A big part of my collection, eyeshadows have been my favorite products for a while. Although it doesn’t seem like a lot, I rotate through products quickly and I had a big declutter haul earlier this year so there’s not as much.
Here is the palettes that passed the declutter test. You might want to grab a snack because this’ll be a long post!
Brands: LA Colors, The Color Story, Tarte, Colourpop, Elf, Wet n’ Wild and Maybeline
Maybelline Lemonade Craze
This palette is actually discontinued, but it looks like it’s currently available on Amazon and other sites besides their own.
Lemonade Craze is a nice mixture of texture, shimmers, mattes and colors. I often use this palette for it’s neutrals, but the colorful shades aren’t intimidating. They start off very soft and take some building, since the swatches above are after 2-3 swipes through, but you can get decent pigment for a drugstore palette.
I have two main issues with this palette: it’s very powdery and doesn’t stay long on the eyes.
When I say powdery, I really mean it. You can see considerable dents in the palette, especially in the shade Sugar Coated despite not having used the palette that often. Since it’s so powdery, it becomes faded fast.
If you don’t mind some building and have a good eye shadow primer, it’ll work pretty well for $10.
LA Colors Day to Night (Sunset)
Probably my most disappointing palette on this list, but I can’t really complain as this costs a whole $2.50. I’ve had this forever too, it’s probably expired but I still us it every once in a while.
I used this much more when I was beginning to use makeup and wanted more subtle looks, but I still keep it around.
Honestly, some of these shades are okay. The bright blue, deep purple and some of the darker browns show up fairly well. But, the majority of the middle pans look pretty similar swatched and all look the same on the eyes.
It’s a little powdery, but not too bad, but the pigment just isn’t there. It also just blends into nothing if you aren’t careful. I wouldn’t recommend, I’ll have to declutter it soon.
Tarte Tarteist™ PRO to go palette
Now this palette was my first high-end eye shadow palette. I got it from their 7-piece sale kits they do twice a year and got a couple things, including this tiny palette.
The shades are pigmented and vibrant, and has a nice selection. I love how small it is, about the size of your palm or maybe a little bigger. It requires more blending than I’m used to, so I can’t use it very often if I am in a rush but the cons really end there.
The shade at the end, dominate, is such a beautiful reddish, slightly purple duo-chrome, it’s stunning in person!
It costs about $19, but I really recommend getting it on sale because twenty dollars is steep for six shades, even if they are pretty good. Drive and Hype are my favorite shades, and are a nice duo if you want something a little soft and neutral.
P.S. it also smells like chocolate!
This is probably one of my favorites, the shades are just so nice.
Colourpop Blush Crush
I’ve mentioned this palette enough, but in case you haven’t heard me loving on this palette yet, here you go. I have a full review here, but essentially I love this palette.
The colors are vibrant yet soft and wearable, and the mattes literally do not fade. Even after I take a shower or wash my face, this eye shadow clings to my eyes (which may be a bad thing for you, but I love the staying power).
It’s a real staple for me, and costs around $14, but if you are patient enough they usually have sales including their eyeshadow palettes.
Colourpop Nude Mood
Another amazing palette, Nude Mood is such a good everyday neutral palette. It’s on the warm side, but not enough to be orange-toned or anything, just perfectly neutral.
My favorite shades are bare to wear (a soft transition shade), au natural (a lid shade or crease shade) and wink wink (lid topper). They are so blendable and soft, yet don’t require a lot of building.
I think the Colourpop shadow texture can be a little weird at first since it’s not very soft like Tarte and is a more firm formula. Yet, it works very well if you don’t have to have super soft-feeling shadows. This palette is also $14.
Colourpop x Animal Crossing What a Hoot Quad
This palette is great for anyone who wants a really warm-toned neutral palette but packs a serious punch. I barely touched these colors in order to get them to look this way. Especially the dark brown shade Who! packed color on in one swipe.
I can say the colors aren’t really for me, and it’s hard to create a cohesive look with such contrasting light and dark shades. But, I do know a lot of people could love this palette, so I’m giving it a bit higher of a rating for that aspect.
Also, mine smells very strongly of chemicals which is bizarre, but I hear that from others as well.
But, if you want a neutral quad (and don’t mind a pressed glitter) with some serious pigment, I’d recommend it.
The Color Workshop
I debated if I should add this one, but I decided I will. The Color Workshop is one of your typical large makeup set brands for around $10 with literally everything you need. As you can imagine, I got this set when I was younger but surprisingly, some of the products still work really well!
I can’t find the exact one, but I’ll include a picture of what their kits usually look like. Probably hard to find, but there’s usually a lot of options in December for Christmas. So, if you have a niece or daughter who wants to try makeup, but you want to try something cheap first, consider these kits.
They swatched surprisingly well, and I still use their eyebrow powder daily which is almost completely gone!
Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Quad
If you’ve been into makeup for a while, you’ll remember these original trios.
In recent years, Wet n’ Wild re-released them as quads, and honestly they’re pretty okay. But, I can say they are very soft-looking and not the most pigmented, but again a good option for a very subtle look.
The one I have is called Walking on Eggshells, and it comes with a pinky shade. Although I love the pink, combined with the other browns it muddies into a bland color. If you want to try Wet n’ Wild, I would recommend the next palette on this list instead. I remember this being better when I was younger, but the swatches aren’t great.
Also, this palette is around $4 dollars and I see it on sale on some occasions. If you are a subtle gal, or again want makeup for someone younger, this is a good start.
Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow 10 Pan Palette
Now this is Wet n’ Wild’s better palette. It’s 10 shades for only two dollars more than the quad, and the pigmentation is much better for the price. The dark shades are really dark and don’t fade away as easily, but are still really blendable and the shimmer shades are nice.
Some of the light shimmer on the left side of the palette look really similar, but considering all the darker options, I wouldn’t say it’s a waste. The two transition on the top and bottom are pretty pigmented as well, especially the dark brown.
Overall a nice palette. Still on the softer side, but you can definitely build some color. Also it’s so compact for travel, and only $6 for 10 shades!
Elf Bite-Sized Eye Shadow Mini Palette
If you haven’t heard of these eyeshadows, I would be surprised. I’ve been hearing about these little quads for a while now. At first they were super hyped up, but over time the more negative reviews trickled in.
I’ve heard that the quality varies per mini palette, so keep that in mind if you decide to pick one up.
I have the shade Cream and Sugar, their most neutral of the color stories. I do really like this formula, as it’s a good in-between from Wet n’ Wild and Colourpop. It’s somewhat soft-looking, but still packs some decent color.
My main issue with this palette is staying power. The shimmers easily slide off so consider an eye shadow primer. But, for an easily-accessible $3 quad with decent quality, I can’t complain too much.
So that is all my eye shadow palettes! As you can tell, my more “adult professional” makeup journey has only just started. I still have a lot of stragglers from my mid-teen years that aren’t the best quality, but can still be useful. My main recommendations are as followed:
Best Overall: Colourpop Blush Crush
Best Runner Up: Tarte Pro to Go
Best Neutral: Colourpop Nude Mood
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Lemonade Craze/ Elf bite-sized
Best Beginner: Wet n’ Wild 10-pan
Best for Young Teens: The Color Workshop