After my skincare routine, this is probably the question I get asked the most! Everyone loves an eye shadow palette, but not everyone can or wants to spend upwards of 25 on a palette – no matter how good they are (my most used eye shadow palettes are coming up on a post soon)!
My requirements for an eye shadow palette are simple: neutral shades (brown, taupe, bronze, grey) with the possibility to make a smokey brown/blue/black eye. The powders need to be easy to blend, with a mix of mattes, shimmer and satin finishes. I’m not a fan of the palettes that contain crazy colours – neon pink and turquoise are never going on my eye lids! There has been a recent, much hyped release by Urban Decay in collaboration with Gwen Stefani and the reason I’ve avoided is because, despite having some decent neutral shades, there are some (as expected) crazy colours in there and I would find completely unwearable. So, all of the ones own below are of a neutral hue … no mental colours here!
I have a collection of seven different budget eye shadow palettes that would make perfect Christmas presents for someone who is just getting started in make up or who hasn’t got a clue! I am actually gifting some of these so hence why I haven’t used them – although I do have my own of some of them but they are a bit battered and filthy! These palettes are also really excellent quality and very very comparable to the Urban Decay/Stila/Clarins palettes that are so popular…
Here we go…
All of these palettes are available either in Boots/Superdrug or from their online store. The Seventeen palette is the only one I’ve seen in the Boots IOW store. The Revolution palettes can be bought from Superdrug on the IOW. Sleek and I ❤ Make Up are from Superdrug online and the Zoeva is from Beauty Bay.
Revolution Ultra Eyeshadow palette / I ❤ Makeup Death By Chocolate palette / Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette / Revolution Salvation Palette – Girls on Film / Seventeen Easy On The Eye palette / Sleek i-Lust palette The Gold Standard / Smashbox Double Exposure Mini palette.
Smashbox Double Exposure Palette – Boots £17.50 – Now I’m just getting this out of the way first – when I bought this a few weeks ago it was £11 at Boots.com, so hence why I photographed it for my budget palette post… Obviously, £17.50 is not especially budget – particularly when you only get eight shades. But, I’ve decided to keep it in because for Smashbox, £17.50 isn’t a bad price and the quality is excellent. I have the original Exposure Palette which if I remember correctly, was £30+. This palette is perfect for travelling and has brilliant, well-chosen shades – ideal for a neutral daytime look or an evening smokey eye. If you can still track it down for the original price, or you want to spend a little more to get a better brand, this would be ideal.
Sleek Makeup i-Lust Palette £7.49 Boots.com – This is a stunning palette with beautiful shades of gold, bronze, coppers and champagne. This would pretty much suit any colour tone/eye colour. I have green/grey eyes and pale skin and this looks gorgeous with my eyes. The two colours on the far right are cream formulas that are beautiful alone or excellent as an eye shadow base. There is the opportunity to use the far left deep brown and smoke any look for an evening, more intense result. This is the perfect one for the hand bag I think – wearable shades that can transition to evening easily, not too large palette size, big mirror, sleek and classy packaging and cream shades that could also be used as a highlight-perk-the-skin-up-when-flagging. I would be very happy if someone gave me this for Christmas!
Seventeen Easy On The Eye Palette Birthday Suit – £7.99 – Boots – This can be purchased in Boots on the IOW (yay!). Seventeen have really upped their game recently, with the quality of their products. This palette is the most neutral of the ones I have featured in this post – this would be perfect for someone who doesn’t really want an intense eye shadow look but likes keeping it as neutral as possible (although that darker brown along the bottom could be used for a smokey eye). The photo on the left shows the powder colours and the four on the right are cream formulation – there are three cream eye shadow bases and the very pale one (which is actually white in the flesh) is an eye shadow primer. Colour-wise, this palette is along the lines of the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (£38). The quality is not what UD offer, but it isn’t bad for a budget high-street sort-of-dupe. Some of the shadows have a bit of fallout, but on the whole, most have good pigmentation and are long lasting; there is a good range of matte, metallic and shimmers. I’d personally give the eye primer a miss as it is greasy and doesn’t really do much – I’d use one of the cream shadows instead, or a separate shadow primer (NARS and Urban Decay are the best – but not exactly budget). All in all – a decent palette for very neutral lovers – if I was going to be honest, this is a little too neutral for me. The palette is missing a few deep, darker shades for a true smokey eye.
