This has been a week of technical difficulties. I don’t know what our internet provider has been doing, but it is causing our internet connection to go off intermittently for the last two days. Very frustrating. Anyway, today I want to talk about Ulta’s new Color Core Lipstick. They came out at the beginning of 2014. I have been eyeing the Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick which looks very similar to this one. They are both inner core lipsticks with the color encased by a “moisturizing” outer core. I was hoping that the Ulta version would be a cost-saving alternative to the more expensive $22 Josie Maran version. Though I have yet to try the Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipsticks, I can say that I am positive that these Ulta Color Core Lipsticks are not a substitute for them. Read on to see why.
Here is what Ulta has to say about the Color Core Lipsticks: “A new take on Lipstick! ULTA’s Color Core lipstick delivers buildable color with a stroke of moisture. Delicate pigments are enveloped in a translucent outer core; smooth over lips to break through the outer core and release the color from within. Apply one coat for a kiss of color and several coats to build bold and beautiful color with a soft sheen finish. The inner core releases an even flow of color onto lips, but always rub lips together to make sure product distributes evenly. The outer core delivers moisture and a balm like feel. We fell in love with the smooth, barely there texture of Color Core on our lips! This formula is not only rich in vitamins, but is formulated without Parabens, Fragrance, Wax or Preservatives.”
I got the Color Core Lipstick in Wine Berry during an Ulta sale, so I was able to purchase it for around $3 instead of its regular $8 price tag. I’m really glad that I got it at such a discount because I think that the Color Core Lipstick is a pretty terrible product. Because the color core in on the inside, it takes some maneuvering to apply the color evenly. This isn’t a lipstick where you can get away with one swipe. You have to work with it and build up even coverage. I’m fine with that, but some of you may find it annoying. Wine Berry is one of the darkest colors and I’m not sure if that makes a difference, but I thought pigmentation was pretty nice. I expected sheer color, and that’s exactly what I got, but it was certainly enough to show up nicely on my lips. I’m not sure how pigmented the lighter shades would be. I would expect the same pigmentation of a standard tinted lip balm, so the lighter shades are probably pretty subtle. Wine Berry, however, gave good color.
I was hoping that the outer core would provide some shine and a lot of moisture, but I was sorely mistaken. There is some shine with initial application, but it quickly fades as the product dries down. The “moisturizing” outer core isn’t very moisturizing at all. It’s comfortable enough during application, but quickly gives you that shrink-wrap feel as it dries down. The formula hugs the lips and feels pretty drying. I already have dry lips to begin with, so I get the urge to add lip balm within the first half hour. What’s really weird is that while the Color Core Lipstick is drying out your lips, it stays tacky so that your lips stick together. I can handle some stickiness with lip glosses because the moisture is there, but this dry stickiness was so uncomfortable. Ulta Color Core Lipstick feels truly terrible on the lips.
Here is a swatch of Wine Berry. It is a shame that the formula is so bad because the color is pretty. You can see by the swatch that already whatever shine was there during application, it’s already almost gone in the time it took me to take the picture. What puts the final nail in the coffin for theses Color Core Lipsticks is the horrid taste and smell. They taste like bitter plastic. The smell is even worse and the plastic-y chemical scent is combined with artificial fruity sweetness. The combo gives me an instant headache. And, unfortunately the taste and smell linger for a good 15-20 minutes. All in all, the Ulta Color Core Lipsticks are just terrible. Pass on them for sure. They look really cool, but even at 65% off they aren’t worth the money.