The best eyeshadow palettes you'll use every single day
We review our favourite palettes right now
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / November 18 2018
It’s hard to justify buying single eyeshadows when there are so many pretty palettes to be had. Bringing together a set of complementary colours in the one place makes for effortless eye makeup looks - and it takes the guesswork out of colour matching. But there are SO many good eyeshadow palettes to choose from, it can be tough to know where to spend your money. So we decided to share our personal faves. Below, our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members shared their reviews for the top eyeshadow palette in their makeup kits right now. Permission to buy them all!
#13 / Innoxa Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Covering a spectrum of all the best nude hues, this makeup palette is the perfect go-to for creating a ‘no makeup’ makeup look on the daily. You’ll find matte and shimmer finishes and a silky smooth formula that blends beautifully, won’t crease and is dermatologically tested, oil-free, cruelty-free and vegan friendly.
The review: “This is fantastic for both price and quality. Lasts all day and is easily blendable. I love the different shades, you can make them glam for night or elegant for work. As a bonus, it is cruelty-free.” Milan, SUPERcrew member
#12 / Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in 740 Scandalust
Nudes with a little more pop, these seven shades in a selection of velvet, satin, silk and metallic lamé finishes give you the option to really shake up your eye makeup depending on your mood. The pigments are velvety-rich and blend seamlessly, and these powders stay put. This is the perfect day to night companion you should always have on hand.
The review: “As someone with blue eyes, I’m always on the hunt for a highly-pigmented eyeshadow palette that’s packed full of bronze and buttery shades to complement my eye colour. This one from Marc Jacobs ticks all the boxes. While I often use the three lighter shades for a subtle, office-appropriate eye look, I switch to the four darker shades when I want to up the glam on the weekend. In addition to creating the perfect smoky eye, the darker shades (particularly the dark brown and burgundy hues) double as eyeliners when used with a liner brush (I use Zoeva’s 315 Fine Liner Brush).” Kate Niven, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
#11 / Models Own Eyeshadow Palette in Barely There
The pretty dusky pinks, soft nudes and creamy brown shades in this palette deliver a nude makeup look with a feminine touch. Don’t judge this palette by its price - even though it’s cheap, the powders have a good colour payoff with no fallout. In this palette you’ll get 10 shades and a dual-ended brush, plus it comes in six different colourful variations.
The review: “My favourite is Models Own Barely There as they have all shades that I use. Plain white palette with 10 shades. I love that I can have pinks, nudes and browns within easy reach of my eyeshadow brush. I find the powder eyeshadows soft on my eyes and they don't irritate my sensitive eyes. If I need to touch-up during the day or night, the palette has a lovely long mirror and double-ended brush. Perfect. I like that they are affordable, too.” Amanda, SUPERcrew member
#10 / Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Mattes Eyeshadow Palette
If you like to keep your makeup quite muted, but not bland, peach hues are perfect for the job. And there’s no better peach palette than Too Faced’s. We’ll admit this palette had us at ‘peaches and cream scented’, but there’s no denying the mix of 12 creamy and highly-pigmented matte shades of peach, on-trend burgundy and classic brown hues are winners, too.
The review: “I am loving the Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Mattes eyeshadow palette as it's full of warm tones that complement any eye colour and are perfect for everyday wear. They are buttery and smooth, blend beautifully, and are pigmented but not TOO pigmented, which I find great for building up intensity and having greater control.” Alex, SUPERcrew member
#9 / Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Petal Metal
Perfect for everyday or for those who just want a little wash of colour to highlight their eyes, this palette has a range of neutral hues with dusty undertones that look great on every eye colour. The colour payoff is good without being too intense (hey, we don’t always want to make a statement) - although you can build it to a bolder finish if the occasion calls for it. Six of the shades have a subtle metallic sheen (read: no glitter) and the other two are matte.
The review: “I’m not a huge eyeshadow wearer, but when I do, I tend to stick to neutrals (so you can imagine how many nude eyeshadow palettes I own). This palette appealed because it brought together my love of browns and beiges with some gorgeous shimmery finishes and some subtle colours that are easy to mix with what I already have to diversify my eye looks. I find the powders incredibly soft and easy to apply and blend, and the colours tend to stay put for a good few hours. A great palette for those who want to (safely) experiment with a bit more colour than their usual nudes.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#8 / Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
12 shades for just $21.95 is a great bargain, and the actual eyeshadow powders make this palette an even bigger steal. The extra shimmery, satin and matte hues have great staying power and go on smooth for a crease-proof and fade-proof finish. We especially love the ‘Smoke’ palette for days when you want a take a break from your minimal makeup look and sport something a little more sultry.
The review: “I think this is great value for money, lasts a long time, and has a good mix of shades. Great pigment to build-up and mix colours.” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#7 / Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eye Shadow Palette
Offering a rainbow of moody hues, you’ll be surprised by how versatile and universally flattering all of these 14 shades are. The shades may look collectively grungy, but you’ll find that when you mix and match them you can create just about any look: something pared-back and nude, a sultry smoky eye, a glistening golden look, or striking going-out vibes. You’ll find 11 matte eyeshadows and three metallic shimmer ones in this palette.
