It’s time we let eyeshadow shine on even an average day. Whether you’re treating yourself to a pop of color above the mask for a grocery run, or bringing some vibrance to your next Zoom meeting, the perfect palette is a sure way to boost your mood this winter and beyond.
“I love eye shadow palettes because just seeing the colors always lifts my spirits when I set up my kit,” confirms celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. “I may not get to touch that bright neon orange eye shadow, but I take that neon shadow palette out faithfully in hopes that one day I’ll get to play. Colors are connected to our energy and bold colors immediately lift moods and change energy. “
Here, to help in your search for the best eyeshadow palettes, 8 celebrity makeup artists advise on 12 of their favorites.
London-based makeup artist Ammy Drammeh, whose work has been seen on faces like Michaela Coel, Harry Styles, and Adut Akech, favors this Dior palette. “It's become a staple in my kit. They are high pigment, have matte and shimmery finish and their shades are neutral. Perfect for a laidback or a glamorous look.”
Michael Anthony (who’s worked with stars like Ariana Grande and Paris Hilton), says he loves this palette because “the colors are super charged with pigment and the unique duo chrome shades have a lot going for them: they twinkle like a refined glitter and go on like a silky cream to powder formula!” Anthony notes the multifunctional appeal of this palette as well: “I’ve used these to highlight the cheekbones and brow bones and I love that they are semi-transparent which makes them really fun for layering,” he says. “I love that they are not exclusively for the eye.”
Remi Odunsi, who has done makeup for Raveena and Ziwe, is a self-described minimalist. Accordingly, she explains, “my criteria for a good palette is anything with both matte and shimmery shades that also bring some pops of color.” The Amrezzy palette is her favorite thanks to its warm-toned variety, wet or dry. “Best to put this one on before makeup or to use a kleenex on your face to avoid fallout,” she advises.
Sheriff appreciates this palette’s range of vibrant and rich earth tones. Plus, she notes, “it won’t break the bank, as they’re each under $20 bucks!”
“What I love is how easily the shadows glide on with a makeup brush. This can be seen in the pigmentation of the eyeshadow which allows for the eye to pop! This is also true when combining colors, whether a smokey eye or building on three or more vivid colors,” says Erika La Pearl, Cardi B’s makeup artist. “Pat McGrath has a variety of palettes with amazing shades which complement and enhance. Also, the packaging and quality is what draws and catches your attention. You feel like doing your very best and also making the client look ‘glamorous.’”
Makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, who works with Ciara, seconds these sentiments. "I’m a huge fan of reflective shadows. And Pat McGrath Labs’ MTHRSHP MEGA: CELESTIAL DIVINITY palette is a stunning collection of shimmery shadows with two or three contrasting matte colors. These luminescent shadows are richly pigmented with a buttery texture for a silky smooth application. This is hands down one of my favorite, most versatile palettes.”
Bob Scott, who works with designer Aurora James and Padma Lakshmi, among others, loves these palettes because “they come in all sorts of color combinations, from neutral to bright to pastel colors, with 16 shades in each compact. The color payoff is great and the formula is easy to blend.”
Anthony says this palette, along with the brand’s Pro Palette Soleil, are two of his favorites. “They are mesmerizing palettes that encompass a full spectrum of cool and warm neutral tones as well as matte and glittery foiled finishes, so they have been a sure bet for my kit. I really admire the amount of shades they have worked into such a compact and chic palette,” he says. “These are an excellent choice when you want some range-whether you’re daytime business Zooming with a neutral wash of color or making an appearance at a your favorite Zoom Party session in a clubbed out smokey eye, you have everything you need in the palm of your hand!”
“I’m in love with a naughty which came out for the holiday,” Sheriff says. “It is filled with a wonderful range of mattes, shimmers and glittery shadows in wonderful jewel and earth tones.”
Makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez, the go-to makeup artist for Christopher John Rogers’ shows, says this is his most-used palette. “I love all of the Pat McGrath eye shadow palettes. They really are worth the investment! The colors are so unique, rich in pigment, easy to use and she has some of the most unique finishes that have now become so signature to the brand.”
Delina Medhin, who has worked with Issa Rae, says she loves this palette right now because “it has colors in there for both everyday and fun so you can have fun with it but also do everyday glam.”
This palette is another recent favorite for Scott due to its versatility. “Its selection of shades can work on anyone for daytime, nighttime, natural or deep and smokey.”
Odunsi calls this palette an “oldie but goodie,” adding, that the brand’s selection is “great because they go on smooth, have great pigment and don't leave a lot of fall out. The Original Pro Palette (#1) is a nice cool-toned eye palette, especially if your vibe is chill and you like more muted colors. This one has shimmer, matte and muted color variety. Solid for a nice chill slay!”
I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.