How do you feel about neutral eyeshadow palettes?


Keep 'em coming, please!

43%, 1,387 Votes

Loved them, but I'm ready for something new!

28%, 911 Votes

I'm still waiting for THE ONE for me!

18%, 582 Votes

Over it!

9%, 298 Votes

Other -- I'll tell you in the comments!

1%, 21 Votes

Total Voters: 3,199

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62 Comments

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I love them. I only really wear neutral eyeshadow so I don’t buy palettes if they aren’t mostly or all neutrals. My favorite palettes are Lorac Unzipped (original), Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Too Faced Naked Eye, and UD Naked 1.

Oh god, I’m so over neutral palettes. I have two and I barely touch one of them.

Like, yes, it is fantastic that I can get great quality neutrals for a good bargain nowadays and I do think the first Naked palette really changed the game – but I don’t need a drawer full of them. There are only so many looks you can do with them.

Given that most people mostly wear neutrals, I’d say there’s a market for these palettes and they should keep coming. But I wish more companies got that “neutral” does not always have to mean “brown.” One palette I adore is the Naked3, because it’s such a fresh take on neutrals. I can wear it every day, go very subtle or very dramatic, without ever feeling like I’m over the top. The Too Faced Chocolate Bar palettes, though I don’t own either, seem like they also incorporate some less-traditional “neutrals” into them. Lorac Unzipped, too.

It seems like every brand has to come out with at least 3-5 neutral eye palettes a year, so we are drowning in a sea of neutrals. Don’t get me wrong, I love some neutrals, but c’mon, after a while, the 3,000 shades of brown all start looking the same on my eye. Plus, I have brown eyes, so I need some color to make them pop. Bring on some color, please !

I know they’ve been done and done and “done to death” but neutrals are my go-to shades 95% of the time so I’m always happy to see a new neutral palette, perhaps with a hit or 2 of colour. I may not buy all of them but I sure do love to see them and choose from among the newest releases. Do I need any more? Probably not but then I don’t need any more blush, lipstick, foundation, etc, but I enjoy these things the same way some people enjoy electronics or collecting music, etc. And there’s a good reason the original Naked palette took off like it did and spawned a whole new herd of imitators – neutral palettes are a practical item to have for many people which is why they’re so popular and there seems to be no end to the “neutrals parade”.

I have a love hate relationship with neutral palettes, I love how useful they are and find myself choosing them over colour palettes as they are much easier (lazier) to use. Hate them because they are boring and somehow convince me to avoid colour!

Neutral palettes are the bulk of my collection. Naked 2 was my first real palette and I’ve hit pan on almost every colour of it. I don’t wear anything else, my style and personality just don’t fit wearing bright coloured eyeshadows.

I love neutral palettes. A little too much lol. I have more than enough at this point. Time to start branching out and trying more colorful looks

There is a place for neutral palettes (work, weddings, formal events, etc.) but could we get more variety in our neutrals? Like cool toned neutrals (too many warm toned palettes out there), sets without black, or one with a better balance of finishes? Damn just preaching to the choir here.

I heard *that!*
In fact, Hourglass is darned close to making me break my “singles only” policy and fork over $58 for their plum “Modernist” eyeshadow (called “Exposure,” I think).
The shades look so beautiful, and so perfect for green eyes.

What Codename Duchess said. If UD takes the spirit of PΓΌr Minerals’ “Soul Mattes” palette and expands it, I’m on it in a heartbeat. I’m loving “Soul Mattes” right now because I am burned out on Fifty Shades of Brown.

Have you swatched Kat Von D’s Innerstellar palette? I’m too tired to swatch all of the colors right now but, if I remember correctly, all of them have a tinge of purple in them. That being said… I would DEFINTELY purchase another UD Naked palette if they came out with a purple/mauve based one!

I think the market is over saturated by this point, but probably for a reason. Neutral palettes are easy, foolproof, and useable for women all over the work spectrum. This being said, for all the availability, there’s a serious lack of matte and cooler toned nudes out there.

I, too, think so, Veronica.
Even though I don’t buy palettes, I’m so devoted to neutral shadows that when a company I’ll buy from comes out with a new neutral palette, I always look, just to see if it will tempt me to break my “singles only” policy.
I’ve noticed that there are typically very few matte shades represented, and that the colors tend to run toward golds, reddish browns, and peaches.

I love neutral palettes and I use them frequently but I feel like there are so many palettes already that I don’t really need anymore. There’s such a wide selection available from drugstore to high end that I feel like companies should look towards releasing other color schemes of eyeshadow palettes.

