Makeup gurus and vloggers will go to incredible lengths to find some of the best eyeshadow palettes available. They'll sacrifice their arms for the perfect swatches or sometimes even "do up" their entire face to resemble an animal or a celebrity of the opposite sex.
They'll do all of this to find out if the palette is not only suitable for everyday use but if it also goes above and beyond.
Some pass this test with flying colors (pun intended) while others miss the mark entirely. Their rigid testing regimes serve as learning tools for us everyday folk.
While we don't plan on looking like a zombie nurse on Halloween, we still want a palette that can do it all. We've rounded up some of the best eyeshadow palettes to make those peepers pop.
What Makes A Good Eyeshadow Palette?
Finding a couple of the best eyeshadow palettes is a personal choice.
First and foremost, you need a palette to fit your skill level. When you're first starting out on a makeup adventure, don't spend too much. If you spend a small fortune and find out you dislike the color scheme, you'll regret your choices. Buy small, test it out, and decide whether or not these shades work for you.
If you've tried a few palettes already, then narrowing down what you like should be a little bit easier. Buyers looking to broaden their horizons should look for larger palettes with more color choices.
Pigmentation also plays a significant role: do you want the colors to really "pop" or are you comfortable with softer shades?
Lastly, it's crucial to find palettes that encompasses everything we've mentioned above plus fits your budget.
Experienced makeup users know that expensive name brands do not always equate the highest quality product. Therefore, ensure you're also researching if there are any noteworthy dupes or knockoffs before spending your hard-earned money.
Name Brand Vs. Drugstore Knockoffs
For every high-quality name brand that spends months developing the perfect palette, there is another brand willing to make a knockoff. But don't be too discouraged by the drugstore-brand twin, as they aren't always evil!
Some of the knock-off brands work just as good as the name-brand product. They may offer slightly less pigmentation but using some primer beforehand helps. In some cases (lipstick, for example), the knockoff brand is more durable and long-lasting than the name brand.
The only downfall of using a knockoff brand is perhaps its ingredients.
Higher-quality brands often have a higher level of commitment to our environment. Sometimes their products, for example, aim to be cruelty-free or free of harmful chemicals such as parabens or sulfates.
Lower-tiered products revolve mostly around duplicating the name brand's products -- but not necessarily its ingredients. So, if you're sensitive to particular parts, always double-check the ingredient list.
How We Reviewed
We searched far and wide to bring you best eyeshadow palettes. We made our short list based on real customer reviews, feedback, and overall star ratings.
Our Picks: The 6 Best Eyeshadow Palettes
There are several different brands, sizes, and price points to ensure everyone can choose the best eyeshadow palettes for their lifestyle.
- AFFORDABLE LUXURY: Morphe’s eyeshadow palette is a vital staple for everybody, whether they’re a makeup beginner or...
- PERFECT FOR ALL LOOKS: Create a natural or dramatic look with this deep, rich and intense set of matte eyeshadow ranging...
- HIGH PIGMENTATION: Bold and beautiful, but still completely wearable, these 35 deeply pigmented shades will escalate any...
Morphe is known for its vast selection of some of the best eyeshadow palettes available today. They currently carry a total of 46 palettes, each varying in quantity, size, and color combinations.
While their website does not contain any information regarding the source of their ingredients or testing methods, there are reports that the brand is, in fact, cruelty-free. They do not test on animals and do not hire a third party to test their products.
Many of their brushes are also made with synthetic material, which also makes them vegan. However, the majority of their cosmetics are made with lanolin or beeswax, which are both derived from living beings.
One of their most popular pallets is the Morphe Pro 35 Color Eyeshadow Makeup Palette. As the name suggests, this palette holds 35 different shades of taupes to satisfy everyone's likes.
Artists can apply the product both dry or wet and with a brush or your finger. The vast array of colors means mixing and matching until you get your perfect look just right. Depending on your color choices, artists can paint their face to suit a business meeting or a night on the town.
While the price is appealing ($ to $$), rest assured that this is not a dupe: Morphe's prices are just very affordable!
Customers rated this palette a total of 4.2 stars out of a possible 5, with 65 percent bestowing the prized 5-star rating. While it is available on Amazon, the manufacturer's website also sells their palettes and ships worldwide.
2. Too Faced
Too Faced is an established company created in the 1990s. None of their products are tested on animals, and many of them are vegan. There is also a long list of products that are paraben-free on the manufacturer's website.
The Then & Now Eyeshadow Palette celebrates their 20th anniversary. It includes their featured eyeshadow in the 1998 palette along with their current, revamped colors directly beneath.
There are 20 shades in all, each slightly different than the last. The old shades have retro names such as "villain, Zsa Zsa, and Trixie" while the newer shades have more up-to-date labels such as "NSFW, I can't even, and chill out."
All 20 shades are encased in a gorgeous pink palette with a golden interior. Each pan size is slightly larger than a thumb, which is about average. Customers rate this palette 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon. It costs $ to $$ and is available with worldwide shipping.
