Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: L.A. Girl Ultra Palette from the Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Collection

Doesn't it feel like it was so long ago that I blogged about the release of the new L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Collection? Can you believe that it was actually only this past October? I know, I know...time flies when you're buying makeup!

I received one of the Beauty Brick palettes for review a while ago and now that I've had time to give it a thorough testing, I'd like to share my thoughts with you. So let's get right into it!


Keep reading for my full review of the Ultra Palette...

L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Collection Palette in Ultra
(retail: $9 on the L.A. Girl website; 0.42 oz)

This palette contains 0.42 oz of shadow for about $9 (I've heard from some of you who have found these palettes locally for less, but $9 is the price on the L.A. Girl site so that's what I'm using). For perspective, the Urban Decay Naked 1, 2 and 3 palettes contain 0.60 oz of shadow for $54. 

There are four different palettes in this collection, which you can view here.

Made in China
(Click image to enlarge)


This palette has a sturdy, glossy cardboard exterior, but the material used to house the pans is actually solid, matte, purple plastic (not cardboard). I wanted to mention that because sometimes, with inexpensive palettes, the entire palette is made of cardboard and it's not so easy to clean the area around the eyeshadows. I really like that this area is made of solid (not flimsy) plastic--so easy to keep clean.

This palette also contains a narrow mirror on the inside lid, and it comes with a double-ended brush/sponge applicator:



The brush is sturdy and the bristles are soft (not scratchy) yet firm. This brush is a bit thin though, so it's best for color application and crease work, but it's not fluffy enough for blending. The sponge applicator is nice for packing on color and it's sturdy as well.



All shadows swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance:



I know what you're thinking. Is my camera broken? Did I mistakenly get these swatches mixed up with another palette? NO. The swatches above absolutely correspond to the shadows in the pans above. Let me put it to you this way: What You See Is Not What You Get With This Palette.

For example, take the first shade in the palette above. In the pan, I totally assumed this was going to be nude/champagne shimmer. Nothing special. But in real life, when worn on the skin, this shade absolutely reminds me of Urban Decay Road Stripe (the very first UD shade I ever purchased back in 1997, which recently made a comeback in the Vice LTD Palette). It's hard to tell from my swatch but when on the skin, this color turns into the most beautiful, iridescent pinkish-lavender with a subtle blue shift. What a complete and utter surprise.

The other three shades above were also total surprises. They look nothing like the colors in the pans. They are all quite shimmery, but with some nice iridescence and depth. I was afraid they might be those one-dimensional shimmers that you sometimes get in inexpensive palettes, but that's not the case with these. Yes, they're sheer, but they're not lacking in pigmentation, if that makes sense. They're sort of ethereal--the types of shades you would layer on top of other colors to add more dimension.



Again, these are not quite what I expected based on how these shadows look in the pan. The first three shades are sheer (but prettier and more shimmery than how they appear in my swatches), while that last shade is nicely pigmented. I know I always say it, but drugstore-level purples are so hit or miss. This is a nice one, and I love that subtle pink flash.



Keeping with the theme we've got going here, once again these shades were not what I expected based on how these shadows look in the pan. It's hard to tell in my swatches above, but there's very fine, iridescent micro-glitter running through these four shades--these colors are so pretty on the eye, but the glitter doesn't make for an over-the-top glitterbomb. I have to say that the purple-ish berry shade on the far left and the one right next to it (the rose-goldish mauve) are just stunning in person. And so is that brown on far right--I love that little flash of pink running through it.

Another thing I want to mention is that none of these shadows have excessive fallout. In fact, I was surprised to find the consistency to be nice and buttery (not powdery at all), and quite easy to pick up with my brush. This really surprised me because, to be perfectly honestly, I wasn't expecting much based on how these shadows look in the pan. I really thought these would be on par with very inexpensive palettes where all of the shadows have the exact same finish, and they all have that powdery, dull shimmer to them with lots of fallout and little color payoff. Not the case here.

I'm not trying to say that this is an absolutely perfect palette void of any flaws. Yes, some of the lighter shades are sheer, and you definitely need to wear primer underneath these colors to make them pop. However, for under $10, I feel like this one's worthy of your consideration if you are drawn to shimmers in this color range. Heck, I'd buy it just for that UD Road Stripe dupe alone (I love applying just a tiny bit of that color to the inside corner of my eyes when I'm doing a smoky purple/plum eye look). Oh, and I also want to note that these colors don't become muddy once blended. They tend to say true and vibrant on the eye (with primer) and I can get six to seven hours of wear over primer before I start to see any significant fading.

FINAL VERDICT: You cannot judge a book by its cover, and sometimes you cannot judge a palette by how the shadows look in the pan. That is absolutely the case with this palette, and in this particular instance I was very pleasantly surprised to find colors here that are prettier and more complex than how they appear in the pan. If you were hoping that the colors you see in the pan are exactly what you get when worn on the eye, then this palette probably isn't for you. But if you like the shades you see in my swatches, I think that for under $10, this would be a nice palette to add to your collection. I am very happy with the texture of these shades and how easy they are to apply. Most of the shades have nice pigmentation over primer, and even the softer shades are fun to use for highlighting. I would definitely consider trying the other three palettes in this collection based on my experience with this palette.

