This Is the Only Neutral Eyeshadow Palette You Need

Matte, chrome pearl, and shimmery shades inspired by giraffe’s spotted coats

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All beauty lovers will agree that no makeup bag is complete without a neutral eyeshadow palette. Why? It's truly the most versatile for all skin tones— a spectrum of brown and beige shades can help create countless simple, everyday eye looks in a flash. And when we're feeling a bit more bold, those same hues can create a dramatic eyeshadow moment fit for a night out. 

Chantecaille's limited-edition Giraffe Eye Quartet, developed to benefit the Giraffe Conservation Fund, is the newest earth-toned palette we're adding to our collection. As its name suggests, the product is inspired by giraffes and their beautiful spotted coats. The Giraffe Eye Quartet boasts four highly-pigmented shades—matte putty brown, white chrome pearl, shimmering copper-bronze, and pewter chrome pearl—that you'll want to swipe on your lids as soon as you see them. 

Celebrity makeup artist and passionate conservationist Campbell Ritchie, who got her start working with industry legends like Kevyn Aucoin and Francois Nars, has noticed a widespread affinity for subtle eye looks like soft cat-eyes and inner corner accents. For those who prefer a statement eye look, the beauty veteran has also seen an uptick in vibrant metallic lids and smokey eyes.

The Giraffe Eye Quartet's dynamic shades, buttery textures, and thoughtfully developed vegan formulas allow you to achieve each trend easily. Wanting to showcase the beauty and versatility of the palette, Ritchie created four trendy eyeshadow looks. Ahead, she breaks down how you can recreate all of them at home.

How to Prep Your Eyes

Ritchie suggests priming your lids with Chantecaille's Next Generation Eye Base. "It's a beautiful product you can use on its own as an eyeshadow or [as a base] to ensure the longest eyeshadow wear," she says. "I will be using this product on all of my clients for the red carpet because it keeps the eyeshadow intact and keeps the color consistent."

Get the Look 

Kitten Eye

Kitten eye

Ritchie calls this look the "baby sister of the cat-eye," describing it as softer and more romantic. "Anyone can do this look and pull it off, too—it takes 30 seconds—but still gives you that sexy cat shape effect which is always good for accentuating and lifting the eye and cheekbone," she says.

  1. To start, Ritchie applied a soft layer of shade #1 on the lid using the Eye Basic Brush and buffed it out for a more diffused look using the Eye Blend Brush. "I wanted the color to be super-subtle so the focus would be on the kitten flick," she says. "To be sure it looked diffused enough, I buffed it out with the Eye Blend Brush."
  2. For a precise kitten eye flick, Ritchie spritzed Pure Rosewater on the Eye Liner Brush to create a soft line. shade #1. "By using an eyeshadow, not liner, the line felt soft and almost blurred."
  3. Ritchie says the trick to doing the flick is to start small, grow and layer the line. "The whole idea of a kitten eye is that it is the subtle version of a cat-eye—so the flick doesn’t need to extend far," she explains. 
  4. Ritchie then drew a soft line above the lashes to connect the feline flick.
  5. Ritchie used the Eye Liner Brush to apply shade #3 underneath the lower eyelashes, from the middle to the outer corner to give an extra dimension. "This trick is easier than lower lash mascara and immediately thickens the look of those lashes," she says.

Metallic Eye

metallic eye

Ritchie recommends playing around with metallic eyeshadows if you want to add dimension to your look. "I think of this look as my fun take on the metallic trend," she says. "The colors complement any skin tone and the finish is light-catching, giving it an allure of iridescence."

  1. Ritchie first covered the lid with shade #3. "I used my fingers to build three layers of this shade to enhance the luminescence of this color," she notes. "I did this with my finger for two reasons. As an artist, I love to use my hands. And when using your finger, it’s easier to feel how much pressure you are using on the lid. I like using my fingers for metallics to get a striking look without hard edges.
  2. Next, Ritchie took shade #3 out from the lid towards the cheekbone using the Eye Basic Brush. "You can bring shimmering shadows out towards the hairline— as a highlight," she explains. "It blends beautifully with the skin because the formula is creamy and it makes everything feel connected."
  3. Finally, Ritchie ran shade #4 under the eye toward the outer corner using the Eye Basic Brush. "A little metallic shadow under the eye is one of the best magic tricks—it draws attention to the eyes," she points out.

Accent Eye

Accent eye

"Adding a fun pop in the inner corner of the eye is like magic dust—especially with an unexpected color," Richie says. "It gives you instant sparkle and allure and exudes a playful and fresh feel without going over the top." 

  1. Ritchie first pressed shade #2 into the corner of the eye using her finger. "The shade ends up on the top, bottom, and corner of the inner eye, " she says. "This is perfect because you see the accent—no matter the color— when eyes are open or shut."
  2. Next, she layered shade #4 over shade #3 to create a dreamy strobe-like depth to the outer eye. "I used the Eye Basic Brush and blended from right past the middle of the eye to the outer eye," she explains. She then slightly diffused it.

Smokey Eye

Smokey eye

A smokey eyeshadow look is classic, but creating one can feel daunting. "My take on the classic smokey eye is really sexy because of the neutral color palette," Ritchie says. "These four giraffe-inspired colors are forgiving to mistakes, flexible, and flatter any eye shape."

  1. Ritchie layered shades #1 and #3 on the lid using the Eye Blend Brush. "These pigments don’t crease or flake when you build them up, so it makes layering so easy," she says.
  2. Next, Ritchie used the Shade and Sweep Eye Brush to dust shade #4 across the entire lid to make the look cohesive, blended and soft.
  3. Then, she used the Eye Definer Brush to wing out the eye slightly, using a mixture of shade #1 and shade #4 on the brush.
  4. Ritchie defined the under-eye area using shade #4. "This brings out the eyes and gives the look some depth," she says. 
  5. To add a touch of light, Ritchie dabbed shade #2 in the inner corner of the eye. "This is super subtle but instantly noticeable when the light hits," she says.