For the experienced makeup artist who demands more color in their lives, the SHANY Eyeshadow Palette really can't be beaten. For under $, customers receive a vast range of 88 colors, each different than the last.
This brand is one of the most affordable eyeshadow palettes on the list, and they're PETA-certified as cruelty-free to boot! With so many pros under their belt, it's hard to believe this USA-designed company only launched in 2006.
There are 11 rows, ranging from deep black shades to warm rosy colors and everything in between. Inside the palette is a mix of both matte and metallic. Shades include several variations of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and brown tones as well as various greys and blacks.
That enables artists to deliver a wide arrange of looks: from bold, theatrical looks to subdued, nature-inspired designs. The palette itself also includes a square mirror, so application is easy even if you're on the go.
Out of over 2,000 reviews, 66 percent of customers gave this product a 5-star review and it has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
It costs $ to $$ and ships worldwide. Unlike several other best eyeshadow palettes on this list, SHANY offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee within 30 days.
Most companies accept returns so long as the product is intact. However, SHANY's policy says "no questions asked," which leads us to believe you can return the palette after using it if you dislike the product.
If you're in the market for a drugstore knockoff of a well-known brand, look no further than UCANBE. This brand produces decent-quality products resembling other high-name brands.
Their "Molten Rock Heat," for example, seems eerily similar to Urban Decay's Naked Cherry palette. Similarly, UCANBE's Twilight palette looks practically identical to the Huda Rose Gold eyeshadow palette, at a fraction of the price.
But before you turn your nose at this knockoff, hear us out. It may not be one of the best eyeshadow palettes with a brand name, but it's one of the best knockoffs we've ever seen.
Inside are 18 square pans full of beautiful colors ranging from shimmering gold to soft cremes. Ten of the shades are matte while the other eight are shimmery and glide onto skin like velvet. They also feature several neutral tones so achieving that natural no-makeup look is easy with a little bit of practice.
On Amazon, customers rated the UCANBE Twilight an average of 4.4 stars out of 5. Three-quarters of all customers who rated the palette gave it a glowing 5-star review.
The price also is also fantastic: $ to $$ before shipping fees and any applicable taxes. But even so, it's a big difference compared to the Huda Rose Gold eyeshadow palette, costing upwards of $$$!
After another look at the reviews, we can easily say this is one of the best eyeshadow palette options on our list -- at least when it comes to dupes!
5. Tarte Tarteist
Tarte is a strong leader in cosmetics and is readily available both online and in stores such as Sephora. Their cosmetics are not tested on animals. Plus, none of their cosmetics contain parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances or gluten.
The manufacturer's website ships internationally while on Amazon, shipping availability depends on location.
If you're a fan of Sailor Moon, you might fall head-over-heels in this beautiful round palette. Tarte's Make Believe in Yourself is both an eye and cheek palette.
The majority of the 10 thumb-sized eyeshadows are metallic. However, one of them (dubbed myth) is a sultry, matte rust-red shade.
The large round pan in the middle features a bright highlighter to add a little bit of whimsy to your daily makeup look. This handheld palette also comes with a round mirror for easy application and touch-ups.
This small but mighty palette is the best eyeshadow palette for 87 percent of the customers who rated it 5 stars out of 5. Overall, Amazon customers gave this product 4.7 stars out of 5, which is fairly high.
But quality does come at a cost: $ to $$, to be exact.
6. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launched in 2017. Its success is mostly due to its 40 different shades of foundation as well as its 50 shades of concealer.
Since its launch, Fenty Beauty has grown to include everything from body shimmer sticks to eyeshadow, and everything in between. All of its products are cruelty-free and made without the use of phthalates or parabens.
Vegan ingredients make up the majority (although not all) of Fenty's beauty products.Plus, Fenty lists every ingredient for their cosmetics on the individual product's webpage.
The package for Fenty Beauty's Limited Addition Galaxy Eyeshadow palette is a beauty. The iridescent-like container holds 14 square eyeshadows. All 14 eyeshadows are super-pigmented, which means a little goes a long way.
Fenty Beauty's website says that each color looks slightly different depending on your skin tone. Thankfully, the manufacturer has four examples of how pigments look on different skin tones.
Customers rated this Fenty Beauty 4.2 stars out of a possible 5 on Amazon. Depending on the retailer (online, manufacturer or in-store), prices range from $ to $$.
Verdict: Which Eyeshadow Palette Would We Buy?
After looking over all of the best eyeshadow palettes on our list, choosing one is like picking candy in a candy store: they'll all too good just to choose one!
But if we had to choose only one treat, we'd go on a limb and purchase UCANBE's Twilight Palette. It has excellent online reviews, a beautiful array of different colors (both matte and shimmery), and we really can't beat the price!
What are the best eyeshadow palettes in your repertoire? Let us know in the comments below!