What was the first eyeshadow you bought?

I think it was either Benefit Show-Offs or MAC Antiqued/Coppering/Bronze. I kind of went big on my first day out in the makeup world and bought quite a bit from Benefit and then three eyeshadows from MAC in the same shopping trip… I think, my memory isn’t quite so clear 😉

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Pearl Avatar

I bought 4 all at once and they were from my first MAC makeover – Mylar, Swiss Chocolate, Bliss (discontinued but a close dupe would probably be All That Glitters) and Espresso. I wore them with Cubic blush, Spice lipliner and Expose lipstick (discontinued – can’t think of a dupe). ?

HeavyMetalJess Avatar

Blue Jeans by jane cosmetics. I still have it and probably always will as a way to remind myself to stay playful and never take myself to seriously.

Lily Avatar

Mine was definitely a Jane one too. It was called something like Magic Mushroom. My mom was outraged that they were making drugs references but I didn’t know what she was talking about.

Fran Avatar

It was a pretty lavender/purple that my hairdresser recommended and that they sold at the salon — I have no idea now what brand it was, not one of the mainstream drugstore/department store brands, anyway. That was about 1980 and was actually the only eyeshadow I had for quite a few years. I only really started to get into makeup in my mid-fifties.

Mariella Avatar

A really, really, REALLY long time ago, I bought an eye shadow set from Mary Quant that had very warm toned browns and orangey shades in it. But the one I remember most is a Revlon one that I think was called “Guilty Grey”. I used it up and bought a 2nd one. It was the only colour I used. I remember my first MAC shadow purchases very well – Orb and Quarry!

Nancy T Avatar

After literally 43 years, I can only remember one name out of the 4 shadows my Mom bought at the upscale pharmacy she brought me to in downtown Tenafly. We picked out a frosty blue (Revlon China Blue), a matte aqua ( Max Factor), and 2 pricier cream shadows in weighty gold-toned tubes that swiveled up, one was lavender, the other a frosty mint green. No idea who made them, but those creamy ones were absolutely awful on my oily hooded lids!

Sarah Avatar

The beginnings of my makeup collection were things that my sister had touched once or twice but given to me for better use. I didn’t actually buy any eyeshadow until I started to finish those all of and when I did, I went big ;D I bought a tarte eyeshadow palette on sale for like $24 so I’d have a lot all at once. It’s really nice, a lot of varied neutrals like greens and mauves and a few good shimmers to mix in. It was so funny though–I felt so guilty for spending more than $20 on makeup at the age of 16 that I could barely touch it for a while!

Maggie Avatar

A cover girl shadow when I was twelve–no matter how much I packed it on, it wouldn’t stay or show (just tons of fall out and a faded mess). Thank goodness my mom was a makeup hoarder so I recognized what decent shadow was. I refused to touch drugstore shadow until a decade later when I heard great things about l’oreal hip shadows.

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh goodness, that was probably 30 years ago, can’t quite remember, but it was definitely DS because that’s all I could afford back then. Probably a Maybelline or CoverGirl shadow kit, probably in brown or plum, nothing too crazy. How times have changed 🙂

Paz Avatar

MAC and Benefit? Haha, now that’s a fancy first makeup haul! I’m pretty sure my first eyeshadows were from a local brand at the drugstore, or one of those giant, no-brand palettes you can find at department stores.
I remember being really impressed with shimmery black eyeshadows. One day, my classmates were discussing their new discovery, matte black eyeshadow! Very rare! And I’d never seen such thing, so I mentioned having found something better, black eyeshadow with sparkles in it! They rolled their eyes and went on to inform me those are very common, and uncool. Can you tell I lived in a small town? lol

Anne Avatar

I believe it was either the Naked Basics palette or MAC’s Star Violet. I remember the MAC one because I went into a MAC counter inside a Macy’s or a Nordstrom so they only had the single shadows, and that one just caught my eye. I shortly after got a HUGE gift card and got a full 15-palette filled, and got the palette refill version while passing the single shadow on to my sister.

candleashes Avatar

The very first one was a drugstore eyeshadow palette (I don’t think it was from a legit drugstore brand. It was a circular palette made up to look kind of like a CD. It had primary color eyeshadows and glitter lip glosses all of which showed up clear on the lips, there was a butterfly on the lid). I used to wear a lot of rainbow looks with it and thought it was super cool.
The first legit fancy pants purchase was an eyeshadow duo from Too Faced in Boy Toy. It has been ten years now and I’m still upset that these were discontinued. The light pink shade in that duo was everything. Everything. I’m yet to find a dupe.

