Despite the beauty industry undergoing a big overhaul in diversity, eyeshadow palettes can still be a grey (read: ashy) area when it comes to inclusivity. Here, we list the ones that cater to everybody.
‘Diversity’ is at the forefront of the beauty industry.
More and more brands are unveiling foundation launches available in 40+ shades (leaving some stores taking a pledge against stocking foundations that don’t have a representative shade range), campaigns are refreshingly portraying a more inclusive image and recent haircare launches are taking different hair textures into consideration.
But along the great strides we’re making, there are certain areas in beauty that have been left behind.
From my experience, it’s eyeshadows.
I love eyeshadow. Dipping a brush into a powdered pan and sweeping it across my eye isn’t a typical part of my everyday make-up routine – I tend to save it for when it’s a special occasion or I just want to put a bit more effort into my make-up look.
This means that whenever an eyeshadow launch drops on the Stylist beauty desk, there’s an allure around it that makes it feel particularly special.
And I’m not alone. A new eyeshadow palette tends to leave the entire Stylist beauty team “ooo’ing” and “ah’ing”, as we swatch various shades on our arms.
But, sadly, these swatching sessions often leave me feeling a little… flat. A lot of eyeshadow palettes aren’t created with all skin tones in mind and as a result, half of the colours included don’t pop against deeper skin tones, if they show up at all. Meaning you’ll find one is too chalky, one is too ashy and one is too light, before you finally come across a shade that is juuust right.
This is something that beauty blogger Jackie Aina considered when she entered her beauty collaboration with Anastasia Beverly Hills. She set out to create an eyeshadow palette that catered to everybody.
“Every time I get palettes, I mentally have to fix them,” Aina told Allure, “I struggle with finding palettes with transition colours that are dark enough for me.”
The launch made me realise that despite endless eyeshadow launches, there are a select few in my beauty stash that allow me to use every single shade.
Here are the eyeshadow palettes that don’t leave me (and my eyeshadow brush) dodging half of the shades…
For neutral shades: BH Cosmetics Solar Flare Baked Eyeshadow Palette
A friend once pulled this palette out on holiday, offering to do everybody’s eye make-up before we went Out Out, and it looked great - on all of us. The baked eyeshadows mean the formula is incredibly pigmented and the lightest shades pop amazingly against deeper skin tones.
For versatile shades: Anastasia Beverly Hills x Jackie Aina
When Aina created this ABH palette, not only did she make sure it caters to everybody - but that it caters to every look, too. The 14 eyeshadows cover matte and metallic formulas with crease, lid, inner corner and highlight shades.
For vibrant shades: NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette - Brights
Inclusive eyeshadow palettes doesn’t mean you’re limited to the type of colours on offer - proven by this NYX palette. Its 16 rainbow shades are all highly-pigmented and have impressive colour pay-off with just one swipe.
Main image: Unsplash