The 12 Best Eyeshadow Palettes for Glitz, Glam, and Everyday Beats

From full-blown glam to a neutral eyeshadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette is our best overall pick.

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Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Huetopian Dream Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Picking an eyeshadow palette is one of the most fun parts of a beauty routine — but just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s important to choose one that you’ll not only use regularly, but will also stay perfect even through sweat, tears, and just everyday life. With so many palettes launching daily, finding one that fits your needs and lifestyle can be a challenge. That’s why InStyle tested 32 different eyeshadow palettes in our lab, narrowing the original selection down to the 12 best based on shade range, pigmentation, application, and value. Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette came out on top for its long-lasting pigment, buttery feel, and versatility.

Honestly, we won’t be shocked when you realize you need more than one of the best picks below. Keep reading for the 12 best eyeshadow palettes of 2022.

Best Overall: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

5
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Palette

Amazon

What We Love: The sparkly shades stay pigmented through hours of wear.

What We Don’t Love: Fallout can occur with the darker shadows.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is known and loved for its eyebrow products, but its eyeshadow palettes also deserve epic praise. With perfect scores across the board in shade range, pigment, application, and value, the Soft Glam palette from ABH is our testers’ highest-rated eyeshadow palette. It contains fourteen shades ranging from mattes to shimmers that can be worn alone or layered to create countless looks —  from a simple everyday eye to a full-on glamorous beat. “I would gladly pay $45 for a cruelty-free eye shadow palette that has fourteen shade options,” says one tester, who was also a fan of the sparkling colors and vibrant pigments.

Personally, this is one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes, and the testers agree that the creamy texture in both the shimmer and matte shades provides a true-to-color payoff without the need for a primer. In addition to the durable packaging, this palette also comes with a double-sided brush. Though all of the shades are long-lasting, the darker shadows sometimes have fallout. To avoid that, tap excess product off your brush before applying.

Price at time of publish: $45

Shades: 14 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Splurge: Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette: Huetopian Dream

4.5
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Love: The versatile colors can be used as eyeshadow, highlighter, and blush.

What We Don't Love: The large packaging isn’t travel friendly.

Dame Pat McGrath puts magic into every single one of her eyeshadow palettes, but the Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Palette is otherworldly. Inside, you’ll find a mix of warm-toned, glitzy shimmers and mattes: There are ten shades including pinks, mauves, browns, golds, and one bold purple shadow. "I would definitely turn to this palette for a night out or if I was going for a particularly colorful look,” says our tester. “The colors are absolutely stunning and vibrant, and you can tell they're well made." Pro tip: Though you may be tempted to use a brush, your finger is the best tool to get the full pigment.

The palette scored high for application and value, with testers agreeing that the shadows stay vibrant without creasing. "They didn't look cakey on my eyelid at all, but quite colorful and pretty,” one tester mentions. While this palette is on the pricey side, its quality, durability, and versatility make it more than worth it. It’s not only great to use on the eyes — try using the shade Astral Venusian, a translucent, holographic hue, as a highlighter across your cheekbones (and thank us later). Though the luxe packaging is durable and beautiful, it takes up a lot of space so it may not be the best palette to travel with.

Price at time of publish: $128

Shades: 10 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: No | Mirror Included: Yes

Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Value: Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

4.5
Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

Amazon

What We Love: The shades won’t crease, even on those with hooded eyes. 

What We Don't Love: The darker hues can get patchy.

Inexpensive eyeshadow palettes are known to contain overly chalky formulas that don't last long and crease at the tiniest hint of oil on the eyelid. You won’t experience that with this palette from Maybelline, though. The 12 neutral shades stand up through blending and layering and don’t crease, even for those with hooded eyes. One tester says that the pigmentation is even across every shade in the palette and that she was "able to get a nice gradient when blending."

Whether you're doing a smokey eye, graphic eyeliner, or no-makeup makeup look, this palette is a great everyday choice. Though the darker shades can get patchy throughout the day, the quality is unmatched for the price. Testers wish it included a mirror for quick touch-ups, though.

