Don’t Overlook the Earth Tone Sally Girl Eye Shadow Connecting Compacts

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup


Written by Sam

Freelance makeup artist and blogger Sam finds a lot to like at his local Sally Beauty and shares with us in today’s guest post.

The Sally Girl Shadows (the Earth Tones)
Shades from left to right: Auburn, Copper, Espresso, Brick, Champagne, and Mauve

With the nude face being one of Fall 2010’s hottest trends, it would be easy for you to just turn to your favorite shimmery champagne shadow, swipe a bit over your lid, and run out of the house. Skin glowing and cheeks instantly tinted red by the late-autumn chill, you’re the image of ultimate chic. But if you feel the look is too plain — too bare — and you’re tempted to reach for that black liquid liner and slap on a thick cat eye, why not turn to your earth tones instead?


On one of my monthly trips to Sally’s a while back, I had just finished my hair product shopping and was waiting for my father to pick me up. Having already examined the aisles twice (I’m always convinced I’ve missed some new, revolutionary product that’s been quietly tucked in between the Cholesterol Masques and the clarifying shampoo), the only display left was the makeup.

I’ll admit it. I’m a makeup snob. Seeing price tags of $5.99, $2.99, and, it pains me to say, $0.99, I was more than skeptical of these modestly packaged beauty items. I reluctantly bowed my head down towards the bare-bones rack.

I skimmed over the cheap looking glitters, eyeliners in simple glass pots, and miles of mini-palettes that I was sure contained less pigment than a freshly washed brush.

“Oh, those are greeeeeaaaat.” I snapped my head up in time with the bursting of the clerk’s gum bubble. She sucked the pink goop into her mouth between pastel lips and nodded. “Yeah, they’re like, comparable to MAC shadows. Really pretty. Great pigment. I looooove ‘em.” She went back to examining her nails.

Comparable to MAC shadows? I thought she had to be exaggerating, but fortunately for me, there was one shadow available for testing.

And she was right.

The Sally Girl Shadows (the Earth Tones)
From left to right: Auburn, Copper, and Espresso

I bought 20. For less than a dollar each, I could afford to take the chance that the tester I had swatched was simply some mistake; a high-end department store brand shadow that had been cleverly or accidentally swapped into a Sally Girl compact to fool makeup enthusiasts like myself. How glad I am that this complicated confabulation was completely wrong.

I purchased a huge variety of shades, from blues and navies, to purples and magentas, to forest greens and day-glo limes. But being the season it is, the six earthtones I hauled have taken a semi-permanent spot in my kit (at least until purple becomes de rigeur again). Fortunately, these little marvels (1.1 grams, to be precise; for comparison, MAC shadows are 1.5 grams) come in connecting compacts, so you can organize them any way you want (I do it by color family so it’s easier to quickly find a shade on a job, but I know plenty of people who do it by “look”, like putting all the shadows they use for a smokey eye in one palette). My earthtones palette contains the shades Auburn, Copper, Espresso, Brick, Champagne, and Mauve. Honestly, I don’t know where half of these names come from. Don’t trust them. Go by the actual shadow. Each of them has a very fine shimmer, which turns metallic when applied wet.

The Sally Girl Shadows (the Earth Tones)
Left to right: Brick, Champagne, and Mauve

Auburn is a sort of orangey burnt-copper shade, perfect for this season’s orange eyeshadow look if you don’t want to be so in-your-face about it. This shade looks stunning with green eyes, and works well as an eyeliner if you want a no-fuss, simple-chic look for days when you have minimal time but need to look put-together.

Copper is actually more of a burnished, almost-antique gold (but with a bit more brown in it). The finish on this is absolutely gorgeous, and creates almost a slick sheen that’s nearly impossible to duplicate without the use of creams or gels.

Espresso is a slightly more matte (though still shimmery) coffee-brown. Nothing especially different about this one, but it is simply a fantastic, all-purpose brown that would be great for creating a more played-down smokey eye.