Kari Avatar

Yeah, absolutely. Girl got me hook line and sinker with how great it made my blues look. I think she blended it out with Shroom and I bought that one next (champagne taste, working-at-a-movie-theatre-and-15-years-old budget). But primer? As much as I wish I’d cracked on, that probably didn’t happen for another four years. So much creasing. So much fade. Haha

S A L L Y Avatar

My first ‘proper’ eyeshadow was a Mac paint pot in bare study. I bought it with my hard earned McDonalds wages haha! My first actual eyeshadow was probably some random palette from Sportsgirl!

Sally ~ DiagonSally

Simone Avatar

The first eyeshadows I remember buying were MAC Post-Haste and Shadowy Lady and I think the third was a Lust Duster from Benefit in the shade ‘Rock Royalty’. Teenage me really liked purples, reds and applying them heavily over my whole lid! It was not a great look.

Lauren Avatar

No idea! I vaguely remember having some drugstore shadows in high school/college, but that was 20 years ago. My first high end purchase was a Bobbi Brown nude palette. I got that about 10’years ago. Color payoff wasn’t great and I barely used it. Then, about 4 or 5 years ago, I picked up the Urban Decay Book of Shadows on a whim. I was newly divorced and getting into makeup. I loved the color payoff so I got the Too Faced Natural at Night palette and naked 1 and I was hooked. I now have a lot of eyeshadow and I went from not knowing how to use more than 1 color to being fairly skilled at doing makeup.

Ashley Avatar

If we are talking first ever eyeshadows I am pretty sure it was a cover girl single called champagne. I was 12 and so excited! If we are talking about adulthood and when I got really into make up the first high end stuff I got were the naked palettes!?

Leslie Avatar

My first eyeshadow EVER was from Aziza back in the 80’s…I was in high school. It was a beautiful irredescent purple…it was my absolute favorite and it stands out in my memory. I wish I could remember the name of that shade. My first higher- end eyeshadow was MAC Black Tied. I loved it at first, until I discovered other high end brands like Dior and Chanel. After that, Black Tied seemed to pale in comparison.

Carson Avatar

My first eyeshadow was a matte, light purple ‘eye zing’ from jane cosmetics! I LOVED jane and got my first lipstick from them too – a brownish, raisin shade. What can I say, I came of age in the 90s ?

megan Avatar

I can’t remember which one but it was either MAC Woodwinked or Sumptuous Olive. I still have Woodwinked and I hit pan on it years ago but I can’t seem to part with it *memories!* I hit pan on Sumptuous Olive before I can it to my niece. MAC was the first makeup brand I experienced

Erica Avatar

My first eyeshadow was a palette from Prescriptives back in the early 80’s. At that time Prescriptives did customized foundations which were new at the time. I bought the foundation and a palette. I recall it contained rosy brown and bronze shadows, nice muted colors for a teenager. There was no Mac in 1983 lol.

Vanessa V Avatar

Oh wow of we’re going that far back I think it was a light purple color from the body shop or this brand kinetics that my mom used to get her all time favorite blush from.

Celia Avatar

My first makeup purchase for fun took place during a trip to New York City (prior to that I’d purchased stage makeup I was instructed to have for work but nothing just for me yet) when I was just seven. I bought a golden Betsey Johnson frosty layering lipstick (still have the tube!) and a champagne shade from MAC. Wish I could remember which one! I repurchased it for a while afterwards. Can’t remember when but a few years later I would be very into Bare Canvas in the Paints formula for a similar color. Of course, I got Frou around that time as well. Lots of sheer, layering frosts for a little one hehe.

Deidre Avatar

I think it was when I was 13 when my mom let me start wearing a bit of makeup and it was a Maybelline eyeshadow quad. It had a pastel pink, blue, green, purple in it. But I don’t think they were super pigmented from what I can remember and I didn’t wear all the colors all together.

xamyx Avatar

I had that quad, LOL! Seashore Frosts, or something like that… Even on my fair skin, they all showed up as a chalky, white mess. I had several Maybelline quads at the time, so I was really shocked at how awful that one was, since the others were all pretty good.

xamyx Avatar

Aside from some shadows that were made for kids, and actually sold in toy stores (Barbie & Timkerbell) when I was 4-5 (my love affair with makeup started very early, LOL!), it was probably an eyeshadow from a Five -and-Dime store. I can’t recall the brand, but it was a duo with a frosty purple & matte lavender, much like NARS Jolie Poupee. A few years later, I moved on to a *lot* of Max Factor, as there was a CCO in Hollywood that mainly carried that brand, bit eventually brought in Revlon/Ultima II, which was my foray into hogher end makeup; I had a 20-pan palette that had a good variety of colors, and I wore that quite a bit through HS.

