Monday, February 25th, 2013

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: Makeup Palettes

Share: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about makeup palettes! Do you buy them often or avoid them?

my answer: I love the inherent value of makeup palettes, but sometimes they can contain sub-par products rather than a bunch of stellar ones. You might be able to justify so-so quality because of the price, but I know that I won’t reach for it if it’s not great because I do have products that are great in my stash already.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

52 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Makeup Palettes

  1. Carrie

    Palettes can be a good way to start a collection, but as you fill out your collection and figure out your wants and needs, I think they become a lesser value because you will likely with have dupes for many or you’ll get stuck with product you know you won’t use.

  2. KEG

    I love the convenience of a palette because I travel to visit my family a lot. It’s great to have everything in one spot. I don’t like having an overlap in shades-I wont bother to buy it if I already have a couple of the same colors from that company. Overall, I think they are a great way to save money over individual purchases. The manufacturer just needs to keep the palette fresh and new! -No recycling of tired shades

  3. xamyx

    For the most part, I try to only buy palettes that are of quality all the way through, but I have picked up a few over the years that weren’t so stellar. The old Sephora blockbuster sets are an example, but I don’t regret any of them. While there may have been several shades that didn’t measure up, there were just as many (if not more) that were, and for the price, I felt there was a fair balance, and was worth what I paid. They’re also good for trying new colors & combos without having to play with my HE shadows, or invest in HE shadows I won’t wear much, if at all.

    Overall, I really do like palettes, but I wish that within brands there was more uniformity in packaging. I would also prefer palettes to be on the smaller side, and not include blush or lip products, as most of the time, the shades included just don’t work for me, and I’d rather tote around a small eye palette, and a separate blush & lip product instead of a bulky “complete” palette.

    Also, I buy eye palettes for the overall value of product, and I don’t care if I can get a complete “look” from one palette. I always keep a matte, neutral duo or quad & highlight shade on hand, so if a palette is all shimmer, I’m not going to complain, or condemn the product. I take each one for what it is, not what is lacking.

  4. The concept behind makeup palettes is a fantastic one! I’m obviously on the “rave” team lol!

    They are an undeniable bang for your buck. And like with anything, you have to pick and choose the best ones. Whether it’s with single eyeshadows, blushes, lip products, etc., there will be both duds and winners.

    Considering just the sheer value of makeup palettes, which can allow thrifty shoppers to buy high-end makeup at a drugstore price in terms of price/unit (i.e. $/oz), they’re one of the best ideas ever.

  5. Melanie

    I love palettes, especially when they are a good quality pallet and a good price doesn’t hurt either :) Great way to start out with a brand or enhance. Over the years I have a personal policy I follow and I have stuck to it. My personal policy is I must be able to use 75% of the pallet. I now have pallets with similar colors or dupes and no need to waste money on the “got to have it” factor.

    Downfall….pallets often contain gaudy colors, colors I would never use.

  6. Love them. I don’t like buying singles unless I can put them in a palette, lmao. They’re generally convenient enough that I don’t mind one or two dupes across brands – though several dupes or repeats pushes it a little…

    My MAJOR gripe is with palettes that seem to make no sense to the theme/title of them. I adore Sleek palettes because their colour choices generally fit with the title of the palette. I would rather the palette was named something bland and generic (Christmas Palette 2012, for example), than some cool theme sounding name that when you open the palette leaves you thinking “What do these colours have to do with that?”

    My other gripe – though this isn’t as bad – is palettes that make you combine it with other palettes, unless the name suggests that it’s all one finish/colour family/etc (“The Sparkle Palette”, for example). I admit to being lazy for the most part and just wanting a one-and-done palette, especially for travelling. Falling in love with a certain idea for a look when you’re about to go away and then realising you have to bring two palettes for it? Baaah.

    And packaging-wise? Overuse of space. There is no reason for 6 tiny circles to be in packaging the size of my make up bag! Jeez. As far as I’m concerned, palettes are there for easy travelling – too much packaging kills my love for a lot of palettes.

  7. Olivia

    Total Rave! My eyeshadow collection is pretty much entirely palettes from UD, Too Faced, and the balm. I’ve loved palettes since I was a little girl, there’s something so thrilling about looking at all the products together in one place XD Much more exciting than little individual pots that contain one eyeshadow each.

