21 Ulta Beauty Obsessions We're Trying To Cop This Fall
This article is in partnership with Ulta Beauty.
When it comes to beauty, Ulta Beauty has become synonmous as a one-stop shopping experience for makeup and skincare lovers alike. From in-store beauty services to their must-shop event 21 Days Of Beauty, Ulta Beauty has more than established themselves as that store. Recently, Ulta Beauty came through with the come through by unvieling the newness products we didn't know we needed. And we are so here for it!
The fall season is all about being out with the old and in with the new, and while the world very much feels out of our control, it feels great to find comfort and solace in the things you can control. That goes double for investing in yourself and your glow-up. Adding elements to your day like doing your makeup even if it's just for Zoom meetings, virtual Happy Hour with the ladies and treating yourself to a pamper session by adding a few more steps to your skincare routine are such a good reminder of how transformative your glow-up can be. Quarantine or not, it's important to gravitate towards things that build your self-confidence ad nurture your spirit.
For me, investing in myself looks like pampering my skin with products that speak to my needs, especially products that help with dark spots and hyperpigmentation. I'm currently eyeing the release of Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant, Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Dew Drops, and Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Scrub. My pores are ready to preserve this glow, honey, rea-dy. Remember ladies, black joy is an act of resistance.
Ulta Beauty is giving us a multitude of ways to shop these all-new launches. You can order online, shop in-store or in-app, or even pull up to do curbside pickup. Get into the 21 Ulta Beauty newness products that our editors are currently eyeing and prepare to shop 'til you drop!
NARS Climax Extreme Mascara takes lashes to new heights by turning things up to the extreme, thanks to its buildable volume. With an innovative formula that is as intense as it is flexible, the mascara is giving a whole new meaning to peak lashes, emphasis on the va-va-voom. And it manages to do so without the dreaded clumps or smudging that can come with other mascara formulas.
Who says you need to go out for an excuse to get glam? The Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette is filled with tantalizing foiled shades and pressed glitters, reminding you of how fun it is to tap into your black girl magic. What's even better is that this palette consists of an innovative powder to cream formula that provides you with some melt-into-the-skin action. The end result? An enviable radiating finish, ensuring your glow is on go, whether you're getting your virtual happy hour on with friends or a quick socially-distanced date night in. We're just saying.
There's nothing more indulgent than ending your day (or starting it) with a face mask. And Dermalogica knew exactly what they were doing with their Hydro Masque Exfoliant. The masque (that's masque with a 'que') packs a one-two punch thanks to its hydrating and exfoliating properties. This five-minute mask exfoliates with bamboo, while locking in moisture for smooth, renewed, and luminous skin. Yaaasss, glow!
Mario Badescu is that skincare brand. From oily to dry to acne-prone, they seem to offer a range of products that offer the gamut. With their Hyaluronic Dew Drops, they are once again flexing their muscles of why they're everyone's skincare favorite. With its ability to deliver botanical-infused hydration to your skin, this product also offers resurfacing, clarifying benefits that improve the quality of your skin. The end result is a dewy, ultra-hydrated complexion, taking your glow to even higher levels.
If we want to get into achieving a signature glow, Tula is where to begin. Tula Signature Glow Refreshing & Brightening Face Mist does exactly what their name suggests, all while protecting your skin from environmental damage. All-new to Ulta Beauty, the "highlighter in a bottle" is perfect for putting on as a primer before makeup, after makeup, or just to refresh and rehydrate your skin throughout the day. Either way, it allows you to pamper thyself while providing it with the moisture and protection it craves.
With its natural radiant finish coupled with its light-medium coverage formula, IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation might be the simple, lightweight foundation you've been looking for. In addition to giving you coverage without a cakey finish or the feel of a full-coverage formula, this foundation comes in 24 shades and provides you with 24 hours of hydration, giving you a bright and even skin tone without sacrificing your desire for a more natural go-to makeup look.
Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer + Eraser is serving up 'your skin, but better' realness with the debut of this incredible product. This concealer visibly treats dark circles and reduces the look of puffiness all day and overtime while providing you with the coverage you so desire. Available in 30 shades, the caffeine-, Vitamin C-, and hyaluronic acid-enriched product proves to be makeup that covers up while improving your skin underneath. Plus, with its 12-hour wear and 24-hour hydration, Clinique shows beauty-lovers everywhere why this concealer is a must-have.
The StriVectin Super-C Retinol is the Vitamin C product of the gawds. Vitamin C is a highly regarded skincare ingredient because it helps to brighten the skin, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation over time. This product in particular couples Vitamin C with retinol, creating a winning combination of brightening and protection that will help you achieve flawless skin in no time.
