Let’s take a deep dive into the very best neutral eyeshadow palettes available on the market right now and how to choose the right one for YOU.
What makes an awesome neutral eyeshadow palette?
I look for a few key criteria when judging an eyeshadow palette, especially a workhorse neutral eyeshadow palette needs to have these features:
- Shades range from very light to very dark
- Shades range from matte to shimmery – a few sparkly shades to add texture are a nice bonus!
- Shades range from warm neutral to cool neutral with some neutral neutral shades in the mix
- Shadows perform well by being easy to apply and blend and they wear well throughout a long day
Take your own skin tone and makeup preferences into account when selecting a palette. If your skin is deep, you might prefer a deeper palette, if your skin is light you might prefer a lighter palette. If your skin is warm, you might prefer warmer tones. Etc…I think you get the idea. There are no RULES though, you can experiment with all types of tones and colors and your preference is totally up to you. The closer something is to your skin, the more “natural” or unnoticeable it will be.
Glam Palette by Natasha Denona
If you’re after a sophisticated sparkle, Natasha Denona Glam palette is the neutral palette for you. See my full post with swatches and reviews here. At $65, this is the most expensive palette I’m recommending in this post. I do think the quality of the mattes and beauty of the sparkles warrant that price though.
I almost never use the gold shades, but I think I’m probably the minority there and that most people would really enjoy the golds (though some of them are a bit repetitive…) See my full post on the Glam palette here with swatches and comparison swatches to other palettes.
Tartelette In Bloom by Tarte Cosmetics
This palette is so amazing and useful that I have purchased it TWICE. I think this palette really does THE MOST with only 12 shades. The only thing I wish it had is a lighter champagne shimmer. And the two darkest shades are almost the same. Funny Girl (bottom left corner) reads as a warm gold on my lids, but it’s still very pretty and not too terribly warm for me to wear often. And some of the darkest shades seem very similar when applied to the lid. Tartelette In Bloom palette is the least shimmery of the bunch recommended in this post. Purchase Tarte In Bloom from Sephora
I have a full post on Tartelette in Bloom here with swatches and comparisons to other palettes.
Colourpop Bare Necessities and Stone Cold Fox
These two palettes hit a nice mix of eyeshadow quality and range of neutral shades. I don’t think you can go wrong with either. And having both is a lot of fun!
Wet n Wild Always Naked
Always Naked is a new launch from Wet n Wild. I love the mix of warm and cool shades in this palette. The only thing missing is a brighter champagne shimmer and a lighter gold shimmer for those who love warm tones. The white shimmer is more of a topper.
I really could do without the chunky silver glitter, but the other shades I’ve tried have applied and worn very nicely.
Colourpop Off Melrose
A smaller palette from Colourpop, but still super versatile, is their Off Melrose palette. This palette has both a warm and cool toned bright shimmer that I enjoy using on the lid. Also includes a few rosy shades. This palette retails for $18.
I have reached for the Off Melrose palette SO much, and I think it’s due to the really nice variety of shimmer shades. Fairfax is a pinky/blue duochrome (similar to Colourpop’s famous Glass Bull single shadow). La Brea is a shimmery bronze that can be smoky and dark. Again, I could do without the chunky glitter shade (Social Club) but the other shades to make up for that.
I posted about the Off Melrose palette here, way back in January 2021! That’s like a decade in makeup time.
Your Own Custom Palette
Aaaand…the very best neutral palette might be one that you customize specifically for you! You can purchase single shadows and keep them all together in one magnetic palette. I recommend checking out Sydney Grace single shadows for this – I love the quality of the shadows, the reasonable price, and the range of shades available. I have lots of swatches of Sydney Grace here on my blog. Shown above, I made an example of my own “perfect” neutral palette. It’s always a work in progress, Sydney Grace has a lot of neutral shades that I still want to try and add to my collection.
It’s hard for a pre-made palette to really cover all the neutrals you might ever want or need for your specific skin tone. And for some reason, brands rarely come out with multiple versions of a palette to cater to different skin tones. (Although, Sydney Grace DOES do this with their pre-made palettes, I love that!)
Helpful Links Related to This Post
Colourpop Bare Necessities, $34 – Purchase from Colourpop
Sydney Grace single shadows – $5-$6 – Purchase here
Use the Tags at the way bottom of this post to find posts tagged with the same items/brands.
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Tell me what your favorite neutral eyeshadow palette is in the comments below! And don’t forget to tell me why!