Are there any deal-breakers when you're considering a pre-made eyeshadow palette?

I don’t love mega-sized palettes on the whole; I prefer 20 or less shades, generally, but it would be a bar–like I’d just be pickier about purchasing something of a greater scale. I don’t care if a palette is cohesive to be used alone so long as the color story makes some sense–I want to be able to see color combinations to wear jump out at me. If I can’t figure out how I’d use the colors together, then I’d be less inclined to buy it. And obviously, poor quality palettes need not apply.

— Christine
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Agree, if it’s too large and bulky, it’s a turn off. I prefer 20 or less shades.

Otherwise, if it has too many purples, it’s a deal breaker. I can handle mauve or a burgundy but I’m not a fan of purple. I’m considering the new Natasha Denona palette but the purples are holding me back!!

I’m going to chime in on this question even though I like singles now. I cannot for the life of me understand why companies include both cool and warm colors in the same palette. I know some of you can wear almost anything (neutral skin tone and brown eyes), but when did that become the norm? I guess I’ve been around makeup long enough, and know what suits me and what doesn’t, so that I’m not tooting my own horn when I say that I can tell when a pre-made palette is ‘thrown’ together (aka not curated well or thought out as to who can wear it where, and when). And, I think the days of just churning out products at high prices to rabid consumers is over. Enjoy your current celebrity, PMG, it won’t last forever, especially given your notoriously bad marketing ploys. I’ve never seen so many palettes on sale that are just not selling as well as anticipated. The consumer is getting smarter. They want good quality and are willing to pay for it as their budget permits. Back in the day, there were no sales (well, dang few anyway). Cosmetics were sold at full price!!! Now it’s points for this, and 20% off that and use your points in a raffle for a grand price (Sephora, please, that’s a joke). It’s all buy, buy, buy, and buy some more! Back to pre-made palettes. Bottom line: Design, develop and produce a great product. Not everything is for everybody. So think about what you’re doing and who can wear it, when and how!!! (I would never wear an outfit of clashing warm and cool shades. Why would I do this on my eyes?) Where has common sense gone?

It’s more modern to wear a combo of both like it’s modern to mix gold and silver jewelry. I know some cannot wear both but I can and I prefer to have a mix. I don’t think companies are lazy or just throwing shades together. The beauty industry is a multi billion industry and there is too much money at stake for that. Just saying it’s a very lazy attitude to think it’s just thrown together. Companies cater to what’s popular or the current demands of the consumer BUT they ALWAYS have! I agree people want quality and the current fast fashion of makeup isn’t sustainable but it seems to me but that’s another issue. Just bc you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it clashes or is bad or that everyone feels the same as you. I’ve been wearing makeup for over 20 years too and things have changed. That’s ok. I don’t wear makeup like I did in my 20s. Does it mean I try every trend? No, but it’s not a bad thing to think of makeup in new ways either. I used to slap on a shimmery shade on the eyelid, some eyeliner and mascara. I had no idea about a matte shadows in the crease etc

I find this even more annoyingly strange with cheek/blush palettes. I can wear pinks and plums but orange, apricot, coral, etc. don’t work with my skin tone at all – they just look unnatural. But almost every cheek palette combines both ends of the cool/warm spectrum.

Now days, it’s acceptable to wear whatever colors one wants, regardless of whether they’re “flattering,” or “follow the rules,” or if other people like them. I applaud this evolution that makes wearing makeup more fun and individualized. It was way overdue, in my opinion.

As someone who’s worn makeup for 30+ years, and knows some people who have worked in the industry, I believe most brands carefully consider what shades they include. Just because one color is warm and one is cool doesn’t automatically mean they clash. For example, I like chartreuse with blue-based purples, and warm browns with cool greens. Using complementary colors (colors on opposite side of the color wheel) is a great way to add an interesting pop of color to a look.

I think the surplus of palettes on sale are due to market over-saturation, and a symptom of companies fighting for our dollars. You’re right: Consumers are getting smarter. Fortunately, we can vote with our dollars, and ignore what we don’t like. Too many companies are putting out sub-par, cheaper formulations, which is the more annoying trend to me.

