Hey hey it’s Christmas time. Well it’s November which means Santa is shoving all of his wares down your throat about now. And by Santa I mean retailers. Along with all of the colourful toys and spangly trees that are popping up around the place, cosmetic brands are launching their holiday collections ready to be put in a stocking or under a tree. All of that pretty packaging and palettes with amazing colours you won’t be able to get your paws on any other time and not to forget the great value = let’s buy it right this very second because it’s beautiful and limited edition and time is running out. Right? Well holster that credit card for one moment and let’s check in on that ‘great value’ to see if it really is going to be worth your pennies.

Palettes can be awesome. You get a bunch of colours and perhaps even a bunch of products (eyes/lips/cheeks) for a pretty good price tag. But are you one of those women who don’t like change? Who thinks about playing with some new colours or trying a new technique for around about a second once a month but just goes back to your standard, safe look? How many palettes do you own where you use (or even like) all of the colours and textures? Perhaps you might be better off buying two full sized shades of the products you like the look of and know you would use? Or one stunning lip colour that you feel happy to pull out of your handbag to apply.

Now there’s a trick you’ll want to use on any shadows in the palette to check the payoff of the pigment (how strong the colour is). Swipe the pad of your finger through the shadow once. Now blow it. And then apply it to the back of your hand. You’ll be able to see the depth of colour. If it turns out to be a wishy washy non colour then you won’t be suprised upon getting it home that it’s a non colour on your eye lids.

The other nasty I want to bring up about palettes is the limited edition status of a lot of the colours. Brands will always pop a few ‘never to be seen again’ colours in so that their die-hard fans will buy that OMG-got-to-have-it-newness. The thing for peeps that like to stick to what they know is that if you love a colour you’re going to get attached to it and want to repurchase. And with palettes there is a good chance that the  shade you’ve fallen in love with won’t be available once you’re through the palette. Heartbreak ensues (and the girls and guys working at cosmetic counters around the world roll their eyes).

So. I use a cost per wear type calculation. Firstly you need to be sure you’ll wear at least 75% of the colours, that you know what to do with them and will use them. If you already have a million bronze eyeshadows and you’re lusting after another bronze shadow palette, ask yourself if you really need it. If there are two shades in the palette that you love and two shades that are lurid neons which you know you’d never use, don’t buy it. If you love three out of the four colours and the packaging is gorgeous and you’ll feel a warm glow of happiness when you use it each morning then get it. Or pop it on your list for Santa.

I’m going to check out the Holiday offerings from the major brands over the weekend so will have some good options for you next week. Until then, are there any palettes you’re lusting after? Need me to cost-per-wear, or reality check them for you? Let me know in the comments below.