Last updated: September 26, 2020

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It is said that “one look is worth a thousand words”. Through the eyes, we can see the emotions, feelings, and concerns; the eyes can even reveal aspects of who we are. When our eyes shine, so does our personality and vice versa. The eyes are, after all, one of the most noticeable traits in any human. We should be giving our gaze the power it deserves, while properly caring for the eyes.

For this purpose, the cosmetics industry offers eyeshadow. They are the tools used to give color, light, and brightness to the eyes, with the purpose of giving life and character to our gaze. If you want to know more about eyeshadows, in this guide we will go over all the different varieties and how you can put them to good use.

Key Facts

  • Eyeshadow is a cosmetic that is applied to the eyelids or the skin around the eyes.
  • There are multiple applications and uses for eyeshadow; from a daily makeup routine to cinematographic characterizations.
  • Eyeshadows are meant to accentuate the eyes and enhance our overall facial features. There are many types of eyeshadows, which offer plenty of different finishes and effects. In North America, the options of eyeshadow products are virtually endless.

Ranking: The best eyeshadow products on the U.S. market

In the United States, there are virtually thousands of eyeshadow products. For this reason, we created this raking, it will help you better understand the makings of a quality product. Check out the best 5 eyeshadow products available to you. Make sure to pay attention to their descriptions, this step will help you determine what your eyeshadow needs are. As always, we have made our ranking diverse, offering you the best quality for the best value.

No. 1: Beauty Glazed — 63 Colors Eyeshadow Palette Powder

This highly pigmented eyeshadow palette powder is super creamy, velvety smooth and easy to layer and blend. It has long-lasting color that stays on all day as if you had just applied it minutes before. Beauty Glazed has produced a diverse 63 color palette that allows you to create endless looks with eye-popping or more natural-looking combinations. You can opt for a firey, sexy look or a cool and stunning vibe.

Because of its wide range of colors, this could be the only palette you would ever need, suitable for any and all occasions. You can accentuate the natural lines and colors of your eyes for parties, weddings, bar crawls or a casual day out on the town. This palette is made of high-quality ingredients that are safe and healthy for your skin. It can be applied not only on the eyes but the top of the lips, face, legs and more for professional artistry.

No. 2: Lamora — Pro Eyeshadow Palette Makeup

The velvety smooth finish of each of these eyeshadows works to enhance the natural features of your face and eyes. This palette is great whether you’re going to a high-class event or a casual night out at the bars. Each of these colors applies flawlessly either wet or dry. You can shade, shadow, contour and define the eyes just like a professional. This palette comes in an easy to carry 5.6” x 3.7” .4” size, making it perfect for travel or to take with you in your purse.

Amazon’s #1 Best Selling eyeshadow, his matte-shimmer palette has been inspired for and by women. It is created with ingredients of the highest quality with the most updated ultra-micronized, luxurious waterproof cream formula. It contains 16 bright, pigment-rich nude colors with stunning capacity for blending and long-lasting results. Included are colorful rose gold and royally dark brown shades for a shimmery yet natural look.

No. 3: Charmcode — UCANBE 18 Colors Aromas New Nude Eyeshadow Palette

The new nude aromas palette by Charmcode consists of 18 high pigmented shades from ultra matte to stunning shimmer powder and has everything you need to completely transform your eyelids. Each eyeshadow has a smooth and creamy texture with colors ranging from cool to warm tones. This palette can create a bare and simple look for everyday needs, or more exciting combinations for looks that are passionate, fun and perfect for parties.

There are 11 velvety matte colors including nude pink, soft brown, and other berry shades. It has 4 reflective shimmer shades and 1 with satin pearl flecks that create a gorgeous duo-chromatic finish. There is also 2 beautiful copper glitter colored shades for a high metallic finish that layers effortlessly on top of any matte color adding a dreamy and sexy look. This palette comes in a convenient to carry size and shape with a built-in inner mirror so you can take this with you wherever you go.

