I first discovered these when I was searching for a dupe of my HG eyeshadow which was discontinued. I purchased 938-Union Square for Brown Eyes (shown above) because it had a shade similar to what I was looking for. I was really impressed by the amount of product for the price, so I sort of expected the quality to be below average. I believe I paid $4.49 for four eyeshadows, a primer, and a creme illuminator. Not bad, right? I was later sent 942-Smokey Blues (for Blue Eyes) and 940U-Central Park (for Green Eyes) for review, so now I have had the chance to give three of these a try.
Each NYC IndividualEyes Custom Compact comes with four eyeshadows designed to work with a certain eye color, but I think these would work on multiple eye colors. Each shadow is marked with what part of the eye it's for, such as: highlighter, all over lid, and two crease/contour shades. In addition, each palette comes with a creme primer and illuminator, which are the same universal shade in all of the palettes. Like I stated above, these retail for $4.99, and I paid $4.49 at Target for the one I purchased.
I must say, the quality of these shadows really surprised me! Normally I find cheaper palettes like this to be very hit and miss as far as pigmentation and texture, but not these. I found all the shades to have great pigmentation, and most of them were fairly soft, as well. The only shade I found to have texture issues was the grey "All Over Lid" shade in the Smokey Blues palette, it just wouldn't swatch well. It seems to be "chunky" when you swipe a brush over it, rather than buttery and soft. You get a lot of shadow in one swipe, but there is little color payoff...perhaps it's the shimmer? It does work better over a base, though...so not all is lost.
As for the primer and illuminator, I really like the primer! I can't speak for how well it works on it's own, but I have been using it over UDPP and I really like how it intensifies the eyeshadow but it doesn't make it crease. I don't use the illuminator simply because i'm not a huge fan of shimmer. However, from swatching it I did find that it's very creamy and blends out well. I think it would make a great brow highlight for those who like the shimmery effect.
The only negative thing I can say about these is that the combo of powder and creme in one palette means that the powder will inevitably get into the creme, but for $4.49 it's not a deal breaker for me. There are quite a few high-end palettes that also do this! If you're careful and tap/blow off the excess powder from the shadows before you store these, it keeps it to a minimum.
Pictures & Swatches:
(Click To View Full Size!)
L-R: Union Square, Central Park, Smokey Blues (with flash)
938 Union Square for Brown Eyes:
Highlighter: Satin Ivory/Beige, All Over Lid: Matte Medium Neutral Brown
1st Crease/Contour: Bronze/Brown with a slight shimmer, 2nd Crease/Contour: Eggplant Purple with a slight silver shimmer.
Highlighter: Shimmering Gold, All Over Lid: Cool Grey with silver shimmer
1st Crease/Contour: Dark Chocolate Brown with gold shimmer, 2nd Crease/Contour: Shimmering Eggplant Purple
940U Central Park for Green Eyes:
Highlighter: Shimmering Champagne, All Over Lid: Shimmering Olive/Gold
1st Crease/Contour: Matte, Muted Brown, 2nd Crease/Contour: Dark, Muted Chocolate Brown with a slight shimmer.
Would I recommend these? Yes. I think for the price, these are great. Some shadows are more pigmented and apply better than others, but I feel like this happens with most palettes (and less with these than others I have tried!). You're only paying about $1 per shadow, and $0.25 each for the illuminator and primer. Doesn't get much cheaper than that! These are definitely great budget palettes!