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Monday, January 12, 2015

First Look and Review: NEW Ulta Beauty Rose Gold 12 Piece Natural Eye Shadow Palette (In Stores February 1st)

I've got a very special sneak peek for you today of a brand new palette that will be available at Ulta starting February 1st, 2015. Actually, there are TWO palettes coming out on February 1st--I received the Rose Gold palette for review but there is also a warmer-toned palette in this new collection.

NEW Ulta Beauty Rose Gold 12 Piece Natural Eye Shadow Palette
(retail: $20 at Ulta, 0.02 oz.)

Keep reading for swatches and comparisons...

There are six shimmer/glitters in this palette (top row) and six mattes (bottom row). This palette also comes with a full-size eyeshadow brush:

This brush is quite nice and I find it comparable to the brushes you find in Urban Decay palettes. The bristles are very soft and there's just the right amount of "fluff" to this brush to make it nice for both application and blending.

All shadows swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance:

The first four shades on the left side of this palette are the lighter, highlight shades. You get two shimmers and two mattes for highlighting. Champagne is the most pigmented of the four here, and the one I keep reaching for above the others. Pink, Prosecco and Bubbles are all sheer and lacking in pigmentation, even over primer, when compared to the rest of the colors in this palette. I think those three shades would work best for toning down deeper colors, as opposed to wearing them on their own. I do find that all four shades have a nice texture--no stiffness or chalkiness.

The four middle shades in this palette are nice for lid and transition. The texture of all four shades is quite nice--no stiff or difficult shades here, and the mattes in particular are buttery and smooth (as opposed to chalky and powdery). The pigmentation level is nice on these when worn over primer--when worn without primer they are a bit sheer. My favorites here are Breathless and Dessert (Breathless is such a nice transition shade). Hopeless Romantic and Chandelier both contain micro-glitter (hard to see in my pics) but it's not dense and there's very minimal fallout. The glitter is not chunky in either shade.

The four shades on the right side of this palette are the deeper crease shades. Again, you get two shimmers and two mattes. I really love all four of these. Luxe is a shimmery pewter with a beautiful rose-gold sheen to it that you can't quite see in my photos, and Dahlia is a blackened purple with pink micro-glitter (very pigmented and not stiff or dry like other shades of this nature). Sweetheart is a warm chocolate brown matte, while Orchid is a deep matte gray with purple undertones. No issues at all with pigmentation over primer, and the texture of all four of these shades is lovely.

All in all, I'm impressed with the texture of these shadows. Sometimes with affordable palettes, you find shadows that all seem to have the exact same finish, and sometimes the shadows can be stiff and powdery. There is definitely a distinction here between the shimmers and the mattes, and I find that most of the shadows in this palette have a nice, buttery consistency and work very well over primer. As I said above, some of the lighter shades are quite sheer, even over primer, but the mid-toned and deeper shades are all lovely over primer.

One other thing I want to mention is that the shimmers and glitters in this palette do become more subtle when blended on the eye. To me, they become more satin-like as opposed to heavy shimmers or metallics. This could be a good thing if you are not big into shimmers or metallics, but I think that if you're looking for intense metallic eyeshadows, this palette is probably not for your since the shimmers here do read more as satins or satin-shimmers once you get them on the eye.

Below you will find my comparison of this palette to the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, plus my final verdict on the Ulta Rose Gold Palette.

The Ulta Rose Gold Palette contains 12 shades and each shadow is 0.02 oz. For comparison, the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette contains 12 shades and each shadow is 0.05 oz. Here's how that breaks down, cost-wise:
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette: 0.6 oz total for $54 (approximately $90 per ounce)
  • Ulta Rose Gold Palette 0.24 oz total for $20 (approximately $83 per ounce)
I'm terrible at math, but I believe that if you bumped up the size of the Ulta shadows to equal the size of the UD shadows, you'd pay about $49 for 0.6 oz using Ulta's pricing per oz. The Ulta shadows are still a bit less expensive, but you should also factor in that Ulta often runs sales on their house brand products, plus you can use their $3.50 off $10 coupon on Ulta house brand products on top of any sales to bring the price down even further. Example: Let's say Ulta was running a BOGOFREE sale on Ulta makeup (which they are often known to do) and you purchased two of these palettes for $20 total and you also used their $3.50 off $10 coupon. Your total out-of-pocket would be $16.50, which would make one palette $8.25. Get it? OK, moving on...

After using the Ulta Rose Gold palette for a few weeks now, I can tell you that this is NOT a shade-for-shade dupe of the UD Naked 3 palette, and I don't believe it's trying to be. As you can see above, there are six matte shades in the Ulta palette (the entire bottom row), while there are only three matte shades in UD Naked 3. There are several shades in the Ulta Rose Gold palette that do not have an obvious (or even less obvious) counterpart in the UD Naked 3 palette. The unique shades are mostly mattes, so if you're a matte lover and you own the UD Naked 3 palette, you might still find the Ulta Rose Gold palette enticing.

