Makeup Palettes | 2014 Editor’s Favorites

Competition was stiff! I reviewed around 150 quads, palettes, and duos this year (there are actually 227 posts filed under “makeup palettes,” but this category also includes multi-products sets, like an eyeliner set), and I can attest that the year was plentiful when it came to warm, neutral-themed palettes to choose from. As much as I enjoy warmer neutrals myself, I hope to see something different trend this upcoming year. When I think about favorites, they’re products that impressed me when I reviewed them, and when I revisit the post or palette, I fall in love with it all over again. They’re not just highly rated; they’re products that I really, really loved personally.  Here are my top ten from the year:

  • Make Up For Ever 30th Anniversary — one of my favorite products that released this year, the Artist Shadow formula is impressive, and I loved the diversity of shades and finishes included in the set (plus, value was strong!) (runner-up: Artist Palette!)
  • Tom Ford Nude Dip — a stunning combo of neutrals with a shimmery finish that I like to travel with
  • Chanel Tisse Rivoli (226) — a set of warm-toned neutrals with satin to frost finishes that blended beautifully on the skin
  • LORAC Unzipped — this was new-to-me this year, and if you’re a big fan of warm, rosy neutrals, it’s well-worth considering
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty The Siren (210) — a more muted, “wearable” version on a bright eyeshadow palette that had fantastic color payoff and blendability
  • NARSissist Dual-Intensity — though slated for January 2015 release, I covered it earlier this month, and it was impressive with a good selection of shades, color payoff, and packed with value
  • Burberry Gold No. 25 — full of khaki beiges and golds that were so soft and finely-milled they nearly blended themselves
  • Urban Decay Pulp Fiction — Urban Decay’s matte formula has never been so good as it is in this palette–I wish every matte they put out from now on had the textures of these
  • LORAC Pro 2 — it shines as a palette that understands the importance of having more variety in undertones and finishes
  • bareMinerals The Magic Act — one of the few eye and cheek palettes that is actually good across both categories! It’s incredibly slim and travel-friendly, while the colors work well together and are highly pigmented

What were your favorite makeup palettes from 2014?

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I don’t have any of these as I tend to reach for my custom MAC palette but I’m definitely grabbing the NARSissist Dual Intensity when it releases 🙂 Happy New Year Christine!

I’m NC40-42 and my favorites are Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, Star Violet, Soft Brown (crease), Rice Paper (highlight), Handwritten (deep crease and lower lash)…and Mystery to do my brows 😉

Nice selection! I think the Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs are my favourites from this list. Though I think the Burberry Gold would probably get the most use for me, might have to check it out.

As I have said in an earlier post, my favorite palette was Urban Decay’s Pulp Fiction palette. It was also my favorite collection this year as well. I have to agree with you Christine, it has to be the nicest neutral matte palette I have ever had the pleasure of owning, and it is getting lots of love from me. I have had some bad experiences with other matte shadows, fading to nothing, wearing off even with primer, the texture being so powdery that it’s difficult to apply much less blend, but Urban Decay has got the formula down on this palette. I gravitate toward neutral eye shadows now, I am 51 and I just can’t pull off the wild colors of my youth,(i.e. Urban Decay’s Potholes in Eden’s Expressway, Plague, Flori Roberts Magenta, Emerald Green eye shadows, and Ultima II Cobalt Blue and Teal Eye Kohls and Kohl bases.) Those were in my hey days of seedy punk clubs and I was working at a pretty upscale fashion forward salon. My face was my canvas, and Andy Warhol was my inspiration. I was totally into bright pops of color. Now, even though I love the purples, and even wore blue and green lipsticks then, I just can’t pull them off. I do however, wear lots of colored eyeliners, I do wear purple and green to give me a nice contrast to my neutral eye shadows. they also make my green eyes pop. I don’t wear blue lipstick anymore other than the cool old blue duochrome and matching nail enamel for Halloween I bought years ago, and I always wear my signature red lipstick or gloss. Urban Decay’s Gash has been my go to red lip since it’s inception, and now Mrs. Mia Wallace is another frequently worn red, but I don’t want to look like Norma Desmond. The purples and brights of my youth just look rough on me now, like I have a black eye. I can’t bring myself to get rid of the backups I have of Eden’s Expressway, Plague, and Bruise, but the only time I use them is when I do makeup application for my young cousins and my friend’s young daughters for prom or school pictures. When I pull those colors out, they make me smile, and the young girls I use them on now can pull it off, and they love the richness of the colors and the way their eyes pop in the pictures I see afterwards compel me to keep all those crazy colors that were once my signature look. I don’t want to look like one of those women who paint their face so much to try to recapture my youth, but I do prefer a polished, natural look now. I do look younger than my years, but I will never pass for 20 again!