While neutral eyeshadows are really the only kind that I ever wear, I just don’t buy palettes – ever.
I have limited storage space, so taking up precious space with bulky palettes that probably contain only a few shades that I really like and will use just isn’t practical.
Also, I like the flexibility that single shadows afford – it’s easy to combine shades at will when they’re in single pans.
Even though in general I avoid palettes, I do like “do-it-yourself” palettes like the Inglot Freedom, because sometimes it *is* rather convenient to have several shades of, say, grayish taupe together. And, of course, you can also buy only the shades that really suit you and that you’ll actually wear.

before the neutral glut, i seldom wore neutrals. getting older by the minute, they are becoming indispensable, with a hit of color in the outer v + liner combos. i am eternally thankful for your review on Monarch, which has turned into an all-time fave. I never would have given it a first look 5 years ago, + now it’s quite useful. ‘course, i’m someone who looked dreadful in brown (clothing) until 10 years ago, too, so brown based colors were just WRONG until lately. with deep set eyes, neutrals often looked muddy, but the variety and the lightness/brightness of the modern neutrals has changed all that. but, despite my age, i still love color. i just incorporate it more judiciously. (+ have not gone for UD electric or the MJ palettes.) wearing glasses can mitigate the ‘color’ scream, too. nobody has ever told me i’m too old for x or y, and i know a bazillion people who would. i DID get a ‘look’ once for Bite Quince l/s, from a stranger. But as i work in the public @ night, she might recognize me as a no pink l/s person. don’t know.

I, too, look drab in brown clothing, but I can wear brown eye shadow just fine, as long as it’s a “cool” (as in “greyed”) brown. Warm browns tend to make me look tired.
Taupes work *perfectly* for me, setting off my green eye color in a understated, complexion-flattering way. “Dirty” (not bluish) greys work well, too.
If ever a cruelty-free company comes out with a grey or taupe palette, I am utterly DOOMED.

I always think I’m over them but then another one comes along and I whip out the credit card. I’ve totally got the Pokemon mentality–gotta get ’em all.

its one of those things where…you have SO many of them but they all seem different so you NEED to have them in your collection! πŸ˜€

First of all, just because something is in the “brown” range, it doesn’t mean it’s “neutral” for *everyone*. To me, neutral means just that-it doesn’t run too warm, too cool, etc… While UD Naked, for example, works as a “neutral” for those with medium warm-toned complexions, it doesn’t read as neutral for fair cool-toned folks. UD Naked reads as bronzy on me, whereas NYX Butt Naked “eyes” palette reads truly meutral. That said, there are times I want something that is a bit more contrasting to my natural coloring, and days I want a no-brainer, everything blends in look.

Also, how did the UD Naked series earn the reputation as the brand that “started” it all…? I vividly remember having several “neutral” eyeshadow palettes back in the 80s-90s… If anything, DS brands are the forbearers-I had several from L’OrΓ©al, Max Factor, Revlon, Maybelline… Again, UD did not invent the neutral eyeshadow palette, LOL! Why shouldn’t every other brand have the right to do their own? Some people are actually brand-loyal, and just because UD does one, they don’t necessarily want to try a new brand.

I also want to add that although “purple” on most, both the Kat von D Sinner & Innerstellar palettes read as “neutral” on me, so I think there can never be enough on the market!

Very good points. I agree that UD certainly didn’t invent the brown/neutral palette. I’m like you: I remember them being made widely accessible by drug store brands. A small brown palette was the first one I bought as a teen in the mid-80s. However, the wild success of the Naked palettes seems to have played a big part in the current craze. The Naked line is just so successful and well done, I think it’s become a common frame of reference.

I see what you mean about everyone’s neutrals being different for different undertones. Also, skin shade. I know being as fair as I am, a lot of shades that are pretty sedate on other people become very vivid on me. I may find a pale sparkly beige pretty neutral on me, but I’m betting some women with darker skin tones find the same shade looks dramatic. A “neutral” look also depends on application. I may consider most browns to be “neutral”, but a heavy brown smoky eye is certainly not a neutral look to me.

I think a lot of us have the reference that in fashion the neutrals are traditionally black, gray, white, khaki, navy and the brown/earth tone family. Most shades of most colors don’t clash with most shades of a “neutral.”

Agreed! I have to confess: I’m totally over neutral palettes at this point. That doesn’t mean I hope companies will stop making them entirely, I just hope that they will expand their notion of what constitutes ‘neutral’, and make a few more palettes that are on the cooler end, as opposed to being warm with maybe one token ‘coolish taupe’.

Definitely with you on the bit where things that are ‘neutral’ or subtle on others make for a serious smoky/dramatic eye on this vampire! πŸ˜€

That being said, it’s hard to feel too desperate about the state of ‘non-neutrals’ when MUFE and NARS and UD and Sugarpill and MUG (and and) are all putting out super bright and sparkly things. I just wish there were more well-edited colourful multi-palettes that included some things that can read as ‘neutrals’ but are not just warm brown.