Brick is possibly my favorite in this palette. It’s an amazing reddish brown, perfectly reminiscent of sun-baked, natural brick. It has an odd multidimensionality about it that’s hard to describe. The closest I can relate it in words is that it looks like a really expensive gel-pen, one that you would have to send away for from a specialty art supplier, and you order it on its own, not as part of a set. You keep this pen hidden away in your drawer to make sure that no one grabs it to scribble down a quick grocery list or hasty phone message; this is for your use only.

Champagne is actually more of a frosty white-gold. It’s fantastic for highlighting the brow-bone on lighter skin, or placing at the inner tearduct to brighten up tired eyes. I’ve also used it as a base color for a more natural, light-hearted Daughter Earth look.

The Sally Girl Shadows (the Earth Tones) Swatches
Shades along the top are applied dry, and the ones below them applied wet


Mauve is a pinky-beige, and possibly the most matte of any of these shades. It has a slight bit of rose in it, and is lovely as a crease color to add some depth with nothing else on your lids. Pair it with Auburn for a fantastic, low-key, yet eye-popping look.

I prefer all of these shadows when applied wet. This method intensifies the color without deepening it (a problem I find with a lot of other shadows), and increases the wear-time twice over. Applied dry, these shadows wear for about three hours before beginning a slow fade. With a primer, expect to at least double this time again.

Formula-wise, these are all simply gorgeous. They apply like silk, don’t change consistency during wear, rarely migrate (I’ve only ever seen this happen once), and produce barely any fallout.

My only gripe with these is the packaging, which looks rather cheap. And although I like the linking ability of these little compacts, the lids are rather flimsy. I’ve already had two pop off (they’ll snap back on again, until you open them). Beware of this when travelling (I always pack mine separately from the rest of my kit, in a ziplock bag, just in case one of them decides to open itself all over my products.) And yes, perhaps I’d like a bit more wear-time. But with a small dab of primer, this minor complaint is locked away.

So, for less than a dollar each, there’s really no risk here, and your eyes certainly have a lot to gain. I mean, c’mon. These are greeeeeeeeaaaat! I looooooooove ‘em!


Written by Sam

Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses.


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So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Megan says:

    These seem quite nice. Thanks for the entertaining review, I think I will try these inexpensive shadows.

  2. vonnie says:

    Wow, if I ever get the urge for some neutral shades, I know what to get! they are pretty fab. great review, lol. I like your writing style
    vonnie recently posted … Ashanti Sexy Blue Makeup Look Recreated

  3. Nora says:

    What a fantastic review! I’m so appreciative. I’ve heard of the wonders of these little .99 cent gems but never tried them myself. I’ll have to get my button over to Sally’s. I also love your writing style and look forward to more reviews in the future!

  4. JJ says:

    I liked your review! Very informative and descriptive 😉 I am very tempted to go to Sally’s now…

  5. Janet says:

    You certainly have a way with words 🙂 I’ve very much enjoyed reading your guest posts. I might check these out the next time I’m at Sally’s! Thanks!

  6. Hedy says:

    I love my Sally Girl sadow in aqua, I may have to pick some of these up.
    Hedy recently posted … Black Friday Sales

  7. maria says:

    this review was greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat haha

  8. Tracy says:

    This look kind of awesome. I wonder if they’re at the Sally’s in Canada?
    Tracy recently posted … Wet N Wild Pearlescent Pink Blush Is A Pretty Close Dupe For NARS Deep Throat!

  9. Nina says:

    ill pick these up when i go to sally next time — ive been checking them out for the past three or so visits but never bought it because there was no tester! 🙂

  10. Mrs. Kinne says:

    I did not know these existed! I will have to check them out. 🙂
    Mrs. Kinne recently posted … Gifted Magazine

  11. Barbara says:

    What a fabulous article, I so enjoyed it. Now I have to pull out my Sally Girl palettes (I have three four-shade groups) and play tomorrow morning! And I’m thinking of putting together a couple palettes for my bosses’ gift bags!

