It goes without saying that nude eye shadow palettes have now joined the iconic ranks of true-red lipstick, ballet slipper–pink nail lacquer, and kohl-black liquid liner as one of the quintessential must-haves in the bags of beauty lovers everywhere. And while you likely have a favorite that's gotten you through many cocktail parties, concerts, and mimosa-filled brunches, these soft, neutral palettes don’t ever seem to get the full recognition they deserve. So, to give them a much-warranted round of applause, we’ve selected 10 favorites that we use, whether alone or in conjunction with other shadows, on a weekly—if not daily—basis.
Check out some of the palettes that we’ve fallen completely head over heels for.
Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue and I agree: This is one of the best nude eyeshadow palettes of all time. True, there are some pops of color (like the eye-catching Candied Violet and Cherry Cordial), but the palette's universally flattering neutral shades are hands down some of the most decadent we've seen. Plus, they're infused (and thus scented) with a yummy hint of antioxidant-rich cocoa.
Ready for a bold yet blatantly honest statement? This just might be our favorite Target purchase of all time. At an affordable $15, it's definitely given us more than our money's worth. The ten pretty matte and shimmer shades are great for adding a touch of dimension to tired lids.
When it comes to nude eye shadow palettes, it's easy to automatically think "matte." However, metallic neutral tones are pretty and just as flattering. This all-inclusive palette from drugstore favorite brand E.L.F. is vegan, cruelty-free, and a sparkling addition to our weekly shadow rotation.
We've yet to meet an eye shadow palette from Tarte that we haven't fallen head over heels for. After all, the skin-friendly brand has a knack for nailing formulation, pigment, and overall eye-candy appeal. However, we're super partial to this matte palette which is infused with standout ingredients like vitamin E and Amazonian clay..
Indecisive about the finish of your eye shadow? Don't fret. Smashbox's beloved palette is split down the middle with seven gorgeous natural tones in two different finishes: matte or metallic. Suffice to say, you can ease into the day with matte hues of champagne and chocolate and upgrade later on with layers of shimmer and sparkle.
This must-have palette offers five long-wearing velvet-matte shades you can wear literally every single day or amp up to create a smoldering contoured look.
Ultra-pigmented, this nude eye shadow palette from Nars is a dream come true for those who seek richly saturated color and ultimate versatility. Some shades are cooler and some are warmer, so they're sure to flatter every skin tone and makeup look..
If you love neutral tones with a hint of rose, Maybelline's gorgeous blush-toned eye shadow palette will be your new favorite. The formula is incredibly buildable and each shade is enriched with luxe rose-gold pigments that yield a warm wash of color across the eyelid. We're addicted and can’t help but to use it both day and night.
We hope we never have to choose our favorite Naked palette (it's basically like choosing a favorite child), but when we're in the mood for the ultimate nude eyeshadow look, we always reach for Urban Decay's iconic second edition. Our go-to shades are Chopper and Tease.
We've been devoted to this tried-and-true palette from Lorac for years (ahem, since college, to be exact.) Not only do the shades look flattering on every skin tone, but each shadow features amazing color payoff that can be effortlessly layered for every type of neutral eye look.
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