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- So many popular eyeshadow palettes focus on neutrals, but color is having a major moment.
- The Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is a wearable mix of bold and natural shades in a variety of finishes, from matte to metallic.
Neutral eyeshadow palettes get most of the attention. It makes sense — they tend to be more wearable, at least at first glance. Browns, beiges, and champagne shimmers are work-appropriate eyeshadow staples.
But who decided color isn’t suitable for daily life? While I tend to gravitate toward muted shades most often, I definitely like an occasional pop of purple or blue. Some color eyeshadow palettes are really a mix of neutrals and bright shades, while others are pure rainbow.
Which one you choose will likely depend on what you already have in your collection. If you already have tons of matte-brown shades, you may want to pick up a smaller, less expensive palette full of brights to play around with. Or, opt for an all-encompassing selection that can be useful for every single day. As a beauty writer, I’ve tried many eyeshadows on the market. Based on my research along with customer favorites, these are our picks for the best color eyeshadow palettes you can buy.
The best color eyeshadow palettes you can buy in 2019:
- Best color eyeshadow palette overall: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette
- Best drugstore color eyeshadow palette: NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette
- Best glittery color eyeshadow palette: Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette
- Best rosy eyeshadow palette: Pat McGrath MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette
- Best color eyeshadow palette for neutral lovers: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
Why you’ll love it: The Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is the perfect mix of neutrals, mattes, and bright, bold shimmers.
At first glance, the Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is intimidating. There are several bold pops of color and some subtle jewel-tones that the casual makeup-wearer might not reach for often. But look a little closer and you’ll see that there are quite a lot of neutrals to balance things out.
The 21-shade palette contains a mix of matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes. It’s possible to create a natural smokey eye using the brown and charcoal colors, or to go bold with fuchsias, blues, and greens. This is one of the most consistent eyeshadow palettes I’ve used in terms of shadow quality. All of the finishes blend beautifully and show up well on the eyes.
As a secondary benefit, the packaging is extremely sleek for such a large palette and contains a huge mirror. It’s a fantastic choice for travel because it’s slim and contains every essential color you could possibly need, plus some fun nonessentials.
Pros: 21 shadows, mix of mattes, shimmers and neutral, bold shades, huge mirror
Why you’ll love it: The NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette is an inexpensive, high-quality pick for those who only want to dabble in rainbow colors.
Why splurge on intense purple, green, and blue eyeshadows you might wear only two or three times a year? The NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette contains 16 rainbow shadows and costs less than $15. It’s a great way to dip your toes in the colorful waters.
This palette means business: You get a blend of matte, satin, shimmer, and metallic shadows in various purples, oranges, yellows, blues, and greens. I use eye-primer every day to get the full pigment and blending out of my shadows, and it’s an especially important step to take with shades this high-impact.
One Target customer wrote, “I’ve tested these under NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk as well as NYX White Eyeshadow Base and they both work beautifully to increase the pigmentation and vividness of these shadows.”
Pros: Affordable, 16 shadows, mix of finishes
Cons: No neutrals
Why you’ll love it: Glitter fans will fall in love with the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette and its mix of shimmers and complementary mattes.
Glittery shadows are gorgeous, but it’s useful to have some subtler shades to balance things out. The Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette is full of bold shimmers alongside several key matte colors including blue-gray, brick red, and cocoa brown.
There aren’t a ton of neutrals, but there are enough matte colors to diffuse the glimmers and metallics so they’re more wearable. It’s a good middle-ground if you love color, but don’t want to do a full-on glitter eye for the office.
The palette includes 16 shadows for $59, so it’s definitely a splurge, but reviewers praise the color payoff. Sephora shoppers rated the palette 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 213 reviews. It’s also been recommended by Allure, HelloGiggles, PopSugar, Glamour UK, and Byrdie.
Pros: 16 shadows, mix of finishes, mattes and shimmers
Why you’ll love it: Pat McGrath is a makeup queen, and her MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette is packed with stunning pinks and purples.
Pat McGrath is one of the most famous makeup artists in the world. Luckily, she’s graced us with a makeup line, Pat McGrath Labs, and the eyeshadow palettes are particular standouts. For pink-lovers, the MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette is a great choice.
Though there are only six shadows, the pans are huge. There’s a beautiful shimmery gold color, a bold purple, and four mauve and pink shades. While there are no true mattes in this palette, there are a few shades with toned-down sparkle to help you create a well-rounded look.
At $55, this is definitely not an impulse buy, but customers rave about the quality of the shadows. “Super buttery, highly pigmented, beautiful colors! I’m obsessed with the purple and even after buying all of the Pat McGrath palettes this is the one I keep gravitating towards,” one Sephora customer wrote.
Pros: Buttery shadows, cohesive color scheme, wearable shades
Why you’ll love it: The Morphe Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette is a stunning array of 35 shadows in matte, glitter, foil, shimmer, and satin finishes.
If you want an affordable palette that does it all, look no further than the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette. This is a 35-pan mammoth with matte, glitter, shimmer, satin, and foiled metallic shadows. There are plenty of neutrals in this mix, so it’s a great gateway into color for more timid makeup fans.
Despite the abundance of neutrals, there are a few incredible pops of color, including some beautiful blues and greens. Jaclyn Hill is a major name in makeup, known for being one of the top beauty YouTubers, so her collaboration with Morphe was bound to get a lot of attention. It has over 3,000 reviews on Ulta’s website and an overall 4.7 star rating. Also helps that it’s been featured by Byrdie and Allure.
Hill’s fame aside, shoppers love the quality of these shadows. One customer wrote, “This palette is so versatile and gorgeous! Not only can you create any look you want, but every shade is so highly pigmented!!!!”
Pros: Affordable, 35 shades, tons of colors
Cons: Some reviewers say shadows can be powdery
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