What do you like about pre-made palettes? What don't you like?

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Pre-made Palettes

It’s nice to have a lot of shades in one place that often go together (some more than others), so it can take the guesswork out of a look. The downside is that it is hard to hit the right notes for every buyer, so you often end up with a few shades that are less usable (because of things like one’s skin tone) or useful (preferences).

— Christine


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Frozendiva Avatar


More shades can be attractive in terms of value for money. Also, colours that work together.


Though there is value for money spent, sometimes only a few shades in the palette will work for me or are colours I like. One palette may have 12 colours and I might like or use maybe 2/3. I might like only one or two colours in another palette. That would be a waste of money.

In terms of colour stories, less browns and neutrals.

Bulky, heavy packaging. I would appreciate a mini palette case that came with a larger palette and I could snap in colours, even if it is two trios.

Rachel Avatar

My biggest issue is most try and cater to warm tone and cool tones. That means half the palette is unusable or looks terrible on me. Charlotte Tilbury is a prime example of this.

Other palettes, I’m thinking more of Naked 3 by UD, had a great set of neutrals that worked universally for most skin types.

Nancy T Avatar

Some of them are so well coordinated that I only need to pull in my trusty MAC Orb for my browbone. I definitely appreciate those pre-made palettes!
Others can be much more confusing in their color scheme, though. They require me to use the creative left side of my brain in order to come up with looks, and I will likely need to bring in a few other shades to get a full look. Now, if those are only quads or something else smaller, I don’t really mind. But for I larger palette, I certainly do.

Lizzie - IsolatedColor Avatar

Like: Seeing colors placed next to each other can inspire me to create a look with them. Fun themes and shade names make me happy. They’re much more prevalent; building your own palette of singles means your options for which brand to buy is more limited.

Dislike: They almost always have some neutral shades thrown in, even if the rest is colorful. I already own way more neutral shades that I’ll ever need, dang it. I feel like mattes usually outnumber shimmers in palettes, which is a bummer for people like me who prefer shimmers. Also, the “mandatory” creamy beige shade! Sure, it’s convenient for white people, but it also shows that white people is who the palette was created for. 😐

AJ Avatar

I love that they are usually more affordable than buying singles, and that sometimes they introduce me to a cool, unique color that I might not have purchased on my own. And I love giving them as a gift because if you find one that really suits someone’s style, or feels a need they had, or has really cute packaging, it tends to make a bigger splash than any other makeup gift.

I hate when the quality is wildly uneven within the palette, or when there’s one unique shade that you can’t easily get as a single, surrounded by a bunch of shades you have lots of dupes for or don’t like. I also hate if there’s one soft color that keeps “shedding” and contaminating other colors.

Jen Avatar

I tend to get overwhelmed when I have a lot of choices so having an edited selection to choose from helps me a lot. And one good palette can provide a variety of looks so there’s a lot of flexibility and opportunities to play around with the colors. That being said, you’re stuck with the editorial decisions of others which may sometimes be quite boring, or confusing. And there’s a lot of small annoyances like if not all the shades work well, or if you drop it you stand to lose a lot more than one shade. Not to mention having a lot of them can make storage an issue and of course cost.

Mariella Avatar

I like that generally, they’re put together far better than I could assemble a palette (mine would be full of variations on the exact same 2 or 3 shades). I also like that they can force me to try shadows I would otherwise not buy (UD’s Weirwood Leaves, from the Game of Thrones palette is a perfect example). What I don’t like is that almost invariably, they contain at least one colour (often more than one) that I don’t like on me and wouldn’t wear so they can be a bit of waste of money from that standpoint.

Gail Avatar

They were more useful to me when I had a smaller collection. Now almost all the colors are dupeable for me, even if the formula would be a marginal improvement over what I’ve got. So, despite the cheaper-pr-pan advantage I actually would spend more to get the few shades that might be new. I may be past palette buying at this point in my life.

Millihelen Avatar

Eyeshadows that are too warm-toned and/or too dark overwhelm my face. As a result, I find that most pre-made palettes have at least one or two shadows I’ll never touch. That translates into less value for my money as well as wasted product. It makes more sense for me to dupe the few shadows I really like, although I hate missing out on lovely palette-only colors.

Genevieve Avatar

What I like about premade palettes: if the shades are those I like and would wear, have been reviewed here and given an excellent rating – they are stunning, It takes the guess work out of opening lots of singles to get the same result.
If there are shades there that normally you would not use, it gives you the opportunity to try something different – to experiment with a colour or two to see if you can use it.

What I don’t like is when there are shades in the palette that I wouldn’t ever use – eg matte blacks, white, orange, pink and finishes in mattes that I have to put up with.

Susan Avatar

I generally prefer palettes to singles but try to choose those that will be mostly useful to me. I don’t care fore huge palettes and stay at 12 colors or less. If there are colors I don’t use, I depot them and pass them on to younger females in my familly or friend’s families.

TropicalCowgirl Avatar

Like: For large palettes, I used to like variety but when there is a cohesive color story with basics…most of the time. Honestly, UD Naked and Naked 2 were one of the most cohesive palettes for me with only the lightest shades ignored. I now look at some palettes as being companion palettes. I honestly am now MORE excited for variety after breaking down and building a palette that took care of my crease, liner, contour, brow bone and basic lid color. I also love that I can rearrange palettes like Viseart and ND. I honestly don’t care about the names, I like to recognize a color. I also like the opportunity to rearrange my color by shade. It really brings out the nuances and differences between the colors. I so wish I could do this with PMG golds. However, for smaller quads, I practically demand every color be useful and for it to have cohesiveness. My fave quads are Chanel. It’s almost magic now with the new formula how intensity of application can actually make it seem like you have 3 palettes of the same quad but different levels of intensity.

Dislike: One thing I dislike is inconsistency of quality between the colors. It’s on me making a choice if I do not like the color (so personally over bright pinks and oranges). It’s quite another to have quality not there for some but others shine. I also dislike the painted on arm swatches when advertised which are also misleading. Anyone can dampen an applicator and make something opaque. I want to see legit swatches which is also why I come here. I also hate how much copycat goes on. It’s like every brand wants to dupe the latest best seller. I buy 90% less palettes now because of this.

Rachel R. Avatar

LIKE: I love pre-made palettes. They’re fun! They’re faster and easier than picking through a bunch of singles. I get color combinations I may not have come up with on my own. They’re generally less expensive than buying the same number of singles.

DISLIKE: Mainstream palettes are often redundant in their color stories, and mostly play it safe. There may be shades I don’t like or don’t perform well. Because I’m pale, many don’t have good brow bone, crease, and/or transition shades for me.

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