Let’s be real: I’m never going to be your go to gal for drugstore makeup. There are some more affordable brands that are staples in my collection, and a bitch loves a coupon, but I don’t spend a lot of time in the drugstore aisles. I like “fancy” makeup and I am just more likely to be haunting the halls of Sephora than my local CVS. Having said that, sometimes I do like to see what’s new and fun at the drugstore, and I like to give some more affordable options for my readers who maybe don’t want to spend the kind of money on makeup that I’m (foolishly) willing to lay out but still want great products. Sometimes something will come out that really captures my attention and I want to talk about it.
That happened fairly recently when I saw Karen Harris talking about a gorgeous green, blue, and purple palette from LA Girl – and it was under $10! Looking into the Mainstage palette, I found that there were actually two palettes (the VIP palette was a pink, peach, and gold variation) and I also found some fun iridescent glosses. I thought, “Let’s make a day of it!” and I ordered both palettes and all 4 glosses.
This was all back in March. Why did this review take so long to come together? Besides the fact that I’m always backed up on reviews, and if I’m honest drugstore finds like this will usually get bumped if there is a big launch from a bigger brand, but also because I’ve had to order both palettes twice – and they showed up broken BOTH TIMES!
In my review of the XX Revolution face palettes, I talked about how one of the compacts came broken twice. Back before Christmas I had ordered a BH Cosmetics palette from Ulta that arrived with the mirror smashed. At first, I thought these were isolated incidents; I order more makeup than the average consumer, so I’m bound to see more defects than the average consumer, right? But when I started having this problem again with the LA Girl palettes, I realized that there was a problem with the way Ulta was shippping some of their products.
All of the products that arrive broken were shipped in loose, floppy bubble envelopes. Not the stiffer bubble mailers that have the small bubble throughout. These are looser and have the bigger bubbles, but they are spaced further apart. In all cases, they were packed in with other products that were different sizes and shapes. The packaging provided no support or stability for the products, and there were other things for them to band around and into for their entire journey, so it’s no wonder that this happened several times. While dealing with these LA Girl palettes, I became “that person:” I asked to speak to a supervisor, and I also sent a long and detailed email to their customer service about the problems I was having – and how easy it should have been to fix!
Here’s the first of the pink palettes to arrive. Ass you can see, the two shimmers in the bottom corners were broken – I did my best to press them back in to the pan, but this can be difficult when the pans can’t be removed. When I got the replacement, the same rose gold shade and another shimmer were broken. It was also the shimmers in the green palette that were the problems: in the first palette that arrived, two from the top row were broken (you can see which ones in the swatches below). When I got the replacement, only one of the shades was broken. I kept the green palette with the one broken shadow, but all of the others went back to the Ulta in Fargo – where once again I repeated my story of how they were shipped and how easy it would be to fix!
Anyway, let’s dive in to these swatches. The shadows are done over the Kaleidos Makeup Tone Activator eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Line Up, Thirsty, Light Show, Viral
Line Up is a light blue-toned green with golden shimmer metallic reflect. Thirsty is a light blue with silvery reflect. Light Show is a blue purple duochrome shifter with a slightly sheer base pigment. Viral is another duochrome with a peach base, silver metallic reflect, and hints of blue.
These shimmers are a little chunky, but they are gorgeous! Of course it would be my two favorite shades in the palette, Line Up and Thirsty, that arrived broken! In the replacement, it was Line Up that was broken. This are soft and can apply a little thick, so some spray will help if you are getting too much or want a smoother application.
L to R: Wristband, Sky High, Ferris Wheel, Flex
Wristband is a light aqua turquoise matte. Sky High is a bright Cyan Matte. This one was a little patchy around the edges, but not too bad to work with. Ferris Wheel was a bit of a problem – it’s a bright neon blue but it was a little patchy, and blending it out with a brush tended to leave bald spots. Flex is a plum purple matte, another patchy one that doesn’t respond well to much blending. This would be one to lay down and just blend around the edges.
L to R: $$$, Head Liner, Merch, Ayyy
$$$ is a bright lime green matte. This one applied very nicel and I didn’t really have any issues. Head Liner was similar, very opaque and was pretty easy to blend. Merch is a bright grape purple metallic shimmer. Ayyy is a red-infused purple plum shimmer with a nice cool-toned shifty reflect that brings an unexpected twist to the shade.
