Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Guide | September 2019
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Tomorrow is the first day of my favorite part of the year. I don’t know about you, but there’s just something so magical about September. Cooler temperatures are coming, the holidays are around the corner, and (maybe it’s because I’m an Enneagram 4) but the air always feels nostalgic and welcoming once September hits. You know what else is magical about September 1st? It kicks off Ulta’s huge semi-annual sale: 21 Days of Beauty!
Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty is a semi-annual event (held in the spring and fall) where they mark down a ton of high-end products for one day (usually 50% off or more.) Each day features a new product at a significant discount, so you have to act fast to get your hands on that product because once the day is over, the discount disappears! Most of the sales are offered in-store, but there are also some that you can only get online. There are also “hot buys” that last the duration of the sale at their discounted prices. Additionally, Platinum and Diamond members get additional perks (like free shipping on any deal) and there are usually some last-minute items added throughout the month that aren’t advertised as a surprise!
Because it’s my goal to help reduce the overwhelm you feel when you walk into a makeup store like Ulta (or look at a sale list like the 21 Days of Beauty) I’m putting together a guide to this year’s sale to help you know what products are worth the purchase and which ones you can skip! I’ll be honest – I’m not super impressed with the deals they have this go-round, but there are a few things I can whole-heartedly recommend and a few things I can say “HARD PASS” to!
But first, some tips for getting the most out of this sale:
- Most of these one-day deals are offered both in-store and online. There are some deals that are offered only online, however. This time around, they are offering a buy online and pickup in-store, so if you don’t want to wait for shipping, you can try that option out! If you are going to order a product online, the deals normally launch at midnight, so I’d recommend getting on the night before if you’re up to order. If not, try to do it as early in the morning as you can, because products sell out FAST. I usually set calendar reminders on my phone for the deals I want to get to remind me to get on and order them!
- If you are going to shop in-store, the same thing applies. I’ve swung by Ulta during my lunch break to find that the product was already sold out.
- I’d also sign up for the Ulta emails if you don’t have them coming to you, to begin with. As I said, they sometimes offer last minute deals that they don’t advertise and that’s the first place to find out about them!
What to Buy:
September 2nd – Ofra Highlighters Single Pan (ON SALE for $14.50 each, regularly priced at $29.00) – These highlighters are some of the best on the market and I don’t say that lightly. I think they are even better than Becca Cosmetic highlighters. They are so reflective and apply beautifully to the skin. My favorite shade is Pillow Talk (the prettiest champagne rose) and I’ll be picking up a few more new shades this go-round.
September 6th – Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara (ON SALE for $12.50, regularly priced at $25.00) – This is my holy grail mascara (yes, it has beat out the Too Faced BTS mascara) and such a steal at $12.50! That’s only $1.50 more than the L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara. This mascara is a beautiful volumizing formula that doesn’t get clumpy and doesn’t rub off or transfer once tried. It’s also super inky black, so it makes your lashes pop. I will be stocking up on it during the sale for sure!
September 7th – Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer (ON SALE for $11.50, regularly priced at $23.00) – There are some really great brow pencils out there in the drugstore section that I always recommend, but when the ABH pencils go on sale, I always recommend snagging them over any other brand. While I don’t think they are necessarily worth the price at $23.00, they are FOR SURE worth the price when they are on sale!
September 9th – Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum (ON SALE for $19.50, regularly priced at $39.00) – I received this serum in my BoxyCharm box about a month ago and have been using it nightly ever since. I’m OBSESSED! It’s lightweight but so moisturizing and I feel like I’ve been watching my pores become invisible over the last few weeks. My skin literally feels so smooth and feels like glass! I’ve also noticed that my makeup has been even easier to apply lately because there’s no texture on my skin to disrupt it!
September 13th – Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush & Highlighters (ON SALE for $14.50, regularly priced at $29.00) – Tarte blushes are some of my all-time FAVORITES. They are pigmented, blend out beautifully, and last forever. I still have their holiday blush palette from two years ago and use it weekly. If you’re looking for a new blush or two, this is the deal to snag (love the color Seduce!)
September 14th – ItCosmetics Bye Bye Foundation (ON SALE for $19.75, regularly priced at 39.50) – While I recently have fallen in love with the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, I cannot forget my first tinted moisturizer love: the ItCosmetics Bye Bye Foundation. This baby is gooooood and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a lightweight and hydrating face product that has amazing coverage for NOT being a foundation. I’ve had several friends and followers switch to it and they all have had nothing but positive things to say. One thing to note – the shade range is limited and runs dark. I’m fair-light in this, so definitely get 1-2 shades lighter than you typically would.
September 15th – TooFaced Hangover Primer (ON SALE for $16.00, regularly priced at $32.00) – This is a fantastic hydrating primer that get really tacky after a few minutes of applying it (which means your foundation will really grip to it!) It’s one of my most used primers because it really nourishes my skin and it never makes me break out!
What to pass on:
I have a few things that I would recommend that you pass on, and here’s why:
- Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder – This stuff is WEIRD! I received it in a recent BoxyCharm box and I cannot get it to work for me. It’s made with 50% water, so the powder literally feels wet when you apply it and it makes my face look SUPER cakey. Hard pass.
- Too Faced Natural Face Palette – I picked this up last summer and it was a BIG disappointment, which was a bummer because typically Too Faced products are amazing. However, I found both highlight shades too dark for my skin, and the blushes and bronzers too pigmented and hard to blend out.
- ItCosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer – Okay, this concealer is decent, but it can be pretty hard to work with, especially if you are newer to makeup. I’d recommend the Born This Way concealer by Too Faced or the Tarte Shape Tape before this one.
What I’m Buying:
I’m for sure going to be picking up some more Ofra highlighters and stocking up on my Lancome mascara. Here are a few deals I’m personally going to snag up for products I haven’t tried yet:
September 5th – M.A.C. lipsticks in Diva or Creme in Your Coffee (ON SALE FOR $9.25, regularly priced at $16.80) – I have never owned a M.A.C. lipstick, but have heard nothing but amazing things about them. The Creme in Your Coffee shade looks like a great fall color!
HOT BUY – Lilly Lashes (ON SALE for $18.20, regularly priced at $26.00) – This is still a bit expensive for falsies, but I’ve wanted to try Lilly Lashes for the longest time and this seems to be the best price I’ll be able to get them for!
WHEW! As always, that was a lot, but we made it to the end. I truly hope that this helps you feel confident about treating yourself to a fun product or two during the sale. I’ll do my best to update my IG stories daily to remind you when my recommended products go on sale, that way you don’t miss out on them, so make sure you’re following me there! Let me know if you have any questions!