Do you own any of the L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Collection Palettes? I would love to hear from you!

PS: You can purchase these palettes via the L.A. Girl website HERE. In my area, independent beauty supply stores also tend to carry L.A. Girl, and some of you have mentioned that places like Hot Topic and Five Below also carry L.A. Girl, but I'm not sure if they have these particular palettes. If you have spotted these palettes locally, I would love to hear which retailers in your area carry them. Please share with us below!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.Blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews. For more information, click here.
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22 comments

  1. Wow that is nuts.. I've had shadows come out a different finish than I expected, or have a hidden duochrome... but some of these are totally different colors. My suggestion for finding the brand would be local independent beauty shops. There is one in my area that is a treasure trove of cool stuff nobody else sells. I need to try more of it, especially considering how inexpensive it is... but I have so much stuff in my collection already, and they don't do refunds so it is a gamble even if it's only a few dollars.

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    1. Right?? It was such a surprise, but a very nice one! :) And yep, I mentioned that indie beauty supplies in my area carry LA Girl, although I'm not sure if they carry these palettes yet. Gotta go investigate! Lol!

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    2. G, I know you're from San Diego and I saw these at the Daiso store in Kearny mesa along with the glazed lip paints and a lot more products. I believe they were $6 or $7

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    3. YES!!! OMG thank you, Daniela!! You just gave me justification for another Daiso run! Lol! :)

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    4. Ahhhh!! Me too! I just went to Daiso the first time last week (omg it was so fun, hahaha!) and saw some LA girl stuff and it didn't click in my head that I wanted to explore this brand more after getting something from them in my Ipsy bag one month! Plus, I was shopping with the hubby so the cosmetics aisle had to be a seriously quick pass through... Lol!!!

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  2. I've GOT to find LA girl in my area. There are so many good reviews on their stuff!
    And what's up with the "cheapie brands" BRINGING IT when it comes to palettes, lately? I picked up the City Color Barely Exposed palette at Five Below and it KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF!

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    1. I agree! I didn't have any expectations about this palette and it thoroughly impressed me!! :)

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  3. Thank you awesome review! this is not for me but I like your honest opinion

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    1. You're so welcome. Thanks very much! :)

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  4. ohhh my. O:
    i totally wasn't expecting this, lol.
    in all honesty the palette alone wouldn't have caught my attention, but these swatches have definitely caught it.
    great review!
    xo
    natalie❣

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? I'm telling you, this palette is fiilled with little gems! And my swatches don't truly capture how pretty they are. You'll see what I mean if and when you get it. :)

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  5. I found these at Harmon's in the Northeast. But they aren't in the Harmon inside Bed, Bath and Beyond or Christmas Tree Shops...only the freestanding Harmons.

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    1. Aaaah, that's very good to know! Thanks so much for that tip. :)

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  6. It seems that I have heard a lot about LA Girl products lately but I have not had any luck in finding them in stores. If anyone lives in MI and has located them, would you please post where? Thank so much!

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    1. Hum...I'm not in that area but have you tried Hot Topic? I've heard from readers who have found some products there.

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  7. I ended up buying all four of these palettes when you originally blogged about them. I agree, for the price, they are quite nice! I just ordered them on the LA Girl website since I knew I would never find them around here. Glad to hear you like them too! ;)

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    1. Yay! Oh I'm so glad to hear that, Carol!! May I ask which of the four is your favorite? :)

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  8. The swatches look totally different lol. But I still like how this looks! Seems like pretty nice quality too

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    Replies
    1. Yep. It's so deceiving! Much prettier than I anticipated based on the colors in the pan! :)

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  9. Oh man I need thIs palette!! I almost bought them when they had a black friday/cyber Monday sale but I didn't. I'm definitely going to be on the hunt to find these in stores!!

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  10. (I tried posting this once already, so I apologize if it duplicates. I'm having trouble with the comment profile part of the submission.)

    G, do you own the Naked 3? If so, I think a lot of people would LOVE a thorough comparison of the Nudes Beauty Brick and Naked 3 (like the one you did ages ago with Naked 2 and a Physician's Formula(?) palette). I caved and ordered the Nudes and Neons Beauty Brick, which actually just got to me today.

    My initial impression of the Nudes one is that the texture of the shadows is buttery and smooth - I instantly thought it was comparable to my UD Naked2 Basics palette - and that the pigmentation is fantastic in super quick swatches using just my finger on bare skin. Based on that, I thought I'd give you a heads up since I think a comparison iI! the type of post your readers would love and I already know you would excel at!

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  11. I just saw ALL of the beauty brick eyeshadow AND blush palettes in a brand-new looking endcap display in HEB here in TX. I didn't have time to snap a pic because I was in a rush, but I'm already kicking myself for not picking up the neons.

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