L to R: Shuffle, Backstage, All Nighter, Black Out
Shuffle is a bight chartreuse lime shimmer with golden metallic reflect. Backstage is a peacock blue metallic. All Nighter is a deeper navy-to-royal metallic. It’s different than Backstage, which has some more greenish tones, but they are pretty similar and maybe didn’t both need to be here! Black Out is a matte black that has a little bit of a satin finish, but it’s deeply pigmented and pretty impressive for a black matte in a palette for less than $10!
L to R: Guest List, Basic, Escape, Lit
Guest List is a pale yellow candlelight shimmer in a pearl base. Basic is a pale bone matte with a slight tinge of peach. Escape is a bright champagne gold metallic shimmer. Lit is a more buttercream shimmer that has more of a satin finish than metallic.
L to R: Flower Crown, Feels, Exclusive, Sunshine
Flower Crown is a silvery metallic baby pink shimmer. Feels is a bright peach matte. This one darkened against the primer a bit and was sort of inconsistent, but it’s neutral enough that you should be able to work with it. Exclusive is a light tangerine shimmer with golden reflect. Sunshine is a bright marigold yellow matte. This one had a lot of darkening around the edges again, but it’s a nice bright shade.
L to R: Take a Pic, Vibez, For the Gram, GOAT
Take a Pic is a sort of pedestrian dusty rose matte. It’s not bad, but there is nothing eye-catching or special about it. Vibez is a coppery pink metallic shimmer. For the Gram is a patchy pumpkin orange. This one struggles a bit, but you can wrangle it into looking nice if you don’t mind putting in the effort. GOAT is a bright brassy gold metallic shimmer.
L to R: Extra, #OOTD, Road Trip, Baddie
Extra is a rose gold shimmer that was really inconsistent and patchy – but as this was broken both times I received the palette, it’s hard to say how much the performance was impacted by my repressing efforts. This is the only one of the shimmer metallics to behave this way, so it may be the fact that it was repressed…but the green and blue shades that I repressed didn’t struggle, so who can say. It’s only $8 – you’ll live! #OOTD is a bright berry rose matte, a little bit sheer but a pretty shade. Road Trip is a pretty basic chocolate brown matte. Baddie is a bright brown shimmer metallic.
These palettes are really good. Some of the shades struggle a little bit, especially the mattes, but the shimmers alone are worth it for less than $10! I would recommend picking these up in person if you can, or ordering directly from LA Girl as Ulta doesn’t give a fuck about whether these arrive in one piece or not, but if you like the color stories, I think they are definitely worth it. The VIP palette isn’t as aligned with my likes, so I won’t be replacing that one again, but I love the Mainstage palette – I mean, give me ALL the greens!
There were also some “holographic” glosses that I’m not sure if they were released at the same time, but they definitely seem festival appropriate!
First off, as a fan of Simply Nailogical I feel the need to point out that these are in no way holographic. They are iridescent, and they are lovely, but they are yet another example of the cosmetics industry misusing the word holographic. I did swatches on bare skin with the same lighting described above. I also did a short video so you could see the sparkle a bit more as they move.
L to R: Magical, Starlight, Kaleidoscope, Flashing Opal
All of the glosses have a sheer base with opalescent glitter. Magical has mostly pink tones, Starlight has mostly golden tones, Kaleidoscope has mostly blue tones with some turquoise, and Flashing Opal is mostly purple with some green and turquoise tones. They are nice and light but a little sticky, and the shimmer is much better in person. Check out the video below to see them in action!
These are described as topper glosses, and they will add a ton of sparkle to any lip color. You can certainly wear them alone, but there isn’t any real base pigment, so you would just be getting the glitter effect.
I’m loving this little foray into LA Girl’s really inexpensive and colorful options – I just wish the experience hadn’t been soured by Ulta’s terrible shipping practices! These are a lot of fun, and the palettes especially are a hidden gem! When I do play around at the drugstore, I don’t find a ton of eyeshadows that I like, so these were a wonderful surprise! Definitely check them out – in person if you can!