The Best Eyeshadow Palettes for Every Skin Tone and Occasion

We like Too Faced Born This Way Sunset Stripped for its range of shades and finishes.

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Best Eyeshadow Palettes
Photo: Sephora/ Ilia

With all of the eyeshadow palettes out there today, it can be hard to know what would work best for your skin tone and lifestyle. And with hefty price tags at stake, it's good to have an idea about what will work before you swipe your card.

We've rounded up the best eyeshadow palettes—from glittery metallic shades that will help you glisten through an occasion or a night out, to nudes that you can layer to create an everyday look that makes you feel confident. We made sure to prioritize formulas that are good for the skin and the environment, and that prevent fallout (those pesky flecks that have the potential to smear and ruin your makeup). Too Faced Born This Way Sunset Stripped took the top spot for its wide range of neutrals in matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes.

Keep scrolling to find your new favorite from our list of best eyeshadow palettes.

Our Picks

Best Overall: Too Faced Born This Way Sunset Stripped

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Ulta

What We Love: We love the color and texture ranges.

What We Don't Love: The price is a little steep.

This palette takes home the gold because of its range of colors and textures. It has lots of nudes if you're hoping to use it on a daily basis, as well as deep browns and blacks for smoky looks. It has shimmer, metallic, and matte options, so that you can tailor your makeup to your mood, which is really the goal anyway.

The best part about Too Faced shadows is that they have very minimal fallout, so you don't have to worry about walking around with glitter on your face. They are also enhanced with hyaluronic acid so that they never feel drying and they don't crease – even after a long day of wear.

Shades Available: 16 | Textures Available: 3

Best Value: Maybelline Nudes of New York

Eyeshadow Palette

What We Love: We love that quality and price go hand-in-hand.

What We Don't Love: The formula doesn't have any skin-improving ingredients.

No, really – maybe it's Maybelline. This palette is a great option no matter your budget, but it just so happens to come in at a price under $20, which is nice. It has a range of light-to-dark colors that you could wear daily or for a more formal occasion. It also has shimmery options that are made with very fine glitter so that you get lots of sparkles that catch the light.

This formula is just creamy enough to keep fallout at bay, and to provide a big payoff in terms of pigment. Don't worry, it doesn't crease or look chalky and dull. Finally, it stays put, which is really great when you're looking at a long day of wear.

Shades Available: 16 | Textures Available: 2

Best Splurge: Pat McGrath Mothership VII Eyeshadow Palette - Divine Rose Collection

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Pat McGrath Labs

What We Love: The colors and the formulas are incredible.

What We Don't Love: The price is obviously pretty prohibitive.

While pricy, the Mother of Makeup, Pat McGrath, knows good shadows. This palette holds formulas that are just as refined as they look in their super pretty case, and that's a tall order. The light mauves and shimmery nudes offer unique takes on a classic neutrals palette. It also has a few metallic copper-to-gold tones that would look great on any skin tone and could be built up for a more dramatic look. There's even an iridescent shade that will take you to Coachella and beyond!

The formulas contain rice bran and honey extract, which are both ingredients that are rich in antioxidant properties and work to soothe the skin so that you're left with a more radiant look overall. Oh, and you can forget about fallout because they are nearly nonexistent with this palette.

Shades Available: 10 | Textures Available: 2

Best Clean: Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Dermstore

What We Love: The colors are amazing and the clean, cruelty-free formula is flawless.

What We Don't Love: It would be nice if there were more colors.

Just because a formula is clean doesn't mean you have to worry about sacrificing the quality you're accustomed to, and this Ilia palette is absolute proof of this fact. This palette contains six colors, including browns for light to medium skin tones, as well as a dark brown and a deep red. The lighter neutrals also have beautiful corresponding shimmer shades that would create a look of depth when layered with their matte counterparts.

The formula contains jojoba oil and vitamin E to help your skin look and feel more moisturized, while guaranteeing that your shadow maintains a flawless look no matter how long you wear it.

Shades Available: 6 | Textures Available: 2

Best Travel: Urban Decay Naked3 Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Sephora

What We Love: The travel size still manages to fit all of the essentials.

What We Don't Love: Another matte neutral option might be nice.

Small but mighty, for sure. This travel-sized take on the iconic Urban Decay Naked palette will be your new travel go-to… and maybe your at-home go-to as well. It has a light, medium and dark neutral option that would look beautiful layered to create depth for a daytime look. It also has pink, copper and dark brown color options available in fine shimmer – all of which would be perfect for going-out looks.

Since these eyeshadows are pretty much the very ones that made palettes a huge hit, it goes without saying that the formula is pretty unbeatable. It's easy to blend and build up so that you can create a huge variety of looks.

Shades Available: 6 | Textures Available: 2

Best Glam: Lawless The One Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Lawless Beauty

What We Love: This palette holds a pigment-packed punch of color options.

What We Don't Love: The soft powders and simple packaging can be easy to break, so be careful.

This palette really tosses some pigment-packed options into the ring. With bright oranges and pinks alongside classic neutrals, it really can be used to check any box. Top all of that off with the fact the palette features three textures: satin, matte, and metallic.

To top it all off, Shannon M. Bauer, InStyle's own senior beauty commerce editor, personally loves and uses this palette and says that it "truly is the one, as in the only one you need. It has mattes and shimmers, lights and darks, and everything I need to create natural or glam looks."

Shades Available: 18 | Textures Available: 3

Best Cool Tones: Smashbox Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palette: Punked

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Target

What We Love: It has a nice array of shimmery cool tones.

What We Don't Love: It needs a few more mid-toned options.

For some reason, cool tones can be harder to find, but this Smashbox palette really offers up a good collection. They have lots of pigment for a good color payoff, as well as matte and shimmer finishes to choose from.

