I asked if you guys wanted to hear about my Sephora Spring Bonus Event + Ulta Platinum Rewards Picks on IG stories and you said “yes,” so here we go!
Sephora Spring Bonus Event
Starting this weekend, April 20th to April 23rd, Sephora’s Spring Bonus Sale Event is open to VIB and Beauty Insiders Members. Just to clarify some things, Sephora has a loyalty program that is free to join. When you sign-up, you are considered a “Beauty Insider.” If you spend $500 or more within a year, you are upgraded to a “VIB” member. If you spend $1000 or more within a year, you are upgraded to a “Rouge” member. And the level of discount you get during the Spring Bonus Event depends on your level in their loyalty program.
- Rouge members get 15% off purchases in store and online (4/13 – 4/16 & 4/20 – 4/23). Use code YAYROUGE
- VIB members get 15% off purchases in store and online (4/20 – 4/23). Use code YAYVIB
- Beauty Insider members get 10% off (4/20 – 4/23). Use code YAYINSIDER
Ulta Platinum Rewards
In addition to the Sephora event, Ulta is giving 20% off coupons to their Platinum members, or those who belong to their free loyalty program and have spent $450 in the last calendar year. The coupon is valid through 4/21 and you should have received it by email.
So this is a great time to stock up on your favorites or to splurge on “always wanted to try” items. Below are my picks from both Sephora and Ulta, which include some of my “ride or die” products and some are from my wish list, products I was waiting to go on sale to try.
Beauty: Sephora Spring Bonus Event + Ulta Platinum Rewards Picks
Row 2: J’adore Eau Lumière Eau de Toilette (Ulta / Sephora), All Nighter Setting Spray (Ulta / Sephora), Becca First Light Primer (Ulta / Sephora), It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (Ulta / Sephora), Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Ulta / Sephora), Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (Ulta / Sephora), Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Ulta), Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow (Ulta / Sephora), Shiseido Benefiance Intensive Eye Contour Cream (Sephora), Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter (Sephora), Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Ulta / Sephora)
Row 3: Fenty Match Stix Matte Skinstick (Sephora), Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (Sephora), L’Oreal Colour Riche Shine Lipstick (Ulta), BeautyBlender (Ulta / Sephora), Nars Ita Brush (Sephora), Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Sephora)
Row 4: Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette (Sephora), Tory Burch Love Relentlessly Eau de Parfum (Ulta / Sephora), Nars Blush (Ulta / Sephora), Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer (Ulta / Sephora)
Beauty: Sephora Spring Bonus Event + Ulta Platinum Rewards Picks
Makeup Picks: Primer
I am constantly on the search for a good primer. And annoyingly my priming needs seem to change frequently, not only with the seasons, but also with my age. So I guess it is just a never-ending quest. Sigh. But, in case you’re interested, here is where I’m at currently:
This winter my combination skin decided to be dry. Like real dry. I suddenly had dry patches that I couldn’t seem to get rid of. And my under eye areas were deserts that looked arid and turned cakey with my concealer routine. I remember looking in the mirror one evening during the holidays when I thought I was looking great, only to see that my under eye area looked like complete shit. To my horror my make-up was patchy, dry, flaky, and not even a good color (too pale) and wasn’t even covering my dark circles. The horror! So after that I was determined to reformulate my routine. To be clear, this is still “in process,” but I have certainly improved on the situation!
So first, I switched to a better eye cream, Shiseido’s Benefiance Eye Cream (Sephora). Yes, this is truly some bougie stuff, but I love it and it really works. My under eye deserts with deep lines turned into plump oases with slightly less deep lines! Then I started using a priming oil. I had heard about Smashbox’s Primer Oil (Ulta / Sephora), but found NYX’s Hydra Touch Oil Primer (Ulta) was similar, a fraction of the cost, and with better reviews. Sold! Don’t let the oil scare you. I have skin that breaks out easily and have lived an “oil is the enemy” life for as long as I can remember. But these are lightweight fast-absorbing oils that really quench and prep the skin. So after letting the oil primer have a few minutes to absorb I add an additional primer. Just typing this out makes me seem so high maintenance. Gah! But, it is what it is.
So in addition to the oil primer, depending on the look I’m going for and the foundation I’m going to put on, I will use either L’Oreal’s Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer (Ulta), which is similar to Becca’s Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer (Ulta / Sephora) in it’s radiance, or Becca’s First Light Priming Filter Face Primer (Ulta / Sephora) which is also moisturizing but helps even out and brighten skin tone. If you are interested in trying either of the Becca primers, they also come in travel sizes. I don’t think any of these really help my make-up last longer, but it certainly helps my foundation and concealer look a lot better. That said, I also use powder to set and a setting spray.
Makeup Picks: Concealer
So once I got my skin prepped and primed, I decided to re-evaluate my concealer and powder routine. Let me start off by saying I have terrible dark circles. Anything less than full coverage is pretty much a waste of time. But, the problem with most full coverage concealers is that they are matte and can be drying. And as we just discussed, I can’t handle anything drying. My favorite concealer, by far, for coverage and to prevent creasing is Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Ulta). Nothing shows through this stuff. It could cover tattoos. But it is very matte and can be drying. Sigh. So then I decided to try Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer (Ulta / Sephora). Although it provides pretty good coverage and is less drying than the Shape Tape (Ulta), it just doesn’t cover my dark circles as well.
