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Best Eyeshadow Palettes

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Is there a more exciting makeup item than an eyeshadow palette? With just one purchase, you get a range of colorful powders to play with. Eyeshadows are all about creativity and artistry (more so than many other makeup products), using your eyelid as the canvas. 

We’ve selected the best eyeshadow palettes for every type of makeup lover. Are you a minimalist who wants one palette to do it all? We’ve got you covered. Do you want to collect shadows in every color of the rainbow? Our list includes that, too. Read on to discover the most stunning, high-performing eyeshadow palettes for every style and budget.

Best eyeshadow palettes overview:

How we chose the best eyeshadow palettes

To compile this list, we researched brands and retailers to create a short list of the top-performing eyeshadow palettes. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, swatches, formulas, and ratings to find the best eyeshadow palettes for each category.

Our picks for the best eyeshadow palettes

Best overall
Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

What we love

  • Warm, wearable color story
  • Great for all experience levels
  • Smooth and blendable formula

What we don’t love

  • On the expensive side
  • Too warm-toned for some

Urban Decay practically invented the concept of the nude or neutral eyeshadow palette with the first-ever Naked palette. Though that palette is now discontinued, Urban Decay is still bringing its top game to the category with Naked Heat, a warm-toned standout. The formula is blendable, smooth, and pigmented, so it works for both beginners and experts. 

The 12 shades here are easily wearable for any occasion. The tones come in an analog color story with orange and yellow-based earth colors and slightly more vibrant coppers and peaches that anyone could pull off. If your skin tone is warm, it’ll look bronzy and harmonious, and if you have blue or green eyes, they’ll pop. If your skin is very cool-toned, though, you may want to look at one of Urban Decay’s cooler palettes, like Naked3

It’s not what we’d call a budget-friendly palette, but considering the number of shades and the level of use you could get out of it, it’s not too expensive, either.

Shades: 12

Best nude
Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette

What we love

  • Nude, natural color story
  • Versatile mix of shimmers and mattes
  • Beginner-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Not very pigmented

You can’t go wrong with a palette of nudes. Every large makeup brand has its own twist on the nude palette, but Tartelette in Bloom stands out as one of the most consistent crowd pleasers. 

The color story in this palette is versatile and wearable, with both matte and shimmer shades ranging from light to dark and leaning neutral or warm and rosy. You can easily go nude, smoky, or glamorous with a palette like this. A few of the shades can also double as brow powders or highlighters. 

Many reviewers noted that the pigmentation level isn’t ultra-high, which may disappoint experienced makeup wearers. For beginners, it’s an excellent choice since it’s harder to overdo, and you can still build up the intensity. 

Some users also noted that the package started to degrade after being in their arsenal for a while.

Shades: 12

Best budget
ColourPop Nude Mood Shadow Palette

What we love

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Soft, blendable formula
  • Excellent for warm tones

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for cool undertones

This ColourPop palette is both affordable and beginner-friendly. If you’re starting your makeup collection from scratch, it’s a solid first shadow palette, complete with nine different shadows. ColourPop’s formula is a pleasure to work with, with pigmented shades that are soft for easy blendability. The color story is warm-leaning nude, with all those must-have shades for a “no makeup makeup” look, along with shimmery and bronzy options for when you need a little more oomph

That said, if your skin is particularly cool-toned, these shades might be too warm to blend into your skin seamlessly — you could still use this palette, but the colors might not appear as true nudes.

Shades: 9

Best splurge
Natasha Denona Glam Eyeshadow Palette

What we love

  • Glamorous range of cool neutrals
  • Creamy, blendable formula
  • Magnetic palette can be rearranged

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Some mattes may be harder to work with

What better item to splurge on than the perfect special-occasion eyeshadow palette? As the name implies, the palette primarily stars 10 glamorous metallic shimmers. Despite the glitz, it’s still versatile, thanks to the few wearable matte neutrals thrown in the mix for a total of 15 different shadows. And you could definitely achieve a “no-makeup-makeup” look while using them. 

The shades are all neutral or softly cool, with an extensive depth range to suit all skin tones. If you’re not into all of the warm hues that rule most “natural” shadow palettes, you’ll like this selection.  

The formula is soft and creamy, and the shades are blendable, although some reviewers noted that the mattes are a little trickier to work with than the shimmers. Once applied, it’s water-resistant and non-creasing. 

The palette isn’t marked with shade names — instead, the shades are arranged based on where they should be applied to the eye. Since the palette is magnetic, you can easily pop the shadows out and rearrange them based on your personal preferences.

