Battle of the Brands: High-End Neutral Palettes

 By: Dana Dworkin

Ever since the original Urban Decay Naked palette hit shelves, the beauty world has been all about finding the perfect neutral eyeshadow palette. Almost every brand has released some version of a all-encompassing, everyday eyeshadow palette. Some have succeeded and even exceeded the Naked palette, while others have failed to reach the high standard that Urban Decay has set. Here’s a list of four high-end neutral eyeshadow palettes, along with their pros and cons

Urban Decay Naked Palette


The Naked palette by Urban Decay is by far the most well-known and successful neutral palette on the market. Urban Decay has grabbed on to the popularity and hasn’t let go, subsequently releasing Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smoky, and 2 versions of the Naked Basics palette.


The pigment payoff is great, and the shadows are blendable, making it a perfect palette for beginners. There’s a great range of shades and variety of finishes, with mattes, shimmers, and glitters. The palette is a good deal, with 12 shadows with each having 1.3 grams of product for $54.


The fallout on some of these shadows is not good. You can try to clean up fallout with a makeup wipe or concealer, but this palette can sometimes still leave glitter and dark powder under your eyes. While this palette certainly has its upsides, it is probably not the cream of the crop.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette


Kat Von D contributed to the neutral palette trend in 2015, with the Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. This line also includes a face contour palette, which is an amazing staple.


These shadows are blendable with a great range of colors. These shadows are all matte, which could be seen as either a pro or a con depending on your preferences. It’s hard to find a pigmented, blendable matte, but these shadows fit the bill. The value of product received is also a positive, as this palette is only $46 and it includes 12 eyeshadows.


As with the Naked palette, you will experience fallout with this eyeshadow palette, especially considering matte shadows generally have more fallout than others.

theBalm Nude ‘Tude Palette


theBalm is a little more obscure than the previous two brands, but is a cult favorite. This brand’s standout products are their highlighters and blushes, but their creatively-themed palettes are quickly gaining popularity.


With a range of shades from light to dark, with both cool and nude tones, this palette would work well for a variety of skin tones. The fallout is minimal to none, and the colors are pigmented without being difficult to blend. The matte black shadow makes for a great liner. This palette retails for $36, and the brand often pops up on flash sale website Hautelook with discounts.


Some of the matte shades feel very powdery. The brush that comes with the product feels cheap and is not worth keeping.

Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Palette


Tartelette In Bloom is the second Tartelette palette from Tarte Cosmetics. The first was an all matte palette, with a range of pinks, purples, taupes and browns. The second palette in the series contains 9 matte shades and 3 shimmer shades.


The shadows are organized horizontally and vertically to help you create cohesive looks. The shades all complement each other and can easily be used together. The shadows are buttery and blendable without being sheer.


There are no pops of colors or stand-out shades. Some customers have reported that their palette’s Funny Girl color is defective, swatching poorly and having a minimal payoff.

There you have it, four of the most popular neutral palettes on the market right now. Have you tried any of these; what did you think? If not, which one are you most likely to purchase?



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