Thanks for the Inspiration: Five Eyeshadow Palettes

A Week of Gratitude

Five Eyeshadow Palettes

This week, I want to share some products that have inspired me this year (and I’ll still be doing my best-of posts at the end of the year); they’re products that translated into a look I loved, found their way into my must-haves list, or otherwise caused my heart to go pitter-patter for one reason or another.

ColourPop Chasing Rainbows

As ColourPop’s newest palette for the holiday season, it was absolutely refreshing to see this color scheme during the holidays.  It also takes a special knack to include such a variety in colors, finishes, and undertones in a single palette and still have it work cohesively.  I loved how well the palette paired with the other eyeshadows and shades launched within the collection, too, because I think that’s part of the point of having a collectionAll three looks I created around this palette were colorful, vibrant, and brought a smile to my face.


Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction

Over the last few months, I’ve been having an internal debate with myself as I start prepping and dialing in on year-end favorites and editor’s choice award winners on whether Pat McGrath’s eyeshadows might just be my very favorite.  So often when I use her palettes, I am enamored with my eye makeup–I love the way the textures and colors come together, how the sparkles twinkle, and the formulations themselves to a degree that I don’t feel all the time, even when a product is good.  Bronze Seduction, to me, made the brand’s larger Motherships more “accessible” in a festive, fun, and very holiday-esque combination but still injected something special into it.  I was more than happy to wear and test this palette with these looks!

Pat McGrath Decadence

I really hope that Pat McGrath brings back the Decadence palette and makes it part of her core range or else releases singles of her eyeshadow range, because since I first reviewed it in late January, I’ve loved it every time I’ve used it. When there’s a rare moment where I wear makeup that I’m not testing, this is almost always the first palette that I think about using (sometimes I resist…).  I particularly loved how well it paired with Bronze Seduction in this look.  (Psst… we also added a way to look up looks by product! You can view the four looks I’ve posted using this palette here.)

Pat McGrath Subversive Metalmorphosis

Out of the three six-pan palettes that Pat McGrath launched this holiday season, I feel like this one appealed to me the least (though by no means was I disinterested!) as it contained shades I felt like I had seen before… but the quality was so high, the textures were so creamy and smooth, and the pigmentation and shine were out of this world.  The way the six shades came together made me ooh and ahh in the mirror.

Urban Decay Born to Run

Urban Decay makes some of my favorite eyeshadows, both past and present, but some of their eyeshadow palettes (especially in the last few years) haven’t always been as impressive as their singles are.  Born to Run isn’t just a high-quality palette, but it’s an excellent, versatile palette that’s permanent that features more than just one pop of color but several. I was able to put together an earthy, greenish look just as easily as a copper/plum look.  I was thrilled to see a brand add something like this to their core range!


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Deborah S. Avatar

Thank you for this list of likely award winners this year. I have four of the five palettes you have referred to and completely agree with your choices. Born To Run was the only palette I took to Europe for my daughter and I to use and we were gone for just over 5 weeks. This palette served all of our needs for both day time appropriate looks and evening out looks. A really versatile palette with lovely pigmentation and worked on her young eye lids and my old lids. I have all 3 of the Pat McGrath palettes and as I have remarked before, they are stellar. The ease of use and the beautiful and refined eye looks with those dazzling shimmers is just out of this world. The only palette that I don’t have is the ColourPop and my daughter and I were just speaking last night about not having purchased anything from ColourPop in awhile. I was consciously taking a break because releases were coming fast and furious and frankly, I got tired of trying to figure out what I wanted and what I would use and by the time I had made a decision, something new was released. I would say they need to slow down but since they have had few real formula issues and little or no quality problems, maybe they are that rare company that can crank out excellent products at a very nice price point. This is a beautiful palette.

Christine Avatar

So thrilled to hear that Born to Run worked well for you, Deborah! That seems to be exactly what the brand wanted, too, a super travel-friendly palette and you proved them right on that!!

I’m torn on ColourPop like you – there are so many launches but they don’t miss often, so slow down for who? for what? It must be working, LOL!

Kat Avatar

I think the moral of the story is Pat McGrath knows what she’s doing! I got the Dark Star holiday palette and it’s probably the most inspirational one I’ve bought this year! I don’t have anything else like it. Also, I cosign the petition to bring back Decadence!

Melissa Avatar

I’m not surprised so many PMG palettes are in your list! When I swatch them in stores I always marvel at how smooth and pigmented they are! If I didn’t have more than enough eyeshadows to last me a lifetime, I’d definitely be saving up for one of hers.

And thanks for adding the feature to search looks by palette! I swear I was just trying to do that the other day and was wondering why that wasn’t a possibility.

Christine Avatar

Oh, and it applies to any product/shade (doesn’t have to be a palette!). You’ll also find any looks using a product will show up on a product’s page, too, if you scroll down a bit you’ll see a section for looks, if they exist. They obviously won’t exist for a ton of products, but you know… they will if they are there, lol!

Wednesday Avatar

Couldn’t agree more on the Pat McGrath Bronze seduction palette which turned out incredibly flattering and wearable even though the palette at first glance looked quite warm to me. I’m lousy at undertones so I’m guessing the palette has a redder undertone versus orange or yellow which works better for my beige with slight green olive skintone. The shadows are breathtakingly beautiful to blend. This palette is probably the first palette I have ever purchased where I felt that magic. It has set my expectation bar so much higher.

A surprise second pick would be the Jouer Rose Gold palette. PMG and this palette are indispensible to me and are the two I take to travel even though I have smaller palettes which would better suit.

Wednesday Avatar

I think my enthusiasm has more to do with how the Jouer palette pairs up with Bronze Seduction in terms of providing cooler options. Hazelnut and toffee, for example as cooler transition options over entrapment and disobedient from PMG. Also, the Jouer has cooler bright midtones like orchid and rosewood. The two palettes together are my powerhouse of shades that work very well on me covering a lot of ground between the two. 🙂

Mags Avatar

These are all really lovely palettes, although I don’t own any of them as well. My standout palette from this year is Norvina. Even though I don’t use in two pinks in it very much, I find myself inspired by the beautiful combinations of purples and browns, mixing cool & warm together, which is something I never did before. It’s the palette that broke me out of my comfort zone, so to speak.

Jane Avatar

I looked at your eyes with the PM Subversive Metamorphosis palette and thought, “Wow!!!” Yet, when I see the dupes for the entire palette, I just can’t go there. If the dupes were way off them I could justify it, but they aren’t or when they are they seem like I prefer the color I have, so. Like you’ve said before, I pray Oat releases singles. Pleeeeease! LOL!

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