Best Eye Shadow

eye shadow reviews

We spent 23 hours researching the best eye shadow sets and comparing them. After combing through recommendations and user reviews, we selected the Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Palette as our best overall pick. It comes with over 250 eye shadows ranging in colors and finishes.

There are several types of eye shadows including powders, creams, sticks, and crayons. In this review, we are going to cover eye shadow powders, specifically pressed powders. These often come in palettes with multiple colors based on the look you are trying to achieve.

Table of Contents


Best Eye Shadow

Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Palette

The Coastal Scents Eye Shadow palette is our top pick because it has all of the colors and finishes you need to get that perfect look. The colors are highly pigmented and the finishes come in a range from matte to ultra shimmer.

Runner Up: Morphe Pro 35 Palette

The Morphe Pro 35 palettes come in a range of 35 colors. There are multiple palettes to choose from they range in color and finishes. The Morphe eye shadows are highly pigmented and last all day or evening. Morphe is also great for those of you who have sensitive skin.

Eye Shadow History

Eye shadow dates back to 10,000 BC where people dyes to color their skin. Kohl was used to darken the eyes of people in early Egypt. It was made from crushing multiple ingredients into a powder form like burnt almonds, lead and oxidized copper to name a few. Based on hieroglyphics eye shadow and makeup during those early Egyptian times were not limited to just women.
Top Eye Shadows

Factors that Determine Eye Shadow

Eye Shape

There are some important factors to consider before selecting an eye shadow. What is the shape of your eyes? What is the look you are trying to achieve? These are questions you should be asking yourself before selecting an eye shadow palette.  Let’s start with the shape of your eyes. If you don’t already know the general shape of your eyes, take a look at the following “What’s Your Eye Shape” guide from They list eight different eye shapes and how to apply eye shadow based on your eye shape. BeautyLish mentions in their guide that deep set eyes have a look where the brow bone is more prominent. They also recommend adding a lighter beige color on the eye lid and highlighting the arch of the eye.

Eye Color

Eye color also plays animportant role on what eye shadow colors will work best for you. Take a look at our chart below to see what colors you should go with.

Blue Eyes – Neutral and light tones are best for blue eyes. Golden tones work really well and if you want to go warmer then stick with brown tones. When you apply your eye shadow use softer shades like coral as they will complement your iris. You want to stay away from daker colors and that smokey eye look.

Hazel Eyes–There are several colors that go with Hazel eyes do to the different colors of the iris. Earth tones work really well including browns and golds.

Green Eyes –Muted purple tones are a nice complement to green eyes and make your eyes stand out. Shades like plum and violet will work well when creating shadows.

How to Apply Eye Shadow

The most important aspect of applying eye shadow is to go from the lightest color to the darkest color. The lightest color will serve as your base, and you will apply it from beneath your brow to the upper lash of your eye. Your next color will be applied to your eye lid which is slightly darker than the base color. This color goes from the crease of your eye lid to the upper lash. Next is your contour color that will be applied to the crease of the eye lid to achieve that contour effect. This adds definition to the eye. Finally, the darkest color is reserved for the liner that is applied to your upper lash.

Types of Brushes

After determining the shape of your eyes and the look you want, the next step is to understand what each brush does so you can apply the eye shadow properly.

There are many types of brushes you can use to apply eye shadow but here are some of the more popular ones.

Crease Brush – A crease brush comes with a tapered tip and is mainly used for blending or highlightings. You can use it to brush across the crease of your eye, so it adds dimension to your look.

Blending Brush – A blending brush does exactly what the name states, blends the different colors of eye shadows together for a perfectly blended look.

Contour Brushes – There are a few types of contour brushes that have different applications. A standard contour brush’s bristles are shorter which allows you to add more depth to the eye by applying concentrated color. There are also angled contour brushes that are great for applying a base color especially in the crease of the eye.
Eye Shadow at evening

What Features are Important

There are three main features of selecting an eye shadow palette that you should consider. The first one is choosing a set the provides a good range of options.

Color and Finish Options

Finding a set that offers the range of colors that compliment your skin tone or desired look is important. There are some sets that come with dozens of color choices and some with 16 or less. You also want to make sure that the finishes are what you desire. Eye shadows range in finishes from matte to ultra-shimmer.


All eye shadows are pigmented as they are designed to color your eyes however the degree or intensity of that color is what is important. A highly pigmented eye shadow is going to stand out and show a vivid color. Eye shadows that have a high degree of pigmentation often will have the same color on the skin as they do in the pan.

How We Selected

We looked at several leading beauty sites including HapersBazaar, InStyle, and BeautyLish to see what products they recommend. We also researched on Reddit to find what consumers are recommending to each other. We specifically spent some time in the subreddit for what is the best stand alone eye shadow: /r/muacjdiscussion/. There was a lot of positive feedback on the Lorac Pro 1 and Lorac Pro 2. We then looked on Amazon and searched through dozens of eye shadow palettes but quickly narrowed the field by only selecting 4+ star reviews. After narrowing the field, we took a closer look at the most popular palette that people were buying and started processing the review data. We quickly concluded that there are 5 palettes that we needed to investigate further.

How We Tested

Number of Colors

The first thing we looked at is the number of colors in each palette. Keep in mind that most of these palettes come in a range of finishes from matte to high shimmers.

