Monday, 26 February 2018



I think it is pretty clear that I have an obsession with makeup; in particular eyeshadow palettes. Even though I already own too many I am always going to keep growing my palette collection because I love eyeshadows. However, I own quite a few eyeshadow palettes that have eyeshadows in them that I have never even used once (either because they are shades that I do not gravitate towards or I just don't ever use them). Usually I will always use the neutral and warm-tones shadows in a palette and then other shades that are brighter are rarely touched. So, a year ago I decide to invest in a custom eyeshadow palette. One that I knew I would wear every shade on a daily basis. 

Custom eyeshadow palettes are definitely an investment piece in any makeup collection. Depending on the size of the palette you choose, a custom palette can cost anywhere from £40 to £200 and sometimes more. I know that I can easily buy an eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay or Too Faced for £40 but there are usually multiple shades that are not shades that I would wear and for me a custom eyeshadow palette made a lot of sense. I will always gravitate towards my custom eyeshadow palette on a more daily basis because I know that every shade in there are shades that I love and have chosen specifically for me that suit my skin tone, eye colour and even hair colour. Don't get me wrong, I still love my pre-made eyeshadow palettes and still use them constantly, but my custom eyeshadow palette is amazing for when I just want to create a simple everyday look and I am feeling a bit stuck on a makeup look. It is also great for travelling as I know I love every single shade and I can create so many different looks with this one palette.

Creating a custom palette can be quite difficult especially if you don't know what kind of palette you want to create - do you want it to be full of warm-toned shades, cool-toned shades, bright colours or neutral colours? Also you have to think about what brand of palette you want to buy and the size, what eyeshadow singles you are going to buy, what shades and how you will arrange the shadows to make it suited for you. So I thought I would share with you my tips for creating your dream eyeshadow palette as well as sharing my own!


There are so many eyeshadow palettes on the market at the moment and with that comes a lot of reviews - you will have some people loving a product and then someone else might say that it is the worst product they have ever used. I test a lot of makeup and always make sure that I am 100% honest with you when it comes to my reviews, but just because I might like something does not mean you will. So a perfect way to have an eyeshadow palette that you will guarantee loving is to design one yourself. That way you are in charge of how many eyeshadows are in the palette and you get to choose the shades that you want. I don't think I own one pre-made eyeshadow palette where I use every single shade. Therefore, if you are in the same boat then I would recommend creating a custom eyeshadow palette as you can choose all the shades that you know will work for you and that you can wear everyday. It is also great if you don't have much makeup and you have seen a couple of palettes that you love but there are certain shades from each palette that you would love to see in one. Therefore, instead of buying two palettes you can create your own and use those shades. Custom palettes can be costly and they are an investment but it is 100% worth it as you are likely to use every shade and probably hit pan - I haven't hit pan because I do use other eyeshadow palettes so I can review them for this blog but I know that the one I have created will stay with me for years and will be my most-loved palette!


Before you even think about shades of eyeshadows, you have to think about what you are going to store your eyeshadows in. Two of the most popular choices are Z Palette (which has always been a popular choice with beauty bloggers and makeup artists) which is magnetic and can fit any size pan in or a Mac Pro Palette (which you have to buy a separate insert for). When I was building my custom eyeshadow palette I decided to go with a small Z Palette as at the time I didn't want a huge palette and I liked the fact that I could interchange pans when I was travelling because of the fact that it was magnetic. I do know that Z Palette have had some controversy last year which did make me lose faith in them as a brand and I have not purchased from Z Palette since as I do think that they are very overpriced. Whereas, MAC is a lot cheaper and you can now really make a palette that works best for you. I am thinking of buying more shadows and am going to definitely upgrade to a Mac Pro Palette as they do seem more durable and they do look really sleek with the clear cover. There are a lot of other brands that sell similar products like Morphe and Tarte but these two have always seemed to be the most popular choice.