    It’s also much less easy to LOSE products when they are in palettes! If I had all 100+ of my eyeshadows in individual pots I’m sure I would have already lost quite a few! But as they are in 10-15 or so palettes I’m able to hold on to them with ease. It’s true that some palettes have lackluster products in them… which is why I am extremely picky and obsessively look up reviews of something before I decide to buy! None of my palettes have disappointed me or made me feel like I wasted my money, especially because I got a lot of them on sale or from Hautelook : )

    I don’t really like face or lip palettes, preferring to purchase those products individually.

    Overall, my palettes have allowed me to amass THOUSANDS of dollars worth of eyeshadow for very cheap. If I had paid full price for every shadow in my Naked 1 & 2 and 15th anniversary palettes for example…. that’s $702!! whew!!! Ain’t nobody got time for that ; )

  8. KaseyCannuck

    Rave: They are generally more value than buying individual shades and they give you the opportunity to try a variety of colors, some which you might never think to pick up individually.
    Rant: You may be paying for some colors that you wouldn’t be caught dead in, either because you flat out hate the color, or because no way will they work for you no matter how many different looks you try with them! Some colors are just not compatible with some skin tones.
    Rant: Some of the shades may be of a sub-par quality as Christine pointed out. These will be a waste of money, because they will never get used.

  9. Dawn Reed

    I love that palettes are more economical than individual products especially eye shadows. I am a big fan of variety….so I prefer having the smaller quantity of product usually given in palettes. I can have more colors and not feel guilty about never using up a large single color. Plus I sometimes end up finding an unusual color that I would never choose but ends up looking fantastic.

  10. Ana

    Rave! I love eye palettes more than individual eyeshadows actually, you save money and can travel with them.
    I bought individual MAC e/s in the past and they have been forgotten, I prefer to reach for my MAC Quads or my UD palettes.
    But I have to say I totally hate lip palettes!

  11. Sami

    I love a lot of palettes, but a lot of them are unnecessarily huge. The Vice Palette is flippin’ gorgeous, but it’s so hard to travel with because it fits in none of my makeup bags. I love the Glinda/Theodora palettes because they are a dream to travel with, and you can pop colors in and out between them (or other UD colors) so it’s super convenient.

  12. Dominique

    Rave team ! I love palettes because they are very often full of creativity and very useful or wearable. I am thinking of eyeshadows, I don’t like palettes that contain both eye and cheek products. On the whole I really think eyeshadows palettes are worth the splurge !

  13. I prefer putting together my own palettes and customizing them. That way you get the awesomeness of single products with the convenience of a palette :-)

  14. Jax

    On the rant team here, between the inevitable pans that will never be used and dodgy quality I tend to find them questionable in terms of value, at the larger they are the more waste there is. Even if they is some savings the frustration puts me off.
    I have bought some smaller pallets but generally I customise my own.

  15. GUSnail

    I don’t buy premade palettes. I like having depotted singles, and making palettes as I need them (if I’m travelling). I guess I’m a bit of a control freak, so I prefer to build my own palette, and not end up with subpar quality, or a bunch of colors that end up not working for me.

  16. Abbey W

    I generally love palettes, especially eyeshadow palettes. I love being able to try different colors, finishes, etc. from a brand without spending an inordinate amount of money. It’s easier to branch out–even if I only use that chartreuse color a couple of times, I get my money’s worth because I use the neutrals every day. I don’t usually like palettes that include face or lip products as much, though I love “value sets” that include deluxe sample sizes of those products with my palette as long as they are in their own packaging.

    I hate when palettes are huge with lots of extra packaging (BOS IV I’m looking at you).

  17. Mariella

    There’s lots I love: the value, the selection, the chance to try a colour or 2 that I might not purchase on my own, and if the palette is well-co-ordinated, that is great too – having a palette of 6 or 8 shadows that all work well together as well as with other products I have. If it’s a palette like the first Balmbini palette, with eye, face and lip products, then so much the better – what a great little palette that one is.

    What I don’t love: when the quality is really poor (I don’t care what the cost is; if the quality is poor – like many of MAC’s LE palettes lately – then it is no savings at all); impractical and downright stupid packaging and palettes that include colours or textures I HATE.

  18. Kristin

    For the most part I really like palettes because they are a great value. It also gives me a chance to try out new shades that I normally wouldn’t have bought.

    I few complaints- I HATE when a company releases palettes that contain the same colors over and over again. I find that a lot with UD palettes. Also, I hate when there are lip products that aren’t covered so you end up with eyeshadow or blush in the lip product. I have a Dior palette that has a little cover to go over lip products… I wish all palettes did that!

