Is it just me, or is that Kelly Clarkson on the cover?
There's a protective plastic sheet covering the contents that suggests once you're done with the shadows to use the box to store your keepsakes. I find the packaging of Benefit products to always be meticulously thought out, but invariably bulky and a little overdecorated, if you will. Still, the box doesn't take up too much space and in any event, is more practical than the Go TropiCORAL Lip & Cheek Kit, where everything could be taken out and used except a small pan of Coralista blush that was stuck to the cardboard packaging.
l-r: Birthday Suit, My Two Cents
The major selling point of these kits to me are the two cream eyeshadows in their own mini pots. While I was drawn to No Pressure! from Easiest Nudes Ever, My Two Cents is exactly the kind of shade I normally go for, and Birthday Suit has been on my radar since Estée first brought it to my attention. I've waxed lyrical about the Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Busy Signal, so I welcomed the prospect of adding two new shades to my collection. The pots in this kit are 3.2g each while a full size cream shadow is 4.5g. Thirty percent less product isn't a big deal to me, given I can't see myself finishing up a whole pot (full size or not) any time in the distant future. Plus, I'd rather have variety than more of the same. My only complaint is that the packaging of the smaller pots seems a little flimsy, particularly the lid, and because the jar itself is quite small but deep, I can see it being a challenge to get product out with your finger beyond a certain point.
On the underside of my arm (which is about 2-3 shades lighter than my face), Birthday Suit is one of the most aesthetically pleasing eyeshadows I've seen — a sandy taupe with subtle but glistening gold shimmer. On my lid, it's barely visible and very underwhelming, like a cool-toned, pale, silvery grey with grainy gold/white shimmer. One of those colours that I think would be stunning on pale-skinned girls, but very ordinary otherwise. In that respect, it reminds me a bit of L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Sahara Treasure, another eyeshadow I fell in love with from swatches I'd seen, but that simply didn't work for my colouring.
My Two Cents reminds me of a darker, more brown and less goldish-peach MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque. It gives a relatively light gold/copper/bronze sheen to the lids that's not too scarily metallic in a gritty, overly frosty way. The metallic pigment in this is very fine and overall, it gives a relatively muted wash of warm, coppery bronze to the eyes. You could definitely wear it on its own, but I prefer to use it as a base for the other powder eyeshadows in the kit.
l-r: Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy
The four Longwear Powder Shadows inside are 1.2g compared with 3g for the full size.
Call My Buff is an off-white shadow that looks almost matte in the pan, but has a subtle pearl running through it. It seems like every eyeshadow kit or palette needs to have this kind of highlighting shade in it, but they rarely excite me. I haven't found much purpose to them except the obvious (inner corner or brow bone highlight, or occasionally as a blending shade), and they're all virtually indistinguishable to me.
It's Complicated, along with My Two Cents, is the star of this kit. I wasn't expecting to like this shade as much as I do, considering my aversion to anything pink around the eyes. This is a stunning pale peachy pink with a perfectly woven gold sheen that borders on duochrome. I was instantly reminded of Too Faced Satin Sheets from the Naked Eye palette, but Satin Sheets is far more intensely light gold (almost white in comparison). Neither Organza (a much darker pink) nor Gateau (missing the peach) from the Sleek Oh So Special palette are all that similar either, though they're much closer than Satin Sheets.
Gilt-y Pleasure is a light-to-medium orangey gold. It's not as distinctly orange as say, LORAC Gold from the PRO Palette or theBalm Mischievous Marissa (from ShadyLady Vol. 2), mainly because the emphasis is on the sandy gold quality while the copper element is toned down. It's more understated than I expected, but still a solid all-over lid colour, particularly if you're after something that's not excessively shimmery.
Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy is a warm dark chocolate that appears to have a load of sparkle in the pan, but hardly any translates onto the lids. I felt the pigmentation fell short of impressive, and there was some noticeable fallout. Unless it's the brushes I'm using, I need to pat this on 2-3 times to get my desired opacity, though similar shades have no such issues (L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Endless Chocolat, the left Definer shade in Wet n Wild Comfort Zone, but to be fair, both lean closer to black than brown).
l-r: Birthday Suit, My Two Cents, Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy