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As much as I love Ulta, and I really do love all the deal stacking at Ulta, I never buy my beloved Lancome there. Why? They never get the blockbuster GWP options you see at department stores. From April of 2o13 to May of 2014, I partook in over 30 Lancome gifts from a variety of retailers. Ulta never got any of my Lancome love until now. This was my very first (and possibly last) Lancome purchase at Ulta.
Although it was not a blockbuster (which usually includes 6-8 pieces), Ulta did have a nice four piece GWP. It includes three of the usual GWP subjects, a 0.07oz Definicils, a 0.07oz CILS Booster, and a 1.7oz BiFacil. I love all three of those, but I have so many that I often give some away. The final item is a bit less common in GWP offers, a full-size 0.042oz Color Design Eyeshadow in 127 Smoldering Cocoa. This is actually a shade I do not already own a single from. Most of Lancome’s eyeshadow palettes do not call out the shade names, so it is very possible I own this shade in one of my many Lancome palettes.
I own four other individual shadows (most of my Lancome eyeshadows are palettes). I should have known that the lid, which slides off will catch the powder. You have to push and pull up. This is a design flaw that can be prevented if you open the shadow carefully. It’s happened to me at least 2 other times, so I am obviously not careful.
The cocoa is a beautiful brown with gold micro glitter for a soft shimmer. Unless it is in direct light, the glitter does not show up.
This look uses most of the items from the Urban Decay Essentials Eye Kit, including: Psychedelic Sister on my lids, Bordello to highlight and transition, and Sellout on the brow bone. I added Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in 127 Shimmering Cocoa in the crease for a little depth. Psychedelic sister lines my top lid while Demolition lines the lower lid.
Like most Lancome shadows, this single was lovely to work with. It blends beautifully and remained crease free all day. The gold specks almost disappear, which is great considering I used this in my crease.
Of course a 4 piece GWP cannot usually get me to plop down almost $100. Considering the higher end department stores usually include a full-size item from something in the more expensive range than a $20 eyeshadow usually starting around $100, this would not be enough. However, I also had a 5x point multiplier for Lancome. That would not have been enough either but combine it with my birthday month 2x points, and a general 3x points multiplier, and the pot sweetened severely.
That gave me 5x + 1x (2x-1 to remove the duplicate base) + 2x (3x-1 to remove the duplicate base) = 0.25x (Platinum bonus that never multiplies)= 8.25x. Thus, I got $96.50 x 8.25 points. It calculates to 796.125. Ulta calculates each item individually and always rounds down, so the 795 points is right where it should be. There was only one more thing to wait on, a Beauty Break.
As a huge Laura Geller fan (especially of the blushes), I was excited to see the Beauty Break was a 5 piece gift from her with a $50 purchase. I do think her blushes are a lot better than her eyeshadows, but they’re usually fine. This set includes: a gold Beauty Bag, a 0.06oz Baked Marble Eyeshadow Duo in Pink Icing & Devil’s Food, a mini dual ended liner and flat bristled Eyeshadow brush, a 0.1oz Color Drenched Lip Gloss in Pink Lemonade, and a 0.012oz i-care waterproof eyeliner in charcoal.
I actually own all of these items in different shades or sizes, but these are my first of all these. The eyeliner is not as pigmented or smooth as I like on my upper lids. On my lower lids, it does a decent job of covering my waterline. Lining my waterline is not something I do often, because my eyes are already small. That makes them look even smaller. This color is not as dark as the other one, so I will give it a shot.
The eyeliner was easy to apply just below my waterline (I did not feel like applying it on my waterline). It was difficult to apply to my top lid. After a lot of effort and tugging, I was able to get a solid line. This color is lovely, because it provides a shading without any harsh lines.
The lip gloss is a beautiful, bubble gum pink.
This is a pigmented lip gloss. The added pigment highlights lips lines. I really like the bubble gum color and that my dry patches are not accentuated. On a sticky scale, it is around a 1.5 out of 5. That is not too sticky that I would never buy it, but I prefer my glosses without stickiness even though the trade off is less wear-time.
The eyeshadow duo is a yellow shimmer and pink swirl on one side and orange shimmer with brown swirl on the other. These baked eyeshadows always look incredibly beautiful in the pan.
Both shades swatch beautifully. The yellow-pink is very close to my skin tone, so it blends in. This looks like it could make a great highlight shade.
This shadow is not as smooth as I like, so it is a little harder to blend. It is beautifully pigmented and long-lasting while remaining crease free. I loved the way these looked together and only added the white shade from the Keyvn Aucoin Contour book to the brow bone.
They look much more silky than they feel, so I was very pleased with the final result.
Of course, I got a shot of everything together.
I selected the variety sampler, which I probably should stop doing. Almost every order with this sampler provides a 0.05z Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This does feel silky on my skin before the rash sets in. The 0.2oz AHAVA Mineral Body Lotion is something I already know and love, so I am happy to have that sample.
Although I am not a huge fan of dual ended brushes, I’ve been wanting to get an actual brush with a spoolie for a while. After the spoolie broke off my It Cosmetics eyebrow pencil, it was all downhill from there. When I saw this new Lancome Sourcils Gel Dual Ended Eyebrow Brush 27, it intrigued me. It looked so different from any eyebrow brush I’ve ever seen. I actually watched a video by Lisa Eldridge on the Sephora page about how to use this. Once I try it out, I will see if it is as easy as she makes it look. I own most of Lancome’s brushes and other than 13 (which I hate) and 23 (which I dislike), they’re mostly nice brushes. Number 17 is the star.
The Audacity in Paris Eye Shadow Palette is something I’ve wanted since it first came out. I kept putting it off, because many people compared it to the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, which I already own. Although I really love that palette, I kept thinking I did not need two that were so much alike.