Claire L Avatar

I already had a makeup palette from Boots 17 when I was 12, but the very first eyeshadows I remember buying at about 14 was a Bourjois eyeshadow duo in dark chocolate and butter yellow. I thought at the time that I had warm colouring and couldn’t understand why it looked muddy and unflattering on my pale skin! Ah well, that was a valuable lesson in seeing what colours actually suited me!

Lorraine Avatar

I saw Jessica Alba on the cover of Jane magazine wearing Midnight Cowboy from U.D and it looked amazing, it was the first time I was interested enough to look for makeup in that way. That was my first followed by the black with silver glitter shade they had, and then a face case by U.D all in a month or so.

Anybody else remember the Urban Decay face cases?

Alicia Avatar

Urban Decay face cases were EVERYTHING! I still have Nymph to Glam and Freakshow floating around somewhere. Wish I still had Rockstar, cause it had the good version of Oil Slick in it!

krachael00 Avatar

I remember showing my mom a magazine ad for the “new, innovative!” L’Oreal HIP eyeshadows, and she not long after picked one up for me as a surprise and I was over the moon. It was a bizarre combination of matte royal purple and yellow (I thought it was a matte yellow, but looking up swatches online, I can’t prove that this duo ever existed, so.)

The first ones I actually purchased myself (about a year later, I was 12 or 13?) were also from L’Oreal but from their Perle singles range (they had the word “perle” embossed on them and everything; so fancy)—I bought four shades, in two complementing pairs: a light beige to pair with a darker, bronzy shade; and for when I wanted to be extra cool, a stark white shimmer with a smoky charcoal 😛

Katherine T. Avatar

I think it was the L’Oreal Hip Shadow Duo called Flamboyant — a royal matte purple and shimmery yellow. I still see it being sold on their website

Darla Armstrong Avatar

That L’Oreal HIP duo did exist…I still have mine. It’s called Flamboyant. If we could upload pics I show it to you. I’m holding it right now. Of course I don’t use it but I can’t seem to make myself toss it!

Erin Avatar

A black single from L’Oreal. I used it with a brush to push the color into the root of the lashes. I then picked up several single colors from Cover Girl in purples and pinks. My first high end was a MAC shade that was a glittery icy lilac. Before that I just used a bit of my terra-cotta colored blush to contour the socket.

Sadra Avatar

I’m not sure what the brand was, but it was an olive green that matched my eyes. When I ran out, I replaced it with Scheherazade from Laura Mercier.
After that I used MAC Scene for about 15 years. Only that one. It wasn’t until I was in my fifties that I really started to get into makeup, and now I have stacks of singles and palettes.

Maggie Avatar

I think I started collecting e.l.f. eyeshadows when I started getting into makeup, but my first memorable purchase was a sparkly mint green eyeshadow by Sephora. It did not look good. It’s still pretty difficult to work, but when I first got it and tried to wear it as my only eyeshadow? Not good. Luckily, it was sheer, and wore off within about 15 minutes.

Melanie Avatar

I wish I remembered, but it was back in the mid 90s. It was a soft brown from CoverGirl. What made it unique for the time was that instead of having a foam tip applicator, it had an ‘innovative’ brush included to sweep the color across the eyelid.

Karen Avatar

Don’t remember which brand but high end-Dior, YSL like that – 4 or 5 pan palette way back in high school. Bought it without testing and it made my eyes and skin burn. So happy shadow formulas have improved.

Deborah Avatar

That was probably 50 years ago so my mind is a bit fuzzy about that answer. hehe My first lipstick was a light coral frost which was the thing back then.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Mine was a bit more than 50 years ago. No one in my family wore make-up. I used to draw eye with pastels or colored pencils to get ideas. At 12-13, I was sneaking makeup. Anything I learned was from magazines. So embarrassed and feel very old now.

Deborah Avatar

I think we all learned from magazines back in our day. No, please don’t feel old and embarrassed. The ‘you’ inside at 12 is exactly the same ‘you’ as inside you now. Just the outside changed a bit. Let’s celebrate that we made it this far right? I still feel 18!

