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15 best eyeshadow palettes for everyday glam

Party season is edging closer, with Halloween and Christmas now not too far away. But while we aren’t quite hanging the lights or decorating our doors just yet, you may already be thinking about your make-up looks.

Eyeshadow palettes are, of course, not just reserved for festive fun though. They can elevate our eye make-up for festivals, birthday parties and even everyday glam, should the mood strike you.

Normally, around this time of year, we start to see a lot of brands unveil new releases, and 2022 seems to be no exception with celebrity collabs, vibrant colours and new shades of neutrals all coming through.

From a new Chanel tweed palette to the Morphe x Maddie Ziegler collab, we’ve been up to our necks in newness. And yes, we’ve been trialling each and every palette we could get our hands on from all the big brands – and some smaller ones, too – to see which ones really are worth their weight in gold.

Whether you love a fox eye à la Julia Fox, a brilliant blue lid or a classic cut crease, there’s a huge range of palettes to pick from, no matter your budget or make-up prowess. Keep reading to find which ones are worth your money.

How we tested

For our beauty buff tester, few things are more fun to play with than make-up, and this colourful collection of palettes made them feel like Christmas had come early.

Keeping things nice and simple, and fair across the board, they used the same tools for each palette which were the four brushes – one of which is double-sided – and two hair clips from the Morphe x Maddie Ziegler in bloom 4-piece eye-brush set and bag (£24, Selfridges.com) which they highly recommend. They then set about getting creative with the little squares of colour sat in front of them.

Looking for ease of application, the number of shades, level of pigment and how long the colour lasted on the skin, a lot of variables went into finding the perfect palette and each one below was loved for different reasons.

The best eyeshadow palettes for 2022 are:

  • Best overall eyeshadow palette – Morphe 35A up ‘til dawn artistry palette: £25, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best small eyeshadow palette – Hourglass curator three shadow palette: Around £96, Spacenk.com
  • Best luxury eyeshadow palette – Chanel le 4 ombre tweed cuivré: £67, Chanel.com
  • Best budget pink eyeshadow palette – Catrice Cosmetics daring nude 18-colour eyeshadow palette: £9.74, Justmylook.com
  • Best brown eyeshadow palette – Illamasqua unveiled artistry palette: £31.20, Illamasque.com
  • Best silver eyeshadow palette – Charlotte Tilbury luxury eye palette the rock chick: £43, Spacenk.com
  • Best budget eyeshadow palette – Collection Cosmetics eye palette Malibu waves: £4.99, Boots.com
  • Best jewel tone eyeshadow palette – Revolution desert desire forever flawless palette: £12, Boots.com
  • Best eyeshadow palette for a smokey eye – Code8 iconoclast eyeshadow palette lustrous corduroy: £45, Codeeight.com
  • Best beige eyeshadow palette – 17. eyeshadow palette 030 browns: £5, Boots.com
  • Best all-round mini palette – Lottie London palette cherry pop: £6.95, Lottie.london
  • Best colourful eyeshadow palette – NYX Professional make-up ultimate eyeshadow palette brights: £16, Boots.com
  • Best luxury fan-favourite eyeshadow palette – Dior 5 Couleurs couture eyeshadow palette, limited edition, 659 mirror mirror: £51.50, Johnlewis.com
  • Best eyeshadow palette for splashing the cash – Yves Saint Laurent couture colour clutch eyeshadow palette: £100, Debenhams.com 
  • Best pink eyeshadow palette – Huda Beauty rose quartz palette: £46.40, Feelunique.com

  • Best: Overall
  • Shades: 35
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Okay, we get that 35 shades is a huge number to rack your head around – especially when you’re no make-up artist. We’ll later go on to say how much we love smaller palettes for their simplicity, how easy they are to hold, and how much we appreciate those that have a mirrored lid for on-the-go application, but this one still took the top spot despite being the complete opposite of all of those points.

Just smaller than an A4 notepad, this is no commuter-friendly palette. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re on a film set when using it. But it ticks almost every box, for every occasion and every kind of make-up look, thanks to housing matte black, champagne gold, gorgeous green and vibrant pink tones, to name but a few. Our tester played around with this palette throughout the summer, creating bold pink make-up looks, a golden smokey eye and even a subtle nude to brighten up their eyes on tired days, and they couldn’t fault it at all. A strong pigment means you need little product on the brush, each shade effortlessly blends, and you can use a wet eyeliner brush to add stronger levels of detail too. For us, this is a no-brainer one-stop-shop palette for everyone, everywhere, any time.

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  • Best: Small personalised eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Three
  • Pigment: Medium
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: Yes

For those who like things nice and simple, this Hourglass palette is hard to beat. The three-pan palette is customisable, meaning you curate your own selection of shades out of the countless options available. There are currently 36 on Cult Beauty alone, but they aren’t cheap at £28 each (Cultbeauty.co.uk).

