MUA Heaven and Earth
MUA Eyeshadow Palette in Heaven and Earth
Into neutral eyeshadows? Then this is the palette for you. Take your pick from the selection of shimmery champagne, peach, bronze, gold, copper, taupe and chocolate shades. The shadows might not be as creamy, effortlessly blendable and pigmented as Urban Decay, but they still exceed expectations given their low price point. For a palette containing a high proportion of ultra wearable, all-over lid shades (and some highlighting and deepening colours to boot), you can't go wrong with Heaven and Earth.
Revlon Coffee Bean
Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean
I consider Coffee Bean a good "drugstore" alternative to the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. My favourite colour is the matte light greige shade — a kind of colour you don't see very often among the more affordable brands. (I'm wearing it over the lid with some decorative paper lashes here.) I do find the shadows to be on the powdery side with quite a bit of fallout if I don't tap my brush first to minimise any loose pigment, but as you can see from the swatch, the colour payoff is good and the versatile shade selection allows for the creation of different looks that can be taken from day to night.
Revlon Naturally Glamorous
Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner Palette in Naturally Glamorous
Revlon has had its fair share of dud eyeshadows (see ColorStay Mineral Eyeshadow in Midnight Garnet), and unlike their generally outstanding lip products, they're not exactly renowned for their eyeshadows, but along with Coffee Bean, Naturally Glamorous is a definite hit. Admittedly, I mainly use the first and fourth bronzy shades, but that's because I'm largely unadventurous and lazy when it comes to eye makeup and I don't like to deviate from what I know and love. The texture and overall quality of these warm-toned shadows are superior to Coffee Bean in that they're creamier, not as powdery, have less fallout and richer colour payoff (though at the same time, there aren't any matte shades). The plastic packaging is flimsy though, perhaps a design flaw as the palette unusually opens from the side rather than the bottom. The hinge of mine has fallen apart, reducing the functionality of the palette considerably.
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Comfort Zone
Along with MUA Heaven and Earth and Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Storm, Comfort Zone was one lower end palette that I simply needed to have. I bought it relatively early on in my cosmetics obsession, having read countless rave reviews about how the shadows were comparable to much pricier brands. Sure enough, the pigmentation of the shadows in Comfort Zone is uniformly excellent. There is a bit of annoying fallout with some of the darker shades, so I usually try to steer clear of them. I was a tad disappointed that the bottom left Definer shade turned out to be closer to black than the rich chocolate brown it resembled in the pan, but it's not like I'm experiencing any shortage of chocolate browns, so I can live with that. I appreciate that Comfort Zone offers more variety than the brown/beige/grey palettes I stockpile, with even the odd green and orange shade in the mix. The incredible duochrome of the right Definer shade is what makes this palette in my opinion — MAC Club dupe, anyone?
Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Oh So Special
Surprise, surprise — a Sleek palette is of course in here, but it's not Storm. I figured I only truly adore and use one shade in Storm, but Oh So Special is, well, just as its name suggests. I have to tip my hat to any cheaper makeup brand that includes not one, but two bright pink matte shades in a single palette. And the biggest revelation is that they're not at all terrible. You'd almost expect them to be underwhelming given the poor track record of matte shades from the lower end of the market, but they're actually intensely pigmented (ironically, the tamer, ho-hum matte dark brown Box was the only flop of this palette). The shimmery shades have an almost moist, spongy texture and they're vibrantly metallic with minimal fallout. Oh So Special is unabashedly flirty and feminine.