When it comes to eyeshadows, by and large, most of the ones covered these days are found in palettes! There are definitely plenty of reviews of singles, but palettes outnumber them easily. To compile this list, though, I only think it’s fair to focus on the singles (that’s why there’s a whole top ten for palettes, so they’re not left out!) that made my heart pitter-patter and go all aflutter. As always, I tried to go across formulas and colors, picking the best of the best, though I couldn’t help myself from choosing two from Dior’s new cream formula.
- Tom Ford Escapade Cream Color for Eyes — it’s a golden peach with a metallic sheen; but this (paired with Pink Haze) is my go-to combination for a bright, warm eye–I’ve reached for this nearly every time I have a “no-testing” day
- Sugarpill @#$%! Eyeshadow — a bold, warm-toned red with silver sparkle
- NARS Persia Eyeshadow — a superbly pigmented, burnt orange with a matte finish
- Dior Millenium (381) Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow — a glorious blackened brown with bronze and pewter shimmer
- MAC Brazenly Eyeshadow — a richly pigmented purple-berry with a frosted sheen (if every collection by MAC was as high quality as Nudes & Metallics, we’d all be in big trouble)
- Illamasqua Sadist Eyeshadow — a bold, vibrant cornflower blue with a matte finish
- Urban Decay Peace Eyeshadow — reformulated, it was so soft, smooth, and intensely pigmented
- Dior Aventure (081) Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow — a gray and bronze-shimmered black-brown (it says something when I buy every single shade available in a formula, as I did with this one)
- MAC Tailor Grey Pro Longwear Paint Pot — a deliciously creamy, satin-matte taupe with subtle warm undertones
- Sephora My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) Eyeshadow — a cool-toned, bluish-purple with intense pigmentation (almost never happens!)
What eyeshadows captured your attention this past year?
Not everything released in the past year was impressive, and some products were downright disappointing! When I worked on compiling this list, I thought about cringe-worthy products; ones that I can’t wrap my head around at all. These are products that truly disappointed me with their performance and quality. Every single brand mentioned below has products I love but not every product can be a winner.
- Make Up For Ever Technicolor Eyeshadow Palette — a brand famous for intense pigmentation yet this palette was released with sheer, chalky, powdery color galore
- Estee Lauder Steel Pure Color Stay-on Shadow Paint — how Estee Lauder managed to bungle a cream eyeshadow formula when there are several cult favorites within the ELC family is beyond me–and Steel was so, so intriguing
- Illamasqua ESP Lipstick — talk about a cool color done so poorly–dry, drying, and patchy
- Chanel Mystere (43) Eyeshadow Quad — a sheer, powdery, dry mess of an eyeshadow palette
- Laura Mercier Longwear Creme Eye Pencil — a new eyeliner formula that I tested and the majority of the shades were so sheer and stiff to work with
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Irresistible Shameless Bold Blush — an extremely poor showing for such a highly anticipated brand (and one that does have high quality formulas, just not this one)
- MAC Pastelluxe Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palette — I have no idea how this made it past teesting at all, let alone why MAC made the entire formula permanent from the very beginning (why didn’t that happen with Megametals? Those were awesome!)
- Sugarpill ElektroCute Neon Pigments — as much as I love Sugarpill, I was beyond excited for these and highly anticipated the release but was sorely disappointed with their performance
- Chanel True Blue (57) Stylo Yeux — one of the more painful eyeliners I’ve had tried
- Benefit Fine One One — disappeared after three hours and was difficult to apply; made my lips shrivel up and cry it was so drying as a lip product
What were the most disappointing beauty products you tried this past year?
Choosing my top ten favorite palettes from the ones I tested and reviewed in 2013 was a lot more difficult than I anticipated! To give you an idea on how stiff the competition was, there were 128 reviews filed under “makeup palettes,” so you can see there were plenty to choose from! (And if you were curious, I have 1,261 posts filed under “reviews,” and the majority of those posts feature more than one shade, for the past year.) I considered which ones gave me warm, fuzzy feelings, that were high quality, and that I could really reach for over and over again. With those things in mind, here are my favorites…
- Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette — nicely pigmented, rosy-themed palette that I loved and will definitely be traveling with in the future
- Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes — it’s no surprise that this was a favorite, given how difficult it was to track it down, but I loved the plummy vibe and mixture of mattes and satins
- Sleek Makeup Sunset i-Divine Palette — this palette was incredibly pigmented; not only is it incredibly affordable, it was fantastic in quality
- Dior Bonne Etoile Eyeshadow Palette — a gorgeous palette featuring five shimmering, earthy shades–wish Dior made this their regular formula
- Too Faced Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette — it’s no surprise that this makes the list as it was bright, colorful, intensely pigmented, and a cinch to use
- Le Metier de Beaute Femme Fatale — an interesting color combination and filled with more unique shades than not–if only LMdB was more accessible and wasn’t so limited
- bareMinerals The Wild Thing Eyeshadow Quad — mint, chartreuse, and blue? shades that speak to my heart, so thank goodness they were of quality!
- Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Eyeshadow Palette — a cool-toned, four-pan palette that’s nearly irresistible
- LORAC Pro Palette — it’s a great option for someone who likes warm-toned eyeshadows and can’t decide between matte and frost
- Guerlain Coup de Foudre Eyeshadow Quad — I loved the unusual color combination
What were your favorite palettes that you tried this past year?
Glittering golds… a go-to for New Year’s Eve, at the very least, but surely just as lovely throughout the winter–if only to brighten up some of those chilly days!
- Lit Cosmetics Rich & Famous — a holographic, glittering gold
- Zoya Kerry — bright, true yellow gold with glitter and sparkle
- Bobbi Brown Canary — a sparkling gold glitter gloss to be worn alone or layered
- Revlon Gold Coin — an almost-cool-toned metallic gold (or for a high-end, Illamasqua Swinger)
- Sugarpill Goldilux — a brightened, metallic, true yellow gold
What are your favorite glittery, sparkly, or metallic gold-hued shades?
As promised, here are my top picks for palettes to snag during the holidays! Also… as I review other palettes from the holidays (I don’t think I have too many more!) and find other great choices, I’ll be sure to add them here.
- Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Set ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.) consists of two “books” of makeup–each has six eyeshadows and two blush/cheek colors. The quality was good across the board, and there was a nice variety of colors and textures. You can read part one and part two of my reviews on it.
- Kat Von D Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) contains twenty-four (24!!!) eyeshadows, and they’re even designed to be layered and used together, so you can have an endless amount of combinations and textures! You can read part one and part two.
- theBalm Balm Voyage ($42.50 for 1.21 oz.) has sixteen eyeshadows and three lip/cheek colors, but the eyeshadows are the stars. This is a great choice for someone who prefers more matte/satin finishes. Check out part one and part two for reviews on this palette.
- Urban Decay Vice 2 ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) has twenty eyeshadows to choose from with a variety in texture and color to choose from. If you love pigmented, buttery, soft eyeshadows–this one’s for you. You can read part one and part two of my reviews.
- Sugarpill Cold Chemistry ($34.00 for 0.48 oz.) is a wintry mix of cool-toned gray, white, purple, and teal for someone who loves bold, rich colors and a lot of them. Not limited edition but a perfectly-timed release for the holiday season. Read my review here.
- LORAC Pro Palette ($42.00 for 0.55 oz.) is a cult-favorite palette for a reason–it combines mattes with high frosts. There are eight matte shades and then eight more frosted shades, and you can mix and match them for satin and pearl finishes, too! Permanent and available year-round, there’s no hurry to snag one, but with holiday deals and sales, now’s a great time to try it. Read my review here.
- Too Faced Pretty Rebel ($46.00 for 0.50 oz.) contains ten eyeshadows, which might not be as sexy as a mega palette, but these are ten fantastic eyeshadows. If you love jewel-tones, bold and bright shades, and your frost finishes, this is a palette worth considering. Read my review here.
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) is for those who love a beautiful, glowing complexion and flawless canvas. Ambient Lighting Powders are amazing on their own but getting three for a little more than the price of one? Great opportunity to try more shades or add them to your routine. Read my review here.
- Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99 for 0.36 oz.) is my more budget-friendly pick for a fall/winter palette with great quality–nicely pigmented shades in hues of gold, berry, and purple. Read my review here.
What palettes would you recommend to others for the holidays?
I shared my favorite oranges yesterday for Halloween, so of course, the other side of the coin is rich, inky blacks! Here are some of my favorites:
- Illamasqua Creator — a deep, dark black with silver flecks and sparkle with a glossy, high-shine finish
- Chanel Mirifique — a sparkling, creamy, deep dark black
- Urban Decay Perversion — a cult favorite; deep, dark, inky matte black for the lash line
- Milani Pitch Black — a deep, dark black eyeshadow with a matte finish for under $10
- Sugarpill Stella — a deep, dark black loose eyeshadow with teal, violet, pink, and emerald green micro-shimmer
What are your favorite black-hued beauty products?