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I think one of my all-time faves would have to be the Lorac Pro Palette (but don’t ask me to decide between 1 and 2). I love that there are so many matte shades which are musts if you work in a more conservative office. Also the tartelette palette! Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury also make great quads for a quick and easy eye look but now we’re getting a little on the pricey side of things. Love your blog!

I have a lot of palettes (my collection rivals the makeup collections I see on YouTube – I have dozens of palettes) and for me, the best palettes are (1) the MAC Nordstrom Naturals palette, which was LE in 2015 and (2) the MAC Warm Neutrals palette (permanent). I am in my 30s and work in a professional environment. I love my MAC palettes more than my UD Naked 1 and Naked 3 (I rarely use most of them – too much shimmer and glitter), Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Lorac Pro, or other popular brands/palettes. The MAC palettes have a lot of shades which I really like and the Nordstrom Naturals in particular has great mattes to choose from. My favorite mid-tone crease color of all time (Saddle) is in both palettes. I was hesitant to try MAC for a while because a lot of people seem to love the BAM pigmentation you get from UD or Too Faced. But… permanent MAC shadows are very buildable, I don’t get fall out, and they blend beautifully. If I want a look that I know for sure will look amazing and sophisticated and will last all day, I go for those palettes.

Completely agree with you Lauren. I love all my MAC eye palettes and feel the exact same way about their performance. For travel and to the office I love Macnificent Me (now called Dusky Rose) and the MAC Cinderella shadow palette. I get beautiful looks using both in combination.
I’d love to see MAC make the Nordstrom Naturals permanently available the way they did just recently with Nordstrom Finest. These Nordstrom palettes were very difficult to come by for those of us living internationally.

I’ve been loving using UD’s Theodora palette, but as for permanent palettes, I have to agree. Naked 1 or Lorac Pro Palettes.

My go-to for more formal meetings is always the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, usually paired with black or plum liner. For everyday work, I like the UD Naked 3 since I can add a little subtle glow to my fave crease color of all time (Limit).

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My pick would have to be Marc Jacob’s The Dreamer palette. I don’t know how well this would translate for other people because the reason I love it is how well it works with my skin tone (pale, warm). The shades in the palette are warm toned, in the yellow/coral vein and quite light. There’s really only one darker color in it, which works perfectly for me because I find it hard to wear darker colors without automatically looking really dramatic, even if I use them in the most subtle way. I have found that I can use the matte peach color as a crease color and still get some depth, without making my eyes look super done up, and the shimmery gold and coral colors are wonderful for bringing out the color in my eyes while still being neutral. So yeah, basically any day that I want a complete eye look that compliments my skin tone without standing out against it and looks nice and neutral, I go for this palette.

Probably Naked 2 Basics. The mid-tone neutrals are limiting for creative looks, but they’re good for the office. Someone who works in a high-end department store once told me that Naked 2 Basics is their #1 selling Naked palette to their particular clientele (career women over 30).

Yeah, I think the original Basics is great for filling in gaps in the Naked palettes, but Basics2 is a better standalone set. The gray shade set me on a path toward branching out from taupes and exploring grays/lavenders, which helped me develop my makeup style.

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I have been grabbing my Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book lately for hurried mornings – it’s perfect for a subtle but complete eye look (Starlight as the lid pop, looove!), and I give it super bonus points for being able to fill eyebrows with the sculpting shade!

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I’m completely smitten with MUFE’s 9-Artist Shadow Vol.1 Nudes…. I also reach over to Naked and Naked 3 since I am a huge fan of rose golds! They are just so versatile and have the right amount of shimmer that’s not too ‘disco ball’ intense for my workplace. I tried putting on other colours to work besides nudes…people were asking me which bar I am going at night! 😀

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There are more than a few that I like using on work days.

I reach for both the original Urban Decay Naked palette and the Naked 3 palette quite often. I possibly use the Naked 3 more if I’m honest. I like rose-hued colours and shimmer! There’s so much choice, you can get all kinds of looks with these! You can’t go wrong with the Naked palettes I think. ?