I love the idea of them, but there are few that have really wowed me. I have fair, cool-toned skin, and most of the golden/bronze-toned palettes just don’t suit me.

I would love to see more palettes with more cool tones, as well as ones featuring duochrome, foil, etc. types of shadows. “Neutral” doesn’t have to mean plain or dull. I think there’s a way to make neutral colors really unique and stunning without looking too crazy–and I think people would like them as a way to incorporate a little color into a subtle look. Indie brands do shadows like this all the time. I’d love to see them in palettes!

I put “other” just because neutrals aren’t my usual look. However, there’s a time and place for neutrals, even for me. Neutral palettes often have some good brow highlight and transitioning shades that I could use even if I’m doing a colorful look, but I love having my two neutral palettes (Naked 2 and KVD Monarch) around for whenever I have an occasion that isn’t friendly to dark or bright makeup.

I do love a good neutral palette: Tartelette, Naked on the Run, NakedBasics and Naked2Basics, BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 8.0 The Posh Neutrals, The Balm’s Nude Tude, Too Faced Candy Bar and Semi-Sweet to name a few.

I don’t want good neutral palettes to stop coming out.

That being said… I would love to see more brighter, bolder palettes. Ones with good quality colors, not some of the patchy, unpigmented messes that have been coming out. Ones that aren’t half or more neutrals despite being called “colored” palettes.

Everyone, not just UD, seems to just be riding the Naked series’ coattails, and hard. If not directly copying the Nakeds, then at least variations of the same boring browns, beiges, taupes, grays and blacks in all of them. Browns and neutrals can be beautiful, but all these churned-out blah neutral palettes are boring me to death.

I have…the UD Naked 3, Too Faced Chocolate Bar, IT Cosmetics Vol 1. All Matte palette, and NYX Love in Paris (Merci Beaucop). And I am still eyeing the UD Naked 2 and the Semi-sweet Chocolate bar. Help me. lol.

I liked wearing more colorful, bright eyeshadow in high school. I’m 25 and now I have a better sense of how makeup goes well with my skin and outfits. I still want to be able to rock purples and greens (my favorite shades for my brown eyes). But when I was like 15 or 16 I didn’t care, the more colorful the better.

I haven’t bought any of the neutral palettes yet but I do intend to get one of the Nakeds before too long, but just one. I am all about loud bright colors, jewel tones, and metallic finishes. I think having one solid neutral palette that performs like a champ is really all I need.

Now having said that, if someone comes out with a neutral palette based primarily on grey tones, I am there. I can always use cool shades with my blue eyes.

I think they’re beautiful and are my favorite palettes to own but owning all 3 Nakeds and a gorgeous neutral Sephora palette I have finally finished adding to my make up collection. Even though both Too Faced Chocolate bars are gorgeous and Lorac Pro’s are also beautiful plus many other neutrals, I think if you have all three Naked’s you’re good to go, haha.

I have naked2 and I think I am covered for neutrals. I dont want any more of them , I want colour, greens, navy, purples, plums, lighter or darker shades and why not pink and burgundy?

That being said I want to buy the naked3 if I have the chance, It adds a beautiful twist to neutrals. I struggle to fing cool toned shades

Colorful shadows are tricky for me because I have bright green eyes.
If I try to wear bright blues or greens, my natural eye color “washes out” to this strange pale gray.
I can wear plums, pinks, and purples successfully, but since I love bright lips, more often than not, neutral eyeshadows are what I reach for.This thread has gotten me seriously considering buying the Naked2 Basics.

I voted “Keep em coming”, but at the same time I see why people are sick of them. I look at some neutral palettes coming out and most of them have shades that I already have similar colors in. But I really think there could be a market for more good cool-toned neutral palettes (I like the Naked 2 but that’s definitely not the only way to do a cool neutral palette, and it’d be nice to have more mattes). Then again I have more than enough neutral palettes and maybe I need to pick up something like the electric palette to encourage me to switch it up a bit..

I only own one eyeshadow palette (I much prefer singles) and it’s the Paula’s Choice matte palette. I use it as the basis of almost every eye look, usually by working the medium-darks and darks into the crease and layering the more stand-out singles over and around them.

I think there are a lot of neutral palette releases, but like some others here, I think that, for as many as there are, there are weird gaps in the choices. Yeah, it look like most companies define neutral as warm-ish brown, and as some other have said, that ain’t necessarily so. Granted, I look better in the yellow-based browns, which you do find a lot of in these palettes, but I’d love to play with some other options. Essentially, any color you can find in skin is a neutral, which means desaturated colors ranging from warm yellow to almost purple, from pale to deep — and the palest of the pale among us even have grayed-lavender tones to their skin!

