The Best Makeup Palettes Of 2021
26th February 2021

What are the best makeup palettes of 2021? The coronavirus pandemic has given us an accessory that’s here to stay: masks. But if anything, masks have given us all a chance to expand and improve our eye makeup skills — so it’s no wonder that eyeshadow palettes are flying off the shelves. Indeed, we’re all trying to learn how to flirt with just our eyelashes and perfectly tailored brows.

Additionally, every spring season brings new makeup to try; while we might be saying goodbye to heavy foundations, so many of us have embraced the forehead contour, the highlighter that absolutely pops off, the eyeshadow palette that mixes shimmer with matte with bold with natural. But with so many options, what makeup palettes reign supreme?

We did the digging, watched the makeup tutorials and reviews, scrolled through Sephora’s website and tracked down all the new makeup palettes to come up with a comprehensive list of must-haves. Don’t know which contour palette is for you? Can’t choose between Urban Decay or Tarte? Worry no more, here are the best makeup palettes of 2021.

The newest Naked Wild West palette from Urban Decay is a must-have

When we were in middle school, nothing was cooler than the Naked palette from Urban Decay. It was what all the cool kids had, ergo it was a middle school social hierarchy must-have. We’ve all grown and evolved since the first Naked palette came out eleven years ago, but a new Naked palette will be making its way into our adult collection. 

As noted by the Independent, Urban Decay has launched its new Naked: Wild West palette, which really takes the entire Naked collection to the next level. Unlike the previous palettes that featured rose colors, gold shimmers, and neutrals, the Wild West palette features cozy sand colors, blue-green shimmers, and earthy tones. It’s adventurous without being over the top, and as the Independent put it, the colors “compliment each other together so nicely on the lid.” Plus, the palette is arranged by color, so it’s incredibly pleasing to look at. 

You’ll also be a fan of the brush that the palette includes; it perfectly blends the colors together, creating unbeatable looks. Bonus, the palette is vegan and cruelty free. Get it for $49 at Sephora.

These new palettes have gorgeous colors and an Animal Crossing theme

The coronavirus pandemic made a lot of us fans of Animal Crossing, and the hype surrounding the game is pretty understandable. So if you’re a fan of the characters like Isabelle and Tom Nook, then the new 2021 Animal Crossing themed eyeshadow palettes from ColourPop are definitely for you. 

According to ColourPop’s website, the collection features four different eyeshadow palettes, and you can purchase all of them for $48. Each palette is designed around an Animal Crossing character and a color scheme; for instance, the 5 Star Island palette is designed around a pink hue and includes matte and shimmer shadows. Additionally, each palette features four different eyeshadow options. 

The palettes are cute, user friendly, and are the recipients of some stellar reviews. As noted by Refinery29, the four eyeshadow palettes are the “stars of the collection,” and it’s not hard to understand why. So whether you’re a fan of the pink palette inspired by Isabelle, the What a Hoot palette featuring neutral colors, the Tom Nook inspired palette of sea-foam colors, or the lilac Able Sisters palette, this collection is for you.

This sweet face palette from Tarte will seal the deal

We all know Tarte for being the brand behind the Shape Tape concealer, but what if we told you that the next best palette in your makeup collection was from Tarte too? That’s right: the new Cheeky Claymate Face Palette from Tarte is a 2021 must-have for a number of reasons. As included in the palette’s description, the Cheeky Claymate palette includes “three matte and multidimensional shades [that] deliver an effortless, natural-looking radiance.” 

So what are you getting in the palette? The “icy” pink highlighter in the Light of My Life shade, a cozy blush in the warm pink shade Got Me Blushin’, and a gorgeous matte bronzer in shade Soulmate. What sets this palette apart from the others is the Amazonian clay that makes the each product glide on naturally and stay in place. As noted by PopSugar, this is the palette you need if you’re going for “a natural, glowy look.” 

This palette has gotten some great reviews too, with one Sephora customer saying that the products lasted 10 hours without touching up. It also gives you a lot of bang for your buck — it’s only $19.

This 2021 palette designed for social media use should be in your collection

Raise your hand if you’ve spent an entire morning trying to get the perfect selfie, only to abandon your plans of the perfect picture all together? We’ve been there, but maybe the new Hollywood Flawless Eye Filter palette in Star Aura from Charlotte Tilbury will save our selfie pursuits. 

The palette is stunning, and features four different shadows ranging from champagne-inspired colors to sultry bronzes. As noted on the Charlotte Tilbury website, the shadows are supposed to replicate social media filters “that play with the light to brighten, smooth, and illuminate the look of your eyes.” The palette’s intention of delivering social media perfection is clearly working, because according to Hello!, the palette is “gorgeous,” and it’s not hard to understand why it’s getting such rave reviews. 

