This is part 1 of a 2 part review of the 14 piece Ulta Beauty Bonus Gift with Purchase. Since most of the items are either available for sale on Ulta.com or are smaller versions of items that are available, this is also a comprehensive review of the entire brand. This section features first impressions, pricing breakdown, and reviews and swatches of the included eye and brow products.
If you’re as avid an Ulta lover as I am, then you’re probably curious about Ulta’s “Free 14 piece gift w/ any select $19.50 Ulta Beauty collection purchase.” Available here until quantities run out, this gift with purchase is an amazing deal with a value of about $88 (and the lowest minimum price for multi-piece set I’ve ever seen) and a great way to try some of Ulta brands’ products. It includes a full size mascara, lipstick, and 6 pan eyeshadow palette as well as travel sized makeup brushes, nail polish, powder, pencils, primer, lip cream, and makeup remover.
The only Ulta brand items I owned prior to this bag are a dual sided eyebrow pencil (which is great) and holiday scented face and body wipes (which are also great) so I assumed that the quality of the contents of this bag and the $20 of Ulta brand items I had to order would also be pretty good. Since I am not very familiar with the brand, I figured this sampler was a good way to try their products with little commitment (I don’t feel as bad getting rid of freebies).
Selecting my $20 worth of products, I quickly learned that Ulta collection products are relatively expensive. Most in-store brands tend to be cheaper than their big name counterparts (for example, Target’s up&up is always significantly cheaper than the brands that is copying) but the Ulta collection costs just as much if not more than NYX, L’oreal, etc. Ulta usually has sales on their collection such as “Buy 2, get 2 free” which makes it far more worth it but since this GWP promotion is going on, the only eligible items are full priced.
I selected a $5 bottle of nail polish remover, $5 buffer block, and $10 makeup brush cleaner since all of those are essentials I go through pretty regularly. I also used ebates and a $5 off $15 coupon to eliminate the $5 shipping.
Initial impression of the whole bag was excitement. All of these things would be perfect for travel! The bag was roomy and cute though a little too big for my preference. All of the items were sealed and none of them were damaged.
Included among the goodies is a $5 off any Ulta brand cosmetic or brush purchase of $10 or more valid instore and online 3/6/16 to 5/28/16.
The full sized mascara is the Voluptuous Volume mascara which is listed for $10 and has mixed reviews. I am waiting for my It cosmetics Tightline Mascara to finish before trying out this one out.
The 2 eye shadow brushes are surprisingly good. They are travel sized, have synthetic hair with slim wood handles, and are just over 5″ long. The one labeled “small eye shadow” has denser tighter bristles for lining and more pigmented shadow application. The one labeled “large eye shadow” has looser fluffier bristles for blending and softer shadow application. I would not use them for every day but they are way better than most of the free eye shadow brushes I’ve used before.
The Eye Makeup Removing Pads are 15 small circular wipes retailing for $1.50 on the website. They are oil-free and come in a small sturdy plastic circular case perfect for travel. They were gentle but not quite enough for my daily eyeshadow, liquid liner, mascara mess.
The eye shadow palette has no name but 6 full sized pans. The packaging is a cardboard case about the size of an index card which magnetically snaps closed. The colors are: Full Moon (creamy white with glitter), Romance (satiny taupe), Brownie (matte dark brown), Moonbeam (pearlescent silver), Bayou (shimmery ice blue), Give Me Gold (shimmery coppery brown). They didn’t swatch too well on my arm but go smoothly on lids. All but Romance and Full Moon are very pigmented but they are all very nice colors with no chalkiness.
The eyeliner is double sided with white “Halo” on one end and a dark brown “Black/Brown” on the other. It is not creamy or soft at first but after a few uses gets better. Its slim size and hard point is ideal for emphasizing the lash line but awful for inner rim lining. I would not repurchase.
The brow pencil is also double sided with “Warm Brown” pencil on one side and a spoolie brush on the other. This was actually my favorite thing in the whole bag. The pencil is super soft and makes my brows look soft and natural. My only issue with it is that the plastic cover for the spoolie broke after one use and the pencil is surprisingly difficult to sharpen. It is not available for sale but a very close version can be found here.