What’s In My Kit – Part 2 – Palettes

Don’t you just love walking into a makeup store and looking at all the eyeshadow palettes?  All those pretty colours?  Mattes and shimmers, side by side, curated so perfectly?  Who doesn’t want to have them all?

I will admit that I have been lured into buying my fair share of eyeshadow palettes, not because I NEEDED another, but because they just look So. Damn. Good.

But is it really necessary to own eleventy billion eyeshadow colours?  And wouldn’t I be better off custom creating my OWN palette, of colours I will actually use?  Because let’s face it, I’m sure I’m not the only artist who has a number of palettes where one shade is completely gone, three others have hit pan, and there are one or two colours that have barely even been swatched?

This is part 2 in my series of What’s in My Kit, which began last month with an article on my favourite foundations.  In this post you’ll learn why I no longer rely on just custom made palettes, and what my favourite palettes are, and, perhaps more importantly, which are the palettes that I reach for on a consistent basis.


Custom palettes vs. Ready made collections

Back in the day, every artist worth their salt carried custom made Mac palettes.  I’m talking about those days before the first Naked Palette was launched in 2010 and Anastasia Soare was a humble beautician shaping brows in Beverley Hills (well, perhaps she wasn’t so humble… she does state that her first two Brow Clients were Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell).  There simply wasn’t the CHOICE of products and palettes that we have now, so pro makeup artists made up their own palettes, and MAC (particularly when it WAS a company dedicated to makeup artists – before the corporate buyout by Estee Lauder) was the pro’s choice, as they provided their eyeshadows in pans, that could be fitted into their empty palettes – reducing the need for artists to undertake risky de-potting.

But times have changed. The rise of the beauty influencer, education through social media, new makeup lines, and cosmetic super stores like Sephora, Mecca and Ulta have meant an increase in consumer awareness, and along with more demand for makeup products, cosmetic brands have answered the call with new palettes every season… and makeup artists and makeup junkies alike just want to have them all!

Consumers are much more educated now, and with so many more brands on the market, even here in Australia we are spoilt for choice.  A few years ago, I began to find the clients in my chair would know a lot more about makeup, brands, and be looking over my kit to see what I carried.  My clients began to expect to see brands they recognised in my kit – no longer were they satisfied with the “it’s a professional brand that you can’t buy in department stores” explanation.

And so, I started adding some consumer palettes to my kit, and I was actually surprised at how good some of them are.  I now carry a mix of pro brands and consumer brands.  And while I do have quite a few (let’s be honest – too many) palettes sitting unused in the “mother ship” – these are the staples in my kit that I reach for on the regular.


1. Viseart Neutral Mattes Palette

Viseart (pronounced Vizzy-art) is a French brand designed for makeup artists.  With superior pigment levels and blendability, and simple functional packaging, this palette is a go-to staple for many makeup artists. From pale to dark, these neutral shades are perfect for creating that “no-makeup” makeup look that commercial jobs often call for, and they are great for creating the base for bridal and event looks too (just add some shimmer to really boost the wow-factor)

2. Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette Palette

I love the Tartelette palette as the perfect companion to the Viseart Neutral Mattes, and I use this palette regularly in combination with the Viseart.  The Tartelette palette also has a couple pale cool tones, and a couple of pink toned shades, which again, means it is a perfect bridal palette (just add shimmer).

3. Stila Cosmetics Eyes are the Window Palette – Soul

If I could only choose ONE palette for bridal work, this would be it.  Having said that, I don’t reach for it that much anymore, simply because my favourite shade in there got used up SOOOO quickly.  I’m talking about the shade Kitten, which is a beautiful pale pink champagne shimmer, PERFECT for brides, and anyone who loves shimmer, particularly that inner eye corner highlight.  (So, I ended up buying a single Kitten shadow – its that good!) The rest of the colours in this palette are a mix of mattes and shimmers, warm and cool tones.  Oh, and the black shadow is REALLY black – something I always found it hard to find.


4. Yaby Cosmetics World of Pearl Paints Palette

Yaby is a Canadian brand started by a makeup artist for makeup artists.  This palette has 40 super shimmery shades that cover the rainbow.  While they are super shimmery, the texture is really buttery, so they adhere really well without masses of fallout, like so many other shimmery shadows.  Each pan is quite small – about half the size of a regular pan, which is great, because, realistically, how often do you reach for a lime green eyeshadow anyway? Imagine having 40 super pigmented shimmery colours the size of a regular palette!  The other thing I love about this palette is that the pans are held in with magnets, so you can replace any that you use up.

5. Urban Decay Cosmetics HEAT Palette

I’ll be honest here. I don’t tend to buy into hype, and I never owned any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, as I always thought of them as appealing more to consumers rather than professionals.  I bought this palette after seeing some of the looks my makeup artist friends were creating with it, and hey, I love burnt orange!  I was pleasantly surprised, and while high-glam is not my thing, I’ve actually used this palette quite a lot.  I have heard the pigment pay-off from other Naked palettes isn’t that great, but I find it’s really good with this palette.

6. Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam palette

OK, I don’t actually OWN this palette (yet!), but I’m adding it into the list because in a recent Facebook Post where I asked other artist for their favourite palettes, this one kept popping up.  Last week when I was working at the TV station, I noticed it in the makeup drawer and decided to give it a go.  I really liked it!  It has a good range of colours, the pigment is great, and not too much fallout… ticking all the boxes.  This may well be my next palette purchase!

So there you have it!  I also have a whole bunch of other eyeshadow singles, mini palettes, liquid eyeshadows, paints etc etc… but this post is just about my palette loves.  What do you think?  Is your favourite here?  I’d love to hear your favourite, come let me know in this FACEBOOK POST.


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