The palette itself is a nice size - this fits in my hand just perfectly. Inside, it houses 8 eyeshadows, eyeshadow base, and four lipglosses. One of the beauties of this palette is that the lipglosses are completely seperate from the shadows! Hallelujah! I don't normally use the glosses in palettes anyways (I like them more portable for touchups) but even if I did, the fact that most palette lipglosses get covered in eyeshadow so quickly would ruin those intentions fast!
The top section of the palette opens by flipping up the lid, just like your usual compact, and that's where the shadows and base are. The lipglosses are in a little pull out drawer below. Genius! You can open just the gloss section without having to open the shadow section too.
The only flaw with this kind of packaging is that if you open the mirrored part all the way, it kind of pops out the drawer a little, making it more awkward to hold while you use the mirror if you happen to have smallish hands like me.
So let's get into some details! The shadows themselves are not entirely matte. You will notice when you open it up that some of the shadows appear to have a bit of shimmer. BUT! But.... they are not shimmery! Once you actually apply them, it seems more like a satin finish for those shades - they really just seem to be more blendable and evenly pigmented because of this. On the skin the shimmer doesn't show, they still look satiny-matte. I think that little bit of shimmer just keeps them from looking chalky, which is so easy to happen with matte shadows.
Top row, left to right:
- Cool white shade, matte
- Cool light-medium grey, matte
- Black, very slight shimmer, satin
- Brown-toned medium taupe, satin with slight shimmer
Bottom row, left to right:
- Warm-toned light sand colour, satin with slight shimmer
- Cool dark brown, matte
- Warm dark brown, matte
- Light champagne-taupe shade, satin with slight shimmer (this didn't show up well in the photo, it looks really similar to the first shade in this row but it's not - I would consider it a lid shade whereas the first one would be highlight or a very light lid shade. This one is darker, cooler and more taupe)
Overall, I would absolutely 100% recommend this palette. The shadows go on like butter, the pigmentation is great and they blend very well. The mixture of cool and warm shades is nice (although I would have to say it leans a little more cool overall) and you can create lots of great looks with it. I've already worn it twice, for two very different looks, and I'm keen to keep experimenting with it! I will have pictures of those looks up very soon for you to see, as well as a review for the other item I purchased from this HauteLook NYX sale!