Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sephora & Ulta - 2017 Free makeup birthday gifts with swatches


I do this post every year, and I'm so excited about the 2017 free makeup birthday gifts! I love getting makeup freebies, plus I have a February birthday so I'm happy to share swatches & my thoughts early in the year. It's snowing like crazy today in Boston, so no outside pics this year.

Sephora 2017
Sephora has three birthday gift choices for the year of 2017. I saw two available in store in the Boston area. The options are:
  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty & Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit
  2. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet 
  3.  Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser and Clean Break Oil-Free Moisturizer. This one looks like its online only, but let us know if you see it in your local store!  

As always, I did no photo editing so you can see the most accurate color - I only edit to add watermarks and shade labels. The Paaarty blush (why couldn't they just name it Party?!? Tarte makes me feel like a grumbly old lady) is matte and is a peachy nude. A+ for choosing a matte shade, I rarely wear shimmery blushes because they look horrible with pores/skin texture.

For context, I swatched this shade next to some shades you may be familiar with. I threw in Bobbi Brown Pale Pink on the end so you could see it next to an actual cool toned shade for reference. Compared to Tarte Thankful, one of the most basic warm pinks ever, you can see Paaarty is more nude and peachy. NARS Douceur, my favorite nude blush, is more plummy and brown. In case you thought Paaarty was too tan, I swatched NARS Laguna at the other end for reference.

On my fair cool toned skin, Paaarty shows up and looks pretty, but it isn't my favorite. I personally prefer cooler toned pinks, but I could see this shade working well for most fair-light-medium skintones. If you have skin deeper than a medium tan, I doubt this would work at all.



The Tarte tarteist creamy matte lip paint mini in Birthday Suit is not at all my cup of tea. On my cool toned skin, I feel like the shade pulls too muddy orange to be a convincing nude. The tarteist matte formula is relatively lightweight, but emphasizes lip lines and dries out my lips. I am in my 20s and matte liquid lipsticks make my lips visually age about 20 years, so heaven help you if you are concerned with lip lines or have chapped lips.

As you can see by my comparison swatches, I don't own any peachy, tan, brown, or brick liquid lipsticks to compare. What I do have are a few shades that are in the same color family in finishes that actually work for me - if you like the idea of this shade but can't tolerate the finish, Fresh sugar lip treatment in Petal will be your friend. If Fresh sugar lip treatments are too sheer and glossy for your taste, the new Fresh sugar cream lip treatments may be a better compromise and Buff is in the same color family. I do have a full review of the Fresh sugar creams here. The YSL glossy stain in #7 is a peachy coral that is flattering on my fair, cool toned skin. To show how truly muted and earthy birthday suit is, I swatched Clinique sweet pop as well.

Ulta


Ulta's free birthday gift changes quarterly, so January, February & March birthdays will get a mini Benefit Porefessional primer. I wish Ulta let you choose your gift like Sephora does because I have gotten so many Benefit Porefessional samples over the years!

Unfortunately, Benefit Porefessional (and other silicone heavy pore filling primers) breaks me out badly. It is also basically colorless, so no point in swatching.

I'm sure most people will be happy about Porefessional, especially considering it is nicer than the Ulta store brand palette from last year. My all time favorite Ulta gift was the CK One full size mascara from a few years ago, but this one isn't the worst. I will update for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter birthdays when they release info.

I hope this was helpful to you! Happy birthday!

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