CLINIQUE All About Shadow Quad in Jenna's Essentials (pictured below)
I think I will change this name to Sue's Essentials, because it is in fact essential to my happiness. It may be the most perfect foursome ever. The darkest shade, a sparkly black, is a real winner comes to framing one's peepers to their best effect. So good!
CLARINS The Essentials Mineral Eye Make-Up Palette
This set ranges from gold to a dark grey, with satin, matte and sparkly finishes to choose from. I found them to be lovely, but despite the number of pans - 10 - I found the tones to be very similar to one another. There is, however, a fabulous guide as to which colour to put where - so, so helpful!
TOO FACED Matte Eye Collections
Well, it said it was matte and, boy, was it ever. Even when I paired the least dark shade with any of the other much darker hues, the colours felt heavy and looked flat - not so much smokey eye as grimy eye. Pass.
SMASHBOX Full Exposure Palette
Fourteen pans of colour, seven matte, and seven glittery, from beige to gold to black - everything you need to make anything from a neutral to a smoky eye. Plus, there's a handy little leaflet that shows you how to enhance your specific eye shape. This palette will turn you into a pro!
PARI 5 Well Eye Shadow Palette
A set of mineral shadows, these are mainly matte but exactly the sort of matte that makes you look sophisticated, not flat. In the set I tried, there was a sparkly reddish tint, which I thought was totes cray, but looked amazeballs. Works best if you use an eye shadow primer.
MAC COSMETICS Mineralise Quad in Fog & Mist (pictured right)
This is a super compact little palette. It's like having your smoky eye in your pocket. The pigment is dense, the powder glides onto your lid, and it lasts and lasts. No brush, though, so you'll have to have some to hand.
Eye shadow palettes are pretty smart these days - many come with diagrams showing what colour to put where. No more fear!