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10 Best Metallic Eyeshadows

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Metallic eyeshadows are there for us when life may seem to lose a bit of its luster. They add the most irresistible gleam to any makeup look and can make your eyes look dangerously reflective. A dark metallic eyeshadow can create a unique smoky eye, while a pop of champagne in the inner corner of the eye may offer the perfect highlight.

If you’d like to expand your makeup collection with a few metallic hues, we’ve got you covered. This roundup highlights some of the best metallic shadows and palettes that will brighten up your look and expand your makeup repertoire. Plus, we break down what to look for in the best metallic eyeshadows and offer tips to help you pick them no matter whether you’re a cosmetics novice or makeup maven.

Best metallic eyeshadows overview

How we chose the best metallic eyeshadows

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including formula, blendability, pigmentation, staying power, and more to create a shortlist of the top metallic shadows. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best metallic shadows for each category.

Our picks for the best metallic eyeshadows

Best overall
MAC DazzleShadow Extreme

What we love

  • Vibrant colors that are true across skin tones
  • 12 hrs. of wear, crease-free
  • Wet-like metallic finish

What we don’t love

  • May be pricey for a single eyeshadow

MAC’s eyeshadow singles are classics, and their frost range offers a gorgeous selection of metallic shadows. They have reliable pigmentation that translates consistently across a wide range of skin tones, and the shade selection is immense with both softer highlighter tones and mesmerizing jewel tones. Add in the non-creasing long-wear formula that promises to last up to 12 hours along with the wet-like metallic finish, and it’s a match made in heaven. You can buy them as singles in a compact or pick up just the pan when it’s time for a refill.

Color range: 10 | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best cream formula
ColourPop Super Shock Shadow: dgaf

What we love

  • Creamy, blendable formula
  • Large color selection
  • Fun collaborations with brands like Peeps and BT21 (LINE Friends spinoff for BTS)

What we don’t love

  • Some shades may lack staying power
  • Available as singles rather than a full palette

When it comes to single metallic eyeshadows, it’s hard to beat ColourPop for either quality or price. These shades have a cream-powder formula that glides on easily. Our personal favorite is dgaf — a shimmery brown that will complement any skin tone. Keep in mind, though, pigmentation can vary if you decide to choose a different color. 

Likewise, while the bouncy gel-like formula ensures that the shadow doesn’t dry out (assuming you close the cap tightly), there can be a bit of a learning curve as you figure out best practices to apply. Still, there’s a wide color assortment and even themed subcollections thanks to ColourPop’s collaborations with various brands, such as Peeps and BT21 — the spinoff LINE Friends character assortment for K-pop sensations BTS. And although the product is super affordable, these shadows are singles which might be a drawback for some people.

Color range: 100+ | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best long-lasting formula
Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Shadow

What we love

  • Up to 16 hrs. of wear
  • Multifunctional — doubles as a highlighter
  • Shades flatter a wide range of skin tones

What we don’t love

  • Some reviews claim formula change resulted in poor pigmentation

If you’re looking for a metallic eyeshadow that applies with a crease-free finish and won’t disappear 20 minutes after you put it on, the Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Shadows might be a good investment for you. This petite collection offers five iridescent metallic pigments that are multidimensional. You’ll get 16 hours of wear and shades that are flattering on a wide range of skin tones. However, we did note that this is a new formula from previous iterations and that some reviewers feel the switch to a truly vegan formula sacrificed on pigmentation.

Color range: 5 | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best neutral palette
Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Divine Neutrals

What we love

  • Palette with 12 shades — 6 each of metallic and matte
  • Affordable option for a wide range of budgets
  • Palette has built-in mirror

What we don’t love

  • Some reviewers noted color accuracy was poor on deeper skin tones

You shouldn’t have to drop the equivalent of a cellphone bill to get a metallic eyeshadow palette. But more importantly, it’s also nice to have a palette full of neutral hues that will work on a wider range of skin tones and also easily transition from day to night. In that case, it’s Morphe for the win with their Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Divine Neutrals palette. 

This 12-pan product offers six warm neutral-toned metallic shades and six complementing matte shades — ensuring that you can create a wide array of eye looks. And you’ll like that this is a wallet-friendly option that’s attainable for a wider range of beauty mavens. But while there’s a lot to love about this palette, there are also some caveats. First, Morphe states they’re cruelty-free but is not certified by any official organization. Additionally, some reviews indicate the pigmentation on these pressed powders might not be the best for people with deeper skin tones.

