'I'm a makeup artist. Here's my ranking of the absolute best eyeshadow palettes.'

It is always tricky to buy a new eyeshadow palette. How big should I go? How much should I spend? Are boujee palettes *really* that much more special than cheaper palettes?  

Before I talk all things eyeshadow, I will say that for me eyeshadow primer is so important. My eyelids get very oily, and I like to know that the shadow I spent ages blending will look the same when I check the mirror hours later. 

Watch: Bridal Makeup Artist Natalie Wright teaches us her techniques for a smokey eye with a twist... there's no black eyeshadow in sight. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

My absolute favourite eyeshadow primer is the Smashbox 24HR Eye Primer, $33 - it is quite a heavy duty one and is yet to let me down. 

In terms of application, I will squeeze a rice grain amount onto my finger and blend it from my lashes to the brow bone (anywhere that we want eyeshadow blended out) and then I’ll blend a little bit of it under my bottom lash line. 

Since this primer is quite sticky, I’ll set it in place with a fluffy eyeshadow brush and a matte bone colour shadow or a translucent powder.  

Now that we've prepped our lids, let’s go through my favourite palettes of all prices and colour stories.  


Natural palettes.  

A gorgeous bronzy palette is definitely a staple in all makeup bags.  

The boujee choice: Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction, $210.

This palette is the makeup collector's staple. It has your lovely go-to colours like some matte browns, some wearable shimmers, and those signature Pat McGrath special sparkles and duo chromes you get only from the queen of eyeshadow.  

The versatile day-to-night: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam, $72.

Image: Mecca


This palette is an absolute staple! Think mattes (both cool and warm), metallics (bronzy shades, gold shades and rosy shades), and it has the shade range to be able to take a look from day to night easily due to its great range of mattes.  

The travel friendly choice: Mellow Cosmetics Rhea, $44. 

Image: Mellow Cosmetics


The Mellow Cosmetics Rhea palette really impressed me. She’s small, but mighty. Two mattes, two metallics. The pigment is quite lovely and easy to work with. A perfect little palette to throw in your bag and know she’ll get the job done.  

The affordable queen: Morphe 9T Neutral Territory Artistry Palette, $12.

Image; Mecca


Morphe gets a lot of shade, but their more recent eyeshadow palettes are actually really lovely! This little cutie is a wonderful starter palette as it has a great range of mattes and metallics with different depths.  

Bold palettes.

I personally LOVE colourful eyeshadow, and here are some of my favourites.  

The boujee choice: Pat McGrath IX Huetopian Dream, $210. 

An absolute DREAM of a palette. While you still get a couple more subtle shades, you get some beautiful duo-chromes, some cherry shades, and some purples. All of the colours blend like a dream, and you get the three signature Pat formulas.  


The unique choice: Natasha Denona Triochrome Palette, $198.

A beautiful palette full of mattes and three duo chrome metallic shadows. What I love about this palette is how unique the shades are. I am yet to find any individual shade duped in any other palette I own (and I own *many*). The mattes are lovely and very easy to blend, and metallics are absolutely stunning.  


All the brights you could ever dream of: Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Vol 6, $110.


The newest release from ABH has alllllll of the brights that a human can dream of. This one mostly consists of colourful mattes - with a tonne of payoff - and some gorgeous pressed glitters. All the Norvina palettes are very, very beautiful, and have stunning colour stories for those divas that like lots of colour in their eyeshadow.  

The underdog: Kaleidos Escape Pod, $42. 


Kaleidos Makeup is a brand of which I have only recently become aware, and this palette blew my mind. The pigment is UNREAL, and this colour story is where bright eyeshadow dreams are made. The mattes blend seamlessly, and the metallics I’d say are on par with high end brands. 

Liquid eyeshadows.

Bonus! Liquid Eyeshadows. Okay, hear me out. I know cream and liquid eyeshadows can be a bit scary, but the right cream/liquid eyeshadow can bring a look in about five seconds and out the door you go. 

They’re fantastic if you’re wanting a very bright shade, a cute, easy metallic or a very bold duo chrome.  

My favourite liquid shadows: 

Kosas 10 Second Warecolour Eyeshadows, $22.


When in doubt, I will put the shade ‘heat’ all over my eyelid, blend it out with whatever matte I feel like using that day and out the door I go.

AboutFace Fluid Eye Paint, $16.

These babies only recently came into my life and I am IN LOVE. They are matte, velvety paints that come both in super stunning bright colours and soft natural ones. They blend like a dream and can be used as shadow, blush, liner. Such fun!


Danessa Myricks Colorfix Pigments, $18.

Image: Danessa

Like the AboutFace paints, the Colorfix Pigments are a squeezy tube of colourful goodness. You can use them wherever over the face, and they come in matte, metallic or glazes (the clear one is perfection for a glossy eyelid) 

Natasha Denona Chromium, $43.


These are the most iconic duochromatic liquid eyeshadows. Want to get compliments on your eyeshadow all day? Use one of these on your eyelids and blend out with a matte. You will not regret it.

Have any questions or want to see the palettes used in tutorials? Come find me @claryriven.artistry.

Feature image: @claryriven.artistry; Sephora; Mecca; Mamamia.

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