Shades: 15

Best multi-color
Juvia’s Place Culture Eyeshadow Palette

What we love

  • Colorful and vivid
  • Mix of mattes, shimmers, and metallics
  • Reasonably priced

What we don’t love

  • No neutrals for variety

Juvia’s Place eyeshadows are hyped for a reason, and picking just one of the brand’s palettes was tough. Culture won because it’s got everything a color-lover could possibly want. The palette has 30 vivid shades in shimmers, mattes, and metallics for when you want to get creative. You’ll probably need to pair it with a neutral palette, but then your eyeshadow arsenal will be complete. 

Considering the number of shadows (30!), this palette is very reasonably priced. Each shade is pigmented and saturated enough to look vivid, per founder Chichi Eburu’s mission to find eyeshadows that would show on her deeper skin tone.

Shades: 30

Best small palette
E.l.f. Bite Size Eyeshadow in Rose Water

What we love

  • Small and compact
  • Affordable
  • Can work for many skin tones

What we don’t love

  • Not versatile

More isn’t always better. This tiny, affordable palette from E.l.f. has everything you need to create a complete, flattering eyeshadow look. It doesn’t give you the versatility of other palettes, but it’s simple, wearable, and can be easily slipped into your purse — especially ideal if you need something travel-friendly. 

This pigmented cool rose palette has two mattes and two shimmers. You can use it to create a full shadow look, no matter your skin tone. If you like the size but are interested in a different color story, the other palettes from the Bite Size palette range are also worth exploring.

Shades: 4

Best peachy nudes
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Palette

What we love

  • Soft, peachy colors
  • Ideal for a range of looks
  • Beginner-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Bulky
  • Scented shadows can be polarizing

This warm, rosy palette from Too Faced is a great option for creating soft, delicate eyeshadow looks. Its color story is inspired by the shades you see in a peach (and it smells like one, too), with corals and browns dominating. Not everyone likes scented shadows, though.  

There are also a couple of purples, beiges, and a brown-black, making this a comprehensive palette that lets you get a little creative. But none of these shades are challenging to use, so it’s a straightforward option for beginners. 

The shades are packed in a metal container, which feels sturdy, but is also bulky and not as travel-friendly as other options on this list.

Shades: 18

Best cool tones
Makeup Revolution Forever Flawless Shadow Palette in Utopia

What we love

  • Many shades in one palette
  • Budget-friendly
  • Rich, trendy colors

What we don’t love

  • Deeper shades aren’t apt for beginners

The Forever Flawless range of eyeshadow palettes from Makeup Revolution is a lot of fun. The palettes include many different hues, yet they’re budget-friendly, and the colors are eye-catching. To add a bit of variety to our list, we decided to recommend Eutopia — an incredible palette of rich blues and purples, with a few neutrals and golden metallics thrown in for balance and utility. 

Blues are having a moment, and purples never went anywhere, so this palette spoke to us. It’s the kind of palette that’ll fit nicely into an intermediate collection, but you may find the deep, saturated shades harder to blend if you’re a beginner.

Shades: 18

Best high-fashion
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream

What we love

  • Artistic color story
  • 6 different shadow finishes
  • Luxurious packaging

What we don’t love

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Expensive

A Mothership eyeshadow palette is a work of art in and of itself, from the packaging to the unusual shades. It’s intended to inspire you to create your own work of art. We try to be objective in our reviews, but something about this complex color story and packaging takes our breath away. 

Huetopian features 10 shadows with six distinct finishes, including color-transforming duochromes and trichromes. We like them for single shadow looks because they appear different depending on how the light hits them — an remarkable effect when they’re applied from lid to crease. The shades are largely in the peach and mauve families, but the shadow Bronze Solaris is the golden exception. You can use the formulas wet or dry, and you may need to experiment with them to determine which option you prefer. 

So yes, we’re a little obsessed, but for the average makeup wearer, the cost of this palette would be hard to justify and the color story may prove too challenging.

Shades: 10

Best silvers
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette The Rock Chick

What we love

  • Flattering take on grays and silvers
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Small and portable

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Silver isn’t as trendy at the moment

What happened to gunmetal smokey eyes or festive silver looks? Gray and charcoal eyeshadows aren’t as common as they once were, perhaps because natural shades are a little easier to pull off. 

