When this first came out, I was a bit skeptical of something that is meant to replicate a $40 item, but only costs $16. I picked this up at the last Priceline 40% off make-up sale as I had heard a lot about it, some good, some bad. I left it in the box for a while, as I was a bit intimidated to open it up and use it. No matter how many amazing contour videos I watched, I still felt like a deer in headlights.
The packaging feels pretty sturdy for something of its price, it has a nice latch, and it doesn't feel like it will snap apart on you. The back of the item has some handy illustrations on how to use the palette in both contouring and highlighting. To be honest, the first time I used it, I didn't read this, and just went ahead and slapped it on my face.
I have a pretty olive based skin tone, and these are how the swatches came out, my inner arm shows some of my lightest skin tone, so I thought it would be best to swatch it here. The colours are completely matte finish, and they are quite heavily pigmented. I know a few of the bloggers/youtubers have complained that it comes out quite muddy/dark/hard to blend, but I think the secret is to get a small amount on your brush, like seriously, just lightly swipe it on the colour, and then tap it off into the lid/tray area of the palette. Then you can apply that baby to your face and not look like an extra from Braveheart.
I have only used this on my face a couple of times, mainly the darker colours to add a little something something to my cheekbones, but I also found the yellow shade is fantastic for setting under eye concealer, just don't use too much or you may been mistaken for the newest Banana In Pyjamas.
Once I am more confident in using the palette, I may just post a look and tutorial. Final verdict, for $16 (or $9 on sale) I think it is worth it. Australis make some great products, and a bonus is they're cruelty free! I haven't used the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, or the latest Kat Von D contour palette, but I'm sure this one works pretty well compared to those. And who doesn't love a bargain?