Pressed Palette Review and Comparison

Happy Friday readers! Last week I posted a tutorial on how to press your loose pigments and as promised, I've returned with a review on various palette options. I've tried different kinds of palettes to get a gist of quality as well as availability and affordability. I'll be starting with the most popular options and then offer some budget friendly alternatives towards the end. This post is quite long so let's get into it! 

Z-Palettes are probably the most popular option. They are made from recyclable materials (the website says plastic but it seems to be more of a heavy duty cardboard wrapped in a shiny, patent-like material) and feature a clear window on top to showcase your pressed pigments inside. These are available in a variety of styles and sizes. 

Large Z-Palette, Damask Print style from

Small ($14 USD) - 3.18″Lx 3.18″W x 0.25″D 
Fits 9 round 26mm pans, includes 10 metal stickers,

Medium ($17 USD) -  5.875″L x 3.25″W x 0.375″D 
Fits 15 round 26mm pans, includes 16 metal stickers.

Large ($20 USD) - 7.44″L x 4.13″W x 0.25″D 
Fits 27 round 26mm pans, includes 20 metal stickers. 

Extra Large ($28 USD) -  8.256″L x 6.16″W x 0.56″D
Fits 35 round 26mm pans, includes 20 metal stickers. 

Dome Style ($25 USD) - 8.06″L x 5.44″W x 0.75″D
Fits 33 round 26mm pans, includes 20 metal stickers. 
This option is great if you are interested in depotting rounded products such as Mac Highlighters. 

These palettes are more widely available (They're sold by Amazon, the Makeupgeek site, and from Z-Palette directly) than some of the other options, but the prints do tend to run on the more plain side. The usual designs I see are animal prints so that may or may not be to your liking. Quality wise, they do feel sturdy but I can see them wearing out from wear and tear over time, especially if you fold the front cover under frequently. I've had mine for about a year and a half now and it's held up well so far. 

AnotherSoul palettes are well-known in the indie cosmetics scene and are available through their Etsy shop. In terms of quality, these are the best palettes I've tried. The magnets are strong and the craftsmanship on each palette is excellent. The only con is that not all designs are water-resistant so you'll want to be careful not to get these wet or stain them with product if you get a non-resistant model. Design options range from baroque styles, to florals, to your occasional fun print. 

Basic and Pro style palettes, stacked for size comparison.

Double Sided Travel Palette ($14.99 USD) - 4"L x 3"W 
Fits 36ct 15mm round pans, 12ct 26mm round pans, or 8ct 26mm square pans.

Double Sided Medium Palette ($19.99 USD) - 6"L x 3"W
Fits 54ct 15mm round pans, 20ct 26mm round or square pans.

Basic Palette ($14.99 USD) - 7"L x 4.5"W 
Fits 60ct 15mm round pans, 20ct 26mm round pans, or 15ct 26mm square pans. 

Basic Palette w/ Water Resistant Paper ($16.99 USD) - 7"L x 4.5"W
Fit is the same as the regular basic palette. 

Pro Palette ($26.99 USD) - 9"L x 5"W
Fits 91ct 15mm round pans, 32ct 26mm round pans, or 28ct 26mm square pans.

Deep Palette ($29.99 USD) - 9"L x 5"W 
This palette style is twice as deep as the basic palettes.
Fit is the same as the Pro Palette in terms of eyeshadow count. 

Double Sided Luxe Palette ($42.99 USD) - 9"L x 5"W
This palette style is twice the size of the Pro palettes as it is double-sided.
Fits 182ct 15mm round pans, 64ct 26mm round pans, or 56 26mm square pans. 

Cost-wise these run about the same as the Z-palettes (barring the Luxe palette, which is a great value since it essentially works out to be two Pro palettes in one.) One thing that I do really like about this shop is that they offer double-sided palettes which helps make them more cost-effective. These palettes do not come with metal stickers so you'll want to purchase them separately if your pans aren't magnetic. Shipping runs from $3.50 to $6.50 USD for domestic orders, and $8.00 USD to $14.00 USD for international orders. If you are an avid presser, I strongly suggest springing for either the Pro or Luxe palettes since it's much more cost-effective. 

