The Best Single Eye Shadows for When One Shade Is Enough

Updated 12/07/18

Don't get us wrong—we love a good eye shadow palette, but sometimes you end up spending £40 on a palette only to use the same two or three shades over and over again. Then there's the space that palettes inevitably take up. If you travel a lot tend to do your makeup on the go, big and bulky palettes aren't ideal.

This is where the humble single eye shadow comes into play. Sometimes we tend to forget just how great these little guys are. They're dinky enough to be carried around in even the tiniest of clutch bags, and it's such a satisfying feeling when you completely finish an eye shadow right down to the pan.

But if you're going to put all your money into one single eye shadow, you need to make sure it's the best out there. That's where we come in. We've tried and tested the best single eye shadows for you, so you know you won't be disappointed.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Bronze
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Bronze $22
Shop

Apply this with your finger or a brush with ease. This cream shadow has serious staying power and is perfect for every day. 

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Velvet Long Wear Luminous Matte Eye Shadow
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Velvet Long Wear Luminous Matte Eye Shadow $25
Shop

Smoky eyes don't have to be difficult. All you need is a soft kohl eye liner and this single Chanel shade. Buff, blend and smoke out until you're happy with the final look.

Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Colour in Starfish
Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Colour in Starfish $29
Shop

This gorgeous shade can be used dry or wet in order to intensify its glorious sparkle. 

Delilah Colour Intense in Indigo
Delilah Colour Intense in Indigo $20
Shop

Delilah's intense powder eye shadow shades are super creamy and blendable, making them a dream to apply. 

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Foil
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Foil $26
Shop

How gorgeous is this gold? Wear it alone and diffused out for a hint of sparkle, or pat and layer it up for all-out glam.

Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach
Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach $25
Shop

Designed to be used on the go, these Lid Tint shadows couldn't be easier to use. We love the universally flattering peach shade. 

Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Cafe Au Lait
Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Cafe Au Lait $20
Shop

A perfect matte shadow for everyday use. Say hello to your new go-to. 

best single eyeshadows: L'Oréal Paris Crushed Foils Metallic Eyeshadow in Gold
L'Oréal Paris Crushed Foils Metallic Eye Shadow in Gold $9
Shop

L'Oréal's crushed foil eye shadow shades have a metallic finish and can be built up depending on how vibrant you want your look.

best single eyeshadows: MAC Dazzleshadow in Say it Isn't So
MAC Dazzleshadow in Say It Isn't So $17
Shop

If Ariana Grande was an eye shadow, this is the shade she would be. Glitzy and glamourous. We love it.

best single eyeshadows: Marc Jacobs Beauty See-Quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow in Flashlight
Marc Jacobs Beauty See-Quins Glam Glitter Eye Shadow in Flashlight $21
Shop

If you're a fan of sparkle, you'll love this Marc Jacobs Glam Glitter. Like sequins for your eyes, wash over your lids for a jewel-like finish.

best single eyeshadows: NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Telesto
Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Telesto $21
Shop

Nars knows good eye shadows. This golden bronze shade is gorgeous on any skin tone or eye colour.

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Aura
RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Aura $26
Shop

Like a barely there gloss finish? This is the shadow for you. Sweep on with your finger and go. It's that easy. 

Surratt Artistique Eye Shadow in Lie-De-Vin
Surratt Artistique Eye Shadow in Lie-De-Vin $18
Shop

Surratt's shade range rivals that of MAC or Urban Decay. We love this unusual smoky aubergine shade.

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Mona Lisa
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Mona Lisa $22
Shop

With a unique cream-to-sheen finish, Charlotte Tilbury's eye shadow pots can be built up to really intensify the look.

Tom Ford Limited Edition Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Naked Bronze
Tom Ford Limited Edition Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Naked Bronze $49
Shop

Sure, this one is spendy, but you're getting two for the price of one. Plus, look how pretty it is.

Opening Image: Zara

Related Stories