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

Just about any palette from ColourPop–pretty good quality, easy to use, and affordable. There are so many to choose from, too–I’d say Double Entendre, Give It to Me Straight, or You Had Me at Hello would be good picks. I also enjoy several of their other palettes but find that they may be better for someone’s who has a better idea of what they like (or don’t like) in terms of colors/undertones.

— Christine


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Veronica Avatar

I still think the MAC Warm Neutral x15 is the best palette ever, so I always recommend that. I can do so many looks with it and always get complements when wearing it.

Seraphine Avatar

It really depends on the person’s coloring, tastes, and comfort level with the idea of makeup in general. If I think specifically about a couple of women I know who never wear eyeshadow and what they might feel comfortable with, I’d recommend a palette of neutrals to start them off.

That said, I think Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Vol. 1 is a really nice palette with a good selection of easy-to-blend neutral shades, perfect for someone who is just learning and not ready to go wild with color (which describes the two women I am thinking about). Plus, I think the unique, pretty packaging would be very enticing for someone new to eyeshadow.

liz Avatar

Colour pop, shop hush badhabit, elf matte, and bh cosmetics palettes. All affordable prices and easy to blend and easy transition to colorful looks.

Alana Avatar

I vote Colourpop, too! Their palettes are affordable, good quality, and easy to use, whether your a beginner or an experienced makeup junkie. Plus there are SO many tutorials on Youtube! They can literally follow a step by step guide on a wide variety of looks.

Z. Avatar

In terms of affordability (especially in the US), I’d recommend colourpop. However because of the exchange rate and customs/duties, colourpop isn’t as affordable in Canada as it is in the US. If someone was willing to splurge on a highend item then I would recommend the tartelette in bloom palette. This was my first (of many) highend eyeshadow palettes, but it continues to by my favourite. You can create a variety of different looks with the palette, from daytime wearable to nighttime smokey. It’s just such a good all-around palette, and one I frequently recommend.

Nicole D Avatar

Lise Watier Dress Code 5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette (they have 6 colour-combination to choose from). I particularly love three of them : Business Casual, French Trench and Blue Denim.
Another option would be Pérsona Identity palette for someone who loves/needs warm colours.
Chanel quads are more expensive but I find that they need minimal time to blend, if any. Love their formula. I’m currently using their 2018 spring Première Éclosion quad.
All these three options come with a mirror, which comes in handy in case you need to take them with you (especially LW and Pérsona, which are larger cases).

Jane Dempsey Avatar

As someone with dark brown eyes, Persona Identity Palette really is a quality choice (I mean, any eye color can use it, but it being made with brown-eyed people in mind is nice). I now only own this one and that Morphe 35W palette (a birthday gift) and make out just fine. If someone wanted both neutrals and adventurous colors, I don’t own it but I imagine the Jaclyn Hill morphe palette would be nice. Also, take it from someone who returned the Naked Heat and Modern Renaissance palettes a week after buying them–accept if you like neutrals and don’t fall for hype 🙂

Megan Avatar

I would recommend Marc Jacobs Glambition (or Scandalust if you really want the warm tones). I like Glambition because it really has all the basics you need without overwhelming you with choice.

Katie Avatar

I keep not buying this one and need to just pull the trigger! I think it has all I need. I bought Persona Identity during the Ulta sale and I really don’t like it. I have fair skin/blue eyes (if that matters).

Erica Avatar

I am on the fence about the Persona palette. I have brown eyes and hair. The idea a palette would be catered to brown eyes specifically is quite comical. No offense but brown eyes can literally wear any color. The color bombshell is stunning but I’m meh about the rest but tbh I don’t own most popular neutral palettes. I don’t own any of the Naked palettes or the Lorac Pros. I just have Sweet Peach and Modern Renaissance which are both warm more than neutral. It’s not a terrible palette to start out with even if I’m not into it;)

