How do you decide if an eyeshadow palette is worth it?

I prefer palettes with a few different color combinations that jump out at me, or else it has to have one REALLY good, go-to combo (like a quad or trio). I prefer more shimmery shades so only a few mattes for me, and I don’t need a brow bone highlighter shade. It doesn’t matter to me if there is a mirror, and I don’t mine cardboard.

— Christine
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1. Majority of colors need to be shades that I like and will use or that meet my preferences. I should be able to see some obvious eye looks within the palette.
2. I don’t need a mirror although I can see why some people would like one. I need magnification to apply my eye makeup so mirror is a waste.
3. I don’t need a brush but if you are going to put one in then I would like it to be a useable brush and not a throw away. That is a waste of space.
4. I like the packaging to be slim and efficient for traveling. Nothing too bulky. Cardboard is okay if it is sturdy.
5. I don’t really love collabs. with beauty gurus. I would like a palette that is cohesive and innovative with good quality. That doesn’t seem to happen very often with collabs.
6. I would like it to available!!
7. Don’t mix cream products with powder products.
8. I do like a matte brow bone shade.
9. If it could be mostly cool toned, I would love it!!

Eyeshadows were the first I collected since they don’t really have an expire date. I collected palettes until Inglot. The “freedom” to buy anything I wished and create my own was so awesome. I have a 20, two 10s and 2 fives. I interchange as needed. If and when I buy a palette at this point it’s because it has one or two colors I cannot find in either Inglot, ABH, MAC, makeup geek and now Colourpop. I unfortunately will get a $50 palette for that one color I cannot dupe. Which rarely happens at this point. My last palette, OPV glitter palette. So to answer the question, if I can’t find a dupe single.

Same here! Inglot are my favourite eyeshadows, and I’ve just started branching out and buying single eyeshadows elsewhere. There have been a few times where I have bought a palette just for one or two colours and it is so wasteful.

I’ve been trying to do this instead too! I don’t want to have 20 warm, mid-tone browns laying around, so I try really hard to dupe my favorites with singles. I will search high and low for that perfect match

I like small ones that offe one or two looks and are sturdy enough to take with me for traveling. If I am at home I prefer to use my single shadows from my big Z-palette.

This is hard! I just bought the tarte make believe in yourself because I feel I have a ton of amazing mattes (shade and light, modern renaissance) but not enough lid shades. i guess I look for whatever my collection is lacking. Unlesss it’s by kvd. Ever since I passed up the mi vida loca remix I buy whatever she comes out with. lol I don’t really care about packaging I just want to know a product is good. A lot of the times this blog helps me decide if it’s worth it!

Most important thing for me is the product’s overall quality. Then; if while I am first looking at swatches and reviews I see various looks jumping out at me that get me excited, and if it is also a palette that I know will work with both my coloring and personal taste, then those are some major pluses right there that will get my interest! Finally, I will ask myself if the price is something agreeable to my budget and whether I already have too many dupes for it to make sense for me to purchase it.

Brand then colors – I only buy eyeshadow palettes ( singles and quads, also) from three brands (partly so that my collection doesn’t explode and partly because these are tried-and-true quality brands for me). Eyeshadow is my weakness (especially palettes) so when the brands that I like release anything new, it’s a pretty safe bet I’m going to pick it up unless there are more colors than not that I wouldn’t wear (i.e. brights, neons, matte pastels, blues). It’s to the point now where I have dupes for everything, but it is still hard to resist the newest version of something – even if I have the colors already but there are some interspersed in a newer palette, I’ll most likely end up getting the palette.

I was just saying the same thing on the chat, that I limit myself to just a few brands, because it’s the only way to keep myself (somewhat) in control with buying!!