Alternatively I also like the Bare Minerals The Magic Act Eye & Cheek Palette. Eyes and cheeks in one, that has to be handy, right? It has a nice selection of eyeshadows in varying formulae and they range from light to deep. The blushes, bronzer and highlighter are lovely too, especially The Natural High blush. The only thing I would maybe change would be the highlighter as it’s a little dark for fair skin tones. You can always use the lightest eyeshadow to highlight instead though and that works out just fine.

Do personalised palettes count? My neutral MAC palette is just perfect for doing my eyes for work. It has some of my all-time favourite eyeshadows, not just from MAC but any company. Satin Taupe, Naked Lunch, Corduroy, Handwritten, Vanilla, Patina, Sketch, Typographic…the list goes on and on! I made the palette years ago and it remains my favourite palette ever! I only wish it was a bit more portable but I’m ordering new Z Palettes to put my MAC eyeshadows into so that should help.

Speaking of Z Palettes, I have one with nearly all the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows plus all the neutral Rouge Bunny Rouge Matte Eyeshadows. This works really well because you have the matte basics and then you can add whatever shimmer you like. If you don’t like shimmer then a smaller palette with just the Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadows would be perfect because you’d have every colour you need. They are great quality eyeshadows! Expensive mind you but at least if you buy just the pans you save a bit.

Finally, a recent purchase that I’ve used so much already is the Becca Afterglow palette. I just love shimmer and a few of the products included in it, like the Flowerchild Mineral Blush, I had already planned to buy anyway. I use it on eyes and cheeks and it works out great! The Wild Honey Mineral Blush is great for contouring both the face and eyes and the Shimmering Skin Perfectors are good for highlighting and as lid colours. I use Flowerchild on my eyes too. It’s nice and versatile! Sadly it was only limited edition and it’s kind of expensive to buy now, but you can still get it if you’re willing to pay the asking price. I was lucky enough to get the last one that my local Space NK had.

So there, those are my choices. I rambled on for a bit so I apologise for that. I have too much free time these days. Personally I think that although there are great pre-made palettes out there I ultimately much prefer the palettes I have put together myself. Then you can, hopefully, get exactly what you want. If I could only have one palette for the rest of my life I’d be very happy with my neutral MAC palette. It has served me very well over the last seven or so years I’ve had it! ?

My go-tos are the original Naked and Naked 3, and I also find the ColourPop Kathleen Lights/Where the Light Is collection to be great for work and travel.

Hands down, UD Vice Reloaded!! It has the perfect combo of neutrals, pops of colors, and mattes/satins/glitter. For work/school, it’s so much more interesting than an all-neutrals or all- matte palette. And while some of the shades are on the softer side for pigmentation, they are appropriate for work/school, and can usually be built up for more dramatic look. With this palette, I usually do neutrals with pops of color.

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My first pick is MAC MACnificent Me, now permanent with a new name, Rosy something or other? Very versatile because it has everything one needs to put together a neutral, but not dreary eye look. I also love how the new Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea palette could produce a similar type of look, although it lacks that super deep shade MACnificent Me has that can work as an eyeliner, even a brow powder for brunettes. The Viseart Paris Nudes remains on my list for a near-future buy. Same thought, great as an office appropriate palette that isn’t boring as heck!

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Probably the Naked 2 Basics. When I was at university I couldn’t be bothered to get up early and do my makeup, so the few times I did I usually reached for the Naked2 Basics (and before it came out, the Naked Basics). Health-wise I can’t really work right now but for more professional settings that’s my preferred palette as well as it’s simple, quick, and looks natural but also polished. For something like an evening work event I’d probably reach for the Naked2 (normal one) as it has a good mix of matte, satin and a few shimmers while tending toward more natural shades.

