Beautiful You: My Favorite Eye Shadow Palettes, pt 2

Shadow Palettes You Need

part two

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Here we are for round two of the eye shadow palette collection. We’ll be talking about more of my most used, most loved, today. If you’re interested in reading part one, which includes the Tarte Tarlette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette, the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Collection, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette, you can find that post here. It also gives you a bit of an introduction to this series.

I have three more palettes to show you, and luckily all are still easy to find, if you’re interested. I’ve swatched them for you, this time, so you could see the colors. (You’re going to have to forgive my ultra pasty skin, I haven’t been outside much.)

All of these palettes fall into the mid-range of price. We’re not in the Chanel, Dior, or YSL area, but we’re not in drug store affordability territory, either.

This brings me to another point. As with everything, you usually get what you pay for, and most of the time, that’s especially true where makeup is concerned. I understand and appreciate some people wouldn’t pay more than a few dollars for eye shadow, regardless of what they could afford. Not one thing wrong with that. Everyone has their own comfort level with regard to where they spend their money. You’ll find everything from drugstore to high end in my makeup, it merely depends on what I like, what I can afford, and what looks good on me.

I mentioned cost effective ways to shop at Sephora and Ulta in my first post about palettes, and that’s linked above. If no one has told you about TJ Maxx and Marshalls, allow me to correct that. For more ways to save, TJ Maxx and Marshalls are stores that have buyout inventory from full price retailers. Focusing on the makeup, bath, and body care area, they have fantastic deals on everything from high end to drug store products. For instance, a cosmetic company will release a current product in all new packaging, so instead of having both versions of the same product in store, a retailer like Ulta will get rid of the old version and you’ll find it greatly reduced at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. As with any closeout/bargain store, you really have to dig to find things, and sometimes because of broken powders or leaking liquids it can be very messy, but most of the prices are 60% – 75% off, so it’s worth it. Their inventory changes daily with no guarantee they’ll get a product back in, so I would never link it, but when you’re in the area of one those stores, it can certainly be worth it to quickly zip in, if you have the time.

Without further delay, let’s jump into this with one of the all-time superstars of the Urban Decay line.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eye Shadow Palette

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This beautifully packaged set offers 12 shadows all with a taupe base, or that are complimentary to taupe based shades. The colors range in a variety of finishes from flat matte to a shiny foil, and everything in between. Although the original Naked palette and Naked 2 both contain neutral colors, the original’s colors are more warm toned browns, and the Naked 2’s are more cool toned taupes.

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Here’s what is included:

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Foxy (a matte ivory with yellow undertones; nice for a natural looking highlight on the brow bone or the inner corners of the eyes)

Half Baked (a super metallic straight gold, not too yellow, not too brown; great for an intense glam lid shade)

Bootycall (a gorgeous satin finish pinky taupe; perfect for a pop of highlight)

Chopper (a shimmery copper shade; a bit more powdery than the other palette shades, though really lovely and blends and wears well)

Tease (a matte brownish taupe shade; lovely for darkening up the outside corners for a natural smoky look)

Snakebite (an undertone of dark brown with a super metallic gold overlay; this shade looks fabulous as a dramatic lid color)

Suspect (in natural light this shade appears to be a shimmery rose gold, but indoors, it comes off more of a lightly shimmered pale gold; good for a subtle hit of color in the middle of the lid)

Pistol (a beautiful, shimmery gunmetal color with lots of gray in natural light, and some hints of olive green indoors; you could do a nice, smoky day look with this to darken up the outer corners)

Verve (a light champagne shimmer that shows more white in natural light and yellowy gold when inside; nice for highlighting the inner third of the lid in a glam look or as a main lid shade for a more balanced look between natural and glam)

YDK (another super metallic bronze shade, heavy on the gold, also a bit more on the powdery side with a fair amount of fallout, be sure to go in good with your setting spray if you’re going to wear this color; for when you’re serious about the glam goals)

Busted (a dark brown with a lot of dark gray undertones and a super light satin finish that leans towards matte; perfect to darken up the outer corner of the lid color if you’re going with a mostly matte or matte/satin look)

Blackout (the darkest, most pigmented matte black color, it makes M∙A∙C’s Carbon look gray when swatched next to it; fantastic liner or for an over-the-top dramatic smoky eye)

Urban Decay is a cruelty-free company and has one of the more stringent policies about animal testing from among the larger mid-range cosmetic companies.