MiniMintPalette is a more budget-friendly option found on Etsy. Each MiniMint palette is one of a kind and designs are never duplicated. Palettes are available in three sizes:

MiniMint (6x4 inch) custom palettes

Square Mini ($5.50 USD) - 3"L x 3"W 
Fits 16ct 15mm pans, 4ct 26mm round or square pans.

Square Mint ($7.00 USD) - 4"L x 4"W
Fits 9 26mm round or square pans. 

MiniMint ($10.00 USD) - 4"L x 6"W
Fits 15 26mm round pans. 

Mint (4x4 inch) palette, open and closed.
At any given time, there are 3-10 different palettes available in the shop. Unfortunately this doesn't give you a ton of options in terms of design. However, the owner Jenny does offer custom designs for the same price! I recently got in touch with her about getting some custom palettes done since I wanted to pick up a couple of palettes and wasn't crazy about the designs available at the time. Jenny got back to me within an hour. On a Thursday evening. At midnight. She sent me a link to the available stock designs and I got to pick out the patterns I wanted. Designs were heavy on florals but there were all different kinds available. There are literally 100+ designs to choose from so there's something for everyone. I let her know which ones I wanted and she had my listing up by Saturday. From there, my order was shipped and I had them in my hands by Wednesday. The whole process from start to finish was made and received in six days. I've never had a faster turnaround time in my whole indie buying experience. Taking into account that these were custom designs, that's downright outstanding. Throughout the whole process, Jenny was extremely helpful and prompt at responding to any questions I had. 

Jenny includes free samples in every order, as well as label stickers. I've received Innisfree Face Masks and false lashes as Gifts With Purchases with my orders. MiniMint also has a program where if you buy 10 palettes, you get a mini or mint style palette for free. Quality-wise, these do trail behind Anothersoul palettes just a tad. They don't have the same luxurious feel or heft to them. However, they're still very well-built and all of the designs are coated to be water-resistant, which is something that Anothersoul is lacking. Also, the price can't be beat. MiniMint is quickly becoming my favorite palette shop for their custom options, affordable price point, and excellent customer service. Domestic shipping runs from $2.40 to $2.90 USD and international is between $7.50 and $10.00 USD.

Budget-Friendly Options: 

If you have a lot of mini sizes or full sizes to press but don't want to spend a ton of money on getting palettes, you could go with generic empty palettes like these from Ebay. Now the quality on these is not the best. The palette itself is alright. The pans do feel a bit flimsy and cheap but all in all, it still definitely gets the job done. Each palette contains 28 empty 25mm pans. The lowest price I've seen on these Ebay palettes is $7.22 each. You'll want to account for shipping time though since nearly all of these are mass-produced in China and take a while to arrive.

Alternatively, you can also order an empty duo palette from MAC for $8 to house your pressed pigments. Here is the link to purchase. Now this palette is not magnetized so you'll need to pick up magnetic stickers or strips to adhere your shadows. If you have either of those items on hand, this is probably one of the cheapest options, especially if you utilize both sides of the palette. 

Finally, another option recommended to me by some of my indie-loving friends is Artbin Magnetic Boxes. Here is the link to purchase on Amazon. This listing provides you with six palettes for $5.00 shipped, making this the most affordable option of all. If you don't particularly care about having cute patterns on your palettes and are more interested in usability and affordability, this is the option for you. 

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I tried to make this is as comprehensive as possible. All in all, my favorite palettes are from MiniMint, with AnotherSoul right behind them. 

xx Carissa 

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  1. Thanks for this post! I have a z palette already, but was very interested in options from Etsy. I might place orders for both shops you mentioned to see how I like them.