Price at time of publish: $12.99

Shades: 12 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: No | Mirror Included: No

Maybelline New York The Nudes Wear Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best for Beginners: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette Pillow Talk

4.5
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Palette

Bloomingdales

What We Love: You can create an MUA-approved eyeshadow look with the included, easy-to-use guide.

What We Don't Love: The palette doesn't come with a brush.

Charlotte Tilbury isn't making you guess what colors go together with this eyeshadow palette: It comes with a guide that tells you exactly how to use it. Inside, you’ll find a mix of blush hues along with warm oranges, browns, and berry shades. Divided into four sections — Day, Desk, Date, and Dream — the four shadow trios take the guesswork out of what hues will mesh to create a perfect, cohesive look, which, according to one tester, makes it a great option for beginners. "The palette also includes little tips on where to apply the colors for the best wear and look," she shares.

The shades themselves are pigment-packed and made to blend and layer. While the matte shades are very opaque and transfer well from brushes, the shimmery shades are sheerer and best applied with your fingers. “A little goes a long way,” shares the tester. "I’d only put a little product on the brush at first and then build up from there if you're looking for something bolder."

Price at time of publish: $75

Shades: 12 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette in Pillow Talk

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Brights: Juvia's Place Warrior III Palette

5
Juvia's Place Warrior III Palette

Ulta

What We Love: The vibrant shade range works on an array of skin tones.

What We Don't Love: The metallic shadows have a lot of fallout.

Chichi Eburu founded Juvia's Place after years of searching for pigmented cosmetics that would stay bright on her dark complexion. What began as a personal journey in the makeup industry turned into the famous brand that makeup lovers, editors, and InStyle's lab testers all agree is one of the best for eyeshadow palettes. The Warrior III palette includes nine uber-bright colors that could easily create a rainbow on your face in just a few swipes. "This palette has the prettiest,  most vibrant colors that paired well with my skin tone," one tester says. She also loves the creative art on the front of the palette which showcases the African representation of the brand.

Bright powder eyeshadows that work on light and dark skin tones can be hard to come by. Most of the time, you'll see makeup artists and beauty content creators using an eyeshadow primer before applying bright pigments, but this palette truly doesn’t need a primer for the colors to shine. Our tester was shocked at the low price tag, too. "It could go for $30 to $45, honestly,” she says. “But it’s only $20, and I highly recommend it to others."

Price at time of publish: $14.89

Shades: 9 | Finish: Metallic and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: No

Juvia's Place Warrior III Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Mattes: Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette

4.5
Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette

Amazon

What We Love: The compact packaging is convenient for travel.

What We Don’t Love: The colors crease after a few hours.

A full set of matte shadows is a must for any makeup kit, even if you don’t have space for a large palette. Enter: The compact Baked Browns Palette from Dose of Colors. It contains five creamy matte shades: Cream white, light beige, medium brown, rich red-brown, and dark brown. Testers like this palette for its simple color scheme that can create everyday, natural looks. “The light beige eyeshadow made for the perfect base color,” one tester shares. “It helped define my eyes and add dimension.” When it comes to the pigment, the shades stay vivid and true to color on the eyelids.

This palette can fit easily into any makeup bag, and includes a mirror and handy brush for on-the-go use. Seriously, if you ever see me doing my makeup on the subway, I’m most likely using this palette — in five station stops, I can create a subtle smokey eye. If your eyelids get oily throughout the day or you’re prone to teary eyes, consider using an eyeshadow primer beforehand to keep the colors from creasing. When I don’t use a primer with this palette, the colors melt away after a long day, pilling inside the crease of my hooded eyes.

Price at time of publish: $32

Shades: 5 | Shade Finish: Matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Neutrals: Too Faced Born This Way The Natural Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

4.5
Too Faced Born This Way The Natural Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

Sephora

What We Love: The neutral shades look beautiful on both light and dark skin tones.

