Monday, December 31st, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Makeup Palettes

There were actually a lot of fantastic palettes released this year! I already pulled up twenty that to consider for the top ten, and I had only reached August (I go backwards).  So here are my picks–and I tried to include a variety of brands that were all excellent, but full disclosure: could have easily included more bareMinerals, Guerlain, and another Tom Ford (Enchanted).

What was your favorite makeup palette from 2012?

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42 thoughts on “Top 10 of 2012: Makeup Palettes

  1. Stacey

    Although I bought Tom Ford Emerald Lust, it is the Enchanted one that was sold out quickly. Chanel and EL had their palettes versions which looked like the Enchanted.

  2. Tiffany

    i’ve never used Tom Ford’s Emerald Lust but from your review it looks similar to Maybelline’s Eyestudio Silk Eyeshadow quad in sapphire siren! Too bad I somehow cant find sapphire siren in taiwan where i live anymore ):

    • Stacey

      I bought Sapphire Siren eons ago like years ago. Kept it in my drawer so I never would buy another Maybelline eye product/shadow again. The Emerald Lust (almost spelled Lush) doesnt have black or white colors in it…it is one blue and three frosty greens…and is has 10x more the pigmentation than Maybelline.

  3. Miss J

    LORAC PRO Palette!! This is seriously a fantastic palette, but it’s just not getting as much recognition as it deserves. I was so impressed when I swatched this palette; there are no duds. Every shadow had excellent payoff/pigmentation…I barely had to touch them. They are super soft and easy to blend. I LOVE the variety and versatility. I am just so in love with this palette.

    I’m waiting for the UD palette to arrive. All my original criticisms still stand, but I’m hoping it will prove itself to be useful, and I’m hoping I’ll end up loving it.

    • xamyx

      I don’t think LORAC, as a brand, gets nearly enough recognition, but that could be due to distribution factors (even one of the largest Sephora stores in the Los Angeles area doesn’t carry the brand). I’m trying *so* hard to resist it, but I think I’m going to cave next trip to the mall, LOL.

      By the way, which UD palette are you waiting on?

      • Miss J

        I don’t think you will be disappointed with the palette if you do get it.

        I’m waiting on Naked Basics. I really wasn’t feeling the love for it when Christine posted her review. If I look at it solely as a basics palette then I feel much less critical, but when I start looking at it as a companion palette to N1/N2 or as a matte palette that’s where I start feeling a bit disappointed. I decided to get it because I wanted to test it out, do some comparisons, and try using it and loving it for what it is rather than hating it for what I wanted it to be, but that it’s not.

        • xamyx

          I was the opposite with Naked Basics. As a stand-alone palette, I figured I have so many matte neutrals from MAC & NARS that I can pretty much dupe from both brands, but then I gave in an bought it as a companion to N1/N2. Also, I initially bought N1 as a companion to Black, but they just didn’t play well together; however, having pale mattes is helping me put more combos together that are suitable for daytime. Overall, it’s a great palette, and even if you end up really loving half the shadows, at $27 I think it’s worth it.

          I’ve read different reviews on LORAC Pro, and 1/2 say the black is a bit less pigmented once applied to the eye. Are you having any issues with the black? That’s the one shade I really want from the palette that I don’t have something similar from LORAC. I’ve swatched it, and it swatches well, but I haven’t tried it on my eyes.

          • Miss J

            I don’t have any problems with any of the shades. I’ve used every shade on the eyes at this point. I’ve had the palette since the beginning of December, and it’s definitely seen a lot of action, LOL. The black itself is a softer black; it’s not a slap you in the face, blackest-black kind of black. The thing about these shadows is that they are so soft that the moment you start sweeping instead of patting they start to blend, which can sheer a color out. If you pat the black on, it’s a pigmented, yet soft black. If you sweep it on, especially with a brush that’s got some fluff to it, it can look more like a dark charcoal grey/black. It’s really all about the application method and tools, but it definitely doesn’t lack pigmentation.

  4. kdrake31

    This year I absolutely fell in love with the Lorac Unzipped Palette! The shadows are soooo buttery.

  5. Mariella

    I totally have to agree with you on Bare Minerals The Star Treatment and Tarina Tarantino’s Emerald Pretty palettes. I would also add Too Faced’s Comfort Zone palette, which only became available in Canada this year.

  6. Nicole

    I only bought 3 paletts but none of them was good enough to be a top palette.

    The Armani Eyes to kill has a bad color payoff and is really glittery. We don’t have to talk about the MAC quad quality (I just used it about 5 times). The Bobbi Neon to Nude is nice, but too warm for my skintone.

  7. Cami

    I finally decided to just go ahead and buy the Star Treatment palette a couple weeks ago. I’ve never been much of a fan of bareMinerals but your review had me very intrigued, especially with Connoisseur, that color is just so different. Well, I’m so glad I decided to buy it because it is seriously the best purchase I made in all of 2012!

  8. Yelena B

    I agree with a lot of these but I cant believe that the Cinderella palette was chosen instead of the LORAC PRO palette. I thought that was fantastic and a lot more people were excited about it for sure. I feel it can be a new staple for shadows while the others are limited editions. =/ I think they are all fantastic choices, but do wish the LORAC PRO palette was included.

