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Best Cheek Palettes | 2018

Best of 2018

Best Cheek Palettes

I love that we’re continuing to see more cheek palettes released throughout the year (not just during the holidays), though I’d definitely love to see even more iterations that are specifically designed for medium-dark and deeper skin tones. I am pleased to see more trios and quads offered in particular, as I think they’re more likely to be usable by a single person, where as six-pan palettes may get to that “too much variety” to fit most.

For the first time ever, Clinique released a Cheek Pop palette for the holidays, which was quite affordable and sold out quickly.  ColourPop managed to dig deep into their magic bag of tricks and gave us Super Shock Highlighters… in a palette form–am still so impressed that all of mine are still creamy and smooth.  I’m a huge fan of Natasha Denona’s Diamond Blush Palettes (Darya if I had to pick one) and reach for those regularly for quick photos.

I was hugely impressed by NARS offerings this year–which were fairly numerous–but the two that stood out to me were the Hot Tryst Palette and the Coucher de Soleil trio. Both Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath’s highlighter trios impressed me and were as I’d expect for that price point and for those brands.  Hourglass tends to do well on their Ambient Lighting palettes, but I do wish the six-pan palettes were closer to a $65 or $70 price point (instead of $80).

What cheek palettes did you reach for this year?

P.S. — If you enjoy reading/viewing my favorites, make sure you check out my all-time favorites here, products I’m thankful for (2018 series), and all of my editor’s recommended products here.


Top Cheek Palettes of 2018

01.

01. Dream Sequence Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $18.00/0.6 oz.

A

Colour Pop Dream Sequence Super Shock Highlighter Palette ($18.00 for 0.60 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette featuring two glittery highlighters and two more pearly highlighters.

Colour Pop Dream Sequence Super Shock Highlighter Palette ($18.00 for 0.60 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette featuring two glittery highlighters and two more pearly highlighters.

02.

02. Fall 2018 Hourglass

Hourglass

LELimited Edition. $65.00/0.33 oz.

A

Hourglass Fall 2018 Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($65.00 for 0.33 oz.) contains three, warm-toned blushes--peach, coral, and mauve--that have a subtle, natural-to-luminous finish.

Hourglass Fall 2018 Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($65.00 for 0.33 oz.) contains three, warm-toned blushes--peach, coral, and mauve--that have a subtle, natural-to-luminous finish.

04.

04. Darya Natasha Denona

Natasha Denona

PPermanent. $89.00/1.5 oz.

A

Natasha Denona Darya Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades--two cream formulas, four powder formulas--in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades.

Natasha Denona Darya Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades--two cream formulas, four powder formulas--in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades.

05.

05. Sublime Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath

PPermanent. $50.00/0.42 oz.

A

Pat McGrath Sublime Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio ($50.00 for 0.42 oz.) contains three, metallic highlighters that are supposed to have a "gel-powder" formula that has a "silky smooth texture" and "buildable intensity" (with respect to finish).

Pat McGrath Sublime Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio ($50.00 for 0.42 oz.) contains three, metallic highlighters that are supposed to have a "gel-powder" formula that has a "silky smooth texture" and "buildable intensity" (with respect to finish).

06.

06. Bar of Gold Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury

LELimited Edition. $58.00/0.24 oz.

A

Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Highlighter Palette ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains three, powder highlighters including the brand's original Bar of Gold shade, along with two other gold-inspired shades.

Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Highlighter Palette ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains three, powder highlighters including the brand's original Bar of Gold shade, along with two other gold-inspired shades.

07.

07. Crush on You Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $18.00/0.6 oz.

A

Colour Pop Crush on You Super Shock Highlighter Palette ($18.00 for 0.60 oz.) takes the brand's cream highlighters (that we normally see in screw-top pots) and puts them in a slim, cardboard palette.

Colour Pop Crush on You Super Shock Highlighter Palette ($18.00 for 0.60 oz.) takes the brand's cream highlighters (that we normally see in screw-top pots) and puts them in a slim, cardboard palette.

08.

08. Vol. 4 Hourglass

Hourglass

LELimited Edition. $80.00/0.29 oz.

A

Hourglass Vol. 4 Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a new, limited edition holiday offering that contains four existing shades and...

Hourglass Vol. 4 Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a new, limited edition holiday offering that contains four existing shades and...

09.

09. Hot Tryst NARS

NARS

LELimited Edition. $59.00/0.6 oz.

A

NARS Hot Tryst Holiday 2018 Cheek Palette ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) includes six cheek colors--two seem more like highlighters, while the remaining four seem like blushes.

