I like a palette for the simple reason that grouped complementary shades can make doing eye make-up a relative doodle; just put the light shade here and the dark there and hey presto! You have an accomplished-looking eye.
I have but one pet hate when it comes to palettes, a source of consternation I may have previously mentioned: that of the one colour that you will never, ever use which cosmetics manufacturers seem to be determined to shove in (is there a warehouse somewhere of perfectly hideous colours that need a home? Is that why this happens?).
So, while I like a palette, I LOVE a neutral palette. No miscreant shades, and therefore no waste. Just harmonious, happy-making chocolates, taupes, caramels and creams. Ever in the pursuit of neutral palette greatness, I once declared this bareMinerals effort to be the best a woman can get her hands on. And it’s still an extremely good egg, but has been thoroughly beaten in my eyes by Tom Ford’s Cocoa Mirage Eyeshadow Quad.
Good things about Cocoa Mirage / It is on the main part matte, so is particularly good on wrinkly, dry or older eyelids. It is also extremely finely-milled, which means that the colour distributes evenly with minimal effort and stays put for longer than most. The colours are marvellous: a deep, matte brown that makes an ideal liner, a slightly shimmering chocolate to highlight or shade, a taupe for the crease of the eye and a vanilla that, rather than disappearing onto the skin as some do, renders it uniformly creamy.
I’m not alone in my ardour. In case you needed further persuading of its greatness, Lisa Eldridge, Mary Greenwell and Sali Hughes can’t get enough of it, either. Sali on Cocoa Mirage: ”it’s the most brilliant nude palette, the texture is great, the pay-off of the colour is good, the mirror goes all the way…”
Bad things about Cocoa Mirage / It’s expensive. £62 is an awful lot to drop on a palette. Is it worth it? I would say so, if you want the very best make-up money can buy and can afford it. If not, just get the bareMinerals quad instead. Also – the brushes. Tom Ford make excellent brushes and it’s a shame that only one of the four mini brush heads in this palette match up to his notoriously exacting standards.