If You're Not Into Palettes, I Found the Best Single Eye Shadows Ever Created

I'll openly admit that I'm on a constant quest to up my eye shadow game. Finding the right makeup for your personal needs and skin tone is an art form and one I'm hellbent on perfecting. Since I've recently found a few great lipsticks that really work for an everyday look, my sights are now set on refining my eye look and taking it to the next level. Single eye shadows really help me do that. 

Most are pretty budget-friendly and blend really well with other shadows you may have lying around so it's easy to mix and match. I have a few of my own personal favorites, but I decided to dig through the bags of a few celebrity makeup artists to check myself. The wonderful Maya René and Beck Wainner were happy to oblige. Keep scrolling for all of the best single eye shadows ever created.

Maya René, Celebrity Makeup Artist

Best single eyeshadows



"These eye shadows are very pigmented and she created so many shades and colors!"

"Pat McGrath eye shadow is absolutely stunning. The shadows are so buttery and rich, each swipe is full coverage, and there's hardly any fallout during application. I also love that her shades are never flat, they all have dimension, and can create such bold looks."

"Urban Decay's single shadows are a classic and an affordable go to that's great in every makeup collection. They have a variety of matte, metallic, glitter, and satin shades."

Best single eyeshadows



"This eye shadow is a great product as a base to layer on top of or simply by itself for a beautiful, romantic look."

"Lorac Pro Eyeshadow comes in refill single sizes and have a pretty good price point as well. I love using them for blending!"

Beck Wainner, Celebrity Makeup Artist 

"This beautiful pale gold shadow is one of the most versatile single shadows out there! I love to pop it in the corner of my eye to make it pop, or on the highest point of my cheek as a highlight."

"This long-lasting cream eye shadow is a beautiful universal shade that's good for any skin tone and guaranteed to turn heads. It has a beautiful subtle shimmer and blends like a dream."

"This is a rich dark brown shadow perfect for a soft wing or smoked-out soft liner look. it's the one shade that will carry you through every season and a staple in any makeup bag."

"A peachy brown that is a no-brainer for a great crease color or all-over everyday lid shade. It's soft enough to use for your everyday makeup routine or versatile enough to use as a transition shade for a smoky eye."

Beauty Editor–Approved Single Eye Shadows

Makeup Geek single shadows are such a staple in my makeup bag. They're incredibly pigmented, play nice with other shadows, and don't budge once they're on. And for that price? Do yourself a favor and snatch at least five of them.

This water-based formula also contains skin-loving ingredients like horse chestnut flower to help smooth fine lines and honokiol for antioxidant protection.

For a more dramatic shadow, try Stila's Glitter & Glow liquid formula. It applies so easily, dries quickly, and isn't messy like some other glitter shadows out there.

Bobbi Brown shadow sticks are a total classic. I appreciate the budge-proof nature of them and the classic neutral shades that compliment any skin tone.

Rare Beauty's Stay Vulnerable shadow is an incredibly lightweight liquid-to-powder eye shadow that provides the perfect sun-kissed look for every day wear.

I love this single eye shadow for a subtle, everyday lid glow. The formula is incredibly silky and looks amazing over a neutral brown shade.