A make-up artist’s guide to getting the most from your palette

Make-up Palette
Cassie Steer,-Beauty Editor At Large

There are always a few shades that get left behind, aren’t there? Not any more, thanks to this advice from make-up artist Naoko Scintu…

There’s something very alluring about a palette. It could be the fact it represents infinite possibilities to reinvent yourself, or it could be the Marie Kondo effect (after all, who can argue with its space-saving prowess and ability to spark joy?).

So why do so many end up languishing in our make-up bags, either deemed too pretty to defile, or with just two of the 27 colours used down to the pan? It’s no surprise they lure us in, but these palettes of possibility often remain just that – untapped potential that make us feel guilty every time we open them as we inevitably revert back to the old tried and tested.

Until now, that is. We’ve enlisted the expertise of make-up artist Naoko Scintu, who explains how to reap the benefits of your make-up palette in order to ensure you use every single shade. ‘The key to getting the most from your palette is to throw out the rule book and get a little creative,’ says Naoko. ‘Once you learn how to play around with colour and texture, the possibilities are endless.’

Mix and match

While we might be drawn to a vibrant palette like overzealous magpies (many brands will add a bright yellow solely for this purpose), the reality is that when it comes to the shades we actually use, most of us will shy away from anything outside our comfort zone. The solution? ‘If you have an eyeshadow palette with colours you tend to neglect, try mixing some of them together to create a bespoke shade which is more wearable,’ advises Naoko. ‘Start by taking a colour you love wearing (such as a brown) and mix it with a glittery shadow to create a more three-dimensional shade that’s totally unique to you. A matte brown blended with a pink glittery shadow always looks good.’ The colours and textures in Charlotte Tilbury’s Luxury Eyeshadow Palette work equally well layered up.

Draw the line

Still feeling colour-shy? Eyeliner may be your segue into ramping things up a notch. ‘Another trick to using more colours in your palette is to mix distilled water with your eyeshadow to create an eyeliner,’ says Naoko. ‘Eyeliner can be a more wearable prospect than covering your entire lid. Once you’ve achieved a paste-like consistency, you simply apply the product with a slanted brush as you would your eyeliner. The brighter shades in the palette (like blue, green or neon) will add a pop of colour to any daytime look, while for night, you could try mixing in a glitter shade – sparkle always adds something special.’

Feeling flush

It’s easy to get stuck in a blusher rut and end up using the same shade for every occasion, but how you wear your blush and the colours you choose can have a profound effect on your look. For an outdoorsy flush, apply a carnation pink below your cheekbone with a dab of deeper fuschia pink in the middle. Meanwhile, a swoosh of peachy blush on the apples of your cheeks will add subtle dimension for a healthy look. NARS Exposed Cheek Palette has all the shades you need for cheek perfection, for every skin tone.

Lip sync

When is an eyeshadow palette not an eyeshadow palette? When it doubles up as a lip enhancer. ‘If you have any red, orange or yellow shades in your palette, try adding them over the top of a lipstick to add depth or to create an ombre effect,’ says Naoko. ‘For example, start by applying a pink lipstick before brushing a deep red eyeshadow over the centre of the lips for a velvety, 3D effect.’

Alternatively, if you have a lipstick palette with colours you never touch, Naoko suggests using them as blusher instead, even dabbing a little onto eyelids for a tonal look. Try Laura Mercier’s Lip Powder Lipstick for the ultimate multitasking handbag hero.

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