Eyeshadow Palettes | 2019 Editor’s Favorites

In 2019, I reviewed 216 eyeshadow palettes (which does include duos, trios, and eyeshadow sets), so you can imagine that narrowing that down to a digestible list of favorites ended up being harder than anticipated! ColourPop was responsible for 44 additions (again, it would also include offerings like Super Shock Shadow trios!) with Natasha Denona coming in with 17 reviews (included several 5-pan, permanent palette reviews) and Tom Ford with 13 reviews (lots of quads launched this year).

I was happy to see some cooler-toned palettes available this year, like ColourPop’s Smoke Show and Marc Jacobs Steeletto, along with less orange/red-toned neutrals like ColourPop’s Going Coconuts and Hola Chola palettes.

Unsurprisingly, Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona dominated my favorites; they’re easily the two brands I reach for most often in palette format.  I still think that the mini Subversive and Sublime palettes are some really excellent buys for anyone wanting to try Pat McGrath’s shimmer formula. The new, limited edition Pat McGrath Quads were all lovely to work with, while new Motherships Midnight Sun and Divine Rose performed well and were more cohesive than her original Motherships.

Natasha Denona Biba is an absolute workhorse neutral palette for me, and I love how it’s arranged.  I hope we’ll see a continuation of smaller format palettes, like Natasha Denona’s Sunrise, in 2020. The newer creamy matte finish is fantastic, so fingers crossed that continues to be used in any future palettes (far superior to the original matte formula!).

Sydney Grace three different nine-pan bundles this year, and I’m always game to try new Sydney Grace eyeshadows! I like the idea of bundles since they’re like a pre-made palette but can be arranged and incorporated as you see fit within your singles.  Total shocker, I know, but all three performed excellently!

If you’re unfamiliar with how I like to do my year-end favorites, here’s the low down: I pull from the products I reviewed in 2019, regardless of whether they were new, limited edition, or an established range I’ve only just gotten around to reviewing. These are personal favorites, so they may or may not be the highest rated products reviewed during the year (though they will tend to be better rated, naturally!). (You can check out best of 2018 if you missed it.)

Temptalia’s Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes | 2019

02.

02. Galactic Gold Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath

LELimited Edition. $65.00/0.42 oz.

A
03.

03. Coral Natasha Denona

Natasha Denona

PPermanent. $48.00/0.4 oz.

A
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05.

05. Gold Natasha Denona

Natasha Denona

LELimited Edition. $25.00/0.14 oz.

A
07.

07. Blowin' Smoke Colour Pop

Colour Pop

DCDiscontinued. $12.00/0.36 oz.

A

Colour Pop 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...

Colour Pop 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...

09.

09. Safari Raine Coloured Raine

Coloured Raine

PPermanent. $39.00/0.44 oz.

A

Coloured Raine Safarai Raine 9-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00 for 0.44 oz.) is a new, permanent palette featuring four mattes and five shimmers. I...

Coloured Raine Safarai Raine 9-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00 for 0.44 oz.) is a new, permanent palette featuring four mattes and five shimmers. I...

10.

10. Orange Blossom Kaja

Kaja

PPermanent. $21.00/0.09 oz.

A

Kaja Orange Blossom Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio ($21.00 for 0.09 oz.) includes three, ultra-sparkly "cream-powder" eyeshadows that are...

Kaja Orange Blossom Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio ($21.00 for 0.09 oz.) includes three, ultra-sparkly "cream-powder" eyeshadows that are...

13.

13. Divine Rose Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath

LELimited Edition. $125.00/0.47 oz.

A

Pat McGrath Divine Rose Mothership Palette ($125.00 for 0.47 oz.) is a new, surprise release from the brand that debuted exclusively on Selfridges'...

Pat McGrath Divine Rose Mothership Palette ($125.00 for 0.47 oz.) is a new, surprise release from the brand that debuted exclusively on Selfridges'...

14.

14. Just My Luck Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $12.00/0.36 oz.

A

Colour Pop Just My Luck 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new, permanent (!) green-themed palette that the brand specifically...

Colour Pop Just My Luck 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new, permanent (!) green-themed palette that the brand specifically...

15.

15. Danny's Dream Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace

LELimited Edition. $33.00/0.54 oz.

A

Sydney Grace Danny's Dream 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a set of nine eyeshadow singles in various shades of green--three are shimmers, six...

