Spring has sprung and my favourite YouTubers have already shared their eyeshadow seasonal staples. Amid them, are lots of pastels in varying degrees of brightness, the new ‘Pastel‘ midi size by Natasha Denona followed by its dupes, and the sempiternal ‘Mercury Retrograde‘ by Huda Beauty. But among new and old(er) releases, I have realised that my version of springtime eye looks is a bit different, even if I find the choices sensible.
For me, Spring is more about watercolour-like softness rather than creatively-done editorial pastels. In this post, you will find eyeshadow palettes recommendations curated around an overall colourway; each theme has three options of different brands so you can shop according to your market and budget. For the record, I am not saying all items inside a theme function as dupes, but instead that they convey the same colour story.
All featured items are recent and should be available across both European and American markets. If not, you might be able to find them through resellers for your region. Sadly, a couple of palettes, marked with an asterisk, have been discontinued, but I thought of including them anyway — maybe you already own a couple of these and this post is your reminder to bring them out for Spring!
Watercolour pinks and greens
The following palettes evoke the image of a fairytale garden that has not yet matured into the strength of Summer, with medium greens of olive undertones and pinks befitting of a ballerina, anchored in earthy neutrals. To me, this is the perfect portrait of springtime, where colour is starting to break through the grey, resilient but yet delicate.
Option #1: Lime Crime ‘Venus XL 2’
The palette that inspired this post. Hidden beneath the neon take on Venus is a treasure trove of roses, champagnes, peaches and terracottas coupled with seafoam greens.
Option #2: Huda Beauty ‘Sand’ and ‘Khaki’ Haze Obsessions
‘Sand’ is a pink take on neutral shades with a pop of burgundy. Though khaki shades make for only one-third of its namesake palette, they’re complemented with soft pink and gold and terracotta shades. You will find no repeating shades across both palettes, but rather complementary colours.
The two palettes combined cost as much as the Lime Crime.
Option #3: Colourpop ‘The Child™’ and ‘Blush Crush’
The Colourpop monochromatic 9-pans are a force to be reckoned with. Created in collaboration with The Mandalorian, ‘The Child™’ offers a range of olive greens and neutrals. ‘Blush Crush’ combines soft mauves with rose pinks, where no shade is too bright.
You can buy both palettes for the same money a single Huda would cost.
The break of dawn and the end of day are natural phenomena commonly present in eyeshadow colourways. Like it happens in nature, there’s a broad spectrum of shades in the colours which are visible to us. In other words, not all sunrise/sunset palettes are born alike. The ones featured below ditch the strong purples and reddish oranges in lieu of golden peaches, also offering a range of eyelid toppers which soften the look.
Option #1: Natasha Denona ‘Sunrise’
A palette that opens the door to summer, but not completely. Inspired by the phenomenon in its name, ‘Sunrise’ takes a light-to-medium approach to the colours involved. It is tamer than other sunrise palettes, preferring shades of peach and yellow and lilac toppers.
Option #2: Huda Beauty ‘Purple Haze’ Obsessions and ‘Wild Tiger’ Obsessions
The last palette of the Haze line featured above, ‘Purple’ combines a column of true purple with plum-pinks. The ‘Tiger’ palette is definitely a staple of warm colours with two golds and a duochrome in the centre.
The two palettes combined cost as much as the Natasha Denona. The ‘Tiger’ palette is also available in limited edition red packaging to celebrate this Lunar New Year.
Option #3: Colourpop ‘Sweet Talk’ and ‘So Very Lovely’*
‘Sweet Talk’ has been a communal staple for Spring for years and it’s easy to see why: its ripe shades of peach (or coral, depending on your perception), slowly introduce colour back into our lives after the bleakness of Winter. ‘So Very Lovely’ continues that romantic take on colour with a true coral, a pastel lavender and more warm neutrals.
You should be able buy both palettes for the same money a single Huda would cost.
(Not-so) watercolour purples and lilacs
Though I am not the biggest fan of purple and its cousins violet, lavender and lilac, there is something about this colour family that makes it a sensible choice for Spring, perhaps due to the proximity they have to the pinks and peaches already featured above. The selections below mix the softness I seek with deeper shades.
Option #1: Viseart ‘Violette Étendu’
Though inclusive of stronger shades of purple, ‘Violette’ offers eyelid toppers within the colour family and cool neutrals that translate into soft pinks on the eyelids.
Option #2: Colourpop ‘Lilac You a Lot’ and ‘Locket Down’*
In spite of its strict name, ‘Lilac’ brings lavenders and soft rose shades together with true lilacs to create a bouquet of soft purples. ‘Locket Down’ offers a more plum approach. Together, they transmit the vibes of the Viseart very well, though you don’t need to buy them as a combo.
You should be able to buy both palettes for a price that’s similar to the Viseart, depending on availability and sales.
Let me know if you have enjoyed this post format with close products instead of strict dupes and what other palettes you would like to see.