So, my current [also high maintenance] routine is to use the both concealers, adding the Shape Tape to the darkest area and blend them out with a BeautyBlender (Ulta / Sephora) rather than a brush. Actually, now I use the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (Ulta), which does the job just as well at a fraction of the price. Using a wet sponge really helps keep my under eyes from getting too dry and also prevents the over application of product, which can also lead to drying.
Lastly, I tried new powder. I was using either the Anastasia Beverly Hills Banana powder found in the contour kit (Ulta / Sephora) or Fit Me pressed powder (Ulta) to set my under eyes. I started using Maybelline’s Master Fix Loose Powder (Ulta) which was a vast improvement! And I am now going to “upgrade” to the Youtuber-obsessed Laura Mercier Translucent Powder (Sephora) during the Spring Bonus Event Sale. Score!
Makeup Picks: Face
Moving along to more of my picks that I haven’t mentioned yet. If you read my beauty favorites, you’d know that I am obsessed with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray (Ulta / Sephora). Nothing makes my makeup last as long! But, if it is too pricey for you or you’re not convinced it is worth it [it really is!], I found the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray (Ulta) is a pretty good second choice and very reasonably priced, especially when it is on sale.
I am also very interested in trying the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (Ulta / Sephora). Most of the Youtubers I watch rave about it. It is very moisturizing while also a high-coverage cream with anti-aging ingredients that improve your skin over time. The best of all worlds! However, the shades are very limited. It Cosmetics also makes an Illumination version (Ulta / Sephora), which I’d love to try as well.
More items from my wishlist:
- Fenty Match Stix Matte Skinstick (Sephora) in the color Amber for contouring light skin tones.
- Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Contour Powder (Sephora) is super pricey, but supposedly amazing in terms of coloring- the right amount of grey undertone to look “natural” and finely milled so that beginners can blend it out with ease.
- The Nars Ita Brush (Sephora) has been on my list for a really long time. It is supposed to be one of the best brushes for contouring with powders. However, it costs a small fortune and I have yet to splurge on it.
- Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter (Sephora) is new to my list and I want to try it just because of the hype!
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Sephora) has also been on my list for a long time. Specifically, I want to try the “Luminous Light” shade, which is the most glowy of them all. But, honestly. I want all of them, including this palette (Sephora). They are finishing powders that are all slightly different but offer a natural “lit from within” glow.
Makeup Picks: Eyes
Number one on my wishlist right now is the Jaclyn Hill Palette (Ulta). Although it has been out for awhile, I own so much eye shadow that I simply couldn’t justify any more purchases for awhile. However, I recently decided that I need some more mattes in my collection. And the Jaclyn Hill Palette (Ulta) has a large selection of mattes, plus some shimmers that I would LOVE to have. So suddenly, with a discount, I have justified this purchase! (See how well I do that? 😉 ). I have several of the Urban Decay palettes and if any were running low, I would also stock up on one of those, like my favorite, Urban Decay’s Naked3 (Ulta / Sephora).
But, what I am really obsessed with right now is the Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows (Ulta / Sephora). I even got my mom into them too. Although they are certainly a special occasion and nonessential product, they are simply amazing! Amazing enough that I might start sporting glittery eyes to run errands, because why not? Basically they are a liquid eye shadow with very fine glitter mixed in. But, the amazing-ness is that they stay on for a very long time, don’t crease (if you let them dry before moving your eyes), and there is no fall out. None! How does Stila do that? Suddenly glittery eyes are easy and don’t require a special glitter glue and an extensive clean-up after you have glitter all over you and the room you’re applying it in. Hallelujah!
Another great find for me recently was Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Ulta / Sephora), which I assumed was nothing special and was using the comparable NYX Micro Brow Pencil (Ulta). Now, there is nothing wrong with the NYX, in fact, I like it a lot. But, the ABH Brow Wiz is way better. It is a softer, more pigmented, more blend-able pencil. A truth I wish I didn’t know. So now I will only be purchasing them with they are on sale. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Ulta / Sephora) is a staple I always stock up on as well.
Beauty Picks: Fragrance
I love floral scents! I always restock perfumes when there is a sale because fragrance so rarely go on sale. So, if you are a floral gal like me, you’ll love my staples. A couple of notes: Tory Burch’s Love Relentlessly (Ulta / Sephora) is one of my favorites, but it is a heavier scent and I think it is best for fall and winter. But, that’s just me. Also, I own both Dior’s J’Adore (Ulta / Sephora) and J’Adore Lumière (Ulta / Sephora) and although they are very similar, I think Lumière is a little fresher or lighter. I prefer it, especially for spring and summer. Vera Wang (Ulta) is a classic I have been wearing for the last decade and then some. If they ever stop making it I would be without a “signature scent.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sephora’s Perfume Samplers. If you are like me, you don’t do well deciding on a fragrance while standing in the beauty department or being hounded by a commission-motivated sales person. They tend to get annoyed by my indecisiveness and I get annoyed by their hustle. So, a great “work around” is to try one of Sephora’s Perfume Samplers. The idea is that you get a collection of sample sized perfumes shipped right to you to try along with a voucher to purchase one full-sized (or in some cases travel-sized, depending on the sampler you choose) bottle once you decide what you like. I LOVE these!
My apologies for this being such a long post! If you are interested in hearing more about all of the beauty products I am trying or are my “tried and true,” please let me know by commenting on this post. Thank you!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on or purchase through certain links, I may receive a small commission.