I picked up this set of Ulta Holiday Lip Duets on Black Friday. I haven’t tried many Ulta brand products, despite how often I shop there, so I decided to give this holiday gift set a try. The collection contains four double-ended lip products with a lipstick on one side, and a coordinating gloss on the other. Both the glosses and the lipsticks are pretty good sized products. Each lipstick is 12g, and each lipgloss is a whopping 20g of product. The shades are all wearable for most people, but with enough variety to satisfy a wide range of tastes.
The first Lip Duet contains the gloss in Illusion, and the lipstick in In the Buff. Though they look dark in this picture, they are actually pretty light pink shades. Illusion is a light, cotton candy pink gloss. It has just the most subtle amount of shimmer that is barely discernible. It looks like a matte cream gloss until you get close. Only then you can make out the shimmer. In the Buff is a light-medium matte pink cream shade that swatches much lighter than it appears in the tube. (Swatches will all be toward the end.) I know lighter pink shades are quite popular, but they tend to give me a washed out, dead look, especially when matte like this. In the Buff is too light for me to wear unless I darken it up with liner or something, but Illusion sheers out nicely on the lips, so I’ll pair it with other lip colors.
Next we have the lipgloss in Toast and the lipstick in Sugar & Spice. This Lip Duet is right up my alley. Sugar & Spice is also a matte cream shade, like In the Buff above, but it is much more wearable for my skin tone. It is a medium-dark, rosy-brown neutral. Toast is a bronze gloss with lots of rose-gold shimmer. I love this combo and will wear it a lot, I can tell.
The third Lip Duet contains the gloss in Cupcake and the lipstick in On the Mauve. Cupcake is a shimmer gloss like Toast. It looks like a bright party pink in the tube, but it actually swatches much lighter than it appears. It is, in reality, a very wearable medium pink shimmer shade that looks very natural on its own and anyone would look great with it. On the Mauve, however, is not for those wanting a natural look. It is a dark metallic rose shade that makes quite a statement. Though this shade is very pretty, if your lips are heavily lined or creased the frosty metallic finish is your enemy.
The last Lip Duet in the pack contain the gloss in Stellar and the lipstick in Smoky Quartz. Smoky Quartz is a high shine, shimmery plum. It is absolutely gorgeous, especially this time of year. It reminds me of sugar plums. It looks much darker in the tube, but it is more of a sheer shade. Considering how sheer Smoky Quartz is, I expected Stellar to also be pretty sheer, but it is the most opaque gloss in the set. Stellar is a rich berry-plum shade that is almost matte, like Illusion from the first Lip Duet. When paired together, Stellar really tones down the shimmer of Smoky Quartz and creates a very wearable plum-berry shade.
These swatches are pretty close, though In the Buff is a touch lighter, and On the Mauve is more metallic looking in real life. My favorites are definitely Sugar & Spice and Smoky Quartz.
These are thick swatches of the glosses so that you could easily see the color. They do sheer out a lot on the lip. The shades look right here, except that Stellar is coming out more red than it should be. I would wear all four lipglosses often. There are no duds in this set.
Both the lipsticks and the glosses feel really nice on the lips. They are moisture rich, and don’t dry the lips out at all. The lipsticks have a waxy “seal” when you first get them, which is unfortunate. Be sure to swatch them or something before applying to the lips the first time. Once the “seal is broken” however, they glide on creamy and smooth. They feel like they melt with body heat and get even more creamy as they wear. The glosses are not sticky in any way, and leave lips feeling hydrated.
Because the Lip Duets are so moisturizing, they are not the longest lasting lip products. They will not stand up to food and drink, so you will need to re-apply after meals. They last about four hours on me before I need to re-apply (though I am known to eat off my lip products pretty quickly). They fade evenly, and still feel moisturizing even after the color fades. The lipsticks do have an unfortunate waxy smell, but it fades after a minute or two.
All in all, I am really glad that I got the Ulta Holiday Lip Duets. Eight lip products for only $12.00 (regular price) is a great deal, especially since I really like six of them. These would make a great gift, or you can break the set up and give them as stocking stuffers. This set is no longer available on Ulta.com, so be sure to check your local Ulta store to find the Holiday Lip Duets.