Professional makeup artist and blogger Liz Quach gave the palette an in-depth look, and concluded that it’s not only made up of an “impressively luxurious formula,” but that it “adapts to the movement of the eyes and it doesn’t crease.” This one costs a little more, $53 to be exact, but it seems like it’s well worth the price.

Colourpop really knew what it was doing with this new palette

If one YouTube trend united an entire generation, it was makeup tutorials. So many of us spent hours watching eyeshadow looks and contouring videos on YouTube when we really should’ve been doing homework, but now our liner is perfect and our contour skills are next to flawless. So it doesn’t come as any surprise that the newest social media app to attract millions, TikTok, saw a booming makeup tutorial trend. And enter Mikayla Nogueira, the “What’s poppin'” makeup artist who’s taking the app by storm. 

Mikayla reviewed the new 143 Pink Pressed Powder eyeshadow palette from ColourPop while creating a gorgeous eye makeup look for Valentine’s Day, and now we need it. The palette, according to the ColourPop website, features five different shadows that all bring something different to the table. There’s the Aww shimmer that’s actually gorgeous, the QT powder pink shadow, the My Boo pressed glitter that looks amazing, the LOML pink iridescent shadow, and the Luv shimmer. But don’t take our word for how gorgeous this palette is, take Mikayla’s, who said that she was “actually obsessed” with the palette and all its options.

Don't miss out on this new palette and collection from E.L.F.

There’s no makeup brand that really does things quite like E.L.F. does. It’s no-fuss makeup done right, it’s available at Target and Walmart, and there aren’t a lot of products that cost more than $15. E.L.F. is a win-win-win brand, and they’ve absolutely killed it with the 2021 Mint Collection, specifically the Mint Melt Eyeshadow palettes. 

There are two different Mint Melt shadow palettes — Mint to Be and Chocolate Mint — and both feature a variety of eyeshadow options. The Mint to Be palette has cool silvers, sea-foam greens, and gorgeous blending colors, whereas the Chocolate Mint palette delivers warm bronze tones and gold shimmers. The shadows are created with a “luxe, creamy formula” that makes them easy to apply and blend. Bonus, they’re also free of parabens, phthalates, and a bunch of other ingredients you want to avoid, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

As noted by Business Wire, the palettes are an “indulgent experience,” and consumers will have absolutely no control over themselves — the palettes are just a must-have. Not convinced? Each palette is only $4. You’re welcome.

This new palette from By Terry will give you glittery looks

If there’s one palette that completely takes our breath away, it’s this one. The VIP Expert Palette N3 Paris Mon Amour palette from By Terry gives us literal “romance in France” vibes and we’re completely here for it. According to the By Terry website, the palette features ten different shadows that range from matte to metallic, and the cream-like texture of each option makes blending and building really easy. What makes the palette even more appealing are the small patterns imprinted into each shadow — because what makes eyeshadow ten times better than a small Eiffel Tower printed on the shade? 

The palette is an absolute smash hit, and has 50 five star reviews on the By Terry website. Hello! magazine said that the palette was “almost too pretty to use,” and professional makeup artist Liz Quach said she experienced “love at first sight” when she opened it up. “I can’t recommend this palette enough!” she wrote in her extensive review. “It has a wonderful formula and stunning shade compilation.” This one will set you back a little — $56 to be exact — but it seems incredibly worth it.

Fan of Huda Beauty? You have to get this new palette

Huda Beauty is really the gold standard of makeup. The brand is consistently popular, it has amazing eyeshadow palettes, and the lipstick is to die for. But 2021 brought us the Gold Obsessions palette, and the name is completely apt — we’re obsessed with it. The palette features nine different shadows, ranging from dark chocolate brown shades to satin finished pinks to gold pressed glitters. The eye looks from this palette are endless, and we’re not the only ones truly taken by this palette. 

The Gold Obsessions palette was reviewed by Glamour UK, and the grade is ten out of ten. To put it simply, the palette was the beauty magazine’s “favorite yet” of the Huda Beauty eyeshadow palettes, and it’s really not hard to understand why. The palette does an excellent job of curating shadows that are easy go-to daytime wears — like the champagne colors — as well as the dramatic options like the khaki green. To put it simply, the palette absolutely has to be on your list for 2021 buys, no exceptions.

Bring Korean makeup into your collection with this new palette from Peripepa

It seems like Korean makeup is always a couple steps ahead of the trends; the products coming out of the forward-thinking market can really set the tone for the makeup industry, so if you’re looking to spice up your 2021 makeup collection, then you absolutely have to get the Lala Coralmingo eyeshadow palette from Peripepa. There are a couple reasons why the palette is such a hit. 

According to Allure, the palette’s packaging is “slim and compact,” meaning that slipping it in your purse or taking it on the go is easy. It also features seven different shades, ranging from shimmery options to matte shadows, making it the perfect palette to create a number of different looks. If sultry browns and dark shadows are your go-to, this palette is for you. If you’re more of a fan of pinks and champagne, then this palette is also for you. It’s a crowd pleaser, and it certainly has the reviews to show for it. And to make a good thing even better, it’s only $19. Don’t miss out, this 2021 palette is a must-have.

