March 23, 2016
Everyone has to start somewhere; my first venture into the daunting world of eyeshadows was with a cheap blue-toned four-colour palette from L’Oreal – perfect for secondary school choir performance makeup, but not exactly a go-to everyday look. That said, the palette did come with your basic white/nude shimmer, which I quickly grew fond of and smeared on my eyelids whenever I was feeling ~fancy~ for the day. I lived on that same palette for six years (who really wears makeup in JC anyway?), but fast-forward to today and I’m now armed with a socially acceptable number of basic eye palettes and even a few dandy brushes. Not bad for my makeup-wary self, but still, I wish someone had properly inducted me into this palette play back when I was first trying out makeup – because a quality, versatile palette can really take you places. In fact, if I could go back in time and tell little ol’ bespectacled me what to invest in (and if these palettes even existed back then), here’s the shopping list I would bring:
For your basic, everyday palette: Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette, $69
This is the stuff of dreams, eyeshadow newbie or not. The range of tones is undeniably all-inclusive, taking you from light creams for your base (to smoothen out and fix discolouration on your lids), to warm browns perfect for an everyday look, to rich, chocolatey shades if you’re ever in the mood to be daring. Plus, the shadows are all matte, which are definitely a safer option for a cautious first foray into eyeshadow. We’re going to go ahead of ourselves and say that if we had to live with only one palette for the rest of our lives, this would be it.
Available at Sephora.
For a rose-gold alternative: Urban Decay Naked3, $83
What’s an eyeshadow list without Naked? If you think peachy, rose-gold shades sit better on your skin tone, it’s completely fine to give the neutral browns a miss and take up this pretty palette instead. Like any other versatile palette, the Naked3 too comes with an easy to work with light-to-dark gradient and transitional hues, so you can build and blend with confidence. We particularly
like ‘Burnout’ – third from the left – a bolder, slightly orange-toned colour that’s not only trendy this season, but also a little different from the usual light mauves.
Available at Sephora.sg
For your starter smokey eye: Sephora Collection Colourful 5 Eyeshadow Palette, $36
Just because you’re only starting out in the eyeshadow territory doesn’t mean the classic smokey eye is off-limits. In fact, I actually felt the smokey eye was easier to achieve than a natural daytime look – partly because I had already been accustomed to using extreme colours onstage; and because it’s harder to mess up darker, monochromatic shades than trying to get a seamless blend of browns – which can sometimes end up looking like you just have really dirty eyelids. And five shades is really all you need – just be sure to layer slowly from light to dark and blend generously. And if all else fails, shimmer the heck out of your eyelids.
Available at Sephora.sg
For a bronzy smokey eye: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Collection, US$49
This one’s for the ladies who’ve gotten a little more intermediate at colour understanding and blending – and those with a permanent sweet tooth. Attempt a standout everyday look with the more uniquely-hued browns in this palette – a lovechild of the neutral brown eye and the smokey eye. The mix of mattes and shimmers makes for more options, if you’re ever looking to switch it up, and we do appreciate the inclusion of more daring, fun shades like the shimmery olive and glittery grape.
Available at Sephora.
For… those on a budget: e.l.f. Flawless Eyeshadow, US$2
Who am I kidding; at 14 I was probably dead broke anyway, so what better palette to splash out on than one that costs less than a plate of chicken rice? This palette is near and dear to my own heart for its straightforward simplicity – one predetermined shade for each purpose, and even explicitly labelled because e.l.f. probably realised it would help complete eyeshadow dummies. And don’t be fooled by the price – the shades are surprisingly pigmented and go on smoothly over your lids, adding a pop of natural colour perfect for a regular day in the office or just sweating it out around the island. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional Watsons pop-ups in shopping mall atriums, which are your best bet to get your hands on this New York-based brand.
Available at elfcosmetics.com
Featured image from tartecosmetics.com