What brands are most reliable for eyeshadows?

Sydney Grace and Pat McGrath were the two that immediately came to mind! I wanted to say Viseart, but there are enough more middling shades (workable, more buildable mattes) relative to marketing that I don’t know if I’d really say “most” reliable. The same is true with Natasha Denona–a lot of stellar shades, and I think consistency has been improving in the last year or so, but there have been some misses in the past.

— Christine
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32 Comments

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Mariella Avatar

This is a tough one, for sure. The Marc Jacobs singles I have are absolutely stellar but I had and returned (unusual for me) one of his palettes as I wasn’t pleased about any aspect of it. In all honesty, and while I’ve not purchased from them in years, I would probably say Inglot! I wasn’t disappointed by a single purchase I made from them and the prices were pretty unbeatable too! And can I just mention, with sad heart, the “old” Stila singles and “In the…” palettes? My goodness, but Stila used to have some great eyeshadows but not so much any more! I’ve some shadows/palettes from PMG and Natasha Denona but their prices, limited availability and the dearth of single shadows in “pro pan” type packaging are negatives to me. I would love, love, love to have different access to Sydney Grace and also ColourPop.

Erica Avatar

Buildable isn’t a bad thing. It allows you to have more control! MAC and ABH take up the most of collection. They have great formulas, great colors and they just work. Sydney Grace is good but they haven’t been around long enough and don’t have a wide enough range to say they have no duds. Come back 20 years and let’s see if you still impress. JS. I like Viseart and Natasha Denona are good but bc of their price I just have used enough from them long enough to know how reliable they are. Another favorite of mine is Lime Crime. Underrated for sure!

Rachel R. Avatar

How this list has changed from a few years ago! Sydney Grace, ColourPop, Pat McGrath, Viseart, Juvia’s Place, SugarPill, Coloured Raine, Looxi Beauty, Lethal Cosmetics, Devinah, Notoriously Morbid, Apocalyptic Beauty, Igneous Cosmetics, and My Pretty Zombie. Anastasia, too, if we ignore the Norvina line of palettes.

Shelly Avatar

I just ordered their new Candy Cakes. Thank you so much for your advice…it was so helpful!!! All their shadows are really so pretty and really intriguing. I hope you enjoy too:):):)

Brian Avatar

Amy Loves Makeup on youtube always reviews the Devinah releases, she has a video up already for the Candy Cakes collection if you’d like to check that out.

Beth Avatar

I have accumulated an enormous number of Sydney Grace eyeshadows and they all are great quality. My experience with Natasha Denona has been great. She has never let me down with eyeshadow quality. I also have quite a few Surratt eyeshadows and they all have been excellent quality, but it is not necessary to spend that much on singles and so I have stopped buying them.

Sandy Avatar

For my oily lids, best are Viseart and Colourpop. Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath tend to muddy on my eyes, but only those special shades by PM, even with primers and diff techniques. I do really love Sydney Grace though! ❤️❤️❤️

Francesca Avatar

I love huda’s eyeshadows. Many dislike them, saying that are hits or misses and not consistent across the various formula. But they are perfect for me, for my particular hands, brushes and tecnique. Anastasia’s formula tents to be good too, but it’s too much pigmented and powder for my taste. I prefer to buildability and blendability over sheer pigmentation. I’ve found solid eyeshadow also in Violet voss palettes

Nancy T Avatar

Since I actually like buildable shades in when it comes to my mattes, I actually do feel that ABH, MAC and Viseart do the job for me. When it comes to shimmers and unique shades I feel that PML covers that base quite nicely, so does UD most of the time. And my large Natasha Denona Lila palette works so well that I have no complaints about that formula! Also, her Mini Nude and Gold palette’s are phenomenal, too.

Ana Maria Avatar

For me, there’s no truly fully reliable brand. With eyeshadow is difficult to nail down all formulations (mate, satin, foiled, shimmer, metallic) and different colors in the same formulation (it’s easy to make a mate neutral brown, but hard to do well a purple or blue). But the most reliable for me have been MAC and Urban Decay.

Genevieve Avatar

That is a tough question to answer because so many brands have had their ups and downs in the past few years: UD (On a downhill slope), Too Faced (improving). Nars (Inconsistent) etc.

Sydney Grace would be one brand that has shown itself to be pretty reliable across their singles range and palettes
ABH (apart from the Norvina fiasco) seems pretty good too.

I don’t have any ND, PMG, Viseart or Too Faced’s eyeshadows to make a judgement on them as they are just so hideously expensive here and I have dupes for the shades I like.

Z Avatar

Melt Cosmetics. I’ve had one bum stack from them (ShapeShift, and only two of the shades were actually garbage), every other palette and stack (I own all but the Baby Girl) is consistently good. Tarte eyeshadows are generally good too, I love the matte, tartelette in bloom, and toasted – swatching all the newer ones tells me the formula is still good.

I’ve swatched Natasha Denona palettes in store with results being all over the place – some were straight trash – and even my beloved Gold palette has a dud or two. Pat McGrath is usually good, though I’m not as impressed with my Bronze Seduction as other people…it’s like a few of my shades were dried out in the desert or something.

Shelly Avatar

I really love the formula in Tati Westbrook’s first palette…with that being said her first palette I expect nothing less from all future palettes. For a brand more established I think ColourPop is reliable especially for the price point. I also have quite a few palettes from Jeffrey Star and have never come across a dud yet. I hope everybody is safe+happy+healthy:)

Dinah Avatar

For me the most consistent performers have been Viseart, so pigmented and buildable it’s hard for me to call out a miss. Just discovered Sydney Grace and they are fantastic, if slightly less long lasting on my oily lids. Natasha Denona and PMG are also right up there. I tend to stick to a few core brands once I’m satisfied with their performance.

Brian Avatar

I have been genuinely shocked by how consistently the same their shadows are formula wise, their mattes are very very pigmented, not everyone’s cup of tea I know but even if you’re not into mattes like that their metallics/shimmers are amazing.

lisebeth Avatar

Personally, I am never disappointed by the makeup forever eyeshadows. For me they are the best. They are so soft, pigmented and they blend nicely. They are really pro material. They have neutrals and colorful eyeshadows, they have so many shades… sometimes if a new palette comes out and my eyes are focused on a particular shade I just check first if I can find that same color in the mufe range. I think Kiko has more affordable and really good eyeshadows too. I love the color stories in the natasha denona palettes.

Louise Avatar

I feel like Morphe is pretty reliable, especially for the price you pay. I have their 35O palette and am looking to buy their James Charles palette as well. For such a large selection of shadows within a palette, the vast majority of them are pretty decent, workable and blendable. So I would definitely trust them to purchase again in the future.

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