Friday, July 26, 2013

Ulta3 Ultrapost!

There is a little known secret hiding in great, sparkling piles in chemists all over Australia - these little bottles are usually sold for between two and three dollars, and since they're so cheap they're hardly ever presented well or organised, or paid any attention at all by staff. But they wait, in their cluttered bins, waiting for someone who knows their worth to haul them out into the light...

Ulta3 Polish Bin
Ulta3 in their natural habitat
That's right, I'm talking about Ulta3 polishes!

A quick clarification for my American readers - I do NOT in fact, mean Ulta Beauty . Here is the Land of Oz, Ulta 3 is a hidden gem of a polish brand available in most chemists across the country. Not every single Ulta3 is amazing - I've gotten some crap ones while gorging excitedly on a vast bin of bargains. Some are far too sheer for my taste, some are just plain ugly, and some of the older chunky glitters apparently have an incomparable stench. But the brilliant thing about this brand is that since they're all just two freaking dollars, it's no big deal if some of them aren't that great. If I spend ten dollars on a polish, I am SPITTING CHIPS if it's not awesome. But for two? If it's acceptable, I'm happy. If it's really good, I'm thrilled. Today I have six newer Ulta3 polishes that are so good I have been stalking chemists since they were released trying to make sure I have enough back up bottles to last me forever.

First up, I'd like to introduce you to (left to right) Triple Threat, Stop The Press, and Outasight.

Triple Threat is a black jelly base absolutely crammed full of rainbow sparkles. The base is so opaque and the glitter so dense that you don't need anything underneath this, and only need two coats for full coverage. This swatch is two coats with topcoat. 
Ulta3 Triple Threat
It's pretty even under artificial light...
Ulta3 Triple Threat
...but take it outside and suddenly it's all OH GAWWD MY EYES THE GLITTER!
Stop The Press is a clear base full of matte black and white glitter, and Outasight is a clear base with different sizes of black glitter only.  It's super exciting for me as a lover of indie polish to see this type of polish being done by a mainstream brand. Black and white glitters are a BIG deal in the indie polish world - just about every label has one, and some of them are INCREDIBLY hard to find. This is an exciting challenge for hardcore indie collectors like myself, but what if you like the look of black and white glitters, but can't drop however many dollars and however many hours getting your hands on one of the indies? That's where Ulta3 comes in.

Ulta3 Stop The Press

Ulta3 Outasight

These swatches are two coats of the glitter over a base colour, then topcoat. You could probably skip the topcoat if you're not fussed about chipping - both these polishes dry perfectly smooth and shiny on their own. I also had no problem getting plenty of glitter out of the bottle and on to the nail. Outasight seems to work better over a brighter base colour, but you could put Stop The Press over just about anything. 
Next up I have a dazzling trio of teal for you! 
A Lister is a clear base with big chunky aqua iridescent glitters. It's almost unbelievably sparkly, but you probably will need to put a base colour under it. Striking is an aqua/teal jelly base chock a block with teeny tiny aqua micro glitters. This leans a little bit more towards the green side than the others, making it look delightfully icy on the nail, like an Icelandic glacier. Infamous is a deep teal in the same micro glitter consistency as Striking, and covers beautifully in two coats. If you've been coveting Pretty Serious Grimm Demise (and if you haven't been coveting it, I don't even know what to say to you) but can't afford it, Infamous is a pretty convincing lookalike. However, unlike Grimm Demise, Infamous does sometimes leave a bit of staining if you don't slather on a base coat first, so keep that in mind. 

Because I'm a bad, lazy blogger, I swatched these three together as a gradient manicure. I started with two coats of Infamous, then sponged Striking on to the top half, and finally dabbed some A Lister on the very tips. 

So those are my current favourite Ulta3 polishes. Considering there are apparently over 80 in the range, there is sure to be something for everyone if you're willing to dig deep enough. Next time you wander past that great vat of unsorted polish at your local chemist, don't leave these babies to grow dusty - reach in and fish yourself out something awesome!


  1. Are you in Sydney? Where on Earth did you find the new ones?! I've been searching for weeks with no luck! =(

    1. I am indeed in Sydney :) I haven't seen any in the CBD, but I've been reliably informed that there are still several caches out in the suburbs, particularly the Western Suburbs.

  2. Oh goodness. That gradient mani is amazingly gorgeous!

    1. Thanks :) I really didn't want to take it off - soo sparkly!

  3. I love ulta3 polishes, brandy wine and orchid are both great colours :) i'm currently hunting through the ulta3 bins in my local area for stop the press and triple threat. loved this post, cheers :)

    1. I only just came across Orchid, and it's SO GOOD. A perfect dupe for Illamasqua Baptise, for 20 dollars less!

  4. Do you know, I've seen Ulta at the local 7-11 too! And they even stand them upright in a display and everything!


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