Best Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes: Reviews (Definitive List of 2018)

Updated 6 years ago

Use shadow to enhance your eyes, and your eyes will be the first thing people notice. Neutral eyeshadows are tones like bronze, rose, peach, and plum that can make your eyes’ natural color pop.

Choosing the best neutral palette for your skin pigmentation means taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Whether your skin is fair, medium, or dark, pickc colors that are within two shades of the natural tones of your cheeks, eyelids, and lips.

Best Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

Some people think neutrals are boring. That doesn’t have to be the case at all. Choose eyeshadow with shimmer. Mix and match matte and shimmer shades to add texture. Shimmer always draws attention and is perfect to highlight an area.

Choosing shades for different skin tones

Here are some tips for selecting the best shades for different skin tones.

Pale skin

If your skin is pale, are neutrals a good choice? Celebrity makeup artists like Vivian Vasquez says yes they are. Choose a rosy beige, a champagne shade, or a silvery blue pink.

Medium skin

On medium skin, beige brown with bronze or gold shimmer looks great, and so does anything coppery. A pearly brown shadow looks hot on darker skin.

Dark skin

Mattes aren’t as nice on dark skin as shimmers. But dark skin can make use of a wider range of colors, from brick red to purple plum. The choice you make will depend on whether you have warm or cool undertones.

The top neutral palettes

Let’s take a look at the best neutral eyeshadow palettes to see which ones are best suited to bring out your natural beauty.

LORAC Pro Matte Eye Shadow Palette

LORAC was started by a pro makeup artist who worked on celebrities for years before branching out into her own business. This company knows their stuff. You can depend on LORAC eye shadows to be ultra-pigmented and buttery smooth. You can apply them dry or wet. Simply dampen your brush with water and use the resulting creamy for intense coverage.

The Pro Matte Eye Shadow Palette has 8 shades in a container that fits into your hand. The colors are Bare, Latte, Corduroy, Chocolate, Linen, Pink Mauve, Burgundy, and Jet Black. Use the lighter colors like Linen as highlighter, the midtones like Latte in your crease, and the darker colors for the outer corners.

Fans of LORAC’s neutral palette have remarked that the colors are so soft without being powdery. The colors go on smooth and blend very well. LORAC suggests priming eyelids with their Behind The Scenes primer for longer wear, even better coverage, and oil control.

LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer

Use LORAC’s Behind The Scenes Primer to disguise uneven texture and pigmentation and help eye shadow last for hours longer.

theBalm NUDE 'tude Eyeshadow Palette

TheBalm’s NUDE ‘tude Palette is hard to take seriously at first with their colorful packaging. But don’t let the lighthearted color names and illustrations throw you off balance. Their products are well worth the money.

With these 12 colors, you get everything from highlighters like Sassy and Snobby to dark shades like Sexy and Sleek for smoky, sultry eyes. Users comment that the colors are super-pigmented and vibrant. One application will last for hours, especially if you use primer first.

Besides the fun palette, theBalm includes a double-ended application brush with both flat and angled ends. If you would like to try their branded primer, look right here below.

theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

You only need a little dab of theBalms’ Put A Lid On It Primer. It dries quickly and shouldn’t irritate sensitive eyes. Using the primer will increase the light reflecting capability of your skin and keep eye shadow looking fresh for hours longer.

stila Matte 'n Metal Eye Shadow Palette

Stila’s Matte ‘n’ Metal Palette contains 12 colors, six matte and six “mega metallic shimmers.” Both textures are buttery soft and ultra-pigmented. Some users have commented that they experience a lot of fallout from excess powder, so they recommend a good brush and primer.

Metallic shadows have been very trendy for the last couple of years. Stila’s palette is a great way to get started experimenting with them.

Cargo Essential Eye Shadow Palette

Cargo’s Essential Eye Shadow Palette contains just four gorgeously simple shades: Browbone, Lid, Crease, and Outer corner. These colors are so soft and creamy you can apply them with your fingertips instead of a brush.

Instead of shimmer, this palette contains matte and satin finishes. These shadows will perfectly enhance eyes on fair skin with a classic look.

Julep Sweep Eyeshadow Palette

Julep’s Sweep Eyeshadow Palette isn’t just about colors. Each shadow has Julep’s Age Defying Power Cell Complex to turn back the aging process of your skin.

While each of the five shades has just a bit of shimmer, you don’t need to be young to enjoy this eyeshadow. The colors are a nude satin called Tiramisu, a golden shimmer called Glow, Dush—a satin mauve, bronze shimmer Toffee, and Cocoa, a shimmery brown with gold accents.

Reviewers around the web say that the colors are vibrant, easy to blend, and long-lasting. The only problem some noted is that the colors may blend together too well if that effect isn’t desired.

VINCENT LONGO Baby Dome Baked Eyeshadow Palette

Julep isn’t the only cosmetics company to include nourishing ingredients in their eye shadows. VINCENT LONGO’s formula includes essential oils like Rosemary and Sunflower Seed.

The Baby Dome Baked Eyeshadow Palette comes in two flavors: Peralisa and Terrachino. Peralisa has cooler tones while Terrachino leans toward warm shades. Each palette has three colors, of which two are matte and one is a shimmer.

