These Are the 12 Best Nude Eyeshadow Palettes of All Time

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Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

Makeup trends may come and go (and nothing against ’em, we love ’em), but there are certain looks that are just quintessentially classic and timeless. Think a red lip, a graphic black cat eye, a sheer pink nail—you get the picture. And when it comes to eyes, a natural, nude shadow falls on that list. No matter your skin tone or eye color, nude shadows always look great, not to mention that they work for, quite literally, any and every possible occasion.

Enter the beauty of a great nude eyeshadow palette, where you can mix and match neutral hues to your heart’s desire: “There are infinite ways to create different looks using one,” says celebrity makeup artist Bryan Cantor.

Meet the Expert

Bryan Cantor is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert based in New York City. He brings his impressive knowledge of makeup products, skincare, application techniques, and professional tips and secrets to clients and companies in New York City and across the globe.

Here are our favorite nude eyeshadow palettes that we reach for time and time again.

Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Easy Eye Palette

4.5
Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Easy Eye Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Easy to create day and night looks

  • Velvety texture

  • Great color payoff

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Who else recommends it? Who What Wear also picked the Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Easy Eye Palette at Sephora.

What do buyers say? 86% of 160+ reviewers on the Charlotte Tilbury website rated this product 4 stars or above.

“This palette contains six universally flattering shadows,” says Cantor of one of his top picks. They’re also helpfully color-coded—there are three for day and three for the night—making it easier than ever to create your desired eye look, he says. Plus, they can all be mixed and matched, and the powder formula contains a unique gel that makes for smooth, seamless adherence and application on your lids.

Size: 0.25 ounces | Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Velvety texture

  • Minimal fallout

  • Travel-friendly

What We Don’t Like
  • Only has matte finishes

You can’t go wrong with any of the Urban Decay palettes in our book, but this is the one we hit pan on (a beauty industry way of saying you’ve used up the product) time and time again. The six taupe hues work beautifully on all skin tones and eye colors, have a velvety texture, and, in our experience, never leave behind any messy fallout.

Size: 0.3 ounces | Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Need it Nude Eyeshadow Palette

e.l.f. Cosmetics Need it Nude Eyeshadow Palette

e.l.f.

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Has various finishes

  • Long-wearing

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers say color payoff could be better

With 10 colors for just $10, these shadows ring in at just $1 apiece, a serious steal of a deal in our book. The nude hues are varied, in both shimmer and matte, and range from colors that you can easily use to highlight to deeper shades that are beautiful for creating a nude, smokey eye.

Size: 0.49 ounces | Shades: 10 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude 1

L’Oréal Paris Color Riche La Palette Nude 1

Ulta

What We Like
  • Has various finishes

  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like
  • Brush feels a little cheap

Pick up this affordable palette the next time you’re at the drugstore. The 10 colors let you create pretty much any type of nude look, even more so given that they come in a nice mix of satin, matte, and sheen finishes. It comes with a brush, too; while it may not be the highest-quality option, it still gets the job done and is nice for when you’re on the go.

Size: 0.62 ounces | Shades: 10 | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore, Runner-Up: Honest Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette

Honest Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette

Ulta

What We Like
  • Great for creating darker/dramatic looks

  • Affordable

  • Great color payoff

What We Don’t Like
  • Most colors have cooler undertones

This earns our vote not only because the colors are super pigmented (meaning a little goes a long way) but also because it features both lighter and deeper nude tones, even ones that can be used in place of eyeliner. There are shimmery, satin, and matte finishes, all of which are nicely blendable, too.

Size: 0.67 ounces | Shades: 10 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Matte: Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Minimal fallout

  • Buildable

  • Long-wearing

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Prefer that nothing even remotely resembling shimmer be on your lids? This palette is for you. The dozen matte, nude shades are inspired by human skin tones, offering something for everyone, says Cantor, who is a fan. The buildable formula also has superior grip and minimal fallout but still offers extreme blendability, he adds.

Size: 0.36 ounces | Shades: 12 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Shimmer: Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette

Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Has various finishes

  • Mix of cool and warm undertones

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

On the other hand, if you love a little glimmer on your eyes, go with this palette. There are a few mattes mixed in with the nine shades, but it’s because of the shimmery tones that we gave it a spot on this list. They have just the right amount of metallic sparkle without ever looking garish—not an easy feat. Also nice: The nine shades have both cool and warm undertones.

