Anna Codrea-Rado | Contributing Writer | Friday, 22 September 2017

I Hate Eye Shadow Palettes And So Should You

I Hate Eye Shadow Palettes And So Should You

The Debrief: Eye shadow palettes are an abomination

Earlier this week, Charlotte Tilbury's much-salivated-over new eye shadow palette was available in a flash sale. The internet went wild. For 24 hours only you could get this supposedly magical eyeshadow palette for £60 before it hits the shops officially in a few weeks.

If you weren't one of the precious few to get their hands on this overhyped bit of makeup, count yourself lucky, because eye shadow palettes are an abomination.

My issue isn't with the Charlotte Tilbury palette specifically. It looks very nice in fact, a good selection of colours which have been organised by look. Very good.

No, I hate all eye shadow palettes. They are a waste of money and the beauty industry's latest dressed up marketing ploy to push more sales of something that we really don't need.

I'm almost in awe of how far the eye shadow hoodwinking has managed to go. Lipsticks I get. There's no end to how many lipsticks, in indistinguishable variations on the same hue, you can have. But eye shadow palettes make no sense to me. And I am a person who likes makeup.

To start with, I don't understand how a person could even need more than one eye shadow palette. And I say that as a person who owns two palettes. But I'm not proud of it. One is the Kat Von D Shade and Light palette. It has 12 shades in it, of which I rotate three on a daily basis, and maybe use two other ones every now and then. I also dropped the palette once and two smashed and fell out. I bought it in America for $48. I rarely travel with it because it's too big to fit in a make up bag. Oh, and that nonsense about how palettes have big mirrors is a red herring because the kickback from the powder gets all over the mirror, rendering it useless.

I also have the Urban Decay Electric palette which I specifically bought for its garish colours. I use it for fancy dress a couple of times of year because even though I don't do a whole lot of costume make up, when I do I take it seriously. I'm embarrassed to admit I paid nearly £40 for that privilege.

And so I cannot envisage a world in which I would need another eyeshadow palette. Sure, maybe I could do with a few extra colours, but a whole palette? Where are people who have a collection of palettes storing them? Not in the drawer of their Ikea MALM dressing table that's crammed into their poxy flat in an overpriced crowded urban metropolis, surely.

I blame YouTube for this epidemic. The first Urban Decay Naked palette, which is widely considered the grandfather of eye shadow palettes, launched in 2010.  This was around the time when YouTube beauty vloggers were first starting out and it was many of them that perpetuated the hype.

Even Zoella's dad knew about the Naked palette phenomenon. As the vloggers got bigger and the beauty industry cottoned on to how much clout they carry, more palettes came onto the market and more vloggers pushed them. When Urban Decay launched its latest edition to the Naked collection earlier this year, the Heat palette, it was swiftly sent out to all the vloggers who have all swiftly plugged it. 

And let's take a moment to actually look at what they are plugging. A dozen pressed powders for about 40 quid. Some eyeshadow palettes will run you £95. Ninety. Five. British. Pounds. Forget avocado toast being the reason why millennial can't afford to buy a house, we need to talk about excessive eye shadow palette expenditure.

And then there's the fact that you never, not matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, use all the colours. You just won't. So if you do still really want to participate in the biggest cultural travesty to afflict our generation, do yourself a favour and go to one of the makeup brands that sells build-your-versions and get four colours you've picked out put into a palette for you. Or better yet, shove your existing eyeshadows into a tupperware box, there you go: you have an eye shadow palette. 

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Tags: Beauty Chat