A little while back, when Ulta sent that 20% off coupon to select customers (this was the one that was good toward basically everything, even prestige cosmetics), I was having some trouble deciding what to get as a treat to myself. So I came up with an idea. I asked the amazing Nouveau Cheap Facebook community (which, if you're not a part of, I would LOVE for you to be!) for help. I basically asked the community to decide how I should use that 20% off coupon. I asked for suggestions, and I said that the suggestion with the highest amount of "likes" was what I would order. And I promised to review the winning product here on the blog, whether it was drugstore or high-end.
The overwhelming winner of the Facebook community vote was this IT Cosmetics palette. So I'm keeping to my promise and reviewing it for you here today!
IT Cosmetics Holiday 2014 Limited Edition Naturally Pretty Celebration
Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette
(retail: $42 at Ulta and the IT Cosmetics website, 0.028 oz x 14)
Keep reading for my full review...
Made in China
Ingredients (from the IT Cosmetics website):
Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Water (Aqua), Cholesteryl, Oleyl Carbonate, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Cholesteryl Chloride, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Silk, Collagen Amino Acids, Glycerin, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinesis (Leaf) Extract, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Vitis Vinifera/Grapeseed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Olive Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Chamomilla Recuitta (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Perfluorodecalin, Methicone. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007).
Holographic? Yes! I also love that the coating is glossy, which makes it really easy to wipe down when it gets dirty (the glossy coating also makes it less of a magnet for makeup fingerprints to begin with).
Trivia Time: I want to take a minute to mention that Jamie Kern, the founder and CEO of IT Cosmetics, was one of the original cast members of Big Brother US (Season 1). I don't know how many of you watch Big Brother, but I've been a die-hard fan since the beginning (I have literally not missed a season or episode since Season 1, although I did find Season 15 to be completely unbearable, but let's not even go there). So anyway, I totally remember when Jamie Kern was on Big Brother, and I wanted to mention it just in case you're a BB fan too and didn't make the connection.
From the IT Cosmetics website:
Your Naturally Pretty Holiday Matte Eyeshadow Palette is the IT Cosmetics® breakthrough eye shadow formula in brand new shades for your most naturally pretty holiday. These 14 luxe anti-aging silk-infused eye shadows are all matte, perfect for women of all ages. The Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon is a completely unique shade, designed to be added to each of the matte shades creating a new pearlized color or adding a sheer golden veil with a simple swipe of a brush!
Utilizing cutting-edge technology exclusive to IT Cosmetics, these anti-aging eyeshadows instantly diffuse the look of lines and wrinkles on your eyes and lids. Lush matte pigment glides over the lids and your eyes are treated to anti-aging ingredients, such as as hydrolyzed collagen, acai, green tea and Vitamins A, C, & E and free of all the ingredients that make eyes appear older such as talc. This palette features the brand new Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon that instantly creates a new pearlized or golden color when you add over the matte color you love!
NOTE: All of the shadows below were swatched over primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance). I swirled my finger once on each pan for each swatch.
Champagne – matte pale peach
Gingerbread – matte topaz brown
Toasty –matte smokey rose
Warm Wishes – matte beige
Spice – matte cinnamon brown
Sugar Plum – rich matte purple
Peace – matte tea rose
Starry Night – rich muted navy
Coal – deep matte slate
Hot Cocoa – matte mocha brown
Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon
A closer look at the Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon:
Top: left side of "ribbon" and right side of "ribbon"
Bottom: both shades blended together
I usually find these types of eyeshadow "top coats" to be a bit gimmicky and I rarely seem to reach for colors like this. HOWEVER, this one is such a pretty shade of champagne gold (when both colors are blended together) that I couldn't help but play with it. Here are a few examples of how this shade can transform the colors in this palette:
Right: Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon over Peace
Left: Starry Night by itself
Right: Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon over Starry Night
Turns out that the Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon isn't really gimmicky at all (for me, at least!). I love that it adds some subtle warmth to the matte shades and some shimmer as well. It's great for making the switch from a matte look to a shimmery look in a flash. You can literally go from day to night with a quick wash using a fluffy shadow brush.
Looking at all of my swatches above, you can see that there are a few shades in this palette that are not true mattes--a few shades look a bit more shimmer in my photos than they are in person though. In real life, there are a few shades here that are more like satin-mattes than true mattes, but on the eye the sheen is so subtle, they might as well be mattes. I don't get any shimmer or even a strong satin finish from any of these colors when they're on my eyes. Also, a few of these shades (mostly the darker colors) have a teeny, tiny bit of sparse sparkle running through them but again, they translate as matte on the eye and you really cannot see that sparkle after application.
I've worn all 15 shades in this palette in various combinations both with, and without, primer. These shadows can all be worn without primer for a softer, more subtle look, but I do prefer the vibrancy that primer gives these mattes. There are no shades here that I had any issues with whatsoever in terms of pigmentation (granted, some are so close to my own skintone that they tend to blend in with my skin to begin with). The texture of all 14 mattes is fantastic. They are buttery smooth and very easy to pick up with a shadow brush. Also, they are all incredibly easy to blend, and none of the colors become muddy after blending. Staying power is also very good (with primer). All of the colors in this palette last through the day for me, with only very mild fading after about 7-8 hours.
As for the Transforming Ombre Radiance Ribbon, it's a great little multi-tasker. I already discussed its transforming properties above, but I also want to note that you can use this color as a highlighter or even wear it alone--it has a great texture and it's really easy to apply (and blend).
If I were to say anything negative about this palette, it would be that some of the colors do have a bit of fallout when you're picking up color with your brush. But like I always say, this is the nature of matte shadows--they can be powdery. But none of these shades go on chalky or spotty--they are all very buttery and dreamy to apply.
One more thing I want to address! One of the claims about this palette is that these are "anti-aging eyeshadows [that] instantly diffuse the look of lines and wrinkles on your eyes and lids." I don't have a lot of creping around my eye area (yet!) but I can tell you that these shadows do not accentuate what little creping I have. Lately I have noticed that certain shimmery shadows tend to bring out the mild creping on my lids and crease area, but these shadows definitely do not.
FINAL VERDICT: The big question! Is this palette worth $42? I'm going to have to go ahead and say "Yes!" but I do have certain conditions that go along with that statement. If you already have a lot of good matte shadows in your collection, then I would probably skip this one if you know you have similar shades in your stash (none of the shades here are what I would call groundbreaking or undupeable). But if you only own a few good mattes (or perhaps no decent mattes at all) or, like me, are a bit tired of all the hunting that goes along with finding good mattes at the drugstore (sometimes that can feel like finding a needle in haystack), then I think this palette is worth the investment. To have so many neutrals and jewel-tones (both warm and cool) all under one "roof" is so convenient--especially when they're of this quality. Being a matte lover myself, I do have some similar shades already in my stash, but do I regret this purchase? Not in the slightest. I know for a fact that this palette is going to get a lot of mileage from me--it's one of those palettes that I can mindlessly reach for, Monday through Friday, and it won't let me down.
I hope this review helps those of you who may be on the fence about this palette. And if you're new to IT Cosmetics, I hope that this has been a helpful "intro" for you! If you already own the Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette, I would absolutely love to hear from you! Do YOU think it was worth the $42 price tag?
PS: Thanks again to the Nouveau Cheap Facebook community for making this your choice for me to purchase and review. I own you one, because I absolutely love it and I'm so glad I left the decision in your hands!
The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.