Best Eyeshadow Palettes (2021) | Editor's Top Picks

There is an endless supply (seemingly, at least) of eyeshadow palettes hitting the market at any given point, and last year, I was excited to see a few new, permanent palettes get released, but I’m even more excited for our guide to Best Eyeshadow Palettes — 2021 Edition because there have been a tremendous number of palettes introduced and made part of brand’s core offerings in the last few years, so this list is even stronger going into 2020.

ColourPop’s nine-hued monochromatic palettes released frequently throughout the year, and while a lot of them are quite nice, I’ve selected the best of the best to feature below.  Natasha Denona’s Biba has become a real workhorse palette, while Sydney Grace’s Autumn’s Reign is a superb offering that’s different than the typical palette releases but still is cohesive and easy to create looks from.

Every product recommended below has been tested and reviewed by me, and I test thousands of products every year–so they’ve earned their way onto this list. To read more about a specific shade or view swatches, make sure to use the drop downs and buttons below, as we’ve tried to make this guide comprehensive and easy to use!

The way I approach my guides is by focusing permanent formulas that have stood the test of time–they are high quality, consistent, and all formulas that I personally enjoy. You’ll find a formula overview and top-rated shades (that are permanent) for each highlighted range. As always, I’d love to hear about your own personal favorite formulas–don’t forget to tell me why!

If you’re curious about the best limited edition holiday products and sets, check out our Best of Holiday 2020 Palettes & Gifts, which automatically updates the rankings as new reviews go live.

More product guides: Best Blushes, Best HighlightersBest Eyeshadows, Best Lipsticks, Best Lipglosses.

Sydney Grace Enduring Love (Light)

Sydney Grace Enduring Love (Light) Eyeshadow Palette ($52.00 for 0.95 oz.) is a new, permanent palette that launches on January 13th at 9AM PT. The... Read full review.

Sydney Grace

Natasha Denona Sunrise

Sunrise is the perfect size–compact, travel-friendly, but there’s no shortage of actual product in each pan, so it’ll last long enough (maybe a lifetime!).  It has a mix of warmer tones across yellow, copper, and plum and is designed to complement the brand’s larger Sunset palette.

Melt Cosmetics She's in Parties

Melt Cosmetics She's in Parties 8-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteMelt Cosmetics She's in Parties 8-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.58 oz.) is a new,... Read full review.

Natasha Denona Biba

Biba’s become a workhorse for me when I want easy, go-to neutrals that aren’t too warm-toned (though it’s a warmer-toned palette, overall!).  There’s a fantastic mix of shimmers and mattes, and the mattes are the brand’s much-improved Creamy Matte formula that’s velvety, blendable, and pigmented.

ColourPop It's My Pleasure

ColourPop’s It’s My Pleasure is another winner from their monochromatic series.  For purple lovers, it features a mix of pink and blue-based purples across finishes.


Sydney Grace Chase Your Dreams

Sydney Grace Chase Your Dreams 9-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a new eyeshadow palette that included three matte shades and six... Read full review.

Sydney Grace

Kaja Orange Blossom

Kaja’s Orange Blossom is one of my favorites from their trios, which are compact, travel-friendly, and more affordable (all things relative, of course).  I love that they’re all sparkling shades because the trio complements the many, many palettes that have released over the years that many of us already have!

Natasha Denona Star (2020)

Natasha Denona Star (2020) 18-Pan Eyeshadow PaletteNatasha Denona Star (2020) 18-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($169.00 for 1.44 oz.) includes a mix of... Read full review.

Sugarpill Fun Size

Fun Size is a delightful mix of brighter, richer pastel-inspired shades.  I love that there’s enough vibrancy in each shade that they don’t look washed out or faded when applied.  This is several steps down from neon brights, too, so it is a nice way to introduce yourself to color if you’re new to it.  Plus, it’s also a fun size and is infinitely more affordable than Sugarpill’s individual eyeshadows (which are massive in size, too).

ColourPop Just My Luck

Just My Luck is the green-hued monochromatic palette in the brand’s line-up, and it features a nice mix of cooler and warmer greens across mattes and shimmers.


Sydney Grace Autumn's Reign

If you have been hesitant about indie brands, Sydney Grace’s Autumn’s Reign might be the one product that could make all that hesitancy disappear.  Every single eyeshadow was pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing with beautifully done mattes and intense, creamy shimmers.  The color scheme was rich–autumn’s reign, indeed!–and cohesive.

Sydney Grace

Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts has become my updated go-to for rosier tones, almost like a more shimmery, more vibrant Modern Renaissance.

