If you know me personally you may well have assumed that I would have made a list of blog posts I intend to pen by now. You’d be right. The one at the very top…eyeshadow palettes. Will this be a who’s who and a what’s what of the best palettes out there? Of course not. These are my picks from my collection. My go tos, if you will. So here comes the first of a little mini series.
First, indulge me and allow me to blether a little.
As the famous saying goes “Eyes are the windows to the soul”. People can tell a lot about you just by looking at your eyes. One lady, with whom I spent an uncomfortable hour several years ago, was able to tell me that my body was ruled by my nervous system, I tended to be very anxious and I ate a lot of chocolate. How dare she!!!! I can only assume she had some magical power because all she did was take a super duper, close up shot of my eyeball and study my iris for all of 20 seconds. People look into your eyes when they talk to you, stare deep into them when they love you (unless you’re me and get all awkward with prolonged eye contact) and if they are trying to work out what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling.
As a result, some of us will tend to play up the eyes when assembling a make up look, to draw more attention to them and detract from other, less desirable facial features that we may possess. Like Bertha, the spot currently residing on my chin. Now I’ve said before, I’m no make up artist and I consider it a good make up day if I’ve remembered to do the same thing to each eye before I leave the house. (Flash back to the day I only did my right eye and didn’t notice until tea time.)
Whilst my skills in this area have improved over the years, they still leave a lot to be desired. I do know, however, what I’m looking for in a palette, what I expect from its formula, the blendability and ease of application of each shadow and the colour selection offered as a whole. A palette that I can’t get a complete look from is not for me. Dipping in and out takes planning and time and I’m just not willing to play that game at 6:30 in the morning. Give me a base, crease, lid and lining colour and I’m happy.
Allow me to introduce contestant number one.
Inglot (Price dependent on selections)
I’m starting with the awkward one to get it out of the way. Not awkward in the sense that it’s difficult to get your hands on but awkward because this is a simple little quad of sumptuousness that I designed myself. Four shadows from a choice of hundreds all nestled, ever so neatly, in what’s called their ‘Freedom System’.
In its most basic form this is a blank, magnetic palette that you can fill by picking and choosing products like pick’n’mix. Dreamy, I know! The palette sizes they offer vary, as does the price, but the possible combinations are endless. The pan size of each shadow is greater than that of Mac’s individual shadows (2.3g-3.5g , depending on shade choice, versus 1.5g) and, even better than that, they’re half the price (£5 versus £10)!!!! Inglot is a Polish brand that often isn’t talked about, but it so should be. See for yourself…
Each shadow is silky to the touch, highly pigmented, super blendable, look great with or without a primer and are so long lasting. Choice for the Freedom System will either scare you or inspire you. These colours are pretty safe by ‘Instagram Make Up’ standards but for me, they were the beginning of a love affair with warm tones and, bar one shadow stick from Charlotte Tilbury, I have never had so many compliments or questions on an eye look that I slapped on myself, as I have with these. Highly, HIGHLY recommend you give them a go!
Contestant number two, come on down!
Blank Canvas Pippa Palette (£28.95 Cloud 10)
I’ll admit from the off on this one, until Christmas of last year, when the lovely LKS Make Up bravely tackled mon visage for the Christmas do, I had never heard of Blank Canvas as a brand, never mind tried anything from it. This one interested me for three reasons…
- All matte shadows.
- Neutral colours but enough scope to go from everyday natural to smouldering and sultry.
- Also includes a beautiful blush, a subtle highlight and a warm toned bronzer. Perfect for travelling!
Compared to the Inglot shadows, the texture on these is entirely different. Much firmer in the pan and pigment pay off isn’t as immediate as you might hope. All this, however, is not to the detriment of their blendability. Very little effort required for a polished look that can easily be achieved by both novices and professionals alike. The matte black makes smokey liner a sinch for beginners! Simply use an angled liner brush, stamp along the lash line and smudge using a pencil brush, so easy, so effective and gives an effortless, put together look. The remaining shades are well chosen and you’d be surprised at their level of versatility. According to the Blank Canvas website they can be used wet, to intensify their pigment. So far, I haven’t seen the need but the option is there if you want it.
Contestant number three comes all the way from the Amazon, sort of.
