3 Colorful Eyeshadow Palettes That Will Break You Out of Your Neutral Rut

I’m pretty limited in the bright eye-makeup department, but I really want to change that this summer.
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I’m pretty limited in the bright eye-makeup department, but I really want to change that this summer.

Go through my eyeshadows at home and you’ll be met with an abundance of browns, taupes and creams, but if you’re seeking anything more exciting than navy or gold, you’ll have difficulty finding any. Sorry. Neutral shadows are my fave because they’re just so darn practical. I can use them for daytime or nighttime looks, and they go with EVERYTHING.

Because I love them so much, I’m pretty limited in the colorful eye-makeup department, but I really want to change that this summer. If you’re looking to break out of a neutral rut like me, here are three colorful palettes you could be dipping your brushes into.

For sugary-sweet looks: Too Faced Sugar Pop Eye Palette

I'm wearing Rock Candy on my brow bone, Peach Fuzz on my mobile lid with Macaron layered on top, Strawberry Ice on the area above my crease, Bubblegum on the outer half of the area above my crease, Blackberry on the outer V, and Sugared Violet as liner on my top and bottom lash lines.

I'm wearing Rock Candy on my brow bone, Peach Fuzz on my mobile lid with Macaron layered on top, Strawberry Ice on the area above my crease, Bubblegum on the outer half of the area above my crease, Blackberry on the outer V, and Sugared Violet as liner on my top and bottom lash lines.

The first thing that drew me to this palette was the really cute macaron print on the packaging, since the sugary treat is my favorite dessert on the planet. But as I got to swatching and blending, I realized the shadows were quite good as well.

This palette features nine candy-inspired shadows in a variety of finishes, including matte, satin and frost. Since it contains bright and fun colors in addition to neutrals, it’s perfect for someone looking to ease into more colorful eye shadow looks.

Quality-wise, the shades ranged from highly pigmented to decently pigmented. Although some of them felt dry in the pan (particularly Malted Milk Ball), I still had a good experience using this palette, and with primer, the shadows lasted all day.

too faced palette.jpg
From left to right: Rock Candy, Strawberry Ice, Peach Fuzz, Macaron, Sugared Violet, Bubblegum, Malted Milk Ball, Blackberry, Blue Raspberry

From left to right: Rock Candy, Strawberry Ice, Peach Fuzz, Macaron, Sugared Violet, Bubblegum, Malted Milk Ball, Blackberry, Blue Raspberry

For fun, bright looks: Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette

I am wearing Freak on my mobile lid, Fringe on the cat eye wing, and Thrash on the center of my mobile lid.

I am wearing Freak on my mobile lid, Fringe on the cat eye wing, and Thrash on the center of my mobile lid.

I was intimidated to try this palette, but I am so glad I did because the shadows were so buttery-soft, blendable and highly pigmented. Seriously. There’s not one dud in this group of mostly neon shadows, which range in finish from metallic to matte.

I normally don’t wear very bright shades on my eyes, but since these shadows are so easy to work with, I am feeling particularly inspired. I especially love Fringe (metallic turquoise) and Freak (neon green)—two colors I never would’ve thought to wear until now, yet here I am, sporting a bright cat eye for all of you.

Because this product contains shadows that are very high-impact and bold, I recommend this if you want to dive straight into the world of colorful palettes or if you don’t have a single bright shadow in your collection. You won’t be disappointed.

urban decay palette.jpg
From left to right: Revolt, Chaos, Gonzo, Jilted, Slowburn, Urban, Savage, Freak, Fringe, Thrash

From left to right: Revolt, Chaos, Gonzo, Jilted, Slowburn, Urban, Savage, Freak, Fringe, Thrash

For a not-so-basic smoky eye: Anastasia Beverly Hills Artist Palette

I am wearing Dusty Rose on the area above my crease and just below my brow bone, Anaconda on my mobile lid and lower lash line, Baby I’m A Star on the outer V, Aubergine on my crease as a transition color and Phresh on my tear ducts.

I am wearing Dusty Rose on the area above my crease and just below my brow bone, Anaconda on my mobile lid and lower lash line, Baby I’m A Star on the outer V, Aubergine on my crease as a transition color and Phresh on my tear ducts.

While this palette isn’t as bright-heavy as the Electric Palette, it contains a nice mix of everything—neutrals and brights with shimmer, matte, velvet and satin finishes. What particularly attracted me to this product, however, is the matte yellow shade, Phresh. It’s gorgeous, and not a shade I often see in palettes.

The shadows in the Artist Palette all felt very soft—even the mattes. Pigmentation ranged from very good to decent, and the only shades that required extra layering for intensity were Blue Velvet and Aubergine. Overall, I'm very impressed with this palette, and since it has a nice variety of shades, I’d probably carry this palette while traveling to fill both my neutral and colorful eye makeup needs.

Go for this palette if you want something that’ll let you achieve a range of looks, including some stunning smoky eyes.

anastasia beverly hills palette.jpg
From left to right: Dusty Rose, Coal, Aubergine, Unicorn, Anaconda, Phresh, Punch Fuchsia, Baby I’m A Star, Buttery, Orange You Fancy, Blue Velvet, Beigely

From left to right: Dusty Rose, Coal, Aubergine, Unicorn, Anaconda, Phresh, Punch Fuchsia, Baby I’m A Star, Buttery, Orange You Fancy, Blue Velvet, Beigely

  • How do you get yourself out of a beauty rut?
  • What’s your go-to palette for creating bright, fun looks?
  • Any recommendations for a lower-priced, colorful eyeshadow palette (since I couldn’t find one I liked)?