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How to Create Your Own Eyeshadow Palette

For a lot of makeup fans, eyeshadows can be hard to resist. You might go to a cosmetics counter to pick up something else but while you’re standing there waiting for the sales associate to ring you up, there they are… dozens of pretty, fresh eyeshadows begging you to buy them. The next thing you know, you’re at home trying to find a place in your already-overflowing makeup drawer for your newest five shadows. If this sounds like you, it’s time to make your own eyeshadow palette.

Making your own eyeshadow palette makes sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s very practical because it frees up space in your cosmetics drawers. Even if you end up using this newly empty space to justify future makeup purchases, you still have to admit it’s handy. If a lot of your eyeshadows are from MAC, this is also a good idea from an economic standpoint because once you take the eyeshadow pans out of the pots, you can return the empty pots to MAC and get a free lipstick as part of their recycling program.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Melissa Gray

Perhaps the best reason to make an eyeshadow palette is because this enables you to group colors that go together well all in one place so you can apply them more easily. It can actually take a fair amount of time to shuffle through your makeup drawers and dig out different colors to see if they look good together every day. When you make a palette, you do all the matching work beforehand and then you have everything laid out together for the future. This also helps you use up those colors that you always seem to forget about. Depending on the size of your collection, you could make a few palettes of different color families such as a warm, cool or neutral eyeshadow palette, a summer vs. winter eyeshadow palette, as well a few others like a neon, bright, shimmer, cream or matte eyeshadow palette.

This task will be easiest if most of your shadows are the same size. Many cosmetics brands sell empty palettes that their shadows can fit into. If your shadows are various sizes or from different manufacturers, or if you want to include blushes or other products, you can always make a homemade palette. This is also a great way to save some money. All you need is an empty CD case and some magnetic sheets, which you can pick up from craft or office stores for a few dollars. Take out the plastic piece that holds the CD (this is usually black) and trace it onto the magnetic sheet. Then cut out the piece of magnet and glue it into the CD case. Some eyeshadow pans will stick to the magnet on their own. If not, you will need to cut out some magnetic strips and stick them to the bottom of the shadow pans.

If the shadow comes in some type of compact or other packaging, it will be necessary to remove the shadow from the pot first. This can usually be accomplished by carefully melting the glue underneath the pan. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to de-pot eyeshadows by MAC and other brands. Alternatively, you can often buy shadows in simple pan format. Pan eye shadows are available from MAC on their main maccosmetics.com website as well as their macpro.com website.

It’s always a good idea to label your shadows when you make a palette. It might not seem important now but once you hit the pan and need to replace a shade, you may not be able to remember the name of the color. When you make your palette, create a color guide on a sheet of paper. Make swatches of each color in the same order that they appear in your eye palette and write the name of the shade underneath. Use a piece of paper the same size as a CD booklet and simply insert it into the cover of the CD case. Then close the CD case and there you have it: your very own homemade custom color eyeshadow palette!


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