Drugstore eyeshadow palettes can be a major source of nostalgia for beauty enthusiasts. Since most of us didn’t splurge on pricey Clinique or Estee Lauder palettes as we began our makeup journey as teens, the drugstore aisles were a source of joy.
You may have picked up your first $10 palette from Maybelline or Rimmel, experimented with eyeshadows in your bedroom mirror, and proudly worn your creations to school each day… only to cringe at your bad blending years later. It happens to the best of us. But nobody can deny the power of drugstore eyeshadow palettes, as many of them are just as pigmented, blendable, and long lasting as your favorite high-end products - at half the cost.
Celebrity makeup artists and beauty influencers constantly praise their favorite drugstore eyeshadow palettes that make great dupes for luxury products, and you can save tons of time and money by swapping out your Natasha Denona palette for a Covergirl one that’s just as beautiful and effective. No shade to Natasha, we love you!
Here are our favorite drugstore eyeshadow palettes from your favorite high-quality, low-cost brands.
If you’re as obsessed with rose gold makeup as we are, you’ll love this Rimmel palette for sweet and striking eye looks. Magnif’eyes features 12 mattes and shimmers - from pops of pink and taupe to warm browns for transition shades and one deep purple. You know, when you’re in the mood to add a little violet to your rosey eyes. Flower jokes aside, these shades deliver pigmented, long-lasting color that always makes a statement. Many eyeshadow lovers understand the struggle of pink or nude shades, the kind that looks stunning in the palette but hardly shows up once you apply it on the eyes. That definitely won’t be the case with Magnif’eyes, as these hues blend out flawlessly on your lids (no matter your skin tone!) and produce the most pretty and pigmented eye looks for all.
If you’re somebody who simply can’t make up their mind when it comes to eyeshadow, that’s totally okay. Makeup is about experimentation and expression, and you shouldn’t have to buy ten different eyeshadow sets to get all the colors you need. Meet V.I.Purple, the $6 makeup palette that delivers pops of vibrant purple alongside all your favorite neutrals mattes. Shimmery violet and magenta look gorgeous on the days you want a bold splash of color, or feel the need to follow along with Carli Bybel’s YouTube tutorial for her purple metallic smokey eye (never forget.) In the mood for more simple makeup looks? Blend out peach and rich brown hues for a barely-there beauty effect that makes you look more awake, and might even trick people into thinking you’re not wearing makeup at all. Magic. Another neat makeup trick? Try wetting your makeup brush and dipping into the deep brown shade in this palette, dragging along your upper lash line for brown eyeliner that lasts longer, looks better, and saves you time and money.
When talking about the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes, you have to give major kudos to e.l.f. These shadows have the same silky texture and staying power of a palette two or three times the cost, while most of them remain between $10 - $20 and fit right into your bag for convenience. You can’t get much better than that. One of our favorites? Prism Eyeshadow Palette - Naked. As the name suggests, it’s a set of six nude eyeshadows… each one looking flawless on all skin tones and fitting right into your everyday makeup routine for Zoom school. Apply them alone for a sheer, simple eye effect that shows up beautifully on camera (not an easy feat,) or wet your brush before blending for high-impact shimmer that you’ll never want to stop wearing. 98% of our MIRA community says that the shadows in this palette are very long lasting, while 94% agree that they’re pigmented and non-creasing.
Ready to feel the power of precious metals? NYX is here to bring the sparkle. Sometimes it’s okay to be extra, or extraterrestrial in this case, and these six metallic eyeshadows include shades of mauve, gold, plum and peach for out-of-this-world (yet still subtle!) looks. You may know metallic eyeshadows for their tendency to bring the drama, like with the shimmery silver halo eye you’re planning for New Year’s Eve or crimson smokey eye that pairs perfectly with fall lipstick, but it also works beautifully for everyday looks. Just blend a bit of peach on your lid to bring out the color of your eyes, or dab the gold shade into your inner corners with your finger for a subtle shimmer that hides dark circles and instantly refreshes your look.
