What did we ever do before beauty brands started releasing eyeshadow palettes? Single shadows can be great, but a good palette gives you a plethora of options that work together, so you can create a one-of-a-kind look every time. Whether you’re into classic smoky looks, something neutral for daytime or unapologetically bright, there’s a palette out there for you. Palette doesn’t mean pricey, either – drugstore brands are stepping up their game with sets that rival the luxury options. Read on for our must-have palettes, from budget-friendly to high end and everything in between!
The LORAC PRO Palette (a makeup artist staple) is everything an eyeshadow palette should be. Every color in the set is both beautiful and wearable. There’s not one shade in the palette that I would be hesitant about applying to my lids. Wearable doesn’t mean boring. Each shade is unique, interesting and, above all, BUTTERY. These shadows blend like an absolute dream. You will never find shadows as creamy and blendable as these. There’s nothing more disappointing than chalky powders that won’t apply. The LORAC shades go on fully pigmented with one swipe. ($42)
When Urban Decay announced they were releasing another Naked palette, many people weren’t too excited. We already have the warm tones in the original Naked, cool tones in the Naked2 and rosy shades in the Naked3. What could be left? The answer is SMOKY. The Naked Smoky Palette is the beauty product we didn’t know we were missing!! It has every shade you could possibly want to create that incredibly cool and confident classic smoky eye. It’s a very worthy addition to anyone’s collection. Need more proof? Check out our roundup of gorgeous Naked Smoky looks. ($54)
Everyone loves a good dupe! Dreaming about owning a Naked palette, but can’t justify spending over fifty bucks on eyeshadow? Don’t sweat it: Makeup Revolution’s Iconic 3 Redemption Palette is a nearly identical dupe for the Naked3…and it’s $7. Yes, you read that correctly. Seven dollars for gorgeous, rose-toned goodness. Comprised of pretty pearl, shimmer and matte shades, this is a must. ($7)
I must admit I was surprised by how much I liked the Tarte Tartelette Palette. On the surface, it seems like a classically nice enough shadow palette comprised of standard matte shades. After a few uses, I’ve realized it’s anything but standard. This is the quintessential daytime palette. I love using it when I’m going to a casual brunch or running errands and want to play up my eyes a bit. It’s comprised of classic and trendy colors like mauve and mulberry, blends like a dream and lasts forever with no creasing or fading. The last part shouldn’t come as a surprise. The shadows are infused with Tarte’s iconic Amazonian clay, aka the secret to their unbelievably long-lasting blushes. ($44)
Too Faced took a good palette (The Chocolate Bar) and remixed it to make something even sweeter! The Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette is a warmer, deeper version of the original, packed with 16 wearable matte and shimmer shades. The neutral shades are gorgeous, but that rich pop of blue in the center takes this set to another level. Plus, it has a faint scent of chocolate, and who can say no to chocolate?! ($49)
Makeup Geek’s Z Palette allows for a completely customizable, one-of-a-kind palette that is tailored just for you! Order a Z-Palette (the large one can hold up to 27 MUG single shadows) and fill it up with whatever shades your heart desires. From neutral to bold colors, matte to shimmer shades, the possibilities are truly endless. An exciting, relatively new addition to the Makeup Geek line is their Foiled Eyeshadows – super pigmented, sparkly and gorgeous! ($20 for the palette, $6-10 per shadow)
If you want loud, bold and bright shadows, look no further than the Urban Decay Electric Palette! This fearless set is comprised of ten easy-to-blend, nearly neon hues. Use one of the shades as an exciting pop of color in a neutral look or go all out with a colorful, unforgettable smoky eye. Especially with bright colors, you want the color payoff to be good, and the Electric Palette delivers. One swipe is all you need for an insanely colorful look. ($49)
The Smashbox Master Class Palette III has it all. Literally. There are 32 eyeshadows (pastels, neutrals, brights), three blushes, contour powder, bronzer and a highlighter. $65 may seem pricey for a palette, but for what you’re getting, it’s arguably a bargain. It’s not just quantity – these shadows are good. I’ve yet to be disappointed in a shade, and I have so much fun playing around with these colors and coming up with unique looks. One of my all-time favorites. ($65)
This is my kind of palette! The Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Shimmer 3 palette is, obviously, made up of neutral shimmery shades. Extremely wearable with a touch of glam, these are the kind of colors that look good on almost everyone. I love adding a touch of metallic shimmer to the center of my lid for almost any evening look, so this is perfect. Definitely a makeup bag essential. Plus, it’s pretty easy on the wallet – twenty dollars from Target! ($20)
The Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette is one of my best impulse buys ever! I saw some stellar reviews on Pampadour, then saw it at Rite-Aid for only $4, so I had to try it out for myself. I am so impressed by this little palette. When a palette is so inexpensive, you’re usually compromising quality…not in this case. The shadows are fairly pigmented, blend well and look gorgeous together. There’s even indicators of where you should place which colors – browbone, eyelid, crease, definer. Don’t let that stop you from having fun – beauty rules are always made to be broken! The standout shade is the one on the bottom right – it’s a perfect dupe for MAC’s famous Blue Brown Pigment. Stunning. ($4.79)
The Saucebox Etude Palette came to our attention because the gorgeous Batalash Beauty girls adore it. This is the ideal matte neutral palette – the pans are gigantic, the pigmentation is out of this world and the colors are luxurious and gorgeous. You can even use the different shades to customize a brow powder or use one of the browns to contour. It’s currently sold out on Saucebox’s website (it’s that good), but submit your email to be notified when it’s back in stock. ($60)
What’s your essential eyeshadow palette? Will you add any of these to your collection? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR!
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