What We Don’t Love: Some of the glitter shades aren’t very pigmented.

This palette is comprised of 16 shimmery and matte shades ranging from light pink to deep brown. The extensive shade range allows you to easily create a natural-looking smokey eye, a deep halo eye, or pretty much any makeup look you can imagine.

What we love most about this palette is that all of the neutral hues work for an array of skin tones — offering transitional shades, glittering highlights, and blendable, in-between hues for those with light and dark complexions alike. One tester was amazed at how minimal the fallout was, even with darker colors. One thing they wish the palette included is a blending/buffing brush. “That would have been a nice touch,” they say. At $52, this palette is a bit expensive compared to our other winners, but, according to testers, it’s worth the investment because it will last a very long time and it’s perfect for everyday use.

Price at time of publish: $42.46

Shades: 16 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Too Faced Born This Way The Natural Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Glitters: ColourPop Truly Madly Deeply Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

4.7
ColourPop Truly Madly Deeply Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

Ulta

What We Love: The chunky pressed glitters won’t fade or smudge during wear.

What We Don’t Love: Many of the matte shades are so similar that they look the same when applied.

If you're as glitter eyeshadow obsessed as I am, ColourPop never fails to unveil palettes full of eye-safe shimmers, glitters, and foils that actually show up and last. This palette in particular is a favorite among testers. “It’s nice to have something go on glittery instead of just shimmery,” says one tester. It features 16 matte, shimmer, and glitter shadows in varying shades of pink and purple, and though you may think that wearing bright hues is difficult to pull off, this palette is great to use for  parties, lunch with friends, or just because — you never need an excuse to wear vibrant hues (or glitter!)

Unfortunately, a majority of the matte shades offered are very similar, to the point you can’t tell the difference when wearing them together. Luckily, all of the glitter shadows are unique so you can create endless looks. Though the formulas are long-lasting, it’s best to prime your lids with NYX Glitter Primer to ensure your makeup lasts all night.

Price at time of publish: $28.87

Shades: 16 | Shade Finish: Shimmer, glitter, and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: No

ColourPop Truly Madly Deeply Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best Cool-Toned: PYT Beauty Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Crew Nude

4.5
PYT Beauty Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Crew Nude

Amazon

What We Love: Nourishing ingredients, like vitamin E and sunflower seed oil, are added to the shadow formula to keep the pigment from creasing.

What We Don’t Love: Some of the shades look ashy on dark complexions.

You don’t need to compromise on quality when looking for clean beauty products — in fact, high-quality, conscious beauty is where PYT Beauty thrives. This palette in Cool Crew Nude proves that clean ingredients don’t equate to dull shadows. Eight matte and four shimmer shades are formulated without harsh chemicals, silicones, talc, or sulfates, but they’re made with vitamin E and sunflower seed oil to help the shadows blend better. The shimmery shades are some of our favorites: They’re made with mica (a naturally found mineral that is crushed to create the pearly sparkle you see in makeup) and blend out pretty sheer, making them great for layering and adding dimension. Bonus: The palette is recyclable: When you’re ready to recycle, you can toss the shadow pans by popping them out through the back, then take the palette to your local recycling facility or any Credo store participating in the Pact Collective Program.

Price at time of publish: $27

Shades: 12 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: No

PYT Beauty The Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Crew Nude

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best for Blue Eyes: Dior Backstage Eye Shadow Palette in Coral

What We Love: The chic clear packaging.

What We Don’t Love: The included primer shade is too light for dark complexions.

Time for a bit of color theory: When choosing what eyeshadow colors look best on you, consider a complimentary shade, opposite your eye color. Makeup artist Renée Loiz tells InStyle this is the simplest way to choose eyeshadow. “If you have blue eyes, choose eyeshadow colors that have more orange in them (like copper, gold, or bronze hues),” she recommends.

