What draws you into a pre-made eyeshadow palette?

The color story and how its arranged; sometimes there can be a good color story buried in the palette, but if it isn’t arranged right, it can be hard to see. I love seeing a palette where there are instantly several looks I can see creating from the palette.

— Christine
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Exactly what Christine said. Nice packaging draws me, too (solid, not too big, no wasted space between shades, and not looking like it was made for children).

The big draw for me is that they’re generally better price than buying the shadows separate….. and easier to carry than a bunch of individual eye shadows.

Quality and color story first off. Then, whether or not it’s practical for me buy it: 1.) Can I easily dupe it? 2.) Are these shades I would utilize fully? 3.) Or is this just a whim?
4.) Cost: Will it break my budget?

First I have to actually be really excited about at least half of the colors because it feels wasteful getting a palette I only like a couple colors from. Most palettes don’t pass this test because I’m super picky. Next, I consider each eyeshadow separately and assess how many I would buy as singles—I have to love them AND have a need for them in my collection. I divide the total price by the number of shadows I actually want to get the functional cost per shadow. If it shakes out to a decent cost per shadow, I try to wait for reviews to see if the quality is there and if I still want it after some of the initial excitement of the launch fades. Then I buy it!

I get about one eye palette a year with this system, in addition to about a palette worth of singles.

In general, the first thing I look at is the brand. That might sound superficial, but the reality is that brands have a specific customer in mind when they introduce new products so I tend to gravitate first to those brands that typically meet my needs, perform best for me, and are in line with my esthetic sense.

Next, I take a good look at the color story. I’m very sensitive to nuances in color so the story they tell needs to resonate with me and make sense. I ask myself if it capture a particular mood, does it suit the occasion or the season, will it compliment me and the way I dress, etc. After six decades of wearing makeup, that evaluation is pretty intuitive and happens in a flash. No need to over-think it ?

The over-whelming majority of my palettes are quads although I do have a few that are a bit larger. I find once a palette goes beyond five or six shades, the color story starts getting muddled and there are invariably shades I would never or seldom use. Consequently, as beautiful as some of those super-sized palettes are to look at, they don’t hold any appeal to me from the standpoint of making a purchase.

“Will I use it?” is the first question I ask myself. “How does it fit into my collection?” is the next question. I have a good size single shadow collection that I actually use and I tend to buy palettes that don’t dupe too much of it. I also like a palette that I can get a decent number of looks out of that stands alone or compliments another palette I have so that if I’m in a hurry and don’t want to fuss with rearranging singles into a palette I can just grab 2 or 3 premade palettes. Also, obviously I need to actually like the look of the palette.

What draws me in to a pre made palette is definitely the colour story, the rating from you Christine, the availability and the price.
The colour story has to be in shades that suit me, with a finish that I like – shimmers and satins – hardly any or no mattes or pressed glitters.
I nearly always buy palettes that have been reviewed (or at least swatched) by you so that I can be assured of its quality.
The availability is important too – living in Aus we don’t always have access to some of the offerings from the major brands (it’s a bit hit and miss from Sephora and Mecca here) and that the international shipping rates are reasonable, if I do need to purchase from the US.
The price is also a factor – ND and PMG are just so ridicuously expensive here (with our poor dollar exchange, cosmetic taxes etc) that I generally think more than twice and look to the dupe list for the key shades.
I then have to weigh all the above up.

The colours, the colourstory, absolutely what Christine said, how the colours are arranged in the palette. I need to see at least three looks immediately when just taking a swift look at a palette, I mean palettes with about ten shades, for quads it’s different, maybe it’ll be enough with one immediate look, if it’s one I would use a lot.
I also don’t want super large palettes, I prefere 10-12 shades in one, but can go up to 18 or so.
I also don’t want the palette to be too bulky and I want it to have just a little space between the eye shadows.

I would love to only own palettes I find innovative in terms of colour combinations and textures. I’m not so fussy about whether or not the palette represents complete multiple looks because I am always mentally pairing it with others I have. I want something that will inspire me to look at colour combining in a different way, inspire me to branch out of my typical pairings or at a minimum provide interesting textures which can elevate my more modest looks.

What first draws me are unique pops of colors (that I don’t have in what I own), then the overall color story (I’m looking for what else I don’t have). Last, if I’m still drawn even after I know I have many of the colors, then it’s likely due to who’s behind the project (eg. a collaboration) or the uniqueness of the palette (eg. occasion, packaging, branding). Rare I purchase based on the latter criteria, but it can happen.

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