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Best Eyeshadow Palettes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Eyeshadow Palettes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing eyeshadow palettes helpful!

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette ($42.00 for 0.35 oz.) includes 14 eyeshadows that come in a mix of warmer neutrals and pops of pink/red. For a mostly matte palette, it actually applied quite well to bare skin, and I didn’t have issues blending out the majority of the shades. The eyeshadows adhered exceptionally well to bare skin without sheering out or becoming patchy. The majority of the shades were pigmented and wore for seven to eight hours.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s

BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette

BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette

BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette ($19.00 for 1.58 oz.) contains 28, metallic eyeshadows. I picked this up a couple of months ago, because it was getting a lot of buzz, and I’ve been really impressed by the quality overall. Only a few shades had issues, and they were fairly minor (slightly less pigmented, could apply better with primer or with a dampened brush). The majority of the eyeshadows were very pigmented, applied beautifully on bare skin, blended out easily, and lasted for seven to nine hours on me (without primer). As they are all shimmery, it may not work as well as an all-in-one-look palette, though. If you like your high-shimmer, metallic eyeshadows, it’s well worth checking out!

Availability

BH Cosmetics

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Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette

Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette
Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette

Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette ($14.99 for 0.32 oz.) consists of four highlighters–three powder, one cream. They’re designed as “highly pigmented metallic finishes” that give a “luminous sheen” on the “face and body.” It’s a fun palette for highlighting that doesn’t break the bank, and I think that the biggest issue is that not all shades were “highly pigmented” but imagine for many, that’s not a deal-breaker when it comes to highlighters.

Ecliptic is a subdued, light-medium rose pink with warm undertones and a pearly shimmer-sheen finish. It had semi-sheer coverage, which was somewhat buildable but never to more than medium coverage. The creamier consistency made it prone to sheering out as it was blended onto the skin, though I think that works well for the type of product it is as it is hard to overdo. On me, the cream highlighter wore for seven hours before becoming patchy. Algenist Rose (P, $38.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Softly Does It (LE) is lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Starlight (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). Cover FX Celestial (P, $38.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). L'Oreal Ice (P, $12.99) is lighter (85% similar). Anastasia Starburst (LE) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Laura Mercier Devotion (P, $44.00) is lighter (80% similar). LORAC Moonlight (P, $22.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Hemisphere is a cooler, pinky lavender with a luminous sheen. The consistency was soft and blendable, but it was a touch drier and looser in the pan, so it didn’t have the same finely-milled feel as some highlighters/powders can. I don’t think this is something really seen on the skin (at least not for me), as it imparted a nice, glowy finish that didn’t emphasize pores or look dry on. It had good pigmentation and lasted for seven and a half hours before fading. Colour Pop Monster (P, $8.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Stila Transcendence (LE) is less shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Purple Horseshoe (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Catrice Stardust (P, $5.99) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Over the Moon (LE, $8.00) is less shimmery, less pigmented (90% similar). Makeup Geek Glitz (P, $20.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Laura Geller Charming Pink (P, $24.00) is warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Aura (P, $26.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Makeup Geek Celestial (P, $20.00) is lighter (90% similar). Dose of Colors Pearl Dust (P, $28.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Hippo (P, $8.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Soft Frost (P, $30.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Subsolar is a very light yellow with warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It doesn’t seem warm enough to be your traditional take on a gold highlighter–it almost has a green cast to it at some angles. The texture was smooth but had a firmer press to it compared to the right two highlighters, which resulted in more semi-sheer to semi-opaque coverage. It gave my skin a subtle glow without adding warmth to it (I am warm-toned, though) and did not emphasize pores or my skin’s natural texture. The highlighter wore nicely for seven and a half hours. Makeup Geek Lit (P, $20.00) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Give In Take Blush I (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Colour Pop Perilune (LE, $8.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Revolution Golden Lights (P, $6.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Makeup Geek Electrify (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Marshmallow (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). LORAC Starlight (P, $22.00) is warmer (85% similar). NYX Ritualistic (P, $9.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). Too Faced Rosy Glow (Left) (P) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). LORAC Daylight (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Equinox is a bright, light-medium coppery peach with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. This shade was richly pigmented with a very soft, blendable consistency that was a smidgen dry in the pan but didn’t look that way on the skin. On the skin, it had more of a metallic finish, which made it the most reflective of the four shades in the palette, and it was just shy of emphasizing pores on my skin if wore at medium coverage (or sheerer). This shade lasted for just over seven and a half hours for me. Dior #001 (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Smashbox Shimmer (LE) is darker (95% similar). NARS Hot Sand (P, $30.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Clinique Nude Glow (P, $27.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Highlighter (LE, $32.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Cover FX Sunlight (P, $34.00) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Essence Be My Highlight (P, $4.49) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Nuanced (LE, $32.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson (LE, $32.00) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Lit (P) is darker, more muted (90% similar). Cover FX Moonlight (P, $34.00) is lighter (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Coup de Genie (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Bobbi Brown Afternoon Glow (LE, $46.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Laura Mercier Rosé (LE, $42.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Laura Mercier Spellbound (LE, $44.00) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is darker (80% similar). MAC Pearl Sunshine (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sleek MakeUP Highlighting Palette Solstice
Solstice
Solstice
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total
See All Glossovers

