Multi-purpose Makeup Palettes

I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog called “What Should I Buy?”  I typically like to do some research before I make a purchase and I figured I can expand on that by doing up a post that describes what options I’m considering and hopefully gather some feedback from the blogging community.  One of my goals this year was to be more mindful of my purchases so this is going to help me in ensuring I’m buying things that are worth my hard-earned money!

So my first post in this series is going to be on multi-purpose palettes.  I’ve been wanting one for a while now and after traveling for work last week, I realized how much it would have come in handy.  I was in a bit of a rush when I was packing and it would had been really nice to be able to simplify my choices by having a palette that can cover several bases.

MY CRITERIA: A palette that includes eyeshadows, a blush, a bronzer and highlighter.  I’m willing to sacrifice not having a bronzer, a blush or highlighter (only one) if it means a better overall palette.   I would like a mix of neutrals and a few pops of colour; I’m cool-toned but I’m open to warm or cool toned palettes – although I tend to learn towards cooler tones.  I’m also looking for a mix of matte and shimmery shades, I don’t want just one or the other.

MY OPTIONS:

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette – $48 CAD

Tarte has the most multi-purpose palette options by far, and this is one I’ve been eyeing for ages.   I keep looking at it but never seem to take the plunge and I’m not sure why?  This set includes 6 warm eyeshadows, a bronzer, highlight and blush.  The blush might be what is throwing me off –  I’ve swatched it a few times and its just so orange.

Pros: Contains all 4 products; good value.

Cons: Blush seems really orange; bronzer seems really dark; only one true matte eyeshadow shade.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Clay Eye & Check Palette – $48 CAD

I came across this palette when I was investigating the Showstopper palette;  I love plum shades so the eyeshadows speak to me more than the Showstopper palette does.  It also includes 8 shadows, a bronzer, blush and highlighter.  My only gripe is the snake on the front of the palette…I don’t like it.   I know it’s not real but I just wish it wasn’t there.

Pros: Contains all 4 products; 50/50 split of matte and shimmery shades; good value.

Cons: Snake on packaging.

Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette – $46 CAD

Yet another Tarte option – this one a few dollars cheaper but includes 8 eyeshadows, a highlighter and a blush.  It’s missing the bronzer which is a bit of an annoyance – I can make do without highlighter but bronzer is kind of a necessity for my pale skin.  I find it’s a similar to the Rainforest After Dark palette given that the shades are more plumy.

Pros: Beautiful packaging.

Cons: No bronzer; reviews state matte shades are difficult to blend; unfavourable reviews overall.

Tarte Empower Flower Amazonian Clay Collector’s Palette – $43 CAD

My final Tarte option in the mix and one I don’t think I’ve seen this one in store. I love the pretty packaging but I also hate it because cardboard packaging damages easily when traveling.  This contains 8 eyeshadows, 2 blushes and a bronzer.  It excludes a highlighter but the bronzer is shimmery so it could potentially be skipped.

Pros: Great mix of eyeshadow shades; two blush shades.

Cons: No highlighter included; cardboard packaging; mixed reviews overall.

In the Balm of Your Hand Palette by The Balm – $52.25 CAD

I’ve only tried one product of The Balm’s and I wasn’t impressed (a sample-sized bronzer).  However I keep hearing great things about them so I’d definitely like to try more of their products.  I feel like this palette would be a great way to do so – given that it includes many of their best sellers – 4 eyeshadows, 3 blushes, a highlighter, a nude cheek/lip cream and a lip colour.  I love that it includes lip colours but if I’m being honest, I’ll rarely wear that shade.  Especially if I’m traveling!

Pros: 3 blush shades; love the bronzer and blush shades; cute packaging.

Cons: Not likely to use the lip colours; cardboard packaging; only includes 4 eyeshadows; eyeshadow shades are not my preference.

Balm Voyage Vol. 2$53.95 CAD

My second option from The Balm is this palette that contains 9 eyeshadow shades, two blushes, a bronzer, highlighter and two lip and cheek creams.  Again, The Balm has some of the cutest packaging around but cardboard is never my preference (although it is nice and light!).

Pros: Includes cream blush/ lip colours; good shade range on all products (more wearable than above).

Cons: Packaging (damages easily); no matte eyeshadow shades.

Smashbox #Shapematters Palette – $69 CAD

This Smashbox palette is one that I went back and forth on with regards to including it in here – but I love the look of it so I couldn’t bring myself to exclude it.  This palette is quite versatile in that it includes a brow wax, two brow powders, four face powders, nine eyeshadows and a brush.  However it excludes a blush and it’s quite large which doesn’t make it ideal for travel.

Pros: Includes a brush; includes a brow wax; versatile shades.

Cons: Large size; most expensive option; not a fan of brow powders; no blush.

NYX Butt Naked Eyes Makeup Palette – $27 CAD

I was happy to find a drugstore option to throw in here –  and when comparing the price and the quantity of product in this palette to the rest, it’s in its own field.  However the majority of the research I’ve done states that this is a palette for those that like “softer looks” – is that a big deal?  Not really, as I tend to do that anyway.  My concern is related to the quality aspect – the general consensus on this is that it is a good palette, but it doesn’t compare to some of the more popular, higher end palettes.

Pros: Price; quantity of product; variety of shades.

Cons: Quality of products; restricted to “softer looks”

The last option I’m considering is picking up a Z palette and creating my own customized travel palette.  That will involve a lot more research of a different kind and a lot more money, given that a large sized Z palette runs for $27 CAD and then I still have to find products to fill it with.  Buying a Z palette and filling it has been on my wish list for a while now but I’m not sure this is the time to do so.

THE VERDICT: I think I’m leaning most towards the Tarte Rainforest After Dark palette, mainly because it checks all the boxes.  If it weren’t for that damn snake, I’d probably have already purchased it.

If you own any of these palettes, I’d love to hear your feedback on them!  Or if I’ve missed any you think I should be considering, let me know too.

Thanks for reading!

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0 thoughts on “What Should I Buy? Multi-Purpose Palettes”

  1. I remember eyeing a Tarte palette in that circular layout and I think my OCD reared its ugly head because I canNOT deal with the configuration of those palettes! 😛 But I do like how compact they are. If you’re going for the Rainforest one and hate the snack, why don’t you stick a sticker over it? 😉
    I say skip theBalm – I have Balm Voyage 1 and I really don’t like the cream products mixed in with the powders. And the cardboard packaging on them isn’t great for travelling (I don’t have a comfort level personally, anyway)
    Out of these I like the Tarte Engery Noir and the Empower Flower palette best.
    I feel the answer to your search is to build your own with a system like Inglot or MAC. For travelling, I like the UNII over the z-palette:
    http://www.uniicosmetics.com/images/prod_4.jpg
    http://www.uniicosmetics.com/
    Hrmm I just got a blog idea – review custom palette systems. I’ve got a bunch of them. Maybe that would help your decision! 😛

    1. Yes a sticker is a good idea! I think I can get over it if I end up with it…I mean I know I can. Mind over matter!
      Thanks for the feedback on The Balm
      Palette – I wondered how the mix of cream and powder products would work! The UNII looks awesome – I assume you have one? Thanks for the recommendation, definitely going to look into that!

  2. I have the shape matters and totally love!!! It’s such good quality!! Even if you don’t like the brow powders they work great as eyeshadow a so make the most of your money I would defiantly buy this again xx

  3. I have the “In The Balm of My Hand” palette and it’s pretty good! I mean, I like the blushes the most. The eyeshadows are pretty good, but I haven’t touched the lip products to be honest… For multi purpose palettes i always get the holiday sets hehehe! All of those Tarte ones look fab, I love the names of their shadows!

    1. I probably wouldn’t touch the lip products in there either but I’m glad to hear you like it overall. I’m going to add one of their palettes to my wish list but I’ve decided its out of the running for my travel palette – the cardboard packing will be destroyed after a one way trip. I’m really leaning towards one of the Tarte palettes. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

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