l-r: Maybelline Iced Fudge, Essence Party All Night, Rimmel Smokey Quartz, Revlon Polished Bronze, Max Factor Burnt Bark
Maybelline EyeStudio Mono in Iced Fudge (720)
For the longest time, I stubbornly insisted on calling this eyeshadow Iced Fudged because that's the way it's labelled on the packaging. I should accept that's clearly just a typo, since it seems this eyeshadow has experienced something of a resurgence in recent weeks with quite a few mentions on blogs and no one has ever called it Iced Fudged. Moving along, Iced Fudge is the most copper of the bunch, with a red base and frost finish. I even detect a tinge of plumminess coming through. It's very shimmery and nicely pigmented, though sometimes I wish the silver sparkle factor could be toned down just a notch.
Essence Metallic Effect Mono Eyeshadow in Party All Night (35)
Already reviewed in detail here, Party All Night is the cheapest pick, coming in at a mere $2.85. It's a more dirty yellow colour with a slight ashy bent and silver and gold shimmer. It's not as pigmented as Iced Fudge, and the shimmer is more subdued and not as distinctly frosty. Still, I think it's a sophisticated, relatively understated shade (at least for my skin tone) and well worth checking out given its unbeatable value.
Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow in Smokey Quartz (030)
I took a chance on Smokey Quartz having been curious about it for a long time but always putting off purchasing it given the obscene number of similar neutral shades I own, and the gamble paid off in spades. Featured in my November 2013 Favourites, Smokey Quartz is like a cross in colour between Iced Fudge and Party All Night, but a bit more traditionally bronze-leaning. Applied to the lids, it has an almost light taupe base with a warmer, somewhat peachy shimmer on top. Unexpectedly complex and beautiful. The texture is soft and easily to blend, one of those eyeshadows you can apply to your lids with your fingers.
Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in Polished Bronze (010)
Raved about all the way back in July 2012, Polished Bronze is probably my favourite of the lot, which is surprising given Revlon are very hit and miss with their eyeshadows and overall decidedly average. Polished Bronze is more warm brown and golden in tone than Party All Night. It isn't as frosty/shimmery compared with the other shades, with more of a low-key satin finish and buildable pigmentation. Texture is similar to Smokey Quartz, soft and blendable, only very slightly powdery (if we're nitpicking). The lasting power isn't anything outstanding, but it's a solid all-rounder and the colour is perfect for a failproof neutral wash over the lids.
Max Factor Earth Spirits Eyeshadow in Burnt Bark (107)
Admittedly, I was sucked into buying this eyeshadow after hearing it was a decent substitute for MAC Satin Taupe. It's a darker taupe shade, a purplish brown-grey threaded with silver. This one is a bit harder and drier in texture, but still fine to work with and decently pigmented. It's quite cool-toned and hazy, more suited for a daytime smoky eye or when you want a bit more definition.