There’s travel-sized makeup, and then there’s ColorStay Looks Book. This drugstore eyeshadow palette is about the size of a credit card - easily slipped into your purse or wallet for glam-on-the-go. And it’s never been easier to bring out your personality and makeup style, with five color schemes to express your artistry and add more eye effects to your, well, Looks Book! Maverick is a must-have, with gold, copper, taupe and browns with orange and red undertones, making it ideal for neutral eyes or a cut crease reminiscent of summer sunsets. After you’ve finally mastered the inner corner shimmer or golden hour cut crease you’ve been practicing all through quarantine, try the ColorStay Looks Book palette in Enigma or Insider for blendable, long-lasting, and non-creasing hues that always show your true colors!
Smokey eyes never go out of style. It’s the look that every makeup artist will act like they’re sick of hearing about, but secretly love to create… as there’s something empowering about blending out shades of black and gray to become the smoke show you are. TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette is the pocket-sized palette for the smokey eye of your dreams, with 8 mega-pigmented hues ranging from white, silver, and icy blue to purple and deep black. These shimmery colors work together to create layered, dramatic eye looks that are perfect for a night out… as we know you’re already fantasizing about all the makeup effects you’ll be creating post-quarantine. But don’t let staying inside stop you, as we’re totally down with letting your smokey side show from the comfort of your own home. Add pops of blue and purple to add dimension to this classic trend, and top off with a cat eye from your favorite black liquid eyeliner!
Who said that cool-toned and warm-toned shadows couldn’t be friends? Meet one of the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes for those who love to play with color, featuring 18 mattes and shimmers to go bold or go home. Literally, there’s a sparkly pink-red hue called Bold. And many other daring shades with names like Sassy, Witty, Saucy and Chill. You can get as creative as you’d like with Opposites Attract, as the options for eye looks are endless. Mix the emerald green Wise and deep black Genuine for a Slytherin-esque look, express your purple passion with Easygoing, or keep it Low-Key with the icy white color of the same name. The mix of cool and warm colors make Opposites Attract one of the most versatile drugstore eyeshadow palettes ever, and 93% of our community agrees that it’s long lasting and pigmented!
Drew Barrymore’s celebrity makeup line is affordable, high-quality, and simply makes you feel good while wearing these products. What more could you want from the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes? All the shades in the Shimmer & Shade Eyeshadow Palette are lightweight, silky, and leave a velvet finish that doesn’t feel too heavy on your lids - and we haven’t even started talking about the colors yet. They’re super fun, with tan, peach, and brown shades for a more earthy vibe, gold and shimmery pink-red for glam looks, and bright yellow and orange to look like a warm summer day. Because we know we could use more of those after staying inside for most of 2020! 100% of our community says that this favorite by Flower Beauty is creamy and non-creasing, and 96% say it blends well.
City life is super fast-paced, and nobody has time to sit down for an hour and do their makeup. Not to mention that you likely don’t have space in your NYC apartment for a million eyeshadow palettes, anyway. Maybelline has you covered. The City Mini palette is a travel-sized product with neutrals, shimmers, mattes, and a pop of maroon - all the shades you need to dazzle like the city lights. And despite having only six shades, they’re versatile enough to create more eye looks than you could ever imagine. Neutral eyes for a long day of working from home? No problem. Pink and purple for a pretty pop of color? Instantly. We could go on, but you get the idea. Maybelline is one of the most famous drugstore brands of all time, and you know you can trust them to take care of your eyes with The City.
A common theme within all the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes? A shimmering gold shade, and we definitely understand why. This versatile hue appeals to everybody from minimal makeup lovers to the glam girls who want to glow all out with gold, and you can be both of these people (and more!) with the 16 shades in this eyeshadow palette. Ultimate Shadow Palette - Warm Neutrals features mattes, satins, shimmers, and metallics, from taupe and light champagne to glimmering gold and rich brown. These shades can be mixed and matched for a variety of eyeshadow looks - think a simple wash of champagne over the lids, burgundy smokey eye for fall makeup, or icy white for a trendy take on neutrals. You’ll get a ton of quality colors with one of the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes by NYX - at under $20. And once you’ve hit pan on every shade, don’t forget to try other variations of the Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette for the same staying power, blendability, and intense color payoff!
Find more of all the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes you need to try on MIRA.