Size: 0.35 ounces | Shades: 3 palettes with 9 shades each | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Versatility: Patrick Ta Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette

Patrick Ta Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Contains cream and powder formulas

  • Has various finishes

  • Everything mixes together well

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

There’s nothing you don’t get in this eyeshadow palette. It’s one of the few palettes we’ve seen that features both cream and powder formulas—a huge plus, in our opinion. There are not only matte and shimmer finishes but pearl topper tones that can be layered over them as well, plus everything can be mixed and combined to create all kinds of super cool and unique eye looks.

Size: 0.78 ounces | Shades: 12 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Long-Wear: Givenchy Le Prismissime Le 9 de Givenchy Eyeshadow Palette

Givenchy Le Prismissime Le 9 de Givenchy Eyeshadow Palette

Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Long-wearing

  • Has various finishes

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Hate when your shadow smudges, creases, or cakes? The nine long-wear shadows in this palette have a 12-hour wear time, says Cantor. He also lauds the matte, satin, glitter, and metallic finishes and the blendable texture; there’s a mix of cool- and warm-toned shades as well.

Size: 0.78 ounces | Shades: 5 palettes with 9 shades each | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Clean: ILIA The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette

Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Like
  • Easy to blend

  • Hydrating

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

“These six cleanly formulated shadows have a buttery, blendable texture,” says Cantor. “They also come in two shade combinations, warm nude and cool nude,” he adds. Plus, the power itself is infused with hydrating jojoba oil and vitamin E, so it never looks dry or chalky.

Size: 0.3 ounces | Shades: 2 palettes with 6 shades each | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Minimalists: Haus Labs Four Way Shadow Palette

Haus Labs Four Way Shadow Palette

Haus Labs

What We Like
  • Has various finishes

  • Easy to create day and night looks

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers say color payoff could be better

For those who like to keep their shadow situation simple, the Everyday palette is ideal. Even though you only get four colors, the variety of finishes allows you to create many different looks that work well for either day or night, says Cantor of another one of his recommendations.

Shades: 9 palettes with 4 shades each | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

If you want the best payoff from the metallic shade, apply it with your fingers instead of a brush.

Best for All Skin Tones: NARS Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette

4.5
NARS Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette

Ulta

What We Like
  • Great color payoff

  • Mix of cool and warm undertones

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

We love all of the Nars Voyageur palettes, but the palette in Suede is a must for any nude shadow fan. Some of the colors are cooler, some warmer, meaning it looks good on all complexions. But no matter which hue(s) you pick, they’re all highly pigmented, imparting a completely opaque amount of color coverage even with just one swipe.

Size: 0.49 ounces | Shades: 5 palettes with 6 colors each | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

Think of a nude eyeshadow palette as an LBD of the makeup world—something everyone should own. The Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Easy Eye Palette is our favorite, surprisingly versatile even though it only contains six shadows. If you’re on the hunt for a wallet-friendly option, check out the L’Oréal Paris Color Riche La Palette Nude 1 and Honest Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette, both of which have 10 colors and a great mix of finishes. And finally, if you want a palette that offers the best of all of the eyeshadow worlds, pick up Patrick Ta Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette. It’s unique in offering both cream and powder colors, plus unique textures that many others don’t. 

What to Look For When Buying Nude Eyeshadow Palette

Consider Skin Undertones

According to Cantor, this is the most important thing to consider. You want a range of colors that are going to suit your complexion, he says. “If you have cool undertones in your skin, choose a palette with taupes, silvers, and grays. If you have warmer undertones, go for orange- or peach-toned hues, coppers, and bronzes,” he says.

FAQ
  • How do you use a nude eyeshadow palette?

    Try Cantor’s suggested technique to create a simple, three-color eye. Start by applying the lightest shade (in a matte or satin finish) to your entire lid. Next, apply a mid-tone shade to your upper lid and the darkest tone on the crease. Finish by applying the mid-tone and/or dark hue under your lower lash line.

  • Do nude eyeshadow palettes expire?

    “Pressed eyeshadows don’t really ever expire because the dry powder formula doesn’t support the spread of bacterial growth,” says Cantor. “If you haven’t used your palette in a while, simply wipe off the surface layer of the shadows with a clean tissue.” That being said, if you’re using them wet, they can go bad (as can creams), so throw them away if they start to smell or look oddly discolored, he advises.

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. A makeup minimalist at heart, any and every nude shade is her preferred eyeshadow color of choice; many of the palettes featured on this list are currently a part of her go-to makeup stash.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Minimal-Makeup Lovers, Take Note—These Nude Eye Shadow Palettes Are the GOAT. Who What Wear.

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