Beige. Taupe. Chocolate. On their own, these colors sound safe—even a little boring. But these natural-looking shades are versatile, stunning, and even sexy. (There, we said it.)
- WHAT IT IS: A palette of matte and shimmery shadows
- HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS: There are 12 shadow strips in colors such as beige, rose gold, and black flecked with red sparkles. Some shades are really shimmery; all blend easily.
- WHY WE LIKE IT: Like the cult Naked and Naked 2 palettes, this one offers endless combinations. There’s a rose-gold theme to Naked 3, and the shadows are richly pigmented. Although they’re very powdery in the tin (the brush leaves behind quite a bit of dust), they adhere well to the skin.
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY EYE-CON NO. 7 PLUSH SHADOW IN 206 THE LOLITA
These creamy nude shadows are every bit as stylish as they appear—and there’s not a throwaway in the bunch. The palette has three buttery matte shades (pale ivory, tan beige, and dark black-brown) and three frosty rose-gold-spiked hues (powder pink, soft gold, and copper), but it’s the glittery champagne that we’re using down to the pan. Dusted over any shadow (or worn alone), it lends the most elegant twinkle.
M·A·C EYESHADOW x 15 WARM NEUTRAL
The biggest of the bunch, this palette is stocked with 15 warm neutrals in every finish: pearl, frost, matte, and shimmer. It’s beyond versatile, and you’ll actually use every single shade in this bad boy.
An Eye Shadow Palette in fifteen warm shades: Hey, Warm Breeze, Gingersnap, Dark Brew, Dance in the Dark, Brule Vanilla Extract, Honey Lust, Amber Lights, Saddle, Lemon Tart, Butterfudge, Creative Copper, Unwind and Divine Decadence. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully. M·A·C Cosmetics
SONIA KASHUK EYE COUTURE IN EYE ON NEUTRAL
So shimmer’s not your thing? Here is one for you: 12 blendable matte shadows that have you covered day or night. The palette ranges from lighter, brighter shades, like ivory and pale peach, to moody charcoal gray and even jet black. But it’s the warm cocoa range in between that we really dig in to.
- WHAT IT IS: A neutral eye-shadow palette
- HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS: The compact contains 12 matte powder shadows and a slide-out instructional booklet on how to achieve three different looks.
- WHY WE LIKE IT: The colors are all wearable and blendable, so it’s easy to inject a little variety into your look without straying from your comfort zone. If you haven’t yet mastered the smoky eye, this product medley will show you the way. You’ll need your own brushes, though.
BOBBI BROWN SHIMMER BRICK
It’s almost too gorgeous to use. But the ten gleaming shadows in this limited-edition palette give the prettiest subtle sparkle, which we just can’t resist. Apply them individually, or blend them for a golden glow.
The shadows’ texture is luxurious, the pigments are rich, and the subtle sheen is incredibly flattering. With rose-gold accents, the colors have just enough warmth to subtly highlight the lids.
- WHAT IT IS: A neutral eye-shadow palette with four shades
- HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS: The mirrored compact includes three shimmer shadows—taupe, pink-champagne, and ivory—one matte brown shadow, and two sponge-tipped applicators. The powders feel velvety and go on sheer.
- WHY WE LIKE IT: It may look like your classic neutral quad—which it kind of is—but subtle rose accents make the colors especially flattering. The powders layer and blend beautifully, and they barely twinkle, adding just the right highlight to lids.
RIMMEL LONDON GLAM’EYES QUAD EYE SHADOW IN SMOKEY BRUN
This palette is essentially idiotproof. No frills here, just four powdery neutral shadows and an easy-to-follow cheat sheet. It’s basically impossible to mess up. The standout shade is a deep caramel-bronze. Dabbed in the crease and outer corner, it delivers the sultriest Jennifer Lopez–like glow.
- WHAT IT IS: A powder eye-shadow quad with neutral brown shades
- HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS: The four shadows—caramel-bronze, ivory-beige, champagne, and dark taupe—feel soft and are moderately pigmented. They have a frosted finish, except for the dark taupe, which has a subtle rose-gold shimmer.
- WHY WE LIKE IT: Frosted, glimmery finishes give these neutrals a Jennifer Lopez-like glow, and the shades are so harmonious it’s nearly impossible to mess up the application. (Plus, a mini diagram on the back of the palette breaks it down into four easy steps.) While the powders aren’t exactly silky, it’s hard to complain with a price tag of less than six bucks.
REVLON ILLUMINANCE CRÈME SHADOW IN NOT JUST NUDES
These shadows’ creamy texture makes any one of them a solid crease-free base (especially the ivory-beige color—shadows look instantly brighter when layered over it), and the graduated shades also layer and blend beautifully when worn together.
- WHAT IT IS: A palette of four neutral cream eye shadows
- HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS: There’s a shimmery light beige-cream, a shimmery medium brown, a matte light brown, and a matte dark brown; the formulas are glossy and easy to blend.
- WHY WE LIKE IT: These versatile shades are ones you’ll turn to again and again, and the creamy texture doesn’t crease.
- AWARDS: Best of Beauty 2010 and 2009; Readers’ Choice 2002 (ALLURE Magazine)
ESTÉE LAUDER BRONZE GODDESS THE NUDES EYESHADOW PALETTE
One of these shadows is not like the others. The deep shimmery plum shade seems out of place alongside the family of beige- and brown-toned neutrals, but surprisingly, it’s the most beautiful complement. At first glance, the five matte nudes appear a little bland, but layer with a swipe of one of the three shimmery highlight shades and boring is the last word that comes to mind.
L’ORÉAL PARIS COLOUR RICHE EYE SHADOW QUAD IN BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT!
The metallic finishes in this quad may look a little scary, but they go on much more sheerly than you’d think. The result is a bronzy glow rather than a harsh metallic effect. The darker shades are also sprinkled with teeny tiny bits of shimmer. Magpies, rejoice.
Last but not the least… the 11th one TommyBerautyPro editor would like to add onto Allure magazine’s list is Smashbox’s Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette!
A set of universally awesome neutrals, including How-To’s For 6 Eye Shapes. It’s ESSENTIAL, EFFORTLESS and ENHANCED FOR YOUR EYE SHAPE!
ESSENTIAL: 14 must-have neutral shades-from nudes to blacks, long-wearing shimmers to velvety-smooth mattes.
EFFORTLESS: With shimmers in the top row and mattes along the bottom, it’s easy to turn up or tone down the luster.
ENHANCED FOR YOUR EYE SHAPE: Breakthrough eye shape chart for your most gorgeous look in Day, Night and Defined looks.
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