The palette contains two larger base shades that are a cool beige and a light gray. From there, you have the option of a peachier-toned matte, and five other shades that build to black. There is also a cool-toned shimmery purple shade that would look beautiful as an accent or worn alone for more of a statement look.

Shades Available: 8 | Textures Available: 2

Best Nude: Tarte Tartelette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Sephora

What We Love: We love the range of undertones in the different nude shades.

What We Don't Love: It would be amazing if every color had a complementing shimmery shade.

With 12 neutrals to choose from, this palette has a base shade for any look you have your heart set on. The colors also offer up different undertones and textures.

If you're looking for one singular palette to last you for years to come, this is a great option. The formulas contain Amazonian clay so that they go on smoothly and last forever. They also look beautiful when layered on top of one another to create depth.

Shades Available: 12 | Textures Available: 2

Best Brights: Morphe X Nyane Fierce Fairytale Artistry Palette

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Morphe

What We Love: The number of fun colors for the price is hard to beat.

What We Don't Love: It could use one or two more matte base tones.

Whether you're looking for some bright, fun colors to wear to a special event or even if you're just hoping to spice up your everyday looks, this palette is the one for you. It contains 30 different shades split into categories of orange, blue-green and pink. Each of these categories has ten different options that fall into different ranges and finishes within those colors.

Morphe is known for creating high-quality products at reasonable prices, and this palette is the perfect example. These colors are highly pigmented and feature unique blends of tones so that you can create the maximum amount of fun looks.

Shades Available: 30 | Textures Available: 2

Best Matte: Makeup By Mario Master Mattes

Eyeshadow Palette

Also available at Kohl's

What We Love: We love the range of neutrals and the look of the shadows on the skin.

What We Don't Love: The formula is a little dry, so some of the shades are harder to build up or blend.

It should go without saying that matte doesn't have to mean boring, but if there was a question about this fact in your mind, this palette is here to squash it. This brand was created by Kim Kardashian's famed makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, and after years as a makeup artist, he was truly able to create a palette that is as stunning as it is easy to use.

The palette features a range of neutral options, as well as a black and a deep red in case you want to create a more striking or smoky look. All of the colors are in flattering matte texture so that they are perfect for building or creating a beautiful blended look.

Shades Available: 12 | Textures Available: 1

Best Shimmer: Huda Beauty The New Nude

Eyeshadow Palette

What We Love: The colors and textures are as unique as they are beautiful.

What We Don't Love: There is some fallout from the glitter finish.

With textures and colors galore, experimenting with the different looks you can create using this palette is sure to be amazing. In addition to matte shades that range from cream to deep brown, this palette features shimmers and, perhaps most notably, really cool glitter options. Whether you want a slight shimmer or a chunky, bold glitz to top off your look, you can definitely get it here.

When it comes to the bigger chunks of glitter, there is some fallout when you first apply it. We've found your fingers are the best tool to press the glitter onto your lids. That said, these shadows are formulated with aloe vera, which helps them to go on super smoothly and stay put once they're there.

Shades Available: 18 | Textures Available: 1

Best Cream: Crème Eyeshadow Palette by Revlon

Eyeshadow Palette

What We Love: The stunning colors and the affordable price tag.

What We Don't Love: Some darker or more unique color options would be great.

Cream shadows are a personal favorite for lots of reasons, but I find myself reaching for them the most thanks to ease of use. Not only are they easier to blend out after only a swipe across the lids, they also offer up major color payoff. They also never result in fallout, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This palette only contains four colors, including two light neutrals and two corresponding shimmers, but they could really be used to create lots of different looks. The great thing about cream shadows is that they can be layered as easily as they can be worn alone – and both of those options truly look great.

Shades Available: 4 | Textures Available: 2

What to Keep in Mind


While most people reach for neutral eyeshadows when thinking of their next palette purchase, not all neutrals are created equally. Consider your undertones, skin tone, and color preferences when making your selection. It can be more difficult to find options for people who have cooler undertones, but the payoff of a color that truly corresponds with your skin is worth it.


In this case, texture refers to the finish: glitter, metallic, shimmer, matte, satin. This should be a consideration for your skin type as well. For example, if you have oily skin, you might need to avoid glittery shadows since it is more obvious if there's any slippage. But wear whatever finish you prefer, or find a palette that gives you a variety of textures to play with.


This is largely based on personal preference, but it could also be a consideration for skin type as well. If you have dryer skin, creamier formulas that contain moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid are definitely a better option. If you have oily skin, powder formulas in matte or satin textures will probably be the better call. A formula that meets your skin type needs will be easier to blend and likely last long throughout the day too.

Your Questions, Answered

What should you look for in a new eyeshadow palette?

This depends largely on where you intend to wear it most of the time. If you're looking for everyday looks, opt for neutral tones in satin, matte, and light shimmer finish. Just because they're in more muted colors doesn't mean you can't change up your look with layering or blending. If you're looking for shadows that can create dramatic, smoky looks, definitely opt for darker colors in different textures, like metallic or glitter. Finally, if you really want a one-size-fits-all palette that can help you get ready for any occasion, look for palettes that contain a range of colors and textures and remember that they will last for a while, so they're worth the investment.

How do you fix a broken eyeshadow palette?

Since palettes can be pretty expensive, it's important to know how to fix them if they, well, shatter into one million pieces. Don't worry, it's pretty simple. Simply use a brush to get as many of the broken pieces back into the pan as possible. From there, break them up more – I know, this sounds counterintuitive. Add a couple of drops of isopropyl alcohol and wrap a napkin taut around a coin. Using the napkin-wrapped coin, press firmly down on the broken powder pieces to create a flat surface. It only takes a few minutes to dry and then you're done!

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