Tarte’s Tartelette in Bloom (£36 QVC)
No, I’m not calling you a Tartelette, keep your knickers on. That’s the name of the palette. This shouldn’t matter but these shadows have the most delicious scent, which reminds me of chocolate. Granted, a fragrance that makes you hungry is not something one goes looking for in an eyeshadow palette, but it doesn’t hurt!
I own both the Tartelette and the Tartelette in Bloom palettes but I have opted for this one simply because it offers something contestant number two does not…metallics! I understand that shimmer on the eyeballs is not for everyone. If this is the case for you, contestant number two is perfect, as would Kat Von D’s Shade and Light palette. (I have a blog entry in the works for said beauty. Stay tuned!)
Anyway, Tartelette in Bloom is probably one of my most used palettes. I appreciate its visually appealing composition; laid out in a very handy row format of complementary quads for days that I just don’t want to think, but each shadow, the shimmers in particular, are stunning on their own for a quick wash of colour, ‘Funny Girl’ being a particular favourite of mine. All are equally beautiful whether you choose to apply them with your digits or a brush.
The shadows are formulated using Amazonian clay and mineral pigments which means two things: long wear time and great for sensitive eyes. There’s plenty of choice here for smokey liner shades too and excellent options to take you from day to night or desk to dance floor (do people actually do that?) Pigment pay off is exceptional, immediate and consistent throughout the palette, and talk about silky smooth!
P.S and by the way, don’t be put off by shimmer when you are…how to put this…more mature? Many would say to avoid shimmer when the eyelids start to age, but if you like it, wear it! Make up comes off! Even a simple pop in the centre of the eye or an inner corner highlight, is stunning and a more subtle way to incorporate light into your look.
Our final contestant, only because I would end up writing a book and not a blog post if I talked about every palette I loved, is…
The highly coveted Too Faced’s Sweet Peach Palette (£39 Debenhams)
Given that contestants 1-3 are fairly neutral, and don’t get me wrong I love that and advise you stick with neutral colour spectrums if you are just starting your collection, I thought I best sneak something with a wee pop of colour in at the end.
I’m not adventurous and I certainly don’t do change with any degree of comfort. As a child, I’d decide to move my bedroom furniture around and then have to put it all back before going to bed. What I’m saying is, I usually find something I’m comfortable with and stick to it. In same vain, I’m not adventurous with colour on the eyes but this palette just…called to me! Once again, believe it or not, here’s another selection that smells as delicious as it looks (and sounds).
Yes, you have your neutrals in here too, you need those as transition shades anyway, but the interest I took was in the pinky peach, purple and khaki shades. My interest peaked after watching a tutorial from Shelbey Wilson on YouTube. Her plummy champagne creation seemed achieveable and not too scary at all. The palette went straight to the top of my wish list!
What you have with this palette, is options. Options to go safe and comfortable or tastefully add colour and mix things up a bit. I will warn you, certain combinations do look a little muddy if not carefully paired. I speak from experience on that one! I also advise using a decent primer under Too Faced shadows as I find them to fade, all too fast, without one.
Pigment and blendability– Too Faced shadows blend like a dream, in my opinion, and you can quickly and easily create a blown out effect above the crease for that professional touch. Shimmers and lustres are stunning but don’t apply so well with a brush. I tend to pat all these shadows over the free lid with my finger to apply as true to colour as possible and then incorporate a brush to handle detailed work. Using them wet is another option, and also works well, but adding liquid to powder products make me nervous!Range of shades– perfect! Base, lid, crease and liner all covered, several times over.
Application– as I mentioned, try using your God given tools to apply these for maximum colour pay off but be careful of fallout! When playing with this palette your running order should be eyes then complexion, just to make clean up a bit handier.
Deciding to choose a Top Four from my plethora of palettes was a challenge, to say the least. It was much like me deciding which flavour of doughnut to indulge in at The Rolling Donut; drawn out and painful. I tried to select options that aren’t currently plastered all over the YouTube by the cool kids, Morphe 35o, ABH Modern Renaissance and the Viseart Theory line, to name but a few.
Let me know which is your favourite in the comments below (and I’ll try not to buy them all right away!) or share your go to looks using your favourite palettes on Instagram using #aweeblog17 so I can see your creations!
Speaking of Instagram, come and add me on julie_hynds if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading today’s musings!
- The Rolling Donut must come north 🍩
- Oscar is literally snorting like a pig in his sleep
- Curry night