Budget Beauty: Tony Moly Mono Eyeshadows

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Budget finds

I love my Chanel and Guerlain bizniz… but nothing excites me more than a budget beauty find. And since I’ve recently been fixated on eyeshadows, they’ve been my main focus when I approach a beauty counter. I went inside Tony Moly in search of my favorite hand cream only to find out it’s already been phased out (I hate when they do that!). I’m glad I stayed and looked around else I wouldn’t have discovered these babies. These single eyeshadows come in refillable pans sans the casing. Now if I had been my regular self, this wouldn’t have appealed to me at all because packaging is important to the magpie that I am attracted to shiny things and all. 2 I went ahead and swatched one anyway…. and the rest goes down again in Misty Mom history. I never gave Tony Moly eyeshadows a second look before this encounter. They used to sell Crystal Mono eyeshadows that seemed too frosty and glittery for my liking. These Delight Mono ones are fairly new, having launched just last June (correct me if I’m wrong Tony Moly peeps/fans). 3 4b

So is it really cheap?

A single shadow is 1.4 g or 0.04 oz and costs Php178 ($4) — now, let’s compare for fun, shall we? a Chanel baked quad contains 0.04 oz for 4 shadows and costs Php3,250 ($59) a Guerlain quad contains 0.25 oz and costs Php3,000 ($59) a Dior quint contains 0.21 oz and costs Php3,450 ($60) an Urban Decay Naked palette contains 0.60 oz and costs Php2,800 ($50) a NARS six-piece palette contains 0.42 oz and costs Php2,250 ($43) a Tony Moly six-piece palette contains 0.24 oz and costs Php1,068 ($25) plus the case which is Php350 so around Php1,400

So it’s not really cheap — it costs almosts as much as the UD Naked palettes if you get 12pcs of the Tony Moly single eyeshadows. But it’s definitely way cheaper than the luxury brands’ outrageous prices (Chanel’s baked quads only contain 0.04 freaking oz!!! Call the cops cos I feel robbed!!) for the same amount of product.


The upside, though, is you get to choose the shades you want and build a palette where all the colors will be (hopefully) used and abused. Want it all mattes? Go ahead! Just satins? Why not! Shimmering splendid with a mix of the first two? Go all out, baby! Which is why I took quite a long time in that Tony Moly counter what with my swatch marathon and all. Poor Enzo waiting for me outside thinking I was only in there to buy my hand cream. Anyway, since the palette could fit six eyeshadows (you can also fit in three shadows and one blush) — the OCD in me just had to fill up the whole thing. No way can my mind rest knowing I have a half-empty palette with a metal base showing *cringe*.


I ended up choosing 4 shimmer and 2 matte shadows to fill in the slightly-tacky-but-i-can-live-with-it palette. It was a challenge matching the testers to the sealed products because there aren’t any names to distinguish them — only the last 2-digits in their barcodes.

I also ended up with quite neutral colors which is typical Misty Mom style (shying away from the more out-there shades).

What about the quality?

But of course, the main reason I was drawn to these in the first place! Love at first swatch — you can call it that. Buttery smooth and heavily pigmented = without any primer whatsoever. In short, what I expected from the NARS eyeshadows. Granted, there were also Tony Moly singles that were gritty and patchy which you just have to weed through. The shimmer shades have excellent color pay-off. The matte shades aren’t as pigmented but are really smooth and non-powdery. Definitely better than the NARS mattes I’ve encountered.

But the downside!

Well, it’s not as perfect as I wished it would be. The shimmers did have some fall out, which isn’t a deal breaker but I’m iffy with that. I hate having shimmer all over my face when I apply eyeshadow (especially with my n00b skills). Of course, nothing a primer (a really good one!) couldn’t solve.

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I would go on and describe the colors but I’ll leave you instead with swatches – one in direct sunlight and one under the shade. I’ll do some looks and share them soon!

Final Lowdown

If you’re looking for particular shades and don’t want to invest in a whole palette, Tony Moly Mono Delight singles are a godsend. For Php178, they’re not exactly cheap compared to other drugstore brands. But their quality is a notch or two higher than the regular drugstore shadows. They’re buttery soft and heavily pigmented, but need a good primer to avoid fallout and extend wear. Do take note that an Urban Decay palette costs the same when you decide to go for 12 Tony Moly singles (plus the 2 palette cases!) so if you’re looking to buy a palette, save up and invest in those Urban Decay Nakeds instead. Then, if you want to experiment further with other colors (and not just nudes), then go ahead and pick out a few Tony Molys thereafter. EDIT: I really am bothered with the fallout of the shimmers! It’s beyond primers. I recommend their matte shades still though.
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  1. September 9, 2013 / 9:09 pm

    wow. this i really like! budget friendly but looks really expensive! plus they look really pigmented!

