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No matter whether your vibe is simple and clean or bold and dramatic, a good eyeshadow palette is an invaluable addition to any makeup bag. Housing multiple shades—and often even finishes—in one convenient compact, a palette offers complete versatility and the opportunity to create endless makeup looks. Not to mention that it takes up so much less space than owning countless single shadows (ideal when you’re on a kick to KonMari your beauty stash). Plus, there’s a palette out there for every makeup preference, not to mention every budget.
To help you narrow it down, check out this list of best eyeshadow palettes for every occasion, budget, and look.
There may only be six shades in this palette, but make no mistake about it—the six are next level versatile. They’re flattering on an array of eye colors and skin tones, and really do get the job done to create plenty of different looks, even though they all are fairly neutral. We reach for it time and time again, for both every day and special occasion wear, and have even hit pan (AKA used up all the shadow) a few times, a makeup rarity.
There’s arguably no palette out there with more of a cult following than the OG Urban Decay Naked, which has spawned countless new variations on the theme since its launch over a decade ago. For fans of any and every warm shade, this iteration is choice. It houses a dozen colors, ranging from pale peach to deep terra cotta, with a mix of matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes that can be mixed and matched in any number of ways. Each shadow is buttery and blendable and touts a unique pigment infusion system to ensure the color is vibrant and long-lasting. Don’t think you’ll use all 12? Check out the mini version, which streamlines the options down to six.
When Byrdie contributing writer Ashley Rebecca tested this palette, she never looked back: "With excellent color payoff and an easy-to-blend formula, it’s absolutely worth incorporating into your beauty routine," she says.
Creamy mattes, chromes, metallics, and shimmers make up this palette, which boasts 15 warm shades. You have your standard copper and champagne tones, as well as a few more unexpected options, think a metallic purple and deep eggplant (though they all have warm undertones). Still, all of the hues work beautifully on a wide range of complexions.
Prefer your colors on the cool side? This palette offers eight takes on the theme, ranging from pale pink to deep plum. Pigmented and blendable, they also all mix and layer together nicely, always a good thing when it comes to getting maximum versatility from any palette.
This palette is easy on the wallet but doesn’t skimp on shade options or shadow quality. We like the nine neutral, earth-tones in this one, though there are three other versions, each inspired by a different element—air, fire, and water—with a set of shades that corresponds with each. For this price, we say pick up all four.
Not only is this one of our favorite drugstore options, but it’s also one of our favorites for offering plenty of versatility, drugstore brand or not. We’re talking an impressive array of 40 shades, in all kinds of colors and finishes. No matter what kind of eye makeup look you’re going for, we guarantee you’ll be able to create it with this palette.
When you want to make a statement, reach for this palette, packed with, well, statement-making colors and textures. The intensely pigmented shadows are glittery and shimmery and vibrant, perfect for ramping up the drama. Particularly noteworthy is a ‘triochrome’ shade, a metallic that shade-shifts among three different tones, depending on how it catches the light. How cool is that?
Those who love a gilded lid will appreciate that this palette offers an array of gold tones. More specifically, three takes on the shade, plus two accompanying darker and two accompanying lighter tones. We also like the range of textures, whose totally spot-on descriptions take a cue from the fashion world: buttery matte velvet, shimmer satin, sparkly silk, and metallic lamé.
Whoever said nude shadows were boring never met this palette. It totally mixes up the neutral shade game via an array of finishes, that easily work for both day and night. The shades have both cool and warm tones, so there’s a little something for everyone, and the textures are particularly impressive.
There are 10 creamy mattes, packed with aloe and coconut oil to make them extra buttery. Four reflective colors have pearlized flecks for a chromatic finish, while the two glitter tones boast silicones that ensure their adherence and radiance. Rounding out the line-up is a concealer shade that can be layered underneath any of the others to make the pigment really pop, and a pearl shade that can be layered over any of the mattes.
For those who love to experiment with vibrant shadows, this set of 12 brights is choice. The rainbow-inspired colors are bold, fun, and saturated, and include all kinds of options not usually found in many palettes, think a kelly green and tangerine orange. Finely-milled and pressed, they also all pack intense color pay-off.
To truly make your eyelids stand out in a crowd, add neon pops of color with the help of this 35-pan eyeshadow palette. It’s a great collection to have in your makeup arsenal to add dimension and flashy, vivid hues to your look.
Get your glimmer on with these 10 extra-shimmery shades. Creamy and blendable, the application is beautiful. Plus, many of the shades can easily pull double duty as a highlighter.
Dust them on with a brush for a more subdued effect, or pack on with your fingers to punch up the intensity.
All that glitters is this newbie palette. Yes, Urban Decay nails the palette game yet again. This time it’s with a line-up of 12 shades, eight boasting a precious stone-esque shimmer (and similarly inspired gorgeous jewel tones). Speaking of precious stones, the formula is infused with actual tourmaline, a crystal known for blocking negative energy. Good vibes only.
The 10 shades in this palette offer plenty of variety when it comes to both texture and color. There are some wearable neutrals choice for every day, alongside bold shades perfect for experimenting with trendier looks. And the textures can’t be beaten, with velvety mattes, shimmers, and full-on metallics that further up the versatility factor. Not to mention that they’re all long-lasting and water-resistant.