One of the most focused-on parts of our faces is our eyes, a.k.a. “the windows to the soul,” which makes it completely understandable that most people also focus highly on eyeshadow when considering how to do their makeup!
Makeup companies love to make eyeshadow palettes to curate a selection of colors in one handy place for consumers to create multiple eye looks from a portable set. Of course, since everyone has different features, different palettes are best suited for different people, especially depending on what color your eyes are and what type of look you want - natural, sexy, playful, bright, etc. Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the best palette for you!
The Pros and Cons of Makeup Palettes
Before I recommend any palettes, I have to make a disclaimer. Palettes are beautiful and tempting, but not always a smart choice as a consumer. The reason for this is that I’ve found that both as a professional using palettes on a wide variety of clients, and as a consumer, I almost always have a few shades in every palette that I use up more quickly, some that I rarely use, and then others that are in-between. If this happens, then you have to either replace the colors you use often and carry them separately to keep using the palette, or like many, you stop using the palette altogether, which can be a waste of money and resources!
Different palettes are best suited for different people, depending on what color your eyes are and what type of look you want.
That’s where customizable and refillable palettes come in. As sustainability becomes more popular, so do the ideas of being less wasteful and using palettes where you can select each color so that you’re using them more evenly, or at the very least, it’s easy to replace the color that runs out first without having to carry around separate palettes or individual shadows.
Make Up For Ever, Kjaer Weiss, Inglot, MAC, and Bobbi Brown are just a few brands that offer this alternative, which is great for the wallet and the environment! If committing to all one brand makes you nervous, you can find magnetic palettes like the Z Palette where you can remove your shadows (and blushes and lip colors) from their original packaging and put them together in your own custom palette that holds the makeup in with magnets.
How To Choose the Best Eyeshadow Palette for You
Now that you’re informed about options regarding refillable and custom palettes, let’s tackle how to choose which colors are best for you!
One of the first things to consider is if you’re better suited for warm, neutral, or cool colors. One way you can discover the answer to this is by thinking about whether you look better in silver (cool tones) or gold (warm tones), or if you can wear both equally well (neutral). Once you know, look at the colors you’re choosing and imagine if they’d look better with gold or silver. Try to select colors that are the same color temperature as you are, and it’ll help you find the best results!
First, consider if you’re better suited for warm, neutral, or cool colors.
Another handy tool for choosing eye shadow colors is the color wheel. Remember this color wheel from art class, when you (maybe) learned about primary and secondary colors, as well as complementary colors? It’s time to review that knowledge because to make your eyes stand out, you’re going to want to find complementary colors! Complementary colors are colors that if you mix them together, you’ll make white or black.
However, to find this without mixing, you can simply look at a color wheel and find opposites. The opposite of green is red, the opposite of blue is orange, etc. You can use this to help “play up” your eyes. So if your eyes are blue, using orange or copper-toned shadows are going to make them stand out. If they’re green, try a burgundy, reddish brown, or bronze shadow. Since brown doesn’t really have an opposite, it’s time to take a closer look.
Use the opposite color on the color wheel to play up your eyes.
You have options, as any color works pretty well! However, you can also look at what flecks of color appear in your eyes - if there are small yellow sparkles, a purple shadow will look amazing! If you have small green specks within the brown, try burgundy! You can also check out the flecks of color in blue and green eyes as well!
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to customize your refillable palette using what your eyes look like and the color wheel, but if you’re still mesmerized by prepackaged palettes (like I definitely am (against my own advice and better judgment), here are a few suggestions.
For blue eyes, I love the LORAC Unzipped palettes. They have a lot of different colors in the orange and copper ranges, which are fantastic at helping blue eyes really stand out, with a stark contrast to the face and makeup!
For green eyes, I love MAC’s Burgundy Times Nine palette to truly make those babies pop! Since red is the opposite of green on the color wheel, you have to be careful not to look scary with red shadow, and these burgundy options simplify that!
Brown-eyed beauties should check out Viseart’s Liaison palette - it has a great combination of neutrals and bolds, as well as matte and shimmer, in shades that will help brown eyes look dreamy! If you're looking for a not too pricey palette that you can Amazon prime ASAP, check out this beautiful Tarte flirt palette.
Those with grey eyes will love L’Oreal Color Riche La Palette Noir, with its mixtures of matte and shimmer in blues and shades of grey that will draw tons of focus to these stunning peepers!
To add drama to hazel eyes, you have many options, since hazel is a combination of green and brown! You can either work with a palette that is meant for one or the other of those, or go bright! The Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills has some great complements for the green in your eyes, as well as some brights that will allow for great contrast too!
Now that you’ve had a mini art lesson, you’re armed to show off those gorgeous eyes!