Palette Wars: Urban Decay vs. Tarte

Palette Wars: Urban Decay vs. Tarte

*Sigh*  I hate to go here, but there is a clear winner when it comes to eyeshadow palettes in my makeup arsenal.  I know… you guys probably think you already have it figured out.  Well, after trying and TRYING to love a certain cult favorite eyeshadow palette, I just can’t do it.  Urban Decay, you are not for me.  Could it be the particular palettes I happen to have?  Maybe. I took a chance on Tarte and it paid off.  Big time.

Over the holidays I purchased Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, and Naked 3.  My typical daily look consisted of primarily matte shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette.  They are very pigmented, complemented my skin tone, and were great for a daily look.  I’ve always wanted to branch out and try bolder colors and since Urban Decay Naked palettes seem to be everywhere, I assumed this was a great place to start.  UD Naked Smoky was the first palette I purchased during the holiday season.  I was so excited to open the palette, was pumped to find a small tutorial insert in the package, and quickly went to work after ripping the package apart.  Unfortunately I had to send the palette back after realizing one of the shades was misspelled (read about the epic fail here).  After going through the tutorial, I quickly decided the smoky eye is not for me.  For some reason, no matter what brushes I use it looks like I grabbed charcoal and smeared it all over my eyes.  Could be my fair skin, could be my eye shape, I could just be an epic fail at eyeshadow application, who knows… all I know is it doesn’t work for me.

Next, I purchased the UD Naked Heat palette.  Well, just like I couldn’t rock the smoky colors, the “heat” colors made me look like I had pink eye or a serious lack of sleep.  Not exactly attractive.

Enter UD Naked 3.  Ok… this one got a little better, but there were still more cool tones in this palette.  There are some pink and purple toned shades, but they’re on the cooler side.  The entire reason I love my Naked 2 Basics palette is that it is full of warm colors that compliment my fair skin so well.  Urban Decay Naked 3 = Fail #3.

Right about the time I purchased the Naked Heat palette I decided to take a chance on another palette.  This was really more of a “collection” than a palette.  I kept seeing ads from Sephora and Ulta for Tarte’s Pineapple of My Eye Collector’s Set.

pineapple.jpg
Photo Credit: Sephora

Well, I felt like I couldn’t justify a giant set like this.  It didn’t all fit in the container (organizational me couldn’t deal…), I don’t need green eyeshadow (I’m not a 5-year-old playing with Barbie makeup, guys…), and… it’s expensive.  Of course the interwebs had to read my mind and suggest a different collector’s set that DID fit in the packaging, still had an adorable little pineapple (stand tall, wear a crown, people) and sequined packaging, and it was, wait for it… ON SALE!  Done and done.

 

 

sweet escape
Photo Credit: Ulta

 

What I love about the Sweet Escape Collector’s Set is… everything.  Literally everything.  I decided on this set because of the awesome packaging and  now have found my favorite liquid eyeliner, blush, and SEVERAL eye makeup looks that I never would’ve attempted before.

I’m typically a matte eyeshadow type of girl, but this set has changed my mind.  The shimmer shades are so pigmented and so full coverage that very little goes such a long way and looks great on.  The blush colors are awesome-a great pink and a more rose option, and a bronzer and highlighter to complete the look.  I’m now completely in love with the liquid eyeliner (I don’t do liquid eyeliner… I have to do my makeup with midgets yelling for me in the background, people).  I ordered this set directly from Tarte when they had a 25% off sale during the holidays.  Since ordering this set Tarte has mailed 20% off coupons.  I will definitely be purchasing another Tarte shadow palette using their coupons.

So, for pigmentation, value, ease of use, and packaging… Tarte wins.  Sorry Urban Decay, but I’m just not that impressed.  I purchased an entire set of all of these shades of shadow, blushes, bronzers, mascara, eyeliner, and lip color for less than the price of an Urban Decay palette.  Maybe I’ve just purchased the gimicky palettes and will feel differently with a full palette from the Naked line.  For now, I’m not forking over the $54 to find out.

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Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

After years of wanting to see what the hype of Urban Decay Naked palettes was all about, I could never bring myself to purchase one for full price.  Honestly, I always wear the same boring neutral shades of shadow and I wasn’t about to shell out over $50 for an eyeshadow palette.  Do you know how many diapers that can buy?  Oh, right… back to the palettes.  I finally bit the bullet when I found the Naked Smoky palette which had been previously discontinued for half price.  Do I ever wear a smoky eye?  Nope.  Was I going to buy it?  Yep.  Girl logic.