I ultimately decided to buy it anyway, because as much as I love Urban Decay eyeshadows, I love Lancome eyeshadows as well. They’re also different. Urban Decay shadows are more pigmented. Lancome shadows start off a bit more sheer for a more subtle look, but the colors build.
I love the look of this palette. The sleek black packaging with heels and the Eiffel Tower screams Lancome to me.
There are two things about this palette that differs from most Lancome palettes. The first is the size. There are 16 shadows at 0.045oz each making this 0.72oz total. Full-size Lancome shadows are only 0.042, so each of these is actually 0.003oz bigger than a single, which retails for $20 each. That may not seem like a lot, but the average palette has shadows that are much smaller than the full-size. Getting one that is bigger is almost unheard of.
The $50 5 shade palettes are 0.141oz divided unequally across the 5 shades. That means none of them are even close to a full-size shadow. It also means those palettes are a whopping $354.61 an ounce. Unless I am getting a discount or a GWP, that is a little rich for my blood. Larger, limited-edition, palettes usually have a better deal. The Pardon My French Palette at 0.3oz retailed for $58 making it $193.33 an ounce. That makes this $69 Audacity palette $95.83 an ounce, which is a bargain for Lancome palettes. I could not even buy 5 singles for that.
The second thing that makes this different is all the shade names are listed on the back of the palette. Most palettes, especially the 5 shade palettes, do not list the shade. That makes it a lot harder to purchase a single to replace your most beloved shade in a palette.
If seeing the lady’s legs in the mirror or the palette bothers you, do not fret. That is a removable sticker. I like it, so I am probably going to keep it on. At least two of the shades in this palette were visibly damaged. The powders are soft, and it looks like someone swatched them. They are the 4th shade from the left on the top, Joie, and the first shade on the top, Kitten Heel. While I am not pleased that someone swatched these, I am also not going to return this palette either. I hate returning things, so I will scrape a decent amount off those two layers and sanitize them before I place them on my eyes. Thankfully, I have plenty of Kitten Heel in other palettes. Joie, however, is new to my collection (from my labeled shadows anyway), so it will hurt a bit to scrape a lot off that one.
I am very impressed with these swatches. Even most of the matte shades are smooth. There was only one obvious chalky one from the swatches, Parfait, the third from the left. All of thee swatches are three passes, so they will look less pigmented with a single or even a double pass. They will look more pigmented with more than 3 passes. These items were swatched left to right, and top to bottom, so the swatches are the exact order they are presented in inside the palette.
The first quadrant contains: Filigree (light-gold shimmer), Chouquette (peach matte), Parfait (light pink matte), and Joie (golden-bronze shimmer). Joie is the star from this set. Her shimmery rose-gold appearance is striking. Parfait is the weakest. Although she reminds me of Rose Quartz (a 2016 Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year), she is a bit on the chalky side.
The second quadrant contains: Voyage (muted purple matte), Sante (brown matte), Exhibition (orchid shimmer), and Zip Me Up (deep purple shimmer). Exhibition is the star. The soft orchid shimmer is so pretty I am thinking it could double as a beautiful blush. Although I wanted to love Zip Me Up, it is the weakest here. Application is a little patchy, which means it may be hard to blend out.
The third quadrant contains: Volcano (silvery gray shimmer), Audacious (smokey brown shimmer), Couture (dark brown matte), and “It” List (black matte). Audacious is the obvious star here. They named the whole palette after this shade, so I am not surprised. If you love shimmer as much as I do, this is a wonderful neutral, shimmer brown. Couture is the weakest here, because distribution was not even. It could look inconsistent when it’s on.
The bottom quadrant contains: Kitten Heel (golden peachy-pink shimmer), Tenacity (copper metallic), Clock Strikes 12 (gray metallic), and Nuit (black metallic). It is hard to pick a star or weak link in this quad, because they are all incredible. Clock Strikes 12 is probably my least favorite, because it is not as shimmery as the others. It is not perfectly matte either, so it is still striking.
I was going for an extremely natural look, so I used Filigree on my brow bone, Couture in my outer V, Parfait on my lids, and Sante in my crease. Two of the four looked the weakest in their respective quadrants (based on swatches), so I figured I could only move up from here.
The matte shadows look much nicer on than they did in the swatches. Since I concentrated my only shimmer on my brow bone, I achieved the natural look I was going for. There was no creasing and they blended nicely. Pigmentation is light, because I did not use a lot of passes (on purpose).
I used the palette again only using neutral shades, but I opted for darker ones this time. The sun was bothering my eyes, so these are not the best pictures. This look uses Sante on the lid, Couture in the crease and outer V, Parfait on the brow bone, and Exhibition on the center of my lid. I repeated the two colors from the first look that I felt did not swatch well to see how they looked if I moved them around. They are beautiful in both looks, so the swatches do not tell the whole story.
These shadows remained crease free all day, but the colors were not as vibrant when I removed them as they were when I first applied them.
I wanted to do another look with mostly matte shades concentrating shimmer on my lid, which is the way I prefer my eyeshadow. This look uses: Voyage as my transition color, Sante as my crease color, Couture in my outer V, Choquette to highlight, and Kitten Heel on my lid.
Once again, the colors were not as vibrant when I removed them as they were when I applied them, so this palette does not live up to the quality of other Lancome shadows. This look also had light creasing in the lower corner of my left eye and upper part of my right eye. I applied my eyeliner darker than I originally wanted, so most of the beautiful Kitten Heel shade on my lid is covered. When I use this palette again, I will use a lighter liner and pull Kitten Heel up a little higher.
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