Megan Avatar

I would absolutely recommend Glambition. I have fair skin and blue/green eyes if that helps.
Reasons I like it: a) It’s compact and doesn’t take up tons of space with bulky packaging. b) You have a good balance of mattes and shimmers plus a cream and a black. The shimmers go on well with a brush and I don’t have to use my finger for them. c) I can get soft day looks and smoky night looks. d) The formula is easy to work with and doesn’t take forever to blend.
I feel like this is what I wanted all the Naked palettes to be but they had too many shimmers and I got overwhelmed. This really does have everything you need. It never looks too overdone on me either. It may not be super unique but it was worth the money I spent.

joy Avatar

i’d probably suggest makeup geek create your own 9pan, too faced natural eyes, marc jacobs glambition, one of viseart’s theory/petite pro palettes or nars wanted palette depending on how much color variety and which types of color they lean towards.

this question was surprisingly hard. all the ones i first thought of was either discontinued or limited edition:(

Agona Avatar

I would actually suggest something smaller, nothing bigger than an 8-pan to a beginner. Maybe a quad. The toughest part for me is coordinating colors and I still find large palettes overwhelming. Something easy to blend with equal proportions of light, light-medium, medium-dark, and dark tones to allow for an easy gradient without much blending skill involved.

bareMinerals’ palettes are very user-friendly and where I learned how to do makeup. I agree with tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Vol 1 suggestion as well as Chanel quads (although that’s a hefty investment for a beginner). Kiko is a good place to try quality shadow on the cheap until you figure out what color combos/finishes/formulas you prefer since they offer about everything imaginable.

Jessica Avatar

I would recommend a Juvia’s Place palette, such as Nubian, Nubian 2, The Saharan, & The Masquerade. I find their formula is easier to work with than Colourpop. I feel like CP’s shimmers sometimes have too much dimethicone which makes them a little difficult to work with. The only palette that I’ve tried by Juvia’s that I do not like is the Magic Palette (which I decluttered). I feel like the mattes in that palette are not their best. The Warrior Palette looks gorgeous, but I have dupes of all of those shades so I won’t be grabbing that.

Nancy T Avatar

Since so much is contingent upon one’s coloring, available finances, and personal shade preferences, I will throw out options in as many varieties as possible!

Yes, I absolutely agree with your recommendation of the ColourPop palettes for affordability and *some* variety! Also, e.l.f. has a lovely all Matte palette or two, as well!
At more mid range, there’s Lorac Pro Palettes, especially 1 and 2.
MAC has a gorgeous Warm Neutral palette that I’m always swatching when in the store, fawning over it, but talking myself out of because I already have these shades. Great for those just starting, though! (the cool-toned neutral palette is also very nice, if that’s ones preference!)
At the higher end; Viseart Theory Palettes (my favorites are Minx, Amethyst and Chroma), and their larger palettes (just read Christine’s reviews first on here for in depth details) are mostly exquisite and easy to work with.

Deborah S. Avatar

1. Any of the ColourPop shadows. They are decent quality, easy to work with and reasonably priced.
2. Too Faced 9 pan shadows, specifically Natural Eyes/Natural Matte or Boudoir Eyes, in the original formulation. I haven’t tried any of the reformulated ones but imagine they are fairly similar. I used these three palettes pretty exclusively when I first got back into makeup and always found them easy to use.
3. Viseart palettes, especially some of the staple ones like Paris Nudes, Warm Nudes, Theory palettes.

CeeBee Avatar

The BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe palette, Colourpop You Had Me At Hello or Sleek i-Divine A New Day. All really good neutrals, affordable price points and are a good gateway into the brand.

Erica Avatar

Most recently the Milani Mostly Mattes. It’s affordable and so easy to use

I know most people say a neutral palette but I know many who never started with neutrals. I’d say ABH Modern Renaissance and Too Faced Sweet Peach. Both are easy to use and have a variety of shades to create easy looks. Both are somewhat neutral but have some color too.

rachel Avatar

I agree with ColourPop and the Tartlette In Bloom but I’d definitely recommend the new Wet n Wild 10 Pan Palettes, the shimmers aren’t amazing but the mattes are great and I always reach for them. If someone is a beginner then it’s better to spend less for the essentials and then build up their collection with what they like.
Coastal Scents are really underrated and some of the cheapest singles available for a custom palette.

