For some people, patience with powder eye shadow can have hard limits. If you're putting in the effort to whip out a set of eye shadow brushes and put together a blended, layered, multidimensional look, you don't want the palette you're using to give you trouble. There are keys to a standout eye shadow palette: a well-curated array of shades that you can mix and match to create a variety of different looks, high-quality packaging, and consistent quality with every pan. You want to be getting 100% of your money's worth.
Unfortunately, not every palette meets all these requirements.
This is the only palette on this list that former Byrdie editor Amanda Montell uses all the time. She postulates it might be the fact it's the perfect combo of matte and shimmery shades, lovely pigmentation, pretty packaging—or just sheer habit. Still, if she's messing with powder eye shadow (either for a brighter daytime look or a sultry smoky eye), she's messing with Tarte.
If you're in the market for something bold, nothing compares to Pat McGrath. The $125 price point on this is seriously worth it just for that cobalt blue, which you can use in combination with the palette's smokier shades or on its own for the '80s eye makeup look of your dreams. The shades are all absurdly smooth, blendable, and pigmented like no other.
Tom Ford eye shadows are in a class of their own, so if you have a birthday coming up or a paycheck to burn, put this little quad on your list. There may only be four shades in these palettes, but you get what you pay for. The sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer, and matte colors are carefully chosen to blend together in a really smooth, multidimensional way. Even the included brushes are surprisingly high-quality. Combine that with the palette's portable size, and it's perfect to take on the go.
This one's a recommendation from former Byrdie assistant editor Maya Allen, who swears by its warm neutrals for her dark complexion. These everyday shades work across the skin tone spectrum and have some of the best-staying power on the market. Apply at 8 a.m. and you can expect your lids to remain intact for the rest of the day.
If you want your eyelids to look like those of a princess, Huda's got you. This palette—the followup to her best-selling Desert Dusk palette, has the same amalgam of creamy mattes, shimmers, duo-chromes toppers, and high-key sparkly shades. Versatile and bendable, they also happen to stay put without fallout. It's a palette fit for a night out or a casual workday.
This palette from Stila allows you to create rich shadow looks but also carries tones that can be used every day. Blend shades and add eyeliner to create smoky, dramatic looks that perfect for a special occasion. Formulated without shimmer, it's the perfect all-matte palette for people who prefer a less luminous look.
Have a lot of fun with these sweet, tart, and juicy shades with the perfect palette to transition your beauty routine into Spring. The velvety texture and formulation of this Naked Cherry Palette from Urban Decay, gives a powerful punch in color to eyelids, with endless opportunities to create new and inspiring eye makeup looks. Whether you've got work on your mind, or have a special event to go to, the balance between matte and shimmer shades will perfectly suit any occasion.
Color lovers, rejoice! This eyeshadow palette from Smashbox gives full creative reign to anyone wanting to create mesmerizing eyeshadow looks. From bold vibrant tones to smoky and icy neutrals, you'll be amazed at your ability to master whatever look you want. Get creative and try some of the bolder tones for a fresh twist.