One thing I miss about being in Cleveland is shopping trips. I don’t take that many of them back home, but places like Ulta, Target, and TJ Maxx are more accessible in a big suburb with a car. Nevertheless, online shopping is a useful tool. Here are my favorite products from Ulta Beauty, consisting of skincare and some makeup products.
- COSRX: AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner - $19.00
At $19.00, this is a great deal for skincare. AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, and BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. Both are useful for chemical exfoliation. According to an article by Healthline, AHA is more useful for peeling away the dead skin to reveal smooth, new skin. While BHA is good for unclogging the dead skin and oil in pores.
This product works for me, and I will never go without it again. My skin is much smoother, and my blackheads have decreased in size. I have combination skin, oily in my T-Zone, and normal everywhere else, so I use it on my oily areas. The product suggests you use it two to three times per week as a chemical exfoliator, so don’t use it too often! From personal experience, don’t use it on broken or sunburnt skin.
CORSX is a Korean skincare line at Ulta and has its own website. They have many other products available if you are looking for effective and affordable skincare.
- CeraVe: Renewing SA Cleanser - $13.99
CeraVe has done no wrong in my mind (except for the plastic packaging). Their products are affordable, very popular, and bring results! This cleanser is no exception, with a gentle clean using Salicylic Acid. This product is great if you are looking to have smoother skin. I love it as a gentle cleanser in the mornings or after workouts.
This is a #1 Dermatologist recommended brand, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little! Their products are also available at supermarkets, pharmacy stores, and grocery stores.
- Clinique: Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
This product varies in price depending on the size. The 1.0oz pot is $22.00, the 1.7oz amount is $39.50, the 2.5oz amount is $54.00, and the 4.2oz amount is $78.00. I don’t use this product anymore because it is out of my price range. Yet, if you have the funds, I highly recommend giving this moisturizer a try!
It is a water-based moisturizer, versus the cream consistency, which soaks into your skin quickly and feels refreshing. A little bit of this goes a long way, as it’s moisturizing ability is amazing. This product made me feel luxurious every time I used it, and I miss it. If you aren’t a fan of this type of moisturizer, it can also serve as a 5-minute mask once or twice a week.
- The Ordinary: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution - $8.70
If you haven’t hopped on The Ordinary train, there is no better time then the present. This product is strong and effective because of the ingredients. Glycolic Acid is recommended by many skincare influencers, but sparingly. Like the COSRX product above, this is a chemical exfoliator. You use it after cleansing as a toner to improve skin texture and appearance.
The pro and con of this product is how powerful it is. Glycolic Acid can do wonders for your skin if used properly but can be painful and stripping otherwise. If you are a first-timer for Glycolic Acid, do a patch test to see if your skin can handle it. If you can, then limit use to twice a week to start, and be careful which products you use it with. Visit the webpage to read on what products it cannot be paired with.
Pictured is another one of their products, containing niacinamide and zinc. Not one of my favorites because it's too moisturizing for me but extremely well rated on ULTA's site.
- SheaMoisture: African Black Soap - $5.99
Products with charcoal in them have mixed reviews, but this bar soap has many other great ingredients in it. This brand also makes a similar facemask that I am addicted to but is unfortunately not sold at Ulta.
SheaMoisture has ethically traded and sustainable ingredients, founded by a powerful woman and continued by her family, Fair Trade certified, and never tested on animals. That alone makes you feel confident in taking a chance on this brand. This bar soap can be used all over the body, and I personally love it for acne on my back and chest.
This brand had other skincare products, as well as hair care products. They specialize in hair care for women of color with a wide variety of options.
- Morphe: Fluidity Full-Coverage Concealer - $10.00
The brand speaks for itself, so you already know this product is good. Morphe's concealer comes in 31 colors, is sweat proof, fragrance-free, and is supposed to last 16 hours. I have been using this concealer since February, and it stands up to the test. It's easy to blend, can be worn on hot summer days, and doesn’t leave any cakey feel.
I use this without foundation as an under-eye concealer and for blemishes. It brightens and smooths my skin without looking dramatic or fake. I recommend you find a good primer to use underneath, and it should work great!
- e.l.f. Cosmestics: Poreless Face Primer - $10.00
I have been working my way through e.l.f. Cosmetics’ primers. This, by far, has been my favorite. It truly minimized the look of my pores while making my skin feel incredibly smooth. At $10.00, it is also a great deal for the amount.
E.l.f. Cosmetics is another TikTok favorite, so don’t be afraid to try it! My favorite bonus to this product is the pump it comes in. You can sleep peacefully, knowing you have a sanitary product that will minimize waste.
These are products I find myself going back to again and again. The quality is fantastic for the price, and they provide results without damaging my skin. I hope you give them a try and Happy Skincare!
AHA versus BHA: https://www.healthline.com/health/aha-vs-bha#key-differences