- Many of the most popular eyeshadow palettes largely feature neutrals, but colorful eyeshadows have their time and place, too.
- The Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is our pick for the best brightly colored eyeshadow palette because it features a wearable mix of bold and natural shades in a variety of finishes, from matte to metallic.
Neutral eyeshadow palettes get most of the attention. It makes sense – they tend to be more wearable, at least at first glance. Browns, beiges, and champagne shimmers are everyday eyeshadow staples.
But who decided color isn’t suitable for daily life? While I tend to gravitate toward muted shades most often, I definitely like an occasional pop of purple or blue.
Some color eyeshadow palettes feature a mix of neutrals and bright shades, while others are pure rainbow. Which one you choose will likely depend on what you already have in your collection. If you already have tons of matte-brown shades, you may want to pick up a smaller, less expensive palette full of brights to play around with. Or, opt for an all-encompassing selection that can be useful for every single day.
As a beauty writer, I’ve tried many eyeshadows on the market. Based on a combination of personal testing and research, these are our picks for the best color eyeshadow palettes you can buy.
The best color eyeshadow palettes you can buy in 2019:
- Best color eyeshadow palette overall: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette
- Best drugstore color eyeshadow palette: NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette
- Best glittery color eyeshadow palette: Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette
- Best brightly colored eyeshadow palette: Juvia’s Place Zulu Eyeshadow Palette
- Best colorful eyeshadow palette for everyday wear: Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Eyeshadow Palette
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best color eyeshadow palette overall
- Urban Decay
The Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is the perfect mix of neutrals, mattes, and bright, bold shimmers.
At first glance, the Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette is intimidating. There are several bold pops of color and some subtle jewel-tones that the casual makeup-wearer might not reach for often. But look a little closer and you’ll see that there are quite a lot of neutrals to balance things out.
The 21-shade palette contains a mix of matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes. It’s possible to create a natural smokey eye using the brown and charcoal colors or to go bold with fuchsias, blues, and greens. This is one of the most consistent eyeshadow palettes I’ve used in terms of shadow quality. All of the finishes blend beautifully and show up well on the eyes.
As a secondary benefit, the packaging is extremely sleek for such a large palette and contains a huge mirror. It’s a fantastic choice for travel because it’s slim and contains every essential color you could possibly need, plus some fun nonessentials.
Pros: 21 shadows, mix of mattes, shimmers and neutral, bold shades, huge mirror
Cons: expensive, large
The best drugstore color eyeshadow palette
The NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette is an inexpensive, high-quality pick for those who only want to dabble in rainbow colors.
Why splurge on intense purple, green, and blue eyeshadows you might wear only two or three times a year? The NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette contains 16 rainbow shadows and costs less than $15. It’s a great way to dip your toes in the colorful waters.
This palette means business: You get a blend of matte, satin, shimmer, and metallic shadows in various purples, oranges, yellows, blues, and greens. I use eye-primer every day to get the full pigment and blending out of my shadows, and it’s an especially important step to take with shades this high-impact.
Pros: Affordable, 16 shadows, mix of finishes
The best glittery color eyeshadow palette
- Fenty Beauty
Glitter fans will fall in love with the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette and its mix of shimmers and complementary mattes.
Glittery shadows are gorgeous, but it’s useful to have some subtler shades to balance things out. The Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette is full of bold shimmers alongside several key matte colors including blue-gray, brick red, and cocoa brown.
There aren’t a ton of neutrals, but there are enough matte colors to diffuse the glimmers and metallics so they’re more wearable. It’s a good middle-ground if you love color, but don’t want to do a full-on glitter eye for the office.
The palette includes 16 shadows for $59, so it’s definitely a splurge, but reviewers praise the color payoff.
Pros: 16 shadows, mix of finishes, mattes and shimmers
The best brightly colored eyeshadow palette
Juvia’s Place Zulu Eyeshadow Palette is the perfect supplement to the more neutral shadows in your makeup drawer, with nine super pigmented neons.
If you have a lot of neutral eyeshadows already and you’re just looking for a few pops of color here and there, consider the Juvia’s Place Zulu Eyeshadow Palette.
This palette contains nine shadows, all extremely bold and bright, from matte tangerine to metallic lime green. The shimmer shades, of which there are three, can be applied dry or wet for more intensity. You can easily pair them with more subtle colors in the crease for a well-rounded look. Neon shadows are tough to do well, but Juvia’s Place is known for vibrant colors that are both richly pigmented and easy to work with.
There are some complaints of chalkiness from reviewers, but the majority of feedback we’ve seen from across the internet is that this palette is one of the few neon ones out there that’s highly pigmented and actually shows up bright on the skin.
The palette has a 4.8 star rating based on 2,200 reviews on the online platform Influenster.
Pros: highly pigmented, very curated collection, mattes and metallics, large pans
Cons: no neutrals, some complaints of chalkiness
The best colorful eyeshadow palette for everyday
The Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Eyeshadow Palette is a collection of 12 buttery matte shadows in tones inspired by the succulent fruit.
Colorful eyeshadow doesn’t have to mean neon. One of my go-to palettes, the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes, manages to be both bright and extremely wearable. The 12 shimmer-free shadows in this relatively compact collection call to mind the varied shades of the peach, from bright sherbert to rich brown.
While more subtle than many of the brighter palettes on this list, the warm-toned shadows pack a punch on the lids and it’s possible to create some very bold looks. Some of the shadows, like Peach Cobbler, are more intense once applied than they appear in the pan.
Too Faced makes some of the softest, most velvety matte shadows around, and the ones included in this palette are especially blendable and easy to use.
As an added bonus, the packaging is really nice, with a large mirror inside and a secure magnetic closure with cute peach details on the front. My only real complaint is that the shadows are scented like peach, which can be overwhelming.
Pros: mix of brights and neutrals, warm-toned shadows, mattes can easily be mixed with other shadows
Cons: some colors look a little similar on the lid, strong peach scent