The genius of this palette is that all the shades pull cool-brown rather than blue, which looks more harmonious against the skin. If you’re tired of nudes, but you don’t want colorful eyeshadows, it’s a nice change of pace. If you’re cool-toned, a color story like this is effortlessly flattering, but it could also work with other skin tones.   

The four shades in the palette blend well together for a few types of eyeshadow looks, so it won’t be too challenging for beginners to use. It’s expensive for a smaller palette with just a few eyeshadows, but if you like portable quads and luxury packaging, it’s definitely a quality product. Some reviewers noted that the glitter shades can leave a bit of fallout after a few hours of wear.

Shades: 4

Final thoughts

Eyeshadow palettes are a lot of fun, and no single palette is the end-all-be-all. Some makeup lovers collect dozens of palettes, while others only need one or two. Our top pick, Urban Decay’s Naked Heat, is a gorgeous warm-toned palette that’s great for beginners and experts alike. But it’s important to take your personal style, existing collection, and coloring into account when choosing the best eyeshadow palettes for you. 

How to pick the right eyeshadow palette for you

In a way, a single eyeshadow palette is a multiplicity of little products in one. Chances are, with a variety of shades, you’ll probably find something that works for you in almost any palette.

Shopping for palettes is a complex and highly individualized process, but below are a few details you may want to keep in mind to ensure all or most of the colors in your chosen palette work for you.

Your vibe

  • Neutral. Neutral or nude makeup looks are effortlessly flattering, which is why nude palettes dominate many retailers’ best-seller lists. Look for palettes that include a wide range of tones, with shades of beige, brown, and taupe and a lot of mattes. Tartelette in Bloom is a classic nude palette. 
  • Artsy. Unique and colorful eyeshadow palettes are a must if you like to play around and be creative with makeup. Juvia’s Place Culture palette is the ultimate option for playing with color, while our pick from Pat McGrath Labs boasts some unusual finishes. 
  • Glam. Glam makeup is primarily about technique, like going darker in the crease or choosing a brighter highlight shade. Lots of shimmers are a must, but having a few deep mattes is helpful for depth. Look for a palette with color contrasts and multiple finish options, like our pick from Natasha Denona.   

Experience level 

  • Beginner. If you’re starting out on your makeup journey, look for forgiving palettes that offer easy blending and buildable, medium-high pigmentation.
  • Intermediate. If you want to branch out with your makeup and take more risks, pigmented eyeshadow palettes will help. You might also want to explore diverse color stories that play with tones and undertones, like Naked Heat.
  • Expert. Expert shadow aficionados can make any palette work for them, so don’t feel constrained by terms like “blendable” or “pigmented.” In fact, you probably already know which palette will be the next addition to your collection.  

Your coloring 

  • Neutral undertones. Most color stories will suit you well, but you might have an easier time with palettes that aren’t too warm or too cool, like our picks from Tarte or Natasha Denona. 
  • Warm undertones. With warm yellow or gold undertones, it’s easier to pull off equally warm shadows. Opt for palettes like Urban Decay Naked Heat or ColourPop Nude Mood. 
  • Cool undertones. With cool undertones, neutral and cool palettes like E.l.f.’s Bite Size Rose Water or Natasha Denona’s Glam palette will work best. 
  • Eye color. A decade (or three) back, it was all about small eyeshadow palettes to make your eye color pop. But modern eyeshadow palettes aren’t built in such neat color stories anymore, and universally-flattering neutrals rule the school anyway. You can consult our guide to finding eyeshadows that suit your eye color but don’t let your eye color constrain your creativity when it comes to eyeshadows. 


What’s the best eyeshadow palette brand? 

Our top eyeshadow palette is Naked Heat from Urban Decay, but many of the brand’s other palettes are just as impressive. You can’t go wrong with Urban Decay, no matter your taste or experience level. That said, if you’re on a budget, ColourPop is another great eyeshadow palette brand.  

What’s the best eyeshadow palette for beginners?

Tarte’s Tartelette in Bloom is the most beginner-friendly palette on our list. It features universally flattering shades with a formula that’s blendable and just pigmented enough for easy use. These features make it a perfect option for beginners to create polished makeup looks. 

How do you know if eyeshadow is good quality?

High-quality eyeshadow will go on the skin evenly, without any patchiness. The texture should be smooth and soft, although it’s okay to have a bit of grit with glitter shades. If you’re working with particularly colorful shadows, you’ll also want to look for opaque coverage and high pigmentation. Medium eyeshadows that build up to high opacity are sometimes easier to use.