Despite the beauty industry undergoing a big overhaul in diversity, eyeshadow palettes can still be a grey (read: ashy) area when it comes to inclusivity. Here, we list the ones that cater to everybody.
‘Diversity’ is at the forefront of the beauty industry.
More and more brands are unveiling foundation launches available in 40+ shades (leaving some stores taking a pledge against stocking foundations that don’t have a representative shade range), campaigns are refreshingly portraying a more inclusive image and recent haircare launches are finally taking all hair textures into consideration.
But along with the great strides we’re making, there are certain areas in beauty that have been left behind. From my experience, it’s eyeshadows.
I love eyeshadow. Dipping a brush into a powdered pan and sweeping it across my eye isn’t a typical part of my everyday make-up routine – I tend to save it for when it’s a special occasion or I just want to put a bit more effort into my make-up look.
This means that whenever an eyeshadow launch drops, there’s an allure around it that makes it feel particularly special. And I’m not alone. A new eyeshadow palette tends to leave the entire Stylist beauty team ooo’ing and ah’ing.
But, sadly, a quick swatch often leaves me feeling a little… flat. A lot of eyeshadow palettes aren’t created with all skin tones in mind and as a result, half of the colours included don’t pop against deeper skin tones, if they show up at all. Meaning you’ll find one is too chalky, one is too ashy and one is too light, before you finally come across a shade that is – in the words of Goldilocks – juuust right.
Here are the eyeshadow palettes that don’t leave me (and my eyeshadow brush) dodging half of the shades…
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Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette
Inspired by the sparkle in crystals, this Urban Decay palette is filled with eight shimmers that are inspired by the colours of gemstones. There’s also four neutral velvet mattes to help you achieve the perfect base before you pile on the glitz.
Zoeva Spice of Life Voyager Eyeshadow Palette
From a red-orange saffron hue to gingerbread brown, this travel-sized palette has all you need for the perfect day or night look.
Anastasia Beverly Hills x Jackie Aina Palette
When Jackie Aina created this ABH palette, not only did she make sure it caters to everybody – but that it caters to every look, too. The 14 eyeshadows cover matte and metallic formulas with crease, lid, inner corner and highlight shades.
NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette - Brights
Inclusive eyeshadow palettes don’t mean you’re limited to the type of colours on offer – proven by this NYX palette. Its 16 rainbow shades are all highly-pigmented and have impressive colour pay-off with just one swipe.
Huda Beauty Gold Obsessions Palette
In honour of its five year anniversary, Huda Beauty released quite possibly the most beautiful eyeshadow we’ve ever seen. It contains three finishes: matte, metallics and a new texture: a pink shimmer and gold metallic base sprinkled with flakes of gold. Swoon.
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette Of Pops Dazzling Diamonds
Charlotte Tilbury’s Palette of Pops are formulated with gorgeous jewel-inspired sparkly shadows that make your eyes, well… pop. The Dazzling Diamonds palette is filled with a pink champagne, antiqued gold, warm brown and navy black to let you create a long list of different eye looks.
BH Cosmetics Solar Flare Baked Eyeshadow Palette
A friend once pulled this palette out on holiday, offering to do everybody’s eye make-up before we went Out Out (remember that?), and it looked great – on all of us. The baked eyeshadows mean the formula is incredibly pigmented and the lightest shades pop amazingly against deeper skin tones.
Illamasqua Movement Artistry Eyeshadow Palette
Since its inception, Illamasqua has celebrated expressive beauty for all and this eyeshadow palette shows that. It contains warm-toned neutrals and metallics covering a variety of shades, from dark lavender to pine green.
Too Faced Pumpkin Spice Eyeshadow Palette
We know, pumpkin spice in your beauty routine too? But this palette perfectly captures the cosy warmth of autumn and winter (hey, it’ll be September before we know it). The range of colours lets you create an everyday neutral eye look, or you can ramp it up to a full-on smoky eye.
Revolution Pro Colour Focus Rock & Royal Palette
Affordable without compromising on the quality of its eyeshadows, this Revolution Pro palette is packed with 10 beautiful eyeshadow shades, covering violet, indigo, bronze and mauve. Each one has been finely milled to provide intense pigment with just one swipe.
Beauty Bay Fiery 16 Colour Palette
Find yourself always gravitating towards neutral and brown-toned eyeshadows? This is the palette for you. It’s filled with 16 eyeshadows that allow you to create gorgeous, rich eye looks and contains a mix of matte and shimmer shadows.
Sample Beauty The Hydrographic Palette
Bright, bold and with great colour payoff, this eyeshadow palette is all you need for a fun, vibrant look. It contains 10 ocean-inspired colours that look beautiful against all skin tones.
Natasha Denona Sunrise Palette
Pricey, yes, but Natasha Denona’s eyeshadow formulas are constantly praised for their intense pigment and high colour payoff. This particular palette contains a gorgeous mix of browns, yellows, pinks and purples inspired by a dreamy sunrise.
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