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A good eyeshadow palette can be invaluable for your day-to-day life, allowing the opportunity to create multiple different eye looks while saving major space in your makeup bag or bathroom drawer. And for brides, an eyeshadow palette can be even more beneficial.
Pick up just one and you can easily create a different and unique eye makeup look for any and every wedding-related occasion, from the engagement party up to the big day itself. The location and theme of your wedding can dictate the type of palette you go with, too. “For a more casual wedding venue or theme, you may want a more neutral palette, whereas a formal or more dramatic wedding calls for smokey eyes or subtle shimmers,” says StyleSeat makeup artist Manuel Espinoza.
There’s certainly no shortage of options to choose from. From palettes that have a small, curated selection of shades to ones that have a dizzying amount, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget to consider the seemingly endless variety of finishes and textures available.
Meet the Expert
With over a decade of experience in the industry, Manuel Espinoza is a makeup artist and a StyleSeat Pro based in Los Angeles.
Read on for the best eyeshadow palettes for your perfect wedding day look.
Best Overall: Persona Identity Eyeshadow Palette
Espinoza recommends this palette as a universal, fail-safe choice that houses a dozen colors. “I love it because it contains both matte and shimmer shades in both warm and cool tones,” he says. “The formula is amazing and the colors look great on just about anyone,” he adds. Long story short, you really can’t go wrong.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Morphe Natural Flirt Palette
Another one of Espinoza’s picks, he says the colors in this palette are great for brides who are after a fun, more playful look. There are both mattes and shimmers in a nice range of shades. Plus, you get 35 shadows for a budget price, making this an excellent choice for the value-conscious bride, too.
Best Budget: e.l.f. The New Classics Eyeshadow Palette
Don’t want to shell out the big bucks for an eyeshadow palette? This is the one for you. You get 15 neutral, wearable colors for a wallet-friendly price that can’t be beaten. They come in matte, satin, and shimmer textures, all of which pack a punch of pigment. Bonus points for the fact that the formulas are vegan and cruelty-free, too.
Best Warm Shades: Natasha Denona Bronze Eyeshadow Palette
Love any and every type of warm-hued shadow? Espinoza suggests checking out this palette. “The warm, neutral tones are perfect for creating any type of day-to-night look,” he says, adding that all of the 15 shades are highly pigmented. Also nice: The colors come in a mix of matte, chrome, metallic, and shimmer finishes.
Best Warm Shades, Runner-Up: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
This brand may be best-known for their eyebrow products (which, yes, are amazing), but don’t sleep on their great selection of eyeshadow palettes. “This is one of my go-tos because it has a beautiful range of shades and the shadows are very blendable,” says Espinoza. To that point, while the 15 colors are mostly warm tones, they can easily be mixed and matched to create even more options.
Best Cool Shades: Smashbox Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palette in Punked
If cooler hues are more flattering for your eye and skin color, check out this palette. It has eight shades, all with cooler undertones, such as purples and mauves. All of them are highly pigmented (so a little goes a long way), and extremely blendable. We also appreciate that the palette itself is compact and purse-sized.
Best Brights: Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Eyeshadow Palette
Want to have a little fun and experiment with some more out-of-the-box shadow looks? This palette offers the best of both worlds, with 18 shades in a mix of more wearable neutrals and more dramatic brights (think vibrant turquoise and rich violet). Along with the standard shimmers and mattes, there is also one glitter powder and two unique, reflective shadows that can impart a different type of glow to your lids.
Best Shade Range: NYX Ultimate Utopia Shadow Palette
For those seeking an eyeshadow palette that will let them play and experiment with pretty much every shadow shade under the sun, this is an awesome choice. You get 40—count ‘em, 40—colors that run the gamut from neutral to dramatic and matte to high-shimmer. You may never have to buy another eyeshadow ever again.
Best for Minimalists: Charlotte Tilbury Darling Eyeshadow Palette
On the flip side, if you like to keep your eye makeup routine simple and streamlined, check out this option. Espinoza is a fan, noting that, even though it only comes with six colors, you can easily use it to create either a light, neutral look or build them up to create a bolder, smokier effect.
Best Personalized: Hourglass Curator Eyeshadow Palette
The easiest way to ensure you’re getting a palette that contains only colors you’re *actually* going to use? Create your own. Channel your inner makeup artist and pick up this empty five-pan palette, then choose from any of the brand’s 40 eyeshadow shades to pop inside. Bonus points for the fact that this is a super sustainable option since you can just refill the palette (which is made from tin and PCR plastic) with new colors once they run out. And if you want just a few colors, there’s also a three-pan size available.
What to look for when buying an eyeshadow palette
Consider your skin tone
According to Espinoza, this is the first thing to consider when shopping for an eyeshadow palette. “If you have fair skin, go with lighter peaches and nudes or darker browns that have yellow or cream undertones,” he says. “Darker or medium skin tones can make their look pop with bright berry colors,” he adds.
Think about your wedding theme and venue
The wedding location, time of day, and theme can all play a part in your makeup choices. A laid-back beach or woodland wedding will call for a very different look than a formal black tie event. And if you’re looking to use your palette for other wedding-related events like the bachelorette or bridal party, go with something that offers a wide range of color and finish options.
Start with your natural or lighter colors and build from there. Use a neutral color on the base of your lid, then concentrate any darker colors in the crease of your eye, suggests Espinoza. You can even use any of the super dark colors to rim your lash line, and any lighter, shimmery tones to highlight your brow bone, he adds.
“Most eyeshadow palettes are made to last two, even up to three years. Powdered eyeshadows will have a longer lifespan than cream-based eyeshadows, but it is important to watch for discoloration as signs of aging in your palettes,” explains Espinoza.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s also a newlywed, who used eyeshadow palettes for almost all of her wedding-related events (and packed several on her honeymoon).