Whether you’re heading away for a beach weekend or a long summer vacation, there’s nothing more convenient than a makeup palette featuring all your must-have items in one easy-to-transport compact. After all, rather than taking a slew of different makeup items — Blush! Eyeshadow! Highlighter! — why not whittle it down to as few items as possible, and save the space for things that really matter? (Like clothes.)
The only problem: With so many palettes to choose from, it can be confusing to pick the right one for you. “Palettes that include compatible eye, cheek, and lip colors are incredible for saving you space and time by keeping your makeup options organized and concise while you’re on the go,” says Francesca Giaimo, makeup artist to celebrities including Ingrid Nielsen and iJustine. “The trick is simply finding shades that work with your skin tone.”
We break it down for you here with some easy tips for picking your perfect shades.
“For fair skin, soft peach and rose petal tones on the cheeks look very fresh when paired with pearlescent beiges and cool champagnes on the eyes,” says Giaimo, also recommending sheer lipsticks in bright pinks and corals for a subtle pop of healthy color without being overwhelming.
(1.) L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude ($20), 10-shades with a dual-tip brush and both matte and satin finishes, or (2.) Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette ($52), which features two shades of highlighter and three blushes.
“Bring out your golden complexion’s radiance with a glowing, warm pink shimmer to highlight,” says Giaimo. She recommends blush in terracotta shades to play up the apples of yours cheeks. “For eyes, pick shadows in toffee and caramel or emerald green and deep violet, and when choosing a lip color, think sheer beige or garnet red.”
(3.) Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette ($42), with 14 shades in jewel and berry tones, as well as a few neutrals. (Bonus: the shadows are creamy, heavily pigmented, and blend like a dream.) Or try (4.) Sephora My Beauty Notebooks: Eyes, Face and Lip ($25) which features three slim makeup palettes, including the Daily Chic Palette with six eye shadows, two lip glosses, a blush, and a bronzing powder.
Soft and rosy golds will enhance the luminosity in olive complexions, says Giaimo. “Sweep on a blush in brownish pink or apricot to add warmth. Meanwhile, sparkling burgundies, plums, browns, and sapphire blues will bring a beautiful depth to your eyes.” She recommends shimmering nude, peach or berry on lips.
(5.) Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette ($46), which features three different quads each including base shadows and contour shades, or (6.) Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($40), which is inspired by orchid rainforest hues and contains a highlighter, bronzer, blush, and six shadows.
Dark skin can get away with dramatically brighter colors than paler complexions. Giaimo recommends eye shadows in jewel toned hues like burnt copper, deep navy, or eggplant and says to to play up lips with rich wines and chocolate reds.
“Very warm and golden tones work beautifully as highlighters on dark skin,” she says. “A bit of cheek color in a brick or raisin shade will give you a gorgeous, natural flush.
(7.) Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette ($49), features 16 heart-shaped shades ranging from purples to chocolates to fuschias, or (8.) Urban Decay UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette ($25), with fifteen eyeshadow shades – from neutrals to jewel-tones, hand-picked by Gwen.