Whether you want to perfect your signature style or try something new, the right palette can help you hone your makeup look with minimal time, effort and space. Here’s our roundup of those we guarantee you’ll use time and again…
BEST FOR EASY CONTOURING Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette Eyeshadow Quad in The Uptown Girl
Created to take the guesswork out of eye-makeup application, this considered quartet features four shades designed to work seamlessly together to create a polished, soft smoky-eye look that’s as effortless as it is elegant. With a prime, define, smoke and highlight shade, this takes a paint-by-numbers approach that works – and looks good – every time.
BEST FOR A SMOKY-EYE UPDATE Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Tweed
Reimagining the classic dark smoky eye with an updated terracotta spin, this slim tortoiseshell compact contains four warm, earthy tones – including a vibrant clay and a deep plum that can be layered and blended to create a fresh take on the sultry, smoky eye. As an added bonus, the shades are formulated with hyaluronic acid, so the powder glides on and lids feel comfortable all day long.
BEST FOR FAILSAFE LIPS Serge Lutens Lip Palette 2 in Neutral
Forget hunting in the bottom of your purse for your favorite lipsticks: this streamlined palette is home to four waxy, buildable shades of varying pinks and browns that suit all skin tones – and won’t hog space in your bag. Wear each shade alone or, for a more bespoke approach, mix together on the back of your hand and gently press onto lips with your fingers.
BEST FOR USABILITY By Terry V.I.P Expert Eyeshadow Palette in Paris By Night
Finding a palette that contains a full house of truly wearable colors is something of a beauty enigma, but this charming homage to the City of Light manages it – no mean feat, considering it has 10 shades. Containing everything from sorbet shades of pink and peach to midnight blue and graphite, and all in a long-lasting, crease-proof finish, every hue is standout and, ultimately, very usable.
BEST FOR A LUMINOUS GLOW RMS Beauty Luminizer x Quad Palette
If brushes aren’t in your beauty vernacular, then snap up this creamy compact with four warm-toned shimmering shades, which (even though they are described as highlighters) can be daubed just as easily onto lids and lips as well as cheekbones. The buttery formulas melt into skin with the warmth of your fingers, creating a haze of gentle luminosity that’s flattering.
BEST FOR EVERYDAY NEUTRALS Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Longwear Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition Neutral
For many, a solid set of failsafe neutrals is all that’s really required when it comes to eye play. This pleasingly sleek oblong compact feels ergonomic and could even be mistaken for an evening clutch, while the flattering multi-finish shades inside veer from pale to deep, with a firm emphasis on all being completely wearable. Try blending the darker tones along your upper and lower lash lines for a soft and subtle take on eyeliner.
BEST FOR VERSATILITY Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette
Central to the brilliance of a good palette is the ease with which you can create a multitude of looks that take you from day to night. This collection of 18 shades varies from demure nude to bejeweled ruby, so it really does offer a (highly pigmented) shade to suit all tastes. Best of all is the generous built-in mirror, which happily makes craning over your compact in the back of a cab a thing of the past.
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