8 Eye Shadows So Pigmented You'll Only Need One Swipe

two neutral eyeshadow palettes laying side by side

We still can’t get over the glittery beauty looks we saw at New York Fashion Week. And to re-create some of the bold eye looks for everyday life, we need a long-wearing eye shadow with great color payoff. Just remember that you’ve got to prep your lids properly: “Depending on the sort of look I’m going for, I like to use an eye primer, which can be fantastic if you have particularly oily lids. Otherwise, for a really intense color payoff, I’ll use an eyeliner or eye crayon to give me a base for the shadow to adhere to,” says celebrity makeup artist Michael Ashton. We asked Ashton and other makeup artists to share their favorite highly pigmented eye shadows with us, and they didn’t disappoint. Keep scrolling to see and shop their picks, along with a few of Team Byrdie’s selections.

Designing color eyes palette
Suqqu Designing Color Eyes Palette $50.00

“I love Suqqu’s Designing Color Eye Palettes, as they’re highly pigmented and have an almost creamy texture,” says makeup artist Naoko Scintu. “The color is easily layered and bold in color, with a silky luster finish. It’s the incredible technology that goes into producing Japanese cosmetics that make them the best in the world. I’m in love with all their palettes, but one of my favorites is Aoshizuku. The bronze tones are sublime.”

Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette Mauve 9 x 0.05 oz/ 1.3 g
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Electric $27.00

Byrdie editors love this palette not only for its wide range of fun, bright colors but also because the formula just can’t be beat. It goes on so smooth and is completely buildable if you want to add on the drama. The best part is that it is packed with intense color for that bold statement you want to make. 

5 Couleurs Eyeshadow 757 - Dream Matte
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow in Electrify $62.00

“I’m obsessed with the Dior five-color palette in Electrify,” says celebrity makeup artist Lucy Halperin. “I love all of the shades it offers and the fab coverage it gives throughout the day and night. To set the shadow, I’d use a good primer; I like Ren Perfect Canvas, as it encourages the makeup to grip to the desired area. Next, use a dense brush to get the maximum hold for the shadow to grab onto. Always tap the brush before application to get rid of any excess so what you’re left with on the brush goes on your eyes, not your cheeks.”

Naked Petite Heat Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Eyeshadow Palette $29.00

Urban Decay always hits the ball out of the park with its cult-loved Naked Palettes, and its semi-new Naked Heat series is no exception. With its fiery shades of rust, copper, gold, and plum, you can spice up your usual nude standby look. This handy "petite" palette is a bite-size version of the full offering, perfect for throwing in your bag and adding some extra drama (the good kind).

Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Edgitorial
Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition $49.00

“The one eye shadow palette I always reach for in my kit when getting clients ready for the red carpet is the Eye-Conic Glambition by Marc Jacobs Beauty,” Ashton shares. “I love how intensely pigmented the shadows are and that there are four different textures within the palette, which means I can create any kind of look.”

Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara
Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Amaze $6.00

This shadow from Colourpop is a cream-to-powder formula with a bouncy feel to it. It glides on smoothly across the lids and offers the glittery color payoff we're all thirsty for. 

Mothership IV Eyeshadow Palette - Decadence
Pat McGrath Mothership IV Eyeshadow Palette $125.00

A favorite of Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue, this palette from the makeup queen herself, Pat McGrath, is packed with highly pigmented jewel tones. The formula is nice and creamy, and has a radiance you don’t even need KiraKira+ for.

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette $48.00

“One of the most densely pigmented shadows I’ve seen in a long time are the shadows from Natasha Denona,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles. “They’re silky, easy to blend, lay down a ton of pigment, and come in a beautiful assortment of shades. Right now, my favorite is the #4 palette. The stunning earthy shades look incredible on a multitude of skin tones.”

There you have it—no more excuses for shying away from a bold color look (every now and again, anyway).

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