I’m a big fan of matte eyeshadow, especially for older eyelids where the skin may be crepey, or hooded, or sagging. The glitter and shimmer shadows just seem to accentuate all the bad that comes with age when used above the crease. Shimmers are still great for brow bone highlighting, or below the crease on the eyelid, but for everyday wear, I usually go all matte.
But go to the store and try to find an all matte eyeshadow palette and you have some searching to do! They’re few and far between, but I did find 3 at the drugstore, and one at sephora. There are others like “Meet Matte” by The Balm or “In The Know” by Stila, but they’re quite expensive for the whole palette (usually around $50) and I find I don’t use half the shades that are included. My personal preference is to buy individual pots of matte shadow from Mac, Laura Mercier, and NYX. That way I can get more personalized color that compliments my skin tone.
L’Oreal Colour Riche Eyeshadow Quad New Essentials in “Cuppa Joe”
This was the only all matte eyeshadow palette I could find from the major drugstore brands like L’Oreal, Maybelline, Cover Girl and Revlon. I picked this up at Walmart for $4.99, but based on the lack of color variation and the lack of pigment, this isn’t even worth the $5. The two medium colors are almost identical and all 4 colors are so lightly pigmented, you can barely see it even after building it up with 4 layers. If you’re really new to eyeshadow, this could be a good fit since it’s inexpensive and you really can’t make a mistake since it’s barely visible. I don’t love the gold tone package and thought I’d hate the swoosh shaped wells, but they’re actually a good shape for drawing the brush along and the raised dividers keep the brush in line.
Physicans Formula Matte Collection Eyeshadow Palette in Canyon Classics
I got this palette at CVS for around $10.00. I prefer these colors to the L’Oreal warm browns. I like cool browns, taupes, and greys so this was more my cup of tea. Again, the two mid-tones are very similar to each other which is disappointing, but the colors are much more pigmented even though they’re on the lighter side. It doesn’t offer much versatility for different looks, but for a basic everyday matte eyeshadow quad, it’s okay. The packaging is very plain and the pots of color don’t seem to fit well which makes it cheap looking.
Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral
I got this palette at Target for $19.99. It’s priced on the high side for drugstore eyeshadow, but it’s a bigger palette with more colors and much nicer packaging. I was really excited when I got this one, but when I got it home and started working with it, I got all flummoxed and couldn’t figure out any good combinations. The problem for me is that the two middle rows are too warm and brown for me, and they’re so highly pigmented that they go on really dark. But after much trial and error, I’ve finally warmed up to it, and found a few successful looks. I use the top 3 colors to do a doe eye look, and I use the bottom 3 to do a smoky eye. The black is also great to use as eyeliner with a wet push brush.
Urban Decay Naked Basics
I got this palette at Sephora about a year ago when it first came out. It was $27, but it was so worth the money because I use it frequently, and it’s great for travel. I use the 4th color almost daily as my blending tone to make my hood recede. The 1st color has a slight shimmer to it so it’s good for an inner corner or brow bone highlight. You can create subtle or bold looks with this group of colors. They go on evenly, blend smoothly and have very little fall-out. The packaging is compact, it looks and feels rich, it has a nice big mirror, and the wells of matte eyeshadow are larger than most.