When I finally got access to an Ulta at my favorite shopping location, I kind of went a little crazy. I picked up several items from NYX, Real Techniques, and Essence. What can I say? I was excited to have those brands easily accessible.
I picked up the Essence quad in To Die For because it seemed like a good basic palette (not that I don't already have plenty of basic palettes).
This quad retails for $3.99 on Ulta.com. It comes in a clear plastic compact that feels quite sturdy and isn't overly bulky. There aren't any applicators included, which is a plus in my opinion. Since I don't generally use sponge-tip applicators, they are a waste for me and just add to the bulk of the packaging.
I like the design of the pans as well. It's a cute pattern, and the sizes of the pans coordinate with how much I would use each color.
I haven't used the highlight shade much because it has a satin finish to it and seems to have a slight grey tone. My regular highlight shade is completely matte. I will use this shade most often as in inner corner highlight.
As you can see, the assumed lid shade is really close to my skin tone, so the swatch doesn't show up very well. This shade also has a satin finish. While I would say the swatch appears decently pigmented, this shade seems to apply somewhat sheer on the lid.
The two darker brown shades are clearly very similar. The one on the left is a bit warmer and has sparse bits of tiny gold shimmer along with a more apparent satin finish than the other shades; the one on the right is the most matte of the four, although I would still call it a satin. They both work well as crease shades. They blend out easily.
All four shadows have a really smooth, creamy feel that is pretty impressive for the price. The satin finish of all the shadows is so subtle, they really come off as matte on the eye. Under a primer, they seem to last well throughout the day except for the assumed lid shade. I think it fades throughout the day, especially on the center of my lid, but it's so sheer that it's hard to tell.
This is an okay quad. I like the look that it gives, but it isn't anything special. I think it would be nice for someone looking for a everyday drugstore palette without a lot of shimmer or sheen. It would also be a good palette for someone just starting out with makeup who is intimidated by eye shadow. Anyone with a larger collection probably has similar colors and could pass on this without regret.