Gone are the days when women would buy their favourite shade of eyeshadow and use it day in, day out. Now, we want a variety of complementary shades in one single palette to take the guesswork out of creating sophisticated eyeshadow looks for work and play. But since not everyone is willing to shell out big bucks for mega palettes with dozens of shades that they may never get around to using, we’ve curated a list of eyeshadow palettes that are under $50. Here are 10 of the best eyeshadow palettes:
1. Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Eyeshadow Palette, $46, from Sephora
Of course, Urban Decay would be on the top of this list. While the standard-sized palette costs $71-$83 and carries 12 shades each, this mini version has six new shades (entirely different from the ones in the standard-sized palette) that deliver intense colour payoff. And we think the burnt orange colour palette is here to stay because it gives a more sultry look compared to the more innocent look that trending pink eyeshadows gives.
2. Etude House Play Color Eyes Palette Best Loved, $43.90, from Etude House, Lazadaand Shoppee
Etude House recently collaborated with Pony (a.k.a. South Korean makeup artist Park Hye-Min) to create two eyeshadow palettes, Best Loved and Rose Bomb. We prefer the former because the 15 colours curated in it are fun yet versatile, with coral, burgundy and brown shades in matte, shimmer and glitter finishes that you will keep going back to for the foreseeable future.
Related article: The Best Eyeshadow Colours To Use To Balance Dark Circles
3. Laneige Ideal Shadow Quad in #4 Deep Crimson, $42, from Laneige
This eyeshadow palette from South Korean brand Laneige comes in 10 variants, but our pick is #4 Deep Crimson because the matte brown shades suit all skin tones. They can be layered to create a sheerer, everyday look, and the shimmer and glitter shades can be added to get a more arresting, intense smoky eye look for nights out.
4. Nars Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette in Suede, $49, from Sephora
There’s a reason why this particular variant of the new Nars Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette series (there are six variants in total) is sold out online – the shades are versatile and look great on all skin tones, and the shimmer shades are buildable from subtle to bolder looks. The formula is also creamy and gives great colour payoff, so a little product goes a long way.
5. Tarte Tartelette Flirt Eyeshadow Palette, $29, from Sephora
This is a great basic eyeshadow palette at an affordable price point. The four matte brown shades are appropriate for all occasions, and the two shimmer shades keep the palette from becoming boring. The eyeshadows’ Amazonian clay formula also makes the eyeshadow longer-wearing.
Related article: 16 Make-Up Looks You Should Steal From Sophie Turner
6. Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Matte, $42, from Sephora
If you are not into eyeshadows with shimmery finishes, this palette’s the one you should get. All eight shades are matte, and neutral enough to suit any skin tones. We like that the base shades come in bigger pans, so you don’t run out of them so easily, and the fact that there’s a black eyeshadow to help you create a graphic eye look or intense smoky eye.
7. Zoeva Opulence Eyeshadow Palette, $43, from Sephora
For those who prefer to create less basic looks, this eyeshadow palette has reddish (Get Your Glory and Imperial) and blue (Koh-I-Noor) shades to up your eyeshadow game. The colours are easily blendable, and the colour payoff is great too. Only Get Your Glory has a matte finish; the rest are shimmer shades which are easy to use even if you don’t have mad blending skills.
8. Sephora Collection Mixology Eyeshadow Palette, $49, from Sephora
This wallet-friendly eyeshadow palette comes with 18 shades that are grouped together in threes. You can see at one glance the looks you can create, and you won’t have to rack your brains over choosing shades that complement each other.
Related article: The Best Summer Makeup Palettes To Buy Now
9. Pixi Eye Reflections Eye Shadow Palette, $35, from Sephora
Twelve neutral, shimmery shades in this eyeshadow palette can take you from day to night. The different gradations of beiges and browns, plus two rosier pink shades, are perfect for creating feminine, everyday looks.
10. Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette (Mini), $37, from Sephora
The way we see it, yellow and pink are the new trending colours in eyeshadow looks, and this palette is great for those looking to experiment with either colours. There’s still your nude, brown and shimmery champagne shades that can help you ground the darker pink and gold shades, so you don’t end up looking like a clown.