  19. Olivia

    I thought of something else: One thing I do hate about palettes is that they almost never work for all skin tones. I have medium tan skin and most eyeshadow palettes seem to be designed for fairer ladies. So I end up picking and choosing pretty hard so that I don’t end up with 4 shades of eyeshadow that all look like the same chalky “blah” on my lids. A good example is the Lorac Pro palette. A good 5 of those colors are entirely interchangeable for me. They would all show up the exact same. I only need one highlight color in a palette, not 6!

  20. Melody

    Any brand that lets you build your own pallette is worth, because every product you pick works for you not the general public.

  21. Dear makeup companies: pleeeeease stop packaging cream lipsticks and blushes with eyeshadows in the same palette. They get disgusting SO quickly!

    • I was just coming here to post the same thing! I hate when companies package “wet” products (lipstick/gloss, cream blush/eyeshadow) with “dry” products (eyeshadow, face powder, blush). It turns into a not-so-hot mess way too fast! I think some companies are trying to be better about it, having multi-tier palettes to keep them separate but I just don’t think it works at all unless you’re very precise and fussy.

  22. Michelle Teixeira

    I love eye shadow palettes by certain brands. I avoid face palettes because they aren’t made for my skin color and tend to lack variety. I love eye shadow palettes for the value, quantity and variety I get. But, I don’t just buy whichever one is around. I look for colors and textures from brands that I love.

  23. Haley

    I absolutely hate it if the packaging is too bulky (UD BOS NYC), but I love getting a great deal on eyeshadows! I end up depotting my palettes anyways.

  24. I personally am not a big fan of already made palettes. I think because 9 times out of 10 I dont like all of the colors so i’d rather not waster my money on something I can’t fully use. I would agree that they’re a good way to start your collection but i’ve noticed that the more experienced i’ve become with makeup, the more I stray away from them. The UD Naked Palette is probably the only palette that I use in its entirety.

  25. Xero

    I actually don’t really like palettes. I usually only wear one color on my lid, so it’s much easier to just grab a single and be done with it. The bigger the palette, the less the individual shades stand out to me and the more I tend to ignore it. The biggest palettes I’ve used on a regular basis are trios.

    I know they’re a much better value, but not sure if it’s worth it if I’ll just end up ignoring them. It’s not like I can palettes into singles, either!

  26. Erin

    I don’t care a whole lot for premade palettes, because I usually only use half the shades. The only premade palettes I have are Naked 1 and the Lorac Pro.

    However, I LOVE palettes that I can customize. Inglot is my favorite, and I also have several MAC palettes. I like being able to choose my own colors and move the shadows to a different pan for travel.

  27. Veronica

    Generally, I prefer them over singles. It’s not just about the value, but the convenience. I generally don’t have time to do my makeup at home (or can’t because I’m hitting the gym first), so grabbing a medium-sized palette and tossing it into my bag is easier than keeping track of small singles. Palettes are also geared toward a specific look or theme (neutral/brights/etc.), so I can put together a look without having to dig through individual shades.

    Price-wise…well, for the most part, the palettes I’ve bought have been fairly quality, so they were worth the money. Research is a necessary part of buying any higher end makeup, IMO, because even the most exclusive brands carry duds. I have a few palettes with shades that don’t get as much face-time as the others, but the extent of which I use specific shades in the palette usually makes up for it.

    Rants? Not many. Sometimes I get frustrated with brands releasing very beautiful, unique shades in LE palettes only and then never reissuing them as singles. Then once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

  28. Amy

    I hate that about palettes! It makes me feel cheated. I guess they need to recoup their money somehow.

  29. Kate

    I love palettes especially UD and Too Faced, but I will not buy a palette that has anything creamy with it if it has powder as well. There are a lot of great palettes out there that feature a blush or gloss and I just can’t do it.

  30. I tend to prefer eyeshadow palettes over singles – I like having complementing shades all in one place, though I do get a bit bogged down with sticking to those combinations, instead of mixing it up! I dislike singles generally, because they look bitsy in my drawer and it bothers me haha! I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought face palettes or lip palettes – lip palettes because I’ve almost never seen any, and face palettes because the shades are rarely right for me.

  31. stacey

    Not every palette is going to please everyone…there may be a shade or two that is a favorite for each person…I pick the palettes that fit my needs…not because it is popular….ie: I like the two Naked Palettes, but not the Naked Basics. I have these two Guerlain duo shadows that I bought 20+ years ago. One set is orange/olive green and the other is another funky set. Too outlandish to wear, but just had to buy it at that time.

