May 24th, 2017
Sometimes less really isn’t more. Whether you’re faced with the unknown, or your kit is tight on space, or you’re a fan of variety and mixing colour, one eyeshadow shade is rarely enough. But with a million palettes to choose from it can be difficult to find that diamond in the rough – an all-rounder which you can always rely on. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work and gathered together the very best in eyeshadow palettes which won’t let you down.
If there’s an obvious place to start, it would of course be the Naked palettes from Urban Decay (£39.50). With twelve well thought-out shades in mixes of matte and shimmer finishes, encased in slimline packaging to boot, it’s an easy choice for beginner or veteran. While we love the sturdier case of the Naked Two and Three palettes, we keep returning to the original for its skin-flattering, subtly warm neutrals. A true classic.
If you’re always on the hunt for good quality matte shades and find other palettes lacking then you’re in luck – Kat Von D’s Shade and Light (£37) is one of her most popular products, and with good reason. These shades have been grouped into easy-to-pair sections, and the buttery yet pigmented shadows are one of the best matte formulas going.
Also well known for their matte shades, we’re actually drawn to Viseart’s latest Theory palettes (£36). The Cool-toned Cashmere and copper-hued Minx palettes are a particularly stunning collection of six matte and shimmer shades which are the perfect size, impeccable quality and colour pairings which can be used to produce a wide variety of looks with ease.
Affordable palettes which still have the pigment and quality to the shadows are hard to come by – which is why we’re always championing Zoeva’s much-loved palettes. Their best-seller is, unsurprisingly, the Nude Spectrum palette (£28.50). Slim yet packed with 15 generous shadows, this is the ultimate do-all palette, from barely-there looks to evening glamour.
At the other end of the pricing spectrum comes the much-beloved eyeshadow palettes from US make-up artist Natasha Denona. Revered for her eyeshadow formulas, her enormous Star palette (£140) is truly stunning. Cleverly arranged into two halves, with colours grouped into either vertical, horizontal or diagonal trios, the pigmentation on these shades really does need to be seen to be believed. When broken down to price per shadow the palette actually becomes quite reasonable, and well worth a place in your kit.
If you’re tight on space then a compact, sturdy palette with a solid repertoire of colours is inevitably what you’ll reach for. In these cases we would reach for either the Stila Metals and Matte Palette (£39) or the Tarte Tartelette Palette (£36), depending on your preference of tones. If you’re a cooler-toned eyeshadow fan you’ll delight in Tarte’s silky-smooth shades, while Stila’s shades lean warmer. Both are excellent options, and much-loved by artists.
MAC are, of course, known for their impeccable shade range – the biggest problem has always been trying to choose between them. When they launched their x9 palettes last year we were thrilled to see that they’d solved this conundrum by carefully arranging some of their most popular shades into colour-centric palettes. While we’ve discussed mainly neutral, do-all palettes thus far we’re going to go out on a limb and recommend their x9 Red Hot palette (£25). It’s actually one of their best-selling palettes, and between the MAC formula and choice of shades you’re left with a palette which you know will perform well when you’re feeling bold and experimental with colour.
Last but not least, Charlotte Tilbury’s dainty Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes (£39) may be small but they are perfectly formed. Reassuringly sturdy and beautiful to look at, there is a wide variety of colour choices, each geared towards one of Charlotte’s specific looks. The Dolce Vita is a firm favourite, especially the gold pigment for a pop of highlight on the centre of the lid, but we also love The Rock Chick for an easy yet effective smoky eye.