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The Makeup Maniac

The Makeup Maniac: Budget Beauty Palettes

November 18th 2016 / Anna Hunter

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From eye to brow to cheek, here are the palettes that won’t make you poor

Party season=palettes. Playful, handy for travel and on-the-hoof makeovers and usually a bit more daring in shade and texture scope than our usual day-today makeup (shimmer mint shadow anyone?), a palette provides a tonally harmonious edit of options to blend together or wear alone, depending on your mood, the occasion or potentially your level of exhaustion. Often palettes are seen as the indulgent splurge of the makeup aisles, but a structured brow, smokey eye or even full face needn’t require deep pockets; pocket money will suffice. Plus not spending the earth means that you won’t be chiding yourself when that mint green goes untouched.

The eye palette

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At £1 a shadow, NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in Smokey, £16, is easy on both wallet and eye. From jewel-like metallics to matte neutrals, it’s versatile with something for everyone, while colour payoff is rich, even and relatively crease-free, although if time allows I’d go in with an eyelid primer first if you’re doing the whole ‘desk to disco’, day-to-night makeup vibe. All in all, this is a prime example of beauty, practicality and price savviness combined,i.e, the dream.

The other eye palette

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If you like your shadow lighter and altogether more spangly, Bourjois Eyeshadow Palette Les Nudes, £8.99, is the brand’s biggest take so far on a shadow palette, and as always the pigment on offer is strong, despite the shades being towards the pastel end of the scale. This is where you’ll find mint green lurking, but also a luminous bronze, two very flattering shimmery browns and a deep, matte chocolate which makes for a sooty, smudgy liner when used wet. The palette is definitely on the kitsch side of things, and the rotating mirrored lid is a quirky touch, so I can see this working as a welcome gift for a teen in particular (a v chic teen).

The lip palette

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T’is the season for a red lip, so having six takes on said shade will come in handy should you acquire festive lip fatigue. The L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Lip Palette in Rouge, £12.99, allows instant access to wine (colour, not beverage), brick and fire engine, with finishes varying between matte and satin. Whether dabbed on with fingers for a bit of a stain or applied more precisely with a lip brush (preferably a larger one than the brush included), the shades are bright and beautiful, and while they may wear-off a little with eating, drinking and other merriment, the slim compact makes top-ups a doddle. The palette was also masterminded with ombré lips in mind, if you’re into that.

The brow palette

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Brows are big business, and the kudos of a defined, subtly arched brow isn’t going anywhere; sales of brow products have rocketed by over 210% since 2011 according to the NPD Group. If you’re holding out for a hero or simply want to dabble in an inexpensive on-the-go grooming palette, the Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow kit, £7.99, is a fail-safe bet, combining an impressive four shades of eyebrow powder, two tinted waxes, an eyebrow pencil, mini tweezers, a highlighter and a ‘brow bone enhancing cream’. While the enhancing cream has a golden tone and the highlighter is pink based, there’s no reason why the last two aren’t interchangeable, and the powders could also double up as eyeshadows if you’re travelling light. Available in three shade spectrums, this is a budget basic that’s got everything ‘eyebrow’ covered, although maybe swap in a high quality pair of tweezers if you’re planning a full reshape.

The colour correcting palette

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Silly season tends not to bring out the best in our complexions- buckets of prosecco, late night snacking and falling into bed in full makeup is a recipe for ‘blah’. Whether your skin has turned fifty shades of grey, redness has flared up or you have circles under your eyes that are darker than the night, a multi-purpose colour correcting concealer wheel is your friend. See here for your ultimate guide on how to use each of the rainbow shades within the Kiko Colour Correct Concealer Palette, £13.90, safe in the knowledge that you can take the edge of of most skin gripes.

The face palette

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The Models Own Gilt palette, £19.99, may be on the pricier side of high-street makeup offerings, but hear me out, as not only does it look particularly luxe (holler rose gold), but the makeup within is polished and considered- think an enlivening peach blusher, two matte neutral eyeshadows, two elegant metallic shadows and two pretty, rose hued lip colours. Ditch the brushes, but otherwise it’s a keeper.

The edgy face palette

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If you like to push the beauty envelope at this time of year especially, & Other Stories’ sartorial leanings will suit you perfectly. The Anadem Mosaic Face Palette, £12, was designed with the festive season in mind, but it’s anything but ‘obvious’. A burgundy cream can create a wash of colour over lids or berry stain on lips, a bronze gold double up as a shadow or highlighter, a clear silver gloss can add lustre to lips or seal glitter in place if you’re going all out, while a subtle, pearly rose gold creates radiance anywhere you dab it. If monochrome is more your style, the Festoon Classics colourway will be right up your street.

The DIY palette

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If you’re under the impression that bespoke beauty costs an arm and a leg, you’re yet to meet Makeup Obsession. With empty palettes starting at £4, and and shadows, blushers, highlighters and contouring powders kicking off at a mere £2, and peaking at £3, the Makeup Obsession customisable palettes are designed to adapt nicely to your tastes and budget, allowing you to slot in multi-purpose makeup at a whim. Shade options are nothing short of spectacular, especially for blushers, and textures range from matte to metallic to glimmery in the case of the strobing balms. Being a new brand I’ve not got extensive experience with how each powder or balm wears, but I’ve great things regarding blendability and pigmentation which is promising.

After more beauty bargains? Keep an eye out for a dedicated Black Friday email heading your way…

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