It’s never a better time than having to stay home to realize that you don’t really need that much makeup. I have not put on a lick of makeup in over a month, and truthfully, I haven’t missed it.
Does that make me a bad beauty blogger to admit that? LOL :P
Unlike most people who blog about beauty and makeup, as much as I enjoy wearing makeup, I don’t particularly like dolling myself up for no particular reason. I’ve always been quite happy to walk around without any makeup on, and I guess that’s just my approach to makeup. It’s a ‘going out’ thing for me, not a ‘stay at home’ thing.
I’ve also taken the time to take stock of the makeup I own (far too much!) and tried to reorganize them for when I eventually use them all again, and I had a little bit of epiphany.
I have fallen out of love with makeup palettes.
Makeup palettes are portable, easy to use and value for money
I first fell in love with makeup palettes because I found them to be good value. Pay just one price to have a palette with multiple colours you can use for eyes and cheeks? If that isn’t good value, I don’t know what is!
I used to buy palettes quite often. There would always be that one palette that caught my eye, whether it be in cute packaging, or because the colours appealed to me, or because I felt drawn to them.
What I like about makeup palettes are:
- Makeup palettes are portable – It’s so easy to carry a palette around as opposed to singular products. A slim compact with 4 eye colours beats carrying 4 individual eyeshadow pots with their accompanying packaging. Ditto, a palette that houses products you can use all over your face. Sometimes, that might be all you need – a powder, blush, eye colour and if it so catches your fancy, a lip product.
- Makeup palettes are easy to use – One of the earliest makeup brands I was introduced to was MAC Cosmetics and the array of eyeshadow colours boggled my mind! Being a novice to makeup, I couldn’t tell which colour looked better with which, or which colour blends with which. A premade makeup palette takes care of that for you by pairing complementary colours in one handy compact. This is the reason why the Urban Decay Naked palette was such a big hit – a premade palette with 12 nude/neutral eyeshadows that complement each other? YES PLEASE!
- Makeup palettes are value for money – While the content of each pan in a compact palette might be less than if you bought it individually, it is usually better value for money, as compared to buying it all separately. Makeup palettes are a good way to learn how to use makeup, without breaking the bank too much, because you’d have a selection of products and colours at your fingertips to experiment with. This is true, whether it be an affordable budget brand, or an expensive luxury brand.
So, if I can make a case for makeup palettes, why have I fallen out of love with them?
Large multi use palettes can be too bulky and messy
The only type of makeup palettes I will never ever buy are those that contain cream products alongside powder products. Ugh! Pet peeve!
I did make an exception once, because it was a moment of weakness :P
Some brands, like Dior got clever by designing a cover over their cream products that were housed together with their powder products. An example is their limited edition Carnet de Maquillage palette from the Grand Bal collection in 2012.
They did the same with their very very pretty minaudiere palette that was designed like a minaudiere clutch – does anyone remember that pretty item?
Incidentally, Dior used to make some really beautiful limited edition pieces for the Christmas/Holiday collection. Some were in the shape of jewellery or purses, others were special palettes like this one. We don’t see it anymore do we?
But I digress.
I find that for the most part, if a multi-use makeup palette is too large, containing too many colours or products, it can get very messy. The colours and powders have a tendency to spill over and mix with each other, and it spoils my enjoyment of using the product.
Have you also noticed how you’d use one colour up more quickly than another? A noticeable dip or pan showing on one colour, while others look virtually untouched can grate on my nerves too.
That said however, this really applies for me only to large multi-use palettes that have more than 4 eyeshadow colours and 2 blushes in them. I’ve never found a situation where I need anything more than this, and if I’m to be honest, I rarely, if ever, switch my blush colours around if I’m travelling or away from my makeup dresser.
What I prefer these days are singular eye palettes e.g. 3-4 complementary colours in a palette that I can lighten or deepen according to how I need them. I don’t mind carrying a separate blush palette or blush, and it is actually more portable to have a few slim compacts, than one large, bulky multi-purpose palette.
Large eye palettes confuse me
When I was a little more adventurous with colour for eye makeup, one of my favourite palettes was the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary eye palette.
There were 15 colours in a palette, ranging from some neutral shades, to some very bright, vibrant colours. The quality was excellent, it was good value and it allowed me to experiment with colour.
These days however, I find myself too confused when faced with a ‘complicated’ eyeshadow palette like this one. When there are too many colours available to me, I don’t know which to use, and which might work. It also slows me down when I’m in a hurry.
I used to consider a large eyeshadow palette ‘value for money’, because you get more product and more colours for a price less than what you’d otherwise pay individually. But I soon realized that I wasn’t adventurous enough, nor artistic enough to combine more than 2-3 colours at a go, and that I’d use the same few colours all the time!
For this reason, larger eye palettes like the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette that I hankered after for a while, baffle me. While the colours are set out nicely for ease of use, I find it too unwieldy to use on a daily basis.
It is for this reason that I passed on a very good sale price for a limited edition Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette that was released last year for the Holidays. I just knew I wouldn’t get much, if any use of out it!
12 eye colours in a palette sound ideal in theory, but in practice, for the everyday woman, it really is far too much. I have other larger eye palettes I used to love, that I hardly use anymore, for the same reason – too overwhelming! :P
My preference these days lie, as above, with a small compact eye palette with 3-4 shades – just enough for depth and light, but without being confusing. Maybe I’m just too lazy to work out different coloured eye looks these days, preferring to just stick with the tried and true :P
Blush or Face palettes can come in handy
While I love blush (it’s my favourite makeup item, next to lipsticks!) I don’t have many blush palettes. The reason is because not many brands made standalone blush or face palettes before this.
However, I do have a few of the Hourglass blush and face palettes that they release now and again. It is always an irrational purchase since I already own a few, so I’m trying to stop myself LOL! :P
I like it when they include a face powder and a blush in a compact palette, because it can cut down carrying one other item. I enjoy using Hourglass products, so I like their Edit palettes that are all in one. However, I do also find that they aren’t the most practical palettes for travel or portability, as the compact is rather large, and the pan inside a little small.
As with a large multi-use makeup palette, I have never found the need to use a different powder, highlight, bronzer and blush colour when I travel. I am a very practical traveller, so makeup is always at a minimum, and I’m happy to wear the same makeup every day!
As I cleared up my makeup palettes, it struck me just how little I use the larger palettes, and how much more I prefer a small, compact palette for separate products.
I don’t NEED anymore makeup, if I’m to be honest. It doesn’t mean that I don’t or won’t WANT anymore. Perhaps, after this lockdown ends, and we’re able to go out freely again, I might even find myself putting on more makeup to make up for lost time.
But I know that my future makeup palette purchases will be more informed and more well thought out, now that I know my preferences. While new makeup may be a frivolous purchase, it will, at least, be something that I know I’d use more often, than a large, value for money, all-in-one makeup palette that will gather dust in my drawer :)
Do you enjoy using makeup palettes? What type is your favourite?
I tend to gravitate towards eye palettes or cheek palettes. No lip palettes for me, no siree! :P