Testing shades alt, air and doe, our tester had the perfect pale nude palette. Incredibly finely milled, these eyeshadows were instantly picked up by the brush and fingers, making for an effortless application. Air and doe had a soft satin finish, while alt has a slight shimmer that stayed on the skin all night long. The three shades blended together incredibly easily, and are talc-free, so didn’t dry the skin at all, but did need a couple of layers to get a strong pigment. So, for anyone who buys an eyeshadow palette only to use the same two or three shades religiously, this one’s for you, but prepare to spend a little more.

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  • Best: Luxury eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Four
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lit: Yes
  • Applicator included: Yes
  • Refillable: No

Our love for Chanel make-up shows no end in sight. Yes, it’s far from a bargain, but for the *material girls* who like a little bit of luxury, you’ll need little convincing to purchase this palette. And, it’s sure to go down in make-up history, too.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so we’ll start with the packaging. Housed in the typical shiny black and gold Chanel box, this palette is also cased in an adorable tweed pouch, giving away the big surprise inside. Of course, the palette is monogrammed with the famous double-C logo, and there’s a mirror and monogrammed applicators inside too. Four small round eyeshadow shades are the star of the show, all with a tweed-like design stamped on top to give a detail we’ve never seen before. And, when applied with the felt-tipped mini sponges over a brush, the pigment was strong, instantly and easily blended and together left our tester with the perfect smokey eye in deep autumnal colours.

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  • Best: Budget pink eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: 18
  • Pigment: Weak
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Currently on sale and coming in at under a tenner, this eyeshadow palette is a great budget buy. Housing 18 shades from dark brown and gold glitter to a white shimmer and dusty rose, it has more than enough to impress anyone after a light nude or pink-toned eye make-up look, glitter and all.

The mirror in the lid made it incredibly easy to use when on the go, and small magnets made it easy to close, too. Although we wouldn’t be confident enough to leave it loose in the bag next to a white shirt for fear of it opening. Easy to apply with a brush or your fingers, our tester particularly loved the glittery tones, which really did leave a nice shimmer finish on top of the more matte colours. However, none of them had a particularly strong pigment so you will need a few layers to achieve a really impactful look.

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  • Best: Brown eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: 12
  • Pigment: Medium
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Autumn eyeshadow palettes tend to focus on brown, orange and neutral tones, and this one does just that. Mixing matte, shimmer and metallic shadows, they easily blend together whether you’re layering two, three or all of them together to create a soft smokey eye without the intensity of black.

Our tester found the best way to use this palette was with brush over sponges or fingers to help build and blend each shade together, and would recommend mixing at least three or four to get that gradient change (it’s actually easier to achieve than you think). With a mirror in the lid and a strong magnetic closure, it’s incredibly easy to use on the go and looks subtly sleek in its packaging. The pigment isn’t quite as strong as the ‘intense’ descriptions makes out, so layering is key with this one.

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  • Best: Silver eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Four
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Beauty buffs love Charlotte Tilbury, and for good reason. Just as the famous lipliners and lipsticks are a firm fan favourite, the eyeshadow palettes aren’t too far behind. The carefully curated colours of these four-pan palettes mean you should fall in love with every shade, without having that one or two that never get touched.

Of course, you can’t quite be as inventive with your eye make-up looks with this palette compared to some of the others, but if you love a silver smokey eye and go back to it again and again, then it’s going to be hard to beat. The four shades of varying greys compliment each other, meaning you can layer them up for a stand-out look that doesn’t take too much thought. The pigment is strong, easily blends together, and the small sleek casing – with a mirror in the lid – easily slotted into our make-up bags and could be held in one hand when applying.

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  • Best: Budget eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Eight
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

With an incredibly strong pigment, this bargain buy of a palette really impressed our tester. Focusing on purple and orange tones, it isn’t for everyone, but, for those who love these colours, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Best applied with a brush, the four satin finish and four shimmer finish shadows can be combined for a stand-out sunset-themed make-up look which is sure to grab people’s eye – if you pardon the pun. With eight shades to choose from, you could keep it more natural and nude with coral or go the full punch with purple, depending on what you fancy for that occasion. But, this is a budget-friendly palette for those who like to go bold, so keep scrolling if purple eyes feel a little too loud.

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  • Best: Jewel tone eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: 18
  • Pigment: Medium
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Revolution is quickly becoming renowned for its bargain beauty buys, and this palette is a perfect example, as £12 for 18 shades is pretty hard to argue with.

From vibrant purples to gold glitter, this palette doesn’t have every colour you may wish for, but it does have a wide range that a lot of people will love, bringing deep, rich jewel-like tones, perfect for every season. Our tester found the perfect trick is to use a brush for matte shadows and glitter with your fingers to really get the best out of each shade. A cute palm tree print has been stamped into different pans, giving it a summertime feel, and each shade has a fun name such as cactus, sunrise, star gaze and dust storm to really make you reminisce about your summer holiday. For those after a bold make-up look that’s more muted than neon, this may be the one for you, just take some time to work out which colours clash and which work well together before diving straight in.

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  • Best: Eyeshadow palette for a smokey eye
  • Shades: Six
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

For a perfect smokey eye, look no further than this Code8 palette. Although it doesn’t have the fun, loud and bright colours of some of the other picks, this one is for those who know the smokey eye is their go-to for any occasion.

