First Impressions: Mini ULTA Haul

A haul’s a haul, no matter how small – read more about what I picked up at ULTA!


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ULTA recently had a $3.50 off $15 sale going on, so I decided to take advantage of it by purchasing a few products I’ve always been curious about!  Maybe some of you won’t actually consider this a “haul” since it’s only four products, but as the great Dr. Seuss once said, “A haul’s a haul, no matter how small” (person/haul = same thing).

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Turn up for Dr. Seuss.

1. Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter – “Radiant Lights” ($6) | Link

I’ve recently started to get more into highlighters, and this particular one is one I’ve heard a lot about.  I saw it featured in KathleenLights’ January Favorites way back when, and since I basically buy everything she recommends (go ahead and judge me I can take it) and she also used it in another video where she did 2 eye looks using the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette.  Tati didn’t care too much for them in her Hot or Not video of the brand because of the packaging and the texture, so I was a little bit conflicted because I basically worship Tati.  Still, for $6, I figured if it was a miss for me it wouldn’t be too bad.

Since I’m new to the highlighting game and don’t wear highlight every day, I’ve been looking for more affordable options.  I did shell out some cash ($30 to be exact) and purchased the Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo in “Warm Glow”  because the bright white lights of Sephora always tend to impede my judgement, but I thought this Makeup Revolution option would be another good addition to my collection.

Right off the bat, I noticed that this was decently pigmented.  One swipe and I was pleased with the color payoff.  It has that “dry” feel that pretty much every baked product has, but I wouldn’t call it scratchy or rough like Tati thought (I’m also not as sophisticated as her – maybe one day!!).

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I decided to compare the two since the $6 for the Makeup Revolution is 1/5 the price (yay math) of the $30 Too Faced highlighter, and if I can buy 4 more Makeup Revolution highlighters (even though there are only 3 shades) for the price of one Too Faced highlighter, than gosh darn it, I might make that reckless decision and still feel semi-ok about it!

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Me in Sephora.

For labeling purposes, MR stands for Makeup Revolution, TF (L) stands for Too Faced Left (the gold shade in the duo) and TF (R) stands for Too Faced Right (the rosier shade in the duo).  TF (M) stands for Too Faced Mixed aka both shades swirled together.  Apologies for the constant switching of TF (L) and TF (R) in the upcoming swatches… I did not coordinate this well when switching hands.

Right away, I noticed that the Makeup Revolution was a lot more pigmented than the Too Faced highlighter.  The swatch above on my fingers is one swirl of MR in the pan, while I kind of had to work to build up the TF ones so that they had similar pigmentation to the MR one.  In terms of texture, the TF highlighter is definitely more smooth, but again, I don’t find the texture of the MR to be unpleasant.

Color-wise, MR is a lot more white-toned than either of the TF ones, even mixed.  I would say overall, the TF ones definitely “glow” a lot more, whereas the MR highligher is a more obvious highlight (does that even make sense?).

Overall First Impression: I’m pretty pleased with the Makeup Revolution highlighter as a first impression.  I can’t comment on the longevity or wear yet, but it might beat out my Too Faced highlighter in my collection – I’m also slightly scared to wear the Too Faced one because it’s so pretty and it was expensive and I don’t want to break it…

2. Palladio Baked Blush – “Blushin'” ($6.99) | Link

I don’t wear blush all too often, mostly because I tend to look like a clown when I wear it, but also because I’m on the Never-Ending Journey to find the perfect shade.  I’m more drawn to peach shades aesthetically, but for some reason keep buying more pink shades.  This was another instance of me buying a pink blush.

My initial impression is that for some reason, the name Blushin’ makes me think of Bitchin’.

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My second impresison is that I’m not sure what I was thinking when I picked this up, considering I recently fell out of love with the e.l.f. Baked Blushes (they were extremely dry and didn’t really offer that much color payoff).  I was also a bit bummed because this blush is pretty small, and for around the same price, I could have gotten a Milani baked blush, which I already know I like (I’ve recently embarked on a love affair with Luminoso – we’re very happy together).  According to Google, this Palladio blush only has .09oz of product compared to .12oz you get with Milani, so I was not happy with myself.

Then I swatched the blush and all was good again in the world.

Not only is this blush surprisingly super buttery, but it’s also super pigmented.  I was completely not expecting the texture considering baked products feel dry about 99% of the time, so when my finger all but sunk into the pan, I was completely amazed.

This is also the perfect pinky-peach with golden highlight, which I’m always a sucker for.

Overall First Impression: Luminoso, who? (JK I still love you don’t be mad!) I’m starting to realize the price tag (not that it’s super hefty or anything) for this little guy might actually be worth it, considering it’s beautiful AND you only need the tiniest bit (like probably a tap of the brush) due to the color payoff.  Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

3. Essence Make Me Brow – “Browny Brows” ($2.99) | Link

I’ve never really been a brow person (other than getting brow waxes, idgaf about what my brows look like tbh), which might be a hit to my overall beauty ethos since brows are everything right now, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  That being said, I am trying to delve a little bit more into brows, which means I recently bought the L’Oreal Brow Plumper to at least keep them from blowing in the wind and tinting them.

I’ve heard a lot about Make Me Brow since it’s apparently a good dupe for Gimme Brow by Benefit, which I don’t own so I can’t comment on that, but my initial impression was damn… this brush is tiny!

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Sorry for the blurry pic!!

The Essence spoolie/brush/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is about 3/4 the size of the L’Oreal brush, and the color is a lot darker and more cool-toned, which actually matches my hair a bit better.  They both have little fibers that are supposed to make your brows looks more full.

Overall First Impression: Honestly… not sure.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m pretty “meh” about brows.  Will this make me look like a young Brooke Shields? Time will tell.

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This is not me now, but it could be, and that possibility is intoxicating.

4. Essence Eyeliner Pen Waterproof – “Deep Black” ($2.99) | Link

I love eyeliner!! I wear a wing almost every day, and if you took a peek at my What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag post, you’ll know my favorite eyeliner is by Jesse’s Girl cosmetics.  Since I don’t live by any retailers that actually sell Jesse’s Girl, I usually order it online from Drugstore.com, so I’ve been looking for eyeliners that I can find in-store at an ULTA or Target or CVS to replace it with. Since Essence is sold at ULTA and at Target, and since it’s so affordable, I decided to give this one a try.

First off, the fact that the shade is called “Deep Black” speaks to me as I, too, have a soul that color.  The tip looks sharp, so it should be easy to do a wing with.

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After watching, I was impressed with how pigmented it is, but it seems kind of watery – even for a felt-tip eyeliner.  It bled a little bit, but considering my eyelids don’t have the same texture as my arms, this doesn’t concern me.  What I am a little bit concerned about is the fact that the tip is pretty stiff and doesn’t have any give, unlike my Jesse’s Girl eyeliner, which has a flexible tip that makes doing wings so easy.

Overall First Impression: I’m not like the Winged Eyeliner Champ or anything, so it’ll probably take me a few tries to get the wing I like out of this eyeliner considering I’m used to the Jesse’s Girl one basically holding my hand and whispering sweet nothings throughout the whole thing. With the pigmentation, I’m willing to be a sport about it and give this one a fighting chance.  Not sure about how well the waterproof claim is gonna hold up, but that’s a test for another day.

Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of these products/any new products in general lately? Also, does anybody have any good drugstore felt-tip eyeliner (preferably waterproof) recommendations??


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*Disclaimer: I purchased all above product(s) with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!).  As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!

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