Do you prefer eyeshadow singles or pre-made palettes?

I really do love both and see a place for both in my routine/collection, but I definitely reach for pre-made palettes more often if I am returning to something… probably out of ease.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

I guess it depends on the palette. There are so many that have one or two shades I totally adore and then a whole bunch that I either would never wear or actively loathe (strong language for something as “frivolous” as makeup but with the flood of red and orange shadows over the past 5 years, strong language is NEEDED!). However, palettes do represent the best value. Singles can be a pain for 2 reasons (for me, personally) – one is the issue of those that aren’t available as “pro pans” and so I have all these shadows in their original packaging taking up way too much room and being a bit of a pain to use. The other issue is that I am always drawn to the same shades over and over again so making my own palette….well, I end up with an entire palette of murky olive, bronze, olive bronze and bronze brown, bronze olive, olive brown….you get the picture! So the good things about palettes are that they generally represent good value (if there are enough shades that I like and that suit me) and they are assembled with a bit more variety than things I put together myself (variations on olive, bronze, brown, drab….)

Erica Avatar

I’ve actually bought more and more eyeshadow singles or pots like the Tarte Chrome Paints or Hourglass Scattered Lights. Eyeshadow palettes have been a bore to me lately and I have all the palettes I need. A single can breathe new life into what I already own. Love both but I’ve been loving my singles more lately!!!

Michelle Avatar

I have mostly eyeshadow palettes and a magnetic palette for unique duochromes/shimmers/etc. I love makeup and eyeshadow, but I like the convenience of having color stories set out for me. Especially if that inspires eyeshadow looks I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

In an alternate universe, I would totally be into singles. But I like the way my collection is set up right now. I have spreadsheets for all my makeup and it’s nice to know what color stories I can easily achieve with my collection.

Ana Maria Avatar

For me eyeshadow singles are the way to go. I have full control of what shades to choose, colors I actually use and are perfect for my skintone. In pre-made palettes there’s always at least 1-2 colors or textures I don’t like to use, or the transition shade is ok, but not the perfect undertone for me, etc.
I also find it the best solution as I try to be more sustainable with makeup. Singles for building your own palettes have usually less packaging (just a cardboard sleeve), you can reuse the empty palette for years (mine is like 6 years old and looks perfect). Let’s be honest, no matter how much brands these days brag about their packaging being recyclable, nobody admits the sad truth that cosmetic packaging is hard to recycle, so most recycling facilities will end up sending them to the landfill just as well.

Susan Avatar

Singles for sure……i have alot of palettes however…..i adore my singles and often draw from them to create a palette i use …and so often i change it up as inspiration hits me…. its fun!

Genevieve Avatar

I generally prefer pre made eye palettes because they are easier to work with. I find opening the containers of the singles (without my glasses on) to be tricky and lining them all up for a full look.
The other aspect of buying a pre made palette is that sometimes you can be encouraged to try a different shade to the ones you would normally use and, with the help of Christine’s colour combos, you can create different eye looks that also suit you.
Furthermore, there is nothing like the joy of opening up a beautiful eyeshadow palette and seeing all the colours laid out before you…..

Naomi Avatar

I prefer pre-made palettes because they are more cost effective and take the guess work out of putting together a cohesive look. Single eyeshadows are nice for putting together unique eye looks and filling in the gaps in my collection. There’s also a greater chance to pickup redundant single shadows than there are for me to purchase redundant/similar eye palettes.

Nikki Avatar

Far and away pre-made palettes! As I said on the singles questions, most singles either don’t speak to me or the company doesn’t contract with my credit card company. I’m undecided on whether I’m getting the Sydney Grace collab-there are other things ahead of it in line on my wishlist-but if I do, I’ll probably end up getting the deep palettes-despite being pale-along with the Dear Reader single.

Z Avatar

I like a lot of pre-made palettes, but they’re ALWAYS missing something crucial to my daily routine and include shades I’ll never use. I love the idea of singles and creating my own palette, but I don’t like the mis-matched shapes of pans and having to just stick them to a magnetic empty palette. I like the feel and look of well made packaging. I think that’s what really missing from me utilizing singles more. I want them to go IN to a gorgeous package and not look jumbled.

Rachel R. Avatar

Palettes, by far. They’re easier, less expensive, and a more fun experience. I like that there may be colors I wouldn’t think to pick out. I enjoy opening them up and seeing all the colors. It’s like opening a box of watercolors or crayons as a child. I just usually don’t get that sense of possibilities when I buy a few singles.

RacerDinah Avatar

I strongly prefer palettes! I generally prefer ready-made ones but like others have mentioned there’s always the issue of a few shades that I don’t use and the few that I wish were there. I do enjoy making my own palettes out of singles, and occasionally reconfiguring them, but only within a single brand for the sake of consistency of pan size and performance (ie, Sydney Grace or Viseart) – I never mix within a palette. (OCD). My problem with making my own out of singles is that I end up, like Mariella stated, with a crap ton of very similar shades in my never ending quest to find THE perfect mid-toned brownish beige or olive bronze or peach that I don’t already have. The ease of pre-made palettes somehow makes me forgive the slight lack of perfection in the shade selection. For singles, I’d go crazy if I had to grab a bunch of singles to create a look…I need to look/grab/go from one “source” for a proven look.

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