Like the shadows from theBalm and LORAC, feel free to apply these thickly pigmented formulas with a wet or dry brush. You can easily vary from a dramatic look to barely there.

JAPONESQUE Velvet Touch Eye Shadow Palette

JAPONESQUE includes 8 delicious neutral shades in their Velvet Touch Eye Shadow Palette. Users say the powders are velvety soft with saturated pigmentation. The colors include French Vanilla, Burnt Orange, Dusty Mauve (mid tone neutral), Smoky Plum (dark tone), Soft Warm Brown, Soft Khaki Taupe, Warm Chestnut (warm neutral), and Deep Neutral Brown. You’ll get a great set of neutrals for both warm and cool skin tones.

Cat eye lovers will appreciate giving their eyes a dramatic boost with this palette. You can make perfect smoky eyes, too, with these timeless colors.

That wraps up this review of the best neutral eyeshadow palettes. But while you’re here, take a look at the eye shadow essentials listed below. If you’re going to invest in the best shadows, your eyes also deserve the best accessories for application.

Extend the enjoyment with eyeshadow accessories

The right set of brushes can make all the difference even if you use less expensive eye shadow. Learn to use your brushes and you become an artist.

The main brushes you might need are a large shadow brush to apply highlighter, a precision shadow brush to put on pigment, a blending shadow brush, a blending tip brush, angled liner brush, precision liner brush, and a smudger brush.

A decent set of synthetic brushes won’t break the bank and are great for practicing. They don’t swell in water and they tend to shed less than natural brushes. Natural bristle brushes may hold more shadow with their rougher bristles, but they wear out faster.

BESTOPE Makeup Brushes 8 Pieces Makeup Brush Set Professional Face Eyeliner Blush Contour Foundation Cosmetic Brushes for Powder Liquid Cream

This 8-piece set of brushes from BESTOPE may be just what you need for applying both wet and dry shadows, liner, and blush. There are 4 types—angled, round, flat, and tapered. Users say that the synthetic bristles are soft and don’t shed.

Beauty Junkees Eye Makeup Brush Kit with Case

This 8-piece brush kit has soft bristles with enough variety of sizes and shapes that you aren’t limited to just applying eye shadow. It comes with a zipper case.

stila Double-Ended Shadow Brush No. 30

If you can only get one brush, why not get a double-ended one? The stila number 30 has  wide end for covering the lid and a narrow end for the crease.

JAPONESQUE Dual Fiber Eye Brush Set

The JAPONESQUE dense dual fiber brush set has three professional-looking black-handled brushes for fluffing, adding shadow, and the crease.

But brushes aren’t all you need for the perfect look. If you’re serious about eye shadow, get a top quality eye primer like the one below, or the other two we mentioned earlier in the review.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Eye Fix Primer

The Advanced Eye Primer from Elizabeth Arden has the classic Arden fragrance and a thick consistency. It evens out texture and tone of skin and helps eye shadow last longer.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remove your makeup gently so your skin stays healthy. What better way then with these products below?

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Water

How can water alone feel so good? The Bioderma Sensibio is micellar water designed to hydrate your skin. Put this on a soft cotton pad and you’ll look forward to the gentle cooling sensation.

But waterproof cosmetics can be a real pain to remove. Try the next product below.

Borghese Gel Delicato Makeup Remover

Fans of the Borghese Gel Delicato say two things about it. It works really, really well, and it will sting if it gets in your eyes. It’s not oily and it smells great.

skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gel

Eye shadow is great for emphasizing your eyes…but what if your eyes are ringed by dark circles and bags? If it’s been one heck of a week, try these cooling gel pads from skyn. Ah, what a relief! They reduce swelling and tone the skin around your eyes to hide wrinkles.

AHAVA Time to Hydrate Gentle Eye Cream

If you use face moisturizer, do you really need eye cream as well? Beauty experts would give you a resounding “yes.” AHAVA’s Time to Hydrate Gentle Eye Cream absorbs quickly into skin and feeds it a healthy dose of Vitamin B5 to iron out wrinkles. You can apply it both morning and night.

bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask

If you had a late night and you can tell when you look in the mirror, try a Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask from bliss. It brightens, hydrates, and takes away puffiness in just 15 minutes. You can apply them and keep getting ready for your day while you let them energize your eyes.

Tips for beautifully healthy eyes

  1. Sleep (that’s why it’s called “beauty rest”)
  2. Hydrate (water and herbal teas are great)
  3. Moisturize and apply eye cream for extra benefits
  4. Use sunblock and wear sunglasses, or goggles if you tan indoors
  5. Wash your hands before applying makeup
  6. Throw out old makeup after 3 months, sooner if it’s dried out, off-color, or smelling wrong to protect your eyes from infections
  7. Take care of your eyelashes and eyebrows
  8. Spend a little time to learn new techniques for applying shadow and liner—it’s fun!
  9. Cold teabags and sliced cucumbers really can help reduce puffiness
  10. Smile because you’re beautiful!

You’re never too old for shimmer, no matter what anyone says. Enjoy taking care of your eyes and they will reflect your joy back at others.


We hope we helped you find the perfect neutral eye shadow that will bring out the best in your eyes and face. Check back soon for other reviews of the best products for personal care.