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Step out in the shadows...

Of all the beauty products that I come across, I find eye shadow the most pleasing.

All those colours. The contrast between matte and sparkly. The potential held in those little squares or circles seems limitless. Then you pick up a brush and give them a go ... and sometimes your heart breaks when they are not as perfect in action as they were in repose. Are any of these here a dream come true?

BECCA Prairie Moon Palette, €69 * * * *

Well, this is gorgeous: it's a true palette, with lipgloss and eyeliner included with the eye shadow. The colours are muted, but there's a time and a place for a sophisticated look. The staying power is not great, but the thing is so slim, just bring it along for touching up.

BOURJOIS Smoky Eyes, €10.99 * * *

For a multi-shadow, this is pretty well priced. I found the pigment really strong and liked the ease of application. About three hours later, though, I started blinking ... and my eyes felt a little irritated ... and I wanted to run and wash my face. No noticeable drift of eye shadow on to face, but my eyes felt stingy all the same.

L'ORÉAL Colour Infallible Endless Chocolate, €10.79 * * * *

Holy wow, this is dense and sparkly. Make sure you've got a good brush, otherwise you will look like someone socked you. The texture is so heavy, it takes a lot to blend it -- I used my fingers -- but once on, it doesn't budge. This is for the long night's journey into day, definitely.

KARAJA Colour Emotion No. 8, €20 * * * *

Weee, these colours are dense, too -- it's like painting your eyelids. I've never used such long-lasting shadow. The denseness of the colour is a learning curve, so be careful, or you'll look like you did when you were a kid playing with mum's make-up.

BENEFIT Smokin' Eyes Palette, €39 * * * * *

Benefit does not do anything by half measures and this palette comes with everything you need: the eye shadow, black eye pencil, highlighter, stuff to define your brows, brushes and mini tweezers.