Tag Archives: Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Monthly Favorites (and Fails) for November and December 2015

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Monthly Favorites

Monthly Favorites

It’s time for my last Monthly Favorites (and Fails) post of 2015.  You may have noticed that I didn’t do a Favorites post last month.  I just didn’t have enough products to make up a post, so instead of forcing it, I figured that I would combine November and December.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get. So these are the products that I have been loving for the last two months.

Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost

Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost

My number one, can’t get enough of it, holy grail favorite for the month is definitely the Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost.  I had been using the Hydration Boost, but had run out in October.  I really noticed the difference in my skin without it, even though I was using the same moisturizer.  I placed a Michael Todd order on Black Friday, and I am thrilled to have the Hydration Boost back.  My skin feels so much more hydrated and healthy with it.  Especially now that winter cold has set in and is trying to dry me out, the Hydration Boost is vital in my skin care regimen.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

My next skincare type favorite is one that I only had a sample of, so this product photo is from Sephora.  This is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.  This stuff is amazing!  I have chronically dry lips, and this lip treatment makes a huge difference.  I am going to say right off the bat that this formula is not going to be for everyone.  It is thick and waxy when you apply it, and I definitely had my doubts at first.  Once it warms up on the lips, however, it melts into the skin and provides so much healing moisture that I am a little blown away.  This isn’t a lip balm that you throw in your pocket.  It is definitely an overnight lip treatment mask.  The main ingredients are lanolin, agave nectar, and jojoba oil.  A little does a long way, and even though the tube is only half an ounce, I am sure that it would last for several months of daily use.  It is $26 on Sephora’s website, which is pretty hefty, but it just might be worth the splurge because it is wonderful.

MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes

MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes

Next up are the MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes.  If you haven’t seen my review and swatches of these palettes, be sure to check it out.  I have really been enjoying these MUA palettes.  The shades are lovely, and they have been so much fun to play with.  They are really nice for drugstore palettes.  MUA is only available at CVS here in the States.  There is a good chance that you can score these palettes on sale or with a coupon and I think that they are worth checking out.

LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette

LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette

Because the MUA palettes have no matte shades, I have been pairing them with the LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette.  This was one of the $12 Black Friday palettes that Lorac sells through Ulta every year.  I never got any of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes, but this one is the same idea.  There are five matte neutral shades, and this is a great palette to mix in with other palettes that may be missing these essential shades.  I know it is sold out on Ulta’s website, but may still be available at your local Ulta store.  If so, pick it up.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

I’ve been reaching for my Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose quite a bit.  I reviewed two of these Rose Powder Blushes from Milani over the summer, in case you missed it.  I love this shade.  It is a muted, nude rose shade in a similar color family to Tarte Exposed.  It is a very subtle color, but it looks gorgeous on the skin.  The look is minimal and natural, but beautiful.  And of course, I can’t mention this blush without talking about that beautiful embossed rose.  Even though I have used the blush a lot since I got it, the rose is still going strong.  It is a winner.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

You may remember the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve that I was obsessed with last year.  Well I busted it out again, and reminded myself why I loved it so much.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  It is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade with beautiful shimmer that doesn’t look chunky or glittery.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  A little goes a really long way, so I’ll have this blush for a long time. You can see my review and swatches of both this blush and one of the bronzers here.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my Fails.  Always keep in mind that my reviews are based on my specific experience with these products, and good or bad, you may have different results.  So, just because I give a product a bad review, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad product.  It just means that it did not work for me.  And these next two products definitely did not work for me.

e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer

e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer

I reviewed the e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer, and I recommend that you read it because it isn’t necessarily a bad product.  It just didn’t work for me.  The packaging is frustrating, and there are definitely some issues in the formula, mostly that it does not contain SPF and it does have fragrance (though I did like the fresh scent).  I thought that the formula was nice and hydrating and it felt good on the skin.  The moisturizer broke me out, so ultimately I couldn’t use it, but I ended up giving it to a friend who liked it a lot.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The biggest dud that I have tried in a while has to be the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.  If you read my review, you know that these shadows were terrible.  There were a few decent shades, but overall the palettes lacked pigmentation and the formula varied wildly from shade to shade.  While some of the shimmer shades were nice, other shades were hard and chalky.  The blue toned palette was especially bad.  I did like the green toned palette, but not enough to make the kit worth it.  It was such a disappointment.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for November and December.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for the month?  Let me know in the comments below.  I am so excited by all of the new items that are releasing for Spring 2016.  I am trying to keep a tight reign on my spending because lord knows that I don’t need more makeup.  But there are some really interesting products popping up in the drugstore, plus all of the spring collections from prestige brands.  What new releases are you most excited for?  Have you gotten anything new for Spring 2016 that you want to tell me about?  Share with me in the comments.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit: Review and Swathes

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Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Happy December y’all!  The magical season of Christmas is upon us, so what better time to talk about a Holiday exclusive.  Today I have the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit to show you.  Though it is hard to tell on the website, this is a limited edition set that Ulta put out for the Holidays.  The Artistry Eye Shadow Kit retails for $20 and contains three small palettes with 5 shades each.  I had to get this eyeshadow set.  The palettes are pretty, and moreover this is an obvious attempt at duping a high end product so I had to try them. The Artistry Eye Shadow Kit is Ulta’s attempt to dupe the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes

The seven Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes launched in January 2015 and I was very tempted to get them until I saw the $58 price tag.  Even I couldn’t justify $58 for five shadows, but I thought that they were gorgeous.  When reviews started rolling in, the Modernist palettes weren’t quite the smash Hourglass intended.  The shadows didn’t perform as well as they should have for the hefty price, and they left a lot of customers disappointed.  Still, their beauty won a lot of people over despite the flaws in formulation.  Enter Ulta’s Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Here is what Ulta has to say about this set: “Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit includes 3 eye shadow palettes. Each palette combines a range of matte and shimmer textures for all occasions. Beautiful wave pressing pattern makes this set an extra special gift or luxurious treat for yourself.”  The palettes are very small.  If I lay all three down next to each other (top to bottom) they are the size of my iPhone 6 Plus.  I don’t own any of the Hourglass palettes, so I can’t truly compare the two brands, but I would say that Ulta’s version might be a dupe in that it is also disappointing.  The three palettes are pretty hit and miss.  Each palette contains a mix of mattes, satins, and shimmers.  The matte shades straight up suck.  All of them are truly terrible.  The shimmer shades are all pretty decent, and the satin finish shades vary in quality.  The palettes themselves also vary in quality.  The blue palette is the worst, which funnily enough I believe is also true for the Hourglass line.  I like the green palette and, while the shades aren’t the most unique, I think most of the shadows perform well.  The plum palette is a mixed bag, but I can get a good look out of it if I am willing to work for it.  Let’s take each palette individually from worst to best.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

There are two matte shades in the blue palette, which is unfortunate because they aren’t very good.  The five shades from left to right are as follows:

  • Matte cream shade- This shadow came with a hard layer that is sometimes found on cheap matte shadows.  Even after scraping down through the layer of film (or whatever), it had no pigmentation and I had to layer the hell out of this to get it to show up on my skin for the photo.  It is completely useless.
  • Gold shimmer/glitter shade- This is a very pretty gold, but it is more of a glitter than a shimmer and can apply a bit patchy.
  • Sheer dark brown matte- This shade confuses me.  It looks like it is a dark slate in the pan, but it swatches like an extremely sheer brown with no pigmentation.  It’s patchy and difficult, not worth the effort.
  • Blue metallic shimmer- This stormy blue shade is actually not bad at all.  It’s a lovely smoky tone, but you have to love shimmer.  It is probably the best shade in this palette, though that’s not saying a lot.
  • Icy Taupe shimmer- This cool-toned icy taupe is another good shade and more wearable than the blue.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Blue

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Blue

Two good shades out of five is pretty terrible.  This blue palette is garbage.  Luckily the other two palettes do better.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The plum-toned palette is an improvement over the blue palette for sure, but there are still some dud shadows here as well.  The five shades are:

  • Icy lilac shimmer- This is the only palette that doesn’t have a matte highlight shade and it is much better for it.  This icy lilac shade is subtle, but pretty.
  • Off-matte mauve toned plum- Again, a sub-par matte shade, or rather off-matte finish.  This mauve toned plum is a lovely color, and it can be built up to a certain extent like it is here in the swatch, but the lack of pigmentation makes it a frustrating shade.
  • Sugar plum shimmer shade- It is hard to describe the color of this shade.  It’s like a mauve toned plum and a rose gold had a love child.  It is beautiful, and a winner.
  • Royal purple shimmer- A true purple shadow is actually a lot harder to produce than one would think, so I am astonished that this set got it right.  It is lovely.
  • Sheer mauve satin finish- Ulta, you are killing me with these sheer shades.  What is that about?  This satin mauve could have been great but, again, I find the lack of pigmentation frustrating.  It just ends up looking like my eye is bruised.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Plum

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Plum

There are two fantastic shades in this palette, one good shade, and two disappointments.  I do find that I can work with this palette much better than the blue one, even with the duds.  If I didn’t have any other shadows in these shades, I may consider keeping this one.  Ultimately, though, I have these shades in better formulas.  I don’t think it’s trash like the blue palette, but I am probably not keeping it.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The final palette in this set is actually pretty good.  There is one dud, but the remaining four shades are pigmented and smooth.  Here are the five shades:

  • Matte cream shade- I think this is the exact same shade that is in the blue palette, and it is just as useless.  This one also had that hard layer or “film” on top and scraping down through it still wasn’t enough to help this crappy shadow.
  • Khaki satin-shimmer- I really like this shade on the lid.  It has a subtle shimmer and is a unique and rather unexpected color.
  • Brown shimmer- This is a simple brown shimmer shade, but it is done well.  There are subtle bronzy undertones.
  • Metallic olive- I love this shade.  It is a beautiful olive green with emerald undertones and golden micro-shimmer.  Great pigmentation, and it applies well.  Winner-winner chicken dinner.
  • Soft black shimmer- This is a simple soft black shade with subtle shimmer.  You can tell in the pan that it is not meant to be pure black, so I am okay with the charcoal tones.  It’s a good shade.
Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Green

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit Green

With the exception of the matte cream shade, I am a fan of this last palette.  I am a sucker for these earthy tones, so I am probably keeping this palette despite my hordes of green and brown shadows.  I have created a couple different looks with this palette, and I liked them quite a bit.  It definitely works and is the best of the set by a large margin.

I am sure that it will be no surprise that I do not recommend the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.  I am not sure why it is so highly rated on the website.  I got it on sale for almost half the price, and I still don’t think it was worth it.  It looks like a great gift idea and can be broken up into three really pretty stocking stuffers, but unless you are buying for a very young girl who doesn’t need a lot of pigmentation and won’t know any better, skip them.  There are so many other options available for even less money that would be better than this.  I had high hopes, but the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit is too much of a mixed bag for me to approve.