Who says nude eye makeup is boring?

By Erin Lukas
Updated Feb 19, 2020 @ 3:00 pm
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Nude eyeshadow is the unsung hero of any makeup collection — even if it doesn't always get as much attention as Euphoria-inspired glitter or a throwback '90s charcoal smoky eye. But the beauty with a neutral look is that it's verstaile, can be worn day or night, and it will never go out of style.

That said, having a nude palette that's fully stocked with an array of neutral matte, satin, and metallic finishes are essential for everyone's makeup bag.

Convinced? Great, now here's the catch: Not all palettes are created equal. Plus, there's a ton of options out there to choose from, which can make things confusing. That's why we've done the hard work for you by scoping out all of the best nude eyeshadow palettes on the market in order to present you with the ones that have the most pigmented, long-wear shades.

Whether you're looking for a drugstore deal or a splurge is in the cards, these are the 10 best eyeshadow palettes for each and every budget.

Best Drugstore: Maybelline Nudes of New York Eyeshadow Palette

Ulta

With 16 matte and shimmery shades created to suit every skin tone, the neutral eyeshadow looks are truly endless with this Maybelline palette. Bonus: the shadows are super creamy so they go on evenly and blend effortlessly.

To buy: $14; Ulta.com.

Most User-Friendly: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Luxury Palette

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It doesn't matter how many smoky eye tutorials you've watched on YouTube, figuring out which part of your eyelid every eyeshadow color is supposed to go on is damn confusing. Luckily, Charlotte Tilbury makes nailing the classic eye makeup look a little bit easier, because her palettes are like a paint-by-numbers kit for your eyelids. There are numbered instructions on the back of each shade that show you exactly where to place what color as well as the correct order to apply them. Inspired by her universally-flattering nude Pillow Talk lipstick shade, use this four-pan palette for a subtle neutral look or a shimmery smoky eye.

To buy: $53; Nordstrom.com.

Best for Travel: Victoria Beckham Beauty Signature Smoky Eye Brick

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When the space in your carry on bag is limited, packing a giant 20-pan eyeshadow palette isn't exactly practical. But that's where Victoria Beckham's Smoky Eye Brick comes in. The palm-sized palette includes four satin matte eyeshadow shades inspired by the Spice Girl's signature nude smoky eye. On top of the minimal packaging, the actual eyeshadow formula itself is richly pigmented, but hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested safe for sensitive skin.

Best for Fair Skin Tones: Natasha Denona Mini Glam Eyeshadow Palette

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This palette is all about quality and not quantity. There's just five matte and metallic shades, but they wear gorgeous on their own, and even better together, whether you want to highlight your eyes with a simple wash of taupe shadow or a ton of gold sparkles.

To buy: $25; Sephora.com.

Best for Medium Skin Tones: Huda Beauty Medium Nude Obsessions Palette

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A mix of subtle satin and bold shimmery shades, Huda Beauty's nude eyeshadow palette is ideal for creating a simple no-makeup makeup look or a contoured eye.

To buy: $29; Sephora.com.

Best for Deep Skin Tones: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

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Next to brow products, Anastasia Beverly Hills is known for its assortment of insanely-pigmented eyeshadow palettes. Aptly named "Soft Glam," the 16 shades in this palette include a selection of warm and cool matte, duo-chrome and shimmery neutral colors that look amazing on deeper skin tones.

To buy: $42; Nordstrom.com.

Best Clean Palette: lilah b. Palette Perfection Eye Quad in b. stunning

Sephora

Don't let the size of lilah b.'s palette fool you — there's a ton of possible color combinations with these four neutral shadows. While the formula is clean, and without any toxic ingredients, each color is long-wear, majorly pigmented, and can be applied wet or dry.

To buy: $58; Sephora.com.

Best Earth Tones: Dior Backstage Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Neutrals

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For anyone whose oily eyelids get in the way of a killer nude eye makeup look, Dior's Backstage Eyeshadow Palette is for you. Along with the eight matte and shimmery earth tone shades, it includes a built-in primer that helps the shadows adhere to your eyelids, plus intensifies the colors.

To buy: $49; Sephora.com.

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Best Rosy Tones: Revlon Colorstay Maverick Looks Book Eyeshadow Palette

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A rosy eyeshadow palette by any other name won't look as sweet as Revlon's Maverick palette. Equal parts matte and shimmery, the palette is subtle and glam, thanks to a soft beige shade and sparkling champagne and burgundy.

To buy: $7; Amazon.com.

Best Overall: Urban Decacy Naked3 Palette

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Smoky eye fans went into mourning when Urban Decay discontinued the original Naked Palette, but the third edition of the wildly popular eyeshadow collection does a great job of filling the void. The 12 shades are ordered from lightest to darkest, which includes a range of matte, pearl, and metallic finishes that work across all skin tones.

To buy: $54; Sephora.com.