The 7 best palettes to launch this holiday season


Wish lists are being created, hints are being dropped and heirloom ornaments are coming out of storage…Christmas is well and truly on its way. If you’re struggling for fail-safe gift ideas, you can’t go wrong with a palette. These multitasking wonders are jam-packed with enough options to seduce both beauty beginners and makeup aces alike. Here’s our take on the some of the best new arrivals this season.

Stila Shine Bright Heaven’s Dew Palette

It’s no surprise Stila has released a trio of its ever-popular illuminators. What is surprising is how indispensable they’ve become. The cream-to-powder shades have a bouncy consistency and iridescent sheen that makes them a pleasure to apply and wear. This limited-edition compact contains three new shades that play well on their own, or can be layered effortlessly. You can also mix them with your favourite Heaven’s Hue shades for extra angelic glow. Press them into the high points of your face using your fingers or a synthetic brush and float into your next party looking like the ethereal goddess you are.

bareMinerals Aurora Gen Nude Lights Palette

The latest gem from bareMinerals is a real day-to-night eyeshadow palette, which is apparent from the first glance. You can clearly see the shades you’d use for work and the deeper hues you’d rock for a night out on the town. It includes eight new shades that offer 12-hour wear and crease-resistant colour. With a mixture of shimmers and mattes, it’s definitely an all-occasion product that’ll impress everyone from a diehard beauty junkie to a novice experimenting with their first palette.

Smashbox Holidaze Contour and Spotlight Palette

By far the most luxe contour and highlight palette you could hope to receive, this cheeky wonder from the L.A.-based brand contains nine shades expressly designed to deliver your most sculpted, gravity-defying cheekbones yet. With contour options to add dimension, bronze shades to warm up your features and highlighters to add a soft sheen and tie everything together, this is one hardworking palette. You can also use these shades on your eyes, so the possibilities are almost endless.

NARS Hot Tryst Palette

NARS has gone punk for the holidays—drawing inspiration from the era of mohawks, safety pins and The Sex Pistols—but the results of its edgy theme are far more glam than gritty. This palette, for one, is housed in a spiky silver case and filled with six never-before-seen cheek shades. There are two highlighters that lend your skin a lightweight luminosity as well as four universally flattering blush shades, ranging from deep berry to soft candy pink. Each finely milled blush has been imprinted with a geometric pattern that echoes the exterior, but the opulent effect is closer to Iggy Azalea than Iggy Pop. It’s sure to be a showstopper on Christmas morning.

Chantecaille Wild Beauty Palette

Beauty with a purpose is at the heart of Chantecaille, so it’s no wonder that proceeds from its holiday palette will go towards a number of animal conservation efforts. Each shade in this compact is embossed with an animal from the sea, air or land. The butterfly represents the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, which works to protect the butterflies' migration path. The turtle signifies the efforts an organisation called Widecast are going to for shielding sea turtles in the Caribbean, and the lion exemplifies work by the Lion Guardians organisation in Kenya. This is one palette that’ll make you feel as good as you look. These neo-neutrals, ranging from a shimmery bronze to soft taupe, look elegant when worn alone, or layer them up for something wild.

MECCA MAX Eyes On You Eyeshadow Palette

A visual feast, this palette distils a full colour spectrum into one dazzling package. The edit of 25 colours veers from champagne shimmers to electric blues, from bright yellow golds to hot-like-a-sunset pinks, and will inspire you (or your lucky recipient) to create infinite eye looks. At $40, it’s also priced for a song. It seems that Christmas wishes do come true. With a colour range this vast, it will take you beyond the holidays to a full calendar year of looks. The pigment-packed possibilities are endless, and we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to keep this one for yourself.

Kevyn Aucoin Nude Pop Palette*

Ready for a divine dozen? This cool-toned palette includes five mattes, three metallics and four satin shades ranging from soft lilacs up to a deep purple—the latter is sure to come out at your office Christmas party. The weightless, pigmented and velvety formula is easy-to-blend, and each colour adheres to your lids for hours on end. Layer up for bold intensity or try a wash of one of the rich glitter shades for a hint of sparkle.

*Editor’s note: The Kevyn Aucoin Nude Pop Palette launches in-store and online on 27 November 2018.

Words by Emily Deacon
Photography by Nick Dale
November 2018


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