Brand Colors
Coastal Scents 252 Color Palette 252
Morphe Pro 35 Palettes 35
Lamora Beauty Palette 16
Lorac Pro Palette 16
Shany Natural Palette 88


The next item on our list was to see where the eye shadow palettes are manufactured.

Brand Manufactured
Coastal Scents 252 Color Palette China
Morphe Pro 35 Palettes China
Lamora Beauty Palette China
Lorac Pro Palette China
Shany Natural Palette USA

Cruelty Free

Being socially responsible is important and that’s why we have this category on our eye shadow review. We wanted to take a look at each company and look at their manufacturing processes.

Brand Cruelty Free
Coastal Scents 252 Color Palette Yes
Morphe Pro 35 Palettes Yes
Lamora Beauty Palette Unknown
Lorac Pro Palette Yes
Shany Natural Palette Yes


Coastal Scents 252 Color Palette

Coastal Scents 252 Color Palette
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The Coastal Scents palette has over 250 different colors to choose from. It contains a wide range of finishes including matte to ultra-shimmers. This single palette is all of the different shades and colors that Coastal Scents provides. This is our best overall choice for two reasons. The first is that it is a high-quality set and has the customer approval to back it up and it a great collection to have because you can experiment with different colors. It is basically an all in one. A lot of users stated that the eye shadow does last all day even without applying a primer. The eye shadows are also very pigmented so a little goes a long way and they work very well on a variety of skin tones.

Morphe Pro 35 Palettes

Morphe Pro 35 Palettes
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The Morphe Pro 35 series contains multiple palettes so you can choose based on your style and skin tone. As the name states, each palette contains 35 different colors. Their most popular palette is the Morphe Pro 35 Color (Highly Pigmented). It contains a nice range of everyday and evening colors, and they all come in a matte finish. Many customers praised Morphe for being great for sensitive skin. Like the Coastal Scents eye shadows, the Morphe Pro is very pigmented, so they last a long time.

Lamora Beauty Palette

Lamora Beauty Palette
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This set from Lamora Beauty has 16 highly pigmented colors ranging from roses to dark browns. They offer both matte and shimmer finishes in this palette. This is a very portable and lightweight set that can easily go in your purse. This is one of the most popular sets selling on Amazon at the time of this review and many customers rave about the beautiful color palette. The only complaint is customers wish there were more matte colors in the set. Out of the 16 color choices 13 have a shimmery finish and 3 have a matte finish. If you are looking for a set that provides more matte finish choices take a look at the Morphe 35 or the Coastal Scents.

Lorac Pro Palette

Lorac Pro Palette
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The Lorac Pro palette was the most recommended eye shadow from looking at user recommendations on Reddit. The Lorac Pro palette offers 16 ultra-pigmented colors that are infused with botanicals. They look great all day or all evening, and this palette comes with 8 shimmers and 8 matte eye shadows. Many users commented on how they like the versatility of this palette. On the negative side, we did find multiple reviews where customers stated they did not think they were pigmented enough and that the colors are difficult to blend. Overall it seems like there are a lot of mixed reviews regarding the Lorac Pro Palette.

Shany Natural Palette

Shany Natural Palette
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The Shany Natural palette comes with 88 eye shadow colors. There are 29 matte eye shadows and 59 shimmers. Shany Natural is designed in the US, and they are a member of PETA. Each of their eye shadow pans is .6” deep, and they claim they are anti-crack. The pans are .01” deeper than the competition, and we couldn’t find any users complaining of cracked eye shadow, so their claim holds up.

What We Liked

  • After looking at all of the eye shadow palettes, we really liked the Coastal Scents because it provides such a wide range of colors and finishes to choose from. This is really the best all in one eye shadow kit that we could find.
  • We liked the Lamora Pro eye shadow palette because it is compact and offers a nice variety of tones in multiple finishes. It’s a great palette to have on the go or to travel with.
  • We liked that the Coastal Scents and the Morphe 35 palettes were highly pigmented. All of the eye shadow palette products claim that they are highly However, these two brands had the user data to back up their claims.

Eye Shadow types

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some people like to have a portable palette, and for this reason, we can’t recommend the Coastal Scents. Even though it is everything you need, you will have a hard time fitting the 252 color palette in your purse.
  • We didn’t like the fact that some of the palettes received mixed reviews on just how pigmented they are. The Lorac Pro had the most mixed reviews out of our top five eye shadows and Shany also had a few mixed reviews.
  • We also found that mixed reviews where the eye shadows colors were hard to blend. This mostly came from the Lorac Pro.
  • We found several instances of where users were complaining that they received eye shadow that was cracked. We found these type of reviews mixed in with all of the products so we can’t hold this against any single company.


Finding the right eye shadow comes down to knowing your eye type and the look you are after. Even though everyone is different the more options, you have, the better. This is especially true when you are first starting to experiment with eye shadow. This is why we highly recommend the Coast Scents eye shadow because you have so many options as far as color and finishes.



Author: Danielle G.

Danielle is an Editor for ReadPlease and in charge of product testing...she started out in the IT industry, but then her love of wellness & whole nutrition led her to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition...when she's not reading up on that, she is listening to music, gardening, or trying to meet John Mayer.

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