Alright, so more from my Ulta field trip. I'd never been there before (I know, I know, I fail at life), and it was a little overwhelming. Those stores are huge! The setup isn't quite as nice as Sephora, but I love how they combine drugstore brands like Maybelline and upscale brands like Stila and Benefit with practical items like deodorant. Not to mention all the skincare, haircare, and tools/appliances. It's kind of like beauty mecca. If they carried MAC (which is unrealistic, I know), I'd move in there.
Ulta Eyeshadow, $7.00 at ulta.com, Maybelline Dream Matte Powder, $6.49 at drugstore.com:
I ended up buying two shadows, a pressed powder, and one other thing you'll hear about tomorrow--get excited! The shadows were buy one, get one free, so basically they were $3.50 each, which is an awesome deal. I really wanted two semi-matte, versatile contouring shades, and I picked Vogue, a muddy purple, and Suede (which is a little deeper and dirtier than the picture), a medium, sandy brown with gold undertones and a hint of taupe. Both shadows are slightly frosty with mild shimmer. I got Vogue because while I love Nocturnelle, it's a bit bright for daytime at work. Vogue is dark enough to contour and line, but still has just enough purple to bring out the green in my eyes and look softer than say, black or dark brown. I blend it into the lashline and just into the crease for natural-looking definition. I got Suede because it's a little lighter than Romp, so I can blend them together nicely, and because it's a little darker than Wedge, so it gives a good amount of crease definition. I think both of these shadows were a great deal, but I'm not going to stop going to MAC anytime soon. Ulta shadows are decently pigmented, long lasting, and easy to blend, but not nearly as finely-milled or smooth as MAC's shadows. But I wanted these to be a cheaper alternative to my MAC shadows that I could wear during the day, when I'm outside, etc, and they definitely succeed at that.
I picked up the Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Light 4-5 as an alternative to my Stila Sheer Pressed Powder. The Stila powder is about $22 more than the Maybelline powder, and my Stila powder just shattered when I dropped it six inches, so I really wanted this to work. The compact is kind of bulky and unattractive because of the slide-out bottom compartment with a cheap puff applicator and a mirror. I never use those included puff things, so personally I think the whole bottom half of the compact is useless. The powder itself is a total knockout, though. The Stila powder was great, but it could get a little chalky, especially if I reapplied it. This Maybelline powder looks too pale in the compact, but goes on totally sheer. It seems even more finely milled than the Stila powder, it goes on looking totally airbrushed, sets my makeup, and keeps it on all day. It doesn't keep the oilies at bay all day long, but it does just as good a job at that as the $28 powder, and would be perfect if I reapplied it midday. Overall, I have nothing negative to say about the powder itself. It's kind of amazing. I'm a Maybelline convert and I really want to try the Dream Mousse Blush next...
Ulta shadows: ulta.com, Maybelline powder: drugstore.com