The other day, I was shopping at Sephora with one of my friends who was looking for the perfect palette. After looking around she found a palette that had lots of colours, and to my suprise immediately asked the store attendant to grab one from the back and put the purchase through. I quickly whispered to her, ‘It’s only the first palette you’ve seen, there are so many others to look at, you could find better!‘ And then she admitted she didn’t really know how to find the perfect palette or what to look for to ensure she makes the right purchase. So here are five tips or questions you can ask yourself before you commit to purchasing that palette!1. Consider what you already own: Do I already own these shades? I have been guilty many times of purchasing a palette of gorgeous colours…that I already own dupes for! While you may find a palette with lovely colours, think about whether you already own similar or the exact same shades. If you’re looking to buy your first palette, pick palettes like Urban Decay’s Naked palette, Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar palette or Maybelline’s The Nudes palette which contain a variety of matte and shimmer shades to create both day and evening makeup looks. However if you already own a couple of palettes and own basic nude shades or matte shades for the crease, you may want to think about a palette such as Too Faced’s Sexy Eyes Palette, or something that has a variety of unusual, accent colours to add to your collection, instead of another palette of basics!
2. Colour selection: Am I in love with the whole palette, or just one or two amazing shades? When you’re looking at a palette, look at the combination of colours and think about whether you’re actually only drawn to a couple of the shades. I often really want a palette, but then realise it’s only for one or two amazing shades that I don’t own, while I probably won’t get much wear out of the other 10! Look for a palette where you will use most of, if not all, the eyeshadows, this way you can get the most for your money and create a greater range of makeup looks.
3. Complement your skin tone and eye colour: Will these colours suit me? While eyeshadows may look lovely in a palette, it’s always best to consider whether the colours and tones will complement your skin tone and eye colour. There are of course no set rules, but I personally think if you have green eyes – go for purples, golds and maroons, and for blue eyes – bronzes, copper and rusty shades, as these colours will make your eye colour stand out and pop. Brown eyes look great with any shade, so find a palette with a range of colours you can experiment with. To complement your skin tone, swatch the shadows on your skin to see whether they will suit you.
4. Value for money: How many eyeshadows am I getting? Sometimes two palettes may have very similar prices and both be great quality, but one has 4 eyeshadows and the other has 12! Consider whether your getting your money’s worth and whether there may be another palette with more shades for the same price.
5. Swatch, swatch, swatch: Are the eyeshadows good quality? One of the amazing things about stores now is you can usually swatch all of the eyeshadows in a palette to ensure they will apply well and look just as great on your eyelids as they do in the pan! When your swatching an eyeshadow, rub the eyeshadow with your finger and swipe it onto your arm or hand – this way you can see what it looks like on skin. You may be able to tell by simply wiping your finger onto the shadow that its poor quality, you want to avoid shadows that are crumbly, chunky or have poor pigmentation. You want the eyeshadows to apply smoothly, and be creamy in texture to leave a pigmented swatch of colour.
What does a good and bad quality eyeshadow swatch look like?
Poor quality swatches
Left to Right: Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in ’07 Golden Up’, Models Prefer ‘Naked’ eyeshadow (Shadows palette)
You can see in the first shade, the glitter in the eyeshadow is chunky and crumbly, meaning not only will it not apply smoothly to the lid, but the chunky glitter may fall into your eye and cause irritation. The second shade barely shows up on my skin and has low pigmentation, so unless you want a really sheer and neutral colour – if a swatch barely shows up on your skin, its not going to show up on your lid!
Left to Right: MAC ‘Honey lust’, Sportsgirl ‘The Metallic Edit’ eyeshadow palette, Too Faced ‘New in Town’ (Sexy Eyes Palette), and Urban Decay ‘Sin’ (Naked palette)
These eyeshadows feel really creamy and have great pigmentation (the colour is thick and not translucent). The gold shadow is a perfect example of an eyeshadow that is glittery, but not chunky. While glittery eyeshadows will always have pieces of glitter in them – good quality shadows will have a creamy base, the glitter will be fine and the pigmentation should be smooth (no gaps or chunks missing when you swatch). These colours are all thick and pigmented, which also means you won’t need to use too much to get an even coat over your lid!
I have many times fallen in love with a palette at first glance, but it’s important to consider all of these things before you make a purchase (especially since eyeshadow palettes usually aren’t cheap!) If the palette you’ve been eyeing up has a variety of great quality eyeshadows, then go for it! Always keep in mind these five tips, to ensure you’re picking the perfect eyeshadow palette for you!
Some of my favourite eyeshadow palettes…
Urban Decay ‘Naked’ palette: a variety of matte & shimmer shades which suit a variety of skin tones (12 shades)
Stila ‘In the Moments’ palette: highly-pigmented shades perfect for green eyes (10 shades)
Too Faced ‘Chocolate Bar’ palette: great quality eyeshadows with a variety of shades, and made with real cocoa powder! (16 shades!)
Let me know what you’re all time favourite eyeshadow palettes are! ♥