On the rare occasion I buy a palette, I do own a few, it has to be a complete palette. It has to have a balance of light, mid-tone and deep shades. Shimmery shades and mattes. I have to be able to create a complete look too esp if it has 12 plus shades. It has to have something that draws me in. It has to have shadows that are pigmented and blend. It doesn’t matter to me if it has some fallout unless the shadows are pigmented, blend well and go together to create beautiful looks. Also doesn’t matter if there is a black shade. I also have to like majority of the color selection. I don’t mind cardboard either and packaging over all doesn’t matter to me ie it’s not the driving force for me to buy. I don’t need a mirror or a brush. Lastly, the price matters. I know there are great affordable palettes and I don’t mind spending $50 if it’s worth it but you cannot convince me that $120 is worth it for powder and pigment. You better come out looking flawless and a clone of Jennifer Lopez after using it. No one does so yeah, it’s mostly hype and there’s a sucker born every minute…no palette is worth that extreme price!

Oh and it cannot have too much repetition. So many palettes have so much repetition where you cannot create more than one or two looks. Such a turn off!

I totally agree with you on price! If it doesn’t pay my bills, do my homework, and give me flawless skin by yesterday, $70+ is not worth it to me.

Hey I agree about the mirror thing! I never use it and I think that it looks dirty. However i prefer when there is a good balance between shimmery and mate color. The transition shade are super important to me because i am light with golden undertone it is kinda hard to fine a good shade!
BTW I love your blog!

I also do not mind about packaging. As long as it stays together of course!
I need a pale skin tone shade, a crease colour and at least one shimmery lid colour. Also when I see palettes that have pops of colour it really puts me off. Don’t get me wrong I love colour but I want a palette I can use to create a look and then add colour from somewhere else as I choose.

I tend to buy bigger palettes, so I look for ones that I feel thst I’ll touch at least half the colors in. I tend to look for colors that round out my collection, and I hate glittery (and microglittery) shades so an excess of those is a pass. I also generally avoid neutral-leaning palettes as they are almost always too warm for me.

I’m the opposite way, I like at least half mattes to half shimmers! The colors don’t have to all “match,” in fact I like it when there’s variety, but it can’t be too hard to make combinations with all the colors. That’s why I really like Modern Romance, I feel like it has some variety but all the colors still “go” together. I don’t really care about the mirror either.

Some or most of the palette has to fill a gap. Smaller (x4 or x6) is better, though I do like 1-2 shades that are new to me since it’s nice opportunity to experiment in shades I’ve not decided on enough to buy a single. Ease of travel is a big plus. I generally prefer more mattes than shimmers.

After all this years doing make-up I decided that no eyeshadow palette is worth it (at least for me). It’s hard to find one in which I would actually use all shades on a regular basis; even if I do use them all, some I’ll finish, some I won’t even hit the pan.
My take on make-up is to have one product at a time (or one type of shade at a time when it comes to lipstick, eyeshadow, eye pencil, etc.) to keep my collection minimal and to actually use products I buy; I also keep track of expiration dates and an eyeshadow palette is out of use two years after opening no matter what.
So the only eyeshadow palette worth it for me is a self built one; and this website helps a lot to identify dupes. If a shade is 80% similar in color (and the same finish), it’s a dupe for me; when I put it on my eyelids, it will look the same.

Number one for me is the quality of the shadows. There are so many good eyeshadows in this world that I don’t have time to struggle with mediocre ones. Then, at this point in my makeup hoarding life, I need a combination of shades that is more unique and that I don’t already own, but also that I know I will wear – so I don’t buy the palettes of brights or red-based colors, because although I don’t have anything like them, I know they don’t look good on me. As a result I’ve bought very few palettes in the past few years!

I don’t like those grand palettes with twenty colors in them–there will be too many I’ll never use, and they’re a storage problem. I prefer a mix of shimmer/satin/matte shadows, and mostly light and neutral shades that are NOT heavily pigmented (my eyes are deep-set, so dark shadows make my eyes look like black holes in my face). I’ve come to prefer duos or quads or make-your-own palettes over premade. I’ve had so few that I’ve used heavily and usually end up swapping or selling them. I fervently wish that NARS would bring back his original palettes–Lust for Life and Skin Deep. Although I don’t like creams and powders in one compact, I used those more than any other I’ve owned.

