Gel Eyeliner Pencil is a creamy, needs-sharpening eyeliner pencil with a silicone base, similar to many other gel pencils that are available. The bold color applies smoothly and doesn't travel, providing easy-to-use all-day wear.
These pencils are good, workable options for eyeliner, but the results of a gel pencil don't compare to a well-formulated semi-solid gel eyeliner like M.A.C.'s Fluidline or Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. Gel pencils, whether they need sharpening or are automatic, have thicker wax ingredients to keep them in pencil form and they cannot be applied in as thin of a line as a semi-solid gel eyeliner. In addition, semi-solid gel eyeliners have a creamier consistency that provides a fluid "painted-on" look that is impossible to achieve with a gel pencil because of the difference in texture and application.
If you still prefer to use a pencil, and don't mind having to sharpen it (which is really a waste of time and product, as you always eat up some of the pencil in the sharpening process), this is one to try. One standout feature of Ulta's Gel Eyeliner Pencil is the large assortment of colors. In addition to the standard brown and black, there are vibrant shades like purple and teal as well.
- Smooth application.
- Bold color.
- Doesn't travel; wears all day.
- Available in both vibrant and neutral colors.
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 480 Ulta locations across the United States, and, like Sephora, Ulta sells its own product line right alongside more familiar brands such as Revlon 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. Thankfully, the shelves of the in-store displays are well stocked with testers for each product—much like a department store setup—making it reasonably easy to find appropriate color matches and to play with the products before committing to a purchase.
Among Ulta's better products are everyday basics like their Cheek Color, Fabulous Face Compact Foundation, Fabulous Face Pressed Powder, and Extreme Wear Lip Stain Pen. The sheer and cream lipsticks are worth trying, too, but steer clear of Ulta's shimmer-finish lipstick, as its finish tends to feel gritty. Ulta also sells some great mascaras, including waterproof formulas.
As 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.
For more information about Ulta Beauty, call 866-983-8582, or visit www.ulta.com.
Note: Several Ulta stores we visited had poorly maintained tester units. They were either dirty or dusty, or severely lacking adequate testers. This was disappointing because several other brands in the same store had immaculately maintained displays, while Ulta’s own brand was in various states of disarray, as if the staff simply didn’t care.