Investing in the best eyeshadow palette has to be a very considered purchase. Perhaps even more considered than when buying the best cream blusher or the best perfumes 2022. And that’s not because we don’t expect those items to not flush our cheeks with perfection or make us smell the most desirable but because we expect an eyeshadow to work exceptionally hard for us. We expect to be drawn to every shade. Whether you use them or not is up to you but gone are the days when you’d buy or be gifted an eyeshadow palette and only like two or three shades and be left with a bulky mass filled with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Green and some sort of strange frosted claret shade that only your nan would wear. Every shade has to be able to exist in singularity as well as alongside its fellow palette pals.
Whether you want to play with colour or know that you have everything for a classic smoky in one place, the best eyeshadow palette makes pairing colours together so much easier. That’s why we’ve sourced the very latest to find you the best eyeshadow palettes hitting the shelves now.
How to choose the best eyeshadow palette
Of course, choosing the best palette for you will ultimately depend on your budget and the type of colours you wear most frequently, but there are some other tips you can draw from to make sure you’re buying the best eyeshadow palette possible. We got celebrity makeup artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis to share her tips:
- Portability. "The whole concept of a palette is that everything you need is in one place so you don’t have to carry around lots of different products. With that in mind, think about the size of the palette. If you do your makeup on the go then a smaller palette with a more curated colour edit will perhaps be more practical for you. If you only ever do your makeup in your bathroom then a larger palette with a wider option of colours will work.”
- Seek out your colours. “It sounds obvious but to get the most use out of an eyeshadow palette it needs to contain a high percentage of colours you would actually wear. So, if your go-to makeup look consists of soft brown colours and fairly neutral hues, make sure your palette mainly contains those tones. If you are a colour chameleon, then pick one with every colour in the rainbow.”
- But also try new. “Palettes are curated together so that complementary colours are together. Start by using the tones and colours you would normally reach for but then try some of the other shades because chances are they’re in there because they work really well with what you already like.”
- Mix up textures. “It’s great to have a variety of textures in a palette. This will help you use colours in different ways. For example, if there are a couple of metallics or shimmering colours, try layering them over matte shades to instantly glam up your look. Matte shadows work brilliantly as a base or for an everyday look and pearlised shadows are that happy in-between texture.”
11 of the best eyeshadow palettes
1. The best luxury eyeshadow palette - Pat McGrath Labs Mthrshp: Celestial Nirvana, £77
Whilst on first look you may think this is a palette that only those that love experimenting with colour could get the most out of, on second glance you realise just how wearable most of these shades are meaning that even those that prefer a more demure and natural look will still get lots from. There are 18 shadows in total, all housed in a gorgeously decadent palette. Our standout shades are Eternal Amour - a metallic pink, Desert Divinity - the perfect taupe shade and Aquarian Dream - the most amazing shimmering azure blue that will look great swept all over the lid but also as a liner. As with all Pat McGrath products, the pigment payoff is next level. This is a palette that the makeup doyenne uses on all her celeb clients as well as backstage on models at fashion shows so the colour you see is the colour you really get.
2. The best budget eyeshadow palette - Revolution Forever Flawless Dynamic Eternal, £6.99
You could easily think this 8-pan shadow palette could cost far more, but for under a tenner this is a brilliant, brilliant buy. There is a mix of matte, satin and metallic shades all in very wearable and bendable colours and comes housed in a metallic tin that’s sturdy and portable. The pigment payoff is impressive and they layer really well together. A truly brilliant budget beauty purchase.
3. The best eyeshadow palette with staying-power - Chanel Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 937 Ombres de Lune, £50
Every so often a make-up product comes along and it’s so beautiful to look at that you don’t want to use it. This eyeshadow quad is most definitely that. But it’s essential to go through the slight heartbreak of destroying the gorgeously embossed Chanel logo, the Chanel No.5 bottle and the star motifs to discover the brilliant eyeshadow shades. They are four complimentary shades; a pearlised rose gold-hued brown, a metallic copper, a slightly pearlised chocolate brown, which works well as a liner or to add some smoke, and then the high impact warm gold tone. In true Chanel style, all four shades are wearable and chic and once they're on they're not slipping or smudging. You are paying for quality and longevity and this is the sort of palette that you will use and wear until every colour has run out.
4. The best eyeshadow palette for versatility - Nars Stargaze Eyeshadow Palette, £45
Proving that small can be mighty, this fairly compact palette (you could easily fit it in your handbag if you wanted) is jam-packed with 12 shadows all in slightly seductive brown, gold and berry shades with a soft lilac being the lightest colour in the mix. There are 5 matte shadows, one being an absolutely gorgeous burgundy red which is surprisingly more wearable than you might think, three satin colours and four high-impact shimmers. It’s a very cleverly curated selection that easily works for casual looks as well as more glam makeup too.
