Best Single Eyeshadows (2022 | Editor's Top Picks

This guide features permanently available single eyeshadow ranges that have released consistently high-quality shades. There aren’t too many full-fledged single eyeshadow ranges by mainstream brands these days, so this list is filled with several indie offerings, which I’ve really expanded over the last two years. These are editor-approved and editor-tested, so the list features the best single eyeshadows for 2022 — ones that are currently available this year. I’ve tried to include a mix of brands, shades, and formulas so that our list of best single eyeshadows offers something for everyone.

Every product recommended below has been tested and reviewed by me, your editor-in-chief, and I test thousands of products every year–so each product really had to earn 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!

Terra Moons Multichrome Eyeshadow

Availability
Terra Moons

Sydney Grace Cream Shadow (2020)

The formula is supposed to "dry down to a smudge proof finish" that isn't waterproof but "will last all day on the lids." The brand recommends working "one eye at a time" as the formula "dr[ies] fairly quickly." It's an incredibly pigmented formula in most instances, where a little dab is more than enough to cover the mobile lid. I always find squeezing out product onto the back of my hand or onto a metal palette is the best way to get going with these. Read more...

Availability
Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace Eyeshadow

The matte eyeshadows tend to be pigmented (typically semi-opaque or opaque, often buildable if they aren't opaque) with a soft, more velvety texture that has slight slip but isn't so thick that it gets difficult to use, applies unevenly, or has a lot of fallout. I've found that most of the matte eyeshadows apply and blend out without much effort but a few may take a bit more effort to diffuse along the edges. The matte formula tends to wear between eight and eight and a half hours on me. Read more...

Availability
Sydney Grace

Terra Moons Eyeshadow

The formula is supposed to be "blendable" and "pigmented" with "a bit of kick up" when used due to being "pressed by hand." Some shades come with "additional information" such as being sheerer on the brand's website (for that particular shade) or to use a "glitter primer" due to the finish. Read more...

Availability
Terra Moons

MAC Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eyeshadow

The formula is supposed to have "pillow-soft, matte colour" that is "highly blendable" with "unbelievable slip" that has "stay-true colour" that doesn't fade, crease, or dry out the lids. The majority of the shades were pigmented, though a few were more semi-opaque and buildable. Read more...

Clionadh Eyeshadow

There do not appear to be any specific claims made for the brand's regular eyeshadow range, so being held to typical industry claims (as well as looking at the brand swatches), I'd expect rich pigmentation along with being blendable. The brand has an assortment of finishes, and the price point varies from finish to finish and has some variance within finish as well, but they tend to range from $6.00 CAD to $8.00 CAD, which converts to around $5.00 to $7.00 USD. Read more...

Availability
Clionadh

Lethal Cosmetics Pressed Powder Shadow

The formula is supposed to have "extreme pigmentation" and "effortless blendability" ... "that [will] last all day." There are two primary finishes: mattes and metallics, and the latter can also be used wet. Read more...

Clionadh Multichrome Eyeshadow

Availability
Clionadh

ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadow

The new Pressed Powder Shadow formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented” with an “ultra-velvety and silky” texture that is “long-wearing” and “adheres easily to the eyes.” Most of the shades have semi-opaque to opaque pigmentation that applies well to bare skin, blends out without issue, and lasts for seven to eight hours. Read more...

Availability
UltaColourPop

Viseart Eyeshadow

The eyeshadow formula is supposed to be "pigment[ed]" with "smooth and even application" that is "long-lasting." The matte shades are typically semi-opaque to opaque but buildable with soft, velvety textures that can sometimes be a little powdery or slightly firm, depending on the shade. I find that the mattes are often best suited to someone who likes control over pigmentation and may prefer to build up color; they regularly perform better in practice than just swatched on the arm as well. Read more...

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow is a cream-based formula that comes in a multitude of shades and finishes. The more metallic shades have the most slip to them (they have a “wetter” feel), while the more matte ones have a firmer, more clay-like consistency. Almost every shade I’ve tried from ColourPop has been exceptionally long-wearing (10+ hours of wear, usually there until I remove, even 14 hours later). The pigmentation can vary from shade to shade, but the average shade is quite pigmented. Read more...

Availability
UltaColourPop

New for 2022: Eyeshadows Just Released

Check out the current top 10 highest-rated single eyeshadows (individual shades) reviewed by the editor in 2022–this list will update automatically! The list below features individual shades that may be limited edition or permanent but were actually reviewed in 2022, whereas the above list featured only permanent formulas.

Our Methodology

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 have performed well. Every shade is thoroughly tested and reviewed, and these are formulas where I’ve often tested every shade in the line of, so I really grasp each formula’s strengths and weaknesses!

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

21 Comments

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Comments on this post are closed.
Sandy Avatar

Wow…this is an amazing post! I am so excited to peruse it more later. I love that you include how each shadow works and how well they stay. Super shocks and Viseart are pretty amazing!

I am curious if anyone knows…what works to keep the PM special shadows from creasing? I used a primer and glitter glue and still had creasing by mid-day with the Nocturnal Nirvana palette. Humid Houston contributes, I know.

Luba Zak Avatar

I use Too Faced Glitter glue on my eyelid just before applying the shadow, besides eye primer, set with translucent powder, and the mattes I use to set up and ground the sparkley shadows. I use Cover Girl Lif lockup as my base eye primer because I have oily lids and prior to that I clean lids with no oily cleansing pad and spray it with setting spray.

Mariella Avatar

I really like the Marc Jacobs Omega single shadows – I just wish there were more colours to choose from. Ditto the Tarte singles; I have 3 of them and would love to have access to the darker green/olive one they have (or maybe “had”) but it’s not carried at Sephora. I wish they also had a wider range of shades.

Mariella Avatar

Many of the shadows they have discontinued were among their very best, which makes so little sense. They made some of the Extra Dimension shadows permanent and then set about slashing and burning those shades as well.

Deborah S. Avatar

All of my favorites are here and I have many of the shades shown. I love the formula for all of these products and really wonder why I ever buy anything else! Another big thank you, Christine, for doing these types of posts. I know how incredibly labor intensive this must be.

Genevieve Avatar

There are so many fantastic brands selling top notch singles for reasonable prices these days that we are so lucky to have such choices at every price point.
Some of them – like the L’Oreal Infalliable shades are oldies but goodies. The brand has also recently (well in the past year) a set of metallic infalliables – in Chrome, Bronze, Rose Gold etc and these are pretty good too.
I am eyeing off the Sydney Grace shadows for my upcoming birthday in late Novemeber…..

Cat Avatar

Agree with you Genevieve, I think it’s a great time to be interested in makeup if you are open to different brands and especially buying singles!
I didn’t know about the newer Infallible shades -I am curious about them now!

kjh Avatar

Gen, we think of singles from the standpoint of color, formula, and application. CP and doubtless other cos are interested in the bottom line. If it doesn’t sell well, goodbye, even to the best products. Just my opinion.

Cat Avatar

2020 is a lot of things but it’s been a great year for me for shadows. I’ve especially enjoyed my Sydney Grace (all types), JD Glow galaxy shadows, Coloured Rain shimmers, and Give Me Glow singles. I have two Tarte paint pots that are stunning as well. Still have yet to try Clionahd shadows but ordered a bunch a few months back so just waiting for them to arrive!

Jane Avatar

Sadly, I was stocked up and then some by the time many of these (except Sydney Grace) came out, so purchasing any other more would have been a sin for me. Just can’t justify any of them except perhaps, if one day I have an extra $40 laying around (LOL!) I could try one or two Clionadh (the Jewel ones or these).

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