The review: “My favourite eyeshadow palette is the Subculture Eye Shadow Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It has such a great range of eyeshadows but best of all they are highly pigmented, they last the day and the combinations work so well together. Plus the brush you get in the palette is pure quality, too.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
#6 / Dior Backstage Eye Palette in Cool Neutrals
If you love your nudes, you have every tone you could need in this eight-shade palette. The shades can be layered together for ultimate definition, or simply worn on their own. These neutrals are versatile across all skin tones and have a mix of matte and iridescent finishes. It’s the type of palette where you’ll *actually* use every shade all the time. Plus, as a nice bonus, there’s also an eye primer that gives longer-lasting results and intensifies the colour, too.
The review: “Perfect for day or night, the nine shades in this eye palette deliver all of your neutral needs.” Sally Hunwick, marie claire’s Beauty Director
#5 / MAC Eye Shadow x15 in In The Flesh
This 15-shade eyeshadow palette is the perfect foundation for anyone’s makeup kit. It heroes a very classic mix of nudes, but it’s also very versatile and opens up your entire makeup collection to a wealth of different looks. This is the type of palette you will never grow out of and will use from your teens to your 60s and beyond.
The review: “I know it may seem excessive, but this palette that’s filled with 15 full-sized beige and chocolate shades in velvet and shimmering textures is something that really covers all bases, and something I can’t bear to travel without.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
#4 / Maybelline New York The Burgundy Bar Eyeshadow Palette
Burgundy eye makeup became a top trend last year and it’s still gracing red carpets. This drugstore eyeshadow palette combines three tones of burgundy with a mix of nine other hues in browns and nudes to complete the look. When we sent this palette to our Review Crew® they gave it 4.5 stars and raved about the richly pigmented shades and how long-lasting they were.
The review: “I got to test this in the Beauty Crew and I love it. I am pretty basic with my eye shadow application. I don’t opt for out-there colours. That is why I love this palette. I could experiment with a bit of sparkle and not too out there colour. Love it. It’s a safe palette for anyone who (like me) is a little nervous with eye shadow. I also love the way the colours complement each other beautifully.” Pru, SUPERcrew member
#3 / Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
Let’s start by talking about the formula of these 12 eyeshadows. The powders are long-lasting and blend easily. Then there’s the excellent colour payoff, as well as the colours themselves - the neutrals, pinks and purples have a shimmery finish that reflects light and leaves eyes glistening. The colours have been separated into three looks, but think of them as a ‘good place to start’, then go nuts playing around with all the combinations from there.
The review: “My current obsession is Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Eyeshadow Palette. It has a gorgeous range of pink, amber, golden and burgundy shades. The colours are to die for and it couldn’t be more perfect for party season. The looks you can create with this one are endless; I’m still finding new ways to mix-and-match and apply the shades together. For extra sparkle on a night out, I like to finish the look by using a finger to apply a good dose of one of the shimmery shades on my eyelids à la Elsa Hosk. I recently did my colleague Erin Docherty’s makeup with this palette for a ball and even her boyfriend noticed how her eyeshadow was popping!” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Assistant
#2 / Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette
There’s no denying Too Faced do some of the best eyeshadow palettes. And we think this one might be our favourite (although every time they launch a new one, our loyalty to this frontrunner is tested!). There’s a gorgeous selection of nudes and brown-to-bronze hues, plus a striking shade for every eye colour. Khaki highlights green eyes further, purple makes brown eyes pop, and blue eyes look extra bright when paired with a peach eyeshadow. We also love that all Too Faced palettes come with their signature Glamour Guide, which details how to create three looks with the colours provided.
The review: “The mix of browns and natural pinks are perfect for time-poor people like me; all the shades blend together for natural looks. I love the mix of matte and shimmer and the colour layout is amazing. Chocolate Bar is a must have.” Anne, SUPERcrew member
#1 / Urban Decay Naked Palette
We were in complete shock when Urban Decay announced they were discontinuing this cult favourite. Since its arrival on the beauty scene, it put nude eyeshadow palettes on the map - and into everyone’s makeup kits from novice beauty addicts to the top pros in the biz. It could literally be the only palette you happily own for ever more. Like all Urban Decay eyeshadows, the formula feels velvety and luxe on your lids, and is a cinch to blend and layer. All we can do is have faith that Urban Decay will bring out a palette of equal colour perfection to take the coveted place of one of our most-loved eyeshadow palettes of all time.
The review: “My favourite eyeshadow palette is hands-down the OG Naked Palette. And yes, my heart broke into a MILLION little pieces when I found out that Urban Decay will be discontinuing it early next year! So, you’re going to bet I’ll be stocking up over the next few months. This palette literally changed my entire makeup routine, and there’s hardly a week that goes by when I don’t crack it open and give myself a cute little bronzed eye look. It offers an impressive selection of matte, shimmer and satin hues, they’re super easy to wear and this one palette offers endless possibilities. Whether you’re going for an everyday look or a little bit of drama – it’s all here.” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Beauty Writer
Need a great eye makeup brush to apply your new go-to eyeshadow palette? Sephora Australia National Artistry Lead, Alphie Sadsad swears by this Zoeva makeup brush, plus the other top picks from Australia’s leading makeup artists.
What’s your pick for the best makeup palettes?
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.