I mean, I don’t know if it’s my FAVORITE-favorite palette (how does one choose a favorite palette? It would be like picking a favorite child — or worse, a favorite lipstick!), but this is the palette which, when I thought I’d lost it, sent me through all five stages of grief. (It was in the car. I’d taken it to do Halloween makeup and never unpacked the kit. I rediscovered it this week and there was much rejoicing.)

Have you ever picked up a colorful palette and thought, “man, this would be an amazing palette … if only it had a matte transition/crease shade.” Or maybe it DOES include a transition shade, but it’s too dark or too light or too warm. Or it’s the perfect shade, but crap quality because most brands can pull off a fabulous shimmer formula but haven’t quite mastered the matte. All of these are tragedies of epic proportions, obviously, because blending out a mismatched, patchy, dry transition is THE WORST, second only to hauling out a bulky supplemental palette every morning just to access a decent crease shade.

Life is SO hard, guys.

Fortunately, capitalism! (Shut up, Marx; I already know I’m bougie.)

For $44 and tax, I solved all my morning eyeshadow woes — and they’ll stay solved for probably the rest of my life. I sprang (Sprung? Springed? Sprunged? English is weird) for a custom, sleek, three-pan palette with my perfect matte brown crease/ transition shades: one warm crease, one cool crease, and one transition so neutral that it can blend out into pretty much anything.

“Please tell me about your magical custom palette that is not MAC or Makeup Geek,” you request. “Okay,” I oblige. (I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be a novelist.)

Makeup Forever (or Make Up For Ever — their own website isn’t sure) [Ed. : I’m gonna go with Make Upfor Ever from now on, just to fuck with them.] offers individual eyeshadow pans in approximately a bajillion shades and four finishes — matte, shimmer, metallic, sparkle. What excites me most about the MUFE shadows is not their incredible teal shimmers (sooooo pretty) but the fact that EVERY SINGLE matte I swatched in-store was perfect — great pigmentation, soft but not dusty, blended like a dream, and zero chalkiness. Even the purple mattes behaved, and we all know that purples seem to be a struggle for other brands. *cough* Too Faced *cough*

At $21 a pop (sans palette), they’re pricier than individual shadow pans from MAC and Makeup Geek ($6 and $6-$10, respectively), but they’re also MASSIVE. You could use them daily and not run out for years. (You can’t even see a dent in mine!) (And not just because it’s been hiding in my car since October. I used it most mornings from mid-July through October before losing it.) Sephora’s website currently lists the shadows as .07oz each, but I bought mine when they were listed as .08 (they haven’t changed size; they’re just rounding the conversion a bit differently. 2.2 grams is technically .0776 ounces). For comparison’s sake, that’s the equivalent of about 4 LORAC pro palette pans, 2.5 UD Vice palette pans, and almost 2 UD Naked palette pans. That’s oodles of product, in pans wide enough to fit a highlight, blush, or contour brush should you so desire. (I have been known to use mine as a contour in a pinch, and many of their shadows would work great as blush or highlighter.)

After the swatchfest, I selected M536 (Milk Tea), M646 (Latte), and M548 (Pink Gray). I try to buy in-store whenever I’m swatching in-store (because I appreciate having a good SA-to-customer ratio, and SA hours get cut if their store doesn’t meet sales targets), but my store was out of Milk Tea. Whomp whomp. Normally, that wouldn’t normally be a huge deal (just buy the other two in store and order Milk Tea online, obviously). But Make Up Forever offers discounted bundles — 1/$22, 2/$34 or 3/$44 (basically, buy-two-get-one), and they throw in an appropriately-sized empty palette for free. (You can also buy the 1, 2, or 3-pan palettes individually for $1.) If I bought two in store and ordered one online, I wouldn’t get the discounted price.

So I ordered online, and discovered in the process that it’s worth checking out the online shade range — Sephora’s website offers WAY more options (more than 200!) than the in-store kiosk; if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in the store, odds are good that they’ll have it online. There are some bland matte options I probably would have preferred over the ones I picked (both Latte and Pink Gray are slightly darker than I was looking for), but I hate buying without swatching and these have served me well.

So well, in fact, that I’m itching to get another trio —  perhaps a more apricot-y skintone shade (to set primer), a subtle inner highlight (just in case my random palette-of-the-day doesn’t have one), and maybe a cool light grey or taupe for a slightly more interesting transition option. Yes, I pick boring workhorse shades (because if I’m spending $44 on three eyeshadows, they’d better get used daily), but the possibilities are endless — shadow base, crease, and highlight? Face highlight, contour, and blush? Mustard matte, electric purple, satiny emerald? Sky’s the limit.

How about you? Have a favorite palette? A go-to crease/transition you can rely on when times get tough? Have you tried MUFE shadows, and do you agree that they’re incredible?