Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The ULTA Brand - The Best & The Worst

This entry is going to be about ULTA's own house brand of makeup. When I worked at ULTA, I got the opportunity to try (and tediously stock) the ULTA "counter" at the store I worked at. I discovered things that worked brilliantly and things I stayed away from. I was reminded of this just a moment few days ago when Sirvinya asked about the brand on Twitter.

Just a forewarning, these are my personal opinions and there's a chance that formulations have changed and new products that I haven't yet discovered have come out (speaking of which, it looks like they have come out with cake liners, gel liners, and loads of other new items, interesting). I'm going to put this post into 2 parts: things that are worth checking out and things you can probably skip.

Things to try:

Lipstick by Ulta at ShopStyle

Ulta's lipsticks are all pretty decent, but the sheer line is by far my favorite formula. Glossy, light pigment and moisturizing, these are a hidden treasure in the line. They retail for $8 but generally go on sale quite often, for instance, right now they are $4.

I'm sure most of have heard about the ULTA eyeshadow line, but most are unhappy since the eyeshadow got a face lift with an imprint. I have heard that if you scrape the top layer off, the same old eyeshadow exists underneath the imprint but I haven't tried this myself.

Nail Products by Ulta at ShopStyle

ULTA's nail line recently got a makeover (the above photo is the old style) and quite a few additional trendy colors. At $5 a bottle and often on sale (this week it's only $2), it's a great way of getting in on some of the trends (lime green anyone?) without the OPI price tag.

Things to skip:

Liquid Foundation by Ulta at ShopStyle

Retailing for $12.50, the Illuminating Liquid Foundation, or really any of the foundations in this type of bottle (and possibly also the wand concealer). I found this foundation to be super yellow in an unflattering way on even the most yellow of skin tones and it separated very easily (it also ran very dark yet the color range was average at best). I was honestly so repulsed by this that I haven't bothered swatching them again when I visit my neighborhood ULTA. It's possible that they've changed the formulation, but I was not impressed a couple years ago.

Lip Treatments by Ulta at ShopStyle

There's nothing horrible about this Sugar Scrub per say, but $10 is a lot to spend on 0.067 ounces of product, especially a product that you can make at home with olive oil and sugar for a much less cash. Skip!

Makeup by Ulta at ShopStyle

Oh, the boxed holiday sets. ULTA puts these out often. Please resist. It's not like the Tarte ones (even though this particular packaging is a pretty good knock off of it). The quality is, "meh", the displays we had nearly always fell apart. Pass on these!

There are plenty of awesome products in the line, and the new ones are super intriguing too! What do you think of ULTA makeup? Anything you love that I missed?


Mimi (MakeupWithdrawal) said...

Awesome post! I don't know about the scraping off of the top layers of shadows- I have two of the new imprinted ones and though I've gone quite deep into them, they're no where near the soft, buttery old ones. :(

Libby's Pink Vanity said...

*Ducks* I have last year's boxed set and I like it. It's nice to have all the shadows displayed like that rather than digging through a bunch of singles. But, having said that, I don't need ANY more sets. :)

Becky said...

Ooh, thanks for this! *takes notes*

Jamie Dorman said...

OMG so helpful thanks!

Jeweled Thumb said...

@Mimi: Hmm, well I hope they change them then since the older ones were fab.

@Kimberly: It's totally fine! You are allowed to like stuff I don't! =)

@Sirvinya: I hope this helps a bit. =)

@PCS: You're very welcome! The sheer lipsticks don't get enough love!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, thanks! I haven't tried much ULTA brand makeup, but I recently bought several of their eyeshadow brushes and have been almost uniformly unimpressed with them. They are SO stiff and thin, they're almost like lip brushes. : / They're OK for doing some detail work, but I find them basically useless!

Tali said...

I wish we had ulta in the uK!!! Lorraine always goes there in her vlogs and I wanna go too!!!!

Vanessa said...

I love ulta! Have you tried the double duty or fabulous face foundation by any chance?

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