This coral palette from Dior is a favorite amongst testers with blue eyes, noting that the peachy colors aren’t too bright, but are still extremely flattering. The color selection is similar to other pink-toned palettes on this list, but the consistency is where this one shines. “A little product goes a long way — even dipping the brush in just a touch of the eyeshadow has a huge impact, especially with those darker, more pigmented hues,” shares one tester. As far as luxury makeup brands go, Dior prices their products pretty moderately compared to palettes from Chanel, Gucci, and Valentino. Additionally, you get a lot more product and color variety that will help you make both natural and glammed-up makeup looks. While it’s a great addition for one-palette eye looks, we wish there were more shades in this palette for darker skin tones.

Price at time of publish: $49

Shades: 9 | Finish: Shimmer and matte | Cruelty-Free: No | Mirror Included: No

Dior Backstage Eye Shadow Palette in Coral

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best for Dark Eyes: Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment Palette

4.5
Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment Palette

Amazon

What We Love: The shadows stay bright, even on darker skin tones. 

What We Don’t Love: Testers experienced a bit of fallout.

Darker eye colors deserve their framing moment, and this palette from the Latin-owned Alamar Cosmetics will make them shine. The packaging itself is gorgeous (and deserves the front and center spot on your vanity) but it’s the high-quality formulas inside that will keep you grabbing it again and again — the pigment power is what won over the InStyle lab testers. “I only had to put on two layers of the hot pink (shade Ponte Hyper) for it to show and look like a solid color,” one tester says. “I was actually surprised at how evenly the color went on, too.”

When accentuating brown eyes, Loiz says to use bronze or golden shades to bring out the same hues naturally found in dark eyes. We recommend using Jaja, the cool-toned brown shade in this palette and blending it with Muy Excited, a vibrant orange hue. To finish the look, apply one of the four shimmering shades for a defined look that draws attention to the gold specks in your eyes. One thing to note: the shades are prone to fallout, so be sure to tap off the excess before applying.

Price at time of publish: $13.95

Shades: 8 | Finish: Metallic and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Best for Green Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette

4.8
Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora

What We Love: There is an even balance between matte and glitter shades for even more eyeshadow look opportunities.

What We Don’t Love: The strong pigment can be hard to blend if you’re not careful.

At one point, it seemed like everyone had the original Urban Decay Naked palette (RIP), but now it’s time for the reloaded version to get its time in the spotlight. A revamped take on the original, this palette contains 12 neutral shadows in a mix of warm and cool-toned shades that look striking against green eyes. In true Urban Decay fashion, these shadows are extremely pigmented and made to last all night. One tester notes that they might even be too pigmented when trying to blend. “You have to use a very light amount or it's almost too bold,” they say. “It was a bit tricky to blend some of the colors because of the strong pigmentation.” If you use a light hand, though, blending will be a breeze.

Price at time of publish: $48

Shades: 12 | Finish: Metallic and matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Mirror Included: Yes

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette

InStyle / Tamara Staples

Our Testing Process

Going down the rabbit hole of eyeshadow palettes, InStyle editors sifted through hundreds of palettes online and in-store to find the 32 highest-rated products to test. Once selected, our in-house lab testers reviewed each palette, keeping in mind the shade range, pigmentation, application, and value. Each of the aforementioned categories was rated on a scale of 1 to 5. After applying an eyeshadow primer (many testers used the Rare Beauty Always An Optimist Weightless Eyeshadow Primer) each tester swatched shades on their arms and eyelids to examine the texture, transfer ability, and fallout of each palette. From these qualities, the products were given a rating with an overall score to ultimately determine the 12 best eyeshadow palettes of 2022.