No. 4: NYX — Ultimate Shadow Palette

This professional-level makeup palette features 15 highly-pigmented shadows that glide onto lids and make your eyes pop with color. Use this with NYX Professional Makeup’s eyeshadow primer for bolder, longer-lasting color. Each high-quality eyeshadow palette features a highly pigmented mix of finishes from matte and satin to shimmery and metallic. You can find shades and create combinations that are perfect for your skin tone and your desired look.

This palette includes 16 different colors: red, purple, orange, blue, green, yellow, pink, nude and varying colours of each. NYX is certified and acknowledged by PETA as an animal cruelty-free brand. Unlike other brands of eyeshadow, this brand doesn’t come cakey, cracked or overly powdery. It applies smoothly and is an amazing eyeshadow palette to build colors. It a bright-colored palette that comes at a great value.

No. 5: Charmcode — 15 Colors Shimmer Matte Glitter Eyeshadow Makeup Palette

This eyeshadow palette has a trendy set of 15 super high pigmented bold and basic shades. It features shimmery matte glitter powders for any fierce fashion fanatic. There are 7 ultra mattes including different pink nude shades; purple violet, passionate yellow-orange, and unique pea green. Also included are 2 semi-mattes with bright pumpkin hues and a reddish-brown color for a naturally stunning look. The set includes 5 metallic colours that bring a shimmery finish for playful eyes and allow for effortless layering.

This eyeshadow formula by Charmcode offers a wide variety of different styles and looks; satin shine, smooth pearl, foiled shadow and creamy matte all delivery a smooth and silky texture with rich color quality. It is lightweight and glides on the skin seamlessly. This all in one palette can create both everyday makeup or daring, gorgeous looks, suitable for any occasion.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about eyeshadow

When buying products you will use on delicate areas, such as the eyes, it is important to be familiar with the products properties, components, and potential side effects. This section gives you all the tools and information you need to buy a good quality eyeshadow that meets all of your needs. We have also included answers to the most frequently asked questions among buyers, and a few pro tips, so that you can get professional results from the product you choose.

Eyeshadow is a simple tool that can help you add lumosity and life to your gaze.
(Source: Lonescu: 44414866/

What is eyeshadow exactly?

Eyeshadow is a colored cosmetic used on the eyelids and skin around the eyes. The first documented use of eyeshadow dates back to ancient Egypt in 10,000 B.C. This product, among other cosmetics, was used as a means to establish status, enhance beauty, and for ceremonious occasions. Since then, the use of eyeshadow has been picked up by the masses and their formulations have been refined to offer you quality products.

Today, eyeshadow is an essential beauty product that is within the reach of everyone’s pocket. Its uses range from informal day-to-day use to more elaborate makeup art for Broadway-like events and productions. As mentioned before, these beauty cosmetics have evolved remarkably, and today, the market offers multiple varieties in different forms, colors, and finishes.

Eyeshadow brushes should always be kept clean to avoid harming the eyes.
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What is the purpose of eyeshadow?

Eyeshadow is designed to provide the eyes with aesthetic and cosmetic benefits and it is often part of most makeup routines. This product is used to give the eyes extra depth and expression, truly making them shine. All the different shades and colors offered within the different product lines; either complement, enhance or contrast the coloring of the eyes to make them pop.

Keep in mind that, like with all cosmetics, using eyeshadow correctly is super important. If applied properly, they can be helpful in correcting wrinkles and attenuating other signs of aging. Beyond simple, everyday use, eyeshadow is a key tool in professional makeup settings. In theatre and film, for example, it’s used to define facial features so they can be seen from far away.

To obtain the best results don’t neglect the quality of the eyeshadow brush.
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It is important to note that in film and theatre, eyeshadows are usually applied very differently. In these cases, the objective is not to create a “normal” aesthetically pleasing look, instead, the aim is to attract attention or achieve the look and feel of specific characters. For this reason, brighter, more dramatic and eye-catching colors are used. In short, eyeshadow has nearly endless roles in today’s world.

