It's no secret that I love eye makeup. I have an entire drawer in my bathroom devoted to holding eye shadow palettes exclusively. The hundreds of photos I've saved on Instagram are almost all editorial eye makeup looks that I've sourced from various makeup artists, celebs, and beauty-inspiration accounts. When I have the chance to test a new palette or eye shadow formula, I emit an actual shriek of delight. I can't help it, and I can't explain it other than to say I'm inexplicably drawn to eye shadow.
While I switch things up pretty regularly by testing out new products, lately I've been gravitating toward the same five palettes again and again. Without recognizing it, I've cultivated a group of go-to palettes that I use almost every single day (and plan to keep using throughout the entire season). Keep scrolling to see my five favorite palettes for winter, along with five looks I created with each of them.
The first of my five go-to palettes is this one from Sigma. I was drawn to it before I even had the chance to swatch it for the first time thanks to the gorgeous collection of 12 warm, neutral shades. It has shimmery sand and rose gold, bold copper, matte ruby red, and sparkling plum. Not only do all of them look amazing when lying next to each other in the pan, but they also pair incredibly well, which makes creating any eye look easy.
This is one of my favorite looks to create with the palette, especially with the holiday season fast approaching. I start by blending the dark brown and shimmery green shades together across each eyelid (these are called After Hours and Fool's Gold, respectively) before tracing a thin line above each eye with a shimmery liquid liner or glitter. For the sake of specificity, in this instance, I used A'pieu Eye Glitter ($10). Then I pressed a bit of the lightest beige powder from the palette, called Humble, into the glitter line for even more contrast. After a couple of swipes of mascara, I was out the door.
I concede that this Anastasia Beverly Hills palette isn't exactly original when it comes to creating winter eye makeup looks. Everyone from celebs to makeup artists and, yes, beauty editors swears by it. However, I felt that I had to include it since it's on heavy rotation in my makeup routine. I think it's due to the dark and romantic pink and red shades inside.
This look is simple yet bold. I live for a good monochromatic makeup look, and this one is no exception. After applying a warm nude-brown shade called Raw Sienna across each lid as a base, I packed on a bold matte-pink shade called Love Letter. I blended it up and out before adding a touch of shimmer on the center of each lid with a pale-pink shade, Vermeer.
If monochrome makeup isn't your thing, worry not. There is a wide range of shades from gold to brown to orange, along with the aforementioned pink, which allows you to create dimensional, gradient eye looks (like the ever-trendy sunset eye makeup, for example).
Here's another Anastasia Beverly Hills palette for your consideration. Before I dive into it, I want to point something out. I realize these are rather expensive palettes ($42 a pop can add up quickly). However, everything from the soft velvet packaging to the silky pressed powders is high-quality. For me, that makes the price tag well worth it.
Anyway, let's get back to the palette itself. It holds warm, matte shades as well as super-shimmery metallic ones, which is why this is my favorite palette to use when I know I'll be going out for drinks or dinner. The matte shades are soft and pretty for wearing to the office or while running errands, and the bolder metallic shades are perfect for placing on top whenever I'm in need of some extra drama. In other words, it takes your look from day to night.
The name Soft Glam inspired me to keep this look fairly natural (well, as natural as winged liner can be). I started by applying a combination of Burnt Orange and Orange Soda to each lid before tracing a cat eye using my favorite Sephora Collection Long-Lasting 12-HR Wear Eyeliner ($12). Finally, I pressed a little bit of a golden shimmery shade called Fairy onto the center of each lid. It made for a soft peachy-gold effect.
This next one isn't just an eye palette. It also comes with a brush and a creamy eyeliner to use alongside it (both of which are fantastic products in their own right). However, the palette is certainly the star of the show, at least in my humble opinion. There are five shades in total, ranging from a shimmery off-white shade all the way to a dark, matte brown.
Remember how I said I love monochrome eye makeup? Yeah, I wasn't kidding. Although each shade in the Persona palette is dreamy, I only used two to achieve this look—namely a matte terra-cotta shade called Brick and a matching shimmer shade called Copper. It's one of my favorite eye looks, which is why I'm currently debating whether or not I need to add the brand's Pink Color Theory Eye Kit ($38) to my collection.
The last palette that rounds out my collection of five winter favorites is this compact beauty, which is a part of Nars's 2018 holiday collection. You know what that means, right? It's going to go fast. In fact, it's already sold out on the brand's website, so act quickly and purchase it from a verified third-party retailer (like Nordstrom) if it piques your interest.
Can you sense a smoky-eye theme yet? Once winter rolls around, I can't help but opt for darker and moodier eye makeup. To create this look, I blended the shimmery aubergine shade called Not for Sale as well as the duo-chrome iridescent rose shade called Exploit all over my lid and lower lashline, blending it up and out into a slightly feline shape. I completed the look with a bit of the lightest shade on my brow bone and in my inner corners for some dimension. That, my friends, was the entire process (well, except for two coats of L'Oréal's Voluminous Mascara, $6, of course). It took all of five minutes to complete.
Next, check out five makeup palettes that double as evening bags—seriously.