The best eyeshadow palettes

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Everyone is different when it comes to eye makeup. Some prefer natural shades that subtly enhance their features, while others prefer big bold colours that create a dramatic effect. No matter how you like to apply your makeup, an eyeshadow palette that suits your personal style preferences is a must. 

We often find that ladies have day makeup and then separate night makeup. Among our bunch of palettes, we’ve got choices that will allow you to create your everyday work look and your glam going out look all with one product. 

Perhaps you like to keep up with the latest trends? In our list of best eyeshadow palettes, we have a product for the perfectionists and the experimentalists, so the latest magazine styles can be tried and tested from the comfort of your own dressing table. You'll notice the usual suspects in our list from the eyeshadow world, including Urban Decay and Maybelline. However, there are also some surprise entries in our list from budget-friendly high street brands which are blazing the trail in proving that cheaper doesn't necessarily mean they are any less hard-wearing than more expensive brands.

From nude eyeshadow palettes to smokey eye palettes, the colour ways of eyeshadows available, particularly towards party seasons is, frankly, overwhelming! But, pick the right palette and you may just find that you only need one of these eyeshadow sets in your toolbox. When asking yourself the question "What is the best eyeshadow palette for me?"; think about which colours you are likely to use the most - there is little point in opting for a full-blown palette of smokey eye mayhem if you are only really likely to use the black powder for blending the outer edge of your eye from time to time for a night out. Likewise, the rainbow colour palettes can look pretty enticing when you open them up, but take a closer look, how many of these colours are you really likely to use? 

If you are looking to invest in an eyeshadow palette for daily use, our top tip is to make a list of 4 colours that you absolutely must have as part of your eyeshadow routine, make sure the palettes you shortlist have these colours or something close, otherwise you'll be looking at another wasted beauty purchase that'll get shoved to the back of a drawer. If you're in the market for a new eyeshadow palette, well, because it's payday, then browse through our list of top picks and get as carried away as you want!

1. Urban Decay Naked 3

From mattes to metallics, keep style subtle and natural with Urban Decay Naked 3

Best for: Naked Shades | Number of shades: 12 | Type: Naked Palette

Create the natural look
Explore different effects
Packaging is a bit flimsy 

With shades to suit all skin tones, the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette is a must for all makeup bags. When all else fails, you can count on its rose-tinted naked shades to enhance the natural beauty of your eyes. There are 12 unique shades to play around with, enabling you to create your everyday look and your night out look with just one palette. You can also work the palette to achieve a number of styles, including subtly warm and soft and smokey. When there are so many options from one eyeshadow palette, it’s a no brainer that this beauty goes straight to the top of our list. If you are looking for the best eyeshadow palette for neutral tones, your search ends here.

2. Rimmel London 12 Pan Eyeshadow Smokey Edition

Get the party (or the fire) started with this contouring smokey eyeshadow palette

Best for: Smokey Shades | Number of shades: 12 | Type: Smokey Palette

Smokey eyes with minimal effort
Very affordable
Colours are a little powdery  

Who says smoky should only be shades of grey? With the Rimmel London 12 Pan Eyeshadow Smoky Edition, you have free reign to create shades of purple, blue, and brown. You can make your eyes look as dramatic as you wish. And if you’re into a little experimentation, why not try a blend of the colours to create a look that expands your style horizon? For the price, this set is a great buy and at less than £10 RRP, one you can afford to play around with.   

3. NYX Professional Makeup in Your Element Shadow Palette Metal

Don’t be scared to make a statement with this set from NYX Professional Makeup

Best for: Night Life | Number of shades: 12 | Type: : Metallic

Professional makeup set
Rich, metallic colours
Requires a confident hand 

If you’re getting ready for to go out with the girls, consult this eyeshadow palette for a bold style that makes you stand out from the crowd. Subtlety isn’t necessarily the purpose of this palette, with its deep rich, striking colours. Choose to make your eyes ‘pop’ out as part of your outfit, rather than be a complementing accessory. The price is pretty good for professional makeup, making it a great purchase for anyone looking to advance their eyeshadow application skills.  

4. Too Faced Glitter Bomb Eyeshadow Palette Collection- Limited Edition

Apply an explosion of colour to your eyes with this glitterbomb eyeshadow

Best for: Festivals | Number of shades: 10 | Type: Glitter

Bright bold colours
Professional standard
 Stretching the purse strings

Despite the name, there isn’t anything ‘too faced’ about this eyeshadow palette. Yes, it’s expensive if you’re on a budget, but for those who can call themselves experienced when it comes to makeup application, these bright, bold colours are well worth the extra cash.  They aren’t your everyday colours mind you, and we’d go as far as saying to save them for a special occasion.  So for those who love to create dramatic looks for festival weekends and nights out on the town, you can’t go wrong with this limited edition product. 

5. Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

Turn the heat up with this shade-driven eyeshadow palette

Best for: Autumn | Number of shades: 12 | Type : Rosey palette

Create a seasonal look
Great pigmentation
Powder is a little loose 

It goes without saying that this palette is a must for makeup lovers. The deep, rose-tinted colours create warm tones, perfect for the autumn season. Turning up the heat, the themed palette ups the tempo until it finally burns itself out into colours that are aptly labelled ashes and embers. Ranging from super soft tints to bold and dark, you can create a look with this palette that is suitable for the office and the club. Add to the mix a mixture of matte and glitter effects and you can truly embrace your individual style. With the subtle and bold autumnal hues, this is the best eyeshadow palette for brown eyes on our list. 

6. Maybelline The 24 Karat Nudes

Achieve flawless lids on a daily basis without the hefty price tag

Best for: Day to day | Number of shades: 12 | Type: Nude

Go naked on a budget
Create endless nude looks
Best used with a primer to enhance colours 

If you’re sat there thinking I really like the sound of the Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow but your purse strings aren’t quite long enough to afford it, check out this highstreet purchase. Considering it’s at the cheaper end of the spectrum, this palette is pretty up there. Blend pale, soft shades with the darker, more dramatic colours to create a look for both day and night.  For a cheaper product, you’ll find that the shadow stays on for a good length of time, which means you don’t need to worry about reapplying half way through a night out with the girls.  

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Once you've select the best eyeshadow palette for you, check out our guide to the best make-up brushes to re-vamp your beauty kit.