If you’re looking to add some variety to your tired, old or boring makeup routine, a quick and easy option that can add some serious drama is to brush on a little eyeshadow. You’re probably thinking, “which color will look best?” Or “what should I buy?” An eyeshadow palette is a great way to try out a bunch of fun new shades, without having to commit to full-sized versions of every color.
Some palettes feature only dramatic colors, which are great to dress up your peepers for a fun night out. Other palettes are filled with pre-coordinated shades to help you build the perfect smokey eye. In spring, you might want to stick to an eyeshadow palette in nude tones, and then switch things up with a different one for other seasons of the year.
These eyeshadows make great additions to your make-up collection, but they also make totally awesome gifts for the make-up enthusiasts (and teenagers) in your life. Plus, for the most part, they’re pretty affordable, and almost always come in fun packaging.
The fact is, make-up lovers often focus first on their eyes. They know the impact of a daring, sexy or furious look, and eyeshadow can be the perfect punctuation on that stare. The best eyeshadow palette will offer up the most current colors, and if you’re looking for it, some can be used either dry or wet. These versatile palettes mean you can contour, shadow, line and define your eyes, all with one clever compact.
It pays to start with a fresh, clean face. Long and luscious lashes add to the impact. And make sure to moisturize the eye area first, to keep skin from looking crepey and dry. Once you’re ready to dust on that first splash of color, start lightly because some colors will darken as they mix with your skin’s natural oils.
Expert application also calls for professional eye brushes. They can make the difference between looking like an amateur, or looking like you’ve got your own personal makeup stylist.
And don’t forget to amp up your eyes with great mascaras, lash primers and liners. Those products will enhance your eyeshadow, and take you from “meh” to magnificent, in a matter of minutes. From neutrals, to brights and bolds, matte finishes, to shimmers and glitters, get ready to break out of your rut, and transform your look in the wink of an eye. Here are our picks for the Best Eyeshadow Palettes of 2018.
1. Too Faced Natural Matte Eyeshadow Palette
With nine stunning matte colors to take you from day to evening, this pretty Too Faced eyeshadow palette can create as much or as little drama as you’d like. Peach and tan shades can give you that soft and pretty look, while with the darker shades of brown you can craft a gorgeous smokey eye.
Each and every palette from Too Faces includes their signature Glamour Guide, to give you professional tips and tricks, for three separate looks, that will let you make the most of each color. Their pure pigmented eyeshadows deliver a rich color payoff, so a little will go a long way to making your eyes totally wow.
It might sound a little crazy, but if you love the smell of peanut butter and honey, you might want to swipe on some of the colors in the Too Faced Peanut Butter and Honey Eyeshadow Palette Collection. With velvet, pearl and shimmer colors, you’ll literally be buzzing with happiness.
2. LORAC PRO Palette 2 Eyeshadow Palette
Featuring 16 ultra-pigmented colors, the LORAC PRO Palette 2 features eight shimmers and eight matte shadows that you can use, wet or dry, to create a variety of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and highlighter looks. And even better, it is formulated without the use of sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan.
Infused with soothing botanicals, you’ll get the red carpet look, without red eyes, because it’s makeup you can feel good about using. From dark and dramatic navy, to wonderful and warm nectar, this pallete’s array of colors gives you extreme flexibility.
What’s really cool is that LORAC is including a mini-sized Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, along with this eyeshadow palette. Of course it could be the gateway primer that will have you scrambling for the full sized tube, because it’s wildly popular, and keeps your eyeshadow looking fabulous all day long.
3. SHANY Makeup Artists Must Have Pro Eyeshadow Palette
The Ultimate Makeup Artist Pro Eyeshadow Palette features an ideal blend of warm and neutral eyeshadows, in both matte and shimmer finishes. With anti-crack matte shadows, and ultra shimmer shadows, this palette is great for everyday use, but with 96 colors to choose from, you can literally go wild.
Choose the lighter hues to highlight under your eyebrows, or in the center of your eyelid. The oranges, browns, and purples in this palette can be mixed and matched on your eyelids, and the darker hues are great for the corners and creases of eyes, delivering that oh so sensual smokey eye look.
These long-lasting eye shadows are highly pigmented and blend well. With such a wide array of smudge free colors, you’re assured you’ll never run out of ideas for new shadow combinations. SHANY’s six color blush palette is a great add on, giving you the ultimate flexibility in makeup looks. Natural hair brushes make application smooth and easy.
Best of all? SHANY professional makeup products are incredibly affordable, so it’s barely a splurge to treat yourself to a wide array of color options that can change with the seasons.
Price: $12.72 (5 percent off MSRP)
4. stila Eyes Are The Window Eyeshadow Palette
Create endless looks with the stila “Eyes Are the Window” shadow palettes. Inspired by the spiritual notion that true beauty is revealed from within, this palette is curated with 12 luxurious eye shadows to illuminate your inner beauty.
This eyeshadow palette is encased in an exquisite, jewelry-inspired compact, in a precious mix of pink, yellow and gold. The shadows themselves will inspire and intrigue your imagination, with mattes and shimmers to take you in limitless directions.
