Ulta Beauty Cosmetics Part 2

I love shopping at Ulta. They are continuously adding more brands to their shelves and their rewards system is the best. I mean who doesn’t want to earn money off of their next purchase just for buying things you were going to get anyway? What a lot of people do not realize is that Ulta has their own in house brand. It ranges from makeup and skincare to hair and body products. I recently received a bunch of these products as a gift with purchase. I figured, why not make a part two to my Ulta Beauty review. You can check out part one here.


With my recent Ulta Beauty purchase, I received an eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, mascara, face palette, lip primer, matte lip crayon and a lip gloss. Along with the makeup there was also a compact mirror, pencil sharpener and blush brush. All of these products came in a pretty purple watercolor makeup bag.


In my first Ulta Beauty Haul, we received a matte tinted primer. I loved it and still use it daily. In this bag we received the Tinted Eye Primer in Satin Blush. The tube is full sized and has a ton of product. The primer is a pink shimmer. The color is so pretty, but I would use it as a lid color or base for another pink shade. You wouldn’t be able to use this as a primer over your entire eye unless you want to look like you have pink eye.


The eyeshadow palette contains four matte shades and two shimmer. I was impressed with all of the shades, though the mattes were a little dry to the touch. The mattes included were Plum Pop, Desire, Say What and Buzzword. For the price, these blend much better than a lot of drugstore shadows. The shimmers, Sunshine and Fearless, are very pigmented and creamy. I used Say What to set my primer, Buzzword in the crease, Plum Pop on the outer corner with Fearless on the lid and Sunshine on the inner corner. I love the look as it reminded me of a sunset.


We received a pencil eye liner that is double sided. On one end is a liner in Blackout and the other end is in Plum. I am not a fan of these liners. I think they they are too stiff and not pigmented enough. That being said, I really enjoy the Ulta Beauty Gel Liners.


The final eye product is the Ulta Beauty Maximum Lashes Mascara. This mascara claims to be defining and lengthening. I already have fairly long lashes, but this product impressed me. It really helped to lengthen and define my lashes without being too wet or clumpy. It was also very black.


Along with the eyeshadow palette, there was a face palette that included a translucent powder, bronzer and highlight. The Ulta Finishing Powder in Translucent is great. I haven’t used setting powder in a while because it has been too drying. However, this one sets my concealer without making my under eyes super dry. As for the bronzer,  I usually prefer something cool toned. But, I do like the Ulta Matte Bronzer in Warm. It isn’t too orange and it blends really well. The only product I did not like in this palette is the highlighter. The Ulta Illuminator in Radiant Diamond was just too stiff and chunky for me. It was also subtle and accentuated texture. However, it can be pretty as an eyeshadow when built up and applied with a damp flat brush.


The Ulta Lip Primer claims to enhance the color of any lip product. I thought that it would act as a concealer on the lips, but it applied clear. I am not sure that it enhanced the color of my lipstick, but it was very hydrating and helped the product to go on smooth.


The final two products were both for the lips. The first is the Ulta Matte Lip Crayon in Soiree. The color is very pretty and the formula is pigmented and smooth. I found it to be comfortable to wear, but not long wearing. It is also hard to apply because the tip is so fat. Also included was the Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia. This gloss is so pretty, smooth and pigmented. It feels hydrating and looks great on the lips. I would recommend wearing this over a lip liner to keep it from feathering.


Overall, Ulta continues to surprise me. A lot of their product I have tried, I have really liked. Their eye shadows have proven blendable and pigmented while the lip products are comfortable and smooth. I am excited to see what this brand will come out with next. I have my fingers crossed for a Stila Magnificent Metals dupe.

Have you tried anything from Ulta Beauty?

Xoxo Sammie

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Anastasia Subculture Palette

I know, if you’re apart of the beauty community then you are probably sick to death of this topic. It is something that has been shaking our part of the world for a couple of weeks now: the Anastasia Subculture Palette. Now, I first recieved this product 2 days after it launched and I had to use it right away. By that Monday, I was ready to post my review and thoughts. But, I made the mistake of starting to watch YouTube videos. I was shocked at the absolutely terrible reviews this palette was getting and I started to second guess my opinion. So, I decided to use it for a full two weeks before sharing my thoughts with you. Spoiler alert: I actually really like it.


