I hit up Ulta like a fiend whenever I’m outside Alaska. I’ve planned entire driving routes around Ulta locations. I love Ulta.
I also love gel eyeliner. What I do not love is Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner.
I was at Ulta in Oregon earlier this year and I spent a long time lingering over the Ulta brand gel eyeliners. I’d been longing for a green gel liner for a while, but I was hesitant to spend $20 on a Stila Smudge Pot in Jade because, while I love my Cobalt Smudge Pot, I don’t actually use it very much. What can I say? I mostly stick to black liner. For $10, I figured I could take a chance on Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner in Dublin.
Here is why I love shopping in person more than online shopping: You can see things in real life. So you can, for example, look through all the testers of Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner and notice that each one is dried out and cracked. You can also go through and open each container of Dublin until you find one that isn’t dried out and cracked. And then you can ignore all those big red flags waving at you from all those pots of dried-out, cracked gel liner and buy the un-dried one anyway.
And then, after only a few months and a handful of uses, you can open up your gel liner and find this:
Dry as dry can be, and crackly as a packet of Pop Rocks. No kidding, it’s straight-up Sahara in there. I tried wetting my brush to try to wring some effectiveness out of the dried-up cake of liner, but I ended up with only a faint wash of dark, gritty color.
I have to say, based on my in-store observations and the few times I did use the product, I’m not surprised. The color appeared green when I swatched it in the store, but it never looked anything but gritty and grey on my eyes. I should have gone for Mac Fluidline in Dark Envy... or just shelled out for the Smudge Pot. I’ve never had a Smudge Pot dry out on me, and I’ve forgotten to recap them on a couple of occasions.
I’m not sure if all Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Liners are similarly formulated, or if that store just got a bad batch, but after what I saw in the store and what I experienced at home, this will be my last Ulta brand gel liner. I’ll probably chip out the rest of the Dublin cake and reuse the jar — for something that doesn’t need an airtight environment, obviously.
Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner
Bottom Line: Until Ulta rolls out a reformulation, avoid.
Tip: When it comes to affordable gel liner, I’ve had much better luck with Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Liner. For about a dollar more than the Ulta gel liner, you get three different colors, and the consistency is pretty nice.