I need: a matte transition, a matte crease, and a deep dark shade to deepen the outer corners, and at least two shimmery lid shades!

I prefer to have: a shimmery highlight, a matte highlight.

I like to be able to look at the palette, and see at least two eye combos jump out at me! I hate when I can’t think of any eye combos with a palette!

I don’t like 6 light shades in a palette, it does nothing for me. I prefer medium and dark shades, some matte and some light shimmer, no glitter at all, and never use the mirror or the brush it comes with!

For an eye shadow palette to be worth it for me, it has to include:
1. Shades that I would wear/use: a couple of cool toned neutrals, olives, greens, a blue etc. No reds, pinks, oranges or bright yellow.
2. Contain a mixture of mattes, satins and light shimmers – no glitter bombs
3. Any where from 4 – 12 shades is my preferred number
5. Packaging does not concern me at all, but I do like a mirror.
6. Definitely don’t need black or white shades.

1-Overall quality- no dud shades, excessive fallout, streaky or patchy application, & must wear for at least 8 hrs
2- Ability to create several COMPLETE looks out of the palette. I prefer mostly shimmers with a few matte conttour shades and at least one highlighter shade.
3- I like cardboard as it’s eco friendly and I love it if the pots are easily removable so I can create my own palette if I desire. Mirrors & brushes are useless to me & a waste of space.

I like there to be a defined color story/theme. That’s why I find it hard to get behind brights palettes (unless they also have neutrals, see KVD Mi Vida Loca Remix), youtuber/influencer “favorites” palettes, etc. I want color combos to scream out at me, because if it’s just a bunch of pretty colors that don’t practically put themselves together, then I don’t typically go for it. As such, I don’t normally get behind palettes that I have to use in conjunction with other palettes (e.g. Too Faced Glitter Bomb), the only exceptions are KVD Alchemy (just picked it up today and it’s PERFECT, I was seriously missing out), Jouer Skinny Dip (because, come on), and (probably) UD Moondust (in the near future). I prefer between 5-15 shades as more tends to be too much and I get overwhelmed, and less makes it too repetitive and almost like a one-trick pony. I understand why some like that because it makes for an effortless, everyday application, but I like to experiment too much. I would definitely prefer less shades with larger pans. Also, I have to like an overabundant majority of the shades for it to be worth it to me. No point in spending the money when I won’t use half the shades. For finishes, I prefer mattes over others because I find them the most versatile, so if a palette is lacking in mattes I’m not nearly as tempted by it. I like when palettes (unless they’re specifically all matte) have a few metallic/satin pops for the lids. I’m not big on glitter, so those shades don’t make or break for me. The kind of packaging I like depends on the pans. If they are average single shadow sized, I like cardboard because it’s easier to depot (and depotting typically makes me use it more), but if the pants are smaller (like Lorac or Too Faced) I like metal. Mirrors are unnecessary for me, so I don’t care if they’re there or not. I don’t usually highlight the browbone, or I use my setting powder, so that doesn’t matter to me, and I normally use my highlight for the inner corners if the palette doesn’t have one, so again not make or break. Lastly, price. I don’t like buying palettes with a ridiculous cost to shade/product ratio, which is why I don’t purchase palettes like the Natasha Denona ones. It’s a lot of money for a palette that’s just going to overwhelm me. The only purchase I’ve made with a high price/shade ratio is the Melt Rust Stack, which to be fair was totally worth it. To be honest though, my standards for palettes have gone up so much in the last two years that it’s honestly just easier for me to buy singles now. Wow, I have a lot of feelings about eyeshadow palettes LOL! 🙂

Worth it — Quality, a price I’m comfortable paying, uniqueness, colors, finishes, if it fills a need or gap in my collection, and good packaging. Usually I like a mix of finishes, but it depends on the palette. Bonus if I can use some shades as contour powder or blush, too.

Deal breakers — Lots of fallout, too many chunky glittery shades, too many mid-tone cool browns that will go muddy on me, too many really dark shades.

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