I totally agree about the Red/Orange palettes, especially because they’re everywhere now. I don’t know too many people that look good in red eyeshadows, even if they think they do 🙂

At this point, I tend to be very brand aware since I have preferred formulas. So I will dismiss even well reviewed palettes purely out the desire to work with formulas I trust and know will work well for me.

1. When I know I won’t use more than half the shades. Sometimes I love a unique color in a palette, but the rest of the color story is useless to me, I will try to hunt down a dupe in single form.
2. If a palette is all shimmers. I do need/want a good balance of matte and shimmer, even if the palette has a couple of mattes, make them good ones, such as a transition shade.
3. When I can’t make a complete eye look within a palette. Why buy premade then? I hate it when I get a palette out and still have to pull out singles or another palette to complement the look.
4. Too many red/pink shadows. I love Sultry, which has ONE pink, but when a palette is more then half red/pink… Then no.

Assuming things like wear-time and price are reasonable, the first “deal breaker” would be a preponderance of that pressed glitter with the plastic stuff in it (I forget the proper terms) and running a very close second (or maybe even first) would be a palette loaded with red, hot pink and orange shadows – the types of shades I’ve been kvetching about since the appearance of ABH’s Master Renaissance palette!

I am right there with you on the glitters. I had an accident much like Christine did, and a scratched cornea quite a while ago. I never want to have that happen again. I also won’t buy any palette with “pressed glitter” or any cosmetics with certain ingredients because they make my eyes sensitive, bismuth oxychloride being the worst offender. It is usually in less expensive cosmetics, like Morphe. I don’t do pressed pigments either. If it isn’t an eye safe product, I don’t want it in my eye palettes. I also have so many palettes, I can be fussy now, and I want to be a more conscious consumer. I am actually on a no buy when it comes to eye shadows because of the sheer number of palettes I have, and I think I can shop my stash now for just about any trend. I am also almost entirely grey now, and I have a few lines, so I just can’t pull off the same things I once did. My husband teases me about my collection, so I figure if my husband knows so much about my collection, I probably do have more than enough to last me quite some time. I know I will be able to save a few bucks by using what I have. At least I am enjoying panning some of the things I do have. And with Valentine’s Day arriving soon, I figured out the husband bought some of the Huda Obsessions and Natasha Denona five pan palettes for me. He forgot to dump the cookies and cache and I saw that they are missing from my favorites on Sephora’s website. I am going to act completely surprised when I get them. The last palettes I bought were the Huda Nudes. My cousins got me the Natasha Denona Mini Lila, Mini Nude, and Mini Sunset palettes for Christmas, and then I started my no buy. I had the Sunrise, Sunset, and Lila palettes, as well as a few other Huda Obsessions palettes, and a few Urban Decay Naked palettes because I can still pull off neutrals, as well as my old stand by purples, lilacs, mauves, as well as Autumnal reds, rusts, coppers, and golds thanks to the green eyes, and what was my formerly red hair. I purged quite a few things last summer, and gave them to my young cousins. I also can’t pull some highlighters off anymore because they settle in my lines around my eyes and the tops of my cheeks. My skin is drier now too, so I can’t do totally matte base products now, so the cousins got those too. They are college students, so they can pull off the things I can’t anymore without looking garish. It’s nice that they are being used rather than chucked into a landfill too. Honestly, the only things I may need to replace are mascara, a concealer, and lip balm. I have a really old home, and it has a milk chute that stays cold, dark, and dry, so I basically can store everything in a hermetically sealed area. The only thing I have ever had turn was a Stila lipstick. I had that in my purse. I don’t use my fingers, and I wash my brushes, sponges, and applicators every time I use them, so I haven’t cross contaminated anything. It’s been nice to see how my tastes and likes have evolved. I am also glad I can help my cousins build a nice collection too, trendy colors, highlighters, and nice powders and base products too. They love to experiment, and those products that weren’t getting much love from me, are now utterly adored by them. I am not missing out on anything at this point.

