Do you prefer eyeshadow singles or palettes?

I really enjoy singles myself, though they can get expensive compared to a palette, so it often depends on if it’s a brand that releases tons of palettes. I don’t mind palettes, though, and I think they can be a good place for inspiration.

— Christine
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It’s almost a toss-up, but I prefer a well put-together palette with 6 to 12 shades. I do love my MAC singles, too, though. Palettes are a better value, most of the time.

It depends on what I’m after. It is not more cost effective to buy a whole palette if what I’m really interested is a single red eyeshadow. But if I want the entire color story then yes, buying a palette is more cost effective. I enjoy both single eyeshadows and palettes and use both regularly. I will also say with an extensive makeup collection, it does make more sense for me to simply add a single eyeshadow here or there rather another eyeshadow palette that has a color story I have many times over since brands today aren’t releasing anything new really. I mean how many neutral palettes, Modern Renaissance-esque, pop of color type palette or rainbow palette do we really need? I have that so an eyeshadow single w a unique shift or a color I don’t have makes more sense at this time!

Palettes. I like having a curated selection of shades and finishes in a more sturdy/attractive packaging.

I do have some singles I like, but as I like to shop online, I find ordering singles can be difficult because it can be harder to find reviews/swatches from someone with my skin tone, whereas with palettes I know there’s bound to be handful of youtubers with my coloring reviewing it so I can see how the colours pull on my shade of skin.

If I could go in store and create my own palette of singles (for a discount – because like you said, they get expensive) then maybe I would. I’d love to create a palette of my own anastasia shades but unfortunately those are online only (where I am, at least) so I’m nervous to bite the bullet and order a bunch of singles online.

Again, not wholly against singles, but I definitely have more palettes in my arsenal. The downside of palettes though is that inevitably I don’t use all the shades. Because palettes are typically better value than singles though I don’t typically mind as long as I feel like I’ll use most shades from the palette.

Singles, I’m very picky about the colours I use, and rarely see an eyeshadow palette larger than a quad where the colours scheme fits my needs. I use custom palettes, so convenience isn’t an issue for singles, but it is of course more expensive – but I find it “worth it” in the long term, I prefer to have a small carefully curated collection of singles than loads of palettes.
Also, the exceptions where I fall in love with the colour schemes of large palettes are on the luxury end of pricing (Viseart, Natasha Denona, Pat McGrath), so it’s not really more expensive to buy singles of more mid-low end shadows.

Singles all day. I’m just not that creative with my shadow (3 colors max and that’s for a big night out) so with any palette, I’m just not going to get my use out of the vast majority of them. I also have zero abilities to ‘do’ an eye so 3 colors are all I’m going to hope for 😀

And I don’t have a very discerning eye – I can look at 20 colors that everyone else sees a difference in and they will all look the same to me, so finding singles is super easy.

I have a handful of palettes and I use 2-3 shadows per EVER and can usually just find a single that matches so I put the palette away in my stash for if I ever grow up (I’m in my 60s now, lol) and decide to really be creative!

This should almost be a rant and rave review of products because there are things I love and dislike about both options. Overall, I prefer single shadows, if I had to pick just one and luckily, I don’t. Single eye shadows allow you to have only the shades you want and will use as opposed to buying a palette that you may not use some of the shades. I find when I pull out single shadows I am more creative with my looks because I have actually had to pick out the shades and think about what I am doing rather than mindlessly going in the direction the chosen palette leads you. When traveling for short periods of time I can pull three shadows, which generally take up less space and I can make an eye look. Single eye shadows also let you try a particular shade, finish or formula to see if it will work for you rather than going all in on palettes.
Palette’s do give you a lot of options right from the get go and if it is a colour story that you like and use a lot then having a big palette makes sense. I find that a number of palettes don’t have a matte brow bone highlight for me as I am so fair. Aesthetically, there is nothing nicer than looking at all the beautiful shades lined up in a new palette! Value for money does favor the palette if you are looking to buy more shadows.

Singles. A few palettes I’ve picked up in recent years did open up my imagination, so I’ve appreciated that. But on the whole now I prefer singles. Singles can get more expensive, but for me I think it balances out since there are shades I’ll never use in almost all of my palettes.

Singles, definitely! My collection is not large at all anymore. I select my eyeshadows with a lot of care because once bought, I wear the heck out of them. They’re all my faves and I never tire of them.
PS Nothing against ready-made palettes, but they’re just not for me. I do love the lines that allow you to make your own palette, though. (I own exactly one ready-made palette: DoC Marvelous Mauves.)

