We get it: Eyeshadow can be hard. There's a lot of blending involved, and a lot of pondering about which shades and textures suit you. But that's why palettes are so fun-you don't have to choose just one color or one texture, you get them all! And yet, with so many brands putting out so many shadows, picking which one is right for you can be a challenge. From office-appropriate to rave-ready, there's a lot to consider before pulling out your wallet.
Yes, the aesthetic appeal of eyeshadow palettes is undeniable. I mean, that cornucopia of colors nestled between a compact is basically makeup porn. But you can't let yourself get sucked into temptation without thinking hard about it.
Buying a palette is like getting into a relationship-it’s a big commitment. Have you ever shelled out $100 on a palette only to use two shades from it? Same. To make sure your dedication doesn’t go to waste, we scoped out the market to find the most eligible palette bachelors. From powerful pigments to wearable colors, these goodies passed all the tests to come out as MC’s most worthy investments.
1. The Day to Night Colors
Norvina Eyeshadow Palette : Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia is the queen of eyeshadow palettes, but this has to be one of their best. There's a gorgeous mixture of rose-gold and nude matte shades, plus a scattering of brighter colors for when you're feeling more adventurous.
2. The (New and Improved) Classic
Naked Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette : Urban Decay
Beauty lovers everywhere mourned when Urban Decay announced the discontinuation of their iconic Naked palette. Fortunately, this gem came along to appease our sorrows. Their "reloaded" palette comes with the same versatile shade selection that we know and adore.
3. The Party Monster Shades
Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette : HUDA BEAUTY
We can't say enough good things about this palette. The glitter payoff? Astounding. The shade selection? Stunning.
4. The Warm-Toned Palette
Bronze Eyeshadow Palette : Natasha Denona
If cool tones aren't your thing, warm up your skin with these bronze, copper, and gold eyeshadow colors. Packed with pigment, these colors suit every skin tone. For a glam smokey eye or a subtle hint of warmth, this palette offers it all.
5. The Treasure Trove
Mega Mothership Celestial Divinity Eyeshadow Palette : PAT McGRATH LABS
I mean...this is a party palette if we've ever seen one. While there are shimmer, satin, and chunky glitter finishes to spare, our favorite shade is Dragonfly: a warm red and blue duo-chrome that gives off the same glint as its namesakes wings.
6. The Juiciest Option
Eye-conic Multi-Finish Eye Palette in Cherrific : Marc Jacobs Beauty
Cherries aren't just a summer pleasure. The designer's limited edition holiday palette offers matte, satin, and glitter formulations inspired by the stone fruit.
7. The Denim Wardrobe
5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette in Denim : Dior
Every closet needs multiple washes of denim, and this palette delivers from acid wash to classic true blues.
8. The Easy-As-Pie Shimmers
Bejewled Instant Eyeshadow Palette : Charlotte Tilbury
Even beginners can craft a bold smoky eye with this step-by-step set. Apply the first shade in each trio on the lid, the second in the crease, and the third, well, wherever.
9. The Editorial Eye
Luxe Cream Palette in The Nudest : Danessa Myricks
Cream shadows are perfect for creating those dewy, watercolor eye looks you see in glossy magazine pages and all over Insta. Use your fingers to warm up the pigments and blend them as you see fit.
10. The Bejeweled Box
Kaleidoscope Eyeshadow Quad in Heaven's Vault : Stila
This quad was made for a more sultry festive gaze, and since the shades play off each other perfectly, you can blend them together with abandon.
11. The Travel-Friendly Treasure
Soft Glam II Mini Eyeshadow Palette : Anastasia Beverly Hills
Whether you're trekking to your favorite outdoor bar or home for the holidays, this compact option has the perfect combo of shades to keep things subtle or draw some attention.
12. A Greyscale Moment
Emphasize Eyeshadow Design Palette : KEVYN AUCOIN
Festive doesn't have to mean technicolor. These purple-tinted neutrals have a cool-girl edge.
13. The Spectacle of Light
All the Glitters Palette : HipDot
You know those festive strings of lights you drove around your neighborhood to see as a kid? Same vibe here.
14. The Beginner's Palette
Essential Matte Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette : Jouer Cosmetics
If eyeshadow palettes are still daunting, this classic shade range is a comfortable place to begin your journey. These neutrals can be used for subtle, barely-there makeup looks, or amped up for smokey, glitzy Hollywood glam.
15. The Bold Eye-Look
The Warrior III Eyeshadow Palette : Juvia's Place
Juvia's Place, renowned for its pigmented eyeshadows, released this palette for the disco queen that lives inside all of us. The color payoff of each shade is unreal, so if you're not afraid to go bold, this palette might have just met the warrior it's ben waiting for.
16. These Pastel Pleasures
Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette : Fenty Beauty
If Easter were a rave, these shimmering shadows would be perfect for the party. Charmingly pastel, these shades are anything but meek. They're capable of creating a girly soft-eye or a bold statement look. It seems like Rihanna hit another one out of the park.
17. The Grayscale Moment
Venus Immortalis Eyeshadow Palette : Lime Crime
For the woman who knows what shades suit her, why not try out this monochromatic palette that can go from day to night with a quick sweep of a brush? Whether you prefer mattes, shimmers, or full-on sparkle, Lime Crime has you covered.
18. The Good-Enough-To-Eat Palette
Breakfast in Bed Eyeshadow Palette : Beauty Bakerie
Just like in the kitchen, these shades can be mixed and matched to create the perfect eye-recipe. With nine complimentary shades that come in matte and shimmery formulas, you can whip up a morning cappuccino-appropriate or nightcap-ready look with this palette.
19. The Neon Explosion
Viva Neon Palette : Makeup Revolution
If playing it subtle and safe isn't your style, this neon green palette will be your love language. Perfect for an '80s-themed rave or quick trip to the grocery store, this palette will draw all the right kinds of attention. If you're feeling a little less wild one day, pick one of the subtle shades, swipe it on, and go.
20. The Petal-Esque Eye Look
Sakura Blossom Eyeshadow and Pressed Pigment Palette : Violet Voss
Enjoy watching cherry blossoms bloom? This palette will take you there. From golds, pinks and reds, this palette definitely has a shade that suits your preferred look. With intense payoff and a range of textures, this 18-shade compact is a game-changer.