5. The best eyeshadow palette for Christmas - Kylie Cosmetics Holiday Pressed Powder Palette, £46
Inspired by Santa’s reindeer and everything you might associate with their Christmas Eve delivery service, this 16-shadow palette is set to be another sell-out from Ms Jenner. There are 7 matte shades that are all really wearable and versatile ranging from a soft beige, a rosey-purple and a deep purple-brown, then a yellow and an orange shade which are surprisingly more wearable than we thought they were going to be. ‘Love U Deerly’ is a pearly golden cream and then there are 6 highly pigmented shimmering shadows covering dark gold, light gold and a lovely shimmering purple. It has a large mirror in the lid so all you need to do is grab your favourite makeup brushes and get creative.
6. The best eyeshadow palette for teens - Morphe x Abby Roberts 35-Pan Artistry Palette, £32
The name Abby Roberts will either resound with you or you’ll have to Google who she is. She is a makeup artist and singer and one of TikTok’s biggest and most successful content creators. And now she has launched this amazingly colourful eyeshadow palette with Morphe which we predict will be a huge success with her loyal fanbase. Not only because you have every colour catered for in this but you also get a lot of makeup for your money. It contains a staggering 35 different eye shadows which means each colour works out at under £1. And this is a palette that will last a long time regardless of whether the user's makeup preferences change as it contains everything from bright poppy yellow, oranges and reds, three shades of blue, two greens, hosts of pinks and purples as well as lots of neutral greys, blacks, taupes and browns.
7. The best eyeshadow palette for a classic smoky eye - Dior 5 Couleurs Couture in 589 Galatic, £51.50
Inspired by the night sky, this gorgeous 5 shadow palette has everything you need for a classic smoky eye look whether you want it to be more black-grey based or copper-bronze hued. The four outer colours are all either slightly metallic or shimmery and the central frosted white shade can be used on the inner corners of the eye or just below the brow bone for some extra highlight. This is a limited edition so it won’t be around for long and could be the perfect gift for the makeup obsessive in your life who will love you forever for buying it for them.
8. The best eyeshadow palette for different textures - Huda Beauty Empowered Palette, £58
If playing and experimenting with texture is your thing then you will love this palette. Whilst it does contain the standard metallic (there are 2) and matte shadows (there are 9) it also contains 2 hi-shine wet metallics which give the most amazing colour payoff….maybe ever. There’s then a super luxe crushed gold metallic shadow which is like putting on gold leaf to your eyes. Then there are two creamy metallic in gorgeous rose gold brown and a deeper brown colour as well as The element that makes it stand out for us are the two genius gel hybrid eyeliner shadows.
9. The best eyeshadow for bright colours - Urban Decay Naked x Robin Eisenberg, £36
It’s fair to say that the Naked palettes have become something of a collector’s item and this is the most recent and the first they’ve ever done as part of a collaboration. The collaborator is LA-based artist and animator, Robin Eisenberg. She is known for her use of bold and bright colours and her fascination with space and intergalactic characters and the colours chosen very much tap into her natural aesthetic. There are 12 shades in total and they are divided up into three matte shades - a light peach, rusty orange and pale blue, and two satins. Then there are five sparkling shadows in green, blue, purple, red and pink that can easily be worn on their own but also work really well as a topper over one of the satin or matte colours. There are two shimmers in gold and soft pink that can be applied wet or dry.
10. The best eyeshadow palette for under £20 - Ciaté London x Iris Apfel 5-piece Eyeshadow Palette in Accidental Icon, £19
She’s the 101-year-old style icon and once again it shows when Iris Apfel turns her hand to designing something, she does an excellent job. Meet one of the two eyeshadow palettes she has created with Ciaté London. it comes in a small handbag-sized palette with a handy mirror in the lid and consists of one matte brown, a shimmering gold, a shimmering brown and the most gorgeous rose gold shadow that contains chunks of silver pigment. The pièce de résistance is the bold blue shadow that can be applied dry but also wet if you want to turn it into an eyeliner.
11. The best eyeshadow palette for a brown smoky eye - NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette in Ultimate Queen, £16
With 16 ultra-wearable shades, you will be hard-pushed to find a better value-for-money palette with such chic shades than this. There are 9 matte shadows that all work wonderfully together. The colours are very much rooted in the brown-based spectrum and range from light neutral cream, through all the brown tones you could desire and then complementary rusty oranges and a deep purple and dark green (which also work well as liners). Then for moments when you want a little something more, there are 6 glitter shades that encompass gorgeous golds and champagnes and pinky-browns. The pigment payoff is very impressive too. This is the sort of palette that works for all ages, and skin tones and the fact that it’s so reasonably priced is the cherry on top.