I prefer singles arranged in a custom made palette. I only need/use specific shades, 12-15 different shades cover most of my needs in term of eyeshadow).
Singles also work great since I will finish faster neutrals (all over the lid or transition shades), browns or shimmers (since they have more `kick` and `looseness`), while a black or blue or green can last me for years. I can simply replace what I finish.
Also, with many palettes (especially 9+ pans) I find that 2-3 shades are so similar, that they blend as the same color on the lid. I just need one medium-dark brown or one transition color (which usually is actually my contour shade), not 3 with subtle differences.

Well, I am a sucker for uniquely beautiful single eyeshadows! So I do love those a great deal because I have hand-picked them, as opposed to them just being an included shade that happens to be in a palette I buy.
However, I do also love most of the palettes I’ve purchased, too. Very few misses, I’m happy to report. As long as I can get fabulous looks from a palette, then it too can become as much a favorite as one of my chosen singles!

Singles, no question! I just wish they were all the same size and shape across the various companies (Makeup Geek / Mac / Coloured Raine / Colour Pop size).

As much as I might look at a palette and say “Wow I wish they would release a single of that one unique color I don’t have any dupes for”, the truth is that I almost never actually reach for my singles! Even the ones I put into Z-Palettes for ease of use, I just don’t think about them unless I’m looking for a very specific one that I actually remember having.


I have a bunch of singles, including some really beautiful ones but I almost never reach for them because I have so much stuff it’s a hassle to drag out all the different individual shades that I want… I like having everything in one place, ready to go that I can hold in one hand because I’m blind without my glasses on and mucking about with individual containers can be tricky when you can’t actually see what you’re grabbing 😉

Also, I’ve tried a lot more shades that I wouldn’t have otherwise, simply because they’re included in a palette – I tell myself I have to want to use at least 80% of shades in a palette to get it but if I was still buying singles, I’d just purchase the same gold, peachy pink, mauve and taupe tones all over and over and over again…

Palettes, hands down. I find singles hard to corral, and I often forget about them. I depot as many as I can or just get pro refills and put them in magnetic palettes, so that I’ll actually use them.

Plus I just love the idea of palettes. I love to open them up like a paintbox and see all the lovely colors. I love the variety. I love the packaging and portability. Palettes are an experience.

Exactly! An experience. You hit it on the head. I love palettes probably more than any other makeup product at this point (although I do go in phases), and it’s the whole experience. From the look and feel of the package itself, to the color arrangement, to the playing. I go horizontally, vertically, in squares, recreate looks I’ve seen on YouTube, try any looks suggested in the package, and randomly create. I get a ton of use out of them.

But…like you, I suppose, I’ll try any and every color in there. I’m not a stick-to-my-comfort-zone kind of makeup lover.

Generally I prefer palettes or quads to singles. I often find singles a nuisance as you end up having to use a palette to make up the extra shades you need.
Having said that, I have recently purchased some singles from City Colour – Cleo, Sandstorm, All Eyes on Me and Tidepool and I love them.
If you just love one shade in particular, singles then become cost effective.

If it is a cohesive, well thought out palette then I love it. If I have to think about what I would do with it then I do not need it in my collection. However, I will never say no to a beautiful single shadow, especially if it will fill a hole in my collection.

Singles hands down. Even early 3 or 4 color palettes were frustrating to me as there was always at least one shadow that never got touched. I love my mostly MAC singles and have organized in palettes. More expensive? Not for me as if I were to buy a typical palette, I wouldn’t use even half of the shadows.

I prefer singles because I’ve specifically chosen those colours and finishes to go with my style of makeup . I do have like 8 or so palettes but can’t remember when I’ve used them so I feel like I’ve wasted money. Singles are fun because you can decide u want to try an unusual colour and can spend like £4 on one in Nyx and do a new eye look. Palettes are effort and the quality varies within a palette and the colours will never all suit me