Hey Elizabeth!

Happy to hear that you’ve still found ways to incorporate some of your favorite colors into your routine (like eyeliner) that still work for you! It is also so nice of you to do makeup on others and share the wealth/knowledge! I really hope UD will keep using the formula they used in Pulp Fiction!

Happy new year!

I can say I got at least Lorac Pro 2 here and really wanted Nude Dip but I couldnt get one before they were sold out in here. But Tisse Rivoli seems quite close and I guess I’ll be checking that out pretty soon. Like, next week maybe.

My fave palettes of the past year? Naked2Basics and. Also (despite some less than great aspects) Too Faced Everything Nice. Oh, and I can’t forget the first Chocolate Bar palette!

Happy New Year, and thank you for another great year of reviews and swatches. 🙂

My favourite palettes of the year were:
MAC Brooke Shields Gravitas (fabulous everyday palette and good value)
UD Electric (I use most of the shades as liner or sheer them way out, but this is the pop of colour in my stash)
KVD Monarch (love the pigmentation and quite a few of the shades are unique in my collection)

She loves it! She was oohing and ahhing over it in Sephora when it first came out so when it went on sale I scooped it up as an extra something for Christmas. A plus is that I can borrow it anytime, since she’s always reaching for my Naked palette.

Thanks for this! I actually just ordered the Pulp Fiction palette, which when it came out didn’t appeal to me, but now I’m thinking Must Have, and it’s only $16 at beauty.com. Then I clicked through the other links and realized I’ve really gotta check out the Bare Minerals Ready formula.

Happy new year Christine!!! I think I am going to close this year ordering the siren I do not have that kind of colors in my collection and the palette looks fun, thanks for all 2014 reviews !

I have to say, Lorac has some of the best pigmentation out there!! Do you find the Chanel palette worth it’s price?

Random palette related question: I just got the Naked2 palette (kept passing it up for LE palettes!), and I’m pretty underwhelmed by the pigmentation. Is that the way it is or do I need to rough up each color a bit to get past the first layer?

I didn’t have any issues with the Naked2 palette (I’m presuming the original, not Basics) that I can recall! There might have been one or two shades that were less-than-perfectly-pigmented, but I really loved all three Nakeds! It is possible that something has changed over time (mine is from when it was first released) – not sure either way. I might see if you can exchange for another one.

Some Chanel palettes are worth the price, and ultimately, I think if it’s a go-to quad for you, they can be absolutely worth it. If you’re not in love with all the shades, though, I’d pass!

I really love when under your eye looks from shadow palettes you post what colors you used and where you placed the colors because I always love your eyeshadow looks and being a beginner to makeup it really helps me with my shadow placement. Happy New Year!!

I agree: Burberry Gold, Chanel Tisse Rivoli (probably THE best), Tom ford Nude Dip…and since you say MAKEUP palettes I would include the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush palette here!!
I loved Laura Mercier’s the Artist’s eyeshadow palette for spring 2014, but using it always infuses me with sadness that there was no way to lay my hands on the 2013 palette…
Nars Narsissist is a great palette for travel, but at home I prefer my duos and singles.

TF Chocolate Bar, TF Cat Eye Palette, UD Pulp Fiction, UD Naked on the Run, UD Naked Basics & Naked2 Basics, UD Electric (not sure if that came out this year or last; I bought it this year), Stila Dare to Bare, Sleek Bad Girl (the best eye palette of theirs that I’ve tried; I don’t think there is a single dud), Tarte Tartelette, Tarte Pin-up blush palette, Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint, Sleek Precious Metals Highlighting Palette, MUFE Studio Case.

I got the BareMinerals Magic Act for Christmas, but I still need to try it. (I got a ton of makeup for Christmas, so I’m still playing with everything.)