What is eyeshadow made of?

As we briefly mentioned before, the composition of eyeshadow has evolved greatly over time. Eyeshadows formulations today are generally made up of these 3 components: base fat, color pigments, and special chemical compounds. The chemical compounds are usually used to make products more durable and to give them a specific texture and consistency.

There is no set ratio or formula for every eyeshadow, however, there is a general pattern most quality products tend to follow: 60% mineral oils, 10% fats, and waxes, and 6% lanolin, the medium for adding any other chemical components. The remaining ingredients will consist of various pigments, preservatives, and product-specific active ingredients.

The table below gives a little more detail about the main components in most eyeshadow products:

Component Functions
Base fat Mineral oil Petroleum derivative that allows the skin to retain its moisture. Very safe and non-comedogenic.
Jojoba oil Liquid wax, biodegradable and non-toxic, highly resistant to heat and oxidation. Helps the cosmetic product stay on and last longer. Hydrates the skin, regulates acne outbreaks, fights wrinkles, boosts cell regeneration and is a natural antioxidant.
Waxes Beeswax, lanolin, ozokerite or ceresin. They protect and soften the skin.
Pigments Bismuth Oxychloride Very safe pigment for all skin types. Expensive ingredient – only used in high-quality products.
Manganese violet Colorant of purple color. Toxic if inhaled. Safe for topical application around the eyes.
Chromium hydroxide Greenish pigment used only for eyeshadows. Not considered suitable for applying on the lips.
Brass powder Metallic dye. Widely used for coloration of all types, especially as a tanning powder.
Titanium dioxide Natural mineral used to provide brightness. It provides natural sun protection.
Other chemical compounds Talco Enables even and more permanent eyeshadow application onto the skin.
Palmitate Palm oil derivative. May cause allergic reactions in some.
BHT Compound with antioxidant properties.
Parabens Have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are used as preservatives.

What types of eyeshadows are there?

As you would expect from such a staple cosmetic, there is an endless selection of eyeshadow varieties and lines. There is something to satisfy every need, style, and occasion. Generally, eyeshadow products can be classified by their texture or according to the pigments with which they are made. When speaking of texture, we’re referring to how they are presented.

It can be in powder, cream, pencil, crayon, or liquid – to name a few. As far as the pigments go, you can find shades that offer different finishes, such as frost, luster, satin, matte, velvet, veluxe and veluxe pearl. The occasion and your specific taste will determine which shadow combination will be best.

These are the main types of eyeshadows, classified by texture:

Texture Characteristic
Powder (compact powder) The texture is compact and hardened. Doesn’t stain. They don’t fade easily and their duration is average. Versatile with multiple finishes.
Cream The texture is creamy and the results are long-lasting. They tend to crack if not set with powder. Easy application but difficult to diffuse.
Pencil or crayon Great durability and very easy to use. Difficult to fade/diffuse and often cracks if not set with powder.
Liquids Fluid texture, very easy to apply, with average duration. Cracks easily if not set with powder.
Loose powder Non-compacted powder pigments. Easy to apply and blend. Short-lasting effects if not primed. They don’t expire or degrade.
Stickers (new) Very easy to put on and the market offers a wide range of designs.

In contrast, this table classifies them by pigmentation and finish:

Pigmentation Finish
Frost or frosted Tones with cold and metallic finishes. They have small particles that reflect light to create frosted effect. Luminous and metallic result.
Lustre Shimmery shades that are not as intense as frosted or metallic shadows.
Satin Creamy shadows with a slight touch of lumosity. More pigment saturated than lustres, providing more intense results.
Matte Shadows without any type of light, and with little and mild pigmentation.
Velvet Similar formulation to matte eyeshadows. However, these contain glitter particles.
Veluxe Similar formulation to matte shadows, but with a touch of velvet. Feels dusty and silky to the touch.
Veluxe pearl A variety of matte eyeshadows that contain the maximum amount of metallic components possible. Velvety, intense and metallic finish.

