There's an affordable palette for every feature
Party season=palettes. Playful, good for travel and on-the-hoof makeovers and usually a bit more daring in shade and texture scope than our usual day-to-day makeup, 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. Palettes are often 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.
The eye palette
NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in Smokey, £16
At £1 a shadow this is easy on both wallet and eye. From jewel-like metallics to 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.
The other eye palette
L’Oréal Nude Rose Eyeshadow Palette, £14.99
If you like your shadow more on the earthy end of the shade scale this ten pan palette delivers matte and metallic putties, chocolates, mauves and creams that blend together beautifully and look far more expensive than they actually are. Pigment is strong and there’s very little fallout too which also tallies with more luxe offerings. All in all it’s one of the most handy, timeless palettes I have in my kit - most shades have been mined, unlike many a shadow collection where my favourites are immediately obvious and the ones I don’t use stare back at me for months before I chuck them. My bad really but thankfully not the case here.
The lip palette
H&M Lip Colour Palette, £17.99
This may be on the pricier side of high-street makeup offerings but see it as buying 12 lipsticks in one go and it’s a beauty economy. A pick and mix palette with an impressive variety of creamy lip colours designed to suit every skin tone and taste, these are light textured and slightly sheeny, so not big on staying power but they create a smudgy stain that looks modern and beautiful.
The brow palette
Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow Kit, £7.99
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, this 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
Kiko Colour Correct Concealer Palette, £13.90
Silly season tends not to bring out the best in our complexions- buckets of prosecco plus 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 this compact.
The blusher palette
Morphe Blushing Babes Blusher Palette, £12
The name of this palette makes me shudder but the contents can stay - there are two soft matte cheek colours and a luminous shimmer that adds glow and structure when applied to the apples of the cheeks. There are seven colourways to choose from so there’s a palette for every skin colour and blusher preference - as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader I like my blusher slightly ‘extra’ but if you prefer to blend in that’s an option here too. Hands down as good as anything you’ll find at high-end counters.
The edgy face palette
& Other Stories Noragi Lunar Complete Face Palette, £12
The arty, monochromatic palette doesn’t do rules - you can use the cream colours within any which way you please, whether you fancy silver highlighter or a glossy eye. Dab on with a finger or brush for instant low-key cool - the white shadow is especially useful for layering under a more vibrant shadow to dial up vibrancy.
The DIY palette
Makeup Obsession Palette, from £4
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 expansive, especially for blushers, and textures range from matte to metallic to glimmery in the case of the strobing balms.
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