If you really want to be a showstopper, check out stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow. This liquid shadow can add a spark to your powdered shadow palette and give you new ideas to combine the two. Mascara is a key to gorgeous lashes that cause people to notice your wicked prowess with shadow. Try out stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara for dramatic lashes to the max. It features a lash conditioner as well as a lash volumizer, to give you totally amazing eyes.
5. Amazon’s Choice: LORAC Unzipped Gold Shimmer and Matte Eyeshadow Palette
The universally flattering LORAC Unzipped Gold Shimmer and Matte Eyeshadow Palette is a warm-toned collection of shadows, containing 10 colors in varying shades of gold and brown. From the light neutral called Undressed, to the midnight brown called Unafraid, these eyeshadows dare you to step out and be seen.
These neutral shadows are perfect for a day time look, but the shimmer colors can also be used wet, to create a bolder look for an evening on the town. This palette also comes with a sample of the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer. You can shade, shadow, line and define, because the LORAC Unzipped Gold Shimmer and Matte Eyeshadow Palette gives you every option.
LORAC delivers perfect color options for eyes, cheeks and faces. Find their flattering line of cosmetics for all skin tones and types, right here.
6. Lamora EXPOSED Professional Eyeshadow Palette
This ultra-rich eyeshadow palette brings your feminine side to the forefront, with ultra-micronized, highly pigmented colors. The harmony of hues, from matte colors to shimmers, are creamy and better yet, waterproof.
With outstanding matte, metallic, satin and shimmering earth tones, this eyeshadow palette features 16 glamorous shadows. From soft beige, to luscious chocolatey hazel brown, you can create every look from naturally gorgeous, to wildly dramatic.
These eyeshadows perform so many tasks you might want to ditch some of your old makeup, because you can use them dry, or wet, to contour, shadow, line, and define your eyes. These shadows are comparable to many luxury brands that cost two or three times as much, for fewer shades, so the splurge on yourself is totally worth it.
Lamora also makes a highly rated, and wildly popular eyeshadow brush set featuring seven essentials to maximize colors, and finesse your shadow like a pro, and they’re less than ten bucks.
7. Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar
The antioxidant-rich, cocoa powder-infused Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette contains 16 matte and shimmer eyeshadows in mouthwatering shades like Nougat, Hot Fudge, Pink Sugar, Peanut Butter, Frosting, Rum Raisin, Caramel and Bon Bon. Featuring a mix of neutrals and highly-pigmented colors, this palette also comes with a how-to Glamour Guide to help you masterfully apply these shadows.
For more fun candy colored eyeshadow options, the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Eyeshadow Palette features 14 shades, and two highlighters in cute heart shaped containers.
However, working with highly pigmented shadows can be pretty tricky, and seamlessly blending these colors is nearly impossible without a good set of makeup brushes. There are options available at all price points, but some of my personal favorites are the ones by NARS.
8. theBalm NUDE ‘Dude Eyeshadow Palette
Introducing theBalm’s latest addition to the NUDE eyeshadow palette series, NUDE ‘dude. Get a quick and updated look using any combination of these triple-milled shadows, or add water to transform your favorite shades into loyal liners.
These long wearing shadows have a velvety-smooth texture and true-to-pan payoff. This total package includes 12 full-bodied shadows that can be worn alone, or layered for added intensity. So go ahead and cover (or uncover) your eyes. These naughty neutrals can be worn on all skin tones and eye colors.
Unlike many, this best eyeshadow palette comes with theBalm’s Power to the People eyeshadow brush, so you’re set to go from the second it arrives. The saucy packaging is another favorite, frankly, because makeup should be fun, and you’ll giggle every time you open this and catch sight of those cartoony nekid dudes. TheBalm Nude Beach Eyeshadow Palette features fun graphics with both guys and gals in the buff, but don’t worry, none are really revealing.
Price: $34.20 (5 percent off MSRP)
9. butter LONDON Shadow Clutch Eye Shadow Palette
An ever-expanding wardrobe of flexible color options is at your fingertips. The butter LONDON shadow clutch delivers primer-infused, oil absorbing, skin-balancing shadows that pack true color payoff. That means you get all day, crease-free wear.
Show off one color, or layer more of them on, because these shadows offer seamless blendability. You’ll love the luxe range of irresistible, go-to hues and textures. All this flexibility comes in a chic, customizable clutch, featuring a unique, dual-ended brush for limitless color potential and eye-popping style.
butter LONDON’s Lippy Liquid Lipstick is a personal favorite, and it comes in 12 ridiculously awesome colors.
To check out butter LONDON’s wicked glam collection of products for your eyes, face and nails, look here.
10. UD Shadow Box Palette
Urban Decay’s Shadow Box Palette contains 12 of their best-selling shimmer eyeshadows in bold, vivid colors. Arranged vertically in color-coordinated pairs for easy application, they can also be mixed and matched to create bright and dramatic looks that are all your own.
This palette also comes with Urban Decay’s Mini Shadow Brush, which is a total bonus. This set is perfect for creating a chic and unique take on the standard smokey-eye look for a night out. Or mix the highlighter shades with the deeper purple and green to create a fresh daytime look.
You can further define your eyes with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Eye Pencil. Don’t forget to carry a tiny tube of Urban Decay’s Perversion Bigger Blacker Badder Mascara in your purse in case you need a touch up before heading out to after work cocktails.