The compacts, although procured from the site (KKCenterHK has the entire range of eyeshadow compacts, by the way), appear to be rather generic-brand makeup, and are called Love Alpha Summer Gradually Compacts. These come in 3 sets of colours, and I ended up going with 01 (listed as M176-A) and 03 (listed as M176-C).
The compacts arrived all whole and unharmed in the post (thank goodness!) after a slight delay - you know, international post is always a little bit iffy, and it was Chinese New Year over on this side of the world, which wrecks the same havoc on the mail system as Christmas does over in the West. Both times I received packages from them, they arrived quick and intact, which is definitely a good thing.
The Love Alpha Summer Gradually compacts are quite small, and are around the size of my palm (as well as my digital camera!), and come with no-frills, no-fuss, basic black shiny plastic packaging. The lids have clear windows, though, so you know what colours are inside without having to look inside the palette. The palette itself consists of 8 eyeshadows and 2 blushes in a colour-coordinated little package.
When I saw the cheap-looking plastic packaging, I didn't have high hopes for the product inside. (Although at US$3.80 a compact, they're actually pretty cheap.) But the two palettes are actually not too badly colour-coordinated. They're actually colours that would go together, and they even seem to have colour themes for each of the palettes.
Palette 01, or M176-A on the site, is what I'd call a girly neutral summer theme. The colour scheme for this palette is mainly warm, summery neutrals that are wearable for daytime. Here's a close-up shot of Palette 01:
Palette 03 (or M176-C on the site), on the other hand, is a palette that has a much more intense colour scheme. This is composed primarily of jewel-toned blues, greens and some teals - perhaps a smokey mermaid theme?
The first thing I noticed about the compacts when I opened them was - OMG GLITTERBOMB EYESHADOWS! I was quite worried that these were clunky, glittery, un-pigmented crap with lots of fallout. Oh well, I thought, what did I expect for $3.80?
But I decided to put them to the test, and swatched them. Here you can see what the swatches look like - not as fantastic as the high-end brands, perhaps, but definitely better than I thought. I would like to caveat, though, that these shadows are packed with tons of glitter - and by glitter I mean big discrete specks of glitter, so you'd really want to use a sticky base with these to prevent fallout, and help them adhere to the skin longer.
It is my personal experience that with these types of eyeshadows that are primarily composed of glitter (very common in the Asian market although less so in the West), it helps to foil the shadows, or use a primer or a sticky base to make the colours really show up. Without the base, you'd just end up with glitter and no pigment. So moral of the story is - don't forget to use a base for best results!
Here's Palette 01. I've swatched the eyeshadows on the left, and the two blushes on the right, in the order that they appear in the palette. As you can see, the shadow colours show up, and give a metallic, almost-foiled finish, with some gold sheen. I did use my fingers to swatch these, though, and I imagine with brushes they'd look different.
The colours in Palette 01 are very pretty, and quite feminine. I especially love that eyeshadow in the bottom right corner (fourth from the left in the second row), because it looks like a gorgeous browned taupe! We have a taupe, everybody! Taupe Alert! Taupe Alert!
Other attractions of the palette are the blushes, both of which are wearable and devoid of glitter. I think that's a good choice - if the blushes had as much glitter as the shadows, I'd end up looking like a glitterbomb if I used the palette.
Here's 03. As you can see, the eyeshadows have the same frosty, metallic finish, with a gold sheen. And the blushes are also matte.
My favourite colour in this palette is the teal, that's third from the left in the second row. You can't see it in the swatches, but it's actually teal with a gold flash. Very pretty, and very aquatic, and reminiscent of mermaids.
Over the next couple of days, I'm going to be trying out a few looks with these two palettes to see how they fare on the eye - in other words, OMG this neutrals girl is going to be using teal eyeshadow! Judging by the swatches for now, these seem very decent for the price tag (8 eyeshadows and 2 blushes for $3.80), and although they aren't of top-notch quality, are decent enough to work with, provided you use a good eyeshadow primer. So if you're on the market for cheap shades that could pop, these are worth looking into.
(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)