I’d rather have no pressed glitters. If there are a lot of pans, I can ignore or remove one pressed glitter. I don’t like paying for something that is dangerous and that I won’t use. No scented eyeshadow. Every time I’ve tried to use something with fragrance in it, it triggers my allergies. I am not too picky about the color scheme so long as I like it and it isn’t predominantly light shades. I’d like it to be balanced between light/medium/dark.

With all these people here saying no pressed glitters, I’d love to know what percentage of people are actually using them and liking them!

I’m not usually a fan of big palettes, but my Lorac MegaoPro 3 is the workhorse of my eyeshadows.

As for new purchases, I have a few absolute no-gos. No red palettes (I’ll just look sickly) and no pressed glitter. I don’t want to support that trend when it could put someone’s eye out.

I’ve got a laundry list of disqualifiers!
1.) Reviews poorly, poor quality
2.) Patchy or weak pigmentation
3.) Has ridiculously obscene $’s for the amount of product within.
4.) Wouldn’t work with my coloring
5.) Poorly edited color story, as in, it makes no sense
6.) Usually PET glitter shades will also keep me away. They have so far, I believe.
7.) From a brand I refuse to buy from

Oh yeah, pressed glitters are becoming a deal breaker… No. Just no.

There are so many palettes out there that I would rather buy the ones without glitter… Shimmer, I love. Foiled shadows? yes please!!! Glitter no.

I just received my Makeup Geek order where I chose random singles and made two 9-pan palettes, and I love the color combinations… I feel like I will use so much of them! I also have a lot of Sydney Grace singles and have them arranged in palettes, where I use a lot of the colors in a look.

This is an enjoyable question to answer (eyeshadow palettes are my kryptonite😊).
1. Fragrance in the palettes (my eyes are very sensitive)
2. Glitter (both safe for eye area use and unsafe for eyes)
3. This is not a dealbreaker since I have palettes which I pull singles in but I don’t like when there is not a matte transition shade and/or browbone highlight especially for travel palettes (I know this can be difficult for brands to get right since these shades can vary according to skin tone. I just appreciate some semblance of a crease/browbone shade).
4. Color stories that don’t seem to make sense for a cohesive eye look
5. Too many of the same color without variation in shade, depth, tone (I actually like a mix of warm and cool tones within the same pallate)
6. Huge mega palettes with more than 20 shades

One of my favorite things about a pre-made eyeshadow palette is how it can get me to branch out into new colors and combinations. So a big deal breaker is when I would have to pull out multiple palettes because one is unbalanced. That is excluding the colorful nine pan palettes I have lined up in a rainbow to mix and match to my heart’s content.
I also pass up palettes with multiple similar shades, just because I love experimenting so much. I don’t need four transition shades for light skin in one sixteen pan palette.

Like so many others, my deal breakers are:
– glitter
– red, orange, cool pinks or very bright palettes
– fallout, poor quality
– colors that are nearly the same – for me, palettes are for variety & value – repetition defeats both
– I’m trying to stay away from talc – apparently toxins are absorbed through lids as least as much as via lips

I read all 14 comments before mine and most have brought up deal-breakers for me as well. Besides quality and price issues, major deal-breakers for me are:
1. Any palette that has a glitter shade in it (even if it’s just one shade).
2. Fragrance or gimmicky features or bulky/strange packaging.
3. Any palette that has duplicate shades in it, especially if that palette is somewhat smaller in size (so a 6-shade one, for example, with two very similar shades, would be a no buy for me).
4. Unless the theme of the palette is all one color group (and I want that color group), any palette with too many of the same colors, most especially too many reds, pinks, purples or blues. About the only exception are colors in the brown/taupe/neutral categories, but if those are the only colors, I usually won’t buy the palette because I own dupes.
5. Too many blue-undertone or red-undertone shades, which bring out the veining and blue undertones in my lids, under eyes and on face. If it’s a smaller palette and one shade has this issue, I won’t buy the palette.
6. Too many shadows (I get overwhelmed if there are more than about a dozen and prefer much fewer).
7. Any palette that contains (or has as a “may contain” or “+/-” ingredient) the particular allergen that sets off my skin autoimmune disorder, even if that ingredient is only in one shade.
8. Any palette whose colors don’t work together well, unless it’s a larger palette (and I can make at least a couple different looks). I accept that most palettes (for me) aren’t standalone, but I expect the palette shades to work nicely with each other and be able to be thrown together with minimal fixing needed with my single shades.

