theBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.33 oz.) contains nine matte eyeshadows named after theBalm’s favorite Matts. It includes a small, dual-ended bristle brush, which is usable and better than sponge-tipped brushes that are often included in these kinds of palettes, but it wouldn’t replace full-sized brushes for me. The palette is small, square-ish, and made out of heavy-duty cardboard. It flips open and has a mirror under the lid.
It looked a bit pale and pastel when swatched, but it should flatter a wider range of skin tones once it is applied, because it’s not fully opaque and lets the natural lip color shine through, which will, inevitably, alter the way the color looks based on your natural lip color. This formula is supposed to be extremely hydrating (purportedly “for eight hours after application”). The color applies with quite a bit of pigmentation, but there’s that soft, slightly transparent-nature of this type of finish that makes it less heavy. Although, the press release says the formula “provides translucent shine with sheer yet radiant color,” and this applies rather opaque.
Illamasqua Hype Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “matte bright yellow.” This is a vibrant, bright sunshine yellow–it has a lot of warmth. There’s a slightly goldenrod tone to it. It’s not as warm or as dark as MAC Goldenrod, but it is nearly identical to Inglot #323. Other shades of yellow I think of are either more neutral or cool-toned or else have a lot of shimmer.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) come in six shades: Black Navy (deep midnight), Black Plum (rich eggplant), Hunter (deep emerald green), Jet (blackest black), Mahogany (rich brown), and Smoke (charcoal grey). The formula is supposed to wear for twelve hours, glide on smoothly, be waterproof, and not smudge or smear. Each pencil comes with a sharpener.