I guess I really enjoy both – perhaps a good palette – it really depends upon the quality and selection of the palette itself. I have several singles, but I don’t find myself using them very often. Of course, the actual container (it’s not a z-palette) that I have them in isn’t very well contained – it is one I got from MAC and only the MAC shadows actually stay in place. So I suppose that is the real reason for that. I just find that I reach for my most loved and used palettes. I’m finding some of them that I thought I would really love such as my Sweet Peach – it just doesn’t have staying power on my lids as I would like. I’m not sure what is wrong? I’ve tried several different primers, and still, it fades on my lids. I’m quite disappointed, because I wanted it so bad, and had to wait to purchase it, I adore the shades – I love the looks that I can achieve but they disappear! I am not lucky enough financially to own any Viseart or Pat McGrath – that would just be out of this hemisphere… especially that Bronze palette. I’ve just oogled over that one. That thing is a work of art. Eyeshadow is my passion, that and lipstick. I don’t own any Tom Ford either — yet… I own his perfume, which I adore. I do collect perfume. I am blessed though with my tiny budget to have what I do, most women when they see my collection – their eyes go wide. It’s taken me a long time though. It’s my passion. I’ve been playing with makeup since I was about 12 years old. I’m disabled or I would be working in the field. I occasionally do someone’s makeup at their request, and I love every minute of it. It’s an honor to me. Even when I do mine, I still feel like a kid in a candy store, I delight in choosing each and every detail. I would not know how to process the amounts or the PR packages that many of these other girls deal with. I think I’d just stroke out!! I used to have to take an anxiety pill when I went to Sephora – it was literally 90 miles away – so I rarely got to go… it was such a treat, I’d get so excited!!! We have one now, and Ulta too. It’s lots of fun now. That’s what I believe about makeup – I’m 56 but I wear what I want to – shimmers, glitter – you name it if I feel up to it. I’ve always gotten compliments. They all know me and they know my passion for it. I so agree with Joseph Cambell – we have to follow our Bliss. If we don’t we’ll never be ultimately happy!!!

Palettes, hands down. I like to think that I choose them carefully so as not to end up with a very large collection (I currently have a total of 15 palettes, including a duo, quads, five-, six-, nine- and twelve-pan palettes). I’m trying to be realistic when it comes the time to actually buy them (after my initial enthusiasm and adding them to my cart), and take into account the fact that I don’t have much time in the morning when I’m doing my makeup at 5h45 am, that most of the time I don’t use more than three e/s for a day look and that I lean more towards a sophisticated subtle look than an elaborate one. Also, I don’t buy a 12-pan palette if I know I won’t use two-three of the shades.

Singles. My true love of makeup kicked in when I discovered indie brands and their (at the time) unique finishes and colors, and that meant singles. All my singles are loose powder form, with the exception of three Coloured Raine shades, and a set from Blackbird Cosmetics.

Wait, no, I take it back: I have about a half-dozen MAC singles too (including Jealousy Wakes — which is how I discovered Temptalia).

Both? Sort of? I’ve been running on Nars duos for years. But as I am getting ready to replace some of these items, I am looking at singles and palettes. I don’t see the point to getting a palette if I’m not going to use half of it. I mean, I have several gold shades, I don’t want or need any more! I’m de-potting some items and some things will finally meet the trash can. I started lusting after a few of the Colourpop palettes but it hurts me to know that I won’t really use half of the shades. I hunted high and low to find the right collection (Polite AF super shocks – not really a palette but a collection) and then added a few more single colors to round out the purchase and to more closely mimic some of the shade selection that I liked from a different palette.

I’m more into singles lately. When I first got into eyeshadow, I preferred palettes since I was still learning what I liked and wanted the convenience of a variety of shades in one place. At this point, I’m much better at picking out specific shades I’ll use, so singles are the way to go.

That being said, I still like to have a neutral palette handy just to have all the common shades (beige, brown, etc.) all in one place for a cheaper price than building it through singles.

Im at a point where I have every color I desire either in palettes or singles. The issue with singles I have a few stacked behind my palettes and tend to forget to use them since I have to remove the ones in front. But I do have many Colourpips in the very front cause I love those and actually just took them with me on vacation to Toronto. Picked 5 and it worked perfectly with the sweaters I carried. I don’t mind either way but by now having the entire rainbow of eyeshadow shades I think I’ll be choosing singles if I spot some new intriguing beautiful shade. Oh! A sweet relative gave me as a gift the Raven Girl/MAC eyeshadow palette and is pretty. I told her I never had a Mac product and that they are from Canada and she was sweetly surprised. Lol!
Besides this topic, I’m really loving Rose D’Oro baked blush/Milani it goes so natural on my pale face. Sometimes I wear it on top of a brighter one to tone down but on its own is beautiful! I prefer it so much more over Luminoso which got the hype but it tends to show a bit orangey on me. Coralline is another great match on me. Milani did awesome on these blushes would love to find a expensive dupe next I think Marc Jacob has it Emily Noel wears it and is gorgeous on her. Also I just purchased a few of the chunky Nyx eye pencils they worked great on a rush since they are thick. Anyone knows how to pull up more of it once you finish the tip? I have no clue? Can’t sharpen plastic container. Need to find out. Lol! But they are good and stayed on maybe since is chilly over there. Back in California things melt on this hooded eyes.

I’m actually trying to put together a Makeup Geek Palette right now! I usually buy palettes but after destashing my Lora, UD Naked 3, TF Chocolate Bar and The Balm Nude Tude I think it’s time I make my own.

I love my Tartelette in Bloom though but that will hold a v special place in my heart and memory so I can’t part with that.

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