january-product-reviewsWe just had a round robin training for the Southern VA district Ulta Beauty Salon Managers at my store and it was awesome! That’s where these January product reviews came from….we got so much information and some great product demos that I’m super excited to share with everyone!

Featured this month are products from Living Proof, Exuviance, IT Cosmetics, Bare Minerals, Too Faced, and Laura Geller!

We did not have a special guest from Laura Geller, but I took it upon myself to try their lip scrub because it was time to throw my other one out! I was using Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant and have been for several years. It’s my favorite because of the consistency and effectiveness. Read more to see how Laura Geller’s Lip Strip compares!

January Product Reviews


💋IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum

This serum is in the primer section of IT Cosmetics at Ulta Beauty, but it does so much more than prep your face for a beautiful makeup application. The first time I put it on my face I became instantly obsessed with it! This serum smells awesome…like citrus…it’s silky, goes on smooth, and makes your skin feel so revived.

I’ve been using No. 50 Serum for one week, morning and night, after my cleansing regimen(Clinique 3-Step). The first day I put it over my moisturizer, but after that I used the serum by itself because it’s so good and it hydrates enough to take place of my moisturizer. I even apply it to my neck and décolleté….I would seriously bathe in this stuff if it wasn’t $48 a bottle!

After just one day I knew that this would be a product I will use on a regular basis and will have no problem splurging on it! I’m kinda surprised that it’s not in their top 5 products and I can only assume that’s because people don’t know about it, or haven’t tried it.


💋Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick

For those of you that know me well and/or frequently shop at our Ulta Beauty in Williamsburg, VA….you know how crazy I am about Julep’s Matte Lip Mousse!!! I like it because it stays on all day, it provides great color, and it doesn’t dry out my lips. It also pairs really well with Julep’s Lip Oil for those of you that want a more glossy or moisturized look.

So…when Jenn from Too Faced showed us their new Melted Matte Lipstick…I instantly wanted to know how it compares to the lip mousse. She told me that Julep’s lip mousse is more “matte” and the Too Faced lipstick is a little less matte on your lips, but more moisturizing.

Here’s my personal opinion…

They both last ALL DAY! The biggest difference in the two lip products is consistency and ease of application, which go hand-in-hand when it comes to most makeup. Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick is so much smoother, so it’s much easier to apply. That’s important for me because I’m usually in a hurry and I’m not great at applying lipstick.

Surprisingly, Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick is my favorite now, but I still love the Julep Matte Lip Mousse. I’ll probably just not wear it for a while unless the shades I have will compliment my outfit or accessories that day.


💋Too Faced Sweet Peach Infused Lip Oil Gloss

I know everyone is going crazy over the new peach makeup from Too Faced, but that’s NOT why I’m including their new gloss in this post! Jenn, our Too Faced account executive briefly touched on the new peach oil lip gloss and at the time I wasn’t considering purchasing it. I have SO MANY lip glosses and most of them disappoint me…why buy more?

She gave us a mini of the new melted matte lipstick and I loved it! So, the next day I went to buy a full size of it but we were sold out of a lot of shades. I tried really hard to find another shade that I would like, but most of my second faves were sold out as well.

That’s when I saw the peach oil lip gloss. Yes, it was an impulse buy, but a good one! It was one of those moments where you’re so disappointed that you didn’t find what you were looking for, but you won’t go home empty handed! This shit is awesome…it smells good, tastes good, doesn’t feel sticky, and isn’t too shiny. That’s a winner in my book!


💋Laura Geller Lip Strip

So…the only reason I decided to try Lip Strip by Laura Geller Beauty is because my Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant was over a year old and I had to throw it out(ugh…it’s so hard to throw away products that I didn’t finish using…more on that later). I was asking Becky, one of our managers, if she knew of any good lip exfoliants in prestige makeup to try. There aren’t many, so I went with her suggestion.

Lip Strip is a completely different type of product than Tarte’s lip exfoliant. It’s a sugar scrub and moisturizer all-in-one. You just apply it, rub it on your lips, and rinse off(I usually just wipe it off instead). The only thing that I don’t like about it is that the exfoliating granules are somewhat large for a lip scrub. I was used to the “gritty” texture of the Tarte scrub…the granules were very small and that feels like it works better than a few large granules when it comes to exfoliating such a small area.

Overall, it’s not bad. My lips are well exfoliated, but it takes a little more product that it did with the Tarte lip scrub. Lip Strip is something that I would use daily where the other one should be used once per week.


💋Bare Minerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Eye Cream

To be completely honest…I wasn’t “over-the-top” excited about this product…but I was willing to try it. I used to only wear Bare Minerals and Bare Escentuals makeup(about 5 years ago) and one day I just got tired of the lengthy routine. That was before they came out with more of the pressed shadows, powders, and liquid makeup products. By then I was over it and had moved on to other brands…so don’t get me wrong when I say that Bare Minerals didn’t excite me….it’s only because that phase had come and gone for me.

During our training, the gals from Bare Minerals gave us a demo and let us test out their entire skin care line. The products smell great, they have a really nice consistency, and they’re priced more comfortably than other prestige skin care brands. This eye cream is $38 at Ulta Beauty where comparable eye creams are $50 or more.

The reason why I decided to seriously give it a try and use it everyday for a review was because our Prestige Makeup Manager, Anastasia was super jelly that I got a full size of the eye cream at our training. She even wanted to trade makeup for it…that’s how bad she wanted to try it! I asked her what the big deal was and for her it’s all about ingredients. She’s all about safe ingredients and companies that do not test on animals. Anastasia told me that the Bare Minerals Brilliant Future Eye Cream is one of the only eye creams that checks all of her boxes and has a great reputation for doing what they say it will do.


💋Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray


Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray is launching on February 10, 2017 and we already have clients asking for it at our salon! A few weeks ago our Living Proof account executive, Melissa, brought us a “sneak peek” bottle to test and use on our clients. I’ve used this spray on everyone(including myself) and it’s a great all-around product whether you have damaged hair or not.

I often recommend Living Proof’s restore line to clients and shoppers with damaged hair because it’s meant to restore your hair to it’s healthier state. This is the first repair product that I would recommend to anyone with any hair type because it’s not heavy, it’s a great detangler, it protects your hair from heat and other elements, and it’s silicone & paraben-free!

My personal favorite quality of the new Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray is that it has time-released conditioners that revive and restore your hair all day! I’ve never heard of that and I think it’s so awesome. Melissa did explain the science behind this product and how it works, but that’s a little over my head. So…don’t ask me how, but it will keep your hair moisturized throughout the day!


💋Exuviance Performance Peel

I’ve been using the Philosophy Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel for a few months and I love it! I asked Jocelyn, our Exuviance account executive about how their performance peel compares because they are two very different products with similar goals. She told me that the Exuviance Performance Peel is stronger and works a little differently than Philosophy’s peel.

Something I didn’t know about Exuviance skin care…

Exuviance can only be sold with the aid of a licensed skin care professional(like a dermatologist or esthetician). We are able to carry Exuviance at Ulta Beauty because we have an in-house licensed skin therapist that can consult with you about your skin care needs and goals. This brand works and it’s not cheap, so if you’re unsure of which products you should try then schedule a complimentary consultation with an esthetician for recommendations specific to your skin care type/concerns!


If you haven’t been to Ulta Beauty yet….you’re missing out! We have testers of EVERYTHING in prestige makeup, ULTA brand products, Living Proof hair products, Redken hair products, and more! Just stop by with a clean face and try some new things…it’s the best way to find new products without spending tons of money.

Is there a product that you want to see on next month’s reviews? Just leave a comment below with the brand and product name!

About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

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