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Golly, there are so many, starting with the original UD Naked palette and also Naked 2, Naked2Basics and the Pulp Fiction palette (discontinued but amazingly perfect as an every day work eyeshadow palette), Stila’s In the Light (discontinued) and the 2 Eyes are the Window palettes I have – Spirit and Soul. Too Faced’s original Chocolate Bar palette is terrific but I think my fave, along with the first 2 Naked Palettes, would definitely be Lorac Pro2. Honorable mention to KvD Monarch and Shade+Light.

I mix it up quite a bit (lately, I’m loving the Anastasia Self Made palette), but TheBalm’s NudeTude is my go-to for work travel.

UD Naked Basics. Boring perhaps, but my work attire is rather boring as well. I also really like the Tarte Be Mattenificent pallete but that was LE.

Zoeva En Taupe palette has the perfect mix of taupe greys and light colours and Stila’s A Whole Lotta Love holiday palette is a good go-to for me for subtle day eye looks. I use BareMinerals’ The Royal Court for subtle cheeks. I’m at a stay-at-home mum so it doesn’t really matter what I wear on my face, I just wear what I feel like wearing, lol.

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My go-to palette for school is Tarte Tartelette (the first one). It’s all matte with natural shades from cool to warm tones! I also agree that NAKED orginal is a good one for school!

My office isn’t terribly strict about color, so I wear almost everything I’ve got to work, just slightly toned down from what I’d wear on a weekend. But when I want to lean more conservative/neutral, I like both Tartelette palettes.

Viseart Mattes. You can use some of the shades for contour and brows, and stretch the pinkier ones to be a blush. I also have been stashing like ONE supershock shadow into my makeup bag to either put all over the lid and maybe in the middle of lower lip etc. I’m having a colourpop moment clearly. DGAF is pretty good for this.

PS: I forgot to say Makeup Forever “Nudes you need” was kind of disappointing to create a single look. It doesn’t have a nice base color that is matte to “anchor” it, if that makes sense. I also love my Natasha Denona 5 pan I think it’s Paletta 4 (or 8?)

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tarte Poppy Picnic is the best full palette I have that I use for work every day. I’m in the Army so we have to keep it very, very neutral, and the two lightest shades work the best for me. I swipe a little of the pink or light tan through my crease and it’s still appropriate in uniform. Before this palette I only used MAC’s Grain – I have probably got about 20 empty Grain and Dazzlelight pots laying around, ha.

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Well, my last few jobs have been ones where it didn’t matter what kind of makeup I wore. Right now I work from home, so anything goes. If I had to go more neutral, I have several I like: Naked Basics is really good because the shades suit me, it’s easy, and it’s small and sturdy enough to transport in my purse. Others that work well for me: MUFE Nudes You Need, UD Naked 3, UD Gwen Stefani, Tarte Tartelette, Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture – Eye on Neutral Shimmer 3, Too Faced Chocolate Bar, ABH World Traveler, and Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist’s Palette 2015.

If one needed good but inexpensive, then e.l.f. Mad for Mattes is really good, and only $10. Wet n Wild Comfort Zone is about $5-6. The Walking on Eggshells or Sweet as Candy trios are even less expensive and quite good.

Probably the same palette I always choose as my favorite, UD Urban Ammo!

That said, I do NOT work in a conservative environment (so glad of that!) and no one really cares what makeup I wear, or if I wear it at all. Even when I have to meet with clients, they generally expect (and sometimes explicitly hope) that I’ll “look creative” so I can get away with a lot.

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I’d say a Naked Basics palette in either shade would work for most people new to makeup. For me I prefer a little more shimmer, so I’d probably go with UD Naked or Gwen Stefani if you are warm toned. Cool toned? Maybe Naked 3 if you can handle the shimmer and want a bit of workable warmer shades that won’t look too crazy next to your skin tone. Maybe MUFE Nudes You Need if you can handle warmer colors too. It’s a nice mix of warms and neutrals. LM Artist might be good too, the repromote one.
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Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye palette is amazeballs for work, and so are all of the three naked palettes if sparkle/shimmer is your preference.

