Beauty | 08.26.2022

What’s on Sale in Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty & the Best Day to Shop

Woman with a selection of makeup in front of a mirror.

By Franki Hanke

Ulta Beauty doesn’t have many massive sales throughout the year, but one of the best times to shop is the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty 2022 which starts this Sunday, August 28th. 

About the Sale

Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty sale is a bi-annual sale with the steepest discounts they offer throughout the year, including discounts on rarely discounted, premium brands.

The sale runs from August 28th to September 17th with daily featured items on sale. Some days have additional surprise sales that are not announced until the day of. 

Since these are daily sales, you have to shop on the specific day your desired goodies are discounted. With discounts this good, it’s an opportunity to try something new or re-stock your favorites. There won’t be another sale of this magnitude until the next 21 Days of Beauty event in about six months. 

Our Top Picks from the Featured Sales

This year has a stellar list of featured brands including Elemis, Glamglow, Estee Lauder, Smashbox, Clarins, Clinique, and more. Rather than browse through every single item featured, we’re highlighting the products we’ve already used and loved that will be on sale, a few recommendations for re-stocking frequently used skincare, and what to skip this time around.

Foreo Luna Mini 3 – September 1st

One of our favorite tools mentioned in “Exfoliation for Bright, Even Skin at Any Age,” Dermalogica’s Daily Exfoliant, Foreo’s Luna Mini 3 is a bite-sized version of their larger cleansing brush. 

“The silicon-covered brush adds an antimicrobial exfoliating tool alongside your daily cleanser. The nubs are gentle, but deepen your cleaning while buffing skin.”

This handy device is a mainstay in our routines for its easy portability and rechargeability. The silicone is hygienic and reusable, so the high price tag will pay off over time. Since it’s usually $179, the 50% discount saves you nearly $90 on this investment. 

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara – September 2nd

While we’re doing fewer Zooms since we published “How to Put Your Best Face Forward for Facetime,” we’re still loving Lancome’s Monsieur Big Mascara for massively lifted eyelashes. 

With dramatic life and dense darkness, this mascara emphasizes lashes whether you’re wearing a light, natural face or a dramatic, glam look. 

At a half-price discount from $27 to only $13.50, we recommend grabbing two tubes so you can replace your first tube after three months without paying full price next time. If you keep the tube sealed, it will be good to use once your first tube has reached its expiration date. 

Dermalogica’s Daily Superfoliant – September 8th

So, we’ve previously mentioned the Dermalogic Microfoliant before in “Exfoliation for Bright, Even Skin at Any Age,” Dermalogica’s Daily Exfoliant as a gentle exfoliator designed for everyday use. 

“It’s made with papaya enzyme and salicylic acid for chemical exfoliation. They added rice bran to mildly physical exfoliate and colloidal oatmeal to soothe any potential irritation.”

By comparison, this product is a slight variation that’s arguably even better. It’s from their Age Smart product line (which we love) because it’s a smidge stronger than their Microfoliant. The ingredients are largely the same, but the Superfoliant adds some additional AHAs that chemically exfoliate the skin while the powdered texture acts as a physical exfoliant. Together, these improve the texture of the skin for de-emphasized wrinkles and better coloration. 

With a discount of 50%, you can try this rather than the classic Microfoliant for $32 rather than the typical price of $64. 

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash – September 8th

Another favorite from “Exfoliation for Bright, Even Skin at Any Age,” Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate line is legendary for revealing glowing, smooth skin. This year’s sale features the ExfoliKate daily cleanser which combines the exfoliating Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Fruit Extracts of the original ExfoliKate Treatment into a daily cleanser. 

Consider it a two-for-one in your skincare routine. Depending on your skin sensitivity, use this daily or alternate it with a gentler cleanser every two to three days. 

At only $22, down from $44, this is a bargain you don’t want to miss. 

Patchology Eye Patches – September 8th

A shortcut for hydrated under eyes, Patchology FlashPatch eye gels appeared in “The 6 Best Under-Eye Concealers for Your Designer Dark Circles.”

“If you’re battling puffiness alongside darkness, use Patchology’s FlashPatch eye gels for a hydrating boost before makeup. They contain caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen for smooth, awake skin.”

The sale will see three different variations of these eye gels discounted 50%, so grab the 15-count for only $17.50 or the 30-count for $30. Our top tip: Opt for the Rejuvenating and Restoring Night versions. Store the daytime jar in your fridge for a chilled de-puffer during your morning routine and the other in your nightstand for hydration while you unwind. 

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation – September 10th

Don’t hate us, but this isn’t technically the same product we know and love, but it’s nearly the same. We’ve said before, in “What are BB Creams, and Why are they Better?” how great the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is, but that’s not on sale this time around. 