So, I am going to start by telling you why I like it so much and then I will get into my thoughts on the whole ordeal. When I first saw the previews for this palette, I knew I had to have it. I was captivated by the color choices. Everyone has so been into the red and orange warm tones for the last year that this palette was a welcome change.


As for how they swatched, I was fairly impressed. The mattes were all beautiful and EXTREMELY pigmented. However, I was not too impressed with the shimmer shades.

Cube swatches terribly. It also does not show up on the eye very well. If anything, I would call it a eyeshadow topper. If you really love the idea of this shade, it is very similar to Pink Heart in the Moonchild Glow Kit.

Electric is better than Cube, but I am still not a huge fan. It does show up better, but it is very glittery and has glitter fallout. This shade is best used with a glitter glue.

The final non-matte shade is Adorn. This shade is a pretty coppery metallic, but it is nothing new. I find it works best when used with your finger or a damp brush.


Now, drumroll please, here is my opinion. I really love this palette. I find that I do not have a problem with blending or fallout. I have loved every look I have created except for one. There are two major flaws in my opinion.

First, the shades are soft pressed. This is why people can get so much fallout. Also, this can put too much pigment on your brush which will make it hard to blend on the eye. The solution to this is to use soft, fluffy brushes and barely touch your brush into the product.

The second major flaw is the opposite colors. While this isn’t really a flaw, it can cause problems people aren’t used too. Because the shadows have so much pigment, colors can blend together very easily on the eye. This becomes a problem when you use two colors that are opposite on the color wheel, such as New Wave and All Star, in the same look. This can cause the shadows to muddy together and neutralize into a gray tone. The solution to this is to place each color where you want it without going over the top of the opposing color and lightly blend together. It was because of this I created the one look I did not like.


One thing that I have seen a lot of is that people like the colors but are unsure of how to create looks. The palette came be divided into quads. Here are some examples of shades you can use to create some quick looks.

Now, it wouldn’t be a Anastasia Subculture Palette review if I didn’t weigh in on the drama. People are upset by the way the shadows are pressed. They also believe that there was a problem at the lab. Personally, I am not sure what to think. I have noticed that a lot of YouTubers who likes the palette had one from the P7 batch, and mine is from that batch as well. However, I think that the real problem is that this is a formula different from what people are use to and one that people were not expecting. Everyone thought it would be the same as the Modern Renaissance but it is much softer.


MUG Dupes (left to right): Phantom, Beaches & Cream, High Tea, Legend, Cherry Cola, Faux Fur, Time TravelPoppy, Karma, Mocha, Chickadee, Enchanted Forest, Desert Sands, Taboo

Honestly, I think that this is something you will have to try for yourself. If you are the type of person who generally goes in with a light hand and slowly builds up color, you might really like this. I recommend checking this out in store or purchasing from Sephora ($42) so that it can be easily returned in case it does not suit you. If you are just too worried to take the plunge, here are some dupes that you can purchase in singles from Makeup Geek.

Did this palette catch your eye? What would you like to see different in the coming year, as far as eye shadow palettes?

Xoxo Sammie

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Review: Moda Prismatic Oval Brushes

One thing you will learn pretty soon after meeting me is that I love mermaids. In fact, I’m positive that I secretly am one. Besides being a mermaid, another fact people learn about me soon after we meet is that I love a good deal. I love a bargain so much, sometimes it makes it hard to splurge on more expensive things. 

I ran into this problem a few months ago when I was looking into purchasing a Artis Oval 7 brush. I couldn’t believe people actually paid $62 for one brush. How could it possibly be worth it? Well, I managed to find a sale and a coupon code that brought it down to about $45, which seemed reasonable compared to the original $62. And you know what? That brush is most definitely worth it. I fell in love the first day I tried it and never once regretted my purchase. Though, I’ve since wondered if it would be possible to find a good dupe. Then, one day, I found these beauties.


I picked up the Moda Prismatic Oval Brushes at my local Walmart for just under $20. My first though was that even if they were terrible, they gave me georgous mermaid vibes and I loved them.

