This is part 2 of a 2 part review of the 14 piece Ulta Beauty Bonus Gift with Purchase. Since most of the items are either available for sale on Ulta.com or are smaller versions of items that are available, this is also a comprehensive review of the entire brand. This section features reviews and swatches of the included face, lip, and nail products, and brand rating.
The primer was the most surprising product. It is in a black plastic squeeze tube similar to nearly all primer samples with only “Ulta Flawless Prime” and a weight written on it. I expected the usual clear, silky, silicon primer (like Smashbox Photo Finish) but instead got a creamy green one. The green is supposed to cancel out redness and at first I thought it would leave me looking like the wicked witch of the west, but it was very sheer and instantly disappeared into my skin. It’s smooth, lightweight, and kept my foundation even. The full size is available here.
The Apricot Blush/Yellow Diamond Highlighter is one of those products that you have to “break the seal” on. The first few times I tried to use it, it was super hard and unpigmented. Just as I was about to give up, the yellow diamond highlighter finally swatched (I have yet to get the apricot blush to work). Yellow Diamond is a shimmery yellow that I would not advise wearing if you are going to be under strong lighting – unless you’re going for the disco ball effect, in which case, more power to you. It is the first highlighter to actually show up on my light skin (looking at you Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette) and I like the glow it gives. The full size is available here.
The face brush is a travel sized dome brush meant for the highlighter and (nonworking) blush mentioned above. It is not fluffy enough for my liking but it is soft as well as a good size and density for applying the pigmented Yellow Diamond.
The Weightless Lipstick is full sized and in the shade “Mauve Me”. It is a soft mauvey pink and is available here. I personally consider a lipstick something that has pigment and lasts for more than 5 minutes. By that definition, this is in no way a lipstick. A balm at best, though not a very good one since it has no hydrating properties. It went on smoothly, looked and felt lovely, and was gone within minutes. The website describes it as having “translucent color and shine” and most of the reviews are from people who loved it so much they bought multiples. Either I got a dud or these people are way more into the invisible lipstick look than I am.
The Matte Lip Cream is a very large mini in the shade “Allusive”. It is a deep purple shade that goes on in a super weird patchy way, almost like a lipgloss that is pretending to be matte. I had to blot it to get to the correct color and texture at which point it looked more like a very flattering lip stain from drinking too much wine. It was still very sheer and more coats just made it look weird. The full size is $9 and can be found here but quite frankly, I would recommend the NYX soft matte lip cream which is $6, comes in a million colors, and looks and lasts way better.
The final product is a small bottle of nail polish in the shade “Lilac-ing You”. It is a very light opaque purple. The brush is easy to use, the formula goes on smoothly, and I am on my second day with no chips. It is available here and it is not bad as far as nail polishes go but with all of the gel formulations available which last up to 2 weeks, I would not consider purchasing this.
Rating of Ulta Brand Products:
A: Eyebrow pencil, Eyeshadow, Flawless primer
B: Nail Polish, Yellow Diamond Highlighter, Makeup Remover Pads
C: Dual Ended Eyeliner, Matte Lip Cream, Travel Brushes
F: Weightless Lipstick, Apricot Blush
My overall grade for the entire brand is a C. While there are some exceptional products, there are also exceptionally horrible products, and most of the items are just okay. Given the choice, I would reach for NYX or L’oreal instead of any of the Ulta products due to better pigmentation and lasting power. The pricing is also a negative mark. At the listed original price, none of the products are worth it. However, if there is a promotion that discounts the products at least 25% then it is a slightly more realistic cost for the value of the product.