You may have noticed some posts from our friends at the Strategist on the Cut. They’ll be dropping in every now and again, sharing their expertise on the basics you don’t have time to research and the weird and wonderful things you don’t yet know you need.
Some good news to get you through this heat wave: Ulta’s throwing a flash sale today only, where hair, makeup, and skin-care deals abound. Included are some of our favorite drugstore beauty buys (which are even cheaper now), but the sale extends to some rarer discounts on Clarisonic brushes, an LED light therapy mask, and even premium concealers (we’re talking 50 percent off). Below, some standout items we love.
What our beauty writer Rio would buy (probably) if she were shopping this sale right now: She made sure to scoop one up when she made an Ulta run earlier this year, and called the sponge a must-try for beauty-blender people. “I was beyond impressed with how evenly and smoothly it distributed my makeup, and also how well it covered areas I didn’t even know I was missing out on before.”
Here’s a cheapo drugstore buy that, funnily enough, keeps making appearances in the Cut’s series, “Why Is Your Skin So Good.”
The exact shade of tinted lip balm, “Adore,” that writer Alice Gregory has considered her go-to every day for the last couple years. “It’s halfway between a balm and a lipstick — like a tinted lip balm. And, honest to God, you can eat a hamburger and still have a tinged mouth when you’re finished.”
The Cut recently called out this mascara as one of the best lengthening drugstore options: “People who love this mascara LOVE this mascara — it’s a real cult favorite. I found that it doesn’t clump, and the brush does a great job at distributing the mascara evenly without any cakey-ness.”
And if you’re in the market for a long-wear concealer that will grip on even in this humidity, we might suggest this Estée Lauder concealer that’s now 50 percent off (!). Kathleen Hou recommended it for acne-prone skin and says that as “a multipurpose concealer, you can use this for under-eye circles, redness, and lighter blemishes. It comes in nine shades and purportedly lasts for 15 hours.”
Or, if you want to dip a toe into LED light therapy for acne, this was already your cheapest option, but it’s now even more budget-friendly at $10 off. Rio uses it for acne and says she was “pleasantly surprised by how well it worked on getting rid of active blemishes.”
Another mascara that the Cut loves: this waterproof L’Oreal option that Kathleen Hou calls a great dupe for the pricier Chanel Inimitable Mascara: “The waterproof nature of both of these mascaras don’t just resist sweat and rain, but also help them to stay curled and perky, without looking or feeling crunchy, even hours later.”
And if you’ve been holding out for a good deal on a Clarisonic facial brush, the Cut says this one is the absolute best, and the full set is now 32 percent off: “It’s pricey, but it also has the most to offer. The cleansing head is made up of soft bristles, and unlike other devices, this one beeps to signal when it’s time to switch areas of your face (read: cheeks, chin, forehead), so you don’t over-buff any one spot.”
There are also some discounts on men’s hair-care products, like this Fatboy putty that’s one of deputy editor Jason Chen’s must-haves: “I know you’re not supposed to wash your hair every day, but I really can’t help it, and the Fatboy is the only hair putty that gives my hair that almost-dirty, very styleable gritty texture, though, as with any hair product, I just have to make sure to use it on almost-dry hair.”
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