12 Best Shimmer Eyeshadow Palettes in 2018

Updated 9 months ago

It seems like every major makeup brand has come out with at least one shimmer or shimmer-matte mix eyeshadow palette. Urban Decay first introduced us to the Naked Palette many moons ago, full of pretty shimmery colors that could be used alone or blended together in a  multitude of different ways. More and more beauty brands have created their own shimmer eyeshadow palette. Celebrities, makeup artists, and major makeup companies are all coming out with their own shimmery eyeshadow palette, making it harder to know which one to buy. Want to know the best shimmer eyeshadow palette to invest in? We’ve done the research. Here’s what top makeup artists, magazine editors, and independent reviewers recommend.

Reviews of the Top 12 Shimmer Eyeshadow Palettes

Lamora Exposed Eyeshadow Palette

The colors in this all-shimmer eyeshadow palette are highly pigmented in 16 different colors. Easy to blend, these gorgeous colors can be used to create an everyday look or a glamorous evening look. Thousands of reviewers attest to the colors and quality of this palette. This palette, though void of matte shadows, are pretty user-friendly so would be good for those who are still new-ish to the eyeshadow world.

Juvia’s Masquerade Palette

This lesser known brand has beautiful, vibrant, rich eyeshadows that are super fun. A little bit of eyeshadow goes a long way with the sparkly shimmers and hyper-pigmented colors. The uniquely colored palette is inspired by African festivities and culture. The bright colors represent the costumes and colors that are used in the festivities, while the nude and brown colors represent the land and environment.

Tarte Japonesque Pixelated Color Eyeshadow Palette

Delivering both jeweled colors as well as basics, this palette can be used for a simple, natural look or a fun, colorful, and bold look. These colors are rich and classy. Build and blend these colors for a rich look. Dip your brush into water to intensify the color.

Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly Eyeshadow Collection Palette

Inspired by one of America’s favorite foods, you will find this delicious palette to be flattering on all skin tones! You can use one color for a simple look, or layer and blend multiple look for a more dramatic effect. So many options with just nine colors.

*Note this does not actually contain peanuts, and is safe for those with nut allergies.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette

You’ll often find at least one color in an eyeshadow palette that you just don’t like. Well that’s not the case with this amazing shimmer eyeshadow palette. This little palette comes in eight shades all in the same family. These shades are gorgeous alone or blended together. You can easily layer and lend these colors to create beautiful looks for day or night.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette is loud and fun to play with. Though, there was some fallout when they released this palette and reviewers gave it negative reviews. The original Anastasia beauty shimmer eyeshadow palette won over a huge following. This palette is a little more difficult for eye-shadow newbies to pull off, as the colors aren’t as neutral and it’s definitely more difficult to disguise imperfections.

Coastal Scents Revealed Eyeshadow Palette

Reviewers rave about this palette and have even dared to say that it’s better than Urban’s Naked Palettes. This is the original palette, which contains 20 nude and metallic hues, was so popular that the brand created additional palettes. Four more to be exact.

LORAC PRO Palette

This palette was created by professional makeup artist Carol Shaw. She created the best colors based on her expertise working with her celebrity clients. Reviewers gush about this palette and the versatility it offers them creating makeup looks. This palette has both shimmer and matte colors to help you create a perfect look. The top half is matte, and the bottom half is shimmer, a close color to the matte eyeshadow directly above. Feeling like something a little more subtle? You can downplay the shimmer and use mostly matte with just a touch of shimmer. Feeling like something a little more fun? Use the bottom half of the palette to create a more popping look. Reviewers love the quality of this product and the long-lasting eyeshadows that last all day. The colors are complimentary and blend really well with each other.

stila Eyes are the Window Shadow Palette

Many users of this palette mentioned they enjoyed using this palette wet or dry. These colors aren’t as bright and rich as other eyeshadows palettes, but they still look great when applied. While the colors are all in the same family, there are actually several different looks you can achieve with this 12-shade palette.

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Eyeshadow

You know eyeshadow palettes are a major trend when Burt’s Bees enters the market. It’s not as big and colorful as other palettes, but it could be an indication that the natural brand first famous for their chapstick is looking to continue to delve into the beauty business with the introduction of this eyeshadow palette. The brand has a cult following and has received a positive response with their other beauty products. The eyeshadow is 100% natural, made with bamboo, honey, and Vitamin E, so it nourishes your skin while you wear it. It’s long-lasting and smudge-proof, and made of minerals. Paraben, phthalates, SLS, Petrolatum, talk, and fragrance free. It’s safe for those wearing contacts and with sensitive skin and eyes!

Becca Apres Ski Glow Face Palette

Chrissy Teigen - America’s favorite and most relatable celebrity - loves this brand so much she partnered with them to make a face palette. Her partnership has helped raise the profile of the brand over the past year. Users noted that these are more subtle shades and work great on those with paler skin, but may not show up as prominently on people with darker skin.

Looking for a more neutral eyeshadow palette? Try the Becca Ombre Nudes Eye Palette. This is a great palette if you like more of a natural or nude look, as well as creating that smokey eye look. It’s made with green coffee oil, an ingredient that helps illuminate your eyes and keep your eyelids smooth all day long. Yes, please.

Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay Palette

Users of this best selling palette have described the colors in this palette as buttery and pigmented. The 12 shadow palette has just the right mix of matte and shimmer shades that can be mixed or used alone and will quickly become staples in your makeup routine. The Amazonian clay gives the shadow a creamy texture and has a longer wear.

What is shimmer eyeshadow?

Shimmer eyeshadow is that glittery, fun eyeshadow color you see makeup influencers, models, and celebrities wearing. Shimmer eyeshadows come in virtually every color imaginable. It looks effortlessly applied on the gorgeous models, but when you try to apply the eyeshadow, it can look awkward and unnatural.

The other, more traditional eyeshadow is called matte shadow. Matte colors don’t have shimmer and are more subtle than shimmery eyeshadows.

While shimmer eyeshadow may make some people think about evening looks, it’s actually a look that can be pulled off at any time by anyone. Just because you use shimmer eyeshadow doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, either. You can pull off a barely-there eyeshadow using a shimmer eyeshadow palette. It’s all about application.

Is it safe to use shimmer eyeshadow on your eyes?

Nothing is completely safe to put near your eyes. With that being said, most people who wear makeup put products near or in their eyes. Shimmery eyeshadow is like every other eyeshadow and eye makeup product - there are tiny particles that could potentially get in your eyes. It’s always good to be careful when applying eyeshadow. Don’t get too much product on your brush at once to reduce the chances of excess makeup getting into your eyes.

It’s Not Just About Eyeshadow

Yes, eyeshadow is important, but to complete your eye makeup, you’ll want to keep a few additional things in mind. It’s neither here nor there to go into every single detail in this article, but we’ll give you a brief recap so you’ve got a general understanding.

Finding the right palette for you

There are so many fun and colorful palettes to choose from. If you’re looking for color tones that work well with your skin, some tones do work better for certain skin types (but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t still wear what you like!). If your skin has yellow or gold undertones, a warmer color palette will look best with your complection. If you have pink undertones, cool-toned eyeshadows tend to look best on you. Again, these are general rules of thumb and today it is quite normal to see people walking around with colors that they just like better, or the colors and styles that are trending at the moment.

Please don’t neglect your brows

Your eye makeup could be absolutely perfect, but without a defined brow, it just doesn’t look complete. A well-defined eyebrow frames your face and your eyes. A little eyebrow definition makes a big difference and completes your look. Remember to use a white or light pink at the brow line as a highlighter. You will be shocked at what a difference this makes.

How to Apply Eyeshadow

Applying the eyeshadow

For an everyday look, you’ll typically want to a combination of matte shades and shimmer eyeshadows. Here’s how you can get your desired daily eyeshadow look, no matter what color or how intense:

  • Dark matte shade on the outer corner.
  • Matte transition shade.
  • Matte brow bone highlight.
  • Shimmer lid color - shimmers bring attraction to your beautiful eyes!
  • Shimmer inner corner highlight - makes your eyes look brighter and bigger!

Generally speaking, here’s how to apply your eyeshadow:

  • Use the lightest shade as a brow bone/line highlighter.
  • Apply the second lighted color on your lid.
  • The darkest color usually goes in your outer corner.
  • The second darkest color goes in your crease.

While this is a general rule to keep in mind when applying makeup, you may want more or less shimmer depending on personal preference. If you haven’t noticed, lots of shimmer is really popular right now. So if you’re feeling up for it, go all out and apply a shimmery color on your entire lid!

Pro tip: If you want to intensify your look and the eyeshadow color, slightly dampen your eyeshadow brush before dipping it in the eyeshadow.

Blend, blend, and blend some more

Blending is such an important part of applying makeup. Blend your eyeshadow in an upwards motion, towards the tail of your eyebrow. The majority of the pigment in your eyeshadow should be concentrated on the outer corner, and then blend the color up and out, creating an illusion of a lifted eye.

Blending in your crease makes a big difference, too. Use a darker eyeshadow and blend it along the upper crease of your eyelid. Then use a lighter shade in the crease to create a contrast. The goal of blending is to eliminate any visible hard lines.

The brush matters

You know that tiny eyeshadow brush that comes in most eyeshadow palettes? Ya, toss it immediately. All your research to find the perfect shadow and learning how to perfectly apply and blend your eyeshadow will be done in vain if you use a bad brush. Blending will be so much easier with a decent brush! Seriously! You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get a quality brush. Here are some good brush options to get started.

How to keep shimmer eyeshadow on all day?

Want your eyeshadow to take you from the office to evening without having to reapply? The first step is to prep your eye lid with a lightweight, hydrating primer. Investing in a good eyeshadow palette is also important. The better quality of the shadow, the better your makeup will look and last.

Let’s talk about primer, baby

This might seem like just another slightly unnecessary beauty product to have to spend money on, but actually, primer is extremely important. Using primer on your eyelids before applying your foundation ensures that your eyeshadow goes on smoothly and looks event. It helps retain the rich colors of the eyeshadow and reduces smudging, fading, and creasing. Don’t have primer? Use concealer under your eyeshadow instead.

While there are lots and lots of eyeshadow palettes out there, not all are created equally. Find a palette whose colors you like and could see yourself wearing both on a daily basis as your go-to look, as well your dressed up look. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going with a more simple look. But if you do want to get more of a professional look, take some time to play around with the different colors to get some practice to see what works best for you. So go on, get shimmering!