Instead, they’ve given this year’s 50% price cut from $44 to $22 to their Bye Bye Foundation. These products are nearly identical with matching ingredient lists, including Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide sunscreens, through the first 31 ingredients. By comparison, Bye Bye Foundation has a higher ratio of Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Kelp and Rice Filtrates that, ultimately, make it more hydrating than the Your Skin But Better CC Cream. 

Consider this a discounted opportunity to compare the long-standing favorite with the newer competition (with all the same good ingredients inside). 

Restocks to Save On

As much fun as it is to buy new highlighter or eyeshadow palettes, it’s much more likely you’re running low on eye cream than eyeliner, right? This sale is a great chance to take stock of your drawers and see what’s low. Even if your usual product isn’t on sale, there are some stellar standbys on the list for this year. If you’re low on your current product, here are our recommendations for re-stocking your skincare products from this year’s sale. 

Moisturizer

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (on September 12th) 

Usually, $79, grabbing Murad’s ultra-dense moisturizer for only $39.50 is a steal. As a water-based gel with glycerin and butylene glycol as the main humectant ingredients, this is quite comparable to the Dermalogica Water Calm Gel we’ve recommended before for combination skin. Other ingredients differ, but they both prioritize moisturizing without a heavy sensation on the skin. 

Rather than the regular price of $52 for the Water Calm Gel, replace it for under $40. 

Psst… If you need an eye cream too, Lancome’s Renergie Eye Cream will be discounted on September 7th. 

Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (on September 11th) 

A long-standing favorite among makeup fanatics, Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray is an easy choice for refreshing your finishing spray. This product melts makeup, especially setting powder, into the skin for a smoother finish and locks it in place for the day. 

If you’ve never tried a setting spray before, this is the moment to try adding one. 

Lip Treatment

Tarte Hangover Pillow Balm Lip Treatment (on September 12th) 

We all have our favorite chapstick or lip balm we turn back to again and again, but when it’s 50% off, that’s a great excuse to try a new one. The Tarte Hangover Pillow Balm might have a silly name, but the ingredient list isn’t so cutesy. With a host of antioxidants, hydrators, and skin soothers, this treatment leaves lips soft and supple. 

Cosrx Lip Sleep Ceramide Lip Sleeping Mask (on September 6th)

If you prefer a thicker balm overnight, opt instead for the COSRX sleeping mask. It has a thick consistency perfect for smoothing on before bed, plus the ingredients include hydrating glycerin, ceramides, and cell-communicating lipids. It shares several key ingredients with the ever-popular Laneige Sleeping Mask that’s $24 while COSRX’s mask will be only $9.50 while on sale. 

If you’re a lip product collector (like me), there’s one more recommendation you shouldn’t be missing, but we’re saving that secret for our email subscribers. The discount drops in early September, so don’t miss out on the tip, subscribe

Body Lotion

If your facial routine isn’t low on stock, check your body care. 

Kopari Ultra Restore Body Butter (on September 14th)

With a lightly sweet coconut scent and hydrating hyaluronic acid, Kopari’s Ultra Restore Body Butter is an ultra-soothing steal for body care with superstar ingredients glycerin, squalane, Vitamin B5, and antioxidants. The oversized 7.7 oz tub will be only $16 on sale. 

What to Skip from the Sale

With hundreds of products on sale, some items aren’t worth it. These are the ones we’d pass on. 

MAC Bullet Lipsticks

Unless you’re on the hunt for something specific, MAC bullet lipsticks are frequently discounted at bargain stores like TJ Maxx, so if you want one at a steal, you can find it cheaper.

Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit

Especially as we age, the fine lines on our lips grow more pronounced. Matte lipsticks, especially drying formulas, can cling and emphasize that texture. With an average rating of 3.5 stars, it’s clear the Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kits aren’t performing well enough to risk crepe lips. 

If you do want a liquid lipstick in the sale, opt for the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick which is only $11 on September 10th. These have a better formula.

Clinique Take the Day off Makeup Remover

While it’s consistently popular, these water-based makeup removers don’t offer the same gentle hydration as a cleansing balm and typically don’t last as long.

What’s the Best Day to Shop? 

Did you notice one day has three of our favorite beauty products? September 8th just so happens to have three of our top picks all discounted 50% on the same day. So, if you’re only going to order online once, don’t miss September 8th. 

Though, if you’re an Ulta Beauty Rewards member at the Diamond or Platinum level, you’ll get free shipping with any beauty steal purchase, so shop away. If you haven’t leveled up your membership yet, you’ll get free shipping at the $35 mark. As a last resort, you could always shop in-store, but who has time for that? 

For a full review of everything that’s on sale for Ulta 21 Days of Beauty 2022 from Anastasia Beverly Hill’s brow pomade to Beauty Blender sponges to Peter Thomas Roth’s Vitamin C serum, review Ulta’s overview

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