The brushes are 100% vegan and came in four different sizes. They are labeled using numbers 801 (the largest) through 804 (the smallest).

The first brush is the 801 full face brush. This is the one that I find is the most similar to my Artis Oval 7. This brush is actually larger than my oval 7.


Now, I really liked this brush. It applies my foundation smoothly and evenly with minimal tugging. I personally think it is prettier that my Artis brush. It does seem to soak up more product and cause more tugging on my skin.

The 801 is the only brush I can truly compare to Artis. So my opinions on the other brushes are based strictly on how they performed and not how they compare.


The next brush would be the 802, which is the second largest oval brush. I thought this would be prefect for concealer. However, it worked horribly. It would pick up the product and redeposit it. I was left with terribly patchy and streaking under eyes. That being said, it worked great for applying powder under my eyes. It also worked well for color correcting larger areas.

The 803 is the smaller of the oval brushes. I liked this brush for applying my eye primer. It is also great for getting into smaller areas.

The smallest brush is the 801 round. This is a very small brush and if perfect for precision work. I like to use it to cleanup my lips and brows, precision color correcting and for blending in the sides on my nose which is usually hard to reach. It would also be great for nose contouring and applying lip product.


Overall, I was impressed. I really enjoyed the large 801 brush and the smallest 804 brush. The two middle brushes were ok, but I don’t think they are essential. My only complaints are that the handles are fairly flexible, so be gentle, and the brushes are hard to clean. I find it is easiest to spot clean and to use a foam cleanser such as the Artis Brush Cleansing Foam. You can clean them like a regular brush, but they take forever to dry since they are so dense.

Bottom line: are these exact dupes for the Artis brushes? No, they are not. However, they are soft, beautiful and work very well. I think these are a quality option and definitely worth the price!

Have you tried the Artis brushes or other oval brushes? Let my know in the comments below.

See you Friday!

Xoxo Sammie

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DIY Monday: Rose Highlighter

Ever since I saw the promo shots of the new Lancôme Blush La Rose, I knew I had to have it. 


But after seeing the $60 price tag, I became dismayed. Even more so after I saw the reviews that started popping up all over YouTube. That got me to thinking. Wouldn’t it be fairly simple to do this with any powder product or pigment? So, I made a plan of action and headed to my local dollar store.

What you will need:


Paper towels 

Fake roses

A box to put the finished product in

A plastic container with a lid

An empty bowl

Rubbing Alcohol (between 70-100% alcohol for best results)

A highlighter, blush, or pigment

Hot glue gun (not pictured)


Step 1: If using a blush or pressed product, break it up as fine as possible. Looking back, I would recommend using a coffee grinder to finely mill the product or just use a pigment so you get a smooth application when applied to the flower.

Step 2: Move the product into the container with the jar and submerge the flower in a bowl of alcohol. Make sure the flower is fully saturated and then blot of the excess on a paper towel so that it is not dripping wet.

Step 3: Place the flower into the container and fasten the lid on top. Shake the container around so as to disperse the pigment and cover the flower.

Step 4: Carefully take the flower out of the container and place it on a paper towel to dry completely. I recommend waiting at least a couple hours. A full 24 hours is ideal if you have the time and patience.

After the flowers have dried, it is time to place them in their container. I put the blush flower into a pretty silver box and the highlighter into a small glass bowl.


I think they both turned out beautiful! I plan on giving the blush rose to my friend for Valentine’s Day and I will be keeping the highlighter on my vanity.


I tried three different products. The first (top) is a blush that I purchased at the dollar store and crushed while the bottom in an elf highlighter where I did the same. Both turned out beautiful, but were a little clumpy, seeing as the knife I used to crush the pressed powder did not make it fine enough. I would recommend putting a pressed powder through a coffee grinder to make sure it is fine enough.

The middle Rose is a highlighter that I created by mixing several different pigments. The pigments were so fine that they evenly covered the flower without there being any small clumps of product.


Will you being trying out this fun diy? Have anything else you would like me to try? Let me know inthe comments 🙂

Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Xoxo Sammie

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