When I saw this tag floating around on Youtube it was like compulsion –– watch ALL the videos. I don’t know what it is about palettes.. is it the portability? the ease of use? the lack of decision making (which is a lie because, let’s face it, you probably open the palette and go all oogly eyed anyway)?
I hemmed and hawed about doing this for so long because, really, how do you choose. I’ve managed to narrow it down after a good hour or two so let’s take a look at the results.
1. Best Packaging –– Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Bar Palette and Tarte’s Off the Cuff Holiday Blush and Bronzer Palette
I am a sucker –– 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, total sucker for kitschy packaging. The shinier the better (as demonstrated by the glittery Tarte palette, ooh.) Extra bonus points for these guys being regular staples in my collections too.
2. Best Color Payoff –– Bare Minerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 (and 2.0)
Confession of a former Beauty Ambassador for Bare Minerals –– these things rule. I was an artist for BM when they launched and I couldn’t believe the color payoff these things gave. There’s a wide variety of shades and, if it wasn’t for the fact I depotted all of my duo’s from the range, they would be pictured too. If you can get your mitts on any of the holiday 8.0 ranges that they generally release I would highly recommend those too.
3. Most Versatile –– Stila’s In The Garden Eye Shadow Palette
When I went to IMATS in 2012 they were having a promotion at the Stila booth where you could buy three shadow palettes for a specific price .. maybe $50? Anyway, I figured I wouldn’t use the other two (this one included) and instead just purchased the In The Moment Palette which is gorgeous and well-loved. However, this decision haunted me and this past spring I finally nabbed my paws on this guy! I love it so much as is probably evident from the big dent in Nectar but I do find it my most versatile with golds, bronzes, taupes, greens and then some funkier colors like Freesia (blue) and Rosette (fuschia).
4. Best For Traveling –– Trish McEvoy Planner System, Urban Decay Basics Palette
Both of these options have gone with me to California and Europe, tried and true, and the amount of mornings I have praised the skies for Trish’s planner system for making my life easy in the morning are countless. It really just depends on size, where I’m going and also what I’m doing because for bridal applications the planner system is, again, the holy grail.
5. Biggest Regret –– Tarte for Trueblood’s Palette, Urban Decay Custom System
When Tarte first launched this palette I lusted after it like a true makeup junkie would –– I mean, look at the variety! I waited until this palette went on sale admittedly and after I got it, despite reading reviews, it just fell short for me. I had to fight with a lot of the shadows, it’s a lot more glittery than I anticipated and the packaging is extremely bulky. I could pop out the shadows and put them into a magnetic palette but it shouldn’t even be worth the hassle. As for Urban Decay, this palette was another one I snagged on sale and it hasn’t grown beyond three shadows. I honestly rarely reach for it and it’s a shame.
6. Best Color Names –– Too Faced Cosmetics’ Chocolate Bar Palette or Too Faced’s Shadow Bon Bon’s Eyeshadow Palette
Not to keep harping on this palette but, aside from smelling like chocolate, it rules in terms of its names and matching to shades –– ie. Cherry Cordial for a beautiful cranberry, Triple Fudge for a deeply milled matte brown, and Candied Violet for a sheen-y, well, violet. Also mentioned was the Too Faced Bon Bon’s palette from last years holiday (sorry guys!) which I depotted into a Unii Palette since the packaging was bulky but the names there were excellent too (ie. Hot Cocoa, Cinnamon Sugar, and Coffee Bean.) Take a look at Christine’s review over at Temptalia if you’re curious as to what it looked like.
7. Least Used –– Urban Decay Naked2, Tarte for Trueblood’s Palette
When I had my black hair I was stoked when the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette launched and at the time it got a lot of mileage from me with its cooler tones. However, ever since I went red I haven’t really looked back. A few months ago I tried to give it a spin again and it just looked all sorts of wrong so unfortunately its gone neglected. As for the Tarte palette, I already touched on that point with #5. Trust me, I want to love you, I do .. but you make it so hard with the glitter!
8. Most Used –– Urban Decay Naked1
When in doubt I pull this out –– how’s that for poetry? But in all seriousness I can still remember the day that I pulled this off the shelves a few years ago and how ecstatic I was. Suddenly it was like I was part of the “club” and got the trend and three Naked palettes later, plus the mini basics, I’d say I’m hooked. This is another good travel companion for me as well as it requires little thought, it’s easy to pack and can pull a variety of looks.
9. Most Loved –– Sephora Eyeshadow Palette, Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace
Ooooh, this is where I get a bit sentimental. That Sephora palette I’ve had since 2006 and I refuse, absolutely refuse, to part with it. It was my first experience with Sephora independently (that I can recall) and I bought it in the location in the Louvre in France. It was during my senior trip to Europe and it just holds so many memories. The Sleek palette is in the same in the sense that I had wanted to get something from Sleek for so long, had this shipped to me before I went to the UK this past summer and it, too, holds a gallon of memories from that cruise.
10. Desert Island Palette –– Laura Mercier Eye and Cheek Portfolio
I’m cheating. I’m sorry. (I’m not sorry.) This palette is the business, people! I got it two holiday seasons ago and it was something that I had been staring at throughout the selling season. When we got our store gratis I snatched it up so quick and haven’t looked back. It has all the eyeshadow shades that I love from Laura in there (African Violet and Stellar, just to name a few) as well as three options for tightlining and two blushes. Plus, it also came with its own travel brushes that have been safely stowed away. Perfecto!
What are some of your palette picks for these questions?