Eyeshadows Under $10 | 2020 Editor's Favorites

2020 was the year of smaller-sized eyeshadow palettes–less mega-sized palettes–which meant I ended up having more space on my reviewing calendar to explore indie brands as mainstream brands’ releases slowed down (at least for the first half of the year). This post, and the one that follows (for eyeshadows over $10), are specifically highlighting my favorite single eyeshadow releases from the year. This means that the eyeshadow had to be available to purchase individually, not solely within a palette!

Over the past year, I’ve been particularly impressed by Clionadh; while their Multichromes get the majority of the hype (and it’s well-deserved!), they actually have particularly stunning duochromes and interesting metallic shades, too (they have a lot less matte eyeshadows, and some have been great and a few have been misses).  The latter are “standard” eyeshadows, so they’re a lot less expensive.

JD Glow has a very shiny, metallic range of shimmer eyeshadows (and they’re oversized and affordable!) with a lot of fun duochromes and a few more unique (to me) shades.  Lethal Cosmetics was also a new brand I tested and reviewed this past year, and while not every shade was a winner, they have some unusual-hued matte eyeshadows that were lovely.

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 2020, 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 2019 if you missed last year’s.)

Temptalia’s Favorite Eyeshadows Under $10 | 2020

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Your Year in Review: Eyeshadow Edition — Part 1

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 must used single eyeshadows this past year?
  • Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it?
  • Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021?
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11 Comments

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What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? My infamous use of MAC Orb precedes me! LOL! But also MAC Kid, Uninterrupted, Gold Bit, Handwritten, Haux, Folie, Arena,

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? Yessiree!
What’s in it? Several well-loved MAC quads I put together myself, plus some ColourPop singles, Devinah too.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? More! Especially Clionadh, JDGlow and Sydney Grace.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? Melt Antique and Amelie, Nyx Jaded, a long discontinued dark olive shimmer from Lancôme, Kryolan Viva Brilliant Color in Lime. I have been using these for several years.

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? I have a peach-orange-coral one consisting of Melt Antique (light peach matte), Nyx Tantalizing Peqch (mid tone peach matte), Melt Amelie (iridescent peachy gold), Sidney Grace Summer Love blush (medium-dark pearly coral) that I wear on my eyes, andNyx Blame It On Midnight (warm medium brown).

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? It will be about the same.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? In the “under $10” range, Wet n Wild Nutty, Maybelline Tastefully Taupe and MAC Vanilla and Plumage pro pan singles (there are’t a whole lot of eyeshadows in that price range in Canada); generally, my most used singles were Marc Jacobs Brav!O and Anastasia Vermeer and Gleam
Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? Two MAC palettes that contain most of the basic neutral singles (Satin Taupe, Charcoal Grey, Omega, Wedge, Grain, Era, All That Glitters, Copperplate, Sumptuous Olive, Typographic, etc. etc. – the MAC “classics”) I reach for it often to help round out a look where I might need something that another palette doesn’t provide
Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? Less. I think I have almost all the singles I need (high end or low), mind you, the same pretty much applies to palettes too.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? Definitely Devinah Cosmetics singles. I purchased some really beautiful sparkly shades over the past year.

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? Lol, I am the literal WORST at creating custom palettes. I can create cool combos of a few shades, but beyond that, my mind just goes blank.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? Probably more. Now that I have some special shades and a couple more Clionadh orders coming in, I can see myself getting use out of my palettes to create a look, then turning to singles to really make the look shine.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? – If we’re just counting powder, then definitely NYX Baked Shadow in Belle. It’s absolutely gorgeous, an extremely smooth gold shimmer that isn’t too blinding for work.

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? – No, I just have one of those small magnetic ColourPop palettes with some random single shadows. Let’s see if I can remember everything in it… ColourPop pressed shadows in Come and Get It, BPM, Glass Bull, and (some dud shadow that I can’t remember), a sample size Urban Decay Fireball, Strobe Cosmetics Oracle, Bronx Colors Venus, and four little Clinique shadows from bonus bags where I didn’t want to keep the blush with it.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? – More, for sure. I don’t need more palettes.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? I used a suprising amount of my singles this year: City Color’s Sandstorm and Cleo; PMG’s Lapis Luxury and my SG singles of Antique Coin, Recruit and Commission.

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? I don’t have a custom palette of singles, just the few I have from SG – more random singles.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? I am not a totally singles fan, rather I purchase singles when I am after a particular shade to fill in an eyeshadow gap – not that I have many really.

I, for one, am very happy to see you be able to review the indie brands. If the high end companies continue to put out mediocre products, my money will only be spent on indie brands. Sydney Grace and Clionadh have some of the best and beautiful products out there and I don’t see much sense in buying UD shadows that stink. Keep up the great reviews Christine and happy New Year everyone 🎉🎆🎉

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? Sydney Grace, ColourPop, and Coloured Raine (Vivid Pigments and singles, original formulas).

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? I have a few: I have a palette with all the NYX Prismatic singles in them I frequently use. Also, my custom palette with single Sydney Grace shades (mostly purples) + the Raspberry Kiss Bundle. I don’t know if this counts as a “custom palette”, but I also have a palette with SG’s Danny’s Dream and Mountain Trail bundles in it that I regularly went into for greens.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? I always focus more on palettes than singles. However, with all the multichromes and intense shimmers and metallics indie brands have brought out, I’ll probably be more into singles than I have been in the past.

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year? Since I don’t have many single shadows my standout for the year has to be “I’m Just a Dandelion” from Devinah

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it? I have a single custom palette that’s just a holder for all my single shadows and cheek products. Honestly I don’t use it as often as I’d like to

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021? About the same. When it comes to single shadows from indie brands I’m willing to pay more compared to palettes from mainstream brands, but because I’m willing to pay more it usually means I save up for longer and therefore don’t buy as often

What were your must used single eyeshadows this past year?
JD Glow’s Unexpected is.. Just… So unexpected!! I’m shocked to see so many JDG shadows on your favorites, but not that one. It really is unique in the effect and texture it gives.

Was there a custom palette you used often this past year? What’s in it?
My random singles palette has the mostly matte remnants of the Modern Rennaisance and Prism palettes, an Ofra shade called Blissful, plus these JD Glow shades: Unexpected, Fairy Acid, Opal, Peachy Keen, and a purple/gold/green multichrome.

Do you expect to focus more or less on single eyeshadows in 2021?
Probably less. I’m going on a lowbuy for 2021 to try and pan some of my many existing singles and palettes.

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