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I have all these, but I find myself reaching for Tarte’s Tartelette first 🙂 I have a very conservative office setting though. I do a matte brow highlight and then matte crease color using Tartelette. To mix it up, I put a shimmer color on top of this, in a wash below the crease.

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There are really so many that can work for this! My favorites are Z-palettes I’ve filled myself; one with neutrals from MUFE that suit my coloring, a second with base/crease/transition/liner shades from Kjaer Weis and shimmery lid neutrals and pops of color from Ardency Inn, Urban Decay, and Kat Von D Metal Crush.

My current choice for a pre-made standalone eyeshadow palette for work or school would be NARS L’Amour, Toujours L’Amour; it’s a bit cooler-toned than most of the (mostly) neutral palettes out there.

Viseart 01 hands down. it is the quickest to use, blends in no time, very little fallout, and the colors are perfect for work
I also love the KVD shade and light but there’s a lot of fallout –so it takes me longer to get ready.

They’re both too matte so sometimes i top it off with some satin/shimmery but where I work noone works make up at all so .. mattes are super safe

Lorac unzipped, Lorac unzipped gold, mufe nudes you need, naked 1. I also want a viseart palette. But all of the above work pretty well for work

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I find myself consistently reaching for the UD Pulp Fiction palette– I love the warm toned crease shade (it’s not too warm, but just warm enough for my fair, neutral skin) and the texture of the dark brown is amaaazing. It’s easy to work with and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on my makeup at work since I’ve been wearing my go-to eye look from this palette.

Urban Decay naked basics 2 is a solid bet for me. I like naked 1 and 2, but I truthfully I could get by with a quad of virgin and sin from 1 and tease and busted from 2.

Definitely my Too Faced Natural Matte. So beautiful. If I want a bit of shimmer I’ll reach for my Naked palette (original)

The MUFE nudes you need palette is my all time favorite! (But I love a good shimmery/metallic eyeshadow). I really want the original too faced chocolate bar palette!

I have a Two Faced nine color matte palette of nudes to use when going someplace serious but otherwise I’ll use what ever I’m in the mood for in the meantime with quieter sparkle and softer liner.

I forgot to mention the UD Naked Basics I and Ii are great for conservative neutral.looks too.

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Asking someone to pick just one palette??? Crazy talk! I tend to cycle through them. I’ll pull one or two out and use those consistently for a couple weeks before switching it up. Lately I’ve been using my BH Carly Bybel palette and the new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette. I do really love my Becca Rouge Ombre palette for those days when I don’t have to think about it. I can barely be awake but I know if I just work my way across the palette from lightest to darkest that I’ll get a good eye look for the day. Of course I work in a modular construction yard office trailer and am the only woman surrounded by about 45 guys so it’s not like any of them would ever notice anyway…

Being the neutral natural eye palette girl that I am I have a list that can go on and on… Any of the Naked Palettes 1,2 or 3, Naked Basics 1 or 2Tartelette palettes all matte or the in bloom, Too Face Chocolate Bar, or any of the Bobbi Brown eye palettes she comes out with. They all typically have mattes and shimmers that ho perfectly for everyday work/school use ( and for me work is at a school lol).

My choice is the Tarte CC Matte Palette; it has matte neutral shade eyeshadows, a black & dark Brown shadow that I use as eyeliners & a blush that goes with any lipstick that I wear that day.

My most used and most versatile palette is the Sleek “Au Naturel”. It is super affordable and great for younger people or makeup beginners who cannot afford high-end products. If I had the bucks, I would purchase the Lorac Pro palette. In the meantime, I am thinking of stopping by Inglot and creating another custom “freedom palette” for everyday use. I currently own one with a a shimmery sand shade, a light warm brown, a darker brownish red and additionally a coral blush. Love it!

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