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Also In This Review

C+

Ecliptic

Permanent
Read Review
B+
B

Subsolar

Permanent
Read Review
A-

Equinox

Permanent
Read Review

Top 5: Plum Blushes for Fall 2015

Plum is one of my favorite cheek colors to wear (right after coral!), because they can run cool or warm in tone, so they work with a lot of looks. It’s also a great shade to pair with the deeper lip colors that we often see in fall and winter. What are your favorites?

  1. Urban Decay Rapture — a purply-plum with subtle pearl
  2. theBalm Cabana Boy — a cooler-toned plum with sheen
  3. IT Cosmetics Radiant in Rose — a rosy plum with a luminous finish
  4. Sleek Pomegranate — a brightened, berry-plum with a frosted sheen
  5. NARS Oasis — a warm plum with gold pearl

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

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Sleek Makeup Pixie Pink & Pomegranate Blushes

Sleek Makeup Pixie Pink Blush
Sleek Makeup Pixie Pink Blush

Sleek Makeup Pixie Pink Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is a brightened, light-medium cotton candy pink with strong, blue undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and silky with some excess powder kicking up in the pan, but on the skin, the blush didn’t look powdery, which is where it counts the most. It was richly pigmented, and the silky quality of the powder made it easier to blend on the skin. I noticed it darkened on my skin, though if you are naturally drier, you may find it stays truer to the color in the pan. It wore for eight and a half hours before breaking down. NARS Roman Holiday (LE, $30.00) is darker. Colour Pop Mochi (P, $8.00) is warmer. Colour Pop Thumper (P, $8.00) is more muted. NYX Flamingo (P, $5.00) is . Urban Decay Quickie (LE, ) is darker. Milani Delizioso Pink (10) (P, $7.99) is darker. NARS Mistinguette (LE, $30.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Sleek Makeup Pomegranate Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is a brightened, reddish-plum with cool, pink sheen and warmer, coppery undertones. It was very, very pigmented, so a little went a long way, and I’d recommend using a feathery brush with this and building up color to your desired intensity. Thankfully, the powder is soft, smooth, and blendable, which will make it easier to diffuse or sheer down the color if you’ve applied to much. It wore for nine hours before fading on me. NARS Dolce Vita (P, $30.00) is less shimmery, warmer. MAC Hot Nights (LE, $21.00) is darker, brighter, cooler. IT Cosmetics Magical in Mauve (P, $24.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler. Colour Pop Cheerio (P, $8.00) is lighter, brighter. Tom Ford Beauty Pink Glow #5 (LE, $55.00) is warmer. Surratt Beauty Rougeur (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, darker. NARS Adoration (Right) (P, ) is lighter. IT Cosmetics Radiant in Rose (P, $24.00) is lighter, warmer. NARS Goulue (P, $30.00) is less shimmery, warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Neolita (P, $37.00) is less shimmery, warmer. NARS Soulshine #3 (LE, $30.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Sweet Samba (LE, $27.00) is lighter, warmer. theBalm Pinstripe (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Formula Summary: Sleek Makeup Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is supposed to be “ultra long lasting” and “highly pigmented.” My experience with their blush formula has been true to both; they’re intensely pigmented and a little goes a long way. The powder’s texture is soft, smooth, and blendable on the skin. The finish varies from shade to shade, so some are more luminous while others can be very frosted and metallic. On my normal-to-dry skin, they last between eight and nine hours on me.

