What eyeshadow palette would you recommend to someone new to makeup?

ColourPop Palettes in general, but something like their Gone Matte mega palette and then any one of their many more shimmer/matte mixed palettes would be a good place to start.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

For someone really new, I’d honestly recommend 2 of the Smashbox 8 pan Cover Shot palettes – Minimalist and Punked (assuming they’re still available). They’re not overwhelming in terms of # of shadows and they are well-coordinated so that someone new to makeup would be able to come up with some wearable looks easily. There’s also a good mix of satin/matte and shimmer finishes. If UD’s original Naked palette (or Naked2) were still available, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either one of those but as they’re a thing of the past, I think either of the 2 Smashbox ones I suggested would be a great starting point for eye looks a “newbie” wouldn’t feel foolish or outrageous wearing.

Nancy T Avatar

Since many newbies (or even those returning to buying makeup again after a hiatus of sorts) may find a mega sized palette to be very overwhelming, I would recommend, depending on what one can or wants to spend: Huda’s 9-pan palettes that have had positive reviews, ColourPop’s 4 to 15 pan eyeshadow palettes (again, check reviews!), or Elf Bite-size palettes. I do also agree with Mariella’s response. Some of Smashbox Cover Shot palettes are excellent! I have Punked and Rose Rocked, and both are wonderful.

Ana Maria Avatar

Maybe it’s a more expensive and unconventional opinion, but I would recommend that person to work with a make-up artist and build a custom palette with colors that suit them and they would wear. When you are new to makeup you clearly don’t know yet what colors suit you. A makeup artist can try multiple shades on you, give you some hints on which shades to pair.

And I know it sounds complicated… but I would personally gift a teen daughter of a friend or someone I knew a MAC makeup session and a gift card for a custom made palette. I would have loved to be able to do this with my little sister.
They could also decide if they want 15 pan or a 4 pan palette. When I think of someone new to makeup it’s either someone new but excited or someone who will wear makeup occasionally and very minimal (to which a 4 pan would be ideal).

I know we live in the era of learning by YouTube. But I always recommend going to professionals when possible.
Also, go to a salon for the first brow grooming. Never let a friend or (worse) you touch them, especially as a teen. 😅

Genevieve Avatar

Hmmm – now that UD’s Nakeds 1 & 2 have gone (both of which were pretty foolproof for a makeup beginner to start with), it does leave quite a vacuum in the good makeup market. And it depends on whether the beginner knows if they are cool or warm toned too.
The trouble with CP is/was the inclusion of the PET glitter ingredients in their eyeshadows, which could be a serious problem for any makeup beginner to know about. However, I do think the Stone Cold Fox palette could be a good start – large yes, but at least it has a variety of shades in couple of different finishes to allow a beginner to experiment. No PET glitter in this one.
Of course, it they want to go straight to the top – ND Glam would be perfect.

Nina Avatar

I know nothing personally about pallettes because I prefer singles in their own container (MAC) no fall out color contamination, but I recently sat next to a woman whose eye makeup was perfect, of course I asked her and she pulled out this Laura Geller pallette with tons of pretty colors all round and rather small but really, really pretty.

Nikki Avatar

ColourPop Lust for Dusk. It’s a 16-pan, so it’ll give a nice variety of looks without being overwhelming. It has a good balance of neutrals and brighter colors, but even the brighter colors are done in more muted versions, which would reassure a newbie who’s afraid of looking clownish.

Agona Avatar

I’d probably recommend tartlette in Bloom but then also a ColourPop Super Shock in an ultra glitter formula for a pop on the lid like Frog or something.

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