l-r: Party All Night (35), Cappuccino, Please! (58)
Cappuccino, Please! was something I rushed to take to the counter after halfheartedly trying out the tester and being amazed at how soft, buttery and smooth it felt. There is absolutely no powderiness, chalkiness or fallout normally associated with cheaper brands. It felt like a product that was worth ten times its price. I like how it's not overly metallic and shimmery — it has more of a subdued satin finish while still retaining a lustrous quality. In terms of the colour, it's your standard beigey/champagne highlighting shade which I foresee mainly using to brighten the inner corners of the eyes for more dramatic nighttime looks.
Party All Night is an eyeshadow I've contemplated buying on countless occasions but have repeatedly resisted, rationalising that I simply do not need it given the bazillion eyeshadows I have at home exactly like it. Well, one night I just cracked, because who cares at $2.85? Carly's recent review may or may not have given me the final push I needed. It's definitely something I could've done without due to its similarity to a suite of metallic taupey/bronzy eyeshadows I keep on high rotation, but another one in the mix can't hurt.
l-r: Blue Mission (38), Taupe of the Pops (46), Party All Night (35), Cappuccino, Please! (58), Mystic Lemon (43)
My Essence Mono Eyeshadow collection now consists of five shades, four predictably neutral and shimmery, one random matte cornflower blue. To this day, it boggles the mind why I bought Blue Mission. Yes, it was cheap and a unique and vivid colour, but come on now ... I know I'll never use it. It's just sitting there, taking up space, collecting dust, waiting to be thrown out. Let's not fool myself into thinking I'd ever reach for it, not even for attempted "bright"/"colourful" looks during summer, or concentrated on the lower lashline for a more accessible "pop of colour". Not going to happen.
l-r: Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, NARS Kalahari, Essence Party All Night, L'Oréal Tender Caramel, Urban Decay YDK
Party all Night compared with shades that I thought would be close. To a layperson, these five would be virtually indistinguishable. They're all very metallic and nicely pigmented. Urban Decay YDK is the most coppery, followed by NARS Kalahari (I have this shade in the NARS And God Created the Woman palette, which is the left side of the NARS Kalahari eyeshadow duo). The base colour of L'Oréal Tender Caramel underneath its overpowering frosty overlay is actually quite similar to Maybelline Bad to the Bronze. Party All Night appears the most pale and slightly dirty/ashy, more neutral than YDK and Kalahari, which are warmer. My favourite is Kalahari, because it reflects the least silver. Overly frosty eyeshadows are my pet peeve.
l-r: Urban Decay Bootycall, Laura Mercier Buff Pearl, Essence Cappuccino, Please!, NARS Alhambra, Urban Decay Sin
Except for the peachier and darker NARS Alhambra (again, from my NARS And God Created the Woman palette, this time I believe it's the right side of the regular Alhambra duo), the other four shades are basically the same with only very subtle differences. I usually opt for the slightly pinky Urban Decay Sin to highlight the inner corner of the eyes, as I find Urban Decay Bootycall and Laura Mercier Buff Pearl a little bit too white for my yellow skin tone. Cappuccino, Please! is a bit more yellowish-beige which works better for me. The texture is pure win considering how affordable it is.