Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ulta February 2015 Gift With Purchase Review

My favorite price will always be free, so a free gift with purchase is the best thing ever. Its like a reward for shopping, or an incentive depending on how you look at it. During the summer Ulta did a free bag full of goodies with any $19.50 purchase of Ulta brand stuff (you can see that review here) and they are doing the same type of promotion this month. I was going to purchase the new Rose Gold Palette but my Ulta was out so I just picked up some new nail polishes (debuting Monday for a super cure manicure). There was no difference between the two bags offered so I picked the prettier colored bag. Shall we see what's inside?

The bag itself is very...Eastery. It seriously reminds me of the frilly Easter gowns I use to wear as a child. I will probably save this and put my next giveaway stuff into it like I did with the last bag.

Like last time, a mini bottle of nail polish was included. I actually really like the Ulta brand nail polish and this is a cute spring color so I'm pretty happy with it. I think I'll put it on my toes this weekend. The shade itself is called Peach Parfait.

This was actually one of the items I was excited to try, I LOVE lip crayons and don't have any in this shade, which is OH!. This isn't a full sized tube, making it perfect to through into my purse or stick into my pocket if I need to.

The shade was actually pretty close to how it looks in the tube, and gave my lips a lovely golden coral sheen. Pretty pigmented, but not enough that I was running around with orange lips. And it seemed to last pretty well, survived an hour of me talking and teaching one day without any fading.

I think this is Ulta's attempt at a dupe for the NYX Butter Glosses, though NYX is typically quite a bit cheaper than the Ulta brand stuff. This particular shade is called Thumblina, and as you can see is not a full sized item.

The shade is this pretty pink shade, not super bright but bright enough some people may not like it. It applied well and wasn't really sticky, so I think they did a pretty good job of duping the NYX butter glosses. I don't know how much wear I'll get out of this particular shade but I liked it well enough.

I have not actually tried this mascara yet, but I am currently using and loving the one that came in my last bag, the Super Stretch fiber one. I'm hoping that this one will be decent as well. This is a full sized mascara and retails for $10, so not a bad deal assuming it doesn't suck.

This is where things started to go downhill for the bag for me. Included with the makeup was a set of brushes, an eyeshadow brush, a sponge brush, and an angled blush brush. These are total crap, they went straight to my son to play with. The ones in the last bag weren't the best but were at least usable. These are exactly like the ones that come in those $100 giant makeup kits for tweens. I'd rather they didn't include crappy brushes and stick that value into something else.

This dual ended eyeliner came in the last bag, and it also sucks. One end is brown, the other black, but it smudges and smears horribly. I keep it in my travel bag because if I lose it or break it I won't cry but if I lose my favorite $16 one I'd be seriously crying. This will probably be given to my son to play with and draw whiskers on his face next time we do face painting.

The last bag also included 3 quad palettes and they ended up being surprisingly good. One quad ended up becoming a personal favorite and is why I wanted to buy the Rose Gold palette since it contained those colors. The quad on the left is almost an exact match for the green one from the last bag, while the one on the right is similar to another quad from the last bag. I was a bit disappointed to see repeats (but not of my favorite shades), I felt that was lazy on Ulta's part.

So according to the names on the back only the top right and bottom left are repeats, but the top left is almost exact to the blending shade in the green quad from August. The only new color is the bottom right, that pretty looking copper color.

I knew the blending shade would match my skin, so I wasn't surprised that it doesn't really show up. I was however very surprised at the copper color. It was almost rock hard and I could barely pick up any shadow at all to do the swatch. I may break it up into a lose powder and use it that way. The two greens are repeats so I won't go into them, but they are odd shades most people probably won't use. A frosted lime moss green is not very flattering for most skin tones.

This quad is completely new, though I think the white is similar to the purple quad's blending shade from last bag.

And again some pigmentation/hardness issues. I have this backwards for some reason, so the black in the quad is the lower right swatch. That one was again very hard and barely pigmented. The frosted grey was actually the most pigmented, while the two lightest shades were just kind of there. I had high hopes for this quad, I haven't decided if I will keep it or chuck it yet.

This quad is pretty similar the the purple on in the August bag, but this time all the shades are shimmery. I like a good shimmer so I didn't mind the lack of mattes.

The top left was the rock hard one for this palette, while the bottom right is the stand out winner. I love that shade and will probably use it quite a bit. The other two shades are decent as well, so I'm pretty happy with this quad. I don't know why one shadow out of each was rock hard, the rest of them are buttery soft so I'm a bit baffled. I will also note the cases were difficult to get open this time, like the lids are just a touch to small.

They included a loose eyeshadow this time, which I thought was a nice change from the weird "eyeshadow topper" they used last time.

The shade is Yolo, and is a lovely white gold shimmer. It actually reminds me of a Cailyn shadow I own called Champagne. I liked this one quite a bit and will probably get a fair amount of use out of it.

The bronzer and blush duo this time was much larger and came in an actual compact, which was a nice step up.

These are actually usable this time, unlike the last bag. The bronzer has a bit of a frost to it, but not enough that I would call it shimmery. Same goes for the blush, which is a light baby pink. The blush is a little light for my taste but will make a nice addition to my travel bag. The duo also makes for a nice space saver, and really is a decent size.

They also included a eyebrow kit, which looks a bit like the NYX one. There's a colorless wax on the right and two powders on the right, so you can mix up your perfect shade.

The bottom powder is pretty dark, better suited for dark haired individuals. The top shade is kind of an ashy light brown, probably too dark for blonde's but ok for lighter haired folks. The powder was nice and applied well, the wax just felt a little hard to me. It has been brisk here so it may soften up when the temperature rises. It doesn't replace my favorite eyebrow kit (review coming eventually), but I liked it enough I wouldn't mind using it again or sticking it in my travel bag.

Overall I did not like this as much as the last bag, though there are some great items in it. And since it was free I'm not out any money for the bad products. I think they corrected some of their mistakes from the last bag, but I'd like to see them try not to repeat items next time they do this promotion. I believe this promotion is going on till the beginning of March, so if you want one you still have time to snag one. The "retail" value is $88, so well above the $19.50 you need to spend to receive it.

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