We love a palette. Eyeshadow palette. Bronzing palette. Blusher palette. Lip palette…you name it, we’ve tried it. And probably own it too! You see, the thing about palettes, is that they’re utterly versatile, portable and quite frankly, covetable. We both own a few that we swoon over, photograph lots and haven’t wanted to dip into yet, for fear of ruining them! We still get excited every time we open them and see row upon row of shimmering eye shadow, or the softest, most wearable blush/highlighter combo. We clearly need to get a grip…

That’s not to say that all palettes are perfect. They’re not. Far from it. And it’s hard work finding the right one. We’ve all been seduced into buying a palette, just because we fall for 1 or 2 of the shades it contains. We talk ourselves into the fact that yes, we will use that dodgy, mustard yellow eyeshadow at the end! And palettes are an expensive option, so think hard before you buy. Will you use every shade it contains? If you’re being swayed by just a couple of shades, could you get a good alternative to these elsewhere? (By the way, the answer to this is yes!)



(Above: NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette, £45. We’ve already sung the praises of this palette in our Blush blog, ‘Oi Cheeky’. It’s a winner. And we’ve surrounded it with V’s favourite pink lipglosses, of course!)


So, selfless as ever, we’ve been testing a few of the newest palettes on the market, and revisiting some unbeatable old gems, to bring you the VeryMakeupMad palette edit that you need this summer! Our aim is to help you pack light and pop one of these beauties into your suitcase, for the ultimate holiday glow. And who knows? We might even get round to using one of our own palettes…once we’ve taken a few more arty photos of them!

The two hottest face palettes on the market right now are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, £45, and the NARS Bord De Plage Highlighting Palette, £45 (pictured below). Both are limited edition…eeek, be quick! V has the Becca and M has the NARS (you see, we don’t always agree on everything!). There are pros and cons to both palettes. The Becca palette has 4 delectable discs of shimmering colour – one bronzer, one blusher and 2 highlighters. Admittedly it’s probably best on medium to dark-skinned girls (although V definitely doesn’t fall into either camp) but the bronzer, applied with a light touch, gives the most beautiful summer glow. The fact that the bronzer and blusher are so much smaller than the highlighters, seems odd to V. She’s not sure why Becca did this and finds it rather frustrating, especially when trying to swirl her brush in them. Plus, all 4 shades are shimmery – which is fine by V as she’s a shimmer fan, but clearly not everyone is. On the plus side, the textures are beautifully creamy and blendable, there’s a whopping great mirror, and she loves – and will use – all 4 shades, on eyes, cheeks and cheekbones. She reckons it’s the perfect summer holiday palette.


As for the NARS palette, M can’t take her eyes off it! And she wins in the ‘value for money’ stakes, because at the same price as the Becca palette, you get no less than 4 highlighters and 2 bronzers. The bronzers are the brand’s new Sun Wash Diffusing type, which deliver a very natural, light colour to the skin. Even the darker one works on fairer skins. And the highlighters are all beautifully shimmery and sheer and work amazingly as eyeshadows too. There’s no blusher in this palette, making it less of an allover face palette…but M can forgive it this. It really is a gorgeous palette for all skin-tones. And it’s selling out fast!

A final contender for the title ‘best holiday face palette’, is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette in Natural Beauty, £49. Neither V nor M own this, but that could change at any time! It’s a very handy little palette, with 3 eye shades, 2 blushers, 1 bronzer and 1 highlighter. So you really do achieve an entire made-up face with this. We love it for the fact that each powder is labelled with what it does and where to put it (check out www.charlottetilbury.com for a tutorial on exactly how to use it). The colours are easy-to-wear and buildable – albeit quite teeny – and give a very natural glow. Again it’s limited edition, so don’t hang around…


So which other face palettes are worth checking out this summer? Here are some of our  favourites:

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY, ALL-OVER PALETTE: Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, £28. We think this is a great price, considering it contains 7 products. Plus, the neutral-toned powders are well pigmented, the eyeshadows can be used wet or dry, and they promise to last all day. Big thumbs up from us!

BEST HIGHLIGTING PALETTE: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, £40 . This is the brand of the moment, developed by mega beauty blogger, Huda Kattan (she has 20+ million Instagram followers…we’re hot on her heels!). With four buttery soft, shimmering highlighters that literally melt onto the skin, this palette promises to make you a Golden Goddess this summer. Or, for half the price, go for the Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette £20. These 4 pearlescent powders give skin a beautiful sheen, and while the formulas are not creamy soft, like in the Huda palette, they absolutely do the trick. Plus, you’ve got golden and bronzey tones for the perfect sunkissed finish. Finally, Anastastia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, £39, gives an amazing glow to all skin tones, and the powders can be layered together. Try applying with a damp brush or sponge for more intense colour. Use any of these products on cheekbones, browbones, down the nose and on the cupid’s bow.


Left-Right: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette


BEST CHEEK PALETTE: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher and Bronzer Palette, £49.50. Whilst this may seem expensive at first glance, it’s well worth it. It contains 5 full-sized powders – each one sells individually for £24.50 – including the gorgeous Galifornia pinky gold blush and the new ‘lite’ version of the UK’s best-selling bronzer, Hoola. We’re also taken with Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette, £34. Too Faced definitely know how to do a good palette and this is no exception. Yes, it’s cute & kitsch and probably more suited to M’s 13 year old daughter, with its quirky packaging and peachy scent (yes, really), but the 3 powders work brilliantly. They give the skin an amazing radiance and are very light, making it easy to build-up the colour.



Left: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher & Bronzer Palette; right: Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette



BEST SPLURGE/TREAT BUY: Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette, £98, with its quad of 4 beautifully soft, shimmering, neutral eyeshadows, a highlighter and a blusher, is a stunning palette. We’re not suggesting that it’s an everyday buy, but rather a treat or a gift for a special birthday. Or go for the glow with Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo, £58, with its ballet slipper pink highlighter, and rosy blush. M received both for her birthday. And V is not in the least bit jealous. Honest…!


Top: Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette. Bottom: Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo


BEST BUDGET BUY: Kiko Face Palette, £6.45. Everything you need for your face – bronzer, blush and highlighter – all in one sleek case. We’re really impressed with the soft texture of the powders and how easily they blend.

That’s it for face palettes, but don’t miss our next blog all about eyeshadow palettes – from subtle neutrals, all the way to shocking, neon colours.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram/twitter/Facebook/YouTube, @verymakeupmad.

Love & Holiday Make-up,

Hard at work, researching products. And we’re not afraid of ‘double denim’!






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  1. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I love it!! Your back grounds reminders me of when I used to be really girly & I love that. Also FYI all those palettes looks beautiful 🙂

  2. Great post!! Crushing on most of those products!! Nars highlight and bronze, CT face palette and Huda glow kit are on my list … I love the byterry bronze blush highlight palettes too 😍😍

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