It’s that time of the year again: holiday gift guides aplenty! This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes. These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year. For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products. I hope you find this list of top performing eyeshadow palettes helpful!
Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette
Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette ($42.00 for 0.35 oz.) includes 14 eyeshadows that come in a mix of warmer neutrals and pops of pink/red. For a mostly matte palette, it actually applied quite well to bare skin, and I didn’t have issues blending out the majority of the shades. The eyeshadows adhered exceptionally well to bare skin without sheering out or becoming patchy. The majority of the shades were pigmented and wore for seven to eight hours.
BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette
BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette ($19.00 for 1.58 oz.) contains 28, metallic eyeshadows. I picked this up a couple of months ago, because it was getting a lot of buzz, and I’ve been really impressed by the quality overall. Only a few shades had issues, and they were fairly minor (slightly less pigmented, could apply better with primer or with a dampened brush). The majority of the eyeshadows were very pigmented, applied beautifully on bare skin, blended out easily, and lasted for seven to nine hours on me (without primer). As they are all shimmery, it may not work as well as an all-in-one-look palette, though. If you like your high-shimmer, metallic eyeshadows, it’s well worth checking out!
Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette
Viseart Cashmere Theory Palette ($45.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a subdued set of neutral tones with three matte and three metallic eyeshadows. The Theory palettes are more cohesive as all-in-one palettes as the finishes and tone vary more than the larger palettes (which were designed to be used with other palettes). I quite enjoyed this palette, as it had good color payoff, long-wear, and was easy to apply and blend on bare skin.
Chanel Tisse Rivoli (226) Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Tisse Rivoli (226) Eyeshadow Quad ($61.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a set of warm-toned neutrals. All four shades wore well for just over nine hours and after, there was very, very slight creasing (no primer). The texture is soft, smooth, and they eyeshadows are incredibly blendable.
Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette
Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette ($46.00 for 0.60 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows that are categorized into three “quads,” divided between neutral, cool, and warm (supposedly, at least). For the majority of the palette, the eyeshadow formula is consistent: very soft, finely-milled to the point where the shades feel smooth and silky, but they can be powdery at times, so this is a palette best for someone who typically uses a primer!
LORAC Unzipped Palette
LORAC Unzipped Palette ($40.00 for 0.58 oz.) is a good palette with ten shades and no major issues. Most of the eyeshadows had good color payoff, soft, blendable textures, and the formula wears quite consistency–almost every shade lasted for eight hours on me (no primer). With LORAC’s primer, results are closer to ten to eleven hours.
MAC Warm/Neutral 15 x Palette
MAC Warm/Neutral 15 x Palette ($65.00 for 0.68 oz.) contains fifteen, warm-toned eyeshadows. It has four permanent shades and four repromoted shades (ones that have been released previously as limited edition shades). This is actually one of MAC’s better pre-made palettes, which is even more impressive give there are 15 shades in the palette. Vanilla Extract and Honey Lust were the worst performers, but there were a lot of nicely pigmented shades that were, easy to use and blend overall.
Make Up For Ever #1 Nudes You Need Palette
Make Up For Ever #1 Nudes You Need Palette ($44.00 for 0.54 oz.) is an excellent palette if you enjoy neutrals, love (or want to buy more) Artist Shadows, and don’t mind that there aren’t any mattes in it. If you only like palettes with a variety of finishes, including mattes, you might find this one a miss. I think the quality is extremely high, and it would easily pair with your favorite neutral mattes that you might already have
Sleek Vintage Romance Palette
Sleek Vintage Romance Palette ($9.99 for 0.36 oz.) is one of the few cooler-toned palettes (though it has warm shades in it) that has good pigmentation and blends well. I find Sleek’s shimmery shades to be extremely rich, dense, and pigmented, and their satins and mattes tend to be a bit weaker (some are good, some aren’t). Sunset is fantastic for brighter warm-tones.
Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad ($82.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains four shades of warm-leaning neutrals that go from golden champagne to dark brown. The eyeshadows go on so easily and nearly blend themselves; they work and transition into each other in a way that’s effortless. This one is ideal for someone who likes a fair amount of shimmer, though!
Viseart Paris Nudes Palette
Viseart Paris Nudes Palette ($80.00 for 0.84 oz.) is a set of twelve shades, and if you’ve ever longed for a palette of shimmery, mid-tones, this might be the one for you. The palette leans warm overall with a few shades more neutral-to-warm. The texture is soft and blendable with some shades feeling a little dry, dusty, and/or powdery, but these things didn’t translate into application, as they still adhered well to bare skin (no primer) and wore for eight hours or longer.
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54.00 for 0.60 oz.) is a classic palette for me; it’s one I can return to and use with ease. The eyeshadows are all warm in tone with a mix of mattes and shimmers (though it is more shimmery overall) and complement each other.
Viseart Bridal Satin Palette
Viseart Bridal Satin Palette ($80.00 for 0.84 oz.) contains twelve shimmery shades ranging from buttery yellow to violet to satiny black. The formula on these is incredibly buttery, dense, and richly pigmented, which made them easy to apply to bare lids and get long, extended wear (nine to ten hours). I like how this is a bolder palette but still wearable as there are several neutrals in it, too.