Of all of my recent purchases from Sephora (updates coming soon), this set is my absolute favorite. First of all, it's the best value. Everything added together would have been $500+! Obviously, this is a scam/gimmick for the holidays, but it really is a good value. There are 24 eye shadows included in this set, and they are full size. Also, the colors seem pretty unique, not a palette of just beige/cream/tan/boring. Also included are 8 mini lip glosses. I really only like the color of about three or four, but they are good quality and not too small. There is also a blush in a peachy-browny-mauve color, a finishing/mattefying powder, a large powder brush and a mascara. Just a warning that this is more of a meta-review, and that I will give more detailed reviews of each color/product as I try it in the next few weeks.
For our Friday Date Night, I used this set, along with some Clinique concealer, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, and Laura Mercier eye primer. I did a mild smoky eye with the purple-browny palette (middle left in the photo) and finished it off with the mascara included. I found that the color payoff was not as great as some of the other eye shadows I've used (Lancome, elf, etc), but this may be because I used the Laura Mercier eye primer instead of my normal Urban Decay Primer Potion. The shadow did blend nicely and felt very smooth and almost creamy going on. The colors are also true to how they appear on the palette. I can't say much about the staying power, but after three hours, it still looks fine--no creasing, no fading.
The mascara is very nice, although I wouldn't say it's my favorite. There are minimal clumps, but I did have to put on 2-3 coats to achieve a good look. It's certainly not a dramatic look--but that just be impossible with my short, non-existent lashes. I liked the blush and finishing powder a lot, although the enclosed brush was not great. It wasn't very soft, but it did pick up the right amount of blush/powder--not too much, not too little. I still prefer my Sephora brushes. The blush is a lovely color on my skin and I can see myself using it a ton. The mattefying powder did what it said, but I will need to have a more exerting day before I pass final judgment on it.
The lip gloss I chose today was not very colorful at all. But it felt good on my lips, was minty and glossy. It was a bit sticky, but what lip gloss isn't? It didn't make my hair stick to my lips and then get lip gloss all over my hair, so it's already better than 90% of lip glosses on the market.
As for the date night, we went to The Elephant Walk in Waltham, a Cambodian-French restaurant. Now that doesn't mean it's fusion food, it just means that one side of the menu is Cambodian and one side is French. We had spring rolls as an appetizer, Scott had a roast chicken dish and I had a Cambodian noodle-y dish. I had a cocktail made from Laphroaig that just tasted like watered-down Laphroaig and Scott had a chocolate flour-less cake for dessert. We had a Groupon, so it was a fun night, but we wouldn't go back again.