After you first experiment with a pot of cheap, glittery drugstore pigment when you’re young, it’s easy to become hooked by the sheer artistry that is applying eyeshadow. There are dark shades and light shades, bold colors and basic neutrals, all coming together in glorious eyeshadow palettes of multiple hues that can add depth and dimension to your eyes. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know what shades will look best with your skin tone or your eye color, as well as just what brand is best for nailing that smokey eye and completing your look.
Whether you’re a makeup hoarder with a favorite palette for every occasion or a total newbie to the whole eyeshadow game, when it comes to eyeshadow, there’s truly something for everyone.
We asked professional makeup artist and Youtube beauty queen Kat Sketch for her expert color recommendations, and landed on these 12 eyeshadow palettes.
Shop 12 of the best eyeshadow palettes for every eye color:
1Best drugstore eyeshadow palette: L’Oréal Color Riche La Palette Nude 1
While many luxury brand eyeshadow palettes are an investment, there are plenty of affordable, high-quality drugstore options, too. This one is inspired by those makeup artist “must-have” palettes and features 10 rich neutral shades in shimmery satin, buttery matte, and lustrous sheen finishes. Brush them on to create a look that’s bold, classic, or somewhere in between.
2Best neutral eyeshadow palette: Tartelette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette
For a neutral palette, Sketch recommends a mix of warm and cool tones, or light and dark browns. “Also, having a shimmery highlight color, a bronze color and a taupe that’s neither too light nor too dark helps,” she tells HelloGiggles. This fan-favorite palette from Tarte has it all, and it’s made with Amazonian clay for a smooth finish and all-day wear.
3Best colorful eyeshadow palette: Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette
Colorful shadows aren’t just for the daring. This palette features both modern neutrals and punchy jewel tones in a blendable texture that’s just right.
4Best eyeshadow palette for brown eyes: Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Eyeshadow Palette
“I tend to think about the color wheel when it comes to tones and eyeshadow shades that look great with different eyes,” says Sketch. “Look for shades that are opposite from your eye color.”
According to her makeup expertise, purple-toned eyeshadows look great on all eye colors but can especially bring out deep, earthy browns. Anastasia’s Norvina palette has both cool lavender shades and more neutral browns to balance them out.
5Best eyeshadow palette for blue eyes: HUDA Beauty Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette
In keeping with the color-wheel theory, blue eyes are complemented well by orange toned shadows. Think: coppers, corals, and bronzes that brighten blue eyes. This cult-favorite palette by Huda Beauty is a treasure trove of 18 richly toned, warm shadows that can be layered or worn alone. Try rimming both the upper and lower lash line with the matte tangerine color “Blazing” to really make those true blues pop.
6Best eyeshadow palette for green eyes: STILA After Hours Eye Shadow Palette[/lisheader]
According to Sketch, green eyes look great with rusty red-toned eyeshadows (like the shimmery rust color in this Stila palette) and can also be enhanced by swiping on a striking green.
Best warm-toned eyeshadow palette: Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette
“If you’re not sure whether to reach for a warm or cool-toned palette, I would suggest getting your foundation shade matched by a professional makeup artist at a local Sephora or Ulta,” advises Sketch. “Always ask if you are cool-toned, neutral, or warm toned. This will help determine if cool-toned eyeshadows are complementary to your natural skin pigment or if warm tones will look great for your complexion.”
For warmer undertones, this Tartlette Toasted palette features 12 sultry shades made with Amazonian clay and mineral pigments to soothe skin and stay on all day. The deepest shade, “Fireside,” is ideal for blending into your crease and outer V.
8Best cool-toned eyeshadow palette: Milani Gilded Pastel Palette
Those with cooler undertones can easily pull off vibrant pastels and jewel tones. Milani’s Gilded Pastel palette has everything from a bright pop of mint to universally flattering lavender shades. It’s silky and blendable, allowing you to customize whatever colorful look you choose.
9Best eyeshadow palette for beginners: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics
Newbies need not be overwhelmed by a million shades in one palette. Instead, Sketch says it’s best for eyeshadow beginners to stick to more neutral tones that complement their skin’s natural undertones. This one by Urban Decay is meant to be universally flattering, and it gives just enough subtle color options to find the combination that works best for you.
It’s also got a velvety smooth texture that blends easily. “The last thing a beginner needs is to struggle with chalky-consistency palettes that don’t blend on their eyes well,” Sketch says.
10Best glitter eyeshadow palette: Makeup Revolution Foil Frenzy Fusion Eyeshadow Palette
“A great glitter shadow is determined by the thickness of the glitter in it,” explains Sketch, who always recommends shimmer over glitter. “I find craft-sized, thick, non-creamy glitter shadows can actually be dangerous to your eyes.”
Instead, look for finely milled or poured textures that glide on the eyelid instead of sticking to it. This palette gives off that light-catching shimmer thanks to a creamy texture that transforms into a silky powder, making it safe for your eyes. Use it wet for an even more over-the-top, high-shine finish.
11Best pigmented eyeshadow palette: LORAC PRO Palette
Loarc’s shadows are known to be ultra-pigmented, so if you’re looking for high color payoff, this versatile palette is about to turn into your go-to. With a formula that’s infused with soothing botanicals including cucumber and calendula, these velvety shadows are a great addition to any makeup arsenal.
12Best natural eyeshadow palette: Aether Beauty Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Eyeshadow Palette
Clean beauty that’s also fully recyclable is hard to come by, but this award-winning palette does both. If you’re looking for an eyeshadow palette made with ethically sourced, fair-trade ingredients, this is one of the only options on the market and features a range of warm and cool-toned shades that can be layered for any outcome.