Stacy Avatar

Oh boy, this is really making me feel old! LOL

40 years ago, Avon had a makeup line called Sweet Honesty, for young girls. It included these awful little tubes of paste eye shadow. And I was allowed to use some of my allowance to buy two of them from my mother’s cousin, who sold Avon… A blue one and a green one, if I remember correctly.

Katelyn Avatar

It was a Cover Girl eyeshadow that was a nude shade that had a slight iridescence to it. My mom bought it for me. She said I was too young to have too much pigment. I was 13. My first higher end eye shadow was from Mary Kay, then I discovered Sephora, and j haven’t looked back ever since.

Vanessa Avatar

My first was this little tiny palette from (I think) LA Colors that was 2 dollars, or something like that, that I got a few years ago. I still have it somewhere too! It has 6 shadows in it. I remember very clearly because I was 16 at the time and my mom saw it and asked me if I wanted it. I got very excited because, 1) I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup except lip gloss and 2) it had green, blue and purple shadows so of course I had to have it. ? I also remember trying it out and just making a complete mess on myself trying to use all 6 colors at once! ?

Brownie Avatar

I remember and laugh today about it. It was MAC Sweet Liaison. I still have it! I went into MAC and told them I wanted “a smokey eye” eyeshadow. LOL She recommended Sweet Liaison as well as the #217 “for application.

Audra Avatar

My very first eyeshadows were a quad from covergirl when I was in about 7th grade. It had white, silver, red and black. I loved that thing and covergirl actually still makes the same quad! My first high end shadow was the UD Naked Basics 2 palette, and my first single high end shadow was one of the Mac Dazzleshadows! (Which need to be brought back btw)

Jessika Gay Avatar

I think it was like 10 years ago and it was the Loreal Hip eyeshadows. Those eyeshadows were the bomb and they were so pigmented! I had one in every color. I actually still have a few left and they’re STILL pigmented!

Alecto Avatar

Yikes. A trio or quad from … Covergirl … I think? It was my only eyeshadow for a long time, but I rarely used it because I was pretty bad at applying it. Sat in my drawer for years then I ended up throwing it away when I found colors I liked better. That was about 35 years ago.

Mindy Avatar

My first eyeshadow was from Mary Kay. My algebra tutor had just become a consultant and did a makeover on my after my lesson. She was literally the prettiest girl I’d ever met and I owe my makeup fascination to her. I bought the whole system! 20 years later, here I am, still trying to be as pretty as her!

Cat Avatar

That was over thirty-five years ago… so my best guess is that it was a baby-pink Covergirl eyeshadow. I was probably twelve years old at the time. I’m sure my second eyeshadow was the ever-popular 1970’s blue eyeshadow. =)

ShirlJ Avatar

As a child of the 70s, I vaguely recall some small town drugstore nasty powder blue. Not a good drugstore eyeshadow, either. I don’t want to name names, but it was a common brand hat has, I think, upped their game since then.

Alicia Johnson Morris Avatar

My mom bought/gave me my first eye palette- it was by Estée Lauder, which was moms favorite. I remember that it was a quint, and there was a pretty blue color in it. That was over twenty years ago! The first one that I bought with my own money was also an Estée – a trio of purples. For a long time Estée Lauder was all I knew, because that was what my mom taught me!

Jennifer Avatar

Naked 3!!!!! 17 years old, bought it on a whim on a school trip to new york. My science teacher encouraged me to splurge, told me grown ups should spend grown up prices.

Pasheeda Morris Avatar

The first eye shadow I brought was Nars matte eye shadow in Black Forest, a beautiful black shadow. It’s been since discontinued. I never knew that black eye shadow can be this beautiful.

Toni Avatar

As I would’ve been very young, it would’ve been a drugstore brand for sure, but can’t remember if it was either a Rimmel, dazzle dust by Barry M or Miners.

Amber Moss Avatar

Funny, I just asked my mom this during our Christmas shopping. For my 12th birthday (1989), my gift was a full face of makeup. My first eye shadow was a Cover Girl trio or quad, neither of us could fully remember, but I really think it was a quad. It was Browns, I know that. I couldn’t begin to tell you what my actual first eye shadow purchase was, though.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I have no idea but I’m fairly certain it was at Woolworths. I know the first mascara I bough was a cake mascara that was applied with a damp single row toothbrush thingy in navy blue. Thought it was subtle. Wrong!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!