Peach & Lily is a Korean skincare brand that offers an array of products catering to skincare needs. With the Peach & Lily Cold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, say goodbye to whatever bags your eyes may be carrying. This eye cream helps eliminate the appearance of undereye circles and puffiness by tightening and hydrating that area of your skin.
The Benefit Cosmetics Brow Microfilling Pen helps you achieve the perfect brow one stroke at a time. Get the coveted microbladed effect at a fraction of the price or the effort with the help of this miracle product. With a staying power of up to 24 hours, this microfilling pen is the one product your brow needs.
One of the best times to really pour into your skin routine is at night. This is because your skin is given the opportunity to repair itself during the hours you've closed your eyes to sleep. That being said, what you apply to your skin at night could be the difference between meh skin and skin that is absolutely radiant. Case in point, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex puts in work by reducing visible signs of aging and evening your skin tone. Problem skin, be damned.
Issa brightening facial scrub! We live for all things brightening, especially where vitamin C is involved. Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Scrub is a powerful vitamin C product, given its inclusion of its mega-potent THD Ascorbate that takes the traditional vitamin C ingredient to new levels. This scrub polishes and brightens the skin's overall appearance, aiding in creating an even skin tone and diminishing the appearance of hyperpigmentation over time.
Our skin encounters much more harm throughout our day-to-day than you might think. Between enduring indoor and outdoor air pollution, UV rays, and sweat amid other environmental damage, your skin goes through it. Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream just might be the remedy. This gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free product is a blend of spicy sandalwood, sweet neroli, and sour rose that provides nourishment and deep hydration to replenish your skin. Better yet, you can use it daily or nightly to truly treat yo' self.
Vegan and cruelty-free, Filth & Root Calming Facial Moisturizer is a CBD facial moisturizer that feels like therapeutic luxury in the palm of your hands. Rich in Terpenes and Adaptogens, this moisturizer fights inflammation and hydrates. Keep your breakouts at bay and your skin quenched with this CBD beauty find.
First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask is a product featured among First Aid Beauty's particular array of pharmacy-inspired skincare and targeted treatments. This mask is self-care reinvented and its rich and creamy texture will have you feeling like you're lounging in a lap of luxury from the comfort of your home. The mask soothes and relieves stressed, irritated, and dehydrated skin. As you pour into yourself, you
Sometimes our lips are an aspect that we neglect in our skincare routines, despite them being such a focal point. Keep your lips hydrated and smooth by investing in a go-to lip mask like this one by Becca. Wear your lip mask at night to restore moisture into your pout, wake up and wash away the dead skin for a smooth and hydrated reveal. Your lips will thank you for it.
Probiotics does more than just wonders for your gut health. Now, with the help of Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum, your skin gets to reap some of those benefits too! Beekman 1802's revolutionary goat milk skincare skystem is the gift that keeps giving with the arrival of its power-packed serum that leaves your skin smooth, radiant, and even-toned. In just one drop, you get a serum that contains hella squalane, essential ceramides, plant enzymes, and hyaluronic acid. Discoloration and dull skin, be gone!
The most popular way to fill in sparse brows is by creating hair-like strokes with your brow pencil or pomade of choice. In case you didn't know, Anastasia Beverly Hills has a Brow Pen that promises to give you those hair-like strokes for a natural-looking brow with a fraction of the effort. The brand who is known for their prowess over the brow sector knew what they were doing when they created this long-wearing pen.
As more of us spend more time working from home and being immersed in blue light, gravitating towards products that can help improve your skin while protecting you against potential damage. In addition to protecting you, it also neutralizes dark circles and hydrates the undereye area.
One word: brightening. This correcting peel by Exuviance is an intensive retinol correcting peel that improves the look and feel of your skin's texture over time. With consistent weekly use, the peel makes dark spots caused by aging, scarring, or sun damage less visible on the surface of the skin. Your skin will be lifted, firmer, and more flawless in no time.
Say hello to what's new in French skincare. L'Occitaine wants us to feel as pampered as possible in our showers by dipping our toes into a pool of this lavishness. The L'Occitaine Almond Shower Oil is 'hydration' in a bottle, as the two-in-one shower oil offers duality in its benefits. While most cleansers can be rather stripping to the body, especially coupled with the stripping aspects of warmer water in our showers, this product moisturizes the skin, and can even be used to replenish moisture on even the driest skin type.
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This was first evident more than a decade ago when she quit her job as the corporate executive of a Fortune 500 company during a Periscope livestream. “I’m not sure if there’s an alignment of [our] future trajectory. I’m going to work for myself. I'm promoting myself to work for myself,” she said at the time before flashing a smile at the viewing audience. As she resigned on camera, a constant stream of encouraging messages floated upwards on the screen.
