There’s a lot to like about new season makeup launches: with palettes and compacts galore, we’ll see Mac’s first ever filled 15-pan palette for example, and elsewhere from Dior to Clarins, Clinique, Smashbox and Lancome, everyone’s got a little something-something for spring that’s kinda special. 

Which leaves us in a bit of a conundrum. What to actually, y’know, buy? I decided to pit the palettes against each other, rounding up a panel of beauty blogger experts to rate their top choice from a list of new candidates culled from SS14’s intake. 

Here’s what they came back with.

Lorraine, John It’s Only Makeup

The inspiration motivating the setup of her blog John, It’s Only Makeup, was “because Law and Order: SVU takes ages to stream.” That’s a pretty good indication of just how amusing Lorraine Haigney is and why you should be checking out her witty musings on beauty, STAT.

HER PICK: Clarins Opalescence Face and Blush Powder, €37, from the Opalescence collection.

WHY SHE CHOSE IT: “I’ve just given up smoking and have taken up two things in its place – telling people and checking to see if my toxin-free skin is glowing with the light of a Gondor beacon yet. I’m doing very well with bragging to the masses (check sentence one) but my skin’s slower to catch up. I’ll be checking out the Clarins Opalescence complexion powder to cheat my way to a shimmery, bronzed base.”

Joanne, The Make Up Fairy

What doesn’t Joanne do, would be a better question to ask than trying to address what she does: in addition to her beauty, fashion and life website The Make Up Fairy, she’s a makeup artist, brand ambassador, model and more. Phew!

HER PICK: Smashbox Full Exposure, €43

WHY SHE CHOSE IT: “Having worked for the brand for two years I’m a huge fan of the brand quality, price-point and cruelty-free ethos. Their shadows are always pigmented without the fallout and this palette is a must have. 14 shades including seven shimmer and seven matte means there’s finally a palette that caters for both preferences. The shadows also accompany each other meaning there are endless combinations.”

Siofra ​and Stephanie,

A daily dose of beauty and fashion from Siofra Tobin and Stephanie O’Quigley,​ launched in 2012 and covers a host of fashion-beauty-lifestyle topics. This sensible, approachable piece onlosing weight is great. And inspiring. (checks ass size.)

THEIR PICK: Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in 503 Les Tendres, €53, from theMeteorites Blossom collection.

WHY THEY CHOSE IT:“The Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs eye shadow palette is the ultimate addition to our spring/summer 2014 makeup looks. This dishy compact includes four delightful shades which, if you’re anything like us, you’ll soon be swooning over. These delicate, feminine eye shadows consist of aquatic green, satiny nude, pretty ivory and violet plum. They make for the perfection combination, and blending has never been so easy with this dreamy quad. Like all Guerlain products, this dainty, luxury compact can only be adored.”

Karen, Lovely Girlie Bits

Along with sister Joanne, she is The Lovely Girlie and she regularly shows us her bits. No, not like that: Karen’s blog is a giddy ride into the world of her addictions which include palettes, lipsticks and scarves. We can’t forget the scarves.

HER PICK: Smashbox Full Exposure, €43

WHY SHE CHOSE IT: “The decision was easy. €43 blips will get you 14 eye shadows and a nice mix of wearable warm, cool and glittery shades, topped off with a double ended brush.  It’s one of the more versatile palettes I’ve seen in ages and one I’ll be getting a lot of use out of.  As a fan of neutral eyes and dramatic eyes, I’m completely justified in wanting this as it has everything I need and if I was completely honest with myself, I shouldn’t need another neutral palette for the rest of my life after this one.  I say shouldn’t because we all know I have a problem and have more makeup than sense, but this will fend off any cravings for another palette for a good six months (or so)…  A must-have in my book!”

Sarah, Adoreabubbles

​Known and loved in beauty blogger land for her super-duper meet-up skills and no-nonsense reviews, Sarah from Adoreabubbles isn’t just a blogger, she’s also a crack YouTuber too.

​HER PICK: The YSL Rosy Blush Collector palette, €49.50, from the spring collection.

WHY SHE CHOSE IT: “All the other spring palettes are too similar to other palettes I already own and hold no wow factor for me personally. The packaging is stunning and the marbled motif is just beautiful. I like that the the rosy blush can also be used as a highlighter. Although I have not tried it myself I can see it creating a really radiant glow, perfect for spring!”

Laura, Fitz N Bitz

​Cork-based beauty blogger Laura is flying the flag for the Munster massive with her blog Fitz N Bitz. She’s a detailed reviewer, YouTuber and all-round beauty enthusiast.

​HER PICK: Mac x15 Warm Neutral Palette​, €75

WHY SHE CHOSE IT: “I love eye shadow palettes. They save space and mess, you can see a lot of choices at once rather than rummaging through single shadows that have been chucked in a container and hidden in a drawer and then you don’t know what you have! With the plethora of palettes available and coming out at the moment, it seems an almost impossible task to narrow down the choices. In general I love to purchase palettes as opposed to single shadows – usually you’re getting more bang for your buck. I’m a lip girl. I’m never without either a colourful lipstick, lipgloss or lipbalm, so when it comes to shadow I like to keep it neutral. 

“The Mac eye shadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette looks right up my street, with 15 warm shades which would look beautiful on all eye colours, but particularly blue eyes. I myself am a blue eyed gal and love the way coppery, bronze and golden shades make them ‘pop’! This would be an investment piece, but when you work it out you’re saving a lot of money considering a single Mac shadow pan costs €12.50.

“The palette is made up of warm yet neutral shades in various finishes including matte, satin, frost, velvet, lustre and veluxe pearl. Mac are renowned for their highly pigmented eye shadows which apply evenly, blend beautifully and are buildable so that you can go for a subtle daytime look using the cream, beige and champagne shades or vamp it up at night using the deeper, chocolate and copper shades. The 15 shadows come in a simple yet durable and organised, black palette with a clear lid. Overall, the look of this palette excites me and may just be my first investment piece of 2014!”

Have you got a palette you’re picking up for SS14? Agree with our gals’ choices or disagree? Drop a comment and let us know.