Best Beauty Buys

Eye Shadows

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        Best Eye Shadow for Fair Skin 2016

        Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy in Nude Dare

        Best Eye Shadow for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy in Nude Dare

        The shade evens your skin tone with a touch of eye-opening brightness.

        $25
        Best Eye Shadow Palette 2016

        Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette

        Best Eye Shadow Palette 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette

        Makeup junkies wait for a new Urban Decay Naked palette like techies do for the latest iPhone—with a “hopped-up kindergartner waiting for recess” kind of anticipation. But the original version is still the biggest hit with makeup pros. Here’s why: The 12-hue kit (which comes with a dual-ended brush) is filled with neutrals in matte and metallic finishes; they’re the tones grown-up girls will reach for daily. The powders go on easily without fallout, which means you won’t catch yourself midday in a mirror with random flecks of shadow halfway down your face.

        $54
        Best Eye Shadow for Dark Skin 2016

        Revlon ColorStay Shadowlinks in Java

        Best Eye Shadow for Dark Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Revlon ColorStay Shadowlinks in Java

        A glistening chocolate offers all the luster your lids need.

        $3
        Best Cream Eye Shadow 2016

        Chanel Cream Eye Shadow

        Best Cream Eye Shadow 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Chanel Cream Eye Shadow

        For Megan Lanoux, the best way to describe these cushiony, shimmering shadows is with three letters: OMG. Trust us when we say that this is the gel-based eye “mousse” you never knew you needed. “It’s my obsession and always tucked inside my red-carpet kit,” says L.A. makeup artist Jeannia Robinette. She likes to add a light gold shade as an “elevating and ethereal” touch on top of Miranda Lambert’s smoky eyes before the country singer hits the stage. “It eliminates that heavy feeling.” You can also brush lash lines with the dark, mysterious Ocean Light shade (shown) and use it as eyeliner, suggests Lanoux. She notes that you could “literally put it on lids with your fingers and it would look good.” It also wouldn’t go anywhere—the formula is budge-proof, crease-proof, and smearproof.

        $36
        Best Powder Eye Shadow 2016

        Tom Ford Powder Eyeshadow

        Best Powder Eye Shadow 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Tom Ford Powder Eyeshadow

        Enough with the shadow quads that leave you scraping metal to get the last bit of one shade while the rest of the untapped understudies get rejected. These luxe cases hold four satiny powders—and you’ll actually use all of them. In versatile color families like amethyst, bronze, gray, and navy, “the hues in each are well-thought-out, and the compacts contain both shimmers and mattes,” says Ashleigh Louer. In addition, “the formulas are so silky, there’s no chalkiness to the finishes,” says Fabiola. “They glide over the lids.”

        $80
        Best Eco-Friendly Eye Shadow 2016

        BareMinerals Ready 2.0 Eco-Friendly Eye Shadow

        Best Eco-Friendly Eye Shadow 2016
        WINNER 2016

        BareMinerals Ready 2.0 Eco-Friendly Eye Shadow

        They had us at midnight teal paired with a perfect creamy beige—we’re imagining a polished lid with a hit of surprise along the lash line. But in addition to what L.A. makeup artist Mai Quynh calls the “well-coordinated, complementary, and user-friendly” color duos, these mineral shadows are also beloved for how easily they blend and how long they hold up.

        $20
        Best Eye Shadow for Fair-Medium Skin 2016

        Stila in Kitten

        Best Eye Shadow for Fair-Medium Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Stila in Kitten

        The cult classic brings a multidimensional mix of champagne, gold, and pink to play on lids.

        $18
        Best Eye Shadow for Medium-Dark Skin 2015

        CoverGirl in Melted Caramel

        Best Eye Shadow for Medium-Dark Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        CoverGirl in Melted Caramel

        This metallic gold delivers a sophisticated sheen to lids.

        $4
        Best Eye Shadow for Dark Skin 2015

        Chanel Quadra in Mystic Eyes

        Best Eye Shadow for Dark Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Chanel Quadra in Mystic Eyes

        Pewter, cement, pale copper, and shell lend dark lids luster. 

        $61
        Best Eye Shadow for Fair-Medium Skin 2015

        Nars Dual-Intensity in Himalia

        Best Eye Shadow for Fair-Medium Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Nars Dual-Intensity in Himalia

        One coat of this reflective copper looks mysterious; two go enviably rich. 

        $29
        Best Eye Shadow for Fair Skin 2015

        MAC in Brule

        Best Eye Shadow for Fair Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        MAC in Brule

        This creamy beige drapes lids in a sheen that’s reserved but never boring. 

        $16
        Best Mineral Eye Shadow 2015

        Bare Minerals Ready Eye Shadow 2.0

        Best Mineral Eye Shadow 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Bare Minerals Ready Eye Shadow 2.0

        Mineral-based makeup usually looks suited for the Mediterranean—which is great if you’re sunning in Santorini. This range looks like heaven on lids no matter where you are on the globe. “It also stays put, which is basically impossible to find in a mineral shadow,” says Bedrani. 

        $20
        Best Powder Eye Shadow 2015

        Nars

        Best Powder Eye Shadow 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Nars

        “You don’t need to go back three times to get these shadows to show up,” swears Julie Harris. Each of the 40-plus hues manages to be strong in color and elegant in texture, whether you’re going flat and matte or flashy and shimmery. 

        $25
        Best Eye Shadow Palette 2015

        Dior 5 Couleurs

        Best Eye Shadow Palette 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        Dior 5 Couleurs

        Most multicolored palettes have one diva shade stuck in the middle of four ho-hum backup singers. These compacts house five Beyoncés. “It takes the guesswork out of smoky eyes,” says Jeannia Robinette. You can’t go astray, even if you been drankin’.

        $62
        Best Eye Shadow Primer 2015

        Urban Decay EyeShadow Primer Potion

        Best Eye Shadow Primer 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Urban Decay EyeShadow Primer Potion

        This classic acts like a magnet for pigment. A wand applicator makes it easy to swipe the creamy base over lids, neutralizing redness and locking in color for budgeproof wear. Editors and pros, like makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani, can attest to its holding power. Yep, it's tough enough to anchor your smoky eyes from evening cocktails to midnight toast.

        $20
        Best 2014 Eye Shadow Shade for Dark Skin

        MAC in Carbon

        Best 2014 Eye Shadow Shade for Dark Skin
        WINNER 2014

        MAC in Carbon

        The blackest of matte blacks, it’s elegant when wet as a liner, edgy when smoking out lids.

        $15
        Best 2014 Shade for Fair to Medium Skin Eye Shadow

        Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow in Rosy Tan

        Best 2014 Shade for Fair to Medium Skin Eye Shadow
        WINNER 2014

        Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow in Rosy Tan

        If you were stranded on a desert island with only these four nudes (plus rose), you’d be one classy castaway.

        $60
        Best 2014 Shade for Fair Skin Eye Shadow

        Dior 5 Couleurs in Incognito

        Best 2014 Shade for Fair Skin Eye Shadow
        WINNER 2014

        Dior 5 Couleurs in Incognito

        Any way you combine these pearly neutrals, eyes will be gorgeous, never garish.

        $60
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