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Back in the day, eyeshadow palettes (at least, for me) felt like a major splurge, because not only were they almost exclusively offered by high-end labels, but also because they just weren’t as popular and widely available at all a decade or so ago. I would personally argue that Urban Decay’s ubiquitous Naked palette was at least in part, responsible for putting palettes on the map.
Fortunately, affordable and drugstore labels have finally caught up with prestige brand’s expansive offerings in the category, and it’s become pretty easy to score a quality palette on par with pricier options. Affordable eyeshadow palettes have become more and more impressive, making it so much less guilt-inducing to have a few of them on hand in your current makeup lineup. Not only are the formulas blendable, long-lasting and pigmented, but the shade selections are also highly nuanced and innovative, meaning you won’t be stuck with a few everyday muted taupe and basic brown hues to play with.
And while I’m personally totally okay with putting up with less-than-stellar packaging if it means the product’s formula is superb, the drugstore palettes highlighted below happen to deliver in both arenas (which is a major plus if you’re a frequent traveler or a bit on the accident-prone side of the spectrum).
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1. Prism Makeup Highly Pigmented Eye Makeup Palette
For the most bang for you buck, look no further than this Prism Makeup eyeshadow palette. Mix and match between 40 different colors, including beautiful shimmer, matte, and glitter shades. The formula is easily blendable and you get so much color payoff. Some even compare it to the James Charles palette from Morphe, which is one high compliment.
2. NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette
NYX rarely disappoints when it comes to budget-friendly makeup that feels like it cost a lot more than it actually did. The Ultimate Shadow Palette range performs like pricey palettes, and the shade offering in each palette are on point. I am loving the “Brights” palette at the moment (so, so pigmented!) but the other colors are also beautiful.
3. Wet n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette
When it comes to drugstore makeup, wet ‘n wild is probably one of my top favorite brands. Their formulas perform like its luxury counterpart’s would, and their Color Icon eyeshadow palettes are no exception. My favorite is the “Rose In The Air” palette, which is a spot-on dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hill’s “Modern Romance.”
4. Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette
If you prefer subtle, flesh-toned hues for your everyday eyeshadow look but have grown tired of basic brows and neutrals, Maybellline’s Blushed Nudes Palette is a great alternative. The palette contains both shimmer and matte shades in mauve, pale pinks, blushy taupes and a few transition shades to complete the look.
5. Milani Bold Obsessions Palette
Milani’s ultra-wearable Bold Obsessions palette is full of an array of shimmer shades and mattes to give you endless options for eye looks. The packaging is also super luxe, and comes with a full-size mirror inside. It’s an excellent go-to option for when you only want to bring one palette with you while traveling.