5 Drugstore Face Palettes To Try This Spring

5 face palettes to try this spring from Essence, Pixi, Revlon, and L'Oreal

A new face palette can transform your everyday beauty routine, saving you time and space in your kit as well as refreshing multiple products with just one purchase. What's more, if you go for a drugstore option, buying a palette doesn't have to monopolize all your spring beauty budget dollars. Curious about what the best option might be? I've been testing five palettes in the last couple of weeks and I'm sharing my thoughts on all of them after the jump!

Essence face palettes

Essence Cosmetics

Essence Cosmetics is a European-based budget brand available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. The quality of the products, combined with the humble price tags, make Essence a surprisingly solid resource for makeup bag basics and experimenting with more adventurous purchases. I've been using the Essence eyeshadow primer whenever I wear powder eyeshadows for ages and think it performs just as well as, if not better, than department store versions. At a recent PR event, two of their palettes piqued my interest because of the fun packaging and the appealing price points.

Essence All I Need Concealer Palette

The Essence All I Need Concealer Palette corrals together five colour correctors and concealers in one sleek portable compact with a see-through window. Pink brightens tired skin; green combats redness; yellow counteracts dark circles and imperfections; and two shades of beige concealer can be mixed and matched to your skin tone. The palette works best for fair to medium skintones, and as you can see from the swatches below, the shades are quite pigmented.

The cream-to-powder colour correctors and concealers aren't as creamy and blend-able as other ones I've tried, which is both good and bad. Blending across large areas is difficult with brushes or clean fingers unless you let the concealer warm up against your skin first. However, the tacky texture, opacity, and stickiness make the Essence All I Need Concealer Palette excellent for spot-concealing, since the concealer isn't so creamy and slippery that it'll "slide" off pimples and blemishes and require multiple thin coats.

Essence All I Need Concealer Palette swatches
Essence Shape Your Face Contouring Palette

How fun are the diamond patterns embossed on each shade of the Essence Shape Your Face Contouring Palette? Like the All I Need Concealer Palette, the packaging is adorable and features a see-through window. The bronzing and highlighting shades are pretty and the pigments last all day, but the shimmery peach shade is too orange-y and has too much shimmer in it for my tastes. This would be a fun makeup bag addition for a tween, but for a grown woman in her early thirties, not so much.

Essence Shape Your Face Contouring Palette swatches
Revlon Eyes, Lips + Cheeks Palette

Revlon Eye, Cheek & Lip Palette in 'Berry in Love'

With six eyeshadows, four lip glosses, and a blush, the Revlon Eye Cheek, & Lip Palette ($19.99 at London Drugs) has everything you need to create countless looks. The colour-coordinated shades ensure you can't go too far wrong, and the built-in mirror and mini eyeshadow sponge applicator, lip brush, and blush brush make touch-ups on the go a cinch. This palette is available in three colour schemes: 'Berry in Love' (shown here) features flattering pink and berry shades; 'Romantic Nudes' has warm shades perfect for everyday looks; and 'Seductive Smokies' is ideal for creating different smokey-eyed looks for evening.

Revlon Eyes, Lips + Cheeks Palette detail shot

The Revlon Eye, Cheek & Lip Palette is hit-and-miss for me. The eyeshadows and lip glosses are more pigmented and flattering on my light-to-medium Asian skin than the blush, which is a little too pale. I wish the applicators were a smidge bigger so they'd be easier to work with (the double-ended eyeshadow sponge applicator is only about an inch long), and I would've gladly sacrificed a bit of the palette's compactness for such. Similarly, the strip mirror across the top of the see-through window isn't large enough to be useful for full-on application. Finally, while some women may love having everything in one palette, I prefer having my lip colours separate from my face shades so I don't have to tote around a palette all day long just to touch up lip gloss.

Revlon Eyes, Lips + Cheeks Palette swatches
Pixi Book of Beauty Minimal Makeup Palette

Pixi Book of Beauty in 'Minimal Makeup'

Of all the palettes I tested for this post, Pixi Book of Beauty in 'Minimal Makeup' ($34) is my favourite, so much so that I had trouble giving it up and switching to the next palette in the rotation, using it for days on end to create an effortless no-makeup makeup look. The pistachio green palette contains four eyeshadows (matte and satin nudes, matte cocoa, satin brown), two cheek shades (one rosy, one bronze), and two highlighters (one white, one taupe). The product pans are generously sized and easy to use with any size makeup brush, and the see-through windows in the lid make it easy to discern which product is which.

Pixi Book of Beauty Minimal Makeup Palette detail shot

As you can see from the swatches below, the shades are truly no-makeup makeup, with the blushes and highlighters disappearing into skin. (They subtly enhance your face IRL though, especially when the light catches your face.) No matter how much excess product you pick up on a brush, there's no way you can go too far wrong and over-apply. The pigments are silky, ultra-fine, and oh so blend-able, and the satiny and highlighter shades are flattering for all ages with no juvenile shimmer. I love each shade in this palette, and they all conspire to create a natural, effortless, glow-y look that'll leave you looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed each morning, even if you feel anything but.

Pixi Book of Beauty Minimal Makeup Palette swatches

The only drawbacks to the Pixi Book of Beauty are the price and the packaging. Pixi products are typically a higher price point than standard drugstore fare so this palette's cost might be comparable to a department store alternative. Considering how versatile the shades are and how you'd probably spend more buying separate eyeshadows, highlighters, and blushes though, it's still a bargain. I also don't know how sturdy the pistachio green cardboard and plastic windows are and the magnetic enclosure might be flimsy if the palette is tossed straight into a purse. If you must tote this palette around, put it in a makeup pouch first.

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Blush Palette

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Blush Palette

If you love experimenting with different lip colours—pinks, nudes, reds, plums, berries, corals—you're going to need an assortment of blushes in different warm and cool undertones to go with them. You could spend $20-40+ a pop on each shade from Sephora or Nordstrom, or you could save money and space in your makeup kit and just pick up the L'Oreal Infallible Paints Blush Palette ($19.99 at London Drugs) instead.

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Blush Palette detail shot

The quartet of blush shades in the Infallible Paints Blush Palette ranges from dusty pink to coral, fuchsia, and deep rose; they're pure pigmented colour with zero shimmer and last all day when applied over primer and BB cream. Don't use the little strip brush in the palette though—your own blush or kabuki brush will do a much better job of creating a diffused flush.

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Blush Palette swatches


  1. Always love reading your thoughts on which make-up you're trying!! Such a great & comprehensive review! Plus with ya, totally digging that Pixi palette. SO awesome, and yes, love how blend-able they are!! Happy (almost) Friday xo


    1. Thanks V! Happy (almost) Friday to you too.


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