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.