Does a palette need to be standalone or only complement what you already own to purchase?

For me, complementary palettes are just fine. In years past, I’d have a go-to brow bone shade as a single, and I’d have no problem putting together a quad or small palette of go-to brow bone, transition, etc. type shades for my skin tone. Complementary palettes would offer more diversity then, since they wouldn’t have predetermined crease/transition shades that may or may not apply to my skin tone (or a wide variety of skin tones for that matter).

If I was looking specifically for a travel palette, something more standalone might be more important, but I’d still travel with my go-to quad/palette of shades so I think complementing still works for me. I like when a palette has a color story that makes sense; like it should still be cohesive/usable primarily on its own, just with me adding in shades like brow bone highlighter, transition shade, or a deepening shade (like a matte black).

— Christine
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I want to be able to make looks with the palette. I don’t need browns, but i want that colours work together (in my opinion). And I’d like colourstory that inspires me. Some palettes make me panic and others give me peace. Now I’m mostly looking for special shades, that are new to my collection.

I like to have both. I do not stick to one palette when I am doing my eyes at my leisure at home. I work on the fly and by mood for the most part unless I am in a rush. In that case, and for overnight travel, I like to have palettes on hand which can be used for complete looks.

I like to know that I can use a palette on its own when I am making a purchasing decision but I rarely use a palette on its own. I typically have at least 4 palettes on my vanity plus some singles and I mix and match all the time to create eye looks. I do have a very neutral palette of warm browns that I use to transition and deepen the crease but because I do not buy eyeliners I often move to a different palette for that pop of color on the lower lash line if I am wearing liner that day. I really just bounce from palette to palette even though I know I can use one palette to get the job done. It is actually one of my requirements when purchasing. LOL, I know that makes no sense considering I rarely use them on their own!

I prefer stand-alone type palettes just because they make my life easier (I have a smallish counter area in my bathroom so grabbing one or two palettes or a few singles isn’t the most practical given the limited space I have to lay things out) but it’s not a deal breaker for me – if I love what’s in the palette, I’ll take the trouble to add what I need, though even in a 3 or 4 pan “palette”, I still prefer having all I need in the one item.

I like both. I have no issues purchasing a palette that isn’t a standalone because I own so many other palettes. Every palette doesn’t have to have a transition shade or brow bone highlighter for me. I can reach for numerous other palettes for those. And I actually like pairing palettes together to create unique looks. For me, what helps me make the decision on buying a palette is the color story, theme and if it’s unique to anything I already have. Having said that I do prefer standalone palettes for when I’m traveling.

All a palette needs for me is quality. It can stand alone or serve as a complimentary palette, that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that the quality is still there.

The Pat McGrath quads, for example? I don’t think any of them can stand alone. I mean, yes they can but for me they won’t, because doing an all-shimmery eye just doesn’t work for me. I like a matte transition. But I purchased them all because I knew they would be quality and pair well with other palettes I own.

If I’m going to travel (which is rare), I have stand alone palettes that would work for the occasion but a palette doesn’t need to be stand alone or complimentary. It just needs to be good. It needs to wear well, it needs to blend effortlessly, it just needs to perform. It can be a hodge podge of colors that make no sense but if they’re good, I’ll make them work for me.

I keep a small custom palette on my vanity with the basics such as matte black, inner corner highlight, browbone highlight, matte cream etc. I don’t reject palettes that don’t have these basics. I try to not collect too many palettes in generalized categories, but I won’t reject them if their beauty stands out and they still look like something I have already. Sometimes a palette is in for a single eyeshadow lol.

I am fine with augmenting any palette with another palette or singles, when I am at home. Obviously, for travel I really prefer and work to take a stand alone palette just so that I don’t have to deal with too many moving parts! When my daughter and I went to Europe we took only one palette with us and that was UD Born To Run. It was a stand alone palette for both of us and we didn’t have to worry about leaving a single shadow behind, finding a single shadow in our luggage, etc. We were gone for 5 weeks.

Your approach is exactly mine too, although it wasn’t until this past year that I was able to pull together a palette of upper-lid/transition shades for my deep set eyes. (I already have a base powder when I need it (old Burberry Trench, with lifetime backups) as well as a universal under-brow and blending-out-the-rest-of-the-shades shadow (UD Laced).

Because I’ve got this deep-set palette as well as Burberry Trench and UD Laced, it doesn’t matter if a palette is standalone or not. That said, for ease in applying any palette quickly or packing any palette for a trip, I’ve stuck removable labels on each palette indicating whether it’s standalone or needs the deep-set shades and/or transition shade. I almost always use UD Laced at the end to blend everything out at the edges and for the darkest part of my deep-set eyes (the inner part of my eye socket and below), so no need to note on any label if that shade is needed.

Since I generally use the same eyeshadow on my browbone every time, plus already have an array of various transition and deep crease matte shadows too, I’m perfectly content with a palette that’s solely complimentary or auxiliary. This isn’t to say that I’ll turn down a fab all encompassing palette, though! I’ll take either type as long as I love the shades and know that I’ll use it.

Usually it just has to complement what I already own. I don’t mind bringing in other palettes or singles. It’s nice if a travel palette is standalone, but it’s not a deal breaker if it isn’t. I usually travel with a small Z-palette that has my eyebrow shades (I use eyeshadows), a matte white, a matte nude, and a matte black in it. That usually takes care of any basics missing from a palette.

Not at all, as I am a major depotting queen, with Adepts dedicated to SG, CP, and V. There’s a universe, including transitions, etc. in each of them. But this AM, used a Z with UD Troublemaker, and remembered just how easy a standalone is….even if staying home and doing 2 different eyes. Troublemaker is such a great beginner palette, for those who are comfortable with color, but do not crave the brights and neons. Grab T Rex and MUFE rust pencils, and all set.

I’m with you, Christine! It’s not necessary that it’s a stand alone palette, I mean it’s nice of it is, but not a deal breaker if it’s not. If it speaks to me and I can’t stop thinking about it, I’ll find a way to make it work. Also, like you mentioned, I prefer the cohesiveness of a color story that makes sense and a deepening shade is always nice to have.

I used to prefer stand alone palettes, but now I don’t mind complementary palettes since pulling out shades I need to go with them doesn’t bother me. I don’t travel so an all in one palette isn’t an absolute must. However, if the price is high, I think it should be a stand alone palette vs needing to go with something else to make it work and/or really make it pop.

Both I think. I have palettes that I use as a standalone and those that work with others in my stash. Often the larger 10-12 pans are the standalones, with sometimes quads making up those I use with others – as their is often a shade that I don’t like/use.

Palettes need to be stand-alone for me. I’ll use a liquid glitter/sparkly topper but that’s about it. If I have to reach for another palette, it frustrates me. I don’t know that many singles either, so I’m not used to pulling colors separately. I just work within the color story the palette gives me.

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