Are palettes passé? Here is how to wear eye colour this season with less waste and more individuality
Main Image; www.chantecaille.com
There’s been a change in how we wear eye colour. With eyeshadow palettes, it used to be a case of the bigger the better – remember the scramble there used to be for a new Urban Decay Naked. We were seduced by gorgeous arrays of jewelled colours. But vast multicolour palettes shipped in from China seem a bit old-fashioned now; they might seem good-value, but then you realise you’ve only ever used two colours out of the whole thing. It feels pretty wasteful, which is out of sync with the times. I think these kind of rainbow palettes tap into our childlike love of colour – it’s the same thrill we got as kids opening a big box of Crayola crayons. The endless possibilities! Until you realise that you don’t actually want to leave the house with orange and pink on your eyelids.
Customised palettes have become popular, where you buy an empty palette and choose your own shades, such as Hourglass Curator. So you can be much more selective, and there’s far less waste. And now, single-shade shadows are back with a bang. Witness Bobbi Brown’s Jones Road range – there are no palettes in sight but instead, simply, single pots of The Best Eyeshadow (plus Sparkle Wash liquid glitter if you want to amp it up for evening/parties).
Also, make-up brand of the moment, California-based Merit, has just launched Solo Shadows a range of cream-to-powder shades that focus on wearability. I have some Westman Atelier Eye Pods that are so easy to travel with – tiny, single pots of high-pigment colour that are wonderfully neat and minimal. They’re expensive, but endlessly refillable.
Textures and applicators are much more interesting now – this season we have innovations such as Chanel’s just launched autumn/winter limited-edition Ombre Premiere Libre (€38) – the lightest powder shadow with a glorious sheer texture, presented in a glass bottle with applicator, in shades from copper to aubergine.
…and the Vieve Eye Wands (€26 at SpaceNK) are always useful too, to swipe on in a hurry.
There are still palettes we will always covet, of course. Luxury brands are tending towards quads now – think Tom Ford, Tilbury, and these new jewelled golden treasures by Chanel (Les Quatres Ombres Byzance, €65); and I long to hold one of these golden Byredo palettes – things of beauty. See how they dazzle us! There’s always room for fun and flamboyance. But in general, as things are so expensive now, we want to get maximum use from our buys – and one single eye colour that is reliably flattering and useful will go a lot further than a gazillion colours in every texture known to woman, however pretty the palette looks…