The perfect eye shadow palette can do so much. Some might call it the most versatile product in your makeup bag. Depending on the variety of colors in the palette, you can use just one or two hues to blend for everyday wear and then when you're ready for a big night out, date night, or just want to a mix things up, you can take the boldest colors in the pack and go for a dramatic, eye-catching look.
So yeah, eye shadow palettes are pretty much a makeup lover's dream. Who wouldn't want to experiment and play with the endless possibilities? The hard part about all of this, though, is that there are so many options for you to choose from out there. Not a bad situation to be in, but if you're shelling out some big bucks for a palette, you're going to want to know it's got some staying power and will be a go-to.
To help, I asked a bunch of celebrity makeup artists for the palettes they swear by for their own clients (and themselves). Take a look at their list—plus a few editors' picks—below.
"For the most part I will always contour an eye to create depth, even if it's minimal for a no-makeup makeup look. This palette is great for that, and I love it because it has a slight mauve-y pink undertone, which creates a wash of softness on the eyes." — Emily Cheng, whose clients include Yara Shahidi and Julia Garner
"I love the Huda Obsessions palettes as they have the most beautiful combinations of metallic and matte shades in different color tones. I find myself always using the Coral, Nude Medium, and Topaz palettes as they work well with my blue eyes. Because the shades are so bold, they actually work on all skin tones." — Tobi Henney, whose clients include Ashley Graham and Shanina Shaik
"The velvety smooth texture is perfect for a flawless blending application. The combination of this palette from a subtle to dramatic shade is perfect for any skin tone." — Maud Laceppe, whose clients include Vanessa Paradis and Julianne Moore
"I am also loving the BareMinerals Gen Nude Copper palette. It is a great daytime/everyday palette, and these come in all different shades and are fabulous for a multi-eye look palette. This palette looks great on tan to darker skin tones." — Henney
"I love the Armani Eye Quattro palettes best. The color combinations in each palette are exquisite. Each palette comes with four eye shadow colors. You can create a perfect nude matte eye or a deep intense smoky eye. The eye shadows have a creamy texture and are highly pigmented and so very easy to use. I love Avant-Premiere, as it contains all my favorite earthy tones. You can also create more of a satin finish to the eyes, or something with a little bit more sparkle. These palettes can be used on all skin tones, that's the beauty of them, and in color combinations to suit everyone. I love using these palettes as they are so easy to apply due to the incredibly advanced technology, ultra-creamy formula to a powder finish, which blends seamlessly and effortlessly. Also, these eye shadows never crease, even after being out all night." — Naoko Scintu, whose clients include Charlize Theron and Karlie Kloss
"Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk and Golden Goddess palettes are also up there with my favorite palettes. They are great to travel with as they are super light and chic. I love the gold packaging and the little mirror is great to be able to use the palette on the run. Pillow Talk looks beautiful on fair to medium skin tones. Golden Goddess is the perfect palette for medium skin tones." — Henney
"The MAC palettes hold so many shadows! It's so smart how they incorporate so many colors and textures into such a small palette. They are great for travel and give you everything you need in a normal quad-size compact." — Christine Cherbonnier, who is Yoko Ono's personal makeup artist
This wouldn't be a roundup of the best eye shadow palettes without mentioning Naked. The iconic palette is a cult and editor favorite. I'm partial to the Naked3, which has a variety of rosy-hued neutrals in matte and shimmer finishes. It's pretty much the only eye shadow product I need.
Available in colorful and neutral shades, Tom Ford's Quad is a favorite with many of the makeup artists I polled.
"I love the Tom Ford palettes because the colors are so great. They make different quads for just about every skin tone." — Cherbonnier
"I love Tom Ford's nudes and color palettes—the quads color choices are perfect, the color payoff is excellent, and I love how blendable the shadows are. There are colors in the line for every skin tone and every look you could ask for." — Georgie Eisdell, whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Sophie Turner
"Tom Ford's Eye Quads are also always in my makeup kit. I absolutely love the Honeymoon Eye Quad and African Violet palette. The texture is beautiful, and when you use the metallic shade with your fingertip and slide over the center of the eyelid, it creates the most magical pop of color and shine! These palettes are great on medium and darker skin tones." — Henney
"Pat McGrath's shadows are out of this world too. The colors she has created are spectacular, and the pigments are so strong. The shimmery, glittery shadows are to die for. They can be used really lightly to give a soft glimmer to the eyelid, or you can really go for it and load the colors on for the full shimmery, glittery effect. Her neutral colors are stunning too, perfect for everyday easy looks or when you want to really go for it and get creative." — Eisdell
"Nars's Afterglow eye shadow palette is also beautiful, and you can create so many beautiful looks with this! The metallic shades are some of the best I've used. This looks great on medium to darker skin tones." — Henney
"I love how wearable each and every color scheme is for various skin tones and eye colors. Keep it simple and natural with French Nude, get your brown eyes to pop with an array of violets in Reflet D'Amethyste, or go bold with Bleu Hypnôtique. Each palette has five shades of color with different textures ranging from matte to metallic. It's truly your all-in-one eye enhancer with high pigment payoff. With so many color options, this line is suitable for any skin tone." — Carissa Ferreri, whose clients include Suki Waterhouse and Gina Rodriguez
"For brighter colors, I use the Cozzette Beauty Color Story Mini Palettes. The shadows are just so gorgeous, and the textures are my favorite of any shadows. They are so blendable, and the palette itself is small and padded, so it's ideal for your makeup bag or a professional makeup kit." — Cherbonnier
Morphe's palettes feature so many different colors. The eye makeup possibilities and combinations are infinite. You'll definitely be able to go from day to night and then some with this product. Each palette contains a mix of mattes and shimmers.
"My favorite eye shadow palette currently is Maybelline's Nudes of New York. I absolutely love it because you get a large assortment of colors. You have your matte colors, and you have your shimmer colors, some very pale colors. There are nice midtones, warm colors, and some deep colors, which is great if you wanted to create a smoky eye or something that's a little more nighttime for a special occasion. For me, it's the really great balance between my very expensive palettes and something that I can just experiment with. Definitely one of my clients' favorites. It suits pretty much every skin tone because there's such a large assortment of nudes, so there's something for everyone. Even the palest shadow I've used as a highlighter on the brow bone for a lot of my deeper-toned clients." — Vincent Oquendo, whose clients include Janelle Monáe and Hailey Bieber
"My drugstore choice is Revlon Colorstay's eye shadow palette in Original. It's such a gorgeous everyday palette if you are looking for something to use day in and day out. It suits all skin tones and eye colors and is such an affordable palette!" — Henney
If you're looking for a lot of bold color options at a super-affordable price, Nyx's eye shadow palette in brights might be your best bet. It comes in a variety of finishes, from matte to satin to metallic. And if bold colors aren't your thing, you can also get the palette in neutral tones.
At just $3, you can mix and match as many of these editor-favorite palettes as you want. The mini palettes come in so many different color groupings, so there's guaranteed one that works with any skin tone. They're also 100% vegan and cruelty-free.