From mattes to shimmers to everything in between, eyeshadow is the go-to option when you’re looking to give your makeup routine an extra pop. Instagram is filled with gorgeous palettes that often cost the big bucks, but not all of us can afford to shop at Sephora for everything. Luckily, drug stores these days are filled to the brim with cosmetics that are both inexpensive and high-quality (looking at you e.l.f, Essence, and Wet n wild). Throw some shade and turn up the pigment with these affordable eyeshadow palettes.
A tropical fantasy awaits you with this beachy palette from BH Cosmetics, one of the beauty world’s movers-and-shakers. It features ultra shiny shimmers along with mattes in both melon and spice hues. “Ohana” and “Pineapple” make me want to sail away on the ocean right here, right now.
This is the collaboration we’ve been waiting for! Makeup Revolution’s new Friends palette inspired by Chandler Bing himself will help you relax after a “long hard day” (Friends fans, you get the reference) with shades named for his iconic ex-roommate Eddie, Tulsa, and the infamous box. Could we be any more excited? P.S.: You can also buy Joey and Ross palettes. You’re welcome.
These bite-sized palettes from e.l.f. Cosmetics may be tiny, but they pack quite a punch. For only a few dollars you’re getting creamy and blendable shades in a convenient container, perfect to throw into a beauty bag or a purse for application on the go. There are also eight – yes, eight! – other bite size eyeshadow palettes to choose from.
Wet n Wild is one of the most affordable brands out there. The Color Icon palette in Nude Awakening provides ultra-dependable everyday looks with 10 cool, warm and neutral tones. An added bonus is that the formula is completely vegan, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free.
Create an out-of-this-world look using Pacifica’s Cosmic Reflect palette that’s infused with hemp to combat the clogging of pores. The talc-free formulas are soft and easy to blend, and like iconic Urban Decay palettes, this one includes a two-sided brush to take with you wherever you go. Our favorite shades are the deep blue “Wordly” and the dark plum “Cosmic.”
Calling all festival queens and kings! The Desert Dream palette in Mainstage features daring tones of bright blue and green in matte, shimmer and foil finishes to give you the Coachella look of your dreams. The packaging is gorgeous (that’s half the reason to buy it, TBH) and provides a huge mirror for easy touch-ups.
YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, also known as Nikkietutorials, has called Juvia’s Place palettes “the world’s most pigmented” ones you can buy – and this is no joke. Reviewers rave about how vibrant the colors are and how easy it is to blend the silky-smooth shades. If you’re hoping to go mega bold for your next look, you’ve come to the right place.
I could sit and stare at the outside of this palette all day. Milani’s Gilded Gold is glamorous and bold, full of duo-chromes and soft metallics. That dark green hue called “Eden,” a luxurious pop of color, will make you swoon. One reviewer said to make sure you use an eye primer underneath to combat oil build-up and color fading. We recommend Urban Decay’s critically-acclaimed Primer Potion.
Covergirl is one of the OG beauty brands. If you’re brave enough to have practiced – and perfected – a smokey eye, the TruNaked palette is a fantastic addition to your collection. This classic look works for every eye color and will take you from day to night to beyond.
Take a trip to Germany without ever leaving your room using Essence’s Hallo Berlin. This is just one of their travel palettes in a line-up of other desirable destinations, including Salut Paris, Olá Rio, and Bonjour Montréal. Inspired by the city’s fashion and art, the palette offers neutral tones with a serious amount of pigment. Black can be intimidating to work with for beginners, so we suggest applying that as an eyeliner with an angled brush to start with.
Peach eyeshadow can compliment any eye color, but it’s especially stunning when paired with blue eyes. Morphe’s Pretty in Peach palette will add automatic warmth to your skin, giving you a go-to glow for every season. Plus, the pan sizes are large, meaning fallout won’t coat your entire beauty area.
Say hello to spring with Ulta’s Pastel Skies palette. Infused with avocado oil to help moisturize and de-puff your eyes, this pretty little thing has two bright shimmers (“Wave Pool” and “Creamsicle” sound like perfect names, if you ask me) to pair with reliable matte shades in pale yellow and baby pink. Bring on the sunshine!
NYX’s Gloomy Days Perfect Filter Eyeshadow Palette is ideal for those who favor neutral colors and want to be extra dramatic. Reviewers say the shimmer shades are the ones that give the most payoff, especially when you wet your brush beforehand. Other choices in the Perfect Filter line-up include Golden Hour, Olive You, and Rustic Antique.