Five professional makeup artists weigh in
Is there any beauty product quite as intimidating as a spanking new eyeshadow palette?
As someone who gravitates towards single shadows and multi-use sticks, I admittedly still feel a tingle down my spine whenever I put a brush to a palette for the first time. It feels like uncharted territory. An inexplicable pressure to all the YouTube tutorials I binge watch justice takes over. Unlike the solo fliers in our beauty routines, the shades in a palette are designed to work well together and apart. Maybe it’s the overachiever in me talking, but knowing that colors and formulas have been pre-selected to work well together naturally makes me want to do well.
Despite the dramatics, I know I’m not the only one with a mild case of palette-phobia. But fret not: we’re here to shatter those apprehensions. In the attempt to answer all our palette-centric questions (and maybe get a few helpful tips along the way!), we’ve turned to some of our favorite local makeup artists for some much-needed advice.
One of the very first makeup artists I ever worked with, Jorence is a master at creating perfect skin, a gleaming highlight and of course, a good ol’ graphic eye.
On what he looks for in an eyeshadow palette: As a makeup artist, color selection is very important. I always make sure that all the colors in the palette are useful. Versatility, formulation, color payoff and texture are also things to consider. It’s important to swatch them first before buying.
On his ultimate favorite palette: My favorite eyeshadow palette is Flame-boyant (P3,950) from MAC’s Art Library collection. It’s a handy, versatile eyeshadow palette that has a combination of frost and matte warm tone shades. The shadows are very pigmented & saturated, finely textured, buttery, buildable and easily blendable.
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On how to choose a good beginner palette: If you want to get the most out of your eyeshadow palette, you should ensure that it has colors you can wear during the day, and out at night. Get a palette that can do both, that way you are guaranteed to actually use it all the time.
Ida is the kind of makeup artist who makes you want to dig into your makeup stash, pick up your tools and get creative. She’s got a knack for glitter and rich color, and it shows through in the palettes she gravitates towards. Among Ida’s Wonder highlights: our cover with Gabby Padilla and Khalil Ramos, another with SB19 and this headwear editorial.
On what she looks for in an eyeshadow palette: I mainly look for pigment and minimal to no fallouts! I'm also on the transition period to completely cruelty-free products, so I really have to do intensive research in products I buy.
On her favorite eyeshadow palette: It's a tough call between Colourpop's Yes Please palette (USD 18) and Juvia's Place Zulu palette (USD 20). They both have the shades I like for an everyday to every night to a more creative look and they both have the pigmentation I look for.
Colourpop's Yes Please palette has been in my wishlist for the longest time and I do not regret buying it. The warm tones and the yellow really did it for me, I guess. It's been my go-to palette everyday. Juvia's Place, on the other hand, was one of the first splurges I made for myself. I was keen to support an African-American inspired, black-owned brand. From their color range to how they come out on my lids, I think it's one of the best ones out there.
On advice for eyeshadow newbies: Technique doesn't come in a day or in a few days. I think it really comes with practice but there's actually no standard rule everyone should follow when it comes to makeup. It's a mixture of trials, errors, and eventually finding what makes you feel best about yourself!
If you follow your fair share of models, photographers and publications, chances are you’ve come across the handle, @sunkissedbonita. Meet Dorothy Mamalio, the makeup artist and creative force behind the username. She previously worked with Wonder on SB19’s cover!
On what she looks for in an eyeshadow palette: First, the brand has to be cruelty-free because it’s important for me to support brands that do not test on animals. Then, the eyeshadow palette should have great pigmentation and blend like a dream—not chalky or patchy. The color story of the palette should also make sense, all the colors should be usable with each other.
On her favorite palette of all time: My favorite eyeshadow palette of all time is the Viseart Neutral Mattes palette (P5,150). It’s cruelty-free, super pigmented, has excellent staying power for long shoots or whole day events, and it can be used for just about any skin tone and eye color. A close second favorite is Juvia’s Place’s The Masquerade palette (USD 30), which is great for colorful editorial looks and clients who want to play with a bit of color.
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On fool-proof application: When it comes to application, always begin with only a little bit of eyeshadow on your brush. To do this, make sure that you don’t load up too much eyeshadow on your brush by tapping off the excess before touching the brush to your lid. That way, you can easily build it up instead of trying to tone it down.
If there's a local makeup artist that thrives in coloring outside the lines, it's Jia Achacruz. Whether it's a burst of color or abstract illustrations all over, chances are Jia can breathe life into the most creative looks you can imagine. She's also done makeup for a number of Wonder productions: Jason Dhakal's cover, and this eccentric mask-centric editorial.
On her three palette deal-breakers: Color payoff, texture, and shade range. Color payoff is how you determine how pigmented the eyeshadow is, how it would look once applied on the skin and how it would work in harmony with other products. Texture has something to do with how the eyeshadow blends onto the skin: is it patchy, does it feel buttery? Do the shimmer shades have fine or chunky glitters? I think the right consistency and texture of an eyeshadow truly makes or breaks a look whatever you’re going for. Lastly, shade range. I’m a sucker for colorful palettes so anything with a great shade range is a palette I will own. Don’t be fooled though; I like my neutrals too, but a good neutral palette should have a mix of warm and cool-toned neutral shades that could perfectly mimic different skin tones.
On her ride-or-die eyeshadow palette: My OG favorite palette is Sleek Makeup's I-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights (P745). I have been using it since the start of my makeup career years ago and have panned two palettes since. I'm on my third one! It has consistently performed the best out of all my colorful palettes—even better than the high-end ones—and it costs less than a thousand pesos! The packaging is very sleek (no pun intended), so it’s easy to carry it around. I can’t go to a shoot without bringing it with me, no matter what the beauty direction is. It’s very pigmented, creamy, buildable, and it lasts all day. If there’s only one palette I could bring to an island for a makeup battle to death, I’d bring this in a heart beat.
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On learning the ropes of eyeshadow application: The best tip I could give to anyone is to not be afraid to experiment. The more you try, the more you’ll learn different techniques for your makeup—especially your eyeshadow. Eventually you can create your own techniques better suited to your eye shape and overall bone structure. Always remember that our anatomies are all different, there’s no one template to do one’s makeup. If you’re following a Youtube tutorial, be sure to tailor it to yourself.
It seems Raffy So can do almost anything a beauty director could possibly ask for: a classic red lip, an ultra-dewy base and even alienesque glitter skin. Our favorite #beautybyraffy moments? Easily looks that involve a striking sweep of eyeshadow.
On what he looks for in an eyeshadow palette: I consider a lot of factors whenever I splurge for an eyeshadow palette. The versatility of a palette is one of my major considerations. It should be wearable if not to all, then most of the skin tones, and have an array of light, mid, and dark tones. The formula is also a must for me; good pigmentation and blendability makes a palette my kit staple. Above all, quality assurance of a product makes it the best choice for me; only the finest ingredients for my dear clients!
On his favorite palette of the moment: Currently, my best-loved eyeshadow palette is the Natasha Denona Gold Palette (USD 129). It is highly pigmented and blendable. The color selections perfectly fit my go-to look: “no makeup-makeup.”
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On getting started with eyeshadow: Apply the shadows with a light hand and remember that blending is key! Don’t be afraid to experiment with makeup because at the end of the day, it's just makeup! You can wipe it off and start again. Makeup should be fun!
Have any favorite palettes or eyeshadow application tips to share? Chime in via the comment section below!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver