Long days and warm temperatures strike us with a special kind of makeup inspiration. After all, it's hard not to take notice of (and try to emulate) vivid ombré sunsets, the cool sky and water, and the warm shimmery sand. That's why each summer, we're out with the old drab palettes that remind us of wind and snow and in with those that hold warm reds, oranges, and pinks. Suddenly we're collecting the boldest and brightest blues and greens. Our vanities become covered in sparkling beige and bronze neutrals. What can we say? It's a natural seasonal cycle for a beauty editor and one that we look forward to every year.
In 2018, though, we're especially excited about our summer makeup options. It seems like multiple brands, both drugstore and high-end, have somehow managed to distill a warm-weather vacation into a single palette. They're bright, cheerful, and unequivocally summery. So, without further ado, go forth and check out 15 makeup palettes we're hoarding for summer.
Nars Narsissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette
We have two words for this palette: so. pretty. It contains 12 highly pigmented shadows in a number of different finishes. The warm oranges, pinks, reds, and browns are crease-free and sweat-resistant, making them the perfect option for hot summer days. There's only one caveat. This palette is limited-edition, so make sure you snag it soon. Otherwise you could miss it (and take it from us—you don't want to miss it).
Urban Decay Beached Eyeshadow Palette
Next, we're loving this brand-new eight-color eye shadow palette from Urban Decay, which was quite literally made for summertime wear. Each shade is never-before-seen and features a catchy name such as Blaze, Plunge, Double Dip, or Heat Wave. Those warm reds and pinks paired with cool blues make for the perfect seasonal color combination. [Ed. Note: This product is currently out of stock.]
Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette
If you're traveling this summer and only have room for one palette in your carry-on, make it this one. It's dual-sided, with one side being home to four coordinating blushes and highlighters and the other holding eight warm-toned eye shadows. Easy to match and layer, it's convenient, too. There's even a removable mirror for on-the-go application.
Maybelline Lemonade Craze Palette
Maybelline's Lemonade Craze Palette is well loved by the Byrdie team. Take it from senior editor Hallie Gould, who named this palette one of the best drugstore products from last month.
"While the weather in New York only recently warmed up, I've been using Maybelline's newest palette to warm up my skin for weeks," she said. "The shades are casual and super wearable, with a few bold pops of color for the days when I feel like seeing the world through rose-colored lids. The most exciting part, however, is the formula for each shadow is infused with a citrus scent to brighten up even the cloudiest of days."
Marc Jacobs Eye-conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette
This is the newest palette from Marc Jacob, released with the rest of the Coconut Fantasy collection. To us, this collection of colors basically screams summertime, especially since they come in four different finishes to layer according to your beachy, carefree mood. There's matte velvet, shimmering satin, sparkling silk, and metallic lamé.
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Coral
Huda Beauty's Obsessions palettes are smaller, more compact versions of the striking and highly pigmented palettes we know and love from the brand. Each one has nine different colors in a variety of finishes. While there are six versions of this palette in total, we have to give the MVP award to the coral one as it creates the best sunset eye looks.
Natasha Denona Tropic Eyeshadow Palette
Natasha Denona's Tropic Palette is one of our all-time favorite products for summer. It's the palette we bring on every beach vacation and the one we can stare at for hours in admiration. From the metallic emerald green shade (Exotic) to the vivid ocean blue (Laguna), there are literally hundreds of ways to pair and wear these shadows.
Maybelline The City Mini Palette in Urban Jungle
Maybelline's The City Palettes are one of our favorite drugstore eye shadow picks. Each palette was inspired by a different urban aspect, such as a sunrise, a brunch spot, or a rooftop. Called Urban Jungle, this one is a collection of six pressed powder shadows ranging from brilliant gold to khaki green and sparkling onyx. They're also only $5 a piece, so we recommend buying one of each seven color combinations (they're all incredible).
Sephora Collection Colorful 5 Eyeshadow Palette No. 3
If you're into lilac and plum shades, our recommendation is this five-color compact from Sephora's in-house brand. You can layer them to make either subtle or smoky eye looks, though we love wearing one at a time for a chic monochrome lid. [Ed Note: This product is currently out of stock.]
Purple shades, like the ones in this palette, look especially amazing on green eyes.
Pacifica 10 Well Eyeshadow Palette in Beachy Punk
For anyone who is unfamiliar, Pacifica is a vegan and cruelty-free drugstore brand (yes, those really exist). It's the maker of this 10-pan eye shadow palette featuring a curation of pastels and neutrals. Each shade is infused with coconut, which gives it a subtle scent and silky texture. We think the name of the palette says it all: Beachy Punk.
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow in Electrify
By now it's a well-known fact that Dior's eye shadow compacts are top-notch. Each of them is pillowy-soft and highly pigmented, but we're privy to the bright blue shades in Color 357, otherwise known as Electrify. The shades are bold and blendable, and we feel a little bit like Bella Hadid, Dior's beauty ambassador, when we wear them. So there's that.
Nyx Professionals Warm Neutrals Ultimate Shadow Palette
We like this Nyx product because it combines three different finishes—matte, metallic, and shimmer. The square palette houses 16 different shades, ranging from beige to ochre to dark brown. They're easily blendable and perfect for anyone who prefers neutral tones over loud pops of color.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
Aside from Anastasia Beverly Hills' Modern Renaissance Palette ($42), which has one of the best selections of warm pink and red shades ever, we consider this Soft Glam palette to be our favorite from the brand. It includes 14 different shades that can be worn in a subtle way or built up for more color payoff. It's currently one of my go-to palettes, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Nude Dip
Here's another summertime option for people who don't prefer to wear bold and bright eye shadow shades. Tom Ford's palette has four soft and neutral shades that are equal parts subtle, shimmery, and chic (it is, after all, aptly called Nude Dip). Even though it's expensive, we think it's worth it because it can be worn on the daily.
Tarte Be a Mermaid & Make Waves Eyeshadow Palette
We give this Tarte product the top score for being on theme. The mermaid-inspired palette (which comes in the world's cutest shell-shaped enclosure) has 14 matte and metallic shades. We're partial to the metallic aqua, lilac, and seafoam green shades.
Now that you have our favorite summer makeup palettes on file, get some more tips and tricks on how to transition the rest of your beauty routine from spring to summer.