That said, here are some swatch comparisons of the shades that I did find similar in both palettes:

(All shadows swatched  over Too Faced Shadow Insurance)

Same swatches, slightly different angles

As you can see, none of the Ulta shades are exact dupes for the UD shades above, but they are similiar. One thing I prefer about Ulta Hopeless Romantic and Chandelier versus UD Buzz and Trick is that the Ulta shades contain less glitter (my camera has a hard time picking up glitter, so it's hard to see in my pics). In person, there's a tiny bit of glitter in the two Ulta shades, whereas UD Buzz and Trick contain a good dose of glitter. I personally prefer less glitter in my shadows, so I like the Ulta shades a bit more.

As you can see, Ulta Dahlia and UD Blackheart are quite similar. However, if you look at the pic on the right, you can see that Ulta Breathless is a bit lighter than UD Nooner, while also a bit darker than UD Limit. In person, Ulta Dahlia is really right in the middle between the two, in terms of color. It's a lovely transition shade.

FINAL VERDICT: This palette is not a shade-for-shade dupe of Urban Decay Naked 3, nor do I believe it's trying to be. There are six mattes here, while UD Naked 3 contains three mattes. There are some unique matte shades here that I really love (such as Orchid, the deep matte gray with purple undertones) that have no counterpart in the UD Naked 3 palette. Is the Ulta Rose Gold Palette perfect? No. A few of the lighter shades on the left side of the palette are lacking in pigmentation and would probably be better used to tone down deeper shades than wear on their own. But all of the shadows in this palette have a nice, smooth consistency and the mattes in particular are buttery (not chalky), which I was very happy to discover since mattes can be tricky--especially in palettes. Also, the shimmers aren't super high on shimmer when blended out--they appear more like satins or satin-shimmers on the eye after blending. This could be a plus for you (if you prefer softer satins to intense shimmers) or a minus if you're looking for bold metallic colors. If you're drawn to rose-gold-themed shadows and prefer mattes and satins, I think this is one to consider (especially with sales and coupons as explained above!). If you already own UD Naked 3, I think this palette is still worth considering if you like mattes and satins in the same color family as UD Naked 3, since all of the shades in this palette play nicely with the shades in UD Naked 3. Also, the eyeshadow brush that comes with this palette is very nice and, in my opinion, comparable to the brushes that come with UD palettes.

Again, the Ulta Rose Gold Palette will be available at Ulta (in-store and online) starting February 1st, 2015. There will also be a warm-toned palette in this range and both palettes will retail for $20 each.

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 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.


  1. Great review! I love Ulta products and may pick this up when it comes out!

  2. Any idea how well the Ulta brand shadows work for those with sensitive eyes?

  3. If I can't afford UD Naked 3, this might be a GREAT way to bring that color palette into mu arsenal.... Right? Yeaaaaah. Yeah.

  4. really don't need it , but on the the hand i NEEED!

  5. This is not good for my rose gold addiction. At least the price is reasonable and if/when it goes on sale it will be a great addition to my makeup collection!

  6. Great, detailed review G. Going to look for this and the other one on Feb. 1. These colors are great, it looks like they did a good job creating a nice, wearable palette. Can't wait to see the other one as well.

  7. I need this in my life! I cannot wait to see what the other pallate is either, I love warmer colors too. Hopefully we can get a good deal and get both for like $20, that would be amazing. Great review G!

  8. I LOVE how you did price per oz!!! Fantastic. Weren't some of the shades from Fall 2014 Wet N Wild LE palettes dupes for the UD Naked 3?? I wonder if any of those are dupes for these. These do look really pretty. I am super curious about the Warm toned palette!

  9. It's certainly nice. I rarely shop at Ulta though.

  10. Nice! I probably would have never paid attention to this palette but it's quite pretty and the quality seems decent too. I like that the shimmers aren't as glittery as UDs because that stuff gets everywhere sometimes lol

  11. Wow are those nice colors and a very good price. I can't wait to see the warmer palette.

  12. Excellent, well-written, comprehensive review -- thank you! Depending on what the second Ulta palette is like, I may have to pick these up when the store has a BOGOHO sale. I have Naked 3 but none of the other Naked palettes. Truthfully, though, I'm about "neutral-ed" out when it comes to eye shadow palettes. I'd like to see large comprehensive palettes in other color families such as berry/plum. Again, GREAT review!

  13. Thanks for that incredibly thorough review!

  14. Disappointed. None of these shades are really what I picture when I think of rose gold. I had high hopes from the post title but was let down when I saw the colors.

  15. I have a dupe that looks exactly like this from forever 21 natural palette looks just like the naked 3. Just FYI y'all

  16. The LAST thing I need is another palette...I do have a ton of points though...

  17. I love rose gold. It has to be one of the best colors to put on your lids!! If I'm down in the States any time soon, I am sooooo searching for this!

  18. Hi G! Great review, as always!
    Just picked this palette up last night at Ulta and used my $3.50 off 10 coupon. I swatched all the colors on my hand in the store and I agree about the lightest shades.. Sheer, but workable as you suggested. I have been wanting the UD Naked 3 for a long time but just couldn’t shell out the $54 bucks, man.. This palette is close enough to me on the color range.. I am going to try it first over my Milani Eye Primer and then maybe over the NYX jumbo eye pencil in Yogurt. Will keep you posted..
    I did also see the Gold toned palette, which looks pretty, just not my cuppa tea as far as color range. I suspect you will also review it here, though, right?  I didn’t swatch any of those colors.

  19. I got one today and I am disappointed. Will be taking it back to Ulta. Wasn't impressed with texture or pigmentation.


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