This gorgeous neutral palette belongs in your bag

There are plenty of great eyeshadow palette options if you want to play around with color, and some palettes are better at pressed glitters than others. But if you want a good go-to palette that’s perfect for daytime neutral looks, then look no further than the new Tartelette Juicy Amazonian Clay eyeshadow palette from Tarte. 

There are a couple of reasons why this palette is such a must-have. First and foremost, there are twenty different shadows to choose from. That’s right, twenty, which is code for endless eyeshadow options. There are four “pearlescent” shadows, six metallic shadows, and ten matte options, so there are many ways to curate your eyeshadow look with this palette. The shadows are guaranteed all-day wear and don’t crease, even if your skin is oily. 

Don’t believe us? Maybe you’ll believe PopSugar, who put this palette on their list of best new makeup products at Sephora in 2021. Still need convincing? The rave reviews on Sephora’s website credit the palette with “no ash,” “amazing payoff” and “zero creasing.” One reviewer even said, “I threw away my other older eye palettes… I reach for this one every time.”

Don't miss out on this luxurious palette from SUQQU

There are just some eyeshadow palettes that scream sophistication, and that is certainly the case for Signature Color Eyes palettes from SUQQU. There are six different palette color schemes to choose from, each one bringing a different hue and overall tone. You really can’t go wrong, but we’re partial to the 002 palette, Youkouiro. Featuring four different shadows, the 002 palette has a gorgeous bronze color scheme, perfect for a daytime smokey eye or a shimmery evening look. 

And we’re not the only ones who are fans of the palette. Hello! highlighted the overhaul and rebranding that SUQQU went through for the 2021 season, and the Signature Color Eye palette is just the icing on the cake. Additionally, the palette was “designed to create layered looks with ease,” as its ingredients make blending and building really easy. The shadows were curated with rosehip oil, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid, giving each color a “rich and moisturizing” finish. Sounds like the perfect go-to palette for 2021.

Don't miss out on this palette from Almay

We all remember the days of going to CVS with our moms for dish soap, only to run straight to the cosmetics section. We were kids, makeup was the forbidden fruit, and it was so tempting to pick up a lipstick or an eyeshadow palette. “Come on mom, it’s only $5.” We can hear our 10-year-old voices complaining even to this day. But honestly, sometimes the drugstore makeup is where it’s at, and 2021 will be made easy with the numbered eyeshadow palette from Almay. 

As noted by Allure, the palette has a couple different features that really make it a must-have. Firstly, the entire palette is pocket-sized, so you can take it anywhere you need to go. Secondly, it has specifically numbered shadows, so even if you’re completely unskilled when it comes to eyeshadow, you really can’t mess it up. The palette also switches up depending on your eye color — if you have blue eyes, the palette features more golds and bronze colors. If you have green eyes, the colors switch to mauve inspired hues. This is really a foolproof palette, and it only costs $8.

Indecisive? Buy this new palette from Pat McGrath that features 18 shades

Pat McGrath is a makeup industry icon. Not only did Time name her one of the most influential figures in the world, she was also the first makeup artist to be made a Dame in England. She is, without question, a visionary, so any new eyeshadow palette of hers is going to be a 2021 must-have. So bust out your credit card, because you absolutely have to have Pat McGrath’s MTHRSHP MEGA palette, with shimmer, matte, glitter, and iridescent shadows. 

According to the palette’s description, it features 18 “seductive shades,” and makes bold eyeshadow look easy. The texture of each shadow is “creamy,” making layering and bold colors possible, too. And the palette is already receiving some rave reviews. Hello! called the palette a “treasure trove,” and described it as the palette that will allow makeup artists of all kinds to “embark on infinite eye fantasies.” Sounds amazing, if you ask us. This palette really is a “couture-colour collection” palette, more of an investment rather than just another palette to add to your collection. 

The palette will set you back $78, but it seems completely worth it.

This new palette will cost you, but it's completely worth it

Some makeup palettes on this list will cost you the same amount of money as an order from Starbucks, and others will take a significant chunk out of your paycheck. This palette falls under the latter category, but it’s well worth it. Introducing the Prismic limited edition palette from Byredo, an absolute staple for your 2021 palette collection. 

What makes it so good? As noted by Allure, it is an absolute must-have for makeup artists and beauty editors, so it definitely has the expert stamp of approval. The palette features “an entire rainbow” of colors, making eyeshadow possibilities truly endless. “When it comes to this versatile palette, there are no wrong answers, methods, or color combinations,” Allure concluded, and we completely understand why. 

So yes, you absolutely need this palette that features 18 different shadows with three different finishes. Yes, it will set you back $96, but we promise you it’s worth the price tag.

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