Sydney Grace Danny's Dream 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a set of nine eyeshadow singles in various shades of green--three are shimmers, six...

16.

16. Raspberry Kiss Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace

PPermanent. $33.00/0.54 oz.

A

Sydney Grace Raspberry Kiss 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a new, permanent bundle that features nine shades across pink and plum tones. There...

Sydney Grace Raspberry Kiss 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a new, permanent bundle that features nine shades across pink and plum tones. There...

17.

17. Mountain Trail Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace

PPermanent. $33.00/0.54 oz.

A-

Sydney Grace Mountain Trail 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a new, permanent bundle that features a mix of gold, olive, and green shades across...

Sydney Grace Mountain Trail 9-Pan Bundle ($33.00 for 0.54 oz.) is a new, permanent bundle that features a mix of gold, olive, and green shades across...

26.

26. Going Coconuts Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $12.00/0.36 oz.

A-

Colour Pop 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...

Colour Pop 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...

27.

27. It's My Pleasure Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $12.00/0.36 oz.

A-

Colour Pop It's My Pleasure 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is the newest palette release from ColourPop that features a mix of...

Colour Pop It's My Pleasure 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is the newest palette release from ColourPop that features a mix of...

30.

30. Fun Size Sugarpill

Sugarpill

PPermanent. $28.00/0.23 oz.

B+

Sugarpill Fun Size 9-Pan Mini Color Palette ($28.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a slim, travel-friendly palette of brighter pops of matte eyeshadow that range...

Sugarpill Fun Size 9-Pan Mini Color Palette ($28.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a slim, travel-friendly palette of brighter pops of matte eyeshadow that range...

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Glossover Breakdown

93%

Average Score
A
29
B
1
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9.5
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
4.5
Total
93%
product
9.5
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
4.5
Total
93%

Your Year in Review: Eyeshadow Palette Edition

I thought it would be interesting to read through how readers used products throughout the year, what favorites emerged, what products fell by the wayside… so, if you want to join in, copy and paste the questions below and add your answers via a comment!

  • What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year?
  • Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year?
  • Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How?
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Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

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13 Comments

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What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? The iconic original Naked palette (I will really miss that beauty when I finish the shadows I use the most), Chanel Tisse Rivoli quadra and Smashbox Minimalist Covershot
Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? Probably pre-mades, as they generally contain more shadows than my custom palettes (which is where I tend to stash all my random singles so they’re not really “cohesive” the way a good premade palette is). But I do use my singles a lot too.
Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How? I have a real weakness for eyeshadows and shadow palettes so if some good cooler toned ones come out, I’ll probably be eager to get a few (I was all excited about the Natasha Denona Mini Glam one that looked so cool toned until Christine provided more realistic photos).

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? PMG Midnight Sun and Bronze Seduction Mothership Palettes, ND Sunrise, ABH Mod Ren and Jackie Aina, ColourPop Going Coconuts and It’s My Pleasure, UD Naked Honey.

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? Equally as often in both categories. I have a bunch of MAC Pro Pan Quads and also many of their LE singles, plus UD singles.

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How? Way, way less!

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? I rotate through my palettes a lot, but best guesses:
* ABH Modern Renaissance would be #1. No guessing required.
*Ace Beaute Paradise Fallen
*ABH Norvina
*NARS Provocateur
*Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes
*ColourPop palettes
*Viseart Petit Pro (02) and Too Faced Sugar Cookie (I keep these two in my purse makeup bag. I end up doing makeup on the go quite often, because my life is crazy.)
*BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition (My go-to easy neutral palette whenever I didn’t feel well.)
*Coloured Raine Vivid Pigment Bundle

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? Pre-made

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? Yes
How? I intend to buy less. I’ve pretty much filled the holes in my collection, and have most of the color stories I’ve been seeing.

I’m pleased to report that I have 10 of the above palettes and I love them all so much. They definitely deserve highest marks as far as I know. The only palette I still need to get from this list is PMG Divine Rose, which I sadly missed.

I am not surprised that PMG’s palettes dominated this year, as there were a lot of excellent releases.
My favourites from the above were: Gold by ND, Soleil Et Lune by TF, Smoke Shadows by CP and Metropolis by ND.

