Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Battle of the Freestyle Palettes

In the process of pressing loose mineral eye shadows and depotting larger palettes of shadows, I've picked up a variety of freestyle palettes to accommodate them all. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all of the options.

Homemade Palette - Approximately $5 to make

I did a post about how I made this palette here. The best feature about these is that they are inexpensive to make. This particular tin can hold 23 shadows (26mm pans). If you've got a lot of shadows that you are trying to store, these might not be big enough. You'd have to have quite a few to store a large collection. Another downside is that the lid isn't attached. It didn't seem like a big deal to me until I went to grab a stack of them and didn't get a solid hold on the bottom palette. The palette when flying, and I had some damage to a few shadows (thankfully none got completely destroyed).

  • Inexpensive
  • Holds a decent number of shadows, depending on size
  • Easy to make
  • Lid isn't attached, which means it isn't good for traveling
  • Might be hard to locate tins
  • Not ideal for a larger collection

Stars Makeup Haven Large Freestyle Magnetic Palette - $19 per palette with $7.95 shipping minimum)

This is just a plain black plastic palette that I ordered from Stars Makeup Haven. It's sturdy, but it's too large and flimsy for me to feel comfortable traveling with it. The biggest pro of this palette is that it holds a ton of shadows. I can fit 45 standard-sized pans in it.

Stars Makeup Haven also has a small freestyle palette that sells for $14. I don't know how many shadows it holds since I don't personally own it. 

  •  Holds 45 standard shadows, which is great for larger collections
  • Sleek black design
  •   Cost - it seems really pricey, especially with shipping added in. I held out for a sale, which doesn't happen often
  • The case shows smudges easily
  • Not ideal for traveling because of the size and the construction isn't extremely sturdy (although good for everyday, at-home use)

Z Palette - $20 for a large palette; $14 for a small palette; Free shipping on orders over $60

 I picked up some Z Palettes at the tail end of December when they had a few different palettes on sale. These palettes are cardboard with clear plastic for the lid, but they are really sturdy. Magnets hold the lid closed. The large palette can hold 28 standard-sized shadows, and the small palette can hold 9 standard-sized shadows.

I love that this palette had a clear lid so I can see what shadows are in them. Another great feature about these palettes is that they come with metal stickers that you can put on non-metal pans to make them stick to the palette.

  • Variety of colors and styles
  • Has a clear lid, which makes it easier to locate specific colors
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comes with metal stickers to put on non-metal pans
  • Expensive - the large size holds 17 less shadows for approximately the same cost as the Stars Makeup Haven palette (I wish they made an even larger palette)

Unii Palette - $29 for a palette, free shipping after you buy 2, and buy 4, get the 5th one free

 I bought this Unii Palette on a deal site over the summer and was able to get is for somewhere around $10 (I'm not listing the deal site because I read awful reviews on it after I made this order and don't trust promoting it). I would never have bought it at full price. It only holds 13 standard-sized shadows. The place where this palette really shines is in how sturdy this palette is. It is super solid plastic with a rubber seal around the edges. I took the second picture to show the latch. This is a super solid latch. I could throw this loosely into a bag without any concern about it popping open.

  • Super sturdy - clearly designed for travel
  • A variety of colors
  • Finger grip
  • Only holds 13 standard shadows
  • Expensive, especially for how small the palette is
Final Thoughts

I think each of these palettes has their uses. My favorite overall is the Z Palette, followed by the Stars Makeup Haven one. I would only buy the Unii Palette if you are able to find a good deal on it. I don't think it is worth the full list price. The homemade palette is great if you just want to depot one or two bulky palettes, but aren't ideal for anything more than that.

Do you have any freestyle palettes? Which one do you think would work best for your needs?


  1. I have the UNII palettes and I just love the colours and how solid they are. I agree that they are quite expensive though...

    Fun review of makeup storage!

    1. In terms of being solidly built, they are fabulous. I'm glad I have mine. If I choose to travel with a freestyle palette, that would definitely be the one. They just aren't practical if you have a large collection to depot.