Anne Avatar

I agree with ColourPop, though if you have easy access to the brand Zoeva (not easy access in the US) then that’s a great one too. The Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette is really friggin’ good and versatile.

Lea Avatar

I wouldn’t actually. I’d suggest going with quads and singles until you develop your style and learn what you like. To me it’s better to buy starting pieces that you’ll get use out of; having more options isn’t going to matter if you can’t envision or sort out how to use them.

Linda Avatar

Laura Mercier’s Artist Palette is a good one. Not too pigmented so you don’t need super blending skills, and a nice range of neutrals with pops of fun like African Violet.

Leah Avatar

My first palette was the discontinued Stila In the Light. They replaced it with Eyes are the Window of the Soul. They are great beginner palettes. The Clinique quads are also great for beginners. I love Pink Chocolate!

Dolores Avatar

Any of the MAC x9 or x15 palettes to start. A couple of the Milani palettes are also good for keeping cost down. On the high end, either ABH Soft Glam, Viseart or Tom Ford palettes. ABH Renaissance is good, but for more neutrals definitely Soft Glam. Viseart Mattes are good, don’t really care for their shimmers. Tom Ford quad palettes in Nude Dip, Cocoa Mirage or my favorite, his Honeymoon quad is beautiful. They travel well, and are pigmented enough to keep any beginner interested in exploring makeup. Kat Von D’s 10th anniversary palette is great if they want to explore with more color. Also starting to love Marc Jacob’s palettes. Each of his palettes tell a story in the eye colors. Just found that out…..?

Genevieve Avatar

It depends on many factors, warm toned/cool toned etc. But I would suggest:
Lorac Pro Palette 1
UD Naked 1 or
BH Foil Eyes 1 – for colours and the Carli Bybel palette too.
bareMinerals have a lovely range of quads and 8 pans that are now really affordable and have great shades: The Wild Thing, Soft and Smokey and The Nude Beach.

Nikki Avatar

I’d want to provide as many options as possible.

CoverGirl TruNaked (options: Nudes, Roses, Smoky, Jewels)
Maybelline The Nudes (options: The Nudes, The Blushed Nudes, The 24K Nudes)
Maybelline The City Mini (7 color options)
Maybelline Expert Wear Quads (11 color options)

High-end (all Urban Decay because in my experience UD goes on smoothly and I think it’d be good for a newbie):
Urban Decay Nakeds 1 through 3
UD Naked Heat or Naked Petite Heat
UD Troublemaker

For the more experimental newbie:
UD Nirvana Build Your Own palette (insert 4 shadows)
UD Stackable Pro Artistry palette (insert 10 shadows)

Bonnie Avatar

I think for me, the big 4 brands I’d recommend are Colourpop, BH, Juvia’s Place and Morphe. I think those are the best combo of quality and affordability, and I have several palettes from all these brands. For versatility, I lean towards Morphe Jaclyn Hill, but I also really like Colourpop Double Entendre and Yes Please, BH It’s my Raye Raye and Blushed Neutrals, and Juvia’s Place Saharan. So many more. I have tons of colourful palettes that I love from all these brands and from higher end brands, and drugstore, but for a beginner, I think it’s about getting bang for your buck – easy to use, lots of options, and all these are priced under $30. (Honorable mentione to L’Oreal’s new Paradise Enchanted. I’m enjoying it but I’m not sure it blends easily enough for a beginner).

Rachel R. Avatar

It would depend on the person of course, but I’d go with something neutral, inexpensive, and easy to work with. I agree with the ColourPop Palettes. Also: E.l.f. Mad for Mattes line and their other similar 10-pan palettes, Makeup Revolution New-trals vs. Neutrals, BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel, BH Cosmetics Zodiac (if they want more color).

If they want mid-range/high end: Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes; any of the UD Naked palettes; Tarte Tartelette or Tartelette in Bloom; Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Semi-Sweet, or Bon Bons. If they love shimmers, I’d recommend MUFE Artist Palette Vol. 1 Nudes You Need or Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Vol. 1.

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