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Retire Your Basic Smoky Eye & Upgrade to One of These Dark Eyeshadow Palettes

You can never go wrong with jewel tones.
Dark Eyeshadow.

I know I’m not the only one who is slightly terrified of eyeshadow palettes. You won’t admit it, but I will: they are straight up intimidating. Not only do you need to know which color combinations won’t make it look as though you’ve got raccoon eyes (my specialty). There’s also the issue of figuring out how to apply them without making more mess than masterpiece. To be honest, I have yet to crack the code. But on the upside, I do know that dark eyeshadow palettes are a lot easier to work with instead of trying to perfect a classic smoky eye.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not for retiring the smoky eye altogether. There will always be a space for it in my routine, even if it’s just for special occasions. But going heavy on the black shadow and liner gets extremely monotonous and more often than not, is difficult to remove. And as someone who is always this close to skipping makeup remover at the end of the day, it’s exactly why I rarely get fancy in the eye department . However, if there’s one type of product that is always guaranteed to get the dust wiped off my brushes, it’s a jewel-toned eyeshadow palette.

It still packs the punch of a darker shade, but the colors aren’t lacking in vibrancy. You can still be a standout without going full-on black. And for some reason, 2019 has gifted us with a handful of new palettes that fall into this category. See our favorites ahead.


PUR Out of the Blue Light Up Vanity Eyeshadow Palette

Besides the blend of matte and shimmer jewel tones to choose from, this innovative palette is also formulated to protct your skin from blue light exposure, also known as cell phone and computer screen light.

$32 at PUR 

Physician’s Formula.

Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Eyeshadow Palette in Sultry Nights

These creamy shades are formulated with a tucuma, cupuaçu and burumuru butter blend so your skin can feel as good as it looks throughout the day.

$17.99 at Physician’s Formula

Tom Ford Beauty.

Tom Ford Beauty EYE QUAD in Photosynthesex

A luxe set of shimmery colors that can be used separately or together to create that come hither-look for a sexy night out.

$88 at Tom Ford

Charlotte Tilbury.

Charlotte Tilbury The Icon Palette

Every shade in this new palette is inspired by celebrities Tilbury has partied with in Ibiza. They can also be used on the cheeks and lips, depending on how much color you’re going for.

$65 at Charlotte Tilbury

Urban Decay.

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

The new version of the classic Naked palette is just as enticing with a mix of glorious nude tones.

$44 at Urban Decay

Lottie London.

Lottie London The Smokes 12 Piece Eyeshadow Palette

Earth tones and jewel tones collide in this all-purpose palette that we’d happily keep on deck for all occasions.

$12.99 at Ulta

Dose of Colors.

Dose of Colors Blushing Berries Eyeshadow Palette

What isn’t there to love about a set of berry shades that can be paired with a classic red lipstick, the other staple in our stash?

$32 at Dose of Colors


CoverGirl Smoky TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette

We’ve got our eye on the shimmery purple in this set of eight, jewel-toned, shimmery shades.

$11.99 at Ulta

Butter London.

Butter London Glazen Smooth Silk Eyeshadow Palette

From lilac to lavender to eggplant, this palette is a mauve paradise that I’d happily use for wedding season.

$36 at Butter London

Flesh Beauty.

Flesh Beauty Envy Eyeshadow Palette 3 in Flesh Envy

The emerald green and midnight blue are the true standouts of this holiday drop that we’d wear well into spring and summer.

$38 at Flesh Beauty

Laura Geller.

Laura Geller Luxe Finishes Eyeshadow Palette – The Cools

Though these colors have cool undertones, they still pack the punch of a black shadow with added brightness.

$19 at Ulta

NARS Cosmetics.

NARS Scandal Eyeshadow Palette

Silver, blue and green? This limited-edition palette is not for the faint of heart.

$49 at NARS Cosmetics

Pat McGrath Labs.

Pat McGrath Labs Mothership III: Subversive Palette

Violets, blues, greens and neutrals make this luxe package the best all-in-one option for creating a plethora of diverse shadow looks.

$125 at Pat McGrath Labs

Black Moon Cosmetics.

The brand’s first-ever eyeshadow palette doesn’t disappoint, with a slew of vibrant matte shades inspired by the cosmos.

$48 at Black Moon Cosmetics

Melt Cosmetics.

Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter Stack

This set of warm, rust colors will take your smoky eye from black to chocolate.

$48 at Melt Cosmetics

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