For many of us, eyeshadow was one of the first makeup essentials we ever tried, alongside lip gloss and mascara. My first eyeshadow was a copper shade by Clinique, which I “borrowed” from my mother’s collection, wore sloppily all over the lids, and debuted smugly to my very excited sixth grade friends.
I’ve amassed significantly more eyeshadow products since then, and the ones listed below are my absolute favorites. Here are my picks for the best eyeshadows ever:
For a neutral, basic start:
My favorite higher-end neutral palette is the Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette ($39), which features 12 perfectly blendable and pigmented neutral shades to complement any skin tone. My favorite shades are Sweetheart and Rebel — so pretty and rosy!
Another super-dependable brand for eyeshadow is Morphe, which has a plethora of huge palettes full of beautiful shadows in a variety of shade ranges. Some of their most popular palettes include the 35O ($23), pictured above, and the 35OM ($23), an all-matte palette.
This Bold Obsessions palette from Milani ($20) isn’t often talked about in the beauty sphere, but it has 12 buttery, gorgeous colors and comes with a mirror, which is so useful for traveling. I would highly recommend checking this palette out.
For a more colorful eye:
Indie beauty brand Juvia’s Place has stunned eyeshadow enthusiasts for years now with their highly pigmented, super blendable palettes, priding themselves on creating affordable shadows that will show up on all skin tones. I have the Nubian Palette ($20), which is their most neutral, but the bolder palettes are just as – if not even more – beautiful.
If you’re looking to stay within a certain bold color family, I’d recommend the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette ($45), which houses 12 pretty peach shades. Not only are these gorgeous, they smell faintly of ripe peaches!
For single eyeshadows:
Sometimes you’re not ready to commit to an entire palette, or you’re looking for a very specific shade. We’ve written a whole post on the best single eyeshadow shades, so go there for in-depth recommendations. I’ll share a few more below.
My go-to for single eyeshadows is Makeup Geek, which offers so many pigmented colors at a fairly affordable price point. Some of my favorites are Bitten ($6), a matte burgundy, Grandstand ($10), a coppery foiled shadow, and Insomnia ($10), a duochrome warm brown with blue-green reflects.
Colourpop’s iconic Super Shock Shadows are another one of my picks for best eyeshadow thanks to their unique soft, bouncy texture and intense color payoff. They have shades ranging from suitable for everyday to weekend nights. My most-used include Wattles ($5), a dusty beige pink, La La ($5), an ultra-metallic rosy copper, and Luckfully ($5), a deep shimmery cobalt.
Colourpop also carries a line of pressed powder shadows which I love. Some of the singles can be hit or miss, but most of the ones I’ve tried are smooth and have a high color payoff. My favorites are Making Moves ($5), a matte bright coral, and Wait for It ($5), a matte peach.
A less-known brand in mainstream beauty, Sugarpill creates intensely pigmented colors for drag queens and average folk alike. Their pressed eyeshadows are renowned for being bold and creamy, and everything I’ve tried from them has been such good quality. Definitely check them out for really unique, gorgeous pigments.
And that’s it!
These are my picks for the best eyeshadows on the market. Tell me what yours are in the comments section! And be sure to tune in next week for dupes of popular eyeshadow palettes!