Revolution Salvation Palette Girls on Film – Superdrug – £6.00 – This is an incredible palette with such an amazing range of shades for an unbelievable price. The quality is excellent – extremely blendable and pigmented. The shade and formulation range is excellent. The six shades along the bottom are mattes and the twelve above are all shimmers or satins, so there is something for everyone. I really love this palette because there are enough shades, of differing colours, to create such a wide range of looks – this will suit day to evening. The only negative I can find is the ridiculus inclusion of the sponge brush applicator (do not use that!), but apart from that you cannot go wrong. I am gifting this palette, but I do have my own. The colours in this are very very similar to the Urban Decay Naked original palette (£38) so this is an amazing bargain and well worth getting.
Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette – http://www.beautybay.com – £15.50 – This is a palette I’ve spoken about before on the blog, so I won’t go on and on about it. Zoeva produce some incredible eye shadow palettes and are right up there with UD, Clarins and Stila – but for a much more affordable price; the quality of Zoeva is the closest to UD that I’v found. I know, compared with Revolution, £15.50 isn’t that budget – but if you’re not a makeup junkie like me and only want one amazing quality palette, then Zoeva might be your bag. The shades are incredibly pigmented, easy to blend and stay all day. If you have green/grey eyes like I do, the colours in this palette (reds, bronze) would be perfect for you. According to Charlotte Tilbury (and who am I to argue with an amazing make up artist), green eyes should wear brown/bronze during the day and cranberry/purple tones in the evening (check out CT’s website for your eye colour), so this palette fulfills both of those colour requirements- technically the only palette I need to own! …*hides the other 17 palettes …. *
Revolution Ultra Eyeshadow Palette Beyond Flawless – £8.00 – Superdrug – Eeeek! I love this palette! This again, is very similar to the UD Naked original, colour-wise. The 32 shades are quite small but they are beautiful – every colour you could possibly want for a natural day look and a vampy smokey eye. The quality of these shadows are very very good – blendable with little fallout. The shimmery ones aren’t too glittery – the only shadow I don’t like and don’t use is forth from the left – Bare Pink; it is just too pink for my eye/skin tone and doesn’t look great on me. The palette itself is not as large as you might think – about 15cm long and 9 cm wide. It’s not the easiest to carry about, but I don’t think this would be one I’d travel with or chuck in my bag. It does have a full size mirror in it though, which is a bonus. Overall, for the price, this is phenomenal value and quality – definitely recommended.
I Heart Eye Shadow Palette Death By Chocolate – £7.99 Superdrug – This is another lovely palette with a great mix of neutral colours and a few darker ones for the evening (I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot but these colours are what makes a good palette for me!). The idea behind the palette is that it looks/is inspired by chocolate. This is almost a direct copy of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (£39.00) but done in a slightly more ‘plastic’ and gimmicky way – I’m not a fan of the packaging as it looks and feels very cheap, but the eye shadows inside are great quality. I was a bit worried when I first got this because the way the eye shadows have been poured inside, it is all a bit ‘messy’… there isn’t the refinement that you get with more high-end brands, or even Zoeva/Revolution. However, my worries were unfounded, as the quality is great, as is pigmentation. Colours stay in place without creasing and are very blendable.
So, there we have it! I hope there are one of two there that grab you. My personal recommendation – I’d get a Zoeva palette if you’ve got slightly more cash to spend, or if not, a Revolution palette – any one will do! There are loads of alternative colour options for Revolution on the Superdrug website, or in the Newport IOW store. You just cannot beat that value for money.