I have a ridiculous love affair with eyeshadow palettes. I have the urge to buy pretty much every single one that comes out, and it’s a major problem because my collection is getting out of control. Do I really need all of them? Absolutely not. But it’s the struggle of a makeup whore. I could be addicted to worse things, right?
Anyways, I figure I’d put my wasted money to use and tell you which eyeshadow palettes are actually worth buying. Even though I have a lot of eyeshadow palettes, I use the same few over and over again because they’re just the best. I’m too impatient to deal with anything else.
FYI: In this post, I’m talking about palettes that are already put together, not DIY palettes.
I think every woman needs a fabulous eyeshadow palette in her beauty arsenal. It’s much more convenient and cost efficient (usually) to get a palette that has everything you need in one place than it is to deal with single eyeshadows, which can get lost and be a pain in the butt to carry around with you. I like things to be compact!
I’m picky when it comes to eyeshadow palettes. (Let’s be real, I’m always picky…) What do I look for, exactly? First of all, it’s very important that I can grab the palette and not need anything else to complete my eye makeup look. That means I need a light color for highlighting, a black (or at least a dark brown) to darken things up, a transition shade for my crease, and something for my lid. Bare minimum. I don’t like palettes that are just all dark or light shades or all one finish because then I know I’m going to have to grab something else to supplement it with. You shouldn’t have to grab another palette to make up for whatever is missing.
I also want what I want from any eyeshadow – pigmentation, blendability, and longevity. I’d prefer minimal fallout, but it’s not a total deal breaker if the shadows are amazing otherwise.
Unfortunately, the drugstore is seriously slacking in this department. Most of the palettes I’m suggesting are high-end, but they are worth the money. I think splurging on a good palette is an excellent and necessary investment. You’ll use the hell out of it, and it’ll change your life. There’s no point spending money on a bunch of eye shadows that are cheaper if they don’t even look good. Plus, when you do the math, a palette is really not as expensive as it seems. $50 dollars might seem like a lot to shell out, but not if you’re getting 16 shadows inside. That’s only $3 a shadow, which is more than reasonable for something high quality.
This is my all-time favorite eyeshadow palette. Hands down. It’s what I recommend to everyone. There’s an entire row of matte shades and an entire row of shimmer shades, so you’ve got all your bases covered in terms of finishes. It has a number of transition colors, a basic white and black, and every other neutral color in between. Basically, it has all you could ever need. I always bring this when I’m traveling because it’s the palette I can depend on no matter what. I can easily create a number of daytime or dark, smoky nighttime looks with this palette. The pigmentation is incredible, and the formula is nice and buttery so the shadows blend flawlessly.
You get 16 eyeshadows in this palette, which is an amazing deal for the price. In most palettes, there’s at least one or two shades that I’m not that into, but I’m seriously obsessed with every single color in this palette. I love the second and third Lorac PRO palettes as well, but this is my ultimate fave because it’s totally neutral and works beautifully with every single skin tone. Plus, I love how slim and sleek the packaging is. It’s sturdy but easy to open and close, and it’s the thinnest palette I own.
Obviously this has to be here. I own all of the Naked palettes, but the original is by far my favorite. I find myself going back to it over and over again, even though it’s one of the oldest palettes I own. Again, it has a black, a nice highlight shade, and a few transition shades, which are my staples. It also has a range of finishes – mattes, satins, and shimmers. There are 12 shadows in this palette, which is less than the Lorac PRO, but still a good amount. I personally think the pigmentation of the shadows in the original Naked palette is much better than any of the other Naked palettes. These shadows blend beautifully together, and you can’t go wrong with any color combo you choose.
Again, you can create a number of daytime and nighttime looks with this. The shadows are all neutral and lean towards the golden-side, which flatters most skin tones. There are a few shades that have a rose tone, which I personally enjoy because I prefer when my eyeshadow looks aren’t just one tone. Too basic.
