Housed in a shiny mirrored compact, Clinique’s All About Shadow™ Quads each contain four eyeshadows in a coordinated color palette. They claim to be “crease- and fade-resistant” and “ophthalmologist tested for even the most sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.” These little palettes have been around forever and don’t get a lot of attention because they aren’t the newest release. Do they deserve more credit and a place in our makeup bags?
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Tested September 2020
An eyeshadow quad is an ideal palette format to create almost any eye look. While large palettes with 16 plus shades provide options and can get the creative juices going, they can also feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just looking for a pretty eye look that won’t take 20 minutes to complete. I love my mega palettes with lots of eyeshadow finishes and tones, but I don’t reach for them in the morning when I have ten minutes to get out the door. I reach for something like these Clinique All About Shadow™ Quads.
Jenna’s Essentials is my most well-loved shadow palette, as you can see in these photos.
I used the third lightly shimmery tan/champagne shade as a wash of color on the lid so much that I’ve totally cleared out the pan! Not a speck remains, I made sure of it (and then tried to find it in an All About Shadow™ Single; unfortunately, Clinique doesn’t have an exact match available).
The remaining colors, a sheer white, matte brown and black with the tiniest hint of shimmer, are still essential shades and I can create natural looks or amp up the drama with just these.
I use the black shade as a liner all the time, and the brown is an amazing crease color blended out on my skin tone. Although this exact palette is available at Ulta, Clinique now carries a palette called Skinny Dip that looks almost identical, although the brown may be a shimmer shade instead of a matte.
The softest in tone and most beginner-friendly of my All About Shadow™ Quads is definitely Pink Chocolate.
All of the shades have a light shimmer finish, but the third pink shade has the most gleam of the bunch. I recommend applying this one with a wet brush for a slightly more vibrant, metallic finish.
This is a great eyeshadow option for young people in your life that may just be starting to wear a little makeup, and for those who are nervous using darker shades or don’t want anything to look too dramatic. It’s absolutely impossible to overdo it using this palette because every look will come out natural using these colors. If you want a more intense kick of pigment, this is probably not for you.
It’s my least used quad, mostly because I love the others so much, but also because the ultra-pale pink doesn’t have much impact on my lids and there can be a little fallout with the pink shimmer if it isn’t applied wet or using your fingertip.
Morning Java is my favorite combination of colors; the two browns included are just the right amount of different from one to the next, and the gold is deeper in tone and less yellow than a lot of gold shadows out there, which gives it dimension.
Browns are neutrals that look good on everyone, and they’re especially great for those of us with blue eyes because they create contrast and make the blue pop (if you have brown eyes, try purple shades like the Going Steady quad). I like using the deepest shade in Morning Java on the outer corner of my eye and lining the bottom lash line in the lighter brown with some gold at the center.
I consider Galaxy the wild card amongst my Clinique palettes.
Although the blue shades can initially seem hard to wear, I use them primarily as liner shades. In the photo below, I used all four shades to create a liner gradient from light to dark.
I admit that the two dark blue shades are pretty similar. If we’re being really detail-oriented, the second shade is more denim and metallic and the fourth shade is more matte and navy, but the difference isn’t perceptible to me once applied on the lid. I really enjoy the light teal shimmer in this quad, and sometimes use it all on its own.
There are three things in particular that make the All About Shadow™ Quads winners in my book. One: the overall quality of the shadows is great. There is very little fallout with these shades (the pink I mentioned previously being the only exception), and I know I can use them after applying foundation and concealer and won’t have a mess to tidy up under the eye. They last a long time and don’t crease as long as I prime my lids.
Two: they take the guesswork out of an everyday eyeshadow look. Any of these shades can be used on their own, either all over the lid or as liners. The coordinated colors within each palette all complement each other well and I can use all four shades together quite easily (crease, lid, outer corner, inner corner, done).
Three: the design of the palette is top notch. The exterior lid works as a mirror, but there’s also one inside that has a diagram of an eye with suggestions for where to apply each of the four shades.
The pans are covered with a plastic tray which I absolutely recommend keeping (although I admit, I often toss the little foam applicators that rest in the tray).
After opening the lid, I just lift the tray, rest it on the interior mirror, use the shadow and then pop it back on, which keeps the palette from getting messy and prevents shadow from migrating into the neighboring pans. The back of the palette is clear, so it’s easy to see the colors without opening it, which is helpful.
The quads are small enough to put in your purse or even a pocket if you needed to, and very lightweight. I’ve put my Jenna’s Essentials through a lot of wear and tear and the lid has never snapped off, the plastic has never cracked and the pans have never popped out. Sometimes these packaging details can be as important as the eyeshadow itself.
If I had to rank them, I would say Jenna’s Essentials and Morning Java are my favorites, with Galaxy coming in next and Pink Chocolate rounding out the group.
I think it’s unfortunate that more people don’t talk about the All About Shadow™ palettes in the beauty world, because they’re underrated gems. I highly recommend these palettes for no fuss, pretty looks, yet there’s also room for some (mild) drama and color, too. I keep mine front and center on my vanity.