The variety and large selection of eyeshadow palettes available today can be quite overwhelming to even the biggest makeup enthusiest, much less to the average consumer who just wants to find a single go-to eyeshadow palette that can be used on a daily basis. It’s difficult to sort through all of the latest hyped-up products and know which ones are truly worth purchasing versus what you may use a few times before tossing into a drawer. The one question that I am most frequently asked is “What is the best eyeshadow palette you would recommend within an affordable price range?” While the term “affordable” is subjective and means something different to everyone, I realize that everyone isn’t able to spend $50 or more on an a single eyeshadow palette… or any makeup product for that matter. I set the limit at $45 (USD) and made a list of eyeshadow palettes that provides the most bang for your buck…. providing both quality and function while allowing you to create daytime and nighttime looks at an affordable price point. For those interested in a “favorites” regardless of price, stay tuned in the near future for a separate list that provides some additional options. Make no mistake, the word “affordable” does not mean that any of these palettes lack quality or strong performance whatsoever. Most of these rival the performance and quality of even the most expensive eyeshadows in my collection. Expensive doesn’t always equal better. With that in mind, here’s a list of my personal favorite eyeshadow palettes at a price point of $45 or less. This list is in no particular order, as they’re all great products.
- Dominique Cosmetics Latte Palette – $42. If you missed my recent extensive review on this palette, be sure to check it out here. Don’t underestimate this palette or blow it off as just “another neutral palette,” as there is nothing plain or average about it. The quality and smoothness of these shadows are superior to most premium brands that I own and have spent double the amount of money on. These shadows truly come to life when applied to the eyes. It’s the perfect palette that can be used during the day for work and during the evening for a night out. I personally work in a professional corporate enviornment, so it’s important for me to have a palette that can create a beautiful, neutral, professional look while providing options to spice it up a little more if I want to apply a pop of color. The Latte Palette can be purchased directly on the Dominque Cosmetics website and Beauty Bay (UK). It was previously available on Ulta.com but is currently unavailable there (I’m not sure if it will be restocked at Ulta).
- ColourPop Mini Palettes – Average Price $16 (varies). If you go back about a year or so on my blog, you’ll see that I wasn’t a huge fan of the ColourPop pressed eyeshadows when they were initially released. That was for a few reasons, one being that I didn’t find the formula to be on point at that time. In addition, the cost for each eyeshadow pan wasn’t what I considered to be “drugstore” pricing at $5 for each shade. At that time, they didn’t offer their pressed eyeshadow in affordable palettes, and customers had to spend quite a few dollars just to get a small selection of eyeshadow shades. My opinion has changed over time, as ColourPop has improved upon their formula and released a large number of palettes that make the brand and their pressed eyeshadows much more affordable. Granted, the palettes contain mini sizes of their eyeshadow pans, but it’s a great way to try the brand, get a variety of shades in one palette, and get some great palettes for a very affordable drugstore price. I’m not going to pick one single palette to recommend, as they change so frequently, with new palettes and collaborations being released almost every 1-3 months. All of them are of similar quality and an affordable price point, so the choice is yours…. Pick a palette that has the color scheme you love most, and give them a try! A few of my favorites have been: Dream St. ($16), Yes Please ($16), I Think I Love You ($16), and Give it to Me Straight ($16).
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette – $42. It should come as no surprise that the ABH Modern Renaissance palettewould be on this list. While ABH has released a variety of palettes, this is the one that is known for its quality, consistency, and stunning colors. If you’re going to try any ABH palette that is most representative of the brand, this is the one to purchase. The next palette I would recommend from ABH is the Soft Glam palette, although I honestly don’t use it as frequently as I use the Modern Renaissance palette.
- Juvia’s Place The Nubian Palette – $20. Juvia’s Place is a growing independent, black-owned brand that has quickly become known for its quality formulas and highly pigmented, stunning shades. You can’t go wrong with any of their palettes. Anything you select from this brand will contain the same amazing formula with eyeshadows that last all day and pop on the eyes, regardless of your skin tone. I selected The Nubian palette for this list primarily because it’s one of their most popular neutral palettes, while their other palettes contain a selection of brighter shades. It’s all a matter of preference. There are many palettes to choose from. This brand is now available on Ulta’s website.