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year?
bareMinerals The Soft and Smokey and The Playlist;
ABH Sultry
Lorac Pro Metals;
UD’s Vice 2 and Naked 2
Huda Beauty’s Smokey Obsessions
Dior’s Bonne Etoile
Maybelline’s Burgundy Bar

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year?
I use mostly premade palettes, but I did use my City Color singles a lot as well.

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How?
No, I think my purchasing palette behaviour is going to decrease as I really do have all the shades I could possible want or need for the rest of my life!
Besides, most of the palettes released nowadays have too many reds/oranges/pinks and matte shades for my liking.

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? It is hard as I have 70 plus palettes and rotate often. But I guess huda beauty new nude palette, Dose of colors x katy Desi palette and Colourpop palettes are my most used palettes.
Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? Pre-made palettes. I sometimes reach my CP singles but not as much.
Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How? Yes, this year I only buy 9 palettes mostly because of balck friday sales. I used to buy more. I plan to use my new palettes more in 2020 and use my existing palettes from my stash instead of buying new .

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year?: Too Faced White Peach. I gather this palette wasn’t a fan favorite but I love it. Also the Rose Quartz palette from Aether Beauty.

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? I only have a couple singles but I’m looking into building a custom palette to dupe a few things. Sydney Grace, here I coooome

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How? Eyeshadow palettes aren’t my main makeup squeeze (that’s blush) so I don’t anticipate buying any really.

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? Dior Backstage Cool Neutrals, ColourPop Fame, and Smashbox Punked.

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? Pre-made, but I also went through a MAC singles phase for a little while.

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? Yes, I really do not need anymore palettes for awhile, so I plan to go on a serious, long-term no-buy.

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year?
Whew, I have to admit that I bought lots of new palettes this year (especially in the latter half), but if I had to pin them down, I’d say: Viseart Siren, Viseart Tryst, Viseart Milieu, Natasha Denona Coral.

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year?
I’ve definitely used more pre-made palettes this year, purchasing 0 single pans. I noticed that in starting to favour smaller palettes over larger palettes as well. Big palettes have become a huge turn-off for me.

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How?
I’m sticking to mostly Pat Mcgrath, Natasha Denona, and Viseart purchases only. I recently decluttered my palette drawer and found myself strictly drawn to those brands. It’s both good/bad in that I purchase less palettes overall, but when I do, I end up splurging. 🤔

I wish I had gotten the Soleil et Line but I deliberated for too long. I bought a lot of indie Multichromes this year and suspect I’ll continue to purchase from indie brands as opposed to mainstream. I did however get the Steeletto, Spectral and a few Colourpop, namely the Good Sport, Bye Bye Birdie, Flutter By and 2 of the nine pans, Blue Moon and Going Coconuts. I used RotS V1 the most this year but I reached for my singles quite a lot too. Thanks for all your hard work and Happy 2020!

What were your most used eyeshadow palettes this year? Oh man, eyeshadow palettes are my weakness. I probably used my ND Safari palette the most this year, along with my Kaliedos Makeup Futurism palettes. I also used the Nars Skin Deep palette quite a bit too. The Safari and Skin Deep palettes are great companion palettes, and I think that’s why I used them so much.

Did you use pre-made palettes or singles/custom palettes more this year? A lot of pre-made palettes.

Do you anticipate your palette purchasing behavior to change in 2020? How? I think it will be less. My collection is really well rounded now, so if I purchase eyeshadow, it’s usually a single or a topper shade.

I adore PMG’s little plastic palettes and hope she brings out another one or two this year. The luxury of PMG shadow on vacation while not worrying about a luxe palette getting kicked your luggage is fantastic.

My most used: ABH Sultry; Morphe Bronze Goals; Too Faced Gingerbread Spice Extra Spicy; BH Take Me Back to Brazil; Huda Smoky Obsessions. There were and are many many more palettes that I have been using and loving, but these seem to be the ones I remember using most often. I also have a palette on my vanity with my 24 chosen singles (mostly Colourpop) that I use as a supplement if a palette I want to use is missing something.

I use premade palettes most often, but again, if they need something…usually a transition or deep outer eye shade, I grab my singles palette.

Do I anticipate my purchasing behavior changing? Not really. I buy too much and love every second of it. It’s my treat for myself because I work so much. I’ll buy less if the brands don’t offer as much good stuff.

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