A while back, I visited my local Ulta and picked up some Ulta brand products to try. It has been a long time since I tried anything from Ulta's house brand (I live pretty far away from the closest Ulta in my town), but I've had several readers request of review of these shadows, and they happened to be BOGOFREE (they still are, by the way). These eyeshadows normally retail for $7, but you can currently get them BOGOFREE making them just $3.50 a piece. They are 0.08 oz; a pretty good size for the price (for comparison, MAC shadows are 0.05 oz).
I thought I would get one shimmer and one matte, just to see how both finishes perform. Let's take a look:
Mystique is a brownish-taupe shimmer.
Sable is a warm camel brown matte.
Swatches applied on bare skin, no primer:
What really surprised me about Mystique is that it contains a lot of loose, silver sparkle. I didn't anticipate that, given how it looks in the pan. You can see the sparkle more clearly if you look at the right-hand side of this swatch:
Sadly, both Sable and Mystique left me disappointed. Both shades are weakly pigmented, although you can build for intensity. The problem is that even after building and building, the level of pigmentation still doesn't come close to just one application of some of my Wet n Wild shadows. The texture of these shadows is a bit hard, so I found myself having to really "dig in" with my brush to pick up a sufficient amount of color. And I didn't care for the fallout when applying Mystique--I thought it was going to be a good work-appropriate shade, but the loose sparkle makes it a challenge to wear to work.
One thing about Sable that I do like is that, for a matte, it's easily blendable and the staying power is nice, even without primer. However, I just couldn't get the pigmentation to a level I was happy with, even with primer.
One more thing: I thought that MAYBE, Sable might be a more affordable dupe of MAC Wedge. I used to use MAC Wedge as brow powder (you can still see my brow brush marks in the pan below) when my hair was a different color, so I pulled it out for a comparison:
In the pan, it seems like they might be quite similar. But on the skin? Not so much:
Oh well. You can't blame a girl for trying, right?
Do you own any Ulta Eyeshadow Singles? If so, what shades do you own and how do they work for you? Perhaps there are other shades in the range with better pigmentation? I'd love to hear your thoughts.