  32. Laurel

    I love palettes. The only issue I have with them is that I would never make a look using more than one large palette. For example, I don’t use a lid color from Naked 1, a crease color from Naked 2, an outer v color from Too Faced Naked Eye, and a highlight from Too Faced Natural Eye. I really need to try to do that to utilize my palettes completely. There are so many combos I could create! I sometimes wish all palettes were removable so I could put them all in a z palette but be able to put them back in the original packaging in case I regret taking them out. I definitely get depotter’s remorse with palettes

    • xamyx

      I’ve actually found the Too Faced palettes easy to depot, and I’ve actually got all of mine in one palette. It makes creating looks much easier, and I actually use them more. The main reason I didn’t use them too often was although there were several shades in all the palettes I really liked, I found myself wanting to grab another shade from another, and because of the bulkiness, it was a PITA. I’m actually considering the same for my UD Nakeds & 15th Anniversary palettes.

  33. Jessica K

    I love pallets! I buy my makeup on a budget and pallets are a great bargain. A twelve shadow pallet for $50 makes each shadow only $4.17 each. Considering that most high end shadows are $15-25 each paying near drugstore prices for high end makeup makes sense to me. The only pallets I don’t like are when they put cream products in with powder products. Sadly it’s impossible (for me at least) to completely keep powder out of the creams and everything gets all icky.

  34. Likes- palettes for convince and variety. Sometime when I am on run its difficult for me to locate colors and them have patience to clean up the mess that I have created with 20 things lying on table. Palettes are travel friendly and easy to store and use. And they are much affordable. Quantity is not that much. I mean if a product will expire in 3 years, then whats a point of going for a full product when I know I won’t be able to finish even 1/4th of it.
    Dislike- Quality is not such great, brush and applicators are not that good and at times it create confusion when you have so much choices in front of you.

  35. Zainab

    It’s a rave for me with eyeshadow palettes, provided the quality is generally good across the palette. I have almost all of my eyeshadows in palettes (mostly pre made ones), and it’s good because it’s saved me a fortune, let me try a range of shades from brands that are unavailable or expensive here, and it’s made me try colours and combinations I probably wouldn’t have tried as singles. (All my Mac shades are singles because it seems more ‘worth it’ to spend a lot on one unique or bright colour, so almost all my neutrals have been bought in palettes, I’d have ignored them as singles). Also it’s much easier to throw a palette in my bag then five singles. It’s also saved me a ton of space, if all my eyeshadows were singles they’d take up several times the room they currently do, and I’d be much poorer. Plus, lots of palettes come in cardboard which will biodegrade when I throw it out, the plastic packaging never will.

    My rants are: huge or badly designed packaging- I rehoused my BOS IV because it was a pain in its book sized box, and I gave away a Too Faced palette because I hated the packaging (and the colour selection in the end too). I wish all my palettes were packaged like the UD Smoked palette. I’m not a fan of face palettes because of what everyone else has said- cream products that get funky, blushes that are not designed for my particular skin tone and horrible bronzers…

  36. Zainab

    I’ll jump in with one big rant: lip palettes! I had a couple of these as a teenager and they grossed me out then, the dinky little brush never worked and left goo all over the palette, the colours got contaminated because you’ve only got one brush, so you either had to use your fingers (eww) or wash that little brush constantly, and it just seems so much easier to carry one lipstick around rather than a larger palette. I can’t think of a single positive to lip palettes.

  37. Lark

    I will be the one to confess, I will buy paletes just because they’re beautiful!

    Now I buy art and collect art vinyl so I see this as the same thing. I use most of them. But the Tarina Tarantino Starchild Palette, I just take it out of its fancy box and pouch and look at it. Never been swatched, the case is just gorgeous, It came with an artists statement and backstory, a holdover from studio artist days when Taratino was rising fast.
    Wish there more things made like this.

    In general I like palettes. Id like some like UD Nakeds in color- great useable pan shape and storable size.

  38. Anette Højland

    Typically there is that ONE single colour i simply must have – the rest hmmmm… And you can never find that single colour in the single pans. It is as if they trick me to buy….. And the other colours are waste for me…. I feel so stupid when i do that!!!

  39. Rave- sort of.. A lot of my clients are just starting out building their ‘big girl’ makeup collection, and with the advent of the Urban Decay Naked and Naked Basics pallets, they can have every shade they need and more for a really great price. Also, a pallet is a more affordable way to try colors that you may typically shy away from, because you’re not sure how to use them.

    That being said, I wish some of these pallets had refills available for the really basic colors that you will undoubtedly go through first.

