We’re heading into the home stretch of holiday party season. Between the stress of buying presents, cleaning the house for said party (or visiting family), and year-end deadlines at work, we’re all for streamlining where we can. Our latest trick simplifies our beauty routine: eyeshadow palettes.
Denver-based makeup artist and expert beauty teacher Stephanie Klasse says palettes are the perfect tool because the precisely coordinated colors give you a solid makeup plan (some even come with step-by-step instructions); and they’re cost-effective (individual eyeshadow can easily cost between $15 and $20, while an entire palette of four to 10 colors can run just $30 to $60). Her tips: Purchase what you will actually use, and balance out what you already own. Since most palettes aren’t refillable, when your favorite shadows are used up, the rest tend to be forgotten.
In an effort to make it even easier for you, I asked Klasse to pick her top five eyeshadow palettes for the season.
Urban Decay Naked Basics
A natural girl’s must-have, and a pro favorite. With six matte, nude shades, this palette easily complements the products you already own. Plus, matte eyeshadows add depth to the eyes and provide the most natural highlights and contours for any eye shape. A quick swipe has you covered. $29, urbandecay.com
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 056 Bar
A cool-toned, highly pigmented five-color palette, the 056 Bar will be your smoky eye go-to. Apply the shimmery taupe to the lid and the pink in the inner corner of the eye to keep your peepers looking big and beautiful. For more drama, sweep the silver shadow across the lid and under the lash line, and then line eyes with black, making sure to smudge it into the eyelashes. $60, available at Nordstrom, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 2810 E. First Ave., 720-746-2424, shop.nordstrom.com
Bobbi Brown Warm Glow Eye Palette
Housed in a faux-croc skin compact (pictured, above), this nine-color palette is ideal for the girl-on-the-go. It contains warm, cool, and neutral tones in matte, metallic, and shimmer finishes—meaning it’s perfect for every eye color and skin tone. For a natural day look, use the matte and metallic shades; for evening, add sparkle shadow to the lid with your finger to finish your look (Brown calls this “diamonds for the eyes”). For liner, try the rich caviar shadow, a black/brown shade that’s less harsh than pure black. $75, Nordstrom at Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Park Meadows Mall; and Neiman Marcus, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3030 E. First Ave., 303-329-2600, neimanmarcus.com
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadows Collection
A deliciously beautiful palette for an amazing value: 16 eyeshadows for under $50! This palette has more than just chocolate browns, it’s also packed with ivory, gold, and pink hues, and doesn’t skimp on the shimmer. It also has a lovely range of purples, which are really in this season. Try using the chocolate brown as a top-lid liner and the shimmery plum along your bottom lash line. $49, toofaced.com
Maybelline Cosmetics The Nudes Palette
Never underestimate the power of a good drug store find. Case in point: These 12 gorgeous, well-pigmented eyeshadows. Try rimming your eyes with bronze using a small brush, and then add a pop of gold on the inner corners—it will add a subtle smokiness without making your eyes look small. For more ideas, Maybelline has interactive, step-by-step guides online. $11.99, drugstores nationwide