The Only 6 Eyeshadow Palettes InStyle Editors Use

Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes might be the best-selling palettes of all time, but there’s too much variety out there to limit yourself to using shimmery neutral eyeshadow shades for the rest of your life (don’t come at me). 

There are collector-worthy palettes like Pat McGrath’s Subliminal and uber-affordable ones from ColourPop with colors that every eyeshadow newbie needs. Since there are a ton of options to choose from, I turned to the rest of InStyle‘s beauty team to find out what palettes they swear by. 

Our three favorite words: add to cart.

Consider the following editor picks the starter packs of eyeshadow palettes, full of shades that you’ll actually use.

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Tom Ford Eye Color Quad

“If, like me, you’re not particularly skilled at applying eyeshadow, maybe you’d think it’s best not to invest in an $85 palette. However, I feel confident in saying that this one is perfect for newbies. The powders are so silky, they practically blend themselves.” —Dianna Mazzone, Beauty Editor 


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Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette in Light 

“Blame it on Pantone’s Color of the Year, but violet eyeshadow is having such a moment that even I, someone who doesn’t normally wear eyeshadow, can’t resist. The shades in this Chanel palette have just enough shimmer without any fallout, plus they don’t crease on my oily eyelids. One sweep gives you a subtle look, but they can be layered if you want more color payoff.” —Erin Lukas, Associate Beauty Editor 


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Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I: Subliminal Palette

“As far as eyeshadows go, it’s tough to beat Pat McGrath’s multidimensional powders. The pro makeup artist has created shades that shimmer with unbelievable depth, and blend with ease. They’re worth a splurge if you’re a budding artist yourself, or just a total makeup junkie! ” —Angelique Serrano, Beauty Director 


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Marc Jacobs Beauty Coconut Fantasy Collection Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette

“I pretty much don’t wear eyeshadow, but when I do, I always, always, always veer towards neutrals. These days, I’m really into pink-hued eye products, and this Marc Jacobs palette has everything I need for a subtle/bold eye look.” —Victoria Moorhouse, Digital Beauty Editor 


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ColourPop Fortune Pressed Powder Shadow Palette 

“When you’re new to eyeshadow and starting a collection from scratch, a palette with a wide range of shades like this ColorPop one is the most economical choice. I love that there are different finishes included in the palette, too. It makes playing around to find the perfect combination of shades for a smoky eye so much less confusing.” —Erin Lukas, Associate Beauty Editor


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Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Colour-Coded Eyeshadow Palette 

“I love this Charlotte Tilbury quad because it’s small enough to fit in my cross-body bag. The four shades allow me to create a full smoky eye, or just a wash of color.” —Victoria Moorhouse, Digital Beauty Editor 

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