What do you like about Single Eyeshadows? What don't you like?

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Single Eyeshadows

I enjoy them, though I think that they can be cost-prohibitive for some (really in how you use your products) now that palettes are so prevalent. I still find I’ll reach for a pre-made palette with a really good color story over trying to put together something on my own. I think if I wasn’t blogging, it might be more 50/50, though, so it’s more a time/effort/energy constraint than I prefer one over the other. I wish more brands would maintain core shades and add-in seasonal offerings, maybe rotating every 6-9 months, and I wish we saw more cool-toned, duochrome, and accent kind of shades in single form.

— Christine

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What I like about singles is that I can pick and choose the shades I want. What I don’t like is that I’m less inclined to use them because it’s easier to grab a palette. Also, it’s more expensive to buy single shades than palettes.

Thinking about this question is reminding me of all the beautiful singles I already have that I rarely touch because of palettes. I really need to make the effort to use them.

Single eyeshadows are the perfect solution for me, so I switched a long time ago to owning just a custom made palette. Pre-made simply doesn’t work for me, there’s always shadows I use more, there’s always shadows I don’t use at all.

I like single eyeshadows because I can pick the shades that suit me the most; because I can repurchase the shades I actually finish (when you only have one custom made palette it’s easier to finish eyeshadows).

What I don’t like is that brands focus too much on the pre-made palettes, so singles are ignored: no improvements to the formulas, sometimes limited color or formula selections.

There is a lot of sameness to the run of neutral palettes with a pop of color in one pan. Singles are a better way to get the pop because you can get the precise shade you want.

I absolutely love the ones that are magnetized and can be bought just as a pan to put in a customizable palette! Especially when it comes to more unique shades or ones from indie brands. But also my base exchange like MAC Kid, Soft Brown, Woodwinked, etc.
However, I’m not the biggest fan of ones that are in their own packaging. But only because I tend to forget about them in the shuffle. There are several favorites by MAC that I keep out on my table and out of the bin I’m storing all the rest of my singles in, just so that I remember to use them on the regular.

I’m still frustrated that MAC gives for Back to MAC only the option of eyeshadows in their own packaging, since depoting isn’t my skill. 😆 But then again… nowadays nobody does Back to MAC anymore.

I enjoy single shadows when I want a really unique color, but I’m not very good at coming up with color stories with single shadows (I prefer a palette for that) so I find they can be overwhelming for me. Also, getting a full palette of single shadows can get really expensive!

I like that they’re a really good way to fill in gaps in my eye shadow collection, getting colors that aren’t covered by palettes. I like that while it would be more expensive to buy 12 singles than a 12-pan palette, it’s cheaper to buy 1-2 singles that dupe the colors I like in a palette, rather than buying a palette that only has two colors I’m excited about. I enjoy the process of taking them out of their packaging and arranging them in a magnetic palette.

I don’t like the decision paralysis that comes from trying to pick out colors from a huge selection online. I don’t like when I really only want 1 color specifically, and then feel like I have to buy more colors to make it worthwhile. I don’t like that most affordable singles aren’t available in store, so you can’t swatch them and have to rely on hoping your monitor is depicting the color accurately. I don’t like when all of your magnetic palettes are full but you find a single you just have to have so then you have to buy a new empty palette, too. LOL.

OMG every point you made I agree with. Your last point, I’ve held off buying any more singles because the ones I’ve already got are so well organized and I just don’t want to have to worry about starting a new palette. I use smaller MUFE palettes for mine but still, it’s a hassle to start a new one. I saw that SG just came out with their own empty palette, so I may try theirs next although I’m not sure it it’s cardboard and prefer more sturdy metal ones like MUFE’s.

What I like: I love the freedom of choosing and arranging my colors as I like. I can easily pull out and replace colors in a magnetic palette. I won’t end up with colors I don’t plan on using in the first place. It’s less wasteful packaging.

What I don’t like: The time and effort it takes to narrow down a selection from the frankly thousands of colors and many brands available–and then even further narrowing down the exact depth and tone of a shade in a color family. I was very exacting bc singles can be cost-prohibitive and returns of “mistakes” can be wasteful so I was careful to avoid dupes and stick to my color story. This turned out quite exhausting–hours that totaled into days of online research. I remember being quite upset when after spending TONS of time narrowing down on a color story, some brand would end up releasing the color story I wanted a mere few months AFTER I receive my order. This has happened with UD Born to Run, Colour Pop It’s a Princess Thing, and a couple others. I suppose it’s lovely that I can predict the market but I would have much rather bought pre-made palettes.

I primarily rely on singles when I am purchasing from a new or indie brand so that I can get a feel for their formula and shades. I like getting singles that are unique shades that I can pair with palettes that don’t offer a shade that I think would have made the palette perfect. My main objection is the difficulty in storing them and then remembering to use them, LOL!

I vastly prefer singles. I really like having what I want/need at my fingertips and I very rarely find that in a single palette. So having to switch between two or more palettes for a single eye look just makes me frustrated more than anything. Also, since there’s rarely a palette where I love and would use every single shade in it (sometimes it’s inconsistent quality within the palette or just a color I wouldn’t use), that increases the per color cost of the palette for me. I’d rather pay for exactly what I want and would use and be able to curate my own color stories and organize them to my preferences in a z-palette. And with a lot of smaller companies putting out really consistently good singles at a fairly affordable price, I just don’t find myself swooning over palettes anymore. The last one I swooned over was Natasha Denona Sunrise (purchased).

