Hi all! This week I’ve been doing a massive cull of my make-up and I’ve shifted a solid third of what I used to have. Old things that I really shouldn’t have been using, products barely touched that I was able to sell on, and things that just didn’t work out for me have all been sold or passed on to my mum or my friends. And it feels good!
The drawers that took the biggest hit were definitely the ones that contained my palettes. I used to have 30+ palettes – eyeshadows, contour kits, blush and highlight palettes, even an old crusty lip one I’ve touched maybe twice – and now I’ve condensed it down to things I have reached for since 2017 began. If I haven’t reached for it by now I probably won’t again.
With that in mind, it got me thinking over what make-up I would repurchase if for some reason my whole make-up collection were to vanish into thin air. I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top five, my ultimate five, eyeshadow palettes that I kept and covet for various different reasons. On top of these five I maybe have 4/5 further eyeshadow palettes in my whole collection, and that doesn’t seem like very many compared to how many I had before! And these are my absolute ride or dies, my go-tos, my solid companions. Aside from one (and you’ll be able to tell which one) I’d happily take any of these travelling with me as my one palette, and I can make so many eyeshadow looks with them all (or multiple – again, you’ll see!). So without further ado, let’s crack on with my favourite palettes of all time!
Disclaimer: All of these are high-end and all of these are grubby af, but that’s okay. I get a lot of use out of them, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Number 5: Tarte Tarteist Amazonian Clay Pro Palette (£41, buy here)
This palette was one I’d seen on YouTube and Instagram tonnes, so when I got the chance to pick it up I grabbed it because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Tarte shadows, and boy, were they all correct. This palette is so beautiful and versatile, and these shadows are some of the best quality shadows I’ve ever used. The selection of shadows in here is so cohesive – each row has the four mattes and the shimmer for a ready made look, but they also all just run together so well, there’s infinite looks you could make with this. I love that it’s got a mix of all tones, all finishes, and lights and darks. It’s just a bloody brilliant everyday palette, and if you like make-up but you don’t want tonnes of it, then this palette will cover so many bases for you.
Number 4: Urban Decay Electric Palette (£38, buy here)
If I’m ever doing a colourful look then this palette is the first thing I grab. I had the UD Full Spectrum palette but it ended up being a casualty of the make-up cull, and anyway, I like this one ten times more. The colour payoff that each of these shadows has is out of this world and it blends out so easily, and you don’t lose the colour when you blend which was a real issue I found with the Full Spectrum palette. Obviously it would be pretty impossible to create an entire look with this palette, but I’ve never had an issue getting it to mesh with other shadows, from Make-Up Gekk to ABH to other Urban Decay ones. It’s just fab, and if you’re looking for a colourful palette then this would be my number one recommendation.
Number 3: Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette (£18, buy here)
If you want a palette that’s going to give you the most bang for your buck, then this is the one I would recommend. At £18 it’s so affordable, and for an eyeshadow palette that’s as pigmented and blendable as this then this is an absolute steal. It’s a neutral eyeshadow wearer’s dream, and that red shade washed all over the lid with a smoky crease and undereye is one of my favourite eyeshadow looks to go for. The colours go on super opaque and they blend out like my Tarte ones do, which isn’t often the case with such affordable eyeshadows. But if any of my friends or someone just starting out with make-up asks me what palette I recommend, I always tell them this. It’s a great palette for beginners, and one I reach for on a weekly basis.
I started buying MUG shadows well over a year ago when they were still £4.50 in price *cough cough* and I’ve built up a rather substantial collection since. I just always end up going back to these shadows and yes, I know technically this isn’t a palette you can buy, but I use this palette almost every day, so it wouldn’t be right for me not to include it. These are the most blendable shadows I have ever used, and they’re pigmented but not overly pigmented. And the collection I have – naturally, a warm-toned collection of reds, oranges and browns – is so easy to make so many looks from. I have a good few shimmers in the palette too, and even though it’s not my favourite shimmer shadow formula in the world it’s nothing a little MAC Fix+ can’t turn into something stunning. It’s a pricey way to build a collection of shadows, but I wouldn’t trade mine for any other palette.
Number 1: Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette (£41, buy here)
I was on six waiting lists for this palette because when it first came out you couldn’t get it for love nor money. It sold out everywhere almost instantly, and you know what? I’m not even mad about it. I get it.
This is hands down my favourite palette in the whole wide world. It’s so simple yet it’s so unique, and it set such a benchmark in the make-up world. There are so many dupes and copies of this on the market now, but this remains the best. The colour selection is to die for, the pigmentation and the buttery soft shadows and the variety of mattes and shimmers and their payoff… I could honestly talk about this palette forever and a day because I love it. Am I going away for the weekend? I’m bringing this. When I go to Australia for a month later this year, I’m definitely bringing this. If it has one shortcoming, then it’s the amount of fallout and kickback you get from the shadows, but I can look past it because the colours are so incredible and any fallout you get on your cheeks can easily be dusted away. A little goes a long way and just. I love this palette. Bury me with this palette. That’s all I have to say.
(*** I want to include an honourable mention – the Manny MUA x Make-Up Geek palette – but it’s no longer available to purchase so I’m not 😦 bad times stupid limited edition.)
Feel free to let me know your favourite palettes in the comments below – are there any I should try? Any that you think should be on this list? Thanks for reading, you da best xoxox