The next step is to think about the size of eyeshadow pans you are going to buy and how many you want to fill your palette. This does depend on how many eyeshadows you see yourself using, how often you use makeup and your budget for this palette (because custom eyeshadow palettes can be pretty costly). Each brand sells different sizes of basic palettes depending on how many individual eyeshadow pans you plan to use.  Z Palettes start from £4.50 for a 3-pan palette and goes up to a double-sided palette which can store up to 27 eyeshadow pans in each side and costs £34.50. MAC Pro Palettes start from £5 for a small palette and can go up to a 30-pan palette for £8,  plus an additional insert.

Personally I decided to choose a Small Magnetic Palette from Z Palette for £8.50 as it seemed like the most appropriate choice for me at the time. I didn't want to go in with too many eyeshadows to start off with as I wasn't sure how often I would use them and I did feel like anything larger would have been really expensive and would have resulted in unused eyeshadows. But now I have had my custom palette for just over a year, I am definitely looking to expand it and add eyeshadows from different brands so am thinking of buying one of the large MAC Pro Palettes as they look amazing for travelling. 


When I was choosing my eyeshadows for my custom palette, one of the hardest parts was choosing a brand that I knew I would like and trust me there are a lot of choices to choose from. You may decide that you want to choose one brand or you might want a mixture of different brands in your palette. One of the main factors that has to be taken into consideration is the price as single eyeshadows can be so expensive. However, some of the best single eyeshadows are from Makeup GeekAnastasia Beverly HillsMAC and Morphe. There are so many other brands that have single eyeshadows in their collection but these seem to be the best. Anastasia Beverly Hills is the most expensive at £12 a pan, MAC is £10, Makeup Geek is between £4.95 and £7.95 (depending on if it is matte or foiled) and Morphe is £4.50 a pan. I did decide to create a whole palette full of Makeup Geek single eyeshadows because I have heard so many great things about their individual shadows as they are so pigmented, blend really easily and are insanely great for the price, plus their shade selection is incredible and they are one of the more affordable single eyeshadows (although I swear I paid around £6 a pan when I purchased mine). 


One of the fun parts of creating your custom eyeshadow palette is being able to choose the shades that you love. One of the easiest things to do is order a couple of shades first and see if you like the undertones and whether they suit you and then maybe the month after you can order shades that will compliment those shades. I purchased mine over the course of a few months as they are quite expensive and I didn't want to spend £70 plus all at once. You could also build your custom palette over the course of a year and ask for a few shades for Christmas and birthdays and then buy a new one each month. One of my biggest tips is to just take your time when it comes to finding the perfect shades for you. I wish I had spent a bit more time with this palette as I know that I have a few of these shades I multiple palettes, although it is good to have them in one palette for when I am travelling, but I am definitely going to add more shades soon. I am going to try some shadows from other brands as well to see whether the formula is any different.

When it comes to choosing the right shades for you, choose colours that you love. Think about your skin tone, eye colour, hair colours and think about what undertones you like - do you like warm-tone shades or do you prefer a more cool-toned eye look. Also think about when you will use these shadows, if you want it to be a day palette then maybe stick to more matte shades whereas if it is an evening palette maybe choose more shimmer shadows. I would recommend looking at the palettes you already own and make a list of the colours you wear the most and what finishes you use. I tend to wear more matte shades during the day and then add a shimmer for evening so I split my eyeshadow palette according to that. I also know that I tend to wear more warm-toned shades like bronzes, burnt oranges, deep burgundies and chocolate browns, so I chose shades that I knew I would wear time and time again. But be creative and maybe choose some neutral shades and then choose a couple of bright shades for nights out - really it is your palette! My biggest tip is imagine a brand has asked you to create your dream palette for them to sell and think about what shades you would like to see in one palette!

