black friday 2022

19 of the Best Cyber Monday Deals at Ulta

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

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Of all the beauty retailers, Ulta is the most democratic. You can pick up a two-pack of Real Techniques beauty sponges for a little over $10 and then go a few aisles over and splurge on our favorite wrinkle-smoothing, SPF-infused moisturizer. It’s akin to the way I shop in real life. My beauty essentials are a mix of high-low, an unspeakably expensive moisturizer paired with an unfussy, $8 cleanser. It’s about balance, after all. That’s why I’m excited about Ulta’s Cyber Monday sale, which promises big discounts on a wide range of beauty buys. The sale kicked off last weekend, and continues through November 26. If you’re counting, that’s a week of deals, with discounts up to 50 percent off.

This year, we’re prioritizing products we’ve written about and tested before — like Amanda Seales’s favorite deodorant from Kopari, which also happens to be our favorite natural-deodorant option for kids.

We’ve rounded everything up below and broken them down into categories to make things easier to shop. And in case you have more shopping to do (a mattress, perhaps?), check out our big Cyber Monday hub.

This is our final Cyber Monday update, so deals might change or prices may fluctuate throughout the night. If you want even more sales coverage, sign up for our email newsletter to stay in the loop.

Makeup

I vividly remember when Tarte Shape Tape concealer came on the scene because YouTube was abuzz with reviews about the seemingly magic formula that covered dark circles and illuminated the under eye with ease. We’ve written about it, too. Rio Viera-Newton raved about it in her story about the best makeup for acne-prone skin. “I honestly don’t know where my acne and I would be without this concealer,” she says. “It’s dewy and blendable so that blemishes never look dry or crusty and is also extremely full coverage — a little goes a long way.” And if you want to stock up on more Tarte, the entire brand is 30 percent off.

When we asked makeup artists about the best eye-shadow palettes, Mylah Morales — who works regularly with Rihanna and Taraji P. Henson — recommended the Tartelette line.They’re creamy and blendable for a natural eye-makeup look,” she said. “And perfect for all skin tones.”

This year, Ulta is offering a BOGO on lots of NYX products, including the best-selling Butter Gloss, which also happens to be a favorite of “Vocal Bible” Brandy. Her favorite shade is Sugar High (a peachy light nude), which she describes as a subtle nude. According to Brandy, the formula is also very good: “It doesn’t feel dry or sticky on — it feels like lip balm but with a little bit more shine. It’s very moisturizing and leaves my lips feeling so soft.”

IT Cosmetics might be known for its viral CC Cream, but it also makes a very good makeup brush (which happens to be a favorite of beauty content creators and Kim Kardashian). Rio says it works just as well as a Beautyblender for creating that natural, seamless finish but also gives skin a perfect, airbrushed look. The only downside is that it’s a little expensive for a makeup brush (almost $50 at full price), but the sale brings it down to $34.

Another Rio-recommended beauty tool is on sale. The already affordable Real Techniques beauty sponges are even cheaper this Cyber Monday, down to $11 from $19. “The Real Techniques brush has both a flat edge for really getting up in your under eyes and the original pointed tip for concealing any imperfections,” she says, noting that this design feature makes it incredibly good at evenly distributing product — even better than the OG Beautyblender.

Photo: Courtesy of the Retailer

Mined from the celebrity-recommendation archives: this nourishing semi-matte lipstick that’s formulated with castor oil and vitamin E. We learned about it from Movita Organics founder Tonya Lewis Lee (who also happens to be Spike Lee’s wife). “The nude lipsticks are great natural shades; they add a little color to my look,” says Lee.

Skin

Beauty editors, beauty enthusiasts, and short-lashed people agree: Grande Cosmetics Lash serum is very good. A quick Google search will turn up rave reviews of the seemingly magical gold tube, with many calling it life-changing. The serum is packed with peptides, vitamins, and amino acids, is said to work in just four to six weeks with consistent use, and makes lashes longer and thicker. Rio recently tried it after a freak accident with an eyelash curler, and said it did in fact lengthen her broken-off lashes and helped new ones to grow.

Rio first alerted us to this hydrating under-eye cream from Kiehl’s in 2017 when she detailed the products she uses to get rid of raccoon eyes, saying that it’s “worth trying if you need a little lift to your eyes and don’t want to put on concealer.” Since then, it has been mentioned by Kaley Cuoco, who says it’s her No. 1 eye cream and her go-to when she has saggy, puffy eyes.

