Do you use the included mirror or applicators in a palette?

Only if there were no other options available! I prefer standalone mirrors and my choice in applicators. Included applicators also tend to be very small, which doesn’t work for my hand size/finger size/grip abilities.

— Christine


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Cynthia Avatar

My eyes are bad for close-up things anymore so those small mirrors do me no favors at all. I have a stand-alone magnifying mirror for my applications and even purchased some glasses that flip back and forth for when I do my eyes.

Erica Avatar

I don’t usually use the mirror included or the included applicators. I do have a Tom Ford quad where I use the sponge tip applicator for the glitters included. I keep a few sponge tip applicators for when I don’t feel like using my finger tip to apply those “special shades “ that brands such as Tom Ford, Pat McGrath & Patrick Ta have included

Violet Avatar

I often use the mirrors in larger palettes since it’s in my hand anyway. I rarely use little applicators, since I don’t find they are ever of very good quality. But do you remember the MAC Christmas launches around 2006-2010? (Antiquitease, Formal Black, Tartan Tale…) The eyeshadow palettes back then were so amazing and the little brushes were such high quality that I often found myself using them. I still love MAC but I really miss the quality and package design from those days.

Zizzie Avatar

I use a magnifying mirror, and find mirrors that come with products annoying. I wish they would get rid of them, and resent the added weight and likely cost. Judging from the comments here, manufacturers take heed! Applicators : depends on the brand, once in a while brushes are good, but even Tom Ford or Dior can’t make a good foam applicator

Ana Maria Avatar

I think manufacturing know what they are doing in a way. Not everyone is following makeup blog and YouTube channels. Almost everyone I know that uses makeup but doesn’t follow the beauty space uses those makeup applicators and mirrors. They’re people that have 1-3 palettes, people not inclined to have a large collection of brushes (or none at all), people who don’t know the latest Urban Decay or ColourPop palette, people who don’t own the latest trendy mirror that plays YouTube video or has 10 bulbs.
While the extra material and weight is a very good argument, many people buy cosmetic products specifically for them having applicators and mirrors.
But I wish there was an option to choose the minimal or maximal packaging, like I wish skincare would offer both the scented and un-scented version.

Lucie Avatar

Applicators? Rarely unless it looks like it was thoughtfully designed to work with that specific product or I happen to be traveling and keeping my packing minimal.

Mirrors? Yes, from very specific palettes. I really like the mirror in the Makeup Geek 9 pan travel palette and I keep two of them in my makeup everyday bag (one with my favorite workhorse singles that I use constantly, even in conjunction with other palettes, and one with two blushes, a highlight, and a bronzer) and those are the mirrors I use when applying everything, even if I’m not using any of the makeup from those palettes. Otherwise mirrors in products can range from being too small to be useful to foggy/cloudy to appearing warped like a funhouse mirror.

Agona Avatar

Not at all. But I do use disposable sponge applicators on days where I’m traveling so I’m not having to wash a brush and pack it damp.

Mariella Avatar

The mirrors, hardly ever (mostly I’ll use them to look at the back of my head in my large bathroom mirror) though I would use them in a pinch if I had to. But I’ve learned from experience that the Chanel eyeshadow applicators are actually excellent. They are different from every other included sponge tipped applicator – they are covered in what seems to be a fine cotton flannel and they do an excellent job with the Chanel shadow formula. Some of the UD brushes included with their palettes back in the day when UD wasn’t crap are pretty good brushes too.

Z Avatar

For travel – yes, I use the mirrors.
The applicators… depends. I use the UD brushes they include in their eye palettes. The ones ABH puts in their palettes are cheap and scratchy so I’d rather they didn’t even bother with that.
All other applicators though, like those crappy ones from physician’s formula, they end up straight in the trash.

Ana Maria Avatar

The Urban Decay full sized brushes from the Naked line are really good. I decluttered my expired Naked Smokey 4-5 years ago, but the brush it came with is still going strong. But I somehow consider it a standalone product… I always forget it came with a palette.

Z Avatar

They ARE really good, aren’t they? It seemed for a while every beauty youtuber I watched whined about the included brushes, but as a consumer who pays for my items – I use them! And they’re really good! I haven’t had a scratchy issue with any of them and double-ended brushes are so handy.

it’s funny you mention the Smokey. It’s the only UD Naked brush that has popped an end off. I intend to glue it back on and continue on as normal.

Ana Maria Avatar

No, I hate those tiny applicators, brushes and puffs that come with cosmetic products. And I always apply makeup at home, I don’t retouch on the go, so no need for the mirrors.

But fun fact, my current on-the-go mirror is actually an old pressed powder packaging. It’s a slim old Clinique powder (I don’t think it’s sold anymore), and after I cleaned it made the perfect purse (or backpack 99% of the time 😅) mirror.

Nina Avatar

I love a mirror in a compact. Just to check my makeup through the day. I actually resent a compact without a mirror (Kosas and Dior) it feels cheap to me without one. The little brushes/sponge things, no, I toss those or they are falling out all the time.

Genevieve Avatar

I actually do use the mirrors in the palettes, as I find them easy to use when applying my eyeshadows and checking that I have the placement of each particular shade in the position I want it to be.
As for the brushes, some of them that were included in various eyeshadow palettes have been quite good – the Naked ones for example. Mostly I use my Real Techniques or Ecco tool brushes. All those sponge tip applicators have been thrown out – I don’t use them at all.

Mariella Avatar

Did you ever try the applicators that came with the Chanel palette (I’m almost 100% sure you have Tisse d’Automne)? They really are good, Genevieve (I have better success with them than with my usual brushes, especially with some of the earlier “Tisse” quads which are lighter than the shadows in T d’A). If you haven’t tossed those applicators, do give them a try.

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