This is just going to be a short post answering a frequently asked question! :3
I get asked ALL THE TIME from friends and strangers what my favorite makeup palettes are. It's kind of a hard question to answer because palettes are usually kind of pricy, if you buy high end makeup, so I do a LOT of research before I invest $50+ dollars in a palette. I only buy a palette if I know for a fact I'm going to like it.
The key elements in a palette are:
-Good color combinations, I should be able to use nothing but that palette for a month. In other words all of the colors need to go together or coordinate in some way.
-Good range of colors/finishes. In order to complete a whole eye you need lid, crease, and highlight shades. So a palette must have all of those.
-Good quality. I check swatches before EVERY purchase I make. I want to know exactly what I'm buying. I am not comfortable buying something and not knowing if its good quality.
The only acceptation to the rule, for me at least, is if I know I don't have any of the colors in the palettes. Personally I have plenty of highlight shades and whatnot. So if I find a palette with a bunch of neon colors I won't feel bad about buying it. But if you are buying your first big palette those are all good things to have so you have everything you need. Almost all of my palettes abide by those rules.
The palettes I own are(with prices):
-Book of Shadows IV(? was $40)
-Deluxe Shadow Box($19)
-BH Cosmetics (Or Shany, Coastal Scents, etc they're all the same)
I HIGHLY recommend every single one of the palettes I own save the BH Cosmetics palette, not that its horrible it's just not the best quality and it's cheaply made. As far as a starter palette goes I would recommend the Naked2 (or Naked) and Book of Shadows palettes. The Naked2 is all neutrals and is really good basic colors. The Book of Shadows IV has great starter colors and some fun colors mixed in BUT from further research neither Urban Decay nor Sephora sell it anymore. :/
The Smoked palette from Urban Decay and the Sigma Paris palette are both really good, well balanced palettes. They are a lot more bold but if you like bright and dark colors, like me, then you will love these. They are super pigmented with amazing colors.
If you are in to super bright, fun colors then Sugarpill palettes might be up your alley. They can be kind of chalky but they show up beautifully. I couldn't be happier with them.
Some other palettes I really want and have researched extensively are:
Sugarpill Sweet Heart Palette-$34
Stila In The Light Palette-$39
A MAC build your own palette-$196
These are honestly not things I need, I already have more than I need. I will not ever get these unless I have the money to do so. These are more for fun!
I will list links for everything, save the Book of Shadows, below! You really should just find a palette with colors that appeal to you, do your research, look at swatches, and make an informed decision. There is a palette out there for literally every taste!
Urban Decay Palettes
Sigma Paris Palette
BH Cosmetics 120 Palette