Friday, February 17, 2012

Ulta Countryside Gleam Review and Swatches

Free gift with purchase at Ulta
Ulta is currently offering a 13-piece gift set valued at $88 if you buy a minimum of $17.50 worth of Ulta cosmetics, brushes, or beauty tools.  There are three different color sets available:   Lavender Fields, Paradise Bloom, and Countryside Gleam.  I have never tried any of the Ulta brand products, but the variety of items in the gift set and the price prompted me to give them a whirl. To be honest, my expectations were not very high, and I had a difficult time picking out enough Ulta products to meet the gift requirement as not much appealed to me and the selection was a bit picked over.  I finally settled on a nail polish, a lip stain, and an eye shadow pencil.

I chose Countryside Gleam as my gift and I think Ulta did a really good job with the color selections in all three sets.  Nothing seemed out of place in this warm collection and the colors flow together nicely.  You get 8 eye shadows, although I think one color in each quad is the same or at the least similar enough to be dupes, even though they have different names (Mocha and Mystique).  There are two dual ended eye pencils and two of the browns, although not dupes, are close in color.  There is a dual ended lip gloss, a lipstick, a mini nail polish called Peach Parfait, 3 cosmetic brushes, and a full size volumizing mascara.
Quality wise, it was a mixed bag.  I thought the eye shadows were quite nice.  There was some fallout with Stardust, but the colors apply smoothly and have a fair amount of pigment.  Using the foam brush included in the collection will help with the fallout, and was the only brush of the three that I liked.  The synthetic bristles of cheek brush grabbed too much powder and applied the blush unevenly.

I also liked the blush, a matte shade that provided a subtle flush.  The powder was fine milled and applied nicely with a good brush.  The eye pencils were dismal - hard to apply and streaky.  They also smear easily, so I used eyeshadow over them to help with staying power.  The bronze pencil was the easiest to apply, but the others tugged at my eyelid and were patchy at best.  The lipstick is matte and while it applied smoothly and felt fine, gloss is needed unless you like dry looking lips. The color was very subtle, more of a nude lip look.
I liked the glosses - they have a nice slip to them, are not heavy, have some staying power, and do not make my lips feel dry.  They also have a neutral odor and taste, so no real objections there.  The gloss in Natural made for a nice nude lip look over the lipstick, while Flirtini is sheer with very subtle gold flecks. 

The nail polish was not great but not terrible either.  I love the color, a nice cream peach that is perfect for spring, but it took 3 coats to achieve opacity and was streaky and/or had some bald spots.  Nothing that couldn't be overcome, but it took some work.  The mascara applied smoothly but I could not tell that there was any thickening or lengthening of lashes going on.  On the plus side, it does not seem to smudge, so seems to be a good, basic mascara.

Overall, the shadows, lip glosses, blush, mascara and nail polish make this deal worthwhile to me.  The gift with purchase is currently available in store and online at Ulta while supplies last.  However, I tried purchasing online and could not figure out how to chose my gift, but perhaps that was a browser issue.
Eye shadows:  Stardust above lashline, Canyon in middle, Expresso in crease and over liner


  1. Thanks for posting this! The colors are cute and pretty basic for everyday. :D Really looking forward to blush+ES+gloss+nail polish+cute bag :)

    I'm actually new to makeup~ISH... so I'm sorta deciding upon this or the Urban Decay's BOS IV. (It has the primer & new eye liner!!)
    Having the same problems picking items for their requirement, but maybe I'll get a gift for my friend.

  2. I don't have UD's Book of Shadows IV, but I did see one online review that said the shadows lacked the quality of previous palettes. Usually you can't go wrong with Urban Decay though.