And Now, the 21 Holy-Grail Eye Shadow Palettes Celeb Makeup Artists Swear By

There are more shared experiences in life than most people would like to admit. One of the biggest—at least where beauty lovers like myself are concerned—might be the sharp and frequent pang of buyer's remorse or FOMO when we come into contact with the products we're constantly seeing on social media. For me and the majority of beauty editors I've had the pleasure of participating in rant sessions with, eye shadow palettes seem to be the number one offender.

I'm taking this opportunity to share a number of products that I've been gushing over in addition to the ones two celebrity makeup artists use when working with their star-powered clientele lists. If that sounds interesting to you, read on to see which ones made the list!


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Finding Your Perfect Palette Match

If you're not feeling entirely confident in your decision-making methods when it pertains to eye shadow palettes, you may find some expert advice to your benefit. We reached out to celebrity makeup artist Rachel Goodwin, who has been the creative mind behind makeup looks for everyone from Emma Stone and Lana Condor to Rose Byrne and Selma Blair.

For Goodwin, choosing which eye shadow palettes to work with isn't a complicated process, as it's all based on the overall look she would like to achieve. "I choose based on the look I am trying to create. If I am doing editorial, I break out the color palettes. Day looks or press days with clients, I typically stick with neutrals and soft browns," she continues. Eye shadow palettes come in all shapes and sizes, each one possessing a unique formula that can either make or break your makeup look. The key is to hone in on your specific needs and desired finished look.

"I normally separate my eye shadow palettes by color. Neutrals in one and bright colors in another," explains Goodwin. "I prefer to have mixed textures in each palette, meaning a blend of shimmers, mattes, and satins, organized by hue." It could also be incredibly helpful to pay attention to the longevity of the eye shadow shades, potential product fallout (what happens when shadow migrates from the lid to the under-eye area), and the ability to build and blend pigments. Skin types also come into play, especially if you happen to have oily skin that can limit the wear time of certain formulas.

There are thousands of eye shadow palettes on the market, and Goodwin has worked with many more than an average makeup lover would. Her top pick right now is Mineral Fusion's Refillable Eye Shadow Palette. "It has a rich dark matte brown shade for defining the lashes or adding intensity for bolder looks and three warm bronze shimmers that look great on everyone and can be used in multitudes of ways," she says. They're also available in eight versatile shade palettes in a range of finishes, making the product a must-have for beginners as well as makeup-industry titans like Goodwin.

When creating eye makeup looks featuring bold colors, Goodwin's choice of palette is entirely curated to her personal preferences. She uses Make Up For Ever's Artist Color Refillable Makeup Palette, where a number of Artist Color Shadows and Face Colors can be added to the empty magnetic case. "The metal compacts are durable. The powder [is] richly pigmented and [stays] true to color on camera, which, as an artist, is very important to me. I organize them into cool and warm shades and mix multiple textures for variety," says Goodwin. In its essence, the refillable makeup product is the answer to most people's eye-shadow-palette woes thanks to its customizable quality.


(Image credit: @vanessahudgens)

Expert-Approved Favorites

Luckily, your palette journey doesn't end here. I also reached out to another one of our makeup artists on speed dial, Courtney Hart. Hart, who has created jaw-dropping looks for celebrity clients such as Kaley Cuoco, Madelaine Petsch, and Emma Chamberlain, shared a few of the eye shadow palettes she can't help but reach for while on the job. Keep scrolling to discover Hart's recommendations and the 17 additional makeup palettes that, if given the opportunity and an infinite budget, I would add to my makeup collection in a flash. Fair warning: You'll want to get your hands on these finds before your fellow makeup lovers catch on.

Must-Have Eye Shadow Palettes

Best Overall: Dior Backstage Eyeshadow Palette

Best for Green Eyes: MAC Connect in Color 12-Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Unfiltered Nudes

Best for Blue Eyes: Makeup by Mario Master Metals Eyeshadow Palette

Best for Hazel Eyes: Natasha Denona Yucca Eyeshadow Palette


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

Best for Brown Eyes: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Crème Eyeshadow Palette in Dark Opulence

Best for a Cut Crease: Patrick Ta Major Dimension III Matte Eyeshadow Palette

Best for a Smoky Eye: Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

Best Cool Neutrals: Morphe 18CT Matte Essentials Artistry Palette


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Best Shimmers: Natasha Denona Glam Eyeshadow Palette

Best Metallics: Makeup by Mario Master Metallics Eyeshadow Palette

Best Multipurpose Palette: Danessa Myricks Groundwork: Defining Neutrals Palette

Best Glitters: Isamaya Industrial Colour Pigments 2.0 Palette


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

Best Warm Neutrals: Nyx Professional Makeup Warm Neutrals Ultimate Color Palette

Best Colorful Palette: Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I Eyeshadow Palette in Subliminal

Best Travel Option: Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette

Best Drugstore Option: E.l.f. Cosmetics 18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette

Best For Beginners: CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 4-Kit Eye Shadow

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.