Dermaflash allows you to remove peach fuzz at home, mimicking an in-office dermaplaning treatment. Senior editor Crystal Martin wrote about the tool in 2018 for the Strategist, telling us about its glow-making abilities. Dermaflash has since improved upon the original design. Now, the blade is finer than before, producing even better results. It’s a pricey gadget at nearly $200, but the sale makes it a more manageable splurge.

For a moisturizer that does a bit more, there’s this Exuviance moisturizer, which also made our list of the best moisturizers with SPF. It’s a bit of a splurge, which is why I’m excited to see it in the sale. It uses vitamin A (also known as retinol) and vitamin E, along with peptides, to really repair the skin.

This face cream from Tula was plucked directly from Rio’s famed Google doc. It contains a blend of probiotics and superfoods — which help smooth out any texture — and peptides that firm up and fortify the skin. Rio likes it for skin that doesn’t get super-dry. “It absorbs super-quickly and makes your skin look nice and quenched without appearing greasy,” she says.

Also on sale: our favorite travel-friendly makeup-removing balm, which gets everything off — including waterproof makeup. The formula is a favorite of Strategist writer Kitty Guo, who says it’s a convenient alternative to Farmacy’s Green Clean. Similar to the Farmacy one, the Tula balm is oil based and contains sunflower-seed, olive, and macadamia oils along with shea butter to remove makeup without leaving skin stripped and dry. It also comes in very convenient packaging: The remover twists up like a lip balm and can be tucked into a toiletry bag, so it’s easy to take on the go.

This OG face cream is a favorite of B.J. Novak, who learned about it from a makeup artist while working on The Office. It’s ultra-lightweight but moisturizing and fragrance-free, so it’s good for a range of skin types, including those sensitive to fragrance. It also has SPF 30, an added boost of SPF protection for skin.

Hair

If you only want to deal with one tool, we recommend the T3 curling iron, which comes with interchangeable ceramic curling barrels that can be easily swapped out.The set comes with three barrel sizes—one-inch, one-and-a-quarter inch, and an inch-and-a-half. It also has five adjustable heat settings, from 260 degrees all the way up to 410 degrees.

When we spoke to hairstylists about the best flat iron, the vote was near unanimous. Most agreed that GHD makes the best ones on the market, noting that the lighter material of the Platinum line is easy on the wrist. It offers even heat distribution and goes up to 365 degrees, the optimal maximum heat setting for avoiding damage. This one in particular is responsible for former First Lady Michelle Obama’s signature sleek silk press. Her stylist, Yene Damtew, says the brand’s irons are good for creating “a multitude of hairstyles and producing shape and movement for all hair textures.”

Croc’s ergonomic flat irons also came up. The brand is a favorite of Wonderland Beauty Parlor senior colorist and hairstylist Ryan Hill, who says it can be gripped firmly without feeling heat in the handle. It also gets a bit hotter than the GHD irons, going up to 450 degrees. This might be a good option if you have a coarser hair texture or thicker strands.

Body

This aluminum- and baking-soda-free deodorant is a longtime Strategist favorite due to its simple, effective formula that delivers effective results. Strategist writer Latifah Miles uses it on her son. “The scent is very light, which is nice for a child, and a little goes a long way.” It also came up in Amanda Seales’s favorite things. The comedian likes that it’s natural, but gets the job done and doesn’t need to be reapplied.

If you’re in between appointments or simply interested in waxing at home, this kit from Bliss comes with everything you need. It’s a hard wax that works similarly to sugaring (you just smooth and tug) and is made from paraffin, beeswax, lanolin, and resin. Brittania Boey, the chief commercial officer at Harry’s and Flamingo, says it’s especially good at grabbing fine hairs, so you’ll get a close, smooth finish.

$52

Post-wax, there’s the ingrown-annihilating Fur oil, which we’ve written about before. It’s specifically designed for moisturizing pubic hair and skin, and is a favorite among skin experts for combatting razor bumps. It helps to soften hair and the regrowth, and contains antiseptic and antimicrobial ingredients that help to keep skin bump-free.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

19 of the Best Black Friday Deals at Ulta