Miscellaneous, Softly Special: All About the Eyes, This or That
Comments 14

In Defense of Eye Palettes, Plus 8 Neutrals You Should Look Into

I love palettes.

It’s a pretty good way to “save” some money while getting to try a lot of colors. I think my interest in art and design also manifests itself in this preference for palettes of singles, just because a well put together palette is one of my greatest weaknesses. I accumulated a lot of makeup in a short period of time, and the culprit really seems to be eyeshadow.

When a brand releases a palette that puts together colors and shades that work so well with one another, it takes a lot for me to say ‘no’ to it. Eyeshadow palettes are probably the only makeup item that I feel like I ‘collect,’ just because my logic center shuts down in the presence of a gorgeous mishmash of colors and shades.

Le Metier de Beaute - Melange - Pans 2


I’ve slowly been realizing that I am much more drawn to a beautifully thought-out product than to the option of customizing something on my own. I feel like I am partaking in a story that someone is trying to tell, though maybe that’s a little dramatic (but embarrassingly true).

If you’re not like me, and more of a pragmatic makeup user, I talked a little bit about selecting a palette that works best for you in this post.

While it’s interesting to see these combinations of colors, I find that it’s pretty hard to put together neutral palettes. How do you set yours apart from all the others that existed before it? What do you include and ax to make it not repetitive and redundant? What makes it better than, say, the ubiquitous Urban Decay Naked Palette? Why did that item become such a cult favorite?

There are a lot out on the market right now, and unsurprisingly, they are not that identical. Here are eight of the ones I have and love:

Comfort Zone (Wet n Wild)
Starting off with the most budget-friendly buy, an ultra-shimmery-frosty palette that sort of has a cult following, for good reason! Comfort Zone has two columns of shades—a brown-based and green-based eye look, both of which can complete its own complete look, down to the eyeliner. But, you can also mix and match the colors, which leads to a ton of possibilities.

I find this close to being an End-All, Be-All Palette; there’s just not enough textural variation for me. It’s still a good buy that’s worth the investment, IMHO.

Wet n Wild, Comfort Zone

Nude ‘Tude (theBalm)
You again! This is too good a palette to ignore, really. I think it has sixteen shades, and though the pans are teeny-tiny, it will last you a long time. It’s highly unlikely you’ll run out of eyeshadow after a few months, but anyway. This palette is gorgeous. You can take it from day to night, sweet to sultry, and I think you can see how many personalities you can assume, modeled by the ladies on printed on it.

theBalm - Nude Tude

theBalm Nude Tude

Naked (Urban Decay)
Ah! This workhorse makes an appearance! The warm-toned brother of the Naked 2, the original Naked Palette is such a versatile little bugger, which perhaps led to its cult status when it was first released. This is also the eye palette that launched a thousand dupe palettes from brands like MUA, Chi Chi, Victoria’s Secret, and more.

UD Naked

If you’re starting out with eyeshadow, this will be an inevitable recommendation from someone. I do wish it had more matte shades, but as an overall palette… For $50? This is pretty good. The possibilities of looks from this palette are pretty endless, and you’re bound to find a few that works for you.

UD Naked 1

Naked 2 (Urban Decay)
However, my favorite Naked is the Naked 2. This is more cool-toned, but I prefer it because it had more tonal and textural variation. Tease and Blackout are also big heavyweights here. And then YDK is just so pretty. Again, this is a steal at $50, pretty much.

UD Naked 2

The main difference between the Naked 2 and the original Naked is really the variation. In this one, you see a lot less browns and more adventurous, though still neutral colors. I think that’s probably why I prefer it. Naked is very safe and typical—though very user-friendly. It’s not a bad thing; but this one just seems to give you much more variety when it comes to actual looks.

Naked Basics (Urban Decay)
I bought this palette for my sister and it’s pretty versatile, if you want a palette for daily wear. Because I like to play around with eye looks, this is not something that excites me terribly. It’s definitely a conservative choice, which means that it’s ideal for the office, a casual date or Sunday brunch, but it includes deeper shades, too, if you wanted to amp up your look.

