I lucked out makeup-wise this week. I got some free makeup that I didn’t expect. How nice is that?!
Ulta is changing their rewards program to a point system, similar to Sephora’s. You accrue points on purchases and you can use them to buy anything in the store, prestige or affordable brands. But I had a “Reward” under the old system. Much to my surprise, I was at Level 1 because I spent less than $50 during the last period. Seems a little low to me, but then I always buy with coupons and during special offers. For Level 1, the rewards are limited: mostly a bunch of Ulta private label samples, if I remember correctly, or an essence eye shadow stick which I already have.
I decided to go for the new NYX Butter Lip Balm that came out a few months ago. It comes in 6 shades. I wanted Red Velvet, a deep red, but they were sold out. So I went with Ladyfingers, a deep pink-raspberry shade instead, and I like the sheer raspberry shade on my lips.
I have a couple of similar balms from essence that are very hydrating, but they don’t deposit any color on my lips which is disappointing. This is the translucent color that I got after two swipes. I think that’s great!
The NYX lip balm has a light fruity scent when applied that disappears instantly. It’s hydrating and lasts for a couple of hours, like any other balm. It’s cruelty-free, 0.14 oz./4 g and it’s made in China. (I’m confused, because I thought China tested on animals, but maybe that’s only products that are sold in China rather than made in China??) The regular price is $2.98.
NYC New York Color & Rimmel
In December, I received my first Vox Box full of goodies from Influenster, an organization for “influencers” (i.e.social media types) to receive opportunities to try products and help get the word out about them. It’s free to join, and though it can be quite a bit of work, it’s fun. Here’s a link to Influenster, if you think you’d like to apply.
The Holly Jolly Vox Box that I received contained a neutral palette of shimmery eye shadows from NYC and a ShowOff lip lacquer from Rimmel. I created a nice eye look with the palette, and I loved the Rimmel lip lacquer so much, I went out and bought a second shade. I completed all the promotional tasks that were assigned for both products, like making a Vine video, tweeting, blogging, and sharing on Facebook, Instagram etc. As a result, I earned a couple of “badges” from Influenster.
The best part is that I received a new Scandaleyes mascara from Rimmel, and NYC sent me three free products as a reward. Nice! I am under no obligation to review the gifts I received, but I thought, why not?! I like the products and the shades that they sent, so why not tell you about them. I’ll show you the NYC haul first. I got:
- NYC Cityproof Lipgloss
- NYC Sparkle Dust eye glitter
- NYC Cheek Glow, blush
The NYC Cityproof lipgloss is a very pretty translucent, shiny mauve, Mauving All Night, that has a tangerine scent that goes away immediately. Frankly, I would rather have a nice fruity scent that disappears than the chemically scent that the PopBeauty lipgloss has. The applicator has a small angled sponge tip. I really like this shade. It’s basically a neutral with a slight mauve tone that looks like my lips, but better. The lipgloss is marketed as an extended wear lipgloss, up to 8 hours. I can’t say I got 8 hours, but it did last a few hours. And it wasn’t too sticky, like some glosses can be. The price is about $3.50.
The powder blush, called NYC Cheek Glow, is embossed with the NYC logo. The shade is West Side Wine, which is why I like it so much – I lived on the Upper West Side of NYC for many years and I drank a fair amount of wine, lol. Seriously, the blush is also mauve and again, it’s a neutral shade. I don’t think I would have looked at this shade in the store, but it’s really lovely on. I don’t have anything like it, and this is a nice addition to my collection. I found this powder blush to be easy to blend, and it’s pigmented enough – meaning not overly pigmented – so it’s easy to apply (although the little brush that comes with it is kinda cheesy, it’s nice of them to include it at that price!). The blush is lasted on my skin for several hours. The price is about $2.79.
Last is the Sparkle Eye Dust. I remember seeing other beauty bloggers wearing and reviewing glitter shadow during the holiday season. I thought that loose glitter shadow was not for me. Au contraire, I ended up liking this a lot. It’s gold shadow that comes in a tube with a sponge-tip applicator. I applied it along my upper lash line, and it gave a nice pop to my eyes without looking over the top. I didn’t have any problems with fall out. I applied it over the neutral cream eye shadow that I had put on several hours earlier over eye primer. And the loose shadow stayed put till I removed it after about 6 hours later. The price is $2.70, and it comes in 6 shades.
This is me wearing the NYC products. I like the look.
Like NYX, NYC products are made in China. These do not say cruelty-free on the packaging.
Next up is Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara. I’ve heard a lot about this mascara, but I hadn’t gotten around to buying it. How wonderful to get it for free!
Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara comes in a very thick tube, even thicker than the L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara I reviewed recently. I guess the thick tube is supposed to be a cue for thick lashes. Oh come on!
Because of the thickness, the handle is a bit awkward but not too bad. What’s different about this is the figure-8 brush head.
The brush head has some traditional elements: it’s made of bristles instead of plastic and it tapers at the tip. Frankly, I’m not sure that I get the figure-8 shape. Here’s what Rimmel says about it:
- “Hourglass brush shaped to the lash line plumps and fans out lashes for bold wide-eyed volume
- No Clumps!
- Ophthalmologist tested
- Suitable for sensitive eyes
An innovative mascara for outrageously wide eyed volume and indecently fanned out lashes. Swinging ’60s drama is the name of the game with new ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara. The mascara features an hourglass-shaped fiber brush with curves in all the right places, designed to the contour of your lash line to ensure that every last lash gets a pump of volume without clumps. It plumps and fans out lashes for high volume, high intensity, and high excitement. Glamorizes even small and lower lashes! Get ready to get scandalously groovy with the ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara!”
I can’t say that the hour-glass shape contoured to my lash line at all. In fact, I felt like I had to maneuver the brush so that dip in the middle didn’t make my middle lashes look shorter than the surrounding ones. I applied straight on first with the whole brush head, and then I went back and added more to the lashes in the middle. But I must agree that there were NO CLUMPS and it did give me biggish lashes, even though I really didn’t have time to put a lot on. I think I did one coat.
I really like that the formula doesn’t have fibers in it, just a thick formula. Net net, I like this mascara especially the no clumps aspect, in spite of the unnecessary hourglass shape.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara is made in England, and it costs around $5.99-6.99 depending on where you buy it.
So, thank you NYC, Rimmel and Ulta! No complaints from me Although all of the makeup products I received were inexpensive, they were great! Really worth the small amount of money that they would cost to buy. If you want a little treat and don’t want to spend much money, check out any or all of these babies. They won’t break the bank!
In the US, these brands and products are widely available in drugstores like CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, mass merchandisers like Target and Walmart, supermarkets like Fred Meyer among others, and online: drugstore.com, amazon.com etc.
Have you come across any great inexpensive makeup products lately? Do share!