Snag Mother’s Day Gifts at Ulta Stores & #Online! Check Out New West LA Store Opening!

It’s time to start sharpening our shopping skills because it’s getting close to a couple of holidays: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There’s an easy-peasy place to go shopping that I am a pretty big fan of now that I finally have one near me– as in not a 20-30 minute drive on a freeway! The store is Ulta and Ulta.com

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I feel about Ulta the exact same feeling I feel about Sephora- overwhelmed at the choices –but the choices there give me the freedom to spend a chunk of change or very little. From Perricone to NYX; from high end tools and hair brands to very affordable brands in mass for the same categores; and don’t forget the fragrance, brow-grooming or hair salon either!

Here’s the depth of what I am talking about:
• Prestige Skincare includes Dermalogica, Murad, Exuviance, and Kinerase
• Prestige Cosmetics include Bare Escentuals, Smashbox, Stila, Benefit and Urban Decay
• Professional Hair and Nail brands include Pureology, Redken, Matrix, Living Proof, Ojon, Essie, and OPI
• Tried-and-true popular brands include L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Olay, Pantene and Revlon
• Fragrances from Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Lancôme, to Vera Wang and Dolce & Gabbana
• Professional hair tools include CHI and Hot Tools
• ULTA Brands include color cosmetics, skin care, bath and body, sun care, hair care, and the ULTA Men’s Collection
Got to love this place!

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Ulta Beauty Salon

It’s not uncommon for me to get boxes of products- often it’s like a blizzard and then zip (which is good because I am always writing). However the day I got a box from an NYC PR firm with an adorable bag full or goodies I was pretty astonished.

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Turns out they sent me a bag because a new ULTA opened up in West LA– Midtown Crossing, 4550 Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019 to be specific! It’s the first Ulta to be opening in Los ?Angeles proper! This store is 10,000 square foot retail space that includes a 950 square foot full-service salon. Wowza! Let’s go shopping! Nope! Wait– just wait!

I open up this pretty large box to find this container inside:
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Cute, colorful and so very much me! It’s perfect for traveling (long distance or short hauls). It holds a lot of stuff. How do I know how much it holds? I opened up the bag and -eye-popping beauty-blissful surprises!
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This was in the top section which featured an assortment of products:
Ulta bronzer in a light golden tan
Benefit Mascara,
The Body Shop Body Butter
OPI Nail Polish
NYX Lip Butter
Armani Acqua Di Goia Travel Spray

The bottom part of this handy tote had MORE surprises!

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The bottom compartment had these items & more!
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. (I LOVE this brand. It’s one of the key self-tanning brands that delivers exactly what you want!)
Leopard print mini-kabuki brush
Living Proof 5 in 1 Styling Product (oooooooooh so much fun)
Tangle Teezer brush. I had never seen one before. Now it’s always on my counter when I wash my hair.
Dermalogica Oily Skin treatment
PLUS a $50 gift card for me to visit the store in West LA and go shop.

And shop I did! I bought a couple more Benefit products along with a clutch of lip and eye pencils from NYX in my fave colors– dark red and plum for that rich deep lip that everyone is sporting, plus another lip butter in a deep plum too!

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It’s really fun– much like Christmas but I also look at this seriously as any editor does (I have been writing about beauty for over 10 years for print and online) It’s amazingly fun but also I look at how the product is useful and also how it relates to current trends!

This gave me the opportunity to really evaluate products I haven’t ever seen OR products I hadn’t seen in a couple of years! Great experience and for products that didn’t suit me, I had someone else who would review them for me. The feedback helps me give you a better assessment of the products. Also I was able to scope out some new treatments for skin that I had been hearing about: Illumask which is like wearing a mask for 15 minutes and getting one of those MD office only light treatments for LE$$! It’s actually a mask that you put on like glasses, the light goes on, you close your eyes and 15 minutes later voila– you are on the road to getting clearer skin if you have the anti-acne mask or a more youthful and radiant complexion with the anti-aging on. (Do not remove the mask if the lights are on. Do not open your eyes unless the mask is properly situated on your face) This masque is good for treatments for 30 days and then you need to replace it. The cool part is that you have only paid for one month and not shelled out buckets of cash for a treatment that might or might not work for you. In every case with skincare, it’s a case of YMMV- your mileage may vary.

Thanks so much to ULTA for sending me all these cool products and giving me a chance to check out the new West LA ULTA!!

* As per FTC regulations, I was gifted everything I am talking about in this post. While I love getting free products, I take this very seriously and I judge all products with serious regard. What I recommend might not work for you. When judging products — especially beauty products of any category– your personal situation or condition will determine the effectiveness of each product. It is a case of YMMV (your mileage may vary). Many of the items featured here today are great gifts for Moms, grads, anyone on your list that likes fragrance, hair care, makeup, skincare and lots more.

Stevie Wilson,
LA-Story.com

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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