NARS Hot Tryst Holiday 2018 Cheek Palette ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) includes six cheek colors--two seem more like highlighters, while the remaining four seem like blushes.

10.

10. Citrus Natasha Denona

Natasha Denona

PPermanent. $89.00/1.5 oz.

A-

Natasha Denona Citrus Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades--two cream formulas, four powder formulas--in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades.

Natasha Denona Citrus Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades--two cream formulas, four powder formulas--in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades.

11.

11. Unlocked Hourglass

Hourglass

LELimited Edition. $80.00/0.29 oz.

A-

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new, limited edition holiday palette that features two Ambient Lighting Powders, one Ambient Lighting Bronzer, two Ambient Lighting Blushes, and one Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder.

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new, limited edition holiday palette that features two Ambient Lighting Powders, one Ambient Lighting Bronzer, two Ambient Lighting Blushes, and one Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder.

12.

12. Coucher de Soleil NARS

NARS

LELimited Edition. $49.00/0.36 oz.

B+

Glossover Breakdown

93%

Average Score
A
11
B
1
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9.5
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
93%
product
9.5
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
93%
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13 Comments

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I can’t say for certain but I think the last cheek palette I purchased (possibly the ONLY cheek palette I’ve ever purchased) was a lovely and alarmingly inexpensive one from Sephora called The Bronzed and Blushing Face Palette. It contained Los Cabos bronzer and blushes in the shades Blushing Pink and Coral Punch and to my surprise, the latter shade was actually more of a red (almost like MAC’s Frankly Scarlet) and very flattering on me. Usually I run the opposite way from things “coral”, which is why I avoid cheek palettes generally – they almost always contain at least one (and possibly more) shades that are too warm or muddy for me.

Same as for the blush question, but worth mentioning again:

NARS Unfiltered I Cheek Palette

And Surratt Beauty Artistic Blush in Duchess (so very subtle), Cantaloup & Ponceau (which I put into a palette, so that may not count).

Nars Hot Tryst is the only cheek palette I bought this year, but it is so gorgeous that I can’t think of anything that’d top it! I like that it has some richer, more saturated shades in it, so it stands out in my collection, but they blend so well that they’re still gorgeous on me (very fair). Plus, the finish and formula is so gorgeous, and I find it easy to use, compared to similar dense formulas!

Stunningly beautiful – and I love how the Colour Pop one came first.
I don’t tend to buy cheek palettes myself as they often contain shades that just don’t work for me. But these here are lovely.

Fabulous choices! I love my Nars Hot Tryst palette and my PMGL Sublime Cheek trio so much! Nars Coucher de Soleil is still a wish, but probably not available anymore. Even if it were, there’s my low-buy kicking in on the 1st.

The only cheek palette that I bought this year is the Clinique Cheek Pops and I do love it. Cheek Pops is one of my most favorite formulas if not THE most favorite formula ever.

I’m glad I got my hands on the Unlocked palette from Hourglass but am fuming that the highlighter cracked when i pushed it hard across my vanity and that one of the powders pan will fall out depending on how I hold it. I’m also mad because I loved the highlighter and can’t buy it separately …. lol.

I’m also still loving my Wanted and Wanted II palettes from earlier this year.

I think this was a great year for cheek palettes. I bought more blush palettes than I did single blushes this year, which has never happened before. The only one on this list I grabbed was Hot Tryst, but it’s been my go-to since I got it. I’m bummed the Clinique one sold out, twice, before I was able to grab one. Natasha Denona Darya is still on my wishlist but I’m in no hurry to buy at full price. I’ll wait till next Sephora sale or something. I just got the Mini Diamond & Glow as Pink Champagne was the shade I was most lusting for.

My favorites from this year were NARS Hot Tryst, NARS Wanted Cheek Palette Vol. I, Too Faced Natural Face It Just Comes Naturally Face Palette, Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Blush Trio in Sunset,
ANASTASIA Glow Kit in Dream, and ColourPop Pressed Powder Face Duo in Winging It, Clockwork, and Just Dew It. Also — not released this year, but new to me — BH Cosmetics Blacklight Highlight Palette.

I still used my ABH Glow Kit in Moonchild the most though. I freaking love that thing for face and accents on the eyes. Tarte Blush Bazaar was still my go-to for travel.

I had been wanting the darya palette as well and got off the Natasha Denona sight for 40 or 50% off. It came triple wrapped in bubble wrap & shipped quickly.

The Pat McGrath highlighter trio is pretty much the only highlighter I reach for since I purchased it. I wish she would have released it ages ago, if she had, I would own so many highlighters. I grabbed the Nars Wanted II palette and I also love it.

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