One palette – seven looks

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Down to the pan on only two colours in your eyeshadow palette? The Mumster throws shade on sticking to the same looks and shows us how to get the most from the handiest piece of your make-up collection…

I love an eyeshadow palette – as my make-up drawer clearly demonstrates. Small ones, big ones, customised ones: what’s not to love?

But all too often they end up with one shade (usually the light base, which they always seem to provide you with the least of) being used before all the others, which is a shame because the range of colours offers you a handy way in to doing your eyes.

In theory – and especially in a smaller palette – all the shades should work together and manufacturers often include a beginner’s instruction leaflet for doing just this.

I know, though, that some people can find palettes rather overwhelming. I did a friend’s make-up using her Urban Decay Naked Smokey Eye Palette (£39.50) and she said she barely strayed into the central area, where the more intense shades are, as they freaked her out. She loved the finished look using some of these scary shades.

Like many people, I love browns – and for good reason. They work. But it’s good to try something new and you might surprise yourself and find a new favourite.

So here goes. One week, one palette, seven looks. I used the Naked Smokey Eye Palette, which has 12 shadows in a mix of matte and metallic. It’s housed in a nice solid box with a decent-sized mirror and an applicator dual-ended brush. However, I prefer using my own brushes and have a mix of Ecotools, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, very, very old Body Shop ones that are still going strong and a lovely new one from Japonesque – a lovely surprise from a Secret Santa.

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Day One – a smoky eye look using shimmery greys. This is more of a night-time look as the colours are quite intense. Use THIRTEEN as an all-over eye base followed by PASSWORD over the mobile lid, blending into the crease. SLANTED on the outer corner and lower lash line gives extra depth, with DAGGER as a smudge line on the upper and lower lashes. Finally, a fine line of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eye Pencil in 02 SMOKE.

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Day Two – a nude eye using matte shades. THIRTEEN as a base with COMBUST on the mobile lid and crease and along the lower lash line. Add WHISKEY in the outer corner and crease and then as an extra fine line along the upper and lower lash line.

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Day Three – a matte grey smoky eye using THIRTEEN as a base with PASSWORD on the mobile lid and lower lash line. SMOLDER adds depth to the upper and lower lash line and then then finish with a fine line of Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in 01 NOIR.

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Day Four – a copper look and my favourite. It’s easy to wear and suits my green eyes, but I think it would also look really great with blue eyes – the contrast would make them pop. THIRTEEN again as a base then COMBUST on the mobile lid and crease. I use a Clarins Lipliner in 04 CHOCOLATE (up to now, I thought was an eyeliner! But I like it and it works) then DIRTYSWEET on the mobile lid and into the crease, ending with RADAR on the upper lash line.

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Day Five –This is a paired-back smoky look good for daytime, using THIRTEEN as a base again (see what I mean about the lightest shade?) with COMBUST on the mobile lid then HIGH, a very usable shimmery beige, on the mobile lid and lower lash line. A lick of Estée Lauder Double Wear Infinite Waterproof Eyeliner in 01 KOHL NOIR [] goes along the upper lashes, followed by ARMOR on the upper and lower lash line and outer corner and finishing with a fine line of BLACK MARKET, applied with a fine angled brush as a line on top the eyeliner.

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Day Six – I was feeling in the mood for some purple eyeshadow. THIRTEEN as a base – again, come on manufacturers, give us a bit more – then HIGH on the mobile lid and lower lash line with PASSWORD in the crease. My Elizabeth Arden Smokey Eye Pencil in 11 BLACK VELVET (currently on sale at Feel Unique) goes along the upper lash line for an extra shot of colour, finished with SMOLDER on the outer corner and lower lash line.

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Day Seven – I thought I would finish with a silvery look and play with mixing colours. THIRTEEN (you guessed it ) as a base, with COMBUST on lower lashes and the crease. Apply ARMOR lightly on the mobile lid and lower lash line, HIGH in the central part of my mobile lid and finish with a fine line of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eye Pencil in 03 SMOKE.

Playing around with the palette was so much fun and it did challenge me to try creating different looks outside my normal go-to combinations – although I have to admit I had a bit of a wobble after I’d applied day four’s make-up, wondering what else to do. But then I was fine. After all, it’s only make-up.

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