Five large, long pans make up the palette, ranging from light champagne to deep black tone, and each one is highly pigmented for long-term wear. Mixing matte with shimmer finishes and satin tones too, it has everything you need to create a smokey eye effortlessly so long as you use the right brushes. Our tester loved its compact size, mirrored lid and how long each pan was, making it even easier to get the brush loaded up.

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  • Best: Beige eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Nine
  • Pigment: Medium
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

On the lighter side of the neutral tones, this 17. eyeshadow palette is perfect for those after soft coffee and caramel colours. With nine shades included, each perfectly pairing with the rest, it takes little effort to combine a few for a fabulous-looking finish.

Medium in pigment, you will need a couple of layers to make it really pop and the shimmer finish shades on the bottom row attract the light for a wider, brighter-looking eye. Coming in at just a fiver, it’s hard to complain. Of course, it doesn’t have the fancy finish of some of the other products, but sometimes there’s beauty in the basics, and a see-through lid makes it easy to know which palette to pick, a very handy trick we needed when faced with dozens of palettes to choose from.

While the palette is currently out of stock, Boots promises it will be back soon. In the meantime, you can use the “find in store” function on Boots’ website to find out if it’s available in shops near you.

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  • Best: All-round mini palette
  • Shades: 12
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Another one for the colour lovers, this Lottie London palette is bright, bold and mini in size for easy travelling. With one row of neutrals with two matte and two shimmery shades, one row of loud red, pink, blue and green and a final row of darker pinks, there’s something for every occasion and look.

Whether you want to keep it nice and neutral one day, bright and bold the next, and more subtle after that with a selection of deep plum tones, this palette seems to be small yet mighty. As it’s so small, we found a brush was best to dip into each shade, making it easy to be picked up and applied with little effort for a fabulous finish.

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  • Best: Colourful eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: 16
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: No
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

For those who love colour, this palette may be for you. Small in size, it still houses an impressive 26 shades from ruby red to sunshine yellow, and ranges of blue, green and pink are all in there too. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a colour – other than black, brown and neutrals – that aren’t in this vibrant selection.

Strong in pigment, a little goes a long way. But our tester loved how much fun they could have with this one, with an endless combination of colour pairings to create almost any bold eye make-up look. Best applied with a brush, each shade easily blended into each other. And, as a top tip, we also wet an eyeliner brush to create added colourful details too. So, for anyone looking to get wild with their make-up, whether you just go for green, red or a whole rainbow of colours, look no further.

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  • Best: Luxury fan-favourite eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: Five
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: Yes
  • Refillable: No

Just as we struggled to pick the best luxury label when it came to lipliners, eyeshadows are proving to be the same. So ultimately, you just have to pick whether you’re more of a Chanel or Dior person, or really want to splash the cash and go for YSL.

With the five-pan palette, Dior creates an easy-to-blend selection of colours that work all-year-round, and this is one of the brand’s most beloved beauty products. Deep orange, brown, champagne and khaki give a shimmery, satin finish that’s more metallic in tone, perfect for party season. With both a mini dual-ended logo brush and a foam-tipped applicator included, everything you need to create a stand-out eye look is included. The pigment is on the stronger side, so again a little goes a long way whether you layer multiple shades together or just stick to one.

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  • Best: Eyeshadow palette for splashing the cash
  • Shades: 10
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

£100 on an eyeshadow palette is quite shocking, yes. But, while we had to reference the mind-boggling price in the best for category, we equally could’ve named this best for strong pigments, so there’s something to be said for the sky-high price tag.

Of course, the brand is YSL, so this was never going to be a bargain buy. Although this palette really does take luxury make-up to a whole new level. The case is made from black leather, padded in the same way as each of its iconic clutch bags with a gold-tone YSL hardware logo on the front. Opening up to reveal 10 beautifully pressed shades that look more like fabric swatches than make-up and a mirrored top panel for full visibility, it immediately looks and feels expensive.

The application was effortless, and as we said, the pigment was the strongest of any shade we’d tested, while the mix of tones perfectly delivered a range of deep brown smokey eyes, sexy red tones and more neutral looks too. This is a palette for those who really want to splash the cash, or a special gift for a luxury-loving make-up buff, perhaps.

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  • Best: Pink eyeshadow palette
  • Shades: 18
  • Pigment: Strong
  • Mirror in lid: Yes
  • Applicator included: No
  • Refillable: No

Pretty in pink, this Huda Beauty palette is for those after a rosy glow. Named rose quartz, it looks exactly as you’d imagine, with a range of pink, purple, silver and gold shimmery shades to brighten up the eye.

Although each shade is bright and beautiful, it isn’t quite as bold as some of the other palettes in this round-up, so be aware that it’s probably best used for soft, romantic looks rather than fierce colourful ones. Our tester found it easy to use with either the fingers or brushes, and each shade effortless blended into each other for a limitless range of looks, and in true Huda Beauty style, the glitters were the star of the show.

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