Pretty Palettes: Current Favourites from Budget to Blowout

Neutrals palettes: are you over them, or is there always room for just one more in your collection?

Me, I’ve one foot firmly in each camp. I need more eyeshadow like I need more makeup brushes (note to self: please stop buying makeup brushes) and yet, I just can’t seem to help acquiring more. Sure, some of them are press samples, but I still hand over a more than healthy amount of my hard-earned cash for the stuff.

Which is why it warms my heart a little that of the three I’m reaching for most, two of them are in justifiably affordable territory, with the third being decent value when you apply some girlie maths.


Not a brand I would normally rate for eyeshadow (their lip, nail and mascara offerings are where I tend to focus my attention), Maybelline’s The Nudes was a very pleasant surprise. This lovely little palette offers good colour payoff and is comprised of bestsellers from their current range, in an array of bronzes, taupes and shimmering champagnes. There’s no mirror, but at €14.99 for twelve decent shadows, sure who can blame them? Check out our swatches and our full review.



L'Oreal have gone a step further and their Color Riche nude palette comes in two colourways: nude rose and nude beige (pictured). If you loved the Naked 1 or 2, pick up the beige palette; if Naked 3’s your jam, the rosy one’s for you. Both have a range of finishes from shimmery to matte and you get 10 shadows for €21.99.

Pigmentation is softer and more subtle than the Maybelline palette but this gives a really nice, sculpted, grown-up-lady eye that looks brilliant with a red lip and a flick of black liner. (Want more payoff for your pennies? Check out the brand’s brilliant little quads. I’m not mad on the brush that comes with - but that’s a common complaint, even with high-end palettes, and you do get a handy mirror in the lid.

Which is more than you get with the priciest palette of today’s post, MAC’s Burgundy Times Nine. A little warmer toned than what I’d usually go for, I wasn’t sure about this, but I actually love the shades - a mix of lustre, satin, matte and veluxe pearls. And I’m happy to report I find the shadows every bit as good as MAC individuals, which hasn’t always been the case with their sets and palettes. Here, I’m wearing Poppyseed (satin) in the crease, matte Embark in the outer v and a lot of Antiqued (veluxe pearl) on both lashlines and the mobile lid.


The down side? This is €40 for 9 x 0.8g shadows - so while it’s a good way to try out a bunch of MAC shadows for less (they are normally €16.50 for 1 x 1.3g pot), it’s still pricey compared with the other offerings here.


The problem with palettes, I find, is I can’t ever seem to scratch the itch. If you thought this trio would have eased my wanting for Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky, well think again.

Yes I might be crazy but as addictions go, sure at least it’s better than meth...

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