For my custom eyeshadow palette, I chose nine shades from Makeup Geek that were all neutrals and had warm undertones, besides one which is more cool-toned. I also chose one satin, five matte and three foiled shadows that I would be able to use time and time again on a daily basis. Here are the nine shades that I chose:

CINDERELLA - a satin pink/mauve
CREME BRULEE - a matte cream tan
MAGIC ACT - a foiled gold
FRAPPE - a matte light brown
SIDEKICK - a matte brown with an orange undertone
GRANDSTAND - a foiled bronze
WILD WEST - a matte chocolate brown
BITTEN - a matte deep Burgundy
CHARMED - a foiled cool-tone silver

L-R: Cinderella, Creme Brûlée, Magic Act, Frappe, Sidekick, Grandstand, Wild West, Bitten and Charmed


Making your custom palette can be done in a couple of ways. Firstly, you could make it a face and eye palette by buying a few eyeshadows, a bronzer pan, a blush pan and a highlight pan. I decided against this as I have so many blush, contour and highlight palettes, but that is a great option if you want it to be more of a travelling palette. Or the other way to make it more multipurpose is to choose appropriate shades that can work as more than one thing. 

Who says that we can only use eyeshadows on our eyes? I have used eyeshadows as blush, bronzer and highlight before so to make this a palette that you will use constantly then think about the different products that you want them to achieve. You could opt for a matte brown or blonde shade that matches your eyebrows so you can use them not only on your eyes but also as a brow powder. Choose a matte or satin pink shade and use it as a blush. Opt for a matte bronzer shade and use it to bronze up your face or choose a satin/shimmer highlight shade to use as a highlighter on the high points of your face. I didn't really think about this when I picked my shades but my friend told me about it and I thought why did I not think of that. I am 100% going to pick a couple of shades that I can use as different products in the future as it would make it the perfect travelling makeup companion. I wouldn't say that this is the most important thing to consider but it is handy if you don't want to have multiple products when travelling or you don't want to spend a fortune on an individual bronzer, blush and highlighter.



I do like to keep my makeup well organised. I have a system that I stick to when it comes to organisation and that was exactly the same when it comes to organising my custom eyeshadow palette. One of my major pet peeves in eyeshadow palettes is when there is no system or it looks like random shades were just put in to fill a gap. I do find that if an eyeshadow palette is set out neatly then it is easier to create makeup looks and it does just look really pretty. This is not an essential step but it is quite handy and there are a few different ways you can organise your custom palette:

1. Have each row, column or quad as an individual makeup look - one of the easiest ways that brands set out a palette is to choose three or four shades that work well together and place them in the same row, column or quad. This way you know that those particular shades will always work well together and you will never be stuck for inspiration.

2. Look at other eyeshadow palettes and see how those shadows have been organised - this is the most obvious way of organising a custom palette especially if you are new to makeup and are not sure what shades work well together. If you don't have many palettes then look at photos online or look at blogs to see different palettes. Often bloggers will create different looks with a palette and will tell you what shades work best together (I know I have done this with some eyeshadow palette posts). 

3. Separate matte eyeshadows from foiled/shimmer shadows - another way to organise your eyeshadow palette is to separate the shadows depending on their finishes. You might want to put all the satin finishes together, the mattes together and then the shimmers and foils in a row or column. This is the way that I decided to organise my custom palette as well as taking inspiration from my next tip.

4. Organise your eyeshadows from the lightest to the darkest - a lot of palettes like the Naked palettes from Urban Decay will often go from the lightest shade to the darkest shade. I also did this with my custom palette as well as separating them into finishes. You may want to go from the creams/beiges into warm-toned oranges/reds into dark chocolate browns. If you are going for a more cool-toned eyeshadow palette then replace the oranges with blues and purples.

5. Organise by shades - you could easily split your palette depending on the shades you have purchased. Put all the cool-tone shades in one row or column and then do the same with warm-toned shades, highlight shades, transition and crease shades, neutral shades and bright shades together.

You can recreate my palette or create your own as it is so easy to do once you know what to look out for! If you want to recreate my palette then the palette is available from Z Palette for £8.50. All of the shadows are from Makeup Geek; the Matte Shadows are £4.95 and the Foiled Shadows are £7.95.

Let me know in the comments if you are thinking about creating your own custom palette or have already created your own and what you think about it? Are there any other brands that you would recommend when it comes to creating your own eyeshadow palette? 


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