Gone are the days of palettes filled with unwearable colours.
Neutrals reign supreme, and while I admit I have a penchant for nudes and browns, my favourite palettes below feature wearable, versatile tones. I enjoy using matte shades to contour through the crease and lighten the brow bone, and I usually pat a shimmery shade on the centre of the lid to add dimension. During the day I'll often quickly sweep a light warm brown or peach tone through the crease and finish with mascara.
Invest in a decent eyeshadow palette and you'll be set for any look. Powder eyeshadows can last two to three years if stored correctly (out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry spot). Pair your shadows with decent brushes to achieve a professional finish.
Pro tip: Always prep the eye with either foundation and powder or an eyeshadow primer. This crucial step will allow your shadow to glide on beautifully and stay put. I also find my mascara and eyeliner don't transfer when I use primer. My go-to product is the Urban Decay Eye Potion Primer (pictured above). I use this every single day, and on all of my makeup cilents.
Morphe 35K Koffee
Morphe have a fantastic value for money offering, including large eyeshadow palettes and excellent brushes. I adore this palette - it has a large range of warm-toned matte, satin, and shimmer shades, with some cool toned greys and blacks. You can create anything from a simple nude eye right through to the perfect smoky eye with the 35K palette. This is a staple in my professional makeup kit.
NZD$40.00 from Cult Beauty
TooFaced Sweet Peach
As a long time fan of TooFaced, you can imagine my delight when Mecca sent me their new Sweet Peach palette. I love wearing peachy toned shadows, and this palette has a fantastic range of colours to create a natural or dramatic look. I also really like the smoky purple tones to take it up a notch at night time. The shadows are highly pigmented and beautiful to blend. Did I mention the palette smells like a peach? Obsessed.
My favourite shades: Georgia, Caramelized, Summer Yum, and Just Peachy.
Available from Mecca Beauty on January 31st.
M.A.C Custom Palette
Available in 2, 4, 15, or 30 shades, the MAC custom palette option is well worth considering given their extensive shade range. I have a 15-shade palette in my makeup kit which is full of nudes and browns. Choosing your own colours means you get exactly what you want - for a versatile kit I recommend a cream or bone shade, a light brown or peachy-nude, a medium to dark brown or aubergine shade, and a black or deep brown to create a smoky eye and use as a liner. You can even add in a neutral matte shade to use on your brows.
Available in selected M.A.C stores.
TooFaced Chocolate Bar
Clearly, I'm a TooFaced fan. I've had their Chocolate Bar palette in my kit for a while now, and I constantly return back to it for bridal makeup and smoky eye looks. The metallic shades are to die for, the shade range is fantastic, and the whole thing smells like chocolate. It's heaven. Check out the Semi-Sweet palette for a different range of shades.
My favourite shades: Salted Caramel, Semi-Sweet, Haute Chocolate, and Strawberry Bon Bon for a hint of pink.
NZD $78.00 from Mecca Beauty
Urban Decay Naked 2
Praise the makeup gods - Urban Decay is finally available in New Zealand (thank you, Mecca). I've long adored this edgy, iconic brand, in particular, their makeup setting spray and eye primer as mentioned above. I picked up the Naked 2 palette overseas a little while ago, and it is full of staple shades. I adore this. There's a good range of shimmery, metallic shades, perfect for creating more dramatic looks. Check out the 1 and 3 versions of the palette too.
NZD$91.00 from Mecca Beauty.