What to Keep in Mind

Colors

Before purchasing a new eyeshadow palette, take inventory of the products that you already own — this will help you see which colors you use the most, along with what shades you might have missing from your collection. From there you can refresh your eyeshadow stash (it does expire after all) or if you're looking to be more adventurous and add some color, look towards your closet and consider looking for palettes that match your wardrobe. If you want your makeup to be the main character of your look, try bold palettes with a lot of color like Juvia's Place Warrior III Palette or Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment Palette. If you like blushed tones then Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette in Pillow Talk is for you, whereas Too Faced Born This Way The Natural Nudes Eye Shadow Palette has neutral shades for all, no matter your outfit or skin tone.

Finish

Are you glitter-obsessed? Do you prefer neutral mattes? Or maybe you want a little of everything! Take a look at the eyeshadow colors you currently have to determine what finish you use the most. Satin, metallic, shimmer, and glitter are only a few examples of the finish type found in eyeshadow palettes. Most of the options on this list, like PYT Beauty The Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Crew Nude, include a mix of matte and shimmer shades for versatile use, specifically for those who like a combination. If you’re hitting the pan on matte shades faster than others, consider Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette for all your transition shade needs. For those who like glitz and glam, a palette full of sparkly shades, like ColourPop Truly Madly Deeply Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette, is for you.

Size

When picking out an eyeshadow palette think like Goldilocks (minus the burglary) to find one that isn’t too big, or too small. There is a just right option for you and it will depend on your space. If you like to keep things minimal and don’t have the room for a big palette, Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette and Maybelline New York The Nudes Wear Eyeshadow Palette will fit into small makeup bags or drawers. If you like to display your makeup and want to make it a focal part of your desk or makeup bag, Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Eyeshadow Palette is a hefty choice with a sleek look that you’ll want everyone to see. Again, this is the time to take stock of your makeup collection to see what space you will have available. Another thing to keep in mind is your traveling habits. Do you keep makeup with you on your commute to work? How much do you usually pack for a trip? Consider these things before picking a palette to make sure it’ll fit in with your lifestyle.

Your Questions, Answered

How long do eyeshadow palettes last?

Most eyeshadow palettes will last anywhere from 12 to 18 months, depending on the product and the brand that makes it. Every skincare, haircare, and makeup product you own has an expiration date — you can discover your product's expiration on the back of the packaging. There will be an icon of an unopened jar followed by a number and the letter M: The letter and number combination stands for how many months the product is good for after opening. To avoid eye irritation and other skin concerns, stop using any eyeshadow product after its expiration date.

How do you apply an eyeshadow palette?

There are no rules to makeup! Okay, maybe there are some rules — especially when it comes to eye-specific products. Make sure to always use eye-safe products and eyeshadows around your eyes, this is especially important with glitter cosmetics that might cause irritation. (AKA keep the craft glitter at home.)

Eyeshadow application can take practice if you want a specific look  — like an intense smokey eye or cut-crease look. To start, consider priming your eyelids to get the best payoff possible and longer-lasting makeup. This will help the pigment stick, as well as create an even foundation on discolored eyelids. For application, you’ll also want to think about the finish of the colors so you can determine if a brush or your fingers are the best tools. For shimmer, metallic, and glitter shades your finger will be your best friend to get your desired results. Once you start blending, a small buffing brush will help sheer out shades for whatever eye look you’re creating.

The order you do your makeup can be beneficial to your shadow application, especially if your palette contains shadows that will transfer onto your under-eye. This prompts one of the most debated questions in the makeup world: Whether eyeshadow goes first or foundation. This vital step comes down to preference, but Loiz knows that many prefer doing eye-makeup first to account for fall out. No matter the look or order, Loiz and I both agree, "In the end, if the whole face looks beautiful, it doesn't matter which order you do the eye makeup!"

What Is InStyle Picks? 

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

Why Shop With Us

Alexis Gaskin is a former commerce writer at InStyle covering beauty and fashion, with the former being one of her favorite subjects to write about. After reviewing the top-rated picks from our in-house testers, she was excited to learn that she owns (or has used) every single palette on this list. Alexis carefully examined data from dozen of testers, along with picks and tips from makeup artist Renée Loiz

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