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The Beauty Memo

7 of the best makeup palettes

Whether your go-to is a sultry smoky eye or full-on red lip - be inspired by these beauty palettes, says RHEA CARTWRIGHT

Clockwise from left: Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-conic Longwear Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition; Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette Eyeshadow Quad in The Uptown Girl; Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Tweed

A sign of any good palette is how effortlessly it can transport the eyes from subtle sophistication to all-out glamour. Enclosed in this sleek mirrored compact are 10 highly pigmented shades in a perfect mix of matte, shimmer and stunning holographic finishes, which seamlessly blend for a plethora of looks and color variations. Housing classic creamy nude mattes to jewel-toned shimmers, sweep one shade over the eye for a delicate wash of color, or apply with a wet brush to amplify the intensity for a bold look.

For an elegant and softer evening version of the classic black, smudgy, smoky eye, this is a quartet of four subtle shades that sculpt and enhance the eyes for a beautifully defined and softly shimmery finish. Wear with full-black mascara and a classic red lip for the ultimate polished face.

With seven easy-to-wear and skin-flattering shades in four beautiful finishes (from velvety matte to shimmery lamé), this palette makes making-up ultra-easy. Whether you want a sheeny wash of color or a richer, smoky-eye finish, this multi-tasking palette delivers it all, and more.

Red lipstick is the epitome of classic glamour – and is always on-trend. This space-saving palette houses four universally flattering red tones, which can be used alone or blended to create your perfect red every time. Enriched with nourishing cherry and marula oil to plump, hydrate and protect the lips, its finish is matte yet still feels comfortable. Apply with a lip brush for precise definition, or gently press onto lips with fingers for a natural stain and delicately pat any excess onto cheeks for a long-lasting blush.

A radiant glow is the perfect accessory for an at-home candle-lit dinner or virtual Zoom catch up. Inspired by the tropics, this quartet of buttery highlighter shades includes three velvet powders and one cream that melt into the skin for a coveted lit-from-within look. Use each warm tone alone or layer them for multi-dimensional luminosity, and buff onto cheekbones, collarbones or any area of skin that will catch the light for an instant golden glow.

Created to simplify contouring, this beautiful gold compact – with iconic Burberry check on the outer case – houses six flattering shades to sculpt, color and highlight. There are a variety of textures, tones and finishes: the contour cream mimics a natural shadow, with enough warmth to blend naturally into the skin; the pearlescent flush tones work as a blush, and radiant highlighters add a luminous glow – everything you need to enhance your natural features in one convenient palette.

For many, a sultry smoky eye is the ultimate party-makeup look. The modern interpretation involves swapping the ultra-dark or black shadows for the warm browns and burgundy in this palette. Four richly pigmented hyaluronic-acid-infused hues in velvety matte are luxuriously housed in a tortoiseshell compact, no bigger than a credit card. Dust the lightest shade all over the lid as a base before creating intensity and drama at the root of the lashes with the darker shades, blending upwards and outwards.