    Also, I am not a fan of the way Benefit is moving, switching almost all of their makeup to ‘kits’. Now I can’t just go buy their cream shadow in “Skinny Jeans”, and I am out, and unhappy about it!

  40. Lip Pallets- HUGE rave! I love the convenience of the new mac lip pallets where you can carry 6 lipsticks in one tiny compact. You can take your look from day to night in a flash, as well as mix them together for your own unique lip!

    I also love the cargo gloss quads!

  41. Quinctia

    What I love about palettes: Can get very good amount of product for your money, easier to deal with than individual pans (especially with eyeshadow), can be a way to get exclusive colors.

    What I don’t love about palettes: Palettes with mixes of products don’t work for me…keep the eye stuff together, cheek stuff together, lip stuff together, don’t mike them all up in a hodgepodge. I also dislike lines that make series of smaller palettes (think 4-8 pan eyeshadow sets) where every single one comes with the same color, often happens when they all have a black. I don’t care if you’re Guerlain or freaking Wet n Wild, put a black in everything and I’m less likely to buy multiples. When palettes get HUGE in size, it can be annoying. Also when they waste space on applicators–even Urban Decay has got me on this one, I’m not a huge fan of the brush in the Vice palette.

  42. Tuva

    I love palettes, but I prefer palettes with one product only (ex: just eyeshadows), not an all-over-face palette, especially not if there’s creme/lip products and eyeshadows mixed.

  43. Peggy

    I LOVE palettes and have a real weakness for them. I love the convenience of having a whole face palette that will let me mix and match eye shadows and blush. I think Laura Mercier has wonderful palettes like her color wardrobe that gives you six or seven eye shadows and three blushes and a highlighter or bronzer and lip glace. These are quality but a bit expensive but they last forever and are so convenient to travel with. I have a whole collection of Too Faced Quickie Chronicles that I adore (wish they still made them!). I like whole face palettes or just eye shadow or lip palettes seperately and find that you can really get a bang for your buck!

  44. dianaD

    Never ever buy palettes, why buy when you know you won’t use but rarely and because you feel you have to,a good 50% of the product. I get all singles, Burberry mostly, costs more but have exactly what I want, don’t waste space,etc.

  45. I love them if they are made with the same quality that the brands single shadows are made with. They offer great value and are a great way for new customers to get a feel for a brand. If a brand short changes their customers by offering subpar products in palette form I feel like it is a negative move…and in some ways costly. If it’s a customers intro in to the brand they may be turned off and not buy anything else from the brand…even if their other products are amazing.

  46. Jess Newcomb

    I tend to like palettes. I only recently started wearing makeup so I really like the value, amount of product and variety you get with palettes. It’s great for a beginner like me to grow their makeup collection. And what most people seem to forget is that you can recycle those palettes. As long as the packaging is in good shape and works well there’s no reason to throw it away. Just take out the pan and remove all the old product and it’s ready to be used again. Now you can repot or press whatever you want into it. There are plenty of online tutorials to show you how. If you love the palette but 3 out of the 10 shadows don’t work for you just dump them and put something else in their place. Just because you bought it that way doesn’t mean you can’t customize it, even if it is a so-called high end brand.

    My biggest peeve with palettes is the oversized packaging. And it seems like the more expensive a product is the more wasted space there is. When it comes to practical packaging drugstore brands beat high end by a mile. If you compare a Wet N Wild 6-pan with one by Urban Decay it’s nearly half the size! I recently got UD’s Vice palette (finally!) and was shocked by how large and hefty it is. The shadows are spaced so far apart and it’s so thick. We all know those shadow pans are not that frickin’ deep. I guess they want us to feel like the high price tag is justified by it’s size but I’d much rather be able to fit it in my makeup bag.

    Personally I think there’s no such thing as a color you can’t wear. I love looking up tutorials and looks for the odd colors in my palettes. It’s fun to experiment and sometimes I end up really loving a look with an unusual color that I never thought I’d get any use out of. But I do think it’s important to research before you buy. Check out swatches and reviews on sites like this and make sure it’s quality and something you’ll actually use before you hand over your money.

  47. Courtney K

    I love the ones where they are coordinated eye shadows. I’m terrible at figuring out what to wear with what, so when a palette does it for me, that makes me happy. My favorites are the Too Faced palettes that actually give me instructions on what to do with what color and where.

  48. Mitzi

    I love make up and stuff and sometimes it can be really pricey…So I often buy palettes because it’s cheaper. and it’s a good way to start my collection. It last very long. It’s also easy for me when I travel.