From Neutrals to Rainbows, a journey.
Since 2010, there have been huge changes to the makeup industry the rise of the eyeshadow palette being perhaps one of the most obvious. In today’s world, big-brand eyeshadow palettes call the shots. These curated collections of shades determine what we’re all obsessing over, experimenting with and blogging about. As eyeshadow reaches a tipping point on its journey from neutral quads to rainbow glory it’s worth pausing to have a think about the last 7 years of eyeshadow history and how they’ve brought us to where we are today.
It all began with, you guessed it, the infamous ‘Naked’ Palette. Released by Urban Decay in 2010, the original ‘Naked’ palette revolutionised our attitude to eyeshadow. The collection of 12 neutral, easy to wear shades, was just people needed to make makeup simple. It’s massive popularity got us hooked on the concept of large palettes of eyeshadows being released in colour combinations that are designed to go together.
This concept was explored further in Urban Decay’s next release, the aptly-named ‘Naked 2’. More of the same as Naked 1 it was followed by Too Faces’ ‘Chocolate Bar’ and ‘Semi-Sweet’ palettes. With plentiful neutrals and appealing packaging, these palettes dominated the market. The attention of the beauty world became focused on comparing and reviewing them, and people becuase accustomed to waiting excitedly for the next release of these large, neutral eyeshadow palettes.
Naked 3 was the first departure from the ‘neutral’ world into the landscape of colour, but it was only a dip of a toe into the water. Tired of monotonous neutrals, people were excited by the chance to work some rosier, pinker tones into their looks. It was still easy to combine the colours, but it gave us a taste of the possibilities of colour.
This idea was continued by Too Faced, who were really rising to the top at this time. Where Naked 3 gave people rosy-toned neutrals, Too Faces’ ‘Chocolate Bon-Bons’ palette combined pinks with neutrals. Mediumly successful, it acclimatised people to the idea of pairing bright colours with the taupes and browns we were all so familiar with by now.
The stage had been set, and with the lights firmly on them, Too Faced stepped it up with the most colourful palette yet, the ‘Sweet Peach’. It was an instant success. Anyone who’d enjoyed pinks was assured that peach wasn’t that far off, and so, inspired by these new yet pleasantly feminine tones, people begin to really experiment with adding more colour to their looks.
It was around this time that a new player established themselves. Anastasia Beverly Hills, previously known for their eyebrow products, catapulted into massive widespread popularity with the release of their palette, aptly named “Modern Renaissance’. Despite troubles pronouncing the name, YouTube Beauty Gurus recommended the product en masse. And with tutorials being pumped out left right and center your average makeup junkie was given plenty of tips on how to incorporate the bright pinks, reds, mustards and oranges the palette contained.
What followed was an explosion of warm toned makeup. From NYX to Morphe, smaller companies rushed to feed the demand, eventually saturating the market. Desperately trying to catch up Urban Decay released their palette ‘Naked Heat’. But they failed to realise where eyeshadow trends were moving. It wasn’t JUST warm tones that people were after. It was excitement. Late to the game, and with too much monotony of tones, the Naked Heat palette could only ever be moderately successful.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey through the past 7 years of eyeshadow trends with me. It really has been the ‘rise of the rainbow’. Next time we’ll look at current trends, including the oh-so-controversial Subculture palette, and try to determine where the world of eyeshadow is headed next.
Thanks for reading, until next time