Here's Why This Seemingly Basic $5 Eye Shadow Palette Is Actually Incredibly Versatile

Growing up, I had no idea you didn't have to match your makeup to your outfit. Becoming a beauty editor taught me that color coordination wasn't an unspoken beauty rule. This realization didn't stop me from sticking to my self-imposed guideline, though. Tracking down a blue, red, or purple shadow or lipstick that looks exactly like the hue on my dress or shirt is one of my favorite pastimes (besides memorizing the choreography to Red Velvet songs and vintage shopping), so I wasn't going to hold myself back from this small joy in my life. Lately, the Almay Shadow Squad has been my favorite for shade-matching escapades.

Some may look at the square compact and think, Why do I need four variations of the same color? Well, the Shadow Squad is a palette in the truest artistic sense. You can sweep one of the four shades straight out of the pan and onto your lids. However, I like to mix two or three of the shadows together to create a custom shade that's more intense or softer than what can be found in the four squares. You can also adjust the finish of the shade depending on how glitzy you want your lids to be. Each quadrant features a different effect: matte, satin, metallic, and glitter. Combining the metallic and glitter ones is my default for a rich, reflective look.

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And let's be real, there's always that one color in an 18-pan palette that you find yourself gravitating toward every time you pick it up. The Almay Shadow Squad lets you commit to whatever that shade may be. In my case, it's pink. Most of the Almay Shadow Squads come in neutral shades like taupe, beige, and ash gray, so if you're a Naked Palette person, you're sure to find a low-key option. Pixie Kiss is my bold choice, though. It's all about punchy pinks like watermelon, bubble gum, fuchsia, and rose.

I don't usually do the same eye makeup look more than a couple of times, but the mini-palette makes me gravitate toward doing pink winged shadow at least once a week. Sometimes I give the look a gradient effect since all the shades I need are in one convenient place. (This is why I love traveling with the Shadow Squad, too.)

Curious to see what you could concoct with the Almay Shadow Squad? You can shop it now for $5 on

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