I do wish there were a few more matte shades in the palette because I think mattes are more practical for daily use, and I find that there can definitely be some fallout when using these shadows if you’re not careful. I also wish there was a white shadow in this palette and that the black didn’t have shimmer in it, but neither of those are deal breakers. I don’t need a white shade because the lightest shade, Virgin, is one of my all-time favorite highlights. Like, I hit pan on that in a month. I also like this packaging much better than any of the other Naked palettes because it opens and closes much more easily than the others. If you’re into golden neutrals and want a staple palette, I’d highly recommend this.
First of all, this palette really does smell like chocolate. It makes me SO HAPPY to use this because it smells so damn good. The packaging is adorable – it looks like a chocolate bar! There are 16 shadows inside, so you’re getting your money’s worth. This one also meets all of my standards – there’s a black, two great highlight options, a number of transition shades, and some great options for the lid and the crease. I’m also really glad the highlight shades are much larger than the rest of the shadows because I tend to hit pan on my highlight shades really quickly in my palettes. There is also a nice range of finishes – a few mattes and a few satins and shimmers. The colors have amazing pigmentation and the formula is on point. Very blendable and buttery with minimal fallout.
I prefer this Chocolate Bar palette to the original for a few reasons. First of all, the original doesn’t have a black shade or a highlight shade that’s light enough for me, so I usually need to grab another palette to supplement the first. Too much work. I also like the packaging on the Semi-Sweet palette much better than the first because the names of the shades are printed directly on the packaging instead of on a plastic sheet. While both Chocolate Bar palettes feature golden neutrals, the shades in the original Chocolate Bar palette are warmer than those in the Semi-Sweet palette. I personally prefer palettes that aren’t too warm because it works better with my skin tone. I use my Semi-Sweet palette much more often than the original because I can still get a natural look that has a cooler tone.
I am so impressed with how small and compact this palette is. It has everything I need, but it’s so thin and portable. This palette has the best mirror compared to any other I own, which is very important to me. It’s a small palette, but the mirror is BIG and the pans are huge. There are 12 shades in this one, and it covers all your bases. There’s a light highlight shade, a number of quite dark shades, and a bunch of transition shades. It also has a good range of matte and shimmer shades, whereas the original Tartelette palette is all mattes. I love matte colors, but I need a few shimmers in my palette so I can spice things up sometimes.
The colors in this palette are neutral but the lighter shades have a pinkish undertone and the darker shades have a reddish undertone. I have so many neutral palettes, but this one is very unique because of that. Most other neutral palettes are very golden, which doesn’t always look great with my skin tone, but this one is warm without leaning too far into the orange-range. The pigmentation of these shadows is FABULOUS. I would say it’s just as good as the Lorac palette, and better than the Naked and Semi-Sweet palettes. They have incredible blendability, and they seriously last all day on my eyes. This is one of the few palettes that I can use without a primer.
This is the cheapest palette on this list, but the low price doesn’t compromise the quality. Whenever anyone asks me what palette to get if they only want to buy one palette and not ever need another, I always say the Lorac PRO or this. I know everyone is OBSESSED with the Morphe 35O, and while it is an amazing palette, I like the 35K better. It’s just a personal preference based on the tone of the shades. You get 35 shadows in this palette, so it’s a steal. The packaging isn’t anything exciting, but it doesn’t need to be. The reason I prefer this palette over the 35O is because the 35K has more cool-toned shades while the 35O is extremely warm. If you love warm shades, go for the 35O. If you want a mixture of both, I’d recommend the 35K!
Again, this has a black, a number of highlights, a ton of transition shades, and a bunch of colors in between. It has a wide selection of warm colors but also a large amount of cooler tones, so you get your browns and your grays. Most palettes lean just one way or the other. There’s a great variety of both mattes and shimmers, so you’re armed with whatever you’ll need. Morphe shadows in general have great color payoff and amazing blendability. I don’t even understand how they can get away with selling these for such a low price and still have such an amazing formula, but I’m definitely not complaining. It’s not as great as the Tarte or Lorac formulas, but it’s really not that big of a difference unless you’re extremely high maintenance like me. If you’re on a tight budget (hello college students!), buy this and you’ll be set. Daytime, nighttime, subtle, dramatic – you’re good to go.
What do you look for in the perfect palette? What are your favorites? Let me know and I’d love to try them out if I haven’t already! XO