Color range: 12-pan palette | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best for deeper skin tones
Milani Gilded Eyeshadow Palettes (Gold)

What we love

  • 15-pan palette with built-in mirror
  • Wide selection of colors that are complementary on deeper skin tones
  • Mix of matte and metallic shades to create complete eye looks

What we don’t love

  • Pans are on the smaller size

Shockingly affordable yet oh-so-dramatic — this is one of the best metallic eyeshadow palettes for anyone with deeper skin tones to create a variety of neutral or dramatic eye looks. The focus on warmer-hued shades makes it complementary for anyone that falls on the medium-deep through dark skin tone spectrum. 

This palette is holistic, with a smattering of mattes, highlight shades, and eye-catching metallics to easily transition from the office to date night or a fun weekend. And you’ll love that the palette has a built-in mirror as well.

Color range: 15-pan palette | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best cream-to-powder formula
Julep Beauty Eyeshadow 101 Crème-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick

What we love

  • Easy swivel stick formula
  • Wide color selection
  • Skin-friendly formula that locks into a waterproof powder finish

What we don’t love

  • Common review complaints centered around poor pigmentation
  • 1- and 2-star reviews noted formula was difficult to blend

Eyeshadow sticks are perfect for two things: being ideal for makeup beginners and speeding up your makeup applications. Just swipe some on, blend a little with the spongy end, and you’re done! These metallic eyeshadow sticks are waterproof and long-lasting, and they come in a range of very pretty, wearable colors. You can double up by wearing them under a metallic powder shadow for intense shine. The formulas are enriched with vitamins C and E to nourish the eye area. 

However, we did note that while the bulk of shoppers loved the product, others that were left less than impressed tended to fall into two camps. Either the formula wasn’t blend-friendly — meaning that the product would rub off easily — or the pigmentation was too sheer.

Color range: 19 sticks (inclusive of 5 metallic and 15 simmer shades) | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best dramatic palette
Natasha Denona Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette

What we love

  • Bold array of pinks, yellows, and reds
  • Color accuracy across range of skin tones
  • Promises not to crease, fade, or smudge

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Not vegan — formula incorporates real crushed pearls

Natasha Denona is another celebrity MUA turned beauty boss that should be on your shortlist. Her eyeshadows are known for being blendable, buildable, crease-free, fade-free, and smudge-free. If you’re looking for a palette that’s bold but also offers true color payoff whether you have fair or deep skin, the Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette is a must-have. 

This palette tells a beautiful color story full of warm nudes and fuchsias. The set includes eight metallics and duo-chromes (which are a category of metallics in our opinion) and seven mattes that complement them well. These shades are vibrant and pigmented, so they pop easily. This palette is, however, one of the more expensive on our list.

Color range: 15-pan palette | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best universally flattering
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VIII: Divine Rose II

What we love

  • Finely milled powder easy to blend with minimal fallout
  • Rich pigmentation that’s true across skin tones
  • Palette with two matte shades to support creating full-eye looks

What we don’t love

  • Very expensive
  • Not true cruelty-free

Owning a Pat McGrath eyeshadow palette is a beauty game changer. While there’s no denying that this pick is a serious splurge, Pat McGrath makes the sticker shock well worth it. The shades always perform impeccably, and the color stories themselves are fascinating. 

Metallics are generally plentiful in each of this brand’s palettes, but we selected Mothership VIII because of its blend of quintessential metallics and some unusual shifts, not to mention a few exquisite mattes that work well with the shimmery tones. However, while the brand promises not to test on animals, its lack of certification by a cruelty-free oversight organization might give ethical beauty shoppers reason to pause.

Color range: 10 | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best eyeshadow stick
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color

What we love

  • 12-hr. longwear
  • Goof-proof application format
  • Crease- and transfer-resistant

What we don’t love

  • May be considered somewhat expensive

For a wash of metallic shadow that is beautiful and delicate, we can’t recommend these eyeshadow sticks enough. They glide on easily to get you glammed up in seconds and offer bold color payoff with just one swipe. While these are pricey for a single shadow stick, you can combine colors to create a complex look or get just one for a one-shadow look. They come in some really stunning blues, pinks, and traditional bronze or gold shades.