I was so excited to finally get my palette in the mail, tore open the packaging, and opened the prettiest box of makeup I had ever seen.  The packaging didn’t disappoint and there was a helpful tutorial inside the box.  Score!  Perfect for a smoky eye newbie like me.  I whipped out the little tutorial card and went to work.  Added the shade Password and moved on to the shimmery dark gray shade of Armor.  Wait… Armop?  What the heck is Armop?  Seriously?  Now, even though this is my first Urban Decay palette I KNOW shades should not be misspelled.  That is a perfect sign of a dupe.  Did Sephora ship a dupe?!  Ugh.  You. Are. Kidding.  The color also didn’t seem to be terribly pigmented.  So, I packed up the palette and called all local Sephoras.  They weren’t even aware that Urban Decay had brought the palette back at half price.  An email to Sephora customer service was in order.

 

To my surprise they responded in less than 24 hours and told me they would send a new palette out as soon as possible.  I received a follow-up email after the new palette had been shipped instructing me to ship the defective palette back to Sephora.  New palette arrived, I shipped the old one back, and my problem was solved.

I still can’t help but wonder if Sephora shipped a lot of these misspelled palettes.  Did they somehow receive a bad shipment?  Let me know if you happened to receive a misspelled palette!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Sound the alarm!!!!!  Urban Decay Naked Smoky and Heat palettes are 50% off!  Actually, Naked Smoky is LESS than 50% off right now.  Get them while they’re still in stock!  You can only get them online, but what a deal-two for the price of one.  Naked Heat is only available online at Ulta for two days and Naked Smoky is available online at Sephora while supplies last.

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

 I. Love. Shopping.  I don’t like how much time it takes now that I’m a working mom.  I have become a GREAT online shopper.  Great deals and even greater products in a fraction of the time.

The key to a great online experience is to find what works for you.  Once you nail down what you’re really looking for don’t get distracted by a “great deal”.  I’ve been there… so that funky shirt was only $5.  Doesn’t really matter when you don’t wear it!  $5 down the drain.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of online shopping.

Clothes. Clothes.  More Clothes.

Where to Go

What type of clothes are your favorite?  Chances are you have that go-to store that you absolutely love.  You know how all of their clothes fit and can pretty much pull an item off of the rack and know immediately if it will look good on you.  Well, there are online stores that have the same safe and familiar feel.Two of my favorites happen to be Gap and Old Navy.  I know how their clothes fit, what cuts flatter my body type, and I know the price range I have to work with.

Once you have your go-to sites, keep your cart full at all times-you never know when there may be a pop-up sale… you’ll be ready!  The clothes aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time to have a spending strategy…

Price Tag

I usually have an idea of how much I want to pay for certain items in my mind.  I never pay much for clothes because I tend to favor trendy pieces over traditional lately because I can find great deals.  When I start to feel like I’m starting to be not-so-trendy, I ditch them for some new trends at minimal cost.

Always look for promo codes.  Always.  There are usually great promo codes out there and I rarely settle for anything less than a 30% promo code in addition to items being on sale.  This is when having your cart full comes in handy-once you see a sale and have promo codes, you can decide what items are worth purchasing and which items are still a little too pricey and you can purchase them later.

Shipping

There are very few sites I will pay for shipping.  Most of the time if you purchase $50 or more in merchandise or have their credit card (Gap/Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Target).  Sometimes being able to have items shipped directly to your door outweighs the cost of taking the time to drive to the store to purchase items.

Cosmetics/Beauty Products

Promo codes. Promo codes. Promo codes.  There are frequently promo codes or free item promotions for cosmetics from Ulta and Sephora.  Target also frequently has gift card promotions for purchasing a dollar amount of beauty products.  I normally don’t purchase beauty products online unless there is a large giveaway in addition to a coupon.

Although some higher priced products such as Too Faced or Benefit at Ulta are excluded in coupons, they frequently have free item promotions for those product lines.

Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite go-to online shopping options.  However, I have found that sometimes deals aren’t so great for some items.  Always do a quick Google search on the item you’re considering to make sure there isn’t a high markup.  You never know… another site just may beat Amazon’s prices.

Credit Cards

I’m normally not an advocate of store/company credit cards, HOWEVER, they can be extremely beneficial for online shoppers.  Here are some of the perks they provide:

  • Free shipping
  • Cardholder exclusive sales, promotions, and coupons
  • Loyalty rewards

I never carry a balance on any of my credit cards, so these benefits really help me out when finding the best online deals.  Here are some of the cards that have great benefits to online shoppers:

  • Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
    • Free shipping
    • Bonus promotions/sales
    • Loyalty rewards
  • Amazon
    • Free Shipping (with Amazon Prime)
    • Credit applied after application
    • Rewards points on purchases on Amazon.com and anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Kohl’s
    • Bonus promotions/sales
  • Victoria’s Secret
    • Cardholder promotions/sales
    • Rewards for purchases