ColourPop Going Coconuts

ColourPop Going Coconuts 9-Pan Pressed Shadow Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new, muted neutral palette featuring a mix of mattes and shimmers... Read full review.


Natasha Denona Bronze

Natasha Denona Bronze 15-Pan Small Eyeshadow Palette ($65.00 for 0.67 oz.) is a new, seemingly-permanent warm-toned palette that includes five matte... Read full review.

Urban Decay Born to Run

Born to Run remains one of the better, permanent palettes released in a long while.  I feel like this palette is what Naked was when it first debuted.  It’s incredibly cohesive and versatile with the quality to back it up.

ColourPop Blowin' Smoke

ColourPop Blowin' Smoke 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new addition to the brand's series of monochromatic palettes, and it's... Read full review.


Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction

Bronze Seduction is one of the best, permanent palettes from the brand and is also one of the more cohesive color stories.

Viseart Paris Nude (06)

Satin and pearl finishes are underrated and not nearly as explored as mattes and metallics, in my experience, and Paris Nude is all about satin and pearl finishes in muted, neutral tones.

Our Methodology

The way I approach my guides is by focusing permanent palettes that have stood the test of time–they are high quality, consistent, and all have performed well. Every palette is thoroughly tested and reviewed (every single shade!) so I know it’s a truly fantastic product that stands out!

More product guides: Best Blushes, Best Highlighters, Best Single Eyeshadows, Best Lipsticks, Best Lip Glosses, Best Blush Brushes, Best Eyeshadow Brushes, Best Highlighter Brushes.

Top Rated Eyeshadow Palettes from 2021

Check out the current top 10 highest-rated eyeshadow palettes reviewed by the editor in 2021–this list will update automatically and focuses solely on the rating, so it includes both a mix of limited edition and permanent products reviewed in 2021 (the list above considers any and all permanent products available for purchase, not just new releases).

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Tisse Rivoli is one I’ve had since you first reviewed it, Christine, and I never cease to enjoy using it. Ditto my more recently purchased Blurry Grey quad. Of new this past year palettes, I really liked the ABH Sultry palette and the Tarteist Pro Remix palette (there might be a 2nd “Pro” in the name). I have Born to Run and I’m glad I have it but it doesn’t really make my heart “sing” like the others. I continue enjoying the Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction palette (one of the smaller ones and the only PMG product I own) and that Viseart Cashmere little gem. Some of the Smashbox 8-pans (Smoky, Minimalist and Punked) also are mainstays for me. Oy – so many palettes and only 2 eyes!

Sultry is a good one, too – a smoky, neutral shade – very appropriate for the season it was launched in originally, IMO.

ND Biba is still on my short list of ‘next gets’. Might not be an absolute necessity, but I do feel that the neutals contained within aren’t like anything else I own.
TF Nude Dip could make for a simpler, easier eye look than most of my palettes can do, so I may be giving that quad a much closer look!
Odd that I chose 2 nude palettes… nothing colorful, huh?

Hi Christine and fellow readers,
Natasha Denona’s Sunset Palette is on sale 10/15/2019 for $99.00 USD if you are looking to pick it up. Great list, my favorites are Coloured Raine’s Queen of Hearts Palette and Sugarpill’s Fun Size Palette.

I ordered Smoke Show and have no regrets, even though I don’t wear those dark smokey eyes much anymore. As I have aged, too much darkness around the eyes just makes me look like an aged Goth and it isn’t a pretty look. There are several shades in the palette that actually make gorgeous one and done looks so overall, I am happy with it. I am well represented in this grouping also although I don’t have Sydney Grace’s Autumn Reign and wondering why I never picked it up. It is definitely going on my wishlist.

I love these lists! I actually paired Biba with Autumn’s Reign this morning and the result was an instant favorite. Both palettes really play well with others.

Sultry remains one of my most favourite neutral palettes and I do love the latest Colour Pop Smoky too.
Whenever you get the chance to use your Nude Dip quad, everyone here raves about your eye look, so it must be a fabulous set of eyeshadows.

It would be strange if primer was causing the issue, since that should only help! I tend to use thin, more translucent primers, so my experience is heavy on that side as I don’t find thicker bases/concealers work well for me at all.

It seems that everyone forgets about glitter glue. I don’t wear chunky dangerous pressed glitter like Colourpop has, but if I wear any shimmer or glitter shade, from Pat McGrath, Natasha Denona, Tom Ford or Charlotte Tilbury, I use Too Faced glitter glue right before.
I have hooded eyes, so that prevents transfer and spackles it on. No glitter gets all over your face. Simple solution. I have to wear eye primer as well. My eyelids are so oily, that only Covergirl Lid Lockup works for me. I have tried Urban Decay, ect, and everything else does not stop creasing.

