The New $10 Maybelline Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow Palette in Desert Fantasy: When YSL Makeup Fantasies and Bangin’ Budget Drugstore Palettes Collide

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Eyes, Makeup, Maybelline, Palettes, Product Reviews

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy

It’s not a fantasy all. It’s real — the limited edition $9.99 Maybelline Eye Studio Plush Silk palette in Desert Fantasy…

For a penny less than $10 (and sometimes less than that on sale), these Maybelline Eye Studio Plush Silk palettes are some of the best drugstore palettes around.

I’d been so really impressed by the couple I picked up earlier this year in Sapphire Sire and Give Me Gold (both permanent, so you should still be able to find them in stores) that I recently went back for more.


They’re packed with pigment and therefore easy to build up in layers (read: I don’t have to spend hella time buildnig up the colors), and it only takes a few swipes from my brush to blend the colors together, which makes them great for gradients and looks involving multiple shadows.

Plus, I can totally swoosh these on my lids in the morning, do my cat’s bidding all day long, and know that my eyeshadow will look just as fresh at gravy time 8-10 hours later.

Until today, though, it never occurred to me just how similar these are to YSL’s (much more expensive) eyeshadows. In the case of Desert Fantasy, the tabby tum-like texture, seamless blending and creative combination of colors remind me of something you might find basking on a Yves Saint Laurent counter.

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy

Maybelline Eye Studio Desert Fantasy, one of four limited palettes in the “Fall 2013 on the Runway” collection

If you’ve got YSL dreams on a Pop Tart budget, it’s dream time, babe! Catwalk down to your favorite drugstore, and check out these palettes.

There are a number of potentially winning palettes in the permanent line, but don’t miss the four limited edition “Fall 2013 On the Runway” palettes ($9.99 each).

Ohmigosh! — they’re seriously beautiful.

Maybelline Fall 2013 On the Runway

The entire Maybelline “Fall 2013 On the Runway” collection…

They feature brown, gold, black and khaki neutrals; and dreamy jewel-toned teal, blue and purple. When I bumped into them the other day at Rite Aid (I wanted a Vitamin Water), I was like, “Oooh, this one needs a nice lady to adopt her… And this one. AND MAYBE THAT ONE TOO!” 🙂

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy

Even at $10 each, despite being on the higher end of the drugstore palette spectrum, these still cost a lot less than a $55 YSL palette.

Granted, I wouldn’t call them YSL dupes. I mean, with YSL, I think you do get slightly richer pigments and brighter shine, but the Eye Studios are enticing $10 alternatives. I also detect a smidgen of fallout from them, too, but seriously, for $10?? Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.

If you’re interested, might I suggest starting with Desert Fantasy?

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy Swatches

Swatch out for this Desert Fantasy, ma!

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy Eye Closeup

Desert Fantasy on my lids, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil on my waterlines and Clarins Be Long Mascara on my lashes

Inside you’ll find…

  • A sheer matte black, which may not be bold enough for hard-core MAC Carbon girls, but beginners, and anyone else who sometimes struggles with smokey eye looks, might appreciate the added control the sheerness provides.
  • A shimmery khaki, which buffs down to a gorgeous gold
  • A bright, high-shine yellow gold
  • An absolutely epic peachy gold — like a pressed version of MAC Melon pigment
Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy

Additional makeup worn in the this look: Tom Ford Sable Smoke lipstick, NARS Torrid Blush, MAC Give Me Sun Bronzer and Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy

Maybelline Eye Studio in Desert Fantasy Ingredients

The palette might be named after the desert, but Desert Fantasy’s colors remind me of autumn leaves.



Regarding availability, well, do you live near a Rite Aid or a CVS? If so, good, because Desert Fantasy doesn’t appear to be as readily available online as the palettes in Maybelline’s permanent collection.

PRICE: $9.99
AVAILABILITY: Limited edition, and available now online and at Rite Aid, CVS and other drugstores

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Cat lady says what!?



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So far, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. hanna says:

    This pallet looks so nice on you. I wouldn’t have thought the yellow would be so pretty.
    hanna recently posted … Well that was a first

  2. lena says:

    “like a pressed version of MAC Melon pigment”
    seriously?! i LOVE melon! *runs to the nearest drugstore*
    lena recently posted … Complete 18 shades swatched: L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer

  3. Dovey says:

    Hi Karen,

    I LOVE how you’ve made the tricky yellow in the palette work for you here. Also, Tom Ford Sable Smoke is such a gorgeous nude shade on you!

  4. Natalie says:

    The khaki/olive is gorgeous on you! I’m obsessed with this color this fall. This whole palette looks beautiful.
    Natalie recently posted … MAC Creamesheen Glass in Just Superb

  5. Chelsea says:

    I need more eyeshadow about as much as I need another hole in my head, but I’m tempted!

  6. Alison M says:

    I’m going to have to rummage through some shades I own to recreate this look. It’s purrrrrfect. And it’s nice to see drugstore eyeshadows stepping up their game. I don’t have a favorite Pop Tarte price brand currently because I’ve been let down for far too long. Well done, Maybelline!
    Alison M recently posted … A Recap of The Makeup Show Orlando 2013

    • Maggie says:

      Agreed that I’d have to recreate this look with different shadows. Maybelline shadows are lovely but fade so fast on me–even with different primers. I love this blackened gold look though.

  7. Becca Carr says:

    Gorgeous! We need a tutorial on that one. I have no idea how to do that to my eyes, but your’s look amazing!

  8. musical says:

    This palette is totally up my alley! Love the black and gold combination! If only someone would make a nice eyeliner with black and gold hues…

  9. Alina says:

    You are totally rocking those colors, Karen! Each of the shades look beautiful. I am especially loving that golden olive.

  10. Woww.. thats such a pretty EOTD.. loved what u did on the outer V corner.. Definitely a lovely palette.. 🙂
    poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Finally Finished This Month: September 2013

  11. Gowthami says:

    The shades are lovely!!

  12. Sunny says:

    Oh whoa, that’s a great quad with an interesting color combo! That khaki alone pretty much makes me want it!
    Sunny recently posted … Look Sensational with Dior Automne Dior Contour & Trafalgar Rouge Dior!

  13. Danielle says:

    Those eye shadows look great. I love the pop of yellow!
    Danielle recently posted … Top Blush Picks for Autumn 2013

  14. StrayCat says:

    Gorgeous! But why call it “Desert Fantasy?”….how about “Tabby Belly Fur?”….hee! That’s what I see in those colors! These colors are my favorite choices for eye shadow, so wearable and flattering to blue eyes. Thanks for sharing this find with us!

  15. Erica says:

    Wow. SO pretty on you. I might just have to go pick these up!

  16. Justina says:

    I couldn’t place what I loved so much about your eye shadow but I think it’s the precise outer edge. Can you explain to me how you got it to look that way? I love it!

  17. Christina says:

    I love how this eyeshadow looks on you! Maybelline has really been stepping up their game too, these really look high-quality (save for the packaging of course.


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