What was your first eyeshadow palette? How do you feel about it now?

I don’t remember the exact palette, but I’m pretty sure it was a MAC holiday palette, likely around 2005! I still think they were some of the brand’s better holiday palettes/quads re: quality relative to what came years later, so I’d probably enjoy it enough but wouldn’t be wowed.

— Christine


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Erica Avatar

Depends what you consider a palette. I had a six pan from MAC from their Royal Assets collection and a quint from their Hello Kitty collection. As for those traditional 15 pan type palettes ABH Modern Renaissance was my first and it’s still the perfect palette for me !

Mariella Avatar

It’s a toss-up between 3 palettes but I thing it was probably the Too Faced Natural Eye palette (the one that was discontinued/relaunched with 3 of the shades replaced with newer ones). It had boxy packaging with a drawer below the shadows to hold the brush or brushes that came with it) and it had one real dud of a shadow that was basically loose glitter in a champagne-y base (Nude Beach) but the rest of the original shadows were fabulous. I still use it from time to time – there’s a shade called Velvet Revolver that is the most perfect colour for a neutral but still defined crease or for blending out. I still use it – it hasn’t “gone off” or spoiled in any way and it is still a really fine palette with great colours in it.

Mariella Avatar

Duh – “think”, not “thing” in my first sentence.

But thinking way back, I did have other palettes (I was thinking more about recently – last 15 or 20 years, rather than earlier) – I remember a trio of purples from Merle Norman when I was in high school; also, not much later than that, a palette of 4 or 5 shadows from Mary Quant in very warm tones of rust and brown. We’re talking way back in the early 70’s. I also had a palette from Estee Lauder that was a gift with purchase and had a LOT of shadows, including a purple one that I also had a single and which was a favourite for many years and 2 nice mid-toned brown shades. I think I kept that thing until a year or two ago just for the nostalgia of it. Heck, I may still have it somewhere but I think I tossed it because it got smelly, not from itself but from a Lauder e/s trio that was bad almost from the day I got it (it went wonky behind the mirror and then developed a bad smell so I tossed it into the box of unused makeup and that’s where this other palette “picked up” the dreadful smell).

Celesta Avatar

I think my first palette was the Too Faced Natural Eye palette, the one that was all mattes, in the tin packaging. I thought it was a really good quality palette back then, and I still think so now, though I decluttered it a long time ago.

Veronica Avatar

I used to buy the Dior quints way back then in the 90s, loved them and would hot pan on them… Then MAC happened and I started buying lots of singles… If we count quads as palettes, I would say MAC Denim Dish 2, which I hit pan on and still have, and it still works great…

If we count palettes as big palettes, I would say the MAC Warm Neutrals x15, which I still have and enjoy. It is my favorite palette ever, and I regret not getting a backup when MAC discontinued it. I get compliments every time I wear it, even when I was at a MAC store in NYC!

Amery Avatar

I’m sure my first ever was a CoverGirl or L’oreal, but the one I remember was the Urban Decay Naked palette. My mom gave it to me, and I was pretty excited by it. I just threw it away this year, as it was not performing like it used to. I still love that color story, and I think the formula was good for someone who had never had that many color options all in one spot before. The one is still my favorite color story of all their releases.

Sarah Avatar

You know, I’m honestly not sure what my first eyeshadow palette was. I must have got it around 2007, 2008, when I was really getting into makeup. Because I can’t reliably remember what it was or when I got it, it’s safe to say I feel that palette was underwhelming, wholly forgettable, and not one that I can look back on with fond feelings of “wow, this helped me really discover makeup”.

With that being said, it was probably something from Too Faced. They fit that description in my opinion and the more I think on it, the more I think it was Too Faced. One of their neutral eye looks in a box, the one with 9 pans. I think.

Z Avatar

I’m sure I purchased some drugstore palettes (maybelline? revlon?) as a teen, but the first palette I can remember purchasing as an adult might have been a Lorac quad (that gold snake skin one) or a UD one? Maybe?

Anyway, I depotted that Lorac quad in to a plain palette (total mistake – the packaging was cool as hell) and they’re still creamy, smooth, and pigmented! Wow, color me impressed. I’d say that 10+ year old eyeshadow formula still holds its own and kicks the butt of some things I’ve purchased in the last few years.

Kira Avatar

Urban Decay Vice palette, and I don’t use it so much but was so happy with it, and I still like the colors. After depotting, I did get rid of some of the problem shades. Also, seeing the thumbnail, I’m excited for people who can start off these days with a wonderful palette like some of Natasha Denona’s! If I started over, that’s probably what I’d get first.

Seraphine Avatar

I don’t remember what my first eyeshadow palette was because that was many decades ago. I used Revlon palettes in the 80s, then switched to MAC singles in the 90s. At some point, I had a small palette by Borghese (I think). My first modern eyeshadow palette was Urban Decay Naked2 Basics, which I bought when it came out. I still have it, even though I used up the best shades. I just can’t part with it!

moimoi Avatar

About 10 years ago, ELF had these notebook-themed palettes that had instructions and diagrams for basic eye looks. I had one for “smoky” eye and one “neutral”. My only criticism is that the palettes were a little too big – 16 shades when 9 would have done fine. But I think they were only $10 each, so it was a good start!