I am so pleased to see Sugarpill’s Fun Size palette here. It is my favorite purchase this year. I was, at first, not sure I could pull it off in my thirties but I can, I do and I look forward to continue using it. I love it so much!

From the list I own three:
1. ND Sunrise
2. CR Queen of Hearts
3. PMG Bronze Seduction

My favorite of the is PMG Bronze Seduction. Lux, Glam & every Shadow is beautiful on its own.

Great list — I have 10 of these, and Smoke Show is on the way. So many good palettes came out this year. The ColourPop monochromatics have been little gems. I ended up getting all of them except the peach one.

Nude Dip is the only palette I own from this list. I had It’s my pleasure but gave it away, I liked shades but didn’t like formula at all. I think Eyeshadows I loved most this year are UD Naked Cherry, TF Nude Dip, Dior summer LE in Terra and old UD singles Sellout and Stray Dog.

Wow, nice mix and a few I wouldn’t have expected like Huda’s Neon Orange. Thanks !

Still interested in Biba, but I can dupe it crazy, so I’ll try to avoid it . ?

I own 5 of these! 😀 I have been waiting for restock of Chase Your Dreams seemingly forever and can’t wait until it’s back so I may purchase it!!

Thank you so much for this as always! Have shopped several of your recommendations this year and have not been disappointed (as always! :))

The next ones on my list are a Tom Ford quad (still unsure), and ND Bronze. I think I will save Sunrise for next year. I really wanted to get Biba on the Rouge sale but ran into a surprising number of reviewers where they said that their black shade Spot fell out. I noticed in Kinkysweat / Alicia’s last video with Biba, she had to hold one shade of her shades in place because I think it had come loose in the pan. Doesn’t seem worth it to have to do that when paying 170 dollars for a palette.

Over the next year I would really like to try the Dior Quints though but they are sold out online here

Also wanted to add that I loved Bronze Seduction but I have shelved it now. Reading your post on PET glitter was very informative and I emailed the brand to ask about it about 5 – 6 times and never received a response about the safety of this ingredient and why it was not disclosed as not eye safe given the FDA position of PET glitter in the US. Sad because again one of my favourites but my eyes are not worth a palette.

This is a helpful guide! especially with all of the great sales going around. I own 6 of these. I really wanted Sydney Grace’s Chase your Dreams but it sold out. Now that I’m loving Charolette Tilbury eye shadow formula I may get The Rebel eye shadow palette soon. Thanks for the list!

A fabulous list here Christine, but I am wondering why ND’s Glam palette didn’t make the cut, as it received an A from you.
I really appreciate the time and effort you make to complile these lists for us.

If it was solely on performance, it would be hard to keep the list concise! Glam was good quality, but I think that other Natasha Denona palettes are better overall, including color story, versatility, usability by more (rather than less people), etc.

I was curious on this too. Thanks for responding! I was glad to see the brand website show different arrangements for different skin tone depths. I don’t have the palette yet, but it’s my next one to purchase! It’s difficult to find cool-friendly palettes beyond a shade or two, but this seems like it will work!

I’m really surprised that you didn’t include Mario’s Master Mattes in 2020 Best Eyeshadow Palettes.
You gave it high praise and a great review. Was it an oversight or did you not feel it was worthy.

It’s a good palette, but it doesn’t quite live up to the claims (it’s more pigmented than marketed from my experience), and while it might be on a best of 2020 list, I did not feel it earned a place on “best of all time” compared to other neutral palettes already on the list (ND Biba, CP Going Coconuts, Viseart Paris). Please keep in mind this is an all-time best list (as long as the product is permanent & still available!), which means that there are lots of highly-rated products that don’t get on the list – and the point of having a list like this is to offer something edited and concise with a variety of types of palettes + price points.

Two of my favorite palettes came out this year. Divine Rose II is quite possibly the prettiest palette I’ve ever owned and The Glam Palette by Natasha Denona is the most flattering palette I’ve ever used.
Two good things from 2020.

What can I say? Concur, even though I don’t have most of these. But then, it’s about color tastes and that’s fine with me. Thanks for this list and hopes that I’m able to purchase at least one or two that are still on my mind. 😉

I own and love ND’s Bronze palette- probably my favorite palette, ever.
I recently picked up TF’s Suspicion and have to say I like ND’s formula in the Bronze palette, more.

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