Makeup Pros Share Their Favorite Palettes

the inside info.

Describing makeup as legendary can feel hyperbolic to those not in the sparkly trenches of the beauty-product world—but even if you're not familiar with the latest and greatest in-color cosmetics, you've probably heard of Urban Decay's Naked Palette. If anything deserves to be called legendary, it's this nude-based eye-shadow collection, which just about breaks the Internet with every new iteration the brand announces. But it hasn't been around forever: Before Naked and its subsequent sister palettes, professional makeup artists were stocking their kits with multi-colored compacts they'd come to rely on and swear by. So, curious as to what a world beyond our go-to rose gold and taupe shimmery hues involves, we polled some of our favorite makeup artists about the palettes they rely on. Click through to see their must-haves. 

Colby Smith

"This is easy for travel because of the small, compact size, which makes it great for professionals. Plus, the colors work for every skin tone and the reddish hues make all eye colors pop. And we all love the quality of a MAC eyeshadow."

MAC Cosmetics, Eyeshadow x 9: Burgundy Times Nine Palette, $40, available here.

Viseart, Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette, $80, available here.  

CHANEL, Les 4 Ombres in Tissé Rivoli, $61, available here.

Brett Freedman

"I love this palette of neutrals that are all matte with a perfect array of shades, from the pale—Free Spirit—to the blackest black—Fashionista. I can create any look from clean and modern to vintage pin-up. The best part of this product is the size as its smaller than a CD case."

Tarte, Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette, $45, available here.

April Greaves

"I would say my most used palette is Tom Ford's Shade and Illuminate. It's useful with two great shades, with the best tone for warming up skin, gentle contouring, and it's even great on the eyelids with the most perfect creamy texture and brightening highlighter."

Tom Ford, Shade and Illuminate, $80, available here.

James Vincent

"Developed by the legendary Maurice Stein who was the artist on iconic movies and TV shows like Planet Of The Apes and The Golden Girls, this foundation offers enough coverage to be your concealer and sheers out to the most beautiful minimal cover, as well. The palette will be perfect for color correction, concealer, foundation, and contour shades all in one. Cinema Secrets was the first pro brand to develop shades for all skin tones and races."

Cinema Secrets, Foundation Palette, $36, available here