Saturday, September 23, 2017

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette: My alternative to the Kat Von D Alchemist and Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Palettes (and all the others)

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ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette

This is really just a post about something fun and shiny I've been playing with lately. Tons of photos, so be prepared! I got this Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette recently using some ULTA points (it's normally $16, but on sale for $8 right now). I'd been moving the Kat Von D Alchemist palette in and out of my Sephora cart for a few months. I love anything duochrome or shifty, but I had a hard time justifying $32 when I don't wear noticeable highlighter very often, and I doubted how much I'd actually use it as an eyeshadow transformer. I'm more of a 1-2 shades of eyeshadow person. For while I considered the BH Cosmetics Blacklight Highlight Palette, which contains 6 huge pans of iridescent highlighter for $17--but then I remembered that I was trying to minimize the amount of makeup I traveled with, and carting around an enormous highlighter supply probably wouldn't help me achieve that goal. (I'm not going to do a whole price-per-ounce analysis right now, but I can tell you that in the BH palette, you'll get a lot more product than in the ULTA palette for close to the same price, and in the KVD palette you'll get significantly less for twice the cost.)

So I settled on this ULTA option, in part because of my points, and in part because I've had good luck with ULTA brand products in the past. I think they're pretty underrated--the eyeliners are particularly great--and they always have some sort of sale on the store brand, so that you should never have to pay full price for anything.

As it turns out, I'm very happy that I bought this palette and equally happy that I didn't buy Alchemist, because while it's a lot of fun to play with, my predictions about how I would or wouldn't use it were accurate.

ULTA's Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette includes, as you can see, four iridescent, shifty, sheer highlighters. Have another look at the pans, and then I'll show about a million swatches after the cut.

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette
It looks really pretty in the bathroom lighting, ok?

Finger swatches in direct sunlight (top to bottom=left to right in the palette):

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

Indirect light:

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

And because ULTA recommends layering these over other eyeshadows, I swatched them over Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. I'm not sure that particular base does much for them other than intensifying the color a bit. Direct sunlight (top to bottom=right to left here, because I can't be consistent):

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

Indirect light:

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

And here's the same swatches at an angle, so you can see some of the shift. Most of them shift between their main color and sort of a whitish-silvery highlight.

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

Here they are swatched over black eyeliner (oooooh). You can see now that there are actually multiple colors of shimmer in each one. Direct sunlight:

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

Indirect light:


And an angle:

ULTA Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette swatches

Ok, now let me show you these things on my face! First up is Fairy, which looks like a lilac shade in the pan, but as you can see in the swatches comes out mostly white. It's also the sparkliest of the colors here, which I like slightly less than the others. This is the one you wear to the disco.


I took my face photos in natural light on different days, which can make them tricky to compare, so please trust my descriptions! I didn't pile on the highlighter for any of these photos. I used the Real Techniques Setting Brush to lightly blend it on to my cheekbones (it's a great brush for applying sheer layers of powder without messing up what's underneath).

Next is Pixie, which is the most duochromey option here, with a peachy-pink shift. For me, it works best as a natural, everyday highlight.


Ok, Nymph is definitely the most intense and dramatic of the bunch. And not glittery at all. You could pull off some serious robot-chic if you built it up a little. GLOW.


Finally, Angel, which sadly didn't photograph that well. It's definitely green. I'm wearing it today! It's green! Trust me. Not as intense as Nymph, however.


You can see more of the greeny goodness of Angel layered over a matte eyeshadow from the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette (which is what I'm wearing on my eyes in most of these photos--you can tell which ones) here:



Anyway, this Holo Palette palette is a ton of fun but not exactly the kind of thing I find myself using super often. I do recommend it, like me, you've also been tempted by its more expensive cousins--the quality is great and it certainly does the job. There are a million products out there like this at all sorts of price points these days, and having this one is pretty much preventing me from coveting the others, which would leave me with a highlighter supply I'd never be able to use up in my lifetime. So I'm satisfied. (Remind me I said that, with shame, the next time you see me buy a highlighter.)

ETA: The palette was discontinued, but Ulta does have individual duochrome highlighters for $10 (but of course you should buy them on sale).

9 comments:

  1. This looks awesome! I think shifty highlighter applied with a light hand can be for everyday. I'll probably look into the BH version since no Ulta here.

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    1. I bet you could do some great things with it!

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  2. Ooh, damn, this looks awesome. I've casually wanted the Moonchild Glow Kit since it came out but it's so hard to get here and expensive anyway. I might look into the BH one or see if any of the cheapie British brands have anything similar - I've been avoiding popping into Superdrug since I got here because I don't trust myself, but I might have to go for it. I've been very into the iridescent highlighter trend.

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    1. fFrom what I've heard, the BH palette is great too! L'Oreal just put one out, I see, though I don't know if it's in stores (or in the UK) yet.

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    2. Ha, it probably won't get here for ages (if ever). Might see if it's in Canadian stores when I'm back for Christmas.

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  3. Oooh! I wish I had known of this when I bought the KVD! This would have for sure satisfied my craving for shiftiness! I'm comforting myself with the thought that it may not have been around when I caved for the KVD (March, April maybe?). I should have held out a little longer! It looks just as good and like you said, Ulta house brand stuff never ends up being full priced.

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    1. The other advantage is that the purple in Alchemist seems to actually be purple and not just white/silver, so there's that!

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  4. I have the Alchemist palette, and aside from the purple (because the purple in the KVD palette is super purple), the Ulta palette definitely looks like the closest dupe I've seen to it. Honestly, moreso than the Moonchild palette, which I swatched and was surprised/horrified by how chunky and glittery the shades are. If I ever finish the KVD, I'm pretty sure I'd pick this one up instead

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    1. Yes, I included the ABH palette in the title here because I thought the purplish shade might be as sparkly as those, but it's really not chunky, so probably not!

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