I do tend to shy away from more expensive self-contained singles for the same reasons as above (in theory I could try to make the effort to de-pot, magnetize, and put them in a z-palette…but I won’t). I make exceptions for the metallic shadows from Tarte, the MAC extra dimension shadow in Sea Worship, and the Burberry wet/dry shadows in Pale Barley and Nude No. 002.

My looks are so simple that I mostly use palettes like they were a collection of singles. What I mean is, 2-3 shadows are my max on a given day. W/ a lighter shade for inner corner and maybe under brows, a lid and an outer corner/crease color, it’s hardly a “color story” – the lid is the only place where I might use more noticeable color, w/ neutrals elsewhere. So why do I need a palette w/ coordinated shades? It’s cheaper pr. oz, and it’s easier to have it all in one place, knowing the 2-3 shades I pick are likely to work well together. But truly, finding an inner and crease neutral to work w/ a color is pretty easy. Since my singles are deported into palettes, I use them the same way I would any palette. Where the difference comes up at this advanced stage of my ‘collection’/overconsumption is that I rarely can justify an entire palette, but there’s still the occasional single that looks different enough to tempt me.

They’re okay if I can depot them and put in a palette, but I prefer pre-made because I can’t be bothered to come up with color stories. MAC and Pat McGrath are the only singles I buy these days. I still have some Rouge Bunny Rouge singles, but I forget to use them because they can’t be depotted (that I know of) and I don’t think to grab them along with a palette I’m going to use.

I have quite a few depotted singles in self-made palettes and I’ve tried coming up with color stories but it’s too much and I lose interest. I have them organized by color then texture now, but still don’t reach for them like I do pre-made. Sometimes I’ll remember a single pan and look for it in a self-made palette but it’s not that often I do that.

I have a few, maybe a dozen, singles with colors I seldom see in palettes I like. In general, I strongly prefer palettes. More pretty colors to look at. I like paint swatch books and color wheels too. Must be some kind of disorder but makes me happy!

– custom palette that I would love and use all of the shades
– 1 and done palette, I don’t have to play hide and seek with my eye shadows collection
– avoid depot disaster and I can change the color story anytime I want (I suck at depot eye shadow, and putting back crack eye shadow)

– expensive, cost per eye shadow adds up quick
– all of the special colors are in palette format, and they don’t sell as single

LIKE: I prefer singles for augmenting palettes rather than using them exclusively for a look. I like that you can buy only what you want. You can get more unique shades and finishes, especially if you buy indie singles. Indie singles are usually pretty inexpensive. Loose powder singles are versatile: They can easily be made into liquid liners, and many are lip safe. I like pan only/pro pans because they don’t waste packaging. I like that I can put together my own palettes if I’m not finding what I want in premade.

DISLIKES: Mainstream brand singles are usually more expensive per ounce. Popular singles seem to sell out faster and take longer to get back in stock than palettes. No matter how well I organize my singles, they are harder to keep track of, especially if they are not able to be depotted. It’s more time consuming to pull together a look if you’re like me and like a lot of variety in finish and colors.

With a palette, there may be colors I never thought would work on me, or work with each other, but I give them a go because they’re in the palette. I play it a bit more safe when buying singles, buying with something in mind, because they may be more expensive and sometimes the selection is overwhelming.

I love singles! Putting together different combinations is helping me get through the pandemic. I also really enjoy the indie brands out there. Some of them put out such pretty and unique shades. Then I also like to combine those with some of my premade palettes that maybe haven’t worked so well for me in the past. Basically, I just really love eyeshadow.

What I like about single eyeshadows is that you can get the exact shade you love without buying a whole palette of redundant shades. And with Sydney Grace in the market now, they offer a fabulous range of excellent singles in a whole range of vibrant shades.

What I don’t like about singles is that some of them can be tricky to open, and others, like SG, don’t come in their own pan and you then have to find a magnetic palette box to put them in.

SG recently came up with their own empty palette. I’m not sure if it’s cardboard or metal but I may try theirs. If you like smaller empty palettes (holds like a 3-, 4- or 6-pack of SG singles), if you can get MUFE empty palettes where you are, I highly recommend them.

I don’t have anything against single eyeshadows, but I hardly ever use any because I can usually hop over to another palette and find that same color I’m looking for.

I also like the variety and being able to put together shades that I like and will use, rather than buying a palette with, for example, 12 shadows, 2 or 3 (or even 1) of which I don’t like and will never use in my life. The downsides for me are the price (unless, like MAC and a few other companies, the shadows are offered without the extra packaging I don’t want and with a price that reflects that) and also the fact that when left to my own devices, I just keep buying the same sorts of shades over and over and over again. A premade palette can force me to try shades out of my comfort zone – something like Weirwood Leaves in the UD Game of Thrones palette, which is a burgundy and a shade I generally shied away from.

Like: I REALLY like seeing them lined up like jewels in palettes! I’m thinking about purchasing the Coloured Raine Book of Shades just for that reason (to look at them!); however I do prefer MUFE’s tins for singles (transports better).

Dislike: I just forget or don’t prefer using them. I’m SO used to pre-made palettes now. I have the thought of taking them all out and possible ruining one or more (as I did recently by accident) and then having nothing but MUFE tins filled with singles. If I were a MUA absolutely that’s what I’d do, but for me, I like using the pre-made palettes with their “unique” style of the brand.

Picking out singles to make my own palette overwhelm me. I don’t feel like I ever pick the right singles to put together a comprehensive and user-friendly palette, especially if the brand offers hundreds to choose from. If the brand only releases a dozen or two, I can just buy the colors that attract me.

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