    Thank you so much, Sam!

  12. Chris25 says:

    I just bought the Sugar Daddy quad. I was skeptical as well, because I didn’t think I could expect much from a $0.99 quad. I bought it because I figured I would only lose a dollar if it turned out to be crummy. But after reading your review I can’t wait to try out the shadows.
    Chris25 recently posted … MIA Blogger

  13. Coral says:

    I usually overlook the sally eye makeup because of the cheap packaging, but this changes my mind to take a look at them and actually try them out.

  14. Britany Brown says:

    Aaaaaand he’s BACK!

    MAKE HIM POST AGAIN! *jumps up and down*

    MAKE HIM POST AGAIN!!! *jumps* :-D!

  15. Lisa S. says:

    I love cruising Sally. My daughter worked at one while she was in school. I know there are all kinds of hidden treasures there. Love the blotting papers, and will have to check the shadows of next time i resupply

  16. Ronda says:

    Love your writing, and you should get commission for all the makeup sales! You sure sold me, I WILL be at Sally’s on Friday!

  17. Vonvon says:

    Haven’t heard of this brand before, but they sure look promising. And for the price tag, I could easily haul a whole bunch of them. And comparable to MAC shadows, this really pique my interest a lot!

    Thanks for the great review, Sam! now I get to know a new brand. 🙂
    Vonvon recently posted … Photos From My Photo Shoot – Before &amp After

  18. Ana says:

    Loving your guest posts! I will definitely pick up a bunch of these next time I’m at Sally’s. So neat that they link together too, so you can create your own little palettes. If I like them I’ll definitely have to buy some as gifts too 🙂

  19. Linnea says:

    They look depottable.. Maybe thats the solution to the crappy packaging woes?

    Anyways, these look great. Couldn’t agree more with your statement of disliking shadows that deepen when used wet!

  20. Sherri says:

    Great review, I’ve had these in my SB wish list for ever and these review finally made me hit ‘add to cart’.
    Sherri recently posted … Sephora VIB Haul

  21. Melissa says:

    i’m totally sold too! come back for more guest posts 🙂

  22. Baba says:

    Great article, Sam, with explicit color descriptions — so necessary and appreciated!

  23. Milena says:

    I did not like these eyeshadows. I bought 6 of them, all neutrals colors. I picked shades like taupes, browns, champagnes, apricots, etc.
    They look very pretty in the pan, but they all look the same on the skin. Once applied, all you see is that cheap silver metallic sheen, that is much more noticeable than the color itself.
    I was really disappointed…

    Maybe it’s a hit or miss thing… If that’s the case, I got reallly crappy ones. 🙁

    • Sam says:

      Huh, I’ve never experienced this. Though, I don’t have the full collection, so it’s possible. I mean, even looking at the picture of the swatches I did, there’s a clear difference between even the closest shades (and the picture is a bit muted). Sorry to hear that, though!

    • Ronda says:

      did you apply wet or dry?

  24. Milena says:

    Dry. Maybe I’ll try them wet, good idea.

  25. Saddy says:

    That was a very entertaining review!! Thanks for the tip on these eye shadows. I love the earthy colors you picked out – seems right up my make-up alley! I’ve been looking for a peach-colored eye shadow for a long time now – I have this crazy notion that it will look marvelous on my light brown skin…but I haven’t had any luck so far. Now, this range definitely looks promising!

    And I applaud you, a self-described make-up snob, for being open minded and checking these out despite your reservations. I, on the other hand, am a sucker for low priced products as it gives me a chance to experiment without price tag guilt!

  26. eLLen says:

    So I read this review a month or so ago, and was instantly hooked. I picked up one shadow the other day, and WOW- the pigmentation is amazing! I don’t think I’ll be wasting much more money on other drugstore shadows anymore, since they’re usually still over $1 when on sale, and almost always have wimpy pigmentation.

    Thank you so much for the review!!

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