I started off with Desert Fantasy and Violet Femmes:
|Left: Desert Fantasy|
Right: Violet Femmes
If you've used the Lancome Color Design palettes, you'll find that these have a very comparable texture and finish range. They have a very silky, creamy feel when you rub your finger over them, and a very fine texture, which makes them easy to blend - almost too easy, so it's best to use a gentle brush and/or hand if you prefer blown-out edges. Even when over-blended, the shades resist looking too muddy because of their shimmer and vivid colours.
What I like most about these is that gorgeous shimmer, which remains visible once applied. Applied wet, that sparkle is amplified dramatically, taking on an almost metallic, wet-look sheen. The colour intensity is equally augmented, though to be honest I found these went on just fine when applied dry. Wear is good too, plugging through close to 10 hours with no creasing and minimal fading when I wore them over my usual primer. Without a primer, I had closer to 6 hours of good wear before I noticed some patchiness around my inner corner.
The Violet Femmes palette (awesome name, by the way) works for both a more subtle look if you limit yourself to the lighter shades, or something more dramatic. The pale pink is a terrific highlighter, and the purple is gorgeous, though it goes on a little more muted than it appears in the pan and in the swatch. The taupe-mauve and the eggplant on the end are both slightly sheerer when worn dry. I love the taupe-mauve for its "everyday" quality. It's really a no-fuss option for when you want something subtle but brightening.
I like these. A lot, actually. The colours are beautiful, they work together really well, and I like that they can be used wet or dry for variable intensity. If you don't want to splurge on the Lancome palettes, I think these are great options. The biggest differences for me between the two are that the Maybelline palettes have a slightly thinner texture, which can have an impact on blendability and wear.
Availability: Limited release, available at now or shortly at drugstores locations. I've spotted them at Maxi so far. Price is 10.99$ CAD, 9.99$ USD.
Pros: Beautiful colours that can be used for both subtle and dramatic effect. Generally good payoff, especially when used wet. Consistent shimmer from pan to eye. Silky texture, easy to apply and blend together and out.
Cons: Can sheer out easily. Matte black shade is drier with poorer payoff. Overall lack of good matte shades limits their versatility somewhat.
(I purchased these items. This post is not sponsored or compensated. Opinions are my own.)