Extreme Wear Lip Stain Pen is a good, easy-to-use lip stain, but its performance is not as impressive as several other lip stains that are available at the drugstore for about the same amount of money. Although the liquid matte color applies well, with minimal feathering, the color is not tenacious enough to make good on its long-wear claim. The average wear time you'll get out of this less-than-"extreme" product is two or three hours. After that, you'll need to touch up.
What earns these pens a happy face rating is the comfortable non-drying matte application, and the flattering array of neutral pink shades.
Note: As with all lip stains, be sure your lips are smooth and free of flakes and dry spots before applying. Otherwise, the color looks uneven and any dryness will be exaggerated. Exfoliate first with Paula's Choice Lips Duo
- Comfortable non-drying matte application.
- Flattering array of neutral pink shades.
- Color lasts only two to three hours, so this isn't as long-wearing as you might think.
- Minimal feathering.
- Color looks uneven on dry lips.
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, call 866-983-8582 or visit www.ulta.com.