Naked Basics - Pans

Naked Basics

Since this leans towards the more matte side, I like adding Venus, the sole satin color, as a light shimmer top coat over an eye look, if it feels a bit boring. Naked Basics is still a steal at $27, for six high-quality eyeshadows that you can use for pretty much anywhere and anything.

And then, the last three of my picks, I’m mentioning here and not really getting into because they are either kind of hard to get a hold of or limited edition.

And God Created the Woman (NARS)
You’re probably tired of hearing about this palette, but it is seriously one of the best I’ve owned. It’ still available on Sephora’s website, if you find that it tickles your fancy. Like the Naked Basics, it’s great for traveling and even toting along with you during the day for touch-ups or for day-to-night transformations.


It is super small and can go from day-to-night. I honestly think this may be the best palette to bring along to a trip if you’re trying to cut down on luggage space. The awesome thing about it is that it’s a set, and you get a travel-sized primer and eyeshadow brush with it. If you save the box, it can serve as your eyeshadow travel bag, too!

And God Created the Woman - neutrals

Though this is limited edition, it’s comprised of colors that are part of NARS permanent range. If you go that route, though, it will be more expensive and less portable. If you have your eye on this set, check if Sephora still has it in stock. It was the only store I could find, as of a few days ago, that still had it in stock.

Tuxedo Moon (Addiction)
Tuxedo Moon is one of the permanent Ready-to-Wear Eye Palettes by Addiction by Ayako, a Japanese brand. It’s a very soft palette that is not too heavy on the shimmer. The tones remind me of the Naked 2 palette, but the texture is a lot like the Naked Basics shadows.

Addiction - Tuxedo Moon

Sugar Rusk (Addiction)
And another neutral palette from Addiction. I honestly just can’t help myself, it seems. This is a pretty nice one to have, though the colors have more of a “day look” vibe, with little room to “transform” into a night look since the colors don’t seem to be deep enough. The sparkle, however, may help.

Addiction - Sugar Rusk

This palette is perfect for a wide-eyed, natural look, so if you’re feeling fresh, this may be a good option for you.

And that concludes this post! Sorry you guys saw it a couple of times. I typically write a bunch of my posts in one sitting and schedule them accordingly so that I can keep this blog updated but not at the expense of my work life. I hope you understand. 🙂

What are your favorite neutral palettes? 🙂 Do share!

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  1. The only palette I owned, I gave away. It was very chalky and the I couldn’t get the color to appear on my eyes. I stayed away from palettes since then. I have 5 to singles though, but I’m not sure if they work well together.

    I just might get one of wetnwild’s palettes or the balm’s meet matte.

      • ELF Beauty on the go. I bought it so I can practice with eyeshadows. But I ended up not liking eyeshadows even more. I think it’s time I don’t opt for make shift palettes and buy a proper one.

  2. Pingback: September’s Softly Special: All About the Eyes (Master List of Posts) | Softly Sometimes

  3. Elaine says

    I still can’t decide if I’m going to get the original NAKED palette or NARS’ And God Created the Woman. I’m thinking since I have NAKED 2 I can go for AGCtW but I don’t know, they’re both pretty. Help a girl out? 🙂

    • I typed a long response and then WordPress eated it. D: I would get NARS, just because I like it more and I prefer both NARS and Naked 2 to the original Naked, but speaking honestly, you get more mileage from the Naked palettes, just from the number of eyeshadows.

      If you’re not looking for another neutral palette, try UD’s new palette, Vice 2, or a Naked dupe instead. I think MUA has a really close one?

      • Elaine says

        Thanks Carina! I just ordered And God Created the Woman. I couldn’t resist! By the way have you tested/reviewed eye shadows from Make Up Geek?

      • Congratulations! Haha no, MUG is on my list to try, but I always seem to be on a ban when I get a craving to order some!

      • Elaine says

        Hehehe thank you! 😀 I ordered MUG eye shadows online out of curiosity and they are on their way. So excited!

  4. This was a very interesting read. I’m not a huge collector of eye shadow palettes because I rarely wear them, but looking at those pretty palettes, I’m drooling. I have a Naked 2 basic palette, btw, do you think I should still get the Naked 2 set or should I go get naked 1 instead for more variety?

    Best regards,


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