Gilad Avatar

It was a Charles of the Ritz holiday palette (16-20 colors). I remember discovering that bright blue ( I now understand, cool toned) eyeshadow looked terrible on me, but the turquoise was great – and how surprised I was (in my mid-teens) to see that I couldn’t just pair blue eyes with any blue-ish shadow. Also, remember seeing how dead I looked in the silver metallic, and how perfect the gold was. This was the first time I’d had a bunch of reasonable quality shadows in different colors, undertones and finishes – a learning experience for sure. Wouldn’t get it now because too much of it didn’t work, but it was a great intro to knowing that right/wrong colors are non-negotiable for me.

Ana Maria Avatar

Some sort of knock-off brand that starts with “G”, either a cheap Turkish or Chinese brand I got from a local boutique… I couldn’t even afford something from an Avon or Oriflame catalog at that age. 😆 Probably the eyeshadow had lead or some other dangerous substances in… wouldn’t even touch them at this point in life. They were very powdery, had fallout and blendability wasn’t even under discussion. But you gotta start somewhere, and the choices in a small Eatern European town were limited.

Nancy T Avatar

If by “palette” we mean something with over 4-5 shades in it, then it would be a very old Nyx 10 pan, I think it was called “Smokey” something? Around that same time, I also bought WnW Comfort Zone and Blue Had Me At Hello. Not sure what order I bought these 3, but it was all within a month’s time roughly 10 years ago.
My first HE palette was Lorac Unzipped, though. This was almost 7 years ago.

Rachel R. Avatar

My very first was either CoverGirl or Maybelline, I think, definitely drug store. It had 12 or 16 small pans of various 80s colors. My best friend and I were 14, going into high school, and finally allowed to wear eye shadow. We each got one. We were very disappointed that the purple and blue in the palette were crap. lol It was an awful palette, which I realized then, but in those days we couldn’t return DS makeup here. I think DS quality has come a long, long way since 1984!

My first high end, grown up palette was the Too Faced Chocolate Bar, the original one where the names are printed on a plastic sheet. It was the first makeup item I bought after going back to work when my kids were teens. I still have it, and it still performs just fine. It’s one I still love, use, and travel with. I was pretty enamored with it when I first got it, but it’s been supplanted as my favorite many times since. But I’ll never get rid of it.

Francesca Avatar

I’m referring to my first high end palette, since I don’t think that a couple of drugstore products bought before, with almost zero pigmentation and lasting power, really matter. The first time I’d invested on palette was in 2017 (how much my collection had grown in relatively few years!) And was the too faced sweet peach. At that time, everyone was crazy about it, but honestly I wasn’t so impressed. I expected a huge improvement from the drugstore product I were used to and I didn’t felt that SP matched the expectation. Now, likely I’ve found that there are indeed a lot of good palette worth their price and that, loving eyeshadow it’s good to invest in one of them, instead of buying 5-6 drugstore palettes at the same price point. But I still think that sweet peach has nothing really amazing tough. I’ve definly regretted to bought it. But I still use it, coupled with other palette to enhance pugmentation, since I want to use till the end all the high end product to justify the purchase.

Deborah S. Avatar

I purchased a Chanel quad which I cannot remember the name of and don’t have anymore. It was in the mid 70’s somewhere. I also purchased a couple of singles from Shiseido which I wish I still had, (Silkspun Green/Gold and Silkspun Purple). I purchased them all from Macy’s at the mall in Reno, Nevada. I was working my first really good paying job and started buying my own makeup and clothes. The mall was relatively new and I can still remember the smell of money!! I would go and have lunch or dinner in the restaurant before shopping. I would look at the beautiful mountains over a glass of wine. Or those were the days. I used the hell out of the quad, the singles and an additional single from Revlon that was a reddish brown. The Revlon shadow was marketed as 24 hour Creaseproof which I think was the name. It came in a yellow pot with a clear plastic screw on lid. I would pay to have them all back again. No Revlon shadow has ever matched up.

Pearl Avatar

In my teens, I remember a coppery Cover Girl quint. I think the Ultima II items I bought were singles. I remember MAC Reelers and Rockers from Tartan Tale Holiday 2010 and wondering how to use it. The most memorable for me was Gravitas from the Brooke Shields collection. I think that was my gateway palette.

Caroline Avatar

My first ‘grown up’ palette was Dior’s Beige Massai (then known as Discretion), back in the 90s. I loved it to bits and wore it every day. It made me feel very glamorous and chic!

Lisa Avatar

My first eyeshadow palette was a set from the grocery store that my grandpa bought me. I couldn’t have been 5 years old. It was in a compact and it was basically a bunch of grease paints in different colors and it had a funny smell, but I LOVED it.

Chloe Avatar

It was a Borghese palette in 1981! A long time ago! It was a PWP, and I bought Borghese’s mascara in a beautiful, silver tone, twisted tube. I loved these eyeshadows, and for a long time, it was my favorite brand. The shadows were cool toned, and I wore them 8 or 9 at a time. 🙂

Shelley Avatar

Mine would be a Borghese palette too. Were they purchase with purchase? I don’t remember. I had about 3 over time. I thought they were magical. All those eyeshadows and sometimes a pullout drawer with lipsticks.

Emilie Avatar

First real ‘grown up’ eyeshadow palette was Too Faced Glamour To Go II. Probably around 2009. I loved that thing. I have my original with a few pans and an untouched backup for memories. That was before I was really into makeup, though. When I first started getting actually into makeup I think it was the Urban Decay Ammo palette (which I adored, the quality on that was fantastic).

Tammy Avatar

Around 8th grade (early 80s) I had a little blue-gray quint by Covergirl or Maybelline. When I got older all of my eyeshadows were Mary Kay. My first Sephora palette was Too Faced Matte Eyes.

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