I’m surprised The Magic Act is on this list. I just think it’s okay and while I like the selection, I have to work really hard to build up the pigmentation on the eyeshadows. It’s not up to quality with my other BareMinerals READY eyeshadows.

Oh..such a hard one. But, I do love the pulp fiction as well and I have the MUFE artist palette which I love. I tend to reach for my Urban Decay Naked..usually 3 a lot.I absolutely wil be getting that Nars palette. I have never had Burberry or Tom Ford shadows. So, if those are still around, may look at them. I am a fan of Chralotte Tilbury shadows too..I like “Dolce Vita” and “Rebel” the best, “rock Chic” gets a close runner up.I do not like quads though as they get lost in my drawers amongst larger palettes. I am really liking ColourPop as well. So, I have go to get on an organization method or something..it’s a mess.
I so regret not getting the MUFE 30 th annivesary palette..at the time, $250 unplanned was not doable for makeup. Any idea if it is available anywhere still? If not, do you think they will do another big palette with their new formula? I love it, but I stink at choosing colors online. I have been hem-hawing on making a z palette with that formula,MUG, and or Anastasia’s new singles. I know the latter 2 are cheaper. Any opinions on those formulas compared to MUFE? Id rather slowly build and have quality. My makeup drawers are so over packed now and half of it ,I just find myself not crazy about.
I know that is a loaded comment..no rush .I appreciate your comments Christine and anyone else’s as well.
Finding this site has helped me tremendously in making wise choices in my cosmetic purchases and I just stumbled upon you this year! Thank- you Christine! Have a wonderful New Year!

I am absolutely loving my Sleek palettes (Arabian Nights and Storm). It’s terrible how affordable and cheap to ship they are… very dangerous for my wallet…

i really loved the concept of Siren but since i knew i wouldn’t really use the copper and red colors, i couldn’t justify the purchase 🙁

My clear favorite was UD Naked Basics 2! Every single shade is perfect for my skin tone and the formula is amazing on my extremely oily lids.

My second favorite is Lorac Pro 2. I love the mix of shimmery and matte shades. Imo most palettes have too many shimmers and not enough mattes.

bareMinerals The Magic Act was great! The bareMinerals eyeshadow formula is one of my favorites!

By *far* the Urban Decay Full Frontal Stash was my favourite palette/set–though a lot of these that you’ve listed, particularly Lorac 2, were great, also! I fell deeply, deeeeeeply in love with the Revolution lip formula in 2014(and we’re still very happy together). <3

Also–Happy New Year to all!

Absolutely love the Nars eyeshadow palette and aim to get it this year.
I was surprised you didn’t include Charlotte Tilbury’s the Rebel as you gave it such a great rating. It is a fantastic product and I love it.
All the Marc Jacobs and MUFE products have been winners this year.

Make Up For Ever 30th Anniversary palettes is hands down the best launch fo teh year closely followed by NARSissist Dual-Intensity palette.. 🙂 🙂

I loved the new stilla palettes I have the “mind”great clours and texture easy to blend works well alone or with anything else singles or shimmery sgadows from othe palettes, also i loved my amrezy palette, my last favorite was a holiday palette from smashbox the on the rocks is packaged beautifully & it’s not to big or bulky or holiday looking but most importantly the shadows are the photo op formula & the palette is very versatile

Sleek MakeUP Eye & Cheek Palette (Dancing Till Dusk), perfect neutral tones in both shimmer and satin finishes and two very wearable blush shades! And so very affordable too ❤️

Hands down the radiance palette by It cosmetics from Ulta….It has a great bronzer, perfect blush and a color corectic highlight veil. Its my go to and work so well together,

I have agree with you about the Lorac Pro 2 Palette, my other favorite that I cheris Very dearly is Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, I’d buy over again once I’ve hit pan on each color.

I adore the Pulp Fiction quad! They are the absolute best quality shadows. You can use them for a neutral look, or a bold smoky look. It was to die for! I got it on a sale in a sale, so it was $12.80! Talk about an amazing deal!

I think Lorac makes some of the best palettes and shadows I’ve tried to date. They have never disappointed me but I haven’t use any other products besides the shadows. Their Expresso Brown shade is the BEST!

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