Sleek MakeUP Blush Pixie Pink
Pixie Pink
Pixie Pink
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Sleek MakeUP Blush Pomegranate
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Sleek Makeup Antique & Rose Gold Blushes

Sleek Makeup Antique Blush
Sleek Makeup Antique Blush

Sleek Makeup Antique Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is a subdued, plummy brown with soft, warm undertones and silver micro-glitter over a more satiny finish. It had excellent color payoff with a soft, smooth, and blendable consistency that sat well on the skin without emphasizing pores. The micro-glitter isn’t too detectable unless you’re looking up-close in a mirror, and a lot of it seems to disappear between the pan, brush, and face. On me, this shade lasted for nine hours before fading slightly. NYX Taupe (P, $5.00) is less shimmery, cooler. MAC Earthshine (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery, darker. MAC Plum Foolery (P, $21.00) is lighter, brighter, cooler. Giorgio Armani Light Rose (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $45.00) is lighter, warmer. MAC Crazed Imagination (LE, $21.00) is darker. Surratt Beauty La Vie En Rose (P, $32.00) is lighter, warmer. MAC Animal Instincts (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter. MAC Corol #2 (LE, $21.00) is lighter, warmer. MAC Lavish Living (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery, cooler. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Sleek Makeup Rose Gold Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is a warm, medium pink base color with a mega-ton of frosted, gold shimmer. The pigmentation was rich with a very soft, buttery texture that was so soft that it was almost crumbly if you weren’t careful. I had better luck applying in sheerer layers. The higher shimmer content in the finish did emphasize pores to a moderate degree when applied. It wore well for eight hours before fading. Tom Ford Beauty Pink Sand (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery. Too Faced Who’s Your Poppy (LE, ) is less shimmery, warmer. Too Faced Something About Berry (P, $30.00) is less shimmery. Tarte Glisten (P, $26.00) is warmer. bareMinerals The Natural High (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer. Guerlain Blush G (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery. Charlotte Tilbury Love Glow (P, $40.00) is less shimmery, lighter. Giorgio Armani Eccentrico (LE, $88.00) is less shimmery, lighter. Guerlain Peach Boy #2 (P, ) is less shimmery, darker, more muted. MAC Springsheen (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. NARS Orgasm (P, $30.00) is lower quality, more shimmery. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Formula Summary: Sleek Makeup Blush ($6.99 for 0.27 oz.) is supposed to be “ultra long lasting” and “highly pigmented.” My experience with their blush formula has been true to both; they’re intensely pigmented and a little goes a long way. The powder’s texture is soft, smooth, and blendable on the skin. The finish varies from shade to shade, so some are more luminous while others can be very frosted and metallic. On my normal-to-dry skin, they last between eight and nine hours on me.

Sleek MakeUP Blush Antique
Antique
Antique
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Sleek MakeUP Blush Rose Gold
Rose Gold
Rose Gold
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Sleek Makeup Precious Metals Highlighting Palette for Holiday 2014

Sleek Makeup Precious Metals Highlighting Palette
Sleek Makeup Precious Metals Highlighting Palette

Precious Metals Highlighting Palette ($14.99)

This multitasking must-have creates a gorgeous all-over shimmer that instantly enhances the complexion with a fresh, radiant glow. This versatile face and body highlighting palette complements all skin tones and includes three luxurious velvet cream formulas and one powder. The iridescent, metallic finishes add a luminous polish to the skin.

Availability: Now at Sleek Makeup

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