By 2021, she’d fashioned her work as a corporate consultant and her personal life with her husband and three adopted daughters into a reality show, She’s The Boss, for USA Network. This year, she released the New York Times bestselling memoir Nothing Is Missing, written as she was in the process of getting a divorce and dealing with her eldest daughter’s struggles with substance use.
Convinced that there’s no way the 39-year-old has achieved all of this without intentional strategic planning, I asked her about it when we spoke less than a week before Christmas. I’d seen videos on social media of her working on 2024 planning for other brands, and I wanted to know what that looked like following her own year of success.
She listed a number of goals, including ensuring that the projects she takes on in the new year align with her identity “as a Black woman, as an African woman, as a mother, as someone who has lived a [rebuilding] season and is now trying to live boldly and entirely as themselves.” But, I was shocked by how much of her business planning also prioritized rest.
Despite the bestselling book, a self-titled podcast, and working with numerous corporations, Walters said she’s been taking Fridays off. This year, she doesn’t want to work on Mondays, either.
“A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement,” she said, noting that she’ll check in with herself around March to see how successful this plan has been. The goal, Walters said, is to only be working on Tuesdays and Thursdays by sometime in 2025. “It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to have happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change.”
"A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement... It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change."
Walters said the decision to progressively work less was partially in response to her previously held notions about her career, especially as an entrepreneur. “When I first started, I thought burnout was a part of it,” she said. “What I didn’t realize is that even if you’re able to bounce out of burnout or get back to it, there’s a cumulative impact on your body. If you think of your body as a tree and every time you go through burnout, you are taking a hack out of your trunk, yes, that trunk will heal over, and the tree will continue to grow, but it doesn't mean that you don’t have a weakened stem.”
But, the desire for increased rest was also in response to the major shifts that occurred three years ago when she was experiencing major changes in her family and realized her metaphorical tree was “bending all the way over.”
“One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity,” she added. “That is some language that I think is just now starting to really get unpacked.” In recent years, there’s been an increased awareness of achieving balance in life, with Tricia Hersey’s “The Nap Ministry” gaining attention based on the idea that rest, especially for Black women, is a form of resistance. Even online phrases such as “soft life” and “quiet quitting” have hinted at a cultural shift in prioritizing leisure over professional ambition.
"One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity."
If companies are lining up to consult with Walters about their brands and products, then women have been looking to her for guidance on starting over since she invited them to livestream her resignation 12 years ago. As viewers continue to demand more from content creators in the form of intimate, personal details, Walters has navigated her personal brand with a sense of transparency without oversharing the vulnerable details about her life, especially when it comes to her family.
The entrepreneur said she’d been approached to write a book for several years and was initially convinced she was finally ready to write one about business. “I started to do that, and then I went through my divorce. When that happened, I said, why would I write a book telling people to get the life that I have when I’m not sure about the life that I have,” she said.
Instead, she decided to write Nothing Is Missing and provide a closer look at her life, starting with being born to immigrant Ghanaian parents (“You need to know my childhood to know why I’m passionate about entrepreneurship.”) through the adoption of her three daughters and eventual divorce. Despite her desire to share, however, she said she felt protective of the privacy of her family, including her ex-husband.
When discussing this with me, Walters said she was reminded of a lesson she learned from actress Kerry Washington, who released her own memoir, Thicker Than Water, just a week before Walters’ book release. Washington’s memoir grapples with family secrets, too, specifically the fact that she was conceived using a sperm donor and didn’t learn about it until she was already a successful TV star. While Washington reflects on how the decision and subsequent deception impacted her, she’s also careful to hold space for her parents’ experiences, too. “A lot of things she said was that she had to recognize where she was the supporting character and where she was the main character,” Walter said.
This is something Walter worked to do in Nothing Is Missing when discussing her daughter’s struggles with addiction. “I was very intentional about making sure that I did not reveal more than what was required,” she said. “If I say something about someone’s addiction, I don’t need to go into the list of the substances they used, how they used them, what I found. [I don’t need to] walk into a room and paint a picture of what it looked like for people to understand.”
Walters said some of the most vulnerable moments in the book barely made a ripple once it was released. She was extremely nervous to write about getting an abortion, she said. But no one has asked her about this in the months since the book was released. Instead, people have been more interested in quirkier revelations, such as the fact that she once appeared on Wheel of Fortune.
“I have bared my soul about this thing I went through in my youth that has changed me for people, and people are like, ‘So how heavy was the wheel when you spun it?’” she said, chuckling. “It just goes to show that people never worry about the thing that you worry about.”