Color range: 22 (inclusive of shimmer, chrome, and intense shades) | Sulfate-free: Yes

Best no-crease formula
Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes

What we love

  • Earthy shades that look amazing on all skin tones
  • Richly pigmented color payoff
  • No-smudge, no-crease formula

What we don’t love

  • Reviews note this shadow isn’t transfer-proof
  • Only available in a single color

There is nothing more luxe than a creamy golden metallic eyeshadow in a sophisticated Tom Ford jar. This cream eyeshadow is divine with the kind of smooth shimmer that looks exactly like melted metal all over your eyelid. And lucky for everyone, it works with all skin types.

Although the brand promises that these pots won’t smudge or fade throughout the day, some reviews say otherwise. A common complaint we found from one- and two-star reviews was that the color easily rubbed off.

Color range: 1 | Sulfate-free: Yes

The perfect metallic shadow for your makeup collection

No eyeshadow collection is complete without having some metallic options that can ramp up your eye makeup by adding depth and dimension. A good metallic shadow should have strong pigmentation, wear well, and be easy to apply. More importantly, it should have staying power. Of course, we could be describing our best overall recommendation: the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VIII: Divine Rose II Collection. With a finely milled texture, a mix of metallic and matte shades, and rich pigmentation, it’s a splurge-worthy investment. 

How to pick the right metallic eyeshadows for you

It’s important to note that “metallic” can mean a lot of things in the beauty world. This can include shimmers, chromes, duo-chromes, and even other less descriptive terms like “intense.” But you’ll also need to consider factors such as formulation, durability, whether you’re buying a single shadow or a palette, and of course, color payoff. 


  • Metallic. Of all the descriptors, this is the most common one you’ll see. It refers to a pigment that incorporates reflective particles that catch and diffuse the light. However, “metallic” covers a wide range of particle sizes. 
  • Shimmer. Unlike metallic, shimmer will usually (but not always) refer to a finish that looks reflective but is more finely milled. More importantly, this still usually refers to only one primary metallic pigment being present. 
  • Duo-chrome. The term “duo-chrome” has become something of a trending topic but simply means that a shadow has shade-shifting qualities because it incorporates more than one type of metallic or shimmer pigment. This means that while the primary (or base) color might be, for example, brown, you can also have another metallic pigment that’s present such as blue, green, or even pink. 


  • Powder. The most common type of eyeshadow — whether pressed or loose — is powder. This type of shadow typically has the longest shelf life and can be applied with brushes, beauty sponges, or your fingers. 
  • Creams. Creams can come in a variety of formats — swivel sticks, pots, or even tubes. Creams can range from versions that dry down to a powder finish to others that maintain a moist consistency. These are also the shadow types most likely to crease, smudge, or fade.
  • Liquid. Typically, liquid eyeshadows dry down to a powder finish and are often the best bet because they’re usually transfer-proof — even for people with oily lids. 


  • Singles. As the name implies, you’re purchasing one color only — regardless of whether it’s a pressed powder pan, loose powder jar, or cream eyeshadow stick. 
  • Palette. A palette will usually incorporate multiple colors — even if it’s just two. In most cases with eyeshadows, you’ll find combinations starting with four but as many as 15 to 20 colors. Look for options that combine matte and metallic shades so that you get more variety and can create complete eye looks without needing to pull colors from other brands. 
  • Kits/Sets. Alternatively, it’s not uncommon to find brands that sell eyeshadow as singles also offering those shadows in sets. A great example of this would be ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadows — individual pans that can also be purchased in sets for select colors. 


What’s the most glittery eyeshadow?

Glitter is not the same as metallic. Even a finely milled glitter will still be fundamentally different from a metallic eyeshadow because the formula incorporates colored bits of plastic (even ocean-safe plastic), whereas metallic eyeshadow will incorporate pigmented powders like mica. If you opt for a true glitter, be sure the formula uses eye-safe cosmetic-grade glitter and opt for smaller particle sizes to minimize the risk of corneal abrasions. 

What’s metallic-finish eyeshadow?

Metallic finish simply means that when you look at an eyeshadow, it contains particles that reflect the light. Some are more finely milled so that the pigment gives a uniform effect, while others might have a chunkier aspect to them. 

How do you make eyeshadow look metallic?

In a perfect world, you’d opt for a metallic shade. But, you can turn any eyeshadow into a metallic finish by wetting your makeup brush before dipping it into your pigment. Remember your goal is to have a damp — not dripping wet — brush. You can use plain tap water (just be sure to squeeze excess moisture out of the brush head) or even spritz your brush with setting spray to lock in the color.