Advanced Firming Eye Serum
We don't consider this inexpensive eye serum advanced because its formula tends to favor ingredients with little to no published research proving their benefit to skin, around the eyes or elsewhere on the face. In fact, this is a good example of why most people don't need to bother with a separate serum for the eye area (see More Info for details).
We're not sure which ingredients comprise Ulta's "Advanced Protection Factor +", but this eye serum doesn't provide protection for much except moisture loss, which can be said for almost every eye cream or facial moisturizer, further proving this product's lack of specialness.
The fragrance-free formula contains a handful of good ingredients for all skin types, but the amount of film-forming agent sodium polyacrylate can leave a hairspray-like finish on skin that isn't the best. You may perceive this as meaning eye-area skin is being firmed because it the ingredient can make skin feel tighter, but sadly, no actual repairing is taking place.
- Contains a handful of beneficial ingredients for skin anywhere on the face.
- A few of the more prominent ingredients have little to no research proving their benefit for skin, either around the eyes or elsewhere.
- Overall, the formula doesn't live up to its name.
Most eye serums are unnecessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye serum doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye serum.
You would be shocked how many eye serums lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye serums don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
Advanced Protection Factor + (APF +) technology helps skin fight against environmental stressors and all free-radical types to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving skin tone and texture.
Since Ulta was founded in 1990, the company has continued to carve out a unique position as a specialty beauty store by offering a large selection of upscale and drugstore cosmetics in all price ranges, all under one roof. There are currently over 675 Ulta locations across the United States, and, like Sephora, Ulta sells its own product line right alongside more familiar brands such as Revlon, Murad, and philosophy.
The Ulta Collection offers a variety of basic makeup products, from foundation to eye shadow to lip gloss. Nearly all items in the Ulta Collection are inexpensive, and its lower price point is a major draw.
As with most cosmetics lines, Ulta has its share of good and bad products; however, it seems for every good to great makeup product the line has two average-to-poor options. Testers may or may not be available, so choose wisely.
Among the safer categories of Ulta makeup are the eyeshadows, many of the mascaras, brow products, and most of the foundations, particularly the cream-to-powder and powder formulas.
Despite our enthusiasm for Ulta's large selection of eyeshadow, the quality is inconsistent, especially when it comes to texture and how they apply, even among different shades in the same category. The best way to shop this line is to pay attention to which products we've reviewed favorably and to take extra time to play with the products in-store (assuming the Ulta you frequent keeps testers available).
In recent years, Ulta has branched out from makeup to skin care. Their namesake skin care has the same affordable price point as the makeup, and some of the products are actually quite good. Skip the cleansers, ignore the moisturizers in jar packaging, and forget about the pore-tightening products...the rest is worth exploring, but again, this is not a brand to shop without some knowledge of what you're buying and how it performs.
For more information about Ulta Beauty, visit www.ulta.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.