Choosing matching eyeshadow shades can be quite daunting, which is why we love buying palettes instead. The hard work of making sure the colours match is done for you, plus it’s so convenient having everything in one compact. Things to take into consideration? Do you want co-ordinating shades of neutrals, a smokey eye all in one place, to shimmer or not and of course staying power with the colour payoff? Here are five of our faves that cover a little bit of everything.
Best for party looks: YSL The Street and I Couture Palette Collection, R755
They had us at the packaging. Encapsulating the shades of the street – from graffiti grey to pop-art pinks and oranges – the outer casing is pretty engaging. This palette will let you experiment with the latest on-trend shades. From a shimmering pale pink to bring light under the brow; a hard city grey for lining or creating a smoky eye; a flash of orange and a duo of pinks to brighten up things up. It launched earlier this year as a limited edition. So go forth and find it, it’s a keeper. If you can’t find it or prefer a more understated look try the YSL 5-Color Ready-To-Wear Couture Palette in Saharienne, R890 which is just as fabulous. We love that they come with an information sheet which labels the shadows by their potential uses and show you how you can use the included applicators for each.
Best for eyeshadow pros: Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette, R999
Have you mastered a plum smokey eye? Have you spent many, many minutes blending your shadow until it’s just right? We’re not in your league but it’s time to upgrade to this bad, bad boy. The palette offers an endless selection of vibrant colours. Express yourself with whatever yellow, deep plum, copper or lime green eye look you’re feeling at the moment. It also includes a HUGE mirror and a double-ended brush. The Tapered Crease Brush is perfect for laying down shadow, defining the crease or blending out a colour. It may look bulky but make-up artists, take note this is an ideal travel-size.
Best for day to night looks: Elizabeth Arden Little Black Compacts, R770 for two trios and palette
The customisable Little Black Compact will be your go-to palette for endless looks. You can choose and combine from a collection of curated colours – from neutrals to bright blues, greens and pinks that are available in a variety of matte, shimmery and metallic finishes. The pigmentation of Arden’s newest palettes is unreal and they can be applied wet or dry. Wear it dry for day looks and wet for evening looks (or add a spritz of Eight Hour® Miracle Hydrating Mist, a tip Lucoh Mhlongo, Elizabeth Arden’s Celebrity Make-up Artist, shared with us when introducing us to this fab little compact and you won’t believe how the shadow pops). The only bad news is that you’ll need to wait until 18 September when it launches in South Africa. But we couldn’t wait any longer to share.
Best for shadow newbies: Rimmel London Magnif’eyes Eyeshadow Palette in London Nudes, R169,95
If you’re just dipping your toes in the shadowy waters, this everyday palette provides you with eight long-lasting colours. The shimmery neutrals are a perfect start and there are cheat sheets included on the back of the packaging so you can try a variety of looks. But if you’re looking for a more classic smokey-eye look, try Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eyeshadow Palette in Grunge Glamour, R169,95, a collection of dusky-gray, charcoal, and silver shades.
Best for the neutral smokey eye on a budget: L.A Girl Nudes Eyeshadow Collection, R99,95
Okay so using nude shadows for a smokey eye may not make much sense, but this array of neutrals is perfect for creating everything from a simple daytime look to a sultry night style.
PS Keep your peeled for the one that’ll make you the envy of everyone – the palette that just about broke the internet back in February, MAC’s “Basic Bitch” palette. Apparently, it hits stores on 3 August overseas. Who knows, maybe we’ll #beblessed too?
Which one are you keen to try. Tell us below.