How to properly apply eyeshadow?

In order to obtain the most professional and spectacular results from your eyeshadow, there are certain steps and tricks you must follow for proper application. Keep in mind that the eyelids are made of very delicate skin which inherently has many natural folds and wrinkles. These conditions make it difficult to properly apply eyeshadow products to this area. Before you begin to apply the eyeshadow, we strongly recommend using some sort of eyeshadow primer. These products will help the shadow go on evenly creating a smooth, long-lasting finish.

Next, choose the color pallet you want to work with, for more professional results, experts recommend using 3 shades in the same color range. To begin the application, start by using the lightest shade as a base. Apply this color in and around the lining of the eye socket, you can also prime the area underneath the bottom lashline with this color. Base shadow can be applied with a flat shadow brush or with the tip of your ring finger.

Eyeshadows today come in an infinite number of colors and presentations
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Then, with a flat brush, apply the main color over the actual eyelid, blending well. To add depth to your gaze, retouch the outermost part of the eye, and the eye crease with the darkest shade, making sure to blend well. This is the classic, most basic technique to achieve simple, yet professional results. If you have more questions about the application or other techniques, there is a huge selection of great educational content on the web. The possibilities are truly endless.

Can eyeshadow have adverse effects?

The sensitive nature of the area eyeshadow is supposed to go on, makes them more often than not, very safe products. Despite the fact that cosmetics ingredients are not required to be approved by the FDA (other than color additives), in the United States, most reputable brands have their products dermatologically tested to ensure their safety, allowing for low rates of adverse reactions.

That being said, there is still a chance of eyeshadow having negative physiological interactions in some rare cases. The most common adverse effect is irritation of the area and itchy eyes. It usually occurs from eyeshadow entering directly into the eye or if the product is expired. This is common in loose powder, lower quality eyeshadows. In more extreme cases, eye infections can develop (conjunctivitis, blepharitis). However, this is usually due to incorrect use and application.

Warmer eyeshadow colors are great for natural and sultry looks.
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Most adverse reactions from the use of eyeshadows can usually be prevented. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that the product you are using is of good, quality ingredients. You should always do the proper research on the manufacturer. If in doubt, you can seek out advice and consult experts within the field of cosmetics. Try to always familiarize yourself with the composition of each product and its expiration date. If you have allergies or sensitivities, it should go without saying that due-diligence will be key when choosing a new product.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of eyeshadow?

Next, we summarize the key advantages and disadvantages of using eyeshadow:

  • Provides depth to the gaze
  • Illuminates and brings life to the face
  • Enhances the colour of our eyes
  • Affordable to anyone
  • Possible eye irritation
  • May stain clothes
  • Results of variable duration
  • May crack if not set properly

Shopping Criteria

Aside from understanding the composition and proper practices concerning the use of eyeshadows, there is another set of criteria we want to leave you with. Keep these things in mind when shopping for one of these products and you’ll be able to be the most informed decision. After all, this is the only way to be confident that you’re choosing the right product that will best suit your needs.

  • Characteristics of your eyes
  • Skin type
  • Occasion
  • Pigment and finish
  • Texture and format
  • Quality

Characteristics of your eyes

Before you choose your eyeshadow, make sure to take into account the unique and specific characteristics of your eyes. It is also important to consider the results you’re looking to achieve when using eyeshadow. Examine the shape, color, size, and positioning of your eyes. Although these things may seem it may seem trivial, they will all largely influence which eyeshadows accent and compliment your eyes the best.

For example, large eyes are usually naturally expressive, so it’s not necessary to overly enhance them with too much color or depth. In this case, the best choice would be a more discreet eyeshadow that complements the natural traits of the eyes, without being excessive. On the other hand, there are certain eyeshadows that can be used to make small eyes more prominent in the face. In these cases, it’s better to opt for colors that make the eyes shine and stand out.

