According to the fixed calendar date of the vernal equinox — if not quite the actual weather — spring has officially sprung. Soon enough, the days will start to get warmer (and stay that way), the sun will start to stick around a little longer, and the unsettling notion that we're all just getting a taste of what it might be like to walk the earth post-apocalypse will wash away with the rain. Better days are ahead... or, at the very least, a better season.
But if your seasonal depression has been lingering for so long that you're starting to think you have actual depression, it's probably time to see a licensed mental-health professional. Or, alternatively, you could try out some retail therapy first, at one place that's already in full bloom: Ulta Beauty, baby.
The newest arrivals at the beauty superstore are more than enough to get you to stop monitoring the weather forecast and start refreshing the shipment tracking info for the order you'll inevitably place instead. The skin-care section is particularly optimistic, a long list of sleep cocoons, instant youthful radiance masks, recharging serums, and recovery concentrates, that will help you lighten up a little for the months ahead.
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This delightful new mask is much more than its bouncy, mousse-like texture (though that certainly does help): Its highly underrated hero ingredient, the humble egg white, contains the protein albumin, which helps tighten pores and clear blackheads.
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Another K-beauty launch featuring the pore-tightening magic of egg whites, this three-step nose-strip system is as satisfying as it gets. Smooth the first two strips onto skin after cleansing, and revel in the sight of all the gunk that was on your nose. Then follow up with the third step for ten minutes before patting the excess essence into your skin.
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If you like sensory-deprivation tanks and Himalayan salt caves, then you'll love the Sound Sleep Cocoon — which, despite what the name would lead you to believe, is not a trendy new offering at an upscale holistic spa but rather a lightweight overnight treatment that promises to help lull you to sleep with aromatherapeutic lavender, sandalwood, and patchouli as it calms and brightens skin.
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Throw out your Keurig machine and stock up on these masks instead: Each contains two different types of mineral clay, along with shea butter and moringa oil, to draw the gunk out of your pores without leaving skin dry. The only downside is that it doesn't come in a bigger, more environmentally-sound size.
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Coconut oil isn't for everyone, but if you live and die by the many uses of the divisive drupe, this lightweight, line-diminishing oil will do more than save your skin from dehydration and your hair from split ends — it'll also save you from having to stick your hand in a greasy jar just to scoop out a teaspoon of the good shit.
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Packed with probiotics, antioxidants, and soothing properties from allantoin and vitamin E, this upgrade from your average sheet mask looks cool, feels cool, and works even better. Because of the unique hydrogel material, it seems to melt into skin rather than just sitting on top of it — and, like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its silky chrysalis, leaves skin plump and glowy almost instantly.
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Traditionally produced in West Africa, with family recipes passed down from generation to generation, African black soap has been prized for centuries as a kind of panacea for skin problems ranging from breakouts and eczema to dark spots and acne scars. For the sake of convenience, SheaMoisture has now taken all the benefits of the beloved bar cleanser and bottled them up into foam form, which is especially good for oily, blemish-prone skin. It's also important to note that the brand remains fair-trade and directs a portion of its sales to women-led businesses and communities in Africa, as well as funding training and infrastructure that helps them to manufacture their own high-quality goods in their countries.
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Much like its sleek, no-nonsense packaging, this pressed serum — essentially a super-concentrated cream that looks thick and balmy in the jar but goes on weightless — means business. Alguronic acid, Algenist's proprietary nutrient-rich algae derivative, packs major regenerative power; an infusion of coconut water and green-tea extract makes it an antioxidant workhorse, too.
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The bottle looks like something Mother Nature would stock in her medicine cabinet, with a clean, vegan, cruelty-free formulation to match, but this oil transcends the hippie-dippie: The blend of anti-inflammatory blue tansy with hydrating and balancing jojoba, argan, and rose oils will win over even the smuggest skin-care snobs.
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Keeping metal spoons in your freezer to reduce under-eye bags requires a lot of forethought; this equally effective method of cooling and de-puffing warrants none at all. (And does anyone actually do the whole spoon thing, anyway?) With aloe vera, cucumber, hyaluronic acid, green tea, and the star ingredient of antioxidant CoQ10, this silky, fragrance-free rollerball completely eliminates the usual disadvantages of heavy eye creams.
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Sometimes the finest things in life are its simplest pleasures: a walk in the park, an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day, a bouquet of fresh flowers, a reunion with an old friend, a straightforward, reasonably-priced gel cleanser that rinses away makeup and lightly exfoliates with bamboo extract and jojoba beads while also being gentle and soothing enough for daily use on sensitive skin...
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Pores and wrinkles aren't the only things this lightweight formula blurs: It also blurs the line between skin care and primer, as a post-moisturizer, post-sunscreen step that both makes makeup last longer and offers long-term benefits while also helping to lock in all the products you've applied beforehand.
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