OK, let's get straight down to business:
Would I buy this for the full price?
Probably not. I think it's great to spoil yourself from time to time, but the fact is, when that time comes, I would likely decide to splash on something else. For that money you can actually get something pretty that won't disappear over time. Like, you know, something made of leather. :) So I'm really glad that I only paid 40 % of the original price.
Is it worth the money?
Now, there's a different question. It's beautifully crafted, totally luxurious and the product itself is of a very good quality. Considering how much you usually pay for, say, one tiny MAC eyeshadow in a plastic pot, yes, this is completely worth it. It's just definitely not something you NEED to have.
So how are the shadows?
In a word, nice. Champs Elysées is a beautiful palette with creamy shades that I will definitely have a use for. Out of the three taupe colours both mattes are also excellent for brows. Matte black is very strong and deep, white shimmer works over many other shadows and the lustrous purple adds just the right kick. They all go on smooth and even, as expected.
In short, if you have the money and this is exactly your idea of a treat, don't look left or right and go for it. The product is not magical, but the whole package kind of is.
Let me start by saying I think the price point of this palette is ludicrous, and I'm almost embarrassed to have paid so much for it, even though I got it 20% off during the sephora FF sale.
Much has been made of the packaging of these palettes, and personally, I think the packaging is one of the downsides. They are incredibly heavy (weighing in at almost half a pound) and between the massive weight and the slippery silver housing, they're difficult to handle, and very hard to open.
Another pet peeve is that these palettes have a brush included. Any woman who's willing to lay down $85 for eye shadow is not going to - and shouldn't - use a cheap, crappy GWP brush. I think it cheapens the look of the palette and if it were taken out, the palette would be much less bulky.
With my complaints are out of the way, on to the product. I've read some reviews that complain that these palettes are too monochromatic. That is what drew me to them. I've grown tired of eye palettes that want to be all things to all people, and have random colors thrown in to get the most possible looks, but in the end, don't necessarily work together. I like to be able to pull out just one palette and put together a look without having to reach for other colors. So I like the idea of having a grey palette, a taupe one, a blue one, etc.
Champs-Élysées is a collection of greys with (according to Sephora) "iridescent, matte, and satin" finishes. As a 40-something woman, I am quite thrilled to find a collection of eye shadows with subtle shades and no OTT glitter or shimmer. I've found this particularly difficult to find in grey eye shadows. I've spent scads of money over the years trying to find true greys (not blue, not silver) and this is the only palette I've found that is solely devoted to grey tones.
The shades are on the cool side, and there are 3 versions of them - one satiny and the other 2 matte. That gives the option of doing a matte grey or satiny grey eye. The mattes are quite soft and blendable - much more so than I've found in other brands. Also included are a black lining color, an iridescent silvery white highlighter, and a cool grapey purple shimmer in the center. I assumed the purple was a "throwaway" color to make the palette look more fun, but it actually works really nicely with the other colors and lends itself to other looks. I was surprised to find I really like the liner as well and I do actually use it rather than reaching for a traditional eyeliner. The highlighter is quite subtle and works well with the other colors.
I've had this for about a month and am happily surprised by how many different looks this palette lends itself to. Also surprising is how different the colors look depending on what kind of brush you use. They can be sheered out or layered, and look really different depending on the technique, tools you use, and the amount of blending.
I've been experimenting and am still in the process of doing so. My only complaint about the colors is that I wish there were a very light grey shade as the 3 included are all quite dark. I've still not decided if this is the be-all end-all grey palette, but for now it suits my needs better than anything else I've found on the market.