From the company website:
“Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand and is committed to ending animal testing. We do not test our products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf. Additionally, we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals.”

The shadows are creamy and apply smoothly, even the very shimmery shades. They blend extremely well, are long wearing, and not overly powdery, with a few exceptions noted in the color descriptions, above. For those particular shades, be sure to wear a heavy duty primer and use a serious setting spray. A spritz or two of M∙A∙C’s Fix + Prep and Prime would probably help keep things in place, as well. The colors are universal enough that there’s something to compliment every skin tone, from creamy pale to richly dark.

The metal compact is well constructed and stays shut when you close it, so it should be fine for travel. While not very wide, the mirror is long and certainly large enough to easily apply the shadows. It comes with a nice double ended shadow brush that also fits into the case.

By the time I decided I wanted a Naked palette, there were already three to choose from. As I mentioned, the original’s 12 colors, while also neutral, are warmer than these and lean more toward brown. The third installment also has neutral colors, but those have a rose/pink tone to them. I think what sold me on this one was the super dark Blackout, the unique Busted, and the gunmetal Pistol.

This a nice palette with a good selection of shades that you can use to create an endless variety of complete looks. With the light shades and the darker tones, the mattes and the super metallic shimmers, this collection offers everything you would need for a natural, neutral eye, as well as a high glamour look for the glitziest of events.

You can find the Urban Decay Naked 2 Eye Shadow Palette at Sephora, Ulta, and the Urban Decay website. It’s $54 regardless of where you buy it (that’s a respectable $4.50 per shade), and all three sites have free shipping over $50. Urban Decay will engrave it for free, Ulta often offers a free gift with purchase, and of course you always have Beauty Deals and free samples at Sephora.

Lorac PRO Eye Shadow Palette 2

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If my memory is correct, this was my first large palette. I’d had shadow duos, trios, and trios before, but nothing on this scale. The Lorac PRO 2 has a whopping 16 decent sized shadows. The colors in the top row are all mattes and the bottom row are various degrees of shimmer. Most of them are on the cool end of the spectrum.

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The colors included are:

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Buff (very sheer beige with yellow undertones; great for highlighting brow bone and inner corners)

Lt. Brown (soft, caramel-y brown; perfect crease transition shade)

Cool Gray (flat gray with a lot of taupe and a bit of gold around the placement edge, this one goes on a bit patchy; nice crease defining shade)

Nectar (lovely peach color that, ironically, goes on darker than the light brown; ideal for a light, natural daytime look)

Plum (deep, rich purple with a nice balance of red and blue; would look fantastic darkening the outer eye corner for a smoky purple look)

Navy (deepest, darkest navy blue; if you are going for a super dramatic, smoky navy eye, this is your color, but word of warning, make sure you use a thick primer or build up primer/foundation/concealer/all over shadow base, because just swatching it stains my finger)

Charcoal (dark, cool-toned gray with no hint of brown that applies far lighter than it looks like it will; this would be nice for blending)

Black (matte black that’s not as pigmented as Blackout in the UD Naked 2 palette, but darker than M∙A∙C’s Carbon; this would be ideal for lining the eyes or smoking out a dark, dramatic eye)

Snow (satiny white with a super sheer application; great for highlighting brow bone and inner corners)

Beige (lightly shimmery champagne/nude with a bit of peach undertone; another nice highlighting shade)

Rosé (glowing rosy gold; blends fantastically and would be a lovely lightening shade for inner third of lid)

Mocha (coppery brown with a medium shimmer; even application, perfect middle lid shade for a pop of color)

Chrome (cool, shimmery brown that looks like it has a lot of taupe in the pan, but swatches almost a brassy brown; again, a great middle of the lid shade for a daytime or nighttime look)

Silver (sheer, pale silver that’s lightly shimmered; I use this shade as more of a shadow topper)

Jade (dark olive green with a gold overlay and a decent amount of shimmer; nice color for outer corner and perfect for blending)

Cocoa (highly pigmented shimmery chocolate brown; blends nicely for such an intense color, ideal for darkening those outer corners)

The Navy, Mocha, and Cocoa are my favorites and the main reasons I bought this palette. The colors are well pigmented, aren’t terribly powdery, blend nicely, build well, and have decent wearing time (please note the warning on Navy in the color descriptions).

