I've Tried Over 50 Brands of Eyeshadows, and These 10 Are My All-Time Best for Quality and Value


I’ve been doing makeup for over 5 years now, and throughout that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to try out and work with tons of different makeup brands and products. Eyeshadow looks are always my favorite to play with, and I love to test out different makeup applications and techniques, using all kinds of eyeshadow formulations and products. After testing over 50 different brands of eyeshadows, I’ve found my all-time best eyeshadow brands and products for value, and quality.

  1. overall best value eyeshadows

Morphe offers the overall best value (quality x affordability) for eyeshadows. They have a wide variety of eyeshadow palettes in different sizes, that are all very affordable. The palettes include all different kinds of eyeshadow formulations including: matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes, all of which are consistently very good. I personally think that their shadows are some of the best eyeshadows on the market, matching the quality of some more expensive brands that I really love. Morphe is a super trendy brand for eyeshadow palettes, but I don’t think its overhyped at all. If you are looking for good eyeshadows on a budget, I highly recommend Morphe. You can get the most quality eyeshadows, for a lower price. Their 35 shadow palettes cost $24 each, and so if you bought two palettes for $48 total, you are essentially getting 70 eyeshadows, for the same cost as a high-end eyeshadow palette that only has 12-15 shadows. Here are my favorite palettes from the brand:


2. second best value eyeshadows

Colourpop Cosmetics also has consistently great value for makeup products, being super high-quality, and very affordable. Their eyeshadows are probably their strongest products, in terms of quality and value. They offer single shadows, palettes, and their famous Super Shock Shadows. All of their eyeshadows are really good, but their Super Shock Shadows are the best gems in the eyeshadow market. Their formulation is very unique, and its very pigmented and reflective in the shimmer / metal finish options. If you like pops of color or metal, they are so amazing. I love metallic shimmery shades, and not very many brands can pull it off. The shadows look the same on your lids as in the pan, so the payoff is incredible, and the pricing is comparable to drugstore prices. Here are my favorite shadows from the brand:


3. best specialty eyeshadows

Anastasia Beverly Hills has some of my favorite eyeshadows on the market, and Norvina (the creative director) is always so good at curating colors for the eyeshadow palettes. They are the best eyeshadows in the specialty sector of the beauty market (price ranges $16-$75ish). I think they have some of the best formulations for eyeshadows, being pigmented and blendable, especially in the matte finishes. Anastasia is probably the brand that I use the most for eyeshadow looks. Here are my favorite palettes from the brand:


4. best luxury eyeshadows

Pat McGrath Labs also makes some pretty incredible eyeshadows. Pat McGrath is a world-famous makeup artist, known for her incredible talent and insight in the beauty industry, and her products absolutely match that level of expertise, in artistry and quality. In the luxury sector of the beauty market, Pat McGrath makes my favorite eyeshadows. The palettes are a little bit more pricey than specialty eyeshadow palettes, but if you’re looking for quality and luxury, its a great option. The palettes would honestly be best as gifts to beauty lovers, because they are really special pieces, and offer unique shadows for those who like to play around with makeup. Here is my favorite palette from the brand:


5. best eyeshadows for colorful looks

Huda Beauty has a range of different colored eyeshadow palettes, called the Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes, and I love using the 3 that I have. The eyeshadows in the eye palettes are all consistently really good quality, and well-formulated. I’ve been very impressed with the shadows, especially considering that the palettes are fairly affordable for their market. Huda Beauty is a great brand for colorful eye makeup looks, because the palettes are sold in different color scheme variations, and the color payoff is incredible. Here are my favorite eyeshadow palettes from the brand:


6. surprisingly good eyeshadows

Kylie Cosmetics is very successful and hyped in the beauty community, and I think the most common assumption is that the brand is successful based solely on Kylie Jenner’s notoriety alone. I have to admit, that after trying lots of her products, that I’ve been really impressed with the brand’s quality, and the eyeshadows are amongst some of my favorites in beauty. I would compare the quality of the shadows to Morphe, and Anastasia Beverly Hills, which have some of my favorite eyeshadows on the market. Here are my favorite eyeshadow palettes from the brand:


7. best liquid eyeshadow

Stila Cosmetics is my absolute favorite brand for liquid eyeshadows. Their Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows are really incredible for color and finish. They have a large range of shades that you can choose from, and every shade that I’ve tried applies really well, and doesn’t sheer out, or lose its color or shine after applying. If you like to do your makeup with glitter and shimmer finishes, these liquid shadows would be a great option. They have really seamless, easy application, and great color payoff. Here are my favorite liquid eyeshadows from the brand:


8. best drugstore eyeshadows

e.l.f. Cosmetics is really a gem of a brand in the drugstore segment of beauty, and actually has some really incredible products. Finding good eyeshadows from the drugstore is sometimes difficult, because they are sometimes hard to blend or don’t have any color payoff, and so I’ve been testing lots of drugstore brands to see which one makes the best eyeshadows. e.l.f makes several variations of eyeshadow palettes, that are actually really good quality. They have amazing color payoff, and smooth application; at an affordable drugstore price. Here is my favorite eyeshadow palette from the brand:


9. best foil eyeshadows

Makeup Geek is really well-known for having some of the best eyeshadows on the market, which I would completely agree with. They have incredible formulations of eyeshadows across all finishes. The real gem for me from Makeup Geek, are their Foiled Eyeshadows, which are so much fun to play around with, and so beautiful on the eyes. The formula of their foil shadows are very pigmented and reflective, and have the most incredible eye-catching finish on eyeshadows, that I’ve tried. Some of my favorite makeup looks that I’ve done were featuring a foiled shadow from Makeup Geek. Here are my favorite shadows from the brand:


10. best essentials eyeshadow palette

Tarte Cosmetics makes the best essentials eyeshadow palette that I’ve tried, meaning its the best palette that I’ve used that features only really versatile base colors and shades. The Tartelette 2 In Bloom Palette has a variety of nude and neutral shadows, that are really good for creating a base for a look, or adding natural definition to the eyes. The eyeshadows are really soft, blendable, and easy-to-apply. I would highly recommend this palette as a basic starter palette for your makeup collection. Because it is so versatile, you could potentially get a lot of use out of it. Here is the eyeshadow palette mentioned:


honorable mentions

There are a few other brands that I think are worth mentioning, when talking about the best eyeshadows on the market. There are 4 brands that I’ve been very impressed with, with a few of the products that I’ve been using. Covergirl is another great drugstore brand for eyeshadows, just because they are consistently really pigmented, and have really incredible color payoff. Pixi Beauty has some amazing pressed eyeshadow palettes, and their liquid eyeshadows are also really really gorgeous on the eyes. Lorac has really buttery formulations on their eyeshadows, and are super easy to work with. Juvia’s Place also consistently has really gorgeous colors, with great payoff, and blendability.

T3 Micro
Miranda Lauren