    • September 9, 2013 / 10:22 pm

      They are super pigmented, especially the shimmery ones. 🙂 The matte ones, okay lang 🙂

  2. September 9, 2013 / 9:14 pm

    I love all the shades…except that pink-ish one. I can never pull that off. I agree with the price, not exactly friendly but since you compared them to NARS, being the current eyeshadow/NARS aficionado that you are :), they must really be good. I’d go for the Naked though, because I’m predictable, safe and I want more value for my $$$!!!

    • September 9, 2013 / 10:23 pm

      True! If I don’t have the Naked palettes yet, I’d save up for those instead. 🙂 But yes, I actually like these better than some NARS shadows I have.

  3. Raven
    September 9, 2013 / 9:50 pm

    I love the rich purple shade. Do the eyshadows come with names?

    • September 9, 2013 / 11:17 pm

      They don’t Raven! 🙁 Only numbers!

  4. September 9, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    Gorgeous shades! I want!

    • September 10, 2013 / 1:32 pm

      Daming shades in Tony Moly, Khymm! Youre bound to find one you like 🙂

  5. September 9, 2013 / 10:44 pm

    Love the swatches!

    • September 10, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Linh!

  6. September 10, 2013 / 2:34 am

    I’ve been looking to inject some color into my palettes and this looks like a great find! Must stop by when I get back.

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:18 pm

      Yes yes – maraming shades to choose from – even wearable non-neutrals! 🙂

  7. September 10, 2013 / 3:42 am

    Wow this palette is gorgeous, I love all the colours!!
    Can you buy this brand in the UK? I’ve never heard of it before.

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:19 pm

      I don’t think Tony Moly is available in the UK:-( It’s a Korean brand so maybe look for a Korean e-tailer?

  8. September 10, 2013 / 5:17 am

    Oh my god. Just…oh my god! I should check out Tony Moly ASAP. This is amazing. I’m a sucker for eye shadows so I don’t think I would pass this up. Thank you so much for sharing, Shari! 🙂

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:20 pm

      Yay! Glad I could help out fellow beauty junkies! 🙂 Blog about your finds if you do pick up some!

  9. September 10, 2013 / 7:42 am

    They are gorgeous shades, for a minute I though it was a NARS palette.

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:23 pm

      Ha ha. Gotchu there didn’t I? 🙂 Maybe I should’ve put in the title – guess what palette this is! Good quality but for half the price of a NARS palette.

  10. September 10, 2013 / 7:50 am

    Will definitely, definitely buy! Thanks! 🙂

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:23 pm

      Will wait for your thoughts on this if you do pick some up Kmmy!

  11. September 10, 2013 / 7:53 am

    Nice! I love the colors that you bought. =)

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:24 pm

      Thanks Cris! 🙂 Thanks for sharing mywoodencanvas. Before they didnt have the online ordering pa. Now I’m glad meron na!

  12. September 10, 2013 / 12:49 pm

    Shariii! Which branch did you go to?? OMG they phased out the age stop hand cream??? That’s my FAVORITE. I hope I can still hoard!!!! 🙁 🙁

    • September 10, 2013 / 2:25 pm

      Ina! I went to the store mismo in North Edsa. 🙂 Oo wala na yung Age Stop!! 🙁 Kainis. Sana pala marami na ko binili non. They only have the fruit-encased hand creams 🙁 Eh alam ko sa counters wala rin yung Age Stop eh!

  13. September 10, 2013 / 3:39 pm

    I’ve always wondered why shimmery eyeshadows are more pigmented than matte ones. Anyway, the colors you got are beautiful! Wow!

  14. September 10, 2013 / 8:28 pm

    I love the champagne one! Thanks so much for sharing <3

  15. September 12, 2013 / 6:46 am

    OMG! How pretty?!

  16. September 13, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    I’ve been to Tony Moly Shop once when we visited Brunei 2 years ago. I loved their stuffs and the price….OMG! So affordable! I’ve never been to any Tony Moly shops in the Philippines…but maybe on our next vacation, I’ll keep it on my list.

  17. shayne
    September 15, 2013 / 4:00 am

    its nice of you to do some calculation and comparisons between different brands 🙂 i was actually shocked to see that it is almost as expensive as UD. i was hoping it would be much cheaper. i really like pa naman the idea of choosing diff colors and placing it inside a magnetic box ^^ you picked nice colors 🙂 – shayne

  18. September 21, 2013 / 11:52 pm

    Thanks Shari! I will definitely check this out one day. I love palettes especially the ones where you customize your own. 🙂

  19. Ale Rainer
    May 5, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    I do not know where to buy Tony Moly box for shadows! It’s soo trouble for me!

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