'Tis the season for boxed gift set, fa lalalala la!

A hamper in the US is something a person puts their dirty laundry in until it needs washing; here in Australia, a hamper is a huge gift basket bursting with all sorts of sweet treats, prizes and other random things.  Christmas is right around the corner and the stores have readied themselves for the newest event of the year - straight from the Melbourne Cup and onto the holiday season.  I can't keep thinking in terms of Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving then Christmas and I really need stop getting shocked at the sight of a Christmas tree set up next to a swimsuit display.  I am flipped upside down, yet standing right side up. But I digress.

Getting back to hampers/gift packages… If you look around your local department store or pharmacy, you might be able to pick up a duo or trio of best sellers in one kit for a far cheaper price.  However, keep in mind with the low cost, you might be purchasing a smaller quantity of whatever - we're talking sample/travel sizes at best.  Typically, I've found this to be the case when eyeing the department store beauty counters; try visiting Priceline, or if you're in the US, CVS and even Boots/Etos for the UKers/Nederlanders.  I spotted Almay's Smoky Eye Kit for hazel eyes and scooped it up for $29.95 AUS at Priceline; average price for all three items - $10.00 AUS!  With that said, I did a bit of detective work and discovered each item (mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow) retails at $5.99/item USD on target.com.

Here for your swatching pleasure is Almay's Smoky Eye Kit:

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And then there's the aftermath of my eye shadow kit from swatching…

 Almay Smoky Eye Kit for Hazel Eyes

Almay Smoky Eye Kit for Hazel Eyes

I'm really disappointed with the quality of this particular product; it looks like I went digging for buried treasures.  Also, in order to build up the colours you saw on the inside of my arm, I had to apply each one several times in an attempt to get any sort of vibrancy.  Despite what happened, I am still looking forward to following the detailed instructions so I can be as camera ready as Kate Hudson.  Ha!

The Bagful breakdown:

Cost of Almay's Smoky Eye Kit for Hazel Eyes:

  • $29.95 for three full-sized products

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 4 out of 10 bags; this is just based on my initial swatching experience

Likelihood to purchase from Almay again:

  • Wait and see - I'll let you know after following the instructions and strutting my stuff for an 8-hour day at work