Last year there were 2 of the 8 shadow palettes as well, The Cocktail Hour and The Playlist, which I do have, so I will be able to compare them, and swatch some of the similar colors across the 4 palettes together.
I love BE's pressed shadows, I think they are excellent quality, creamy soft, pigmented, and just beautiful. I like this year's palettes even better because they have more of the finish that I prefer, which is pearly/frosty. Last year there were more shades that have the matte base + shimmer, and I am not the hugest fan of that finish, and this year there is only 1 shadow like that in each palette, a black. There are also two suede shades in The Star Treatment palette, they are nearly matte, but have just enough sheen to them so they do not look flat(like most mattes tend to on me). None of the shades are chalky.
My YouTube Review:
Here is The Finer Things:
(click on pics to see full size)
Penthouse is a matte black shade with very shiny mirror-like shimmer in it, the shimmer is rather large.
Chateau and Five Star are a suede finish, nearly matte, which just a touch of sheen.
Private Isle is mostly matte, but it has some super fine shimmer in it, there is not a lot, and it is very fine, so it is hard to see, but in the sunshine you will see it have a little shine.
The rest of the shades are pearly/frosty.
VIP is another matte black with added shimmer, this time the shimmer is slightly finer, but still not fine enough for my liking, and it is gold/copper.
The rest of the shades are pearly/frosty, with the most notable ones being Carte Blanche due to it's beautiful golden iridescence, and Elitist which is a beige-taupe and has green iridescence.
And if you happen to get both palettes, here is a fun combination: Private Isle with Carte Blanche over it:
And here are some comparisons of shades from this year's and last year's palettes:
(left to right)
The Finer Things: Five Star
The Cocktail Hour: _____
The Playlist: One Hit Wonder
The Star Treatment: Carte Blanche
The Finer Things: First Class
The Cocktail Hour: Invite Only
The Playlist: Chart Topper
The Star Treatment: Kudos, Elitist
Bronze/Red/Brown:The Finer Things: Truffle
The Cocktail Hour: Spiked
The Playlist: Louder, PumpedThe Star Treatment: Connoisseur, Bragging Rights, Ritzy
The Finer Things: Custom Made
The Cocktail Hour: Libation
The Playlist: Remix
The Star Treatment: Extravogance
I personally do not think any of the shades are close enough to be called dupes, the closest two are the two whites Five Star and One Hit Wonder, but One Hit Wonder is more of an Ivory, and it's got some larger particles of shimmer scattered thought it, while Five Star does not.
Chart Topper and Kudos looks sort of similar in pictures, but Kudos is a very unique shade with really pretty iridescence that you can see at different angles, so actually quite different in my opinion.