With striking eyeshadow colors, you can add a little or a lot of individuality to your look.
(Source: Morganka: 40224695/

Skin type

As with most cosmetics, your skin type will affect which products you should buy and how you should apply them. The needs of your skin will vary according to its features. For instance, oily skin is often characterized by an excess of sebum, which makes oil accumulate on the eyelids, altering the effects and overall quality of certain eyeshadows.

In these cases, we would discourage the use of liquid or creamy eyeshadows, compact or powder eyeshadows would be a better choice. On the other hand, liquid eyeshadows are great for those with dry skin, the same thing with cream products. Lastly, choose shades and tones that correspond and complement the color of your skin instead of washing it out.


By now you know that eyeshadow can be used in many settings. When looking to buy one of these products, first determine what you will be using it for. Most people have a variety of eyeshadows in their collection, all with different and specific characteristics that make them more or less appropriate for different occasions. For example, the shadows you use for a daytime everyday look will be different than the shadows you use for fancy evening makeup.

For a natural and casual look, opt for discrete nude and earthy tones with a matte finish. On the other hand, for special events such as concerts or black-tie parties, choose the exact opposite. In these cases, eyeshadow that is bright and flashy, with dazzling tones will be your best friend. So, before making your final purchase, give yourself time to imagine and experiment with all the different possible combinations and looks you want to achieve with your new eyeshadow.

More often than not, people end up with a few essential eyeshadow palettes and finishes. Allowing them to be prepared for any type of makeup and occasion.

Color and finish

As you’ve seen throughout this guide, there is a seemingly infinite number of color possibilities. Beyond that, the same color is often available in several different finishes. Shiny shadows, matte shadows, luster tones, metallic finishes and many more. For this reason, you can actually be very specific about the color and characteristics you are looking for in your new eyeshadow.

The color and finishes you choose will be highly intertwined with the occasion and your personal characteristics and preferences. Skin-like shades, such as orange or brown, are more appropriate for everyday use. While jarring and loud colors with metallic and glossy finishes are much more common for all-night events or celebrations.

Texture and format

Eyeshadows are available in a variety of formats, with many different textures and consistencies. To decide which one is best for you, you’ll have to consider everything we mentioned in this section; your skin type, style, season, location and specific occasion. We have established that each type of eyeshadow will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, press powder eyeshadow is very easy to apply, but their effects don’t last long, and they stay your skin and clothes easily. Creamy eyeshadows, on the other hand, are much more resistant, however, they can crack easily if not set properly. Make a list of all the pros and cons and choose the one that suits you best.


Finally, it is essential to evaluate the quality of your eyeshadow you choose. This is relevant with all cosmetic products, but especially for eyeshadows, due to the delicate area, they are designed for. The contours of the eyes are a particularly sensitive region, both for its fragile skin and for the important organs it surrounds. This is particularly relevant for people with sensitive skin and allergies.

The quality of the cosmetics you put on your face should never be compromised. Poor quality eyeshadow poses risks that can be easily avoided with a little diligent research. Inferior ingredients can cause eye irritation, or in more serious cases, potentially dangerous eye infections. Always look for products with quality guarantees.


Eyeshadows are cosmetic staples that should never be missing in any makeup bag. These products are used to illuminate and give life to our facial features. It is the simplest details that make all the difference. Applying eyeshadow is simple and they are also very easy to remove, making them an extremely practical cosmetic product. A key feature of eyeshadow is its versatility.

Say goodbye to the feeling of always wearing makeup in the same exact way. With all the different combinations of eyeshadows available in North America, you have the tools you need to overcome monotony and keep your look always fresh and dynamic. No matter the occasion and your preferences, with the information we’ve given you in this guide, you’re sure to find the perfect eyeshadow for you.

Do you know which eyeshadow you’re going to choose? If you liked our guide on eyeshadows, share it on social networks or leave us a comment with your thoughts!

(Featured image source: Artemfurman: 38703202/

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