The 12 Best Eyeshadow Palettes for Every Eye Color
From shimmery jewel tones to matte pastels.
After you first experiment with a pot of cheap, glittery drugstore pigment when you're young, it's easy to become hooked by the sheer artistry that is applying eyeshadow. There are dark shades and light shades, bold colors and basic neutrals, all coming together in glorious eyeshadow palettes of multiple hues that can add depth and dimension to your eyes.
If there's anything we've learned in the last years is that our eyes get all the attention—and deserve it, too. Whether you're simply running to the grocery store, meeting up with your friends for brunch, or going to a (gasp) concert, good eye makeup can set the mood for the day. So, an eyeshadow that complements the natural color of your eyes is a good place to start.
However, with so many eyeshadow palettes out there, it can be hard to know what shades will look best with your skin tone or your eye color, as well as just which brand is best for nailing that smokey eye and completing your look. Whether you're a makeup hoarder with a favorite palette for every occasion or a total newbie to the whole eyeshadow game, when it comes to eyeshadow, there's truly something for everyone.
We asked professional makeup artist and Youtube beauty queen Kat Sketch for her expert color recommendations, and landed on these 12 eyeshadow palettes.
12 best eyeshadow palettes for every eye color:
1. Best universal drugstore eyeshadow palette:
While many luxury brand eyeshadow palettes are an investment, there are plenty of affordable, high-quality drugstore options, too. This one is inspired by those makeup artist "must-have" palettes and features 10 rich neutral shades in shimmery satin, buttery matte, and lustrous sheen finishes. Brush them on to create a look that's bold, classic, or somewhere in between.
2. Best universal neutral eyeshadow palette:
For a neutral palette, Sketch recommends a mix of warm and cool tones, or light and dark browns. "Also, having a shimmery highlight color, a bronze color, and a taupe that's neither too light nor too dark helps," she tells HelloGiggles. This fan-favorite palette from Tarte has it all, and it's made with Amazonian clay for a smooth finish and all-day wear.
3. Best eyeshadow palette for brown eyes:
Sketch says that purple-toned eyeshadows look great on all eye colors but can especially bring out deep, earthy browns. Anastasia's Norvina palette has both cool lavender shades and more neutral browns to balance them out.
4. Best eyeshadow palette for blue eyes:
In keeping with the color wheel theory, blue eyes are complemented well by orange-toned shadows. Think: coppers, corals, and bronzes that brighten blue eyes. This staple palette by Urban Decay features six richly-toned, warm shadows that can be layered or worn alone. Try rimming both the upper and lower lash line with the matte tangerine color "Wild Thing" to really make those true blues pop.
5. Best eyeshadow palette for green eyes:
According to Sketch, green eyes look great when paired with rusty red-toned eyeshadows (like the shimmery rust color in this L.A. Girl palette), and can also be enhanced by swiping on a striking green.
6. Best universal warm-toned eyeshadow palette:
"If you're not sure whether to reach for a warm- or cool-toned palette, I would suggest getting your foundation shade matched by a professional makeup artist at a local Sephora or Ulta," advises Sketch. "Always ask if you are cool-toned, neutral, or warm-toned. This will help determine if cool-toned eyeshadows are complementary to your natural skin pigment or if warm tones will look great for your complexion."
For warmer undertones, this Tartlette Toasted palette features 12 sultry shades made with Amazonian clay and mineral pigments to soothe skin and stay on all day. The deepest shade, "Fireside," is ideal for blending into your crease and outer V.
7. Best universal cool-toned eyeshadow palette:
Those with cooler undertones can easily pull off vibrant pastels and jewel tones. Urban Decay's Naked Ultraviolet Eyeshadow Palette palette has everything from a bright pop of mint to universally flattering lavender shades. It's silky and blendable, allowing you to customize whatever colorful look you choose.
8. Best universal colorful eyeshadow palette:
Colorful shadows aren't just for the daring. This palette features both modern neutrals and punchy jewel tones in a blendable texture that's just right for a mix of eye colors.
9. Best universal eyeshadow palette for beginners:
Newbies need not be overwhelmed by a million shades in one palette. Instead, Sketch says it's best for eyeshadow beginners to stick to more neutral tones that complement their skin's natural undertones. This one by Natasha Denona is meant to be universally flattering, and it gives just enough subtle color options to find the combination that works best for you.
Plus, it has a velvety smooth texture that blends easily. "The last thing a beginner needs is to struggle with chalky-consistency palettes that don't blend on their eyes well," Sketch says.
10. Best universal glitter eyeshadow palette:
"A great glitter shadow is determined by the thickness of the glitter in it," explains Sketch, who always recommends shimmer over glitter as she says they last longer and are safer for your eyes. Look for finely milled or poured textures that glide on the eyelid instead of sticking to it. This palette gives off that light-catching shimmer thanks to a creamy texture that transforms into a silky powder, making it safe for your eyes. Use it wet for an even more over-the-top, high shine finish.
11. Best universal pigmented eyeshadow palette:
LORAC's shadows are known to be ultra pigmented, so if you're looking for high color payoff, this versatile palette is about to turn into your go-to. With a formula that's infused with soothing botanicals including cucumber and calendula, these velvety shadows are a great addition to any makeup arsenal.
12. Best universal clean eyeshadow palette:
Clean beauty that's also fully recyclable is hard to come by, but this palette does both. If you're looking for an eyeshadow palette made with ethically sourced, fair trade ingredients, this is one of the only options on the market and features a range of shimmery shades inspired by the rose quartz crystal.