Palettes Please: the glorious return of the make-up palette

Our pick of the best make-up palettes, from the ultimate all-in-one eyebrow compact to smouldering eyeshadow quads

10 June 2020

Photography by Gareth Williams

The concept is simple: one sleek tray of colour that curates all of your make-up must-haves within one glossy compact case. The versatile beauty palette fell out of favour for several seasons, due to ill-thought colour schemes and clunky designs. A highlighter yellow or garish green hue would often sneak its way into an eyeshadow palette, or a rogue neon orange would scupper your blusher selection, while the case itself almost always smashed or scratched.

Often, one would cart around a sizeable slab of muticloured pigment, to use only one flattering corner of the compact. In recent seasons, however, palettes have upped their game.  Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury and Hourglass now offer a considered, neat edit of flattering, shimmering, blendable shades, smartly housed in one sleek and durable case.

Chanel Brow Wax and Brow Powder Duo

With beauty salons closed for the foreseeable future, Chanel’s nifty all-in-one eyebrow palette is the perfect pocket-sized companion for a manicured browline. It contains a wax, powder and four dinky, oh-so-cute eyebrow accouterments, including tiny tweezers, a comb, an angled brush and a foam applicator. 

Chanel Brow Wax and Brow Powder Duo, £38

Hourglass Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette

This Hourglass highlighter palette previously amassed a cult following for its trio of richly concentrated powders, laced with innovative, ultra-fine micro pearl particles that beautifully catch the light. After a brief hiatus, it returns for summer 2020, featuring three flattering shades that blend seamlessly on the skin for a picture-perfect, buildable glow. 

Hourglass Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette, £58

Clé De Peau Beauté Luminising Face Enhancer

This pearly highlighting powder compact from Japan's bestselling luxury skincare brand has been created using innovative light-reflecting technology to define, contour and illuminate your complexion. While the iridescent tones look shimmery in the case, the overall effect is in fact subtle and won't leave your skin looking sparkly. Priced at £75, it is not cheap, but a light dusting goes a very long way. It is housed in a faceted jewelled compact case, which is a joy to hold, and comes in three versatile shades.  

Clé De Peau Beauté Luminising Face Enhancer, £75

Tom Ford Mink Mirage Eye Colour Quad

Purveyor of the perfect smoky eye, you can count on Tom Ford for a smouldering palette of richly pigmented eyeshadows, all of which you will want to use. The four-colour quad mixes matte and shimmering shades that you can build up throughout the day, from velvety cream and caramel to sooty charcoal and glittering champagne shades. The mirrored, mahogany brown compact is a recognisable Tom Ford signature, finished with signature gold accents. 

Tom Ford Mink Mirage Eye Colour Quad, £68

Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess Luxury Palette

For warm, golden hues, look no further than Charlotte Tilbury's confidently named Luxury Palette. The perfect accompaniment for sun-kissed, tanned skin, this quad features three shimmering powders in glimmering gold and bronze hues, in addition to one matte shade for contouring.

Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess Luxury Palette, £40