- BH Cosmetics Desert Oasis Palette – $22. BH Cosmetics is known to be a very affordable brand, but make no mistake… their lower price point is not representative of the quality. The brand is known for their excellent quality products, many of which are on par with much more expensive brands. The Desert Oasis Palette is their newest Limited Edition palette with stunning neutral shades… various shades of gorgeous bronze, blues, and more. It contains 19 shades total, including highlighters that can double as eyeshadows. Prior to this, my favorite palette from BH Cosmetics was the Carli Bybel Deluxe Palette, but that collaboration was recently discontinued (if you can find it anywhere for a reasonable price, grab it). If you haven’t tried this brand, it’s truly something you should give a chance. I usually purchase directly from their website because they run frequent sales (newer, limited edition palettes are usually excluded from sales). Some of their products are also available at Ulta.
- Violet Voss Like a Boss Palette – $45. Violet Voss is a lesser known brand to many people, but they make some amazing eyeshadow formulas and palettes. My favorite palette is the Like a Boss Palette. This palette contains aselection of 20 stunning shadows in mattes and shimmers that will be vibrant and beautiful on every skin tone. Their shadows are very smooth and highly pigmented. You can’t go wrong with this palette. It contains a variety of must-have shades that everyone can use. This palette is sold exclusively at Sephora.
- Rimmel London Eyeshadow Palettes – $7.99-8.49 (varies). I wanted to add a true drugstore brand to the list, since many people prefer the idea of walking into a drugstore and picking up something affordable that they can purchase on the spot. Out of all the brands available in most drugstores, my opinion is that Rimmel London makes the best quality. Other brands do very well when it comes to making foundations, powders, lipsticks, etc. However, finding eyeshadows from other drugstore brands can be tricky, inconsistent, and difficult. Rimmel has recently released a trio of Limited Edition palettes in monochromatic shades, all of which are stunning. Next time you’re at the drugstore, take a look at the Rimmel Magnif eyes Eyeshadow Palette in the options Spice, Electric Violet, and Crimson. They are also available on the Target and Walgreens website for just $7.99 – $8.49 each. Each palette contains 12 shades.
- Bad Habit Beauty Eyeshadow Palettes – (price varies). Bad Habit Beauty is a brand that specializes in creating dupe makeup for luxury brands at a very affordable price. They are sold exclusively on the Shop Hush app, which you must download to your phone or tablet in order to purchase from. While the Hush app sells a variety of brands, in my opinion, the Bad Habit brand is the best brand available on their site. They created dupes for eyeshadow palettes and brands such as the Huda Beauty palettes, Natasha Denona palettes, Anastasia Beverly Hills and much more. I’m not recommending any specific palette from this brand, as I’m still testing out several of them. However, the palettes that I have purchased and tested so far are very good quality for an incredible price point. Shipping is free for US domestic customers. To give you an idea of some of the values they offer, you can purchase a bundle of all 6 of the Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes for just $48, a duo for $20, or a single palette for $12. The name brand Obsessions palettes retail for $27 each at Sephora, so this is a huge savings, especially when you purchase a bundle deal. They have dupes for the Natasha Denona Sunset Palette and Lila Palette (which retails for $129 each), offered for a bundle of both palettes together for just $24! Dupes for various Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes range from $10 to $12. They even have a dupe for the sold out Limited Edition ABH Mario collab palette. You really can’t go wrong with this brand, considering the value. Does it provide the same exact quality as a palette that is $129 or more? Probably not, but the quality is still very good for what you get. I have even found that the dupes for the large Huda Beauty palettes (such as the Desert Dusk and Rose Gold palettes) are better than the original made by Huda. They are called the Athena and Aphrodite palettes on the Hush app, and each sells for just $14 each. They even have dupes for the ABH highlighter palettes. Quality will vary based on the individual palette that you order, but in general, this is a really good dupe brand to try.
Where to Buy
- Dominique Cosmetics Latte Palette – Dominique Cosmetics Website, Beauty Bay (US)
- ColourPop Eyeshadow Palettes – Ulta, ColourPop Website
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette – Sephora (US), Ulta, Beauty Bay (UK)
- Juvia’s Place The Nubian Palette – Ulta, Juvia’s Place Website
- BH Cosmetics Desert Oasis Palette – BH Cosmetics Website, Other BH Cosmetics Palettes at Ulta
- Violet Voss Like a Boss Palette – Sephora (US)
- Rimmel London Eyeshadow Palettes – Target
What are some of your favorite palettes that are $45 or under? Comment below or head over to my Instagram page and let’s chat!