I don’t think the problem is quantity, I think it’s variety. I don’t think people would have as much of a problem with the number of neutral palette releases if so many of them didn’t fall exclusively into the very narrow range of medium to warm browns that we can’t seem to get away from.

I agree, Alecto.
“Neutral” does not necessarily have to mean “brown.”
While I do like brown eyeshadows, if I try to wear shades that are too warm, they can tend to make NW15 me look tired.
What I’d like to see is more companies offering “DIY” palettes, like the Inglot Freedom System.
That way, you can choose the number of shades in a given palette, choose exactly what colors go in, easily replace more frequently used colors, and even just skip the whole palette thing entirely and buy your shadows as singles.
Personally, I find it rather frustrating when there’s a “star” shadow that’s *only* available in a palette.
For example, for years I’ve been hearing how wonderful Too Faced’s “Velvet Revolver” is, and I’d dearly love to have it, but it’s available only in a palette, and I neither need nor want to buy a palette of a half dozen or so shadows just to get *one* that I really want.

That’s what I ask myself every time I’m in front of my huge collection of [single] eyeshadows!
I think my problem lies in the fact that I’m VERY fussy about colors and their nuances, and the assortment of neutrals available now plays right into that; I can tell myself that I “need” a medium matte taupe that’s more grey than brown(Inglot M349), a shimmery medium matte taupe that’s more grey than brown (Cargo Yukon), a shimmery light taupe (NYX Frosted Flakes), deep matte taupe that’s more grey than brown (MAC Keep Your Cool), a matte medium taupe that’s more brown than gray (MAC Omega), a shimmery medium taupe that’s more brown than gray (MAC Warming Trend), and on and on and on …

I love the idea because it would be a total workhorse for me but I haven’t bought one yet beacause none of them seem to suit my needs. I want something that has a range of warm, neutral and cool tones, mattes and shimmers, and includes mauvey pinks and purples in the color selection. Something like the tartlette palette but with shimmers included.
I actually just depotted a bunch of trios, quads and singles and compiled them, and that turned out to be my perfect neutral palette right there!

They used to bore me, then Naked 3 came out and blew my mind. I was addicted to neutrals for the next year or two, and now I’m over it. I still like them, and they’ll always be a staple, but come on. It’s time for a new trend. (I’m lookin’ at you, Urban Decay.)

Like many other commenters have said…too many browns. A lot just end up looking too muddy and/or orange-y on me. I’m a fan of both Naked Basics though, and want the Viseart Nudes palette..it looks like a good one. I would love to see a nice all grey palette…I can’t recall seeing one and I don’t understand why…grey is a very wearable neutral and there can be so many variations of it.

You’re absolutely right, Kelly – good gray eyeshadows are weirdly hard to find, and, at least on NW15, green-eyed me, they are more flattering than most browns.
The shadows out there are either silver or charcoal, and the very are mid-tone are very often bluish enough to pass for – well – blue!
That’s why I nearly wet myself when I “discovered” Inglot M349, which is a mid-tone smooth matte taupe gray; a lighter version of MAC Copperplate.
her greys I love:
MAC French Grey
Sephora City Fog
Avon Slate (long since discontinued)
Stila Kamet discontinued)
I never buy palettes, but if a good brand came out with a gray palette, I’d be ALL OVER it!

I wear neutrals most of the time and I have several neutral palettes but… at this point, all new palettes looks similar to me. How many different browns can I own? I would love to see some muted – earthy toned greens, blues, or purples. Shades that could be defined as “neutrals” but not plain browns.

I love neutrals with a “kick,” which usually translates to taupe, gray, or brown with a hint of purple, plum, or mauve.
A good example of this type of shade is UD’s [discontinued, naturally] “Heist-” you can’t quite decide if it’s taupe, gray, purple, or all of the aforementioned.
It really “pops” my green eye color without being an obvious “color.”

I have no choice but to like and wear neutral palettes being a makeup loving HR Manager, I must keep a professional appearance at all times! Neutral eye shadows with a muted pink lippy is my go-to look for work, please keep them coming! I mean they must be selling…

Before the neutral trend began, my makeup collection was devoid of such colors, so I found the Naked palettes useful (still do). However, I’ve noticed that I now gravitate towards neutrals just because it’s easier to use one palette than to go through my collection find more exciting shades that coordinate. Plus, neutrals are more work appropriate. Now, I feel there’s an oversaturation of neutrals in the market. I need to find a happy balance between them and brights. Another thing – I collected palettes for a long time. After realizing so many shades go unused, now I feel it’s more beneficial for me to only purchase singles.

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