Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ulta Q1 birthday gift 2015: complete eye palette in Indie

Ulta's free January, February, & March 2015 birthday gift is an Ulta store brand complete eye palette in Indie. The Ulta complete eye palettes have five shades and look like they are being repackaged. The old layout is a bullseye format palette and the new style is a traditional quint layout. The new layout makes more sense to me because there is enough room for your brush in each pan.

The free Ulta birthday gift changes quarterly - Q1 was the palette in Indie, Q2 was an Urban Decay eyeliner mini in Voodoo, Q3 is a Urban Decay Perversion mascara mini, and I haven't heard yet what the Q4 gift is. If you know what the Q4 gift is, please leave me a comment and I will update the post!

Ulta 2015 birthday palette in Indie

Indie has five shades: a satin champagne in the center, a satin lilac taupe at 2 o'clock, a chocolate brown with red glitter that swatches suspiciously matte at 4 o'clock, a matte medium brown at 8 o'clock, and a satin rose gold at 10 o'clock. The palette retails for $12, contains 9 grams of eyeshadow, and is free for Ulta rewards members with an email coupon. Unfortunately, you may not choose your complete eye palette - everyone gets Indie.

Ulta 2015 birthday palette in Indie, back

On a customer service note, this quint was a pain in the ass to get. My Ulta store has iffy customer service and I had to jump through some hoops to get my palette, despite being signed up for Ulta emails and being and Ulta platinum member. By comparison, the Sephora free birthday gift redemption was a seamless process.  /rant.

Ulta 2015 birthday palette in Indie, natural light

Ulta 2015 birthday palette in Indie, indoor artificial light

  1. Satin Champagne, (center) neutral toned champagne, similar to Wet N Wild Reserve Your Cabana but less pigmented, decently soft, a little powdery, average pigmentation. Overall C
  2. Satin Lilac Taupe, (2 o'clock), neutral to warm light purple brown, smooth texture, decently soft, okay pigmentation. Overall C+.
  3. Chocolate Brown with Red Glitter, (4 o'clock), a bizarre cool toned matte brown with red/purple glitter, looks matte when swatched, has glitter fallout, stiff texture, patchy finish, serious blending issues. Overall F
  4. Matte Medium Brown, (8 o'clock), warm toned medium matte brown, soft and powdery, hard to blend but not the worst matte brown I have ever used. Overall D
  5. Satin Rose Gold, (10 o'clock), warm orange toned rose gold, soft and a little powdery, smooth texure, best pigmentation in the palette. Overall B-.
Overall, I would give this palette a solid C-. I think the dark shades really draw the palette down - as a trio of light satin nude shades, I could rate this a C+. If you are new to makeup, prefer light nude/neutral looks, or work in a conservative office, I think you could get some solid use from this palette as long as you don't expect the darker shades to do any heavy lifting.


All of the swatches below were done with my finger on bare, unprimed skin. These photos (in this whole post) have not been color corrected or edited in any way. 

 Ulta complete eye palette in Indie swatches: 1 swipe each, no primer

 Ulta complete eye palette in Indie swatches: 3 swipes each, no primer

Eye Look

Below I have the eye look that I like most from this palette - a simple nude eye that is appropriate for work or school. It is a little brightening and adds warmth, but doesn't detract from anything else you are wearing. I highly recommend wearing an eye primer with these because they are powdery and prone to longevity issues. I also don't really recommend using all of the shadows from this palette at once because they do get muddy on the lids. Unfortunately, the two darker shades that I would like to use for extra definition in the crease are prone to blending issues and aren't very user friendly.

Ulta complete eye palette in Indie on my eyelids: the satin rose gold across my lids, the satin champagne on my brow bone

TL;DR : This is the kind of palette you wear to brunch with your Grandma who thinks you wear too much makeup. Don't pay full price for it, but worth redeeming your coupon for. 

Ulta's free 3rd quarter birthday gift is a mini of Urban Decay's Perversion mascara, which I reviewed here. Sephora also offers a free birthday gift - the 2015 gift is two NARS mini lip pencils, which I reviewed here Make sure you pick up your birthday freebies!

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