway to win £46 worth of Purity Organic Skincare.

Review: Rock & Republic Luxe Lipgloss in Drama Queen

There's been so much buzz with Rock & Republic blushes and also eyeshadows, but I rarely hear anything about the lip glosses. There's been a lot of rumors going around that the makeup portion of the line is closing and the stock on the website has been discounted 50% for weeks now, but they seem to keep restocking for some items so I'm not sure what's going on there. It also ends up on sites like Hautelook often, but again, doesn't seem to be closing as soon as we all thought?

Anyway, you can take 50% off all cosmetics and Rock and Republic with code ROCKCOSMETICS. Shipping is 99 cents today anyway. It says for a limited time but it's been like that since at least August, so who knows!

During one of my hauls, I picked up one of the lipglosses from the line, in the color Drama Queen, which has disappeared off the Rock & Republic website. The glosses retail for $26 dollars but are $13 with the sale so in line with MAC prices. They come in a weird kind of test tube shaped... tube with a snazzy R&R logo on the top of the cap and contain 3.5ml or .11floz.
Drama Queen is a peachy pink with subtle gold shimmer, kind of like an Orgasm. I really like this gloss, a lot. It is pretty opaque, creamy, moisturizing, fairly long lasting (when it does wear off it leaves a uniform color behind) not sticky and smells faintly of vanilla. It's like MAC lip glass except it doesn't feel like glue! Huzzah!

I've taken a few swatches and even done lip swatches although they aren't the best and my lips aren't in amazing shape right now.

I was surprised at how opaque this gloss is. For me at least, it always seems the more opaque a gloss is, the more drying it is, not this baby! Love! Not sure I'll buy another since I am absolutely swimming in lip gloss right now, but if I ever used one up - oh who am I kidding? Anyway, it's a nice gloss if you can manage to get some of these before the line goes away for good!

My only complaint is that since the gloss is a bit on the thicker side, the doe foot wand doesn't always pick up enough product for a full application and I have to re-dip, and it pops up from the tube with a bit of pressure when you first open it. Otherwise, I'm definitely a fan.

Have you tried the Rock & Republic line and/or the lipglosses? What did you think?

Disclosure: This post includes a referral link to Hautelook

Friday, September 10, 2010

Deals @ Sephora

Every so often, I stop by the Sephora sales page to see what kind of deals have made their way there. Well, recently a bunch of things went on sale and/or clearance so I thought I would share.

All Kat von D eyeshadow palettes are $24 (originally $34) for the month of September. I've never tried these myself but the palettes have a lot of fans.

All Cosmedicine products are 50% off right now! My guess is that they are repackaging because I hope they aren't going to stop carrying (or in the worst case discontinuing the line). Their medi-matte primer is very popular for those of you that suffer from the oilies. Fall is nearing, which means my skin is dry and flaky, joy!

Tons of Bare Escentuals kits have made their way onto the sale page, some even more than 50% off! The kits are usually a good deal at the original price, so if you are a BE fan, these are a steal.

A bunch of Stila palettes and sets are 50% off or more as well, including the Artists palette ($19 originally $28), The Emeralds Palette ($15 originally $40) and the Surprise and Shine Talking Palette ($15 originally $40) - too shabby!

And last but not least, if you are short for the $50 for free shipping, you can always get the Dylan's Candy Bar Lip Saver balm I reviewed here for a mere $2!

Planning on picking anything up? I have a $20-something credit burning a hole in my pocket, but I think I'm going to try and wait till Friends & Family which if I'm not mistaken should fall close to my birthday this year in November. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wet N Wild Makes Craze-ee Good Eyeshadows

...the metallics anyway

Thank goodness, they did turn out that way, since I came up with the title of the entry before testing them! Anyway, I was in a different part of town yesterday for a doctor's appointment and decided to run into the local Walgreens since we don't have one where I live. Imagine my surprise when I came upon these new Craze eyeshadow duos from Wet N Wild that I hadn't seen elsewhere.
I picked up two, the neutral ones I found in the fairly picked over display. Has anyone else seen these? Iris I Was Rich on the left and Caffeine Fix on the right.

Iris (I Wish) the purple shade was more pigmented!

Otherwise, these are fab little duos, retailing for $1.99 each and containing 1 gram of product.
These have that awful "Limited Edition" sign on the display but Wet n Wild should make them permanent!
The purple was 2 swipes (and seriously awful) but the other shades were only 1 swipe! Look how metallic that taupe-y shade is? It is gorgeous! There were a few other color options available but as I'm sure you know by now, I go for the neutrals.

Has anyone else tried these? I was so excited, I bought them full price (I hardly ever do that, even for inexpensive products like Wet n Wild)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The ULTA Brand - The Best & The Worst

This entry is going to be about ULTA's own house brand of makeup. When I worked at ULTA, I got the opportunity to try (and tediously stock) the ULTA "counter" at the store I worked at. I discovered things that worked brilliantly and things I stayed away from. I was reminded of this just a moment few days ago when Sirvinya asked about the brand on Twitter.

Just a forewarning, these are my personal opinions and there's a chance that formulations have changed and new products that I haven't yet discovered have come out (speaking of which, it looks like they have come out with cake liners, gel liners, and loads of other new items, interesting). I'm going to put this post into 2 parts: things that are worth checking out and things you can probably skip.

Things to try:

Lipstick by Ulta at ShopStyle

Ulta's lipsticks are all pretty decent, but the sheer line is by far my favorite formula. Glossy, light pigment and moisturizing, these are a hidden treasure in the line. They retail for $8 but generally go on sale quite often, for instance, right now they are $4.

I'm sure most of have heard about the ULTA eyeshadow line, but most are unhappy since the eyeshadow got a face lift with an imprint. I have heard that if you scrape the top layer off, the same old eyeshadow exists underneath the imprint but I haven't tried this myself.

Nail Products by Ulta at ShopStyle

ULTA's nail line recently got a makeover (the above photo is the old style) and quite a few additional trendy colors. At $5 a bottle and often on sale (this week it's only $2), it's a great way of getting in on some of the trends (lime green anyone?) without the OPI price tag.

Things to skip:

Liquid Foundation by Ulta at ShopStyle

Retailing for $12.50, the Illuminating Liquid Foundation, or really any of the foundations in this type of bottle (and possibly also the wand concealer). I found this foundation to be super yellow in an unflattering way on even the most yellow of skin tones and it separated very easily (it also ran very dark yet the color range was average at best). I was honestly so repulsed by this that I haven't bothered swatching them again when I visit my neighborhood ULTA. It's possible that they've changed the formulation, but I was not impressed a couple years ago.

Lip Treatments by Ulta at ShopStyle

There's nothing horrible about this Sugar Scrub per say, but $10 is a lot to spend on 0.067 ounces of product, especially a product that you can make at home with olive oil and sugar for a much less cash. Skip!

Makeup by Ulta at ShopStyle

Oh, the boxed holiday sets. ULTA puts these out often. Please resist. It's not like the Tarte ones (even though this particular packaging is a pretty good knock off of it). The quality is, "meh", the displays we had nearly always fell apart. Pass on these!

There are plenty of awesome products in the line, and the new ones are super intriguing too! What do you think of ULTA makeup? Anything you love that I missed?