Although it's a bit of an investment, I get more use out of my custom eyeshadows than any of my premade palettes. These are the absolute essentials from my collection!
Just in case you were wondering; the palette I use is the ColourPop Small Empty Magnetic Palette | $7. It's functional and does the job, storing 12 shades regardless of the brand (they often have slightly different pan sizes) because it's a free-format magnetic palette. This is the perfect number of colours for travelling and I always reach for this when I'm going to be away because it has everything in it that I need to create a variety of looks for day or night.
The first shade I have is the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Shimma Shimma | £4.95. I love this as my everyday inner-corner highlight - the champagne-white colour is quite stark, however the finish is soft and sheeny as opposed to being really glitzy and shimmery, so it works for everyday wear. I also have the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Peach Smoothie | £4.95 | which I use most days as a transition shade. It's a matte, though it does have a slightly crumbly texture, so be careful of fallout! It's the perfect mid-toned warm peach colour to add dimension to the look and help blend the crease colour in. Overall I find the Makeup Geek formula to have really good longevity.
One of my go-to crease colours is the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Frappe | £4.95. It's that perfect warm mid-toned matte caramel brown that goes with all of my usual makeup looks. It has a nice smooth texture and the right level of pigmentation, so it gives a nice soft look, whilst defining and blending out with ease. A slightly brighter colour I like to use to add something extra to the standard golden-bronze smoky eye is the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Morocco | £4.95. It's a vibrant reddish-orange colour that looks stunning once on. I also really like that it applies evenly and isn't difficult to blend, as some brighter shades can be.
In terms of lid colours, I really like the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pan in Grandstand | £7.95. This eyeshadow formula is incredible - it's super-smooth, metallic and gives an amazing dewy effect. It's so smooth that it doesn't even really feel like a powder. It's not quite as durable as the standard formula, but still lasts well on me. It's also so opaque! Grandstand is a stunning warm coppery rose gold lid colour. I also have the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pan in Legend | £7.95 | which has the same consistency but is a warm amber-gold shade.
Continuing with lid colours, I also use to death my MAC Pro Refill Eyeshadow Pan in Woodwinked | £10. It's a gorgeous mid-toned warm bronzy-gold with a soft sheen. It's long-wearing and I love it for an evening look. I also get a lot of use out of the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Taupe Notch | £4.95. Like Peach Smoothie, this is a little more crumbly than the other eyeshadows I have from this collection, however I don't find this impacts on its longevity. It's a little cooler than the other shades in this palette but still really works with something like Frappe in the crease. Colour-wise it's somewhere between cool brown and taupe.
I have a couple of darker crease colours I love and often use for a more nighttime look. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Red Earth | £12 | is pretty unique in my collection - it's a sort of earthy brown with reddish-taupe undertones. This formula is incredible and Red Earth is a long-wearing matte that's pigmented but easy to work with. My other essential is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Sienna | £12. This has a slightly smoother texture but otherwise the formula is very similar. Sienna is a warm, rich, medium-to-dark reddish-brown.
Finally I have some darker shades that I like to use on the outer corner of my eye and sometimes take across the lower lash line to add a bit of smokiness. I have the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Cognac | £12 | which is pigmented but blend-able and has a soft shimmer finish. This is a warm red-toned brown. I also have the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Truffle | £12 | which is very much the same formula-wise but is a warm, rich plum tone.
Do you have a custom eyeshadow palette? What are your favourite brands and colours?