7 Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Makeup Palettes

According to Philly beauty gurus.


In theory, eyeshadow palettes are the best thing to happen to your makeup drawer. They consolidate all the colors you’ll ever need into an easy-to-carry case, and they’re often a value. But they don’t always live up to their potential, and you end up only using one or two shades religiously and then tossing the entire palette when these run out.

So we asked four local beauty gurus — both makeup and brow artists — to tell us which palettes they use. Here, the seven palettes worth buying. We promise: You’ll use every color, and your makeup bag will be all the better for it. 

1. “My favorite palette is Smashbox Full Exposure because it carries all of the options. You get your black, various shades of nudes, two soft pinks, a gold, some terracotta shades, and in mattes, which are on the bottom, and shimmers, [which are] on the top.” Claudia Seyler, makeup artist. $52, buy it here.

2. “My number one must-have is the Urban Decay Naked2 palette  It’s a mixture of 12 cool- and warm-tone eyeshadows that are perfect for everyday looks and glam smokey eyes for a night out.  It also comes with a double-ended brush and a four-pack sample of eye primers so you are all set.”B Wilson, makeup artist. $54, buy it here.

3. “The Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette is absolutely stunning for highlighting. It’s not too shimmery and is great for creating a glow from within. You can put on top of your  cheekbones and on the bridge of your nose using a fan brush. I use it a lot to highlight the brow area. If a client just got her brows done, I always use this palette on the skin.” Nicck Townsend, eyebrow artist. $35, buy it here.

4. “The Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Browns’ palette is a great brown palette, except there isn’t a black. Bobbi brown’s eyeshadows are rich in pigment, long lasting and go on smoothly.” —Claudia Seyler$45, buy it here.

5. “The Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is really good, because it’s, well, so basic. Five of the six shades are matte, including two base shades, two contour shades and black, which can be used for lining. The pale highlighting shade is really all you need for fancy.”Béke Beau, makeup artist. $29, buy it here.

6. “The IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Lux palette is the most versatile palette that I own for my clients and personally. It’s 14 matte shades that can be easily transformed to pearl shadows with a quick swipe or intensified by using them wet. I literally use these shadows dry, wet, matte, pearl and as eyeliners for a subtle smokey red-carpet look.” —B Wilson. $42, buy it here.

7. “Clinique’s Wear Everywhere All About Shadow in gray is beautiful! Matte with a few shimmer shades, it’s rich in color and easy application.” —Claudia Seyler. $36, buy it here.