With the success of Nothing Is Missing, Walters said she still isn’t planning to release a business book at the moment. But, as she navigates parenting a teenager and two adult children while also navigating a relationship with her new fiancé, Walters said she believes she has at least one or two more books to write about her personal journey. “There is sort of an arc of where my life has gone that I know I’ve got something more to say about this that I think is important, relevant and necessary,” she said.
In just three years, Walters’ life has undergone a major transformation. There’s no telling what the next three years will have in store for her, but it seems likely she’ll retain an inspired audience wherever life takes her.
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Weed is arguably one of the most socially accepted drugs on the market. Generally acknowledged as a conventional part of social and recreational settings, you can’t go too far without encountering the causal question, “So… do you smoke?”
Naturally, who doesn’t want to take the edge off every now and then? According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces its euphoric and mind-altering effects, embodies a chemical structure “similar to the brain chemical anandamide.” This allows our body to recognize the similarity and alter our normal brain communication, leading to the familiar hazy high feeling one gets after taking a hit.
Because of marijuana’s accessibility and social acceptance, it’s uniquely set apart from other recreational substances. Unlike the stigma attached to harder drugs or excessive alcohol consumption, waking and baking and smoking for leisure, stress reduction, or to pass the time, is often normalized. While many users report positive experiences with weed and find relief from anxiety and depression symptoms, it’s important to consider the potential effects that long-term use can have on one’s mental health and whether it’s time to quit.
In order to do so, we must address one important factor: cannabis is complex.
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For years, researchers have been determined to settle the quandary of whether individuals develop anxiety and depression due to cannabis use or if they use cannabis products as a coping mechanism for existing mental health issues. Still, one thing that is clear is how the effects vary from person to person, and the earlier one starts smoking, the more sustainable they are to long-term drawbacks.
“We do know that when teenagers or young adults are using cannabis more frequently, they have more trouble with anxiety and depression, as compared to people who are using cannabis or marijuana products when they are older adults,” Amie Goodin, Ph.D., MPP, assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes tells xoNecole.
Dr. Goodin explains that on average, there is an observed trend indicating a higher likelihood of negative effects, such as anxiety and depression, among individuals who engage in frequent and substantial cannabis use, though defining "a lot" is challenging.
“There is good evidence to suggest that people who are using pretty regularly, meaning most days and using when they are younger, they tend to have worse anxiety and depression,” she adds. These differences in usage patterns can result in varying experiences for individuals, making it complex to establish a clear threshold for what constitutes high cannabis use.
Still, there are common signs that marijuana users can look out for when determining whether their usage should be reduced or cut out. As Dr. Goofin notes, it’s all about accessing the impact weed is having on one’s lifestyle, health, and relationships.
“If you've noticed that you're spending less time with people that you used to enjoy spending time with, having trouble at your job or school, that's a bit of a concern,” she says. “Another thing to keep in mind is what's happening with your sleep? If it's showing up in your mind, and it's taken up a lot of space in your head, maybe that's a good reason to take a step back and evaluate if you need to talk to somebody?”
Are There Long-Term Effects to Smoking Weed?
While Dr. Goodin notes that smoking weed isn’t inherently life-threatening, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no downsides. Individuals with pre-existing mental health challenges unrelated to marijuana use, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis disorders, may experience more severe episodes when using cannabis regularly. Additionally, similar to smoking tobacco, “There might be risks for your heart and cardiovascular system,” which can affect one’s breathing and lung health in the long run.
How to Quit Smoking Weed
Treatment guidelines for cannabis-related issues are currently lacking, partly because existing treatment options are designed for individuals with more severe health issues. Still, if smoking weed is a habit that you’d like to ditch, here's a guide to initiate the process:
1. Create a Sleep Hygiene Plan.
“If you’re smoking weed or vaping, and stop, getting sleep can be tough,” Dr. Goodin explains. “Coming up with a plan for your sleep in advance can be helpful. Thinking about putting in more effort to help your body be more responsive to natural sleep cues is a good place to start.”
2. Schedule Your Annual Check-Up.
Dr. Goodin says, “Scheduling the appointment that we all put off is our regular annual check-up. The kind of advice and guidance from your healthcare provider can make a difference in knowing whether or not there needs to be other discussions made about your weed usage.”
3. Talk to a Friend.
“You don’t necessarily have to do the accountability buddy thing, but it might be a good idea just to let somebody within your social circle know that you’re trying to quit,” she says. “Especially if you tend to hang out with people and smoking is the activity. It's a good idea to talk to your friends and say, ‘Hey, could we try something different?’”
Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at https://www.samhsa.gov/ for additional mental health support resources.
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