The palette comes in a pretty medium gray soft, smooth-textured compact with a decent sized long but thin mirror. It has a magnetic closure and while it’s secure sitting in your drawer, if you decide you must travel with it, I would put a couple of rubber bands or something similar around it, and/or put it into a Ziploc bag for extra protection.

There is some question about whether Lorac is a cruelty-free brand, but I would consider them to be. They do not sell to China (that requires animal testing) and do not test themselves or use suppliers who test. So I think you can feel good about buying from them.

You can find the Lorac Pro 2 palette at either the Lorac website (that offers free shipping on orders over $35) or Ulta for $44. That’s a great bargain at $2.75 per color, and you get a good amount of each.

If you would like a more in depth review of this palette, the best one I’ve seen can be found at Temptalia. She’s got great swatches and color comparisons.

And finally we have one from a favorite brand of mine.

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude

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I love this indie cosmetics company. They make my holy grail powder highlighter (Cindy Lou-Manizer) and some absolutely fantastic eye shadows. This particular product is one of three matte palettes offered by theBalm, and as the name would suggest, the most neutral of the three. It has a nice combination of lid and crease colors, as well as a couple of highlighting options, and not surprisingly for me, most are in the cool undertone family. There are only nine shades in this one, but you get a very generous amount of each.

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Here are the shades in this palette:

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Matt Johnson (deep gray; nice for darkening up the outer corner)

Matt Garcia (rusty brownish wine; again, darken up that outer corner in a look with more pinky reds)

Matt Malloy (white; perfect brow bone highlighter and to lighten up the inner corner of the eye near the tear duct)

Matt Rosen (milk chocolate brown; for the outer corner or also a good brow powder)

Matt Wood (deep, rich, dark brown; really nice brow powder, especially if you have dark brown hair, great for a dramatic smoky eye, as well)

Matt Singh (dusty, smoky rose; ideal for the crease as a transition shade with red, wine, or maroon colors)

Matt Abdul (taupe; great transition shade for the crease in a lot of different looks)

Matt Lombardi (yellowy beige; mixed with Matt Malloy (white) this makes a nice base for all over the lid before adding the shades for your intended look)

Matt Hung (smoky, taupy purple; this is lovely when you’re doing a purple smoky eye (a great look if you have dark brown eyes))

These shadows are a bit powdery, but they have really decent pigmentation and I find they’re very blendable, with the mid-shades being the best. The lighter colors take some building, but luckily that’s not at all difficult and gives you more control over the look you’re creating. The darker colors take some patience when blending, especially Matt Wood, but once you get it worked out to your liking, it stays put until you remove it. My favorites in the palette are Matt Wood and Matt Hung because they’re both so versatile.

The compact is sturdily constructed cardboard with very cute packaging, typical of theBalm, and stays secure with a magnetic closure. It includes a large mirror, which makes it nice for traveling, and has everything you need for several complete daytime and nighttime looks.

This is a cruelty-free brand that offers many vegan products.

Price wise, theBalm is on par with Urban Decay and Lorac in that mid-range, and has nine generously sized shadows for $42, coming out to a respectable $4.67 per shadow. You can find it at Kohl’s, the brand website, theBalm, and at Bealls. Sign up for Kohl’s and Bealls emails for coupons and specials, and if you have a Bealls in your vicinity, make sure you are signed up for their 40+ fabulous discount rewards program if you’re 40 and over. They don’t carry this brand at Ulta or Sephora.

That’s it for round two of the palette collection. If you’re considering any of these, I would definitely recommend the Lorac Pro2 and Meet Matt(e) Nude palettes if you’re into more mattes shades, but if sparkle and shimmer are your thing, Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette would be the one for you.

Do you have any of these palettes? How do you like them? Let me know in the comments.


2 thoughts on “Beautiful You: My Favorite Eye Shadow Palettes, pt 2

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