1) I don’t like the ethics of the brand or brand owner.
2) Poor quality
3) Too expensive for the quality and amount.
4) A color story that won’t work for me, such as not enough variety of tones, or too many matte grays. Or any color story I just don’t like aesthetically.
5) Too many cool browns. They can go muddy on me. This depends on the brand, and sometimes even the palette.
6) I have very fair skin, so too many dark shades, regardless of color, is a no-go for me.
7) Packaging that breaks easily.
8) Creams and powders in one palette, unless they are kept separate.
9) Mega-palettes with more than 25-30 shades. They get redundant and are harder to store.
10) I don’t mind 1-3 pressed glitters, depending on the size of the palette, but I wouldn’t want more than that. I am comfortable that I know ways of wearing them safely, but they can be more work, and are annoying to remove. I don’t wear them on a daily basis.

I only buy from certain brands, so that helps streamline the process for me but if a palette has made it past brand consideration, then:
1. packaging – no bulkiness or what I would consider ugly/tacky.
2. color story – no neons, pastels or primary colors.

After my most recent declutter, a plethora, even 2 plethoras of dupes are apparently NOT deal breakers when considering buying a pre-made palette.

Deal breakers for me would be , plastic glitter , lack of color cohesion , too many dupes just to get mega sizing , too many colors I just wouldn’t use or poor quality .
I love smaller palettes where the curators think like a painter meaning III contains Colors that compliment each other on the color wheel , if it contains a russet or warm red tones throw in a green , or yellow golds to orange tones include a violet to blue shades.

Aside from my Norvina monstrosities, I’m over the huge palettes. I’ve got the Sydney Grace Enduring Love and Smokey Glow/Midas palettes coming my way, but everything else in my collection aside from the aforementioned Norvina palettes are 12 pans or smaller. The trouble with larger palettes is that I either get every shade under the sun, which I don’t want, or I get lots of repeats, which is also what I want to avoid in a palette.

I also want an actual color story. If you’re going to put 12 colors into one palette, then I should be able to cover my eyes and pick a few shades from that palette that will come together into a cohesive look. Menagerie Cosmetics’ Feral palette is a really fantastic example of a 12-pan palette with a wide range of colors that all work together. Lots of variety, everything looks good together, and I can do everything from a two-shade look to using all twelve shades at once. ColourPop’s Good Sport is another good example.

Oh, and stop with the pressed glitters. Shimmers, mattes, satins, and duochromes all in one palette? Great! But no more pressed glitters. That’s a hard pass for me.

Oh yes, there are plenty of deal breakers when it comes to eye palettes for me:
1. Palettes that contain reds, pinks, oranges, purples, caramel, black, white and neon shades
2. Those that have a mostly matte finish – I just don’t like mattes
3. Palettes that have glitter
4. Palettes that are too large or bulky: ideally 8-12 pan is fine for me.
5. I have to be able to use 90% or more of the shades
6. Excellent quality and reviewed by you Christine.
7. It has to be available for me to purchase and at a reasonable price.

I share your opinion about huge palettes. In addition, I need matte crease colors to prevent extra shimmer in areas that are no longer young. I like color variation and variation so it is not all one color with different depth.
I would never live in a monchromatic room either.

My coloring leans cool overall, but I have enough red in my hair that I can pull off some warm shades too, as long as I don’t do all warm. Combining warm and cool shades is just fun for me, and the results can be really pretty-like a warm turquoise with a cool blue, or a cool purple with a warm pink, or either color scheme with the undertones reversed.

My original comment was supposed to be a reply to Anne’s comment-my phone was a bit whacked out when I was writing and it ended up all the way at the bottom when it finally went through.

Palettes like the CP Bare Necessities are a good deal for the money, but I do with the individual pans could pop out, like the MAC, ND and Viseart shadows — for making a smaller curated palette.

I have found myself, in the last year, opting out of palettes with pressed glitter. I have a feeling a lot of others feel the same way.

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