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Ulta

Color Core Lipstick

for $ 8.00
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Color Core Lipstick is another in what seems to be a growing number of gloss-lipstick hybrid products that look cool, but just don't live up to their hype!

This lipstick has what Ulta calls a "color core" – a lipstick center surrounded by a translucent gel that's supposed to serve as both gloss and balm. Unfortunately (and as you might expect), that presentation leads to an uneven application. While the richness of the color in the core is good, you have to work to get that color all over your lips because of the see-through product around it.

There's also the issue of this lipstick's performance. This is touted as having a "balm-like" feel, but in fact the texture is a bit tacky, and it doesn't leave lips feeling moisturized. The color does last for about four hours if you don't eat, which is good for this type of lipstick. Ultimately though, we say skip this and go with any of the cream lipsticks on our list of Best Lipsticks.

Pros:
  • Color core has rich, medium color coverage.
  • Color holds up well considering the formula.
Cons:
  • Gimmicky packaging makes application uneven.
  • Lipstick feels tacky.
  • Doesn't leave lips feeling moisturized, in spite of its claims of being "balm-like."
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

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.

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