    • Hi Yelena,

      It wasn’t included for a very simple reason: I haven’t tried it. I decided not to purchase it, because I already have (and still have) too many holiday palettes/products to review and knew I wouldn’t have time to review it!

  9. Laura H

    I wish you had tried the Laura Mercier Artist Palette, because it would definitely be on this list. Try it out, it’s so good !

  10. Anne

    Any word on when the Tarina Tarantino line will launch on the website? Dying to get my hands on some of her products.

  11. xamyx

    Urban Decay Vice, Smoked, & Naked Basics, all for different reasons.

    Naked Basics is the *perfect* companion for either or both Naked palettes, and even on its own. It also plays nicely with Smoked & The Black Palette.

    Smoked gives the option of both soft, neutral looks, or dark, dramatic looks.

    Vice is a great value for anyone. Those who may be new to makeup or UD will find a nice variety of shades. Those who have alot of neutrals, but who may want to try some color will find this palette useful; also, those who have alot of color but may want/need some neutrals will also find this palette useful.

    All three are of quality, but overall, if I could have bought only one this this year, it would be Vice. It has the same qualities as the other two, and at the pricepoint, it was the best value. Besides, it’s the only one of thew three that was LE, LOL, and I could have waited on the other two.

  12. Dominique

    Chanel ” Harmonie du Soir ” is very pretty, easy to wear and build up. The texture is so smooth and subtle. I love my UD Vice Palette, chaos eyeshadow is amazing and the others too. I also love my YSL Nuit Arctique palette one of the most beautiful ever, and my Kiko palettes ( budget ) which are amazingly good, pigmented and subtle ( quality very close to high end in my opinion, if not high end ).

  13. Sarah Grace

    I love the quality and the intensity of Emerald Pretty, but other than Dandy Lion on the lid with Very Wicked in the crease, I haven’t really figured out how to use the shades together. The most I’ve used Ozma is along the lower lashline with neutrals up top. How does everyone else put looks together with this palette?

  14. Court

    The Chanel Harmonie du Soir palette is SO good. The colors are gorgeous and the formula is magical. It was definitely expensive, but so worth it. I just got the Raffinement quad too, which I had not planned on buying but when I tested the it in store the formula was just too amazing.

  15. AuntSat

    I hate I missed Turandot, but that’s a few $$ I saved, at least… *le sigh*

  16. Laura

    I didn’t buy many palettes this year, but I liked EL Violet Underground, UD Vice and Sephora Cinderella.

  17. TLC

    I am in Canada, and just purchased on the Shopping Channel the UD Vice palette. Today they are offering it at the US price. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I may pick up the Cinderella palette later this month as the softer looking colours really are appealing for more work and daytime looks.

  18. ms

    i hope you eventually review the lorac pro palette.
    i m seriously lemming that thing and the only thing holding me back is that you haven’t reviewed it yet.

    i don’t buy eyeshadow as much anymore, my fav palette for this yr would have to be the bare minerals palette, i don’t know if i bought any other eye palette this yr.

  19. Tamara B

    I am all about palettes! You save so much money, and you always have an arsenal at your finger tips in terms of colors and finishes. I bought two of the Tarina jewel palettes and lets just say, best palettes for me! Love the white eyeshadow the most.

  20. I love articles or posts showing different favorites for the months and at the end of every year. It narrows down your best options and also brings in new ones as well I absolutely love this post!!!

  21. Courtney K

    I really loved the Too Faced Return of Sexy eyeshadow palette. It’s like getting 3 palettes in 1 and everything is coordinated, and it even comes with instructions for night and day looks!

  22. Cat

    Guerlain Turandot is so beautiful, I neeeeed it.

    And The Star Treatment continues to amaze me, once I tried it, I fell in love. I love how I’m able to create so many stunning looks with it and how high quality the eyeshadows are.

  23. saniya

    UD naked basic palet

  24. The Chanel & Estee Lauder are my favourites! I definitely see myself hitting pan on a few of those eye-shadows.

  25. CC

    I’m not an eye shadow person, but the best palette I got this year was the Wet & Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning Limited Edition palette! I almost went nuts trying to look for it and when I finally got it in my precious hands I went to heaven! 😀

  26. This is such a fun category, I love seeing your top picks here, Christine! I think the best palette I got was Sleek Au Naturale, but I can’t remember for sure if I got that in 2011 or 2012!

  27. the pic of the Estee Lauder palette is so luscious! LOVE.

  28. Leticia

    My favorite was Guerlain’s Turandot Palette! It was my first Guerlain makeup product and it´s been a lot of fun to wear. I´m very happy with it because it was worth the price in terms of quality, amount and use I am getting from it.

  29. I definitely agree that Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty, UD Naked Basics and bareMinerals the Star Treatment were amazing palettes for the year!

  30. AlexisV.

    UD Smoked Palette is my fav. Did it come out this past year?

  31. J

    They need to make a naked 3!!!