Friday, September 26, 2014

Product Review & Swatches: Cargo Shanghai Nights (Ulta Online Exclusive)

I'm so excited! I received my Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette from Ulta and I got a chance to take photos, do some swatches & create a look to show you! I was super drawn to this palette from when I first saw the promo photos of it because it has nice shades of gold, bronze, taupe, bright blue and purple! I think there's a great variety of colors to create a multitude of looks.

Now, I have to tell you the truth, I had never touched a Cargo eyeshadow before this, but I had a hunch they may be decent because they came highly regarded by Marlena from MakeupGeek during one of her videos. And let me tell you, I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the quality, they are similar to the Lorac eyeshadows, but they feel even more smooth, buttery and richly pigmented to me, I noticed very little powdering from the mattes (this is to be expected of all mattes, though).

The packaging of the Shanghai Nights palette is to die for! It has a nice weight to it, although it's made of reinforced cardboard and its covered by a plastic overlay, it feels sturdier than some plastic palettes I own. I would feel very confident traveling with it and knowing it won't break. You are receiving a nice amount of product for $39, it contains 12 eyeshadows, each at 0.03oz (or 0.8g) - for comparison, MAC eyeshadow singles are 0.05oz full size (or 1.5g). The price here is amazing, this palette retails for $39 regularly, but I picked it up during Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale for $20!

The eyeshadows consist of a wide variety of brow-bone shades (Neon, Hu), crease/transition shades (Wai Tai, Bund, Jin Mao), pops of color (Lychee, Jade, Bar Rouge, Skyline) and shades with depth to them (Street Style, Night life). 

I noticed right away that there were 4 mattes (Wai Tai, Skyline, Bund and Hu), 5 metallic shades (Lychee, Jin Mao, Street Style, Ginger, Jade), 2 satin shades (Neon, Bar Rouge) and 1 glitter shade (Night Life).

So not only is there a great variety of shades that can be used for different purposes, but there are also many finishes in this versatile palette. All of the shades in this palette are limited edition.

Bonus! It even comes with a dual-ended eyeshadow/liner brush, which I used to complete my look today. This brush is versatile because one end can be used to pack on eyeshadow and the other end can be used for more precise application under your lower lash line and above your lash line as well. The bristles are flexible and soft.

These shadows were not applied over primer, they are very richly pigmented, the only one that wasn't as vibrant as I was expecting was Skyline which appears as a gem-tone blue in the pan but swatches more like a navy. I was extremely impressed with Wai Tai and Bund, they are very rich and smooth shades, especially for mattes, and they were very easy to blend out. Jin Mao and Lychee performed very well and true to the shades in the pan and Neon was a tad sheer, but very pleasant.

Night Life was much more pigmented than the black from the Everything Nice palette I reviewed last week, and I found during application that much of the glitter doesn't really stick to the eyeshadow itself and therefore won't show up much, if at all (I'm perfectly fine with this!). Bar Rouge is a stunner, I love this fuchsia reddish purple shade. Jade was also less its namesake and more of an army green with shimmer. Hu, Street Style and Ginger looked exactly the same when applied or swatched as they did in the pan.

Here's the look that I create today with the Cargo Shanghai Nights palette:

I used a whopping 8 shades in my look and I feel that it didn't turn out muddy at all and you can see precisely where I placed each shade, even though I did some major blending! The performance of this palette was spectacular and I highly recommend it. It has treated me better than many